At the Very Edge of Things

Etharei


Rating: NC-17
Timeline: post-513 (and spoilers from multiple seasons!)
Disclaimer: Queer as Folk and all the characters and situations featured therein are the property of Showtime, Cowlip Productions and their affiliates. I’m only borrowing them for purely non-profit, recreational purposes, and promise to replenish the condom and lube supply when I’m done.
Summary: Whenever it’s about Justin, it’s about Brian. Usually because it’s Brian’s fault.
Author’s Notes: Written for mclachlan, whom I owed fic and whom I heart with all the purple, sparkly hearts in the world.

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He shouldn’t. He knew he shouldn’t. He had successfully managed to restrain himself for two weeks, two long weeks, and all the voices of Reason, Emotion, and Manly Pride were jointly telling him not to do it. He shouldn’t, shouldn’t, shouldn’t- oh, fuck it. And fuck him, too.

“Kinney.”

Justin nearly dropped the phone in his surprise that Brian had actually, like, answered. When it was still daylight in both New York and Pittsburgh. And too early for either of them to be drunk, or in the middle of fucking people.

Well, probably too early. Nevertheless, he was almost speechless.

“I hate you,” Justin began- quite promisingly, he thought. Right down to the point. “I thought you should know. My total, unequivocal hatred for you knows neither bounds nor competition.”

He could almost see Brian beginning to smile, and biting his lip to avoid doing so. The mental image was enough to make Justin grin, which (now that he was a full-grown homosexual, he could see these things clearly) really was rather pathetic. “Is our little ray of Pennsylvanian sunshine enjoying the hustle and bustle of urban humanity’s crawling masses? With particular attention to the hustle part, of course.”

Justin had been absently picking at a stack of magazines on the ancient coffee table in front of him when his fingers encountered a different texture. He frowned and pulled out a loose sheet of 70gsm medium textweight sketch paper. “Fuck, I’ve been looking for this!” He looked around for his art case. “Thanks for reminding me- there’s another thing I hate you for.”

“I fail to see how your inability to keep track of your shit is any way my doing.” He thought that Brian sounded distracted. That would explain why the phone hadn’t rolled to voicemail- he must not have bothered to check the caller ID. Ted had said that the number of new accounts at Kinnetik seemed to be doubling exponentially each quarter.

That was fine; Justin didn’t really need Brian’s full attention, anyway. “Shut up, I’m on a roll here.” He finally spotted the black carrying case behind the hideous pseudo-art deco lamp. “At least, I’m trying to start one. Now I’ve forgotten what I was going to say next.” Annoyed, he vindictively slapped away the hanging leaves of an unidentifiable potted plant. “Do you know what I was doing last night?”

“Jerking off while thinking about me?”

“Hah! I wish. Last night I forced myself to get pissed drunk before I could poke the eyes out of Daphne’s friend with my triangular-handled round size 3s. If I was raped or robbed while I laid senseless on my lumpy bed, it would be completely your fault.”

“I thought Daphne’s friend is a girl.”

“She looks at me funny. And she won’t leave me the fuck alone!” Regaining his stride, Justin pushed on, full steam ahead. “She keeps talking, and talking, and you’d think after Deb my eardrums would have grown a protective layer, but she’s got this really annoying high voice that creeps under your skin. She has no concept of personal space. Sometimes I think she’s flirting with me, other times she’s trying too hard to be friendly. She makes all these awful jokes about guys and gays, and I think that she thinks just because I’m gay I like to be all touchy-feely. Two days ago she asked me to do her hair.”

There was a moment of silence over the line. “That does sound like the seventh pit of Hell,” Brian commented dryly. “Or living in a college dorm. Either way, it’s the price you pay for having a New York address.”

“Hnuh,” Justin snorted, in a way that conveyed, without him actually saying so outright, that as far as he was concerned his glamorous New York address could go hang with its dick cut off right at that moment.

“And now you know how I felt when you moved into the loft.”

“I wasn’t this bad! And you were good at shutting me up.”

“Sometimes I suspect you were that annoying just so I could shut you up.”

