Easy Out


Rating: NC-17
Summary: QaFUS, Brian/Justin. Approximately one year after Season 3. Brian and Justin have broken up yet again.
Disclaimer: Cowlip, not I.
Thanks: Huge, gigantic thanks to kita0610. Coolest rockingest beta ever.


The first time it happens, Brian slides open the door to the loft and Justin is sitting on the couch with a sketchpad and pencil. He looks up and says, "Oh. I needed somewhere to go that wasn't ..." and Brian knows he almost says "Jason's" but he changes at the last minute and says "... where I live."

"Mmm," Brian says, non-committally, and goes into the bedroom. He puts on black jeans and a gray shirt and goes to Babylon.

* * *

The second time it happens, Brian comes home and finds Justin bopping around to "I Touch Myself" by the Divinyls and it takes him about half a second to get furious. First because the child was practically still at his mother's tit when the song was released, and second because it's ridiculously sexy to watch Justin mouth the words to a song about masturbation.

"Get out," Brian spits at him, and takes a shower. When he is finished, Justin is gone. Brian goes to Woody's and lets someone blow him in the bathroom.

* * *

Brian knows, somehow, that there will be a third time, so when he comes home with a slight blond trick at two in the morning and Justin is sleeping on the chaise near the window, he makes sure the guy he is doing is both vocal and appreciative. Brian fucks the guy in the bedroom but can see Justin's face in the reflection of the glass. He lies there quietly but Brian sees the glint of his eyes, although Justin closes them when he hears Brian come.

The satisfaction from that makes Brian hard again almost instantly.

In the morning, Justin is gone, but Brian finds blond hairs on the chaise.

* * *

There isn't a fourth time. Brian wonders about it briefly and then forgets, because it's not important and the new fucking client calls him at all hours of the day and night and is driving him completely over the edge. So when his phone rings at four-thirty Thursday morning, he snatches the receiver and growls, "Fuck it all, Sanders, take your craptastic electric toothbrush account and shove it up your ass."

"Can you pick me up?"

And the world becomes still for a fraction of a second, so still that Brian can hear the tinny echo of Justin's cell phone and the cars on the street behind him.

"Where are you." It isn't a question.

"Mount Oliver."

"Christ! That's across the fucking river!"

* * *

Brian drives a silent Justin through the narrow, one-way streets. "You couldn't have fucked someone who lived in South Hills?"

Justin gives a half-hearted shrug.

Brian's hands tighten on the steering wheel, and he does not say another word until they arrive at the loft. He trudges up the stairs and drops his keys in the bowl on the counter. "I'm going back to bed."

Justin stands warily in the middle of the kitchen. "You're not working today?"

"It's Saturday."

"So? Since when did that start mattering?"

"Since I own the company."

Justin sort of leans against the counter in an exhausted way and Brian sighs.

"Is there going to be drama? Because if there is, let's get it overwith so I can go to bed."

Justin blinks ridiculously blue eyes at him. "Drama?"

"Yes. Of the 'oh Brian thank you for rescuing me again and this means we're back together' kind."

"You didn't - I wasn't - I didn't think -"

"I did, you were, and we're not. Has your bubble been sufficiently burst?"

Justin opens his mouth, then closes it again.

Brian nods. "Good. Sleep on the couch."

* * *

Brian wakes up around noon and listens to the stillness. It is impossible to determine whether or not Justin is still in the loft, so he decides not to care and takes a shower. When he comes out, he puts on black track pants and nothing else.

He passes a shock of blond hair sticking out from under the blue throw blanket on the couch and goes to the refrigerator, where he retrieves a bottle of water and a bunch of fat green grapes. He sits himself in front of his laptop and goes over the toothbrush mockups.

Twenty minutes later there is shuffling behind him, and a Justin-shaped shadow falls over his screen.

"You stink," Brian remarks casually, and changes the font from Arial to Arial Alternative just to see what it does to the background of the ad.

"I know," Justin says, and Brian does not have to look to know that Justin is wrinkling his nose as he glances down at his dirty clothes.

"So shower," Brian allows, and Justin gratefully complies. Brian does not glance toward the bathroom when he hears the water.

