Where There’s Gold (There’s a Gold-Digger) Justin Bieber/Scooter Braun Part 2 (part 1 is here)
Warnings: prostitution, non-explicit underage sex (Well, technically 16+ is legal in the state of Georgia), lots of random religious allusions/references
Summary: Classic hooker!fic. Scooter pays for sex, Justin does what he must and tries not to think too deeply about things. Love blossoms under even the strangest of circumstances
A/N: Justin’s Hebrew Jesus tat really can be read as the name “Joshua.”
“So,” Scooter starts, voice weighted with the exact air of light conversation he’s been using for weeks to coax Justin into telling him things, “Why did you leave wherever it is you left?”
All Justin has for him is a slight smile and shoulder half-shrugged. He’s getting better at not answering the unexpected questions (It’s not that he doesn’t like talking to Scooter; there are just some things that aren’t part of his history anymore). “I guess I thought I’d like here better.”
“You don’t like to talk about yourself much, do you?” Scooter covers Justin’s hand with his on the tabletop like the gesture means something - ownership, Justin would guess, or maybe just a lengthy lease.
“I’m not rich enough to talk about myself.” Justin turns his hand so it’s palm up, flat against Scooter’s, and finishes the sentence with a smile that flashes his teeth. It’s a good line, delivered right; most people laugh and let the subject change.
“Pretend.” Scooter’s fingers curl loosely around Justin’s wrist, thumb to his pulse. “You’re eating lobster ravioli at La Grotta,” he nods at their uniformed waiter (he’s been calling Justin Mr. Braun’s young nephew all night) for a dessert menu. “It shouldn’t be hard.”
“It’s dull.” Justin pulls his hand away. “Origin stories are only interesting if the person telling them is somewhere different now than where he began.” He doesn’t wonder if he really believes that about himself; it’s not important.
“All right,” Scooter sits back himself, straightening to pick up a cocktail list as it’s offered. “Just making conversation.” He leaves the topic alone for the rest of the meal, and for that Justin feels only relief.
It’s only a temporary reprieve. Everyone talks too much in that post-coital stretch between orgasm and sleep.
“If you really thought your past wasn’t worth remembering,” Scooter murmurs that night, usual habit of idly measuring Justin’s tattoos with spaced fingers, “You wouldn’t put reminders on your body like this.”
It would be easy to tell him something - maybe even something true. He can’t (has already said too much, frightens himself with the sum of every small detail he’s offered up over the past month alone). “It’s personal,” Justin says with firmness usually reserved only for statements like yes, that price is final and no, I don’t like handcuffs. For a satisfying moment he thinks he’s settled the matter.
Then Scooter pulls away, stands up. “I should shower.”
Justin tells himself he won’t read into that air of finality, but he’s almost resigned to it anyway by the time Scooter returns wrapped defensively in a towel and the news he’s leaving town on business the next morning. These things come up, you know.
Justin isn’t invited, but he already guessed that. He goes through the usual expressions of regret and understanding, packs his new Louis Vuitton overnight case (Scooter hadn’t even looked at the price tag before swiping his card) while Scooter fills his own luggage, and orders a taxi back into the city.
He gets a quick kiss goodbye on the curb and Scooter draws breath to say something (I’ll call you, maybe, or even I’ve changed my mind, come with me - or just thanks, have a nice life), but Justin pulls the door shut he can hear it.
The cabbie switches the station to religious talk radio and glares capital-J Judgment at him in the mirror the whole route back, so Justin counts the contents of an envelope stuffed with bills and makes sure to tip him handsomely. Moral compromise isn’t just for the whores, he’d say if anyone was around to listen when the taxi pulls away from the curb, paid and then some. Blessed are the hypocrites.
He thinks about Scooter a lot, in weird places - mostly bedrooms, mostly on his back. Nobody else ever asks him where he comes from (only what it takes to make him come).
Benefactors develop and lose interest all the time; Scooter’s no exception. Justin’s sure he only thinks of him still because he’d been around for a while - just a habit. “It’s strange what people choose to grieve,” he mentions to his newest companion and in response gets a monologue on a recently- and dearly-departed housecat and later a rather large tip for the emotional catharsis.
He almost doesn’t pick up the phone when Scooter calls again - it feels so close to unfair, getting something he hasn’t been allowing himself to want for weeks. He looks at the screen and thinks for a beat that he could always just let it go to message, have Scooter’s voice recorded to his inbox for the next time he’s feeling destructively bored and obsessive. Wonders what’s wrong with himself and hits SEND. “Hi.”
“Oh, this is a real number.” It sounds like he’s smiling, and Justin feels his own mouth quirk upward at the side in automatic response. “I was afraid I’d get directory services.”