“Might have, might have,” Justin said dismissively. “Anyway, I’m just telling you all this now in case my next call is from a police station because I’ve been charged with homicide by hog hair stencil brush.”

“For some inexplicable reason, people always target me for their anger displacement.”

“Overflow rather than displacement, in this case.” Justin thought he could hear the honk of cars in the background. “Aren’t you supposed to be at work?”

“Just doing my duty as a boss by leaving the office in the middle of the working day and letting all the minions do the work.”

“Hah!” Justin huffed. But the steam on his rant was running out, and irritation was being pushed aside by gentler, more complicated things. “Brian..."

“Justin.”

It was amazing how he could practically see Brian’s uneasy, uncertain expression. “I’m just glad you answered, that’s all.”

Silence. Sometimes Brian’s silences were louder than his shouts. Right then it was more deafening than the traffic in the background. “Yeah. Me too.”

Not wanting to lapse into the weird quasi-conversation mode they’d adopted while he was in LA, Justin decided to take this as a win and live to fight for another day. Besides, he could hear footsteps outside the door. “Gotta go, she’s here. I’ll talk to you later?”

“Yeah.” A memory- will I see you again? “Later.”



The arrival of The Roommate Who Won’t Go Away prompted Justin to quickly leave the apartment and take a chilly stroll around the East Village. He kept to areas he’d already explored, since in his distracted state it would be too easy to get lost or not notice anyone sneaking up on him.

New York City. Every artist’s dream. It reminded him of the exhilaration of California, times a hundred. The artist in him knew that he could stay here for a lifetime and still not exhaust the font of inspiration that could be found on a single street. He knew that he was an artist destined for great things, knew it with the same immovable conviction with which he’d known that he was gay.

The thing was- as free, fulfilled, and fucking fabulous as he felt about being in such a good position to attain his lofty goals, there was a constant weight in his gut. Sometimes it felt like a comforting anchor, a rock at the base of his centre; other times it was like rusted metal tearing through his insides, festering dark whispering fears of lost time.

It amused him now that Brian was the first one who ever told him that he was a selfish brat. Looking back, he felt a bit ashamed at the way he’d been, especially towards his mother, but he figured that without the ‘I want everything’ attitude of his, he wouldn’t be where he was today. So he wanted it all: New York and Brian. Now that he’d decided on that, it really was just a matter of figuring out the how.

The problem with balancing on a knife’s edge, is that the intrepid balancer not only has to go left and right in equal measure, but also up, because of course the identifying feature of a knife is that it’s got a fucking sharp edge, and who would respect a balancer who got his feet sliced bloody before he was halfway through? And floating in the air above said edge was for real fairies.

Justin though that the second-hand smoke he was inhaling from the man sitting on the public bench a couple of paces away might not be from a cigarette as he’d originally assumed, and turned back towards the apartment building.



It was quite a fitting end to his day that, upon reaching his dark and dank floor, Justin was promptly grabbed from behind and pushed against the wall. He felt something being jabbing him between his shoulder blades, something blunt insofar as he could feel through the layers of thick wool and expensive cotton, and suddenly he could see the little maze of hairline cracks around where the cheap paint had been chipped off the wall.

“My wallet’s in my back pocket,” he whispered. His mind wandered back to late nights spent roaming around Liberty Avenue and nearby areas, and found no comfort whatsoever in said mind’s helpful suggestion that this was likely a form of negative karma.

A hand slid into his back pocket, at the same time as a voice said into his ear, “I thought I was the one who owed you for all those blowjobs?”

Justin coughed, throat caught between a cry of relief and a splutter of anger. “Brian!” He turned around, the strong arms relaxing their grip on him, and smacked the grinning man. “What the fuck are you doing here?” He swung in a punch to the stomach, which a now-laughing Brian stopped by grabbing his fist. “And you scared me half to death, you fucking asshole!” Another attempted punch, and it was kind of infuriating how easily Brian dodged it and took control of that fist, too.

Still chuckling, Brian stepped forward, his grip on Justin’s fists forcing the shorter man to step backwards. His back hit the wall.

