[identity profile] neevebrody.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] brendan_vincent
I wrote these in response to both the Trick or Treat and recent "story I haven't written" memes, and it was suggested that I post them here as well.

Something from Vincent's past blindsides and nearly breaks him. Brendan must be the one to pick up the pieces and he hardly knows how because Vincent has always been the one to do that for *him*

"Vincent? Did'ja hear me?"

Vince stared at the report his paralegal, Nikki, had plopped on his desk. Of course, he'd heard her – half of Manhattan had probably heard her. Still, the words ricocheted inside his skull, a deep concussion of blows beating on a door he thought he'd shut forever.

"She's lived at the same address for twenty-five years. My cousin Rhonda lives right near there – Jesus, you could throw a rock. And you never knew?"

He heard the incredulity in her voice; it seeped through even though Vince had told her everything before they'd undertaken this task. He shook his head as the pounding there eased, moved lower into the center of his chest, warming into a big, goddamn ball of resentment and hatred and something else – something Vince had never really let himself define, a thing he brushed away as soon as it appeared like crumbs from a table. His mother had been in the city all this time and not a word, not a card, a letter, a birthday present… nothing. Somehow, it had been easier to imagine her traipsing off god knew where, following one man after another.

He tried to swallow it down, but it was difficult, that big damn ball threatening to strangle him where he sat. Brendan had been right, Vince thought, handing the investigator's report back to Nikki. "File it," he said, not looking at her.

He could feel her standing there with one hand on her jutted hip in that way she had, as if Vince had just asked her to jet to the courthouse to file something inside a twenty-minute window. "Well, what are ya gonna do?"

Good question. Brendan had said it was a mistake. That he'd get hurt, but he'd brushed that off too. Stalling, and feeling like he was going to be sick, Vince waived Nikki out.

He wanted to ask Brendan. Now that he knew for sure, maybe Bren would change his mind; he always knew what to say to make things right, to make Vince feel better, taller, smarter… better. Vince sighed and put his head in his hands, the thump-thumping pulse against his palms. But he couldn't ask Brendan. Brendan was in Washington and, anyway, Vince wasn't speaking to Brendan anymore.

Vincent finds his first grey hair.

Vince stared into the mirror; his Uncle Mik had died in his seventies with a full head of inky black hair. Vince idly thought of his real father – if he was still alive, what he looked like. Since starting law school, Vince had already noticed the silvery wisps at his temples, discounting them as easily as disposing of a crumpled receipt from a jacket pocket. But this… this was a real, honest to god, in your face, look at me, motherfucker, grey hair. It was right in front at the part, standing out like a lane line on a newly paved road. He tried to picture what it'd be like, more of them… distinguished or derelict, and couldn't quite focus on either. Worse was the unholy teasing sure to follow, the jokes about bad eyesight and erectile dysfunction, and Brendan giggling like a kid. A scrubbed-faced, rosy-cheeked, inky-black haired kid.

No! He pawed around in the bathroom drawer for Brendan's tweezers. No, this would not do.

Prompt: None

The first thing Brendan notices when he barrels inside the apartment door is the aroma – lamb and spices. It makes his mouth water instantly. He shucks out of his overcoat and notices the dining room table – most often used as a ‘catch-all’ – is set for dinner. Tablecloth, candles, wine… the whole nine yards.

He calls, “I’m home!” into the kitchen and lightly fingers one of the place settings, taking in the table and wondering what's so special about this Tuesday evening. “Vince?” He picks up the small gift bag sitting on one of the plates.

“For you.” The words warm the back of Brendan's neck; bloom out from his chest at the touch of Vincent’s hand as it finds its way into his own.

“And what’s the occasion,” Brendan asks, leaning back into Vince just a little.

“Open it.”

He surveys the table once more: the good dishes (as opposed to the paper ones), the crystal – a gift from his sister – and the wine, already open and breathing. Vincent’s other arm snakes around Brendan’s waist. Brendan pulls the small bouquet of tissue from the bag. What lies beneath has his heart racing. It’s deep red and lacy and comes with a bottle of matching nail polish.

He grins then shudders as Vince whispers, “Can’t wait…” into his ear.

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Brendan & Vincent's Place

August 2013


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