Justin comes back out smelling of seventeen-dollar guava shampoo with a towel around his waist and water droplets on his shoulders. He looks imploringly at Brian from the top of the bedroom stairs, and when Brian looks up, Justin is holding his crumpled shirt in two fingers. "Umm ..."

"Second drawer. Like you didn't know."

"It's polite to ask before one takes clothing," Justin says properly, and Brian snorts.

"Since when are you polite, little boy?"

"Since I'm benefiting from your philanthropy," Justin grins, and Brian has to look away from the brilliance of it under the guise of rolling his eyes and being disgusted.

* * *

By five o'clock that night, Brian still has not determined exactly what Justin thinks he's doing. He watches surreptitiously as Justin lolls on the sofa with a box of Frosted Cheerios, laughing like a loon at Spongebob Squarepants on Nickelodeon. When his shirt rides up, exposing a flat strip of stomach, Brian snaps his computer closed with more force than necessary.

"Let's go."

"Huh?" Justin looks up over the back of the couch, startled.

"Going. Us. I'm driving you back to Clayton's or Ian's or whatever. Why do you always find boys whose names sound alike?" Brian grabs his leather jacket and waits.



"His name is Jason." Justin has turned sullen, as expected.

"See? That illustrates my point perfectly. First there was Ethan. Now Jason. Who's next, Quentin? Stanton? Why aren't you getting your clothes?"

Justin heaves himself off the couch and gathers his discarded clothing from the night before. "Just bring me to Debbie's," he mutters, and Brian starts to laugh.

"Don't tell me yet another queer has failed the Justin Taylor scratch test! For God's sake, Justin, what'd the poor little faggot do? Forget the anniversary of the first time you made cow eyes at each other?" Brian is genuinely amused.

Justin remains silent and looks under the table for a shoe.

"I know!" Brian snaps his fingers and widens his eyes. "He brought you yellow roses, when he knows perfectly well you like the red ones. What a callous asshole. Or ... maybe he didn't call when he was going to be late for dinner, so wifey made this nice meal and it got all cold and -"

"He hit me."

The small statement hangs in the air and Justin doesn't shy away from it or look embarrassed or ashamed, he just keeps searching for his missing shoe and Brian has to lean one hand on the support column in the middle of the floor, the same one he fucked Justin up against another lifetime ago.

"He what?"

Brian thinks something in his voice must sound peculiar because Justin eyes him strangely and repeats, "He hit me."

Brian feels a muscle jump in his cheek and uses his time-tested practice of keeping silent to make others talk.

"Quit looking at me like that," Justin snaps, and digs his shoe out from under a discarded cushion on the floor. "I'm not some fragile little flower. He hit me once, then cried about it. I stayed. He hit me again, I left." This is said very matter-of-factly, but Brian narrows his eyes.

"Did I pick you up from there this morning?"

"Uh ... yes. You did."

Brian ponders this momentarily, and his next question is, "In the face?"

Justin snorts. "Nah. He was an emotional bitch, but he wasn't stupid. First time he got pissed was when I said I couldn't go to the opening night of his play because I had already told Michael I'd help promote the fifth issue of Rage at the store. He belted me in the ribs before I'd even taken my jacket off. Made a huge bruise. Couldn't take my fucking shirt off at Babylon for two weeks, you know?"

Brian nods and waits for Justin to continue.

"So he comes home that night all weepy and shit and says how he was just nervous about the play, he loves me, blah blah. I stayed, gave him another chance. He slammed me again last night - or this morning, whatever - because I worked last minute graveyard at the diner and he thought I was out fucking around. Did the whole crying thing again, but fuck that shit. I thought about going to Deb's, but it would have given Michael something to crow about. He warned me off Jason the first time it happened. Surprised Michael didn't squeal with joy when he told you."

"He didn't tell me," Brian says, and feels an irrational, burning anger at Michael and Debbie and Daphne and anyone else who kept it from him, but most of all Justin; Justin who is standing before him looking impossibly young, holding one shoe in his hand.

Justin shrugs. "I asked him not to. Didn't think he'd really listen."