Brian’s eyes looked almost black in the gloom. “Fuck, you’re hot when you’re pissed off,” Brian growled before swooping in, and Justin was pinned flat while a hot, wet tongue was thrust between his lips, prying his mouth open.

He moaned, finding it hard to hold onto his annoyance under such a debilitating assault, especially when Brian’s groin came into sharp contact with his and he felt a far more interesting kind of hard.

He pulled back. “Inside,” he whispered harshly, freeing one hand and grabbing a fistful of the black shirt Brian was wearing.

“Yes,” Brian murmured, gazing intently downwards and grabbing Justin’s ass. “As far up inside as you can take it, young man.”

Mouth watering just from the deep tone of Brian’s voice, Justin’s hand shook as he fumbled for his key. It really didn’t help matters that Brian had gotten hold of his hip and was rubbing the prominent bulge in his designer pants over Justin’s ass.

Finally, the lock clicked open. Brian spun Justin around and smashed their mouths together, his hand snaking around to open the door. Justin only registered their entrance into the apartment by a minute increase in the temperature; the rest of his attention was all on Brian, especially when Brian found the hem of his sweater and shirt. Cold fingers pinching a nipple made him arch up, made him try to suck Brian’s tongue right out of his mouth. He blindly led them towards his room, clutching, teasing hands everywhere and Justin sounding like some crazed thing.

Surprisingly, Brian disengaged once they were in the tiny bedroom. His eyes swept around, taking in the sparse furnishings and cobwebs in the corners. “Very... cozy.”

“Shut up.” Justin pulled him back down again. This time it was Justin with his tongue in Brian’s mouth, biting on Brian’s upper lip with a vengeance; he backed towards the bed, Brian’s heavy coat hitting the floor. Brian’s hand got into the back of his jeans, grabbing a handful of his ass, and Justin groaned at the mental image of a red handprint on his butt-cheek. He undid Brian’s belt buckle, pulling down the zipper. “Two weeks of avoiding my calls,” he growled into Brian’s ear, nipping at the soft earlobe. Brian’s hot mouth was wreaking havoc along the side of his neck. “And you show up without warning, scaring the shit out of me.”

The back of Justin’s knees hit the side of the bed. Looking down, he saw that Brian had pushed his jeans down to his thighs, and Brian’s cock was jutting out of his pants, dark and engorged and perfect, glinting moisture at the tip. Justin swallowed and smacked Brian on the arm. “Fuck me already, you fucking asshole.”

They were a confusion of limbs and mouths as they fell onto the bed, Justin not exactly resisting but not making it easy for Brian either, alternatively hitting him and pulling him closer. Justin felt his jeans being yanked off him completely, but Brian appeared intent on keeping his clothes on. (Which was fine by Justin, as he’d always found it hot when Brian fucked him fully-dressed.) He moaned at the feel of the black silk shirt sliding over his cock, pre-cum staining the fabric where the tip of said cock brushed against it; he was horny as hell and high waters, because last week’s fuck in the art gallery and the blowjob at the coffee shop two nights ago was practically nothing to a young gay boy in his sexual peak who’d gotten used to regular mind-blowing sex with Brian A. Kinney.

He moaned loudly when their cocks met, his body thrusting to rub the steel-stiff lengths together while his hands were lightly punching Brian on the shoulders. His mock struggles appeared to be driving Brian crazier; he used his hands to block Justin’s blows, while his mouth blazed everywhere, nipping at the skin on Justin’s neck, licking up and down his collarbone, a very dexterous tongue tweaking his nipples. At some point one of them pulled Justin’s sweater and the T-shirt underneath off, and Justin felt himself harden to the point of pain at the feel of cool silk sliding over the feverish skin of his chest.

Then a finger was pushing into his hole, and Justin decided that he’d ‘punished’ Brian enough and further resistance would be detrimental to his goal of getting Brian’s dick inside him. He wrapped his legs and arms tightly around Brian, pushing back to get more of the finger inside him, not caring about the slight burn. Two weeks, after all, was a long time for a guy who was still tight after near daily plowings of his ass. Two fingers, slicker, more lube. Justin was panting, hands fiercely holding onto Brian’s head hovering over his, pushing damp hair back. Three. He was chanting “Fuck me, Brian, fuck me.” A condom packet went between Brian’s teeth; over muscled shoulders, Justin could see his grubby white sneakers.

