Any headcanons about how Brian gave Justin his apartment key? How do you think Justin keeps it during their breakups? It's just so normal so nobody ever talks about it but I still think the key holds a huge significance for both of them.
Honestly, I don’t think Brian gave Justin a key until after the “that’s not love. That’s hate” incident at the Taylor household. “But Emy,” you say, “Justin was clearly in the loft without Brian earlier than that, he obviously had to have a key.” Yes, he did. Justin, scrappy, resourceful young man that he is, discovered where Brian kept the safety key (with a tiny magnet stuck to it that he then attached to the frame of the door) and made use of that key. Brian knew, of course. Justin had to be able to let himself in somehow, and you can be damn sure Brian checked the spot where he hid the key to see if it was missing. However, it was just one of those things they Didn’t Talk About, because Justin didn’t want to push his luck and Brian didn’t want to have any kind of conversation about it because that would mean Justin was actually living there, nope.
But after Craig revealed himself to be an utter asshole once again and Brian took Justin home to live with him, there was no getting around it any longer. He sat Justin down, took out the spare key – the actual spare key, not the safety – and held it up so Justin could take in just how beautifully it glinted in the light. “The rules,” he began. You know, the usual. Justin’s not to leave his shit lying around. No excessive noise before 10AM on weekends. Brian’s “visitors” are his business. Justin is to always set the alarm any time he leaves the loft. And so on and so on. It got rather tedious. Brian can be a bit of a curmudgeony grandpa at times. But he was so wrapped up in his own voice (as can happen) that he didn’t even notice Justin rolling his eyes occasionally.
Then he made Justin recite back all the rules to him perfectly and also practice setting the alarm and turning it off.
Then, and only then, did he hand over the key.
“Congratulations,” he said. “Don’t lose it.”
Justin tried not to smile too hard and oh-so-casually put it in his pocket. “Wouldn’t dream of it.”
Once the key is on Justin’s keychain, it never comes off. He had every intention of leaving it in Brian’s loft when he came by to collect his things after leaving him for Ethan, but he was so overwhelmed by the assault of memories that he fled before he remembered to remove it. Every so often he’d look down at it, and idly think he should return it, but even as he was thinking it he knew he wouldn’t. There just wasn’t even a question. Sometimes he’d make excuses (Well, we’re still friends. I need to help him with that poster. He needs somebody responsible to have a key in case of emergency.) but mostly he doesn’t even bother. It’s his key. It has a hold over him he can’t quite explain. It means something to him, even when he and Brian are broken up. A hope, a wish, a dream, a memory… whatever it is, he can never bring himself to remove the key.
And he never does.