Brian knows then why Michael didn't tell him, knows without a doubt that Michael knew Brian would have gone after Justin without a thought to anything else, because Brian has been hit and Brian has had bruises and Brian knows the startled, cowering feeling, all thanks to Jack Kinney, bless his abusive heart.

Justin watches Brian carefully and has the fleeting thought that this is what angels have always looked like to him. Not fair, apple-cheeked cherubim with harps and halos and bouncy ringlets, but this instead: dark and threatening with knowing eyes, brandishing swords and shields, and tattered wings that leave trails of feathers. Brian is an angel in this moment that Justin watches him, and that thought is gone as quickly as it comes.

"Come on," Justin says, hopping on one foot, trying to put his shoe on and slide the loft door open at the same time.

* * *

Brian drives him to Debbie's and deposits him at the curb, still holding his bundle of clothes and looking waifish and small in Brian's too-large shirt.

"Thanks," Justin says. "I'll make sure you get your t-shirt back."

"It's a gift," Brian says, with saccharine in his voice, and makes sure the tires squeal when he peels away from the curb. He goes directly to the baths and tries to fuck as many tricks as possible before midnight.

* * *

Four nights later Brian prowls the dark loft for an hour before picking up the phone.

"Come over."

"What? Why?"

"Because I want to have tea," Brian says primly. "Why d'ya think? I'm bored and can't sleep."

"No, you asshole," Michael says. "Ben and I are watching a movie and then I'm going to let him fuck me till I scream. Or he screams. Or something." Brian hears muffled laughter and noises that sound suspiciously like kissing, or something else domestic.

"Fine," Brian sighs. "I hope my wrists don't accidentally fall onto something sharp and slittable."

Michael snorts. "You'd never deprive the world of your presence. Go peddle it somewhere else."

"You're right, Mikey," Brian muses. "Pittsburgh wouldn't be the same without me. See you in twenty minutes."

"Fuck off," Michael retorts, and hangs up on him.

* * *

Brian opens the door a half-hour later and grins. "It doesn't usually take you thirty minutes to get here. Why so late?"

"I was naked, you dick. Took me ten minutes to dress and get out the door. What are you drinking?"

Brian holds the large champagne-like bottle out. "Sake. Have some."

"Sake? What the fuck? Who drinks that?"

"The Japanese, Mikey."

"Okay. Who the fuck keeps it in their refrigerator?"

"Fine, don't drink it. More for me." Brian takes a swig of the liquor and makes an exaggerated smacking sound before thunking the bottle down on the counter.

"I didn't say I didn't want any. Gimme that." Michael roots in the cupboard for a glass and pours himself a generous shot. "Are you drunk?"

Brian ponders. "Why, yes. Yes, I am. Catch up, wouldya? I hate drinking alone." He watches Michael take a swallow of the fermented liquor before wandering toward the couch. Brian slides down the arm but misses the cushion completely and winds up on the floor. He decides that's where he wants to be anyway and sprawls his long legs out, dropping his head back to stare at the beamed ceiling. "Entertain me."

"Three queers walk into a bar. The first one says -"

"Not with jokes, you dumbass. With philosophy. Speak to me of life."

"Fuck. You should have told me on the phone."

"Told you what?" Brian turns his head on the cushion without lifting it and meets Michael's gaze.

"That this is one of those maudlin drinking binges and not one of the fun ones where we watch porn and eat all of your marshmallows."

"Maudlin? Your scholar husband taught you that word, didn't he?"

Michael rolls his eyes and retrieves the sake from the counter. He doesn't bother with a glass.

* * *

At quarter to two, Michael rises unsteadily from the floor and says, "Huh. Good thing I took a cab."

"You're leaving?"

"I don't live here," Michael informs him cheerfully.

"Move in," Brian says, and grabs for Michael's ankle.

Michael out-maneuvers him neatly and Brian thinks that's a pretty good trick for someone who's as drunk as Michael is. Or pretending to be.

"I'm not moving in. I live with someone already. Someone who happens to be waiting up for me, even though I told him not to." Michael stares down at Brian on the floor and Brian feels the beginnings of a headache.

