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A little birdee told me

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Justin slid open the door and froze with a grimace as the door's wheels graunched above. The loft was quiet, only the white christmas lights softly pulsating on the sparsely decorated nordic spruce aided the illumination from the street lights below. Snow fell outside the windows, yet, compared to frigid air of New York and the slightly less chill air of Pittsburgh, it was positively balmy in Brian's eyrie.

The good thing about a surprise visit is no one knows you are coming so they are not hovering around in expectation. No one is phased by a two hour delay as runways both ends of the flight are cleared. No one rings up repeatedly, worrying about your safety or if you are going to make it at all.

The bad thing about a suprise visit was no one knows to hang around waiting for you, to greet you. Even a snarky comment about "how blond boy ass was available locally and Justin needn't have done take-out all the way from NYC" would have been welcome. He admitted, ruefully, to himself that he had been a little too succesful in convincing Brian he truly was not getting away from New York this year.

But to be back at all left him grinning as he pulled his duffle bag in from the landing, slid the door to and locked it. He plodded over to the steps and up into the bedroom. He'd knocked the snow off in the foyer below before getting into the cranky industrial elevator so there was no trail of wet footprints to earn him a telling off from his anally retentive host. Though, he reflected, maybe the purnishment might be worth the earache. He continued grinning as he looked around for a clue as to where his fiancee might have gone out to this Christmas Eve evening.

Babylon? Woodys? The Novotny-Bruckners? Most likely Babylon - as a responsible business owner Brian would probably feel it encumbent on himself to be there tonight, assuring quality control and checking out the clientele.

Justin felt too tired to get ready to head out, having worked to the last minute on the final piece for his show opening the 1st of January before hastily packing to make the flight out of Le Guardia . They'd agreed that Brian would attend the Gallery opening which is how Justin had convinced Brian that it made no sense for Justin to come home for Christmas.

Sat on the bed's dark blue comforter, Justin was startled out of his musings by the tell tale squeaking of the loft door. He pasted on a smile ready to greet Brian and his trick du nuit, no locks on their doors after all, agreed up front before he'd left to take the artistic world of NYC by 'storm'.

Brian launched across the loft to take the bedroom steps two at a time, gloriously unaccompanied. Thank you God, Justin thought and a genuine smile replaced the replica, lifting the corners of his eyes.

"You got stuck in the airport at NYC and Pitts? I was expecting you hours ago!" Brian declared.

"Lovely to see you too Brian and thank you for your warm welcome!" Justin's smile beamed across the bed.

"The loft not warm enough for you Sunshine?" Brian's eye brow lifted. "I cranked the heating up for you and made it all cosy. "See." He swept his arms across to the elegantly subdued fir. "I even sacrificed a tree and dressed it up in drag in your honour!"

"Yeah, about that.... I said I wasn't coming home. So how did you know I was coming home after all and how did you know which flight I was on?"

"A little birdee whispered in my ear Sunshine; a little bird let me know. Now stop being so over-there and and so over-dressed!" Brian held out his open arms and quirked the corners of his mouth.

Justin eased off the bed and sauntered around it to join his irritating partner, the man he had been hung up on for over eight years, ever since lamplight had led to a sucessful career as a teenage stalker. Justin decided that, for now it was enough to be with him, now was not the time to figure out how he knew. He could go bird hunting tomorow. Tomorrow maybe.

As he stretched up on to his tip toes, seeking Brian's lips and tongue, it was sufficient to simply breath the same air as the man that would always be his home.