Request: Brian/AJ. Brian goes with AJ to the tattoo parlor.
By the time AJ was fifty, Brian figured every inch of available skin would be covered in ink. If he was lucky, AJ's hands and face would remain his alone to mark as he wanted, but that was all he would let himself hope for. It was all he wanted anyway.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked, ignoring the looks they were getting as he stroked his fingers up the soon-to-be filled space on AJ's inner arm.
"Youíve only asked me that about twenty times," scoffed AJ, but he didnít ask Brian to stop. "What, you donít want me to?"
Brian shook his head, then nodded it, then shook it again. "No, itís not that. I just donít want you to regret it."
"Iíve never regretted anything Iíve put on my body," AJ assured him, then reconsidered. "Well, hardly anything. You think I donít want a piece of you on me?"
"You already have all kinds of pieces of me on you," said Brian. AJ owned pieces of him, and had seen him in pieces. There were no mysteries and nothing of him AJ couldnít have.
"This is different," said AJ, grinning at him like he knew Brian was getting too far inside his head. Brian had to grin back, because he was right. "This is me."
If there was one absolute truth about AJ, it was that. He wore his life on his skin -- the triumphs and the failures, the loves and the hates, everything heíd ever been. There was no reason to think that would change now, which meant Brianís question was a dumb one. Of course AJ was sure he wanted to do this.
He took his fingers off AJís arm so it could be prepped, and wrapped them around the arm of the chair instead. "Should I stay?"
"Well, I donít need you to hold my hand or anything," laughed AJ. "But yeah, you should stay. Where else you gonna go anyway?"
The other room, if AJ wanted him to, but Brian was glad to stay. Glad to watch his name be inked onto AJís skin. He knew he already had, and had given, everything that was important, but it was nice to have something permanent, too.
Too many things he thought had been, had turned out not to be in the end.