Finally, fucking finally, Brian was pushing inside him, penetrating and stretching, the burn only an affirmation of the hard shaft filling him up, throbbing inside him. Justin moaned loud and long, pushing up to get more of Brian inside. Brian paused for Justin to take a breath, then launched into a punishing pace, his fast and furious thrusting leaving Justin swearing, gasping, and fucking loving it. Beneath them the bed rocked with the force of it, the worn springs making a very rousing cloing-cloing sound. His skin tingled. Brian slid his legs up, gripped his hips, holding him at an angle where he could get in further, deeper, repeatedly hitting Justin’s prostrate.

Justin knew he wasn’t going to last long, he never could on the first round after any period of no-Brian-sex lasting more than two days. He let out a strangled shout as his orgasm sped through him in a rushing, incendiary flare of heat and tensing muscles, his back arching off the bed as he was catapulted high, high, warm whiteness cresting below, spreading over bare stomach and black silk. He distantly felt the inner muscles of his semi- numb ass clenching around Brian’s cock. Three thrusts into the tight vice and Brian was following him, letting out a guttural groan, the condom inside Justin filling up with heat.

“Justin, let’s go out to that new- OH!”

It probably said something about how used he was to such interruptions that Brian didn’t even blink, just continued panting where he lay on top of Justin. Justin, face hot, twisted his head and neck so he could see the door. Daphne’s friend stood there, the headphones over her ears blaring out something unidentifiable, hand over her gaping mouth.

“Could you go away?” he asked, voice a little raspy.

The iPod was turned off. “You’re having SEX?” she screeched.

“It looks like it, yes.” Justin rolled his eyes, and grinned at seeing Brian do the same. “Hot, gay sex that you would have HEARD if you paid any attention to anything going on around you.”

“Sunshine, I need the bathroom.” Brian spoke up.

Justin groaned. “Hang on, let me pull the covers.” Brian angled his body so that he was obstructing them from view while he pulled out and tied the condom. He waited for Justin to get under his blanket before tucking himself in and standing up. “It’s that way.”

Once Brian had disappeared into the bathroom, Justin’s roommate frowned at him. “Is he paying you?”

“No!” Justin spluttered, shocked. “What makes you think that?”

“Well, he looks like the rich type. He’s wearing Dior Homme pants, and I think his shoes are Gucci. Besides, I thought you were seeing Lawrence.”

What the fuck? He frowned. “Who?”

“He went to the art gallery where you worked? He’s a friend of a friend. He told me that I had an amazing roommate.”

“Oh.” He pinched the bridge of his nose. “Look, I don’t know how to explain this to you, but that was... a fuck.” She winced at his choice of words, probably because he’d always done his best to be polite to her. “He was giving me the eye, so I fucked him in the men’s restroom. Think of it as a one-night stand.”

“But he really likes you! He’s waiting for you to call him, said that he gave you his number.”

Oh, yeah. Justin had tossed it in the trashcan on the way home. “Then please explain to him that I’m not interested. Tell him I’ve already got somebody.”

“I’m not lying for you!” She looked at Justin in a way that he didn’t like, especially since he was naked. “So, you’re, like, a slut, then?”

“He’s not lying,” Brian said from the door. He retrieved his coat from the floor, then stepped forward with his hand held out. “Brian Kinney. Justin’s husband.”

Justin covered his hand to hide his laugh at the expression on her face. “Now,” Brian continued. “Kindly fuck off. And learn to knock before going into people’s rooms.”

After her hasty exit, Brian slid the rickety desk to block the shut door, and rejoined Justin on the bed.

“Husband?” Justin smiled teasingly, running a hand through Brian’s hair.

Brian turned to look out of the window, but Justin could tell he was smiling. “We don’t need rings and a ceremony, remember?”

“Yeah.” Justin touched his shoulder, prompting him to turn back, and kissed Brian softly on the lips. “I’ve missed you.”