“No,” is all Justin lets himself say. He adjusts the phone on his shoulder so he can pull open his closet door in search of a nicer shirt. “It’s really me.”
“You’re always so talkative,” Scooter says, but he’s still smiling so Justin doesn’t dwell on the bitter edge to it. “So what are you doing tonight?”
Who, you mean. Justin tabs through his iPhone calendar to verify it’s nothing (no one) he’d feel bad about cancelling. “Nothing, right now. Sleep.”
“You could come do that with me,” Scooter supplies immediately on cue. Laughs, under his breath the way he does.
“How soon can you have your bag packed?”
Justin already has it lying open on the bed, clothes piling next to it on the sheets as he pulls them from his closet. “Two hours,” Justin says because he needs a shower and styling and time to make that cancellation call before the taxi comes.
Scooter grunts agreement, not surprised. “I’ll make dinner reservations.” He pauses. “I like those gold shoes you wear. With the velcro straps.”
Justin nods and almost drops his phone with the movement. “Okay. 7:00?”
He hangs up, stares at the phone for a moment, wondering how or why this feels different to him. Then he orders a taxi and goes to look for his Supras.
“I told myself I shouldn’t see you again,” is the third thing Scooter says to him at dinner (after hello and what are you having?). It’s apparently Justin’s night for dashed hopes and sharp disappointments. He isn’t sure how to respond, smiles tight with teeth grit so he won’t frown or say the wrong thing and waits for him to continue.
“You frustrate me,” Scooter says. “I told myself that something I do to relax shouldn’t frustrate me.” He looks to Justin and the only thing he can think to do is nod in dumb agreement. “But I couldn’t stop thinking about you.” He shrugs, “So I called.”
“Why me?” Justin asks before he can think of a question less openly suicidal. He might as well have offered to jump online and find his own replacement immediately.
Scooter smiles like Justin just made his point for him. “You’re not like the other - people I’ve met.” Justin would have a snide comment about the euphemisms in that sentence if he weren’t so busy worrying a hole through the threads of the cloth napkin in his lap.
“I want to know you, I want to know about you. Your tattoos, the way you sometimes start to tell a story and stop,” Scooter grimaces, reaches to pull his own napkin from its folds and drops it into his lap. “You’re so opaque. I don’t think I’d ever hear the answers I want. I’m not sure I’m entitled to them, anyway.”
“Oh.” Justin looks down at his hands, manicured nails someone else paid for, and takes a breath. Scooter has it backwards; the hard part has always been not telling him things. “It’s not that I don’t - well. It means Joshua,” he says, because doing has always been easier than talking about it. “Yeshua, the Hebrew name. My tattoo.”
“Your real name?” Scooter’s expression isn’t quite legible to him, surprise and something else. Justin shakes his head. “No, from the Bible. The one who left Moses in that shithole desert and made it to the Promised Land.”
Scooter laughs, and it’s a nice sound. “That’s not how my rabbi ever told that story,” he murmurs.
“I like my way better,” Justin says, and he thinks Scooter might just understand. He tells himself he doesn’t feel any different having said it, but that’s a lie. “And my name really is ‘Justin.’”
“It suits you,” Scooter says. “All of it.”
This time Justin’s the one who reaches for his hand. “I know.”
How many times can Justin say Scooter's name in 30 seconds?
deejay:I'd still sue [Mariah Yeater's] ass, but okay!
Justin:I mean, I mean - Scooter, what's up Scooter? What's up Scooter, you coming to the mic, Scooter?
deejay:I will tell you -
Justin:Scooter, come on, Scooter!
deejay:Scooter came in here today -
Justin:Scooter, what are you feeling right now?
deejay:I said Scooter, I know -
Justin:Scooter, you wanna get some stuff off your chest?
deejay:Let me tell you what happened! Now I was talking to Scooter a second ago, I said look, we'll be very sensitive to everything going on because that's not what this is about and he said "Oh! Let me talk!"
Justin:Yeah, let him talk!
deejay:Scooter, go ahead, you're on.
Scooter:I - Look, I don't usually talk in front of mics, but bottom line is they said that uh, they were in settlement talks with us and the only thing I'm gonna say is they will never be in settlement talks with us, we will never settle with them, that's my little guy right there I protect him, and uh, they messed with the wrong crew so. It's false, and people should be held accountable when they run out there and say this stuff. And they got this, you know, lawyer running around saying "Well we want everything to be held confidentially now" - you don't get to go out there and badmouth a 17-year-old kid to the entire world and then suddenly think it's gonna stay confidential. We're not gonna go away quietly and - you know. I'm from around here, and you guys know the people from around here don't really like to be messed with, so.