"Go," Brian says moodily, and closes his eyes. "I'll see you tomorrow night anyway for Babylon's Best Tan Lines competition."

Michael heaves a sigh that Brian considers extremely overwrought, and bends down. "Come on, you big drunk asshole. I'll put you to bed."

"Goody," Brian grins sloppily, and heaves himself to his feet with Michael's help. Together they manage to traverse the wide floor and stumble up the stairs into the bedroom. Brian tumbles face-first onto his bed, pulling Michael with him. "Stay," he mumbles into the pillow, wrapping an arm around Michael.

"For a minute," Michael allows, and Brian smiles sleepily when he feels Michael start stroking his hair. Brian remembers his mother doing that, when he was very young, before she turned into a bitter, frigid bitch.

Brian turns to face Michael, who has his head on the other pillow. For a fraction of a second, Brian wonders if he would feel better if it were a blond head lying next to his instead of a dark one, and blue eyes filled with amusement and sex instead of brown ones filled with sympathy. Then Michael smiles at him and Brian realizes that thoughts like that are for dykes and emotional queens, and decides he'd rather feel nothing at all.

"Go home, Mikey," he says, and closes his eyes.

"I can stay," Michael says softly, one hand still tangled in Brian's hair.

"No," Brian replies abruptly. "The professor's waiting. Far be it from me to keep true love from its appointed rounds. Or something."

"If you're sure ..."

"Fuck, Michael! I'm giving you an easy out! Just take advantage of my boundless generosity."

Brian feels Michael crawl off the edge of the bed and stand in the doorway. "I don't want an easy out with you," Michael murmurs. "And I bet Justin didn't either."

* * *

Brian finds him in the back room of Babylon, fucking some lithe go-go dancer with a ring in his cock. "I'll wait till you're done," Brian says calmly, and leans against the wall.

Justin glares and stops thrusting. The go-go dancer protests loudly but Justin ignores him. "Jesus, Brian! Wait outside or something."

"But then I can't watch you in action," Brian says, and tilts his head. "I think your boy is taking care of himself."

Justin looks down at the go-go dancer, who has taken his own cock in his hand and is jerking rapidly. He comes before Justin can even utter a feeble "hey, don't", and extricates himself from Justin's still-hard dick. "Asshole," the trick spits at Brian, and marches away. Brian raises his eyebrows and quirks his lips, tsking at Justin's erection.

"Poor Sunshine," Brian murmurs. "No relief for the weary. Or is it wicked?"

"Don't call me that," Justin snaps, and attempts to tuck himself into his tight Levi's.

"Why not? Everyone else in the goddamned world does."

"Because you make it sound like a joke," Justin tells him tiredly. "You always have this sneer on your face. Is there something you wanted?"

Yes, Brian thinks, you. Then he gets pissed off for that thought and considers stomping out without doing what he came for, only that would make him look like even more of an wrought-up pussy, so he stays.

"Outside," Brian says, and knows Justin will follow him out of curiousity if nothing else. They emerge on Liberty Avenue and Brian heads toward the sedate blue Ford Explorer that befits the owner of a small-but-successful ad agency. He gets in the driver's side and watches Justin standing sulkily at the curb. Brian glances meaningfully at the passenger seat and is amused when Justin stands there and glares.

Brian presses the button for the window. "Spare me the show of defiance," he says. "You always give in anyway. My charm overwhelms you."

"You're always persistent when you're not getting something you want," Justin shoots back. I've seen you do it a million times. So spare me the Brian Kinney benevolence act."

Brian squeezes his eyes closed and counts to ten before getting out. He approaches an obstinate Justin. "Look," he says gently, "I'm wearing your favorite shirt. I sat and watched you pick up that dancer before I followed you to the back. Then I watched you start to fuck him, but I couldn't watch you finish. I'm not being benevolent, little boy. I'm being patient. You're telling me you don't recognize patience when you see it?"

"Not from you," Justin replies, and there is a hint of a smile around his mouth.

"Get in the car."

* * *

The loft is dark and Brian leaves it that way, preferring the reflection of Pittsburgh's city lights shining off the river. It soothes him, sometimes, when a fuck or Ecstacy or liquor hasn't done its job.