Brian grinned. “Prove it.”

Chuckling, he playfully pushed at Brian. He hesitated before speaking further, but if there was anything he hadn’t lost since he was a virgin, it would be speaking his mind when he wanted to. “You know, once upon a time, pigs would fly first before Brian Kinney chased after anyone, or admitted that he cared about them.”

Brian nodded, looking away again. “A lot of things used to be.”

Justin felt like he was filled to bursting, and the sharpness of the knife’s edge made itself known beneath his proverbial feet. He kissed Brian, the familiar feel and taste of Brian’s mouth lifting him up, up and away to home, the first star to the left.



“I’m going to rebuild and reopen Babylon,” Brian said against his skin, later. “Mikey managed to convince me.”

“That’s good.” Justin trailed a finger over Brian’s pecs, teasing the little strands of hair dotting his chest. “It’ll show those bastards that not even a bomb can keep us down. When will the grand reopening be?”

“I don’t want you to come.”

Justin froze. “What?”

Brian sighed, curling a hand around Justin’s. “It’s going to take a while. Six months, maybe. We’re going to be reinforcing the foundation, and completely reworking some areas to make it bigger, more structurally sound. New lights, new sound system, new layout. We’re dedicating it to everyone who died- there’ll probably be a plaque, or maybe we’ll name the new stages after them.”

Justin nodded, still not seeing where Brian was going with this, but felt a bit too old to be going into a drama queen fit. Just yet, anyway. “Everyone will be dancing. Drinks on the house. I’ll make a speech, some sentimental shit that will make everyone feel better and remind them of how fabulous they are even though they’ve lost their loved ones and are probably scarred for life. At the end,” Brian paused. “I’ll say a big fucking farewell.”

Justin didn’t dare to move, remembering false reminiscences of Ibiza.

“Because the next day I’ll be on a plane, heading here.”

Justin opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Brian smiled, leaned in and took the opportunity to snake his tongue in for another slow, searching kiss. “It seems that the bombing shed some publicity on the plight of gay rights in Pittsburgh. Several gay-friendly New York-based companies contacted me, as the owner of Babylon, looking for a way to share their sympathies. Let’s just say that the Vic Grassi house is having a very good year.” Brian played with the tips of Justin’s somewhat disheveled hair. “A couple of these companies just happened to be needing help in their advertising and marketing department, and were very impressed with Kinnetik’s record.”

“So Kinnetik is expanding to New York?” Justin whispered, a little numb around the edges.

Brian bit his lip. “Not officially, not yet. But while Babylon is being built, we’re going to be working on the new accounts. If all goes well, by the time Babylon reopens, we’ll have secured enough money to open a small office here. Of course, Ted and Cynthia are insisting that I come here personally to work the clients.”

Justin had to grin at that. “I can’t believe that Cynthia didn’t warn me you were coming.”

“Oh, I know you have my secretary wrapped around your clever little finger,” Brian smirked, rolling over on top of Justin. “So only Ted knows that I’m even here.”

Justin shook his head, not for the first time feeling quite awed by this unpredictable, devious man. “Are you sure? What if the accounts fall through?”

“I’ll get others.”

You’re just taking an awfully big risk, that’s all.

Brian pressed their foreheads together, probably sharing in the déjà vu. “Besides, if I don’t do this now, I never will.”

Warm lips touched his, and Justin opened his mouth, letting Brian in, wrapping himself around the man in his arms in every way he could. He felt like he was standing on solid ground again, the weight no longer in his gut but draped on top of him, stroking in the wet tongue in his mouth, pulsing in the blood-heavy cock up his ass. He knew then that Brian would be a success, that Brian would finally get his dream of living in New York, with an office in Manhattan and a loft overlooking Madison Square Avenue, and if Justin felt a little proud to be part of what had driven Brian to finally get his ass out of Pittsburgh, he figured he was entitled to it after all that asshole had put him through.

He knew all this, because if there was anything that Justin believed in more than the power of love, dreams, and the indomitable gay spirit, it was Brian Kinney.

~ Finis ~