Brian/Justin, Ben/Michael & Brian/Michael references. I don't own the characters.
Michael likes to watch. But not in a kinky way.
Michael watches them. He tries not to, and when that fails, he tries to be covert about it, but most of the night his eyes are fixed on them, watching Justinís body blanketing Brianís, Brianís hands twisting in the belly of Justinís shirt, Justinís teeth grazing oh-so-lightly against Brianís neck. He knows that Ben catches him staring a couple times, gives him a quizzical look, but itís okay, because thatís Ben. Brianís too wrapped up in Justin to notice, or care.
Michael isnít jealous. Not anymore. He can admit to himself that he wanted Brian for a long time, wanted Brian in that carnal fuck-me-now way. He can admit that when Justin showed up he wanted to tear the little shitís head from his body and carry it around Babylon on a pike. He can admit that, for a while, for was a complete and utter shit about it.
Now, he can also admit that he never wanted Brian, but the idea of Brian. The way Brian walked and talked and fucked. The idea of being the one to tame the wild beast.
An image of leading Brian through Babylon on a leash flickers through Michaelís head, and the idea of it is nauseating.
So heís given up on the idea of the Great Brian and Michael romance, but he still canít stop staring at Justin all stretched out on Brianís lap, and itís not jealousy. Or, not much, anyway. Thereís that little bit of envy lurking in his brain because Justin seems capable of being everything to everyone in a way Mikey himself has never even attempted. Heís Debís cherubic son and Emmettís dancing buddy, Vicís kitchen hand, Tedís wet dream, Brianís fucking boyfriend. All these things that Michael used to be, wanted to be, sometimes still is, but with Justin itís like itís all effortless. Sometimes itís like Justin doesnít have to try at all.
But Michael isnít jealous. Not tonight. Tonight heís got Benís arm wrapped around his shoulder and the taste of his motherís pasta on his lips, heís sleepy and sated and fucking fascinated by how weird the two of them are. Weird because Brian refuses to eat the garlic bread but is quite content to shovel it down Justinís throat, weird because Justin is all tipsy giggles and Brian doesnít seem to care, weird because theyíve been snuggling all night and Brian still insists he doesnít love the kid.
Theyíre just strange. And Michael knows from strange, what with the freaks that flood his store at regular intervals.
Together, theyíre more likable than they are apart, though it pains Mikey to admit it. Since Justin came back, Brianís relaxed again, the set of his jaw looser, the curve of his lips more pronounced. Since Brian took Justin back, heís calm and wise and sometimes Michael wants to kill him for how confident he seems. Michael remembers being nineteen, and he thinks it is unfair that one person be that self assured that young when the rest of the world has to struggle through that stage of interminable awkwardness.
Despite this, Justinís better when heís with Brian. Heís funnier and heís calmer and he doesnít seem to have the perpetual stick up his ass that marked the fiddlerís presence. He remembers the days of Justinís dour expression, Justinís snappish responses to the simplest questions, and he feels a flood of relief that he doesnít have to work with that anymore.
Michael watches as Brian murmurs in Justinís ear. That massive smile spreads across Justinís lips, and he leans back, twists his head to bite his loverís jaw.
ďMm, you taste like snow,Ē Justin says, and if Michael hadnít been sitting three feet away, he wouldnít have heard it.
Brian smiles indulgently at him. ďItís summer.Ē
ďI know.Ē Justin settles back against Brianís chest, reaching down to twist their hands again. ďSo whereíd you get snow?Ē
ďProbably the same place you got all that wine,Ē Brian chuckles against the side of Justinís face.
ďYes. In Debís kitchen, itís practically a winter wonderland. You should go make snow angels.Ē
ďSnow devils.Ē Justinís head rolls on Brianís shoulder. ďAngels donít fuck.Ē
ďTechnically, neither do you.Ē
ďYou love it when I fuck you,Ē Justin murmurs so quietly that Michael has to read his lips just to make it out. He feels both his eyebrows shoot up of their own volition, because the thought of Justin topping Brian is probably the weirdest thing yet.
Brian captures Justinís lips, kisses him long and hard, probably just to get the shit to shut up. Michael of all people knows that Brianís not above using diversionary tactics.
Justin doesnít seem to have tamed Brian. When Brian pulls away, he still has the eyes of a wild thing, only now he has Justin to match him. Justin is panting, grinning, and Michael remembers when they used to prowl through Babylon together, picking off the tastiest of the herd and devouring. He knows Justin isnít into that anymore, but itís a pity, because they were so damn good at it. Fluid and graceful, suave, where others - such as Michael himself - were stilted and clumsy and awkward.
He imagines them fucking, as much as he tries not to, and he knows there is something primal, violent, visceral between them, beyond the softness that they share in this moment, in Debís living room. He knows this because heís seen Justinís hickeys, the scratches down Brianís neck, their swollen lips when they leave the backroom, not touching but for the light slide of Brianís hand on Justinís neck. He knows this because it hangs there in the air wherever they go.
Michael loves Brian. He even loves Justin to some extent, like an annoying little brother that sometimes acts older than he should be, older than Michael feels himself. But heíll never love them like they love each other, in that sharp, painful way, so itís probably best that he has Ben. Ben who needs to be loved gently but fiercely, Ben who is the kindest man Michael has ever met.
Michaelís not jealous of Brian and Justin. Heís just fascinated by them - like a documentary about lions on the Discovery Channel.