He turns to see Justin leaning against the kitchen counter, much the same way he did when Brian brought him home from Ian's or Clayton's or Stanton's, only now he looks suspicious instead of exhausted and grateful. Brian prefers exhausted and grateful.

"So, have at it," Justin sighs, spreading his arms and letting them fall at his side. "What great Brian Kinney lesson was I brought here to learn? I already know how to give the world's best head."

Brian grins. "Yes, Sunshine, you do." He takes care to not sneer when he says it.

"So?" Justin asks, slowly crossing the floor to where Brian stands at the window, hands in his back pockets. "Let me have it, Brian. You're acting really fucking weird and it's freaking me out."

"I'm going to keep giving you the easy out."

Justin looks as if he is about to speak, then changes his mind.

Brian continues, not knowing which words are going to come and trying to ignore the panicky feeling rising in his chest, the panicky feeling that stems from this obnoxious, smart-mouthed blond kid standing in his loft. "Every time, Taylor. Every time I give you the easy out, you take it and run with it. So I'm going to keep giving it, until the day you figure out that you don't have to take it. If you just came to your fucking senses and figured out that you're goddamned happy here, we could end this bullshit once and for all. Fuck, I need a cigarette."

It is a long speech for Brian and Justin knows it. He pulls a pack of cigarettes out of his sweatshirt pocket and lights one, handing it to Brian after taking a pull on it. "So ... is that it?"

"What the fuck do you mean, is that it? Yes, you spoiled little shit. That's it."

Justin smirks. "I'm not spoiled. Or little."

Brian glances down at Justin's crotch. "Figure of speech."

"You know ... you interrupted me at a really inopportune moment tonight." Justin stands within a hair's breadth of Brian's chest and looks up at him from under his lashes.

"Don't do that coy schoolgirl thing."

"Fine," Justin sighs, and turns away. "D'ya mind if I jerk off in your bathroom? I've got blue balls, no thanks to y- -"

Brian grabs Justin by the arm and yanks him to the stairs. "Get your tight ass into that bed. You can jerk off after I fuck you."

"A romantic till the end," Justin coos. "How can I resist?"

"You can't. Shut up. Why are your pants still on?"

"Because you won't let go of my hands. Take them off yourself, if you're so impatient."

And Brian discovers he is impatient, because Justin is here and grinning at him with his bangs in his eyes and Brian has never wanted to fuck him more in his entire life. He ignores the alarm bells that are set off at that thought because, fuck it all anyway, who knows when the kid's going to take the next easy out. Justin's here and half naked and Brian thinks full advantage needs to be taken.

"Clothes off, Justin. Get on that bed now."

The mood changes subtly, Justin senses the shift from play to seriousness. Without another word, he complies. Brian watches through slitted eyes as he stretches out on the bed, his arms reaching up to hug the pillow under his head. Justin is lean and fair and makes an erotic contrast to the dark silk of the bedclothes, and Brian feels his cock pulse in response. He discards his own clothing and slowly - so, so slowly - crawls onto Justin and covers his body.

Brian hears Justin sigh contentedly and something about the sound is carnal and primitive. Brian lies utterly still for a moment, his cock throbbing against the perfect crack of ass beneath him, and breathes in the smell that is uniquely Justin's. He smells of cigarettes and Babylon and aftershave, but under that is freshness and youth, and Brian will never tire of that scent. Justin turns his head to the side to look at him, and Brian sees the dilated pupils amidst the cornflower blue.

"Hot?" Brian murmurs against his shoulder, and Justin closes his eyes and nods.

"So are you," Justin whispers, and Brian laughs.

"Hell, yes. I've got the tightest ass in Pittsburgh under me. I'm on fucking fire." Brian reaches to the bedside table for a condom and tears the packet with his teeth. Justin is rolling his hips against the bed before Brian even has the rubber on. "Slow down, kiddo," Brian murmurs in his ear. "It's rude to come before your host does."

Justin can't help giggling at that but it turns into a gasp when Brian presses himself inside, and both of them arch against each other. "Oh," Justin says softly, his eyes squeezed shut. "Oh, my God. Brian."

The sound of his name from Justin's lips