US QaF belongs to Showtime. Not my characters, no copyright infringement intended, no profit intended or made. Rae's fault.


'He's gone', he thinks, and shuts the door.

Which feels too familiar, been here, done this too many times by far. The sliding door crashes closed after him, and he turns off a kitchen light.

And that should be the end, but instead it's the beginning, because it's midnight now, and there are still things to do, there are still things to put in the dishwasher, and there are still things that come out of our mouths that aren't appropriate, and every ending's false, don't you know that.

But he's feeling this ending, regardless, because it means there are less hours in the day to get laid, and no one to say inappropriate things to anymore because his friends are living with someone else. Which feels like a script he's already written, but still it hurts, just like it did yesterday and the day before.

So there's this feeling, and there's an empty bottle of wine, or-- tequila, yeah, and some baggies that used to have something wild and kinky residing inside. There's also too few plates and knives in the sink. And it should add up, it should have a nice little sum and stack of dishtowels, maybe. Some, some poppers in red, white and blue, and some boots by the door.

But there aren't any shoes on his welcome mat. So it's not the end, but it's no decent beginning, either.

'Fuck', he thinks to himself, shortly after. 'I never knew his name.'

It's the story of his life.


It's two thirty on a friday night-- make that a saturday morning. Brian waves a bottle at the sky. The ass that just went out the door is already forgotten. Not person, not man, not even a pair of eyes, because Brian doesn't lie to himself unless it counts.

So he ends up at Michael's door, of course, because tonight he feels like lying.

Michael's home, because when isn't Michael home unless Brian's out too. The lights are on. Emmet's at some leather bar. Michael wants to find something in his life that doesn't revolve around sex, so of course, he's thinking about David and jacking off.

Earlier that day, Emmet told him off. Said all the right things, and all the wrong ones too, to remind Michael that things are only always about sex if you're Brian Kinney-- which Michael isn't, wasn't, and never will be. And it's not like he doesn't know that. If it's one thing that Michael knows, it's he'll never be anything like Brian.

There's a more complex reasoning behind it than you'd think.

It all goes back to a day almost fifteen years ago, when they both started thinking about Dirty Dancing. It's been going on since then, and hasn't stopped yet. Sure, Michael's had boyfriends. Who hasn't had a boyfriend or two, right? --Brian hasn't. Michael's been in love a couple of times, those your-heart-pounds-and-flutters-and-you-feel-like-you'll-be-sick loves. Who hasn't fallen hard and fast for someone they fucked around with?

--Brian hasn't.

He says I love you casually, and he says it high. He means it high, as well, most of the time, but it's the way you love a puppy or a tree or a foot-long tracer. He loves a body, a feeling, and doesn't see any eyes, you know? Buries himself in something that reminds him yes, Brian Kinney is a fucking incredible guy, and says 'I love you' as a thank you card he doesn't have to pay for.

'Call me.' 'That was incredible.' 'I love you.' 'I hate you.' 'This is a nice apartment.' 'I have one testicle.' 'I like rubber.' 'I like dolphins.' Michael also knows what a repetoire of lines Brian Kinney hears day to day. They're all the same, falling off his back like rainwater on a duck or a hot tin roof-- or the way a condom slips off, forgotten and slimy when you're already falling asleep.

The worst one is, 'I love you'.

Do you know how many times Brian Kinney's heard that one?

Neither does he.

So at two thirty seven, when Michael still hasn't answered his door even though Brian knows he's home, he's confused as all fuck and starts to cry. Not for any particular reason, mind. He's just had a lot of whiskey and he's got a kid, so he has a right to be emotional-- fuck, Melanie's going to be mad at him because Linsey is upset. There's another reason, he's hurt Linsey's feelings. Lindsey, Ted, yeah, because of that hospital thing, remember? Justin, little fucking brat, he's feeling all sorry for himself, but he's young-- Michael.

Michael. Still isn't answering the fucking door.

This Brian Kinney can't separate Michael from 'hands off', can't put affection and fucking in the same time zone, nevermind bedroom, so the two have to always stay apart. Can't get hard when you love someone; that's the way it goes. So Michael, little Mikey, is a place where he's afraid, especially when things get tight and maybe sexual. Because little Mikey doesn't see it that way. Brian knows this.

All those lines. He doesn't want to know what the price of sex is, what he'll give up in little Mikey, if Michael opens the door.

But he does.

And he cries a little more, remembering Michael in the jeep, shocked that he'd consider sleeping with a client just because he wanted the account. It hadn't really occurred to him to feel used and abused until his nearest and dearest had pointed it out, but after that, he couldn't get past the idea that he wasn't having fun.

Fine. Little prick won't open the door, he'll just drive home and go-- "Brian!"

Can't speak. Michael approaches cautiously. "I was expecting Emmet and a lame excuse about not having a key."

Still can't speak-- throat tight and eyes red. "Are you gonna come in?"

Brian stumbles into the apartment, and lets Michael guide him into his bedroom without a word. Just, y'know, cries a little, feels water on his cheeks, and suddenly starts thinking about David.

Now has the perfect thing to say. "Gimme a beer. Or three."

Michael shakes his head. "I think you've had enough."

But grabs two anyway. Brian chugs half of his, and says his perfect thing, his little coup, revolution, against the price of sex and the economy of fucking and lust and Babylon on Friday nights-- no, Justin's not getting to him, no he's not making him see things more clearly. No, nothing's wrong.

He says, "You love him."

It's not really a question, but Michael takes it that way anyway. "I dunno. I guess, I could."

Swallows the last of the beer, tasting cock in between his teeth still. "Then you should."

Brian stands up, kicks his shoes off, and gets into bed. Michael gets in behind him, and starts pulling him close. It's something that he should be doing to a lover, a friend, something more than the little shit Brian will never grow out of. He shouldn't let this contact, comfort, hope, *selfish* prick attitude keep Michael from moving in with the doctor.

Tomorrow night, he'll drink alone. That ending, he can feel it for tomorrow. Keeps crying, silent little sobs, and his face is burning from alcohol and the rest of it. Michael strokes him gently, softly, giving. Says, "What's wrong, Brian?"

Brian Kinney is never without the perfect thing to say. Tick, tick, tick. That's the universe counting up one night stands-- the price of sex.

Know how many times he's heard, 'I love you', and had it not be Michael?

What's wrong. You've got a doctor. I've got a baby. He thinks, 'Fuck,' and lets Michael pulls him closer, waiting for an answer. He pictures a day where he can't take it anymore, and he actually pays Michael back for being a friend by giving him sex-- and what he'll give up. Cock limp. He's got a baby, for chrissake.

What's wrong. He doesn't want to know, but he does. Thinks, 'I can't fuck you.' He doesn't think, 'And you want me to,' because if he does he might fork over the price of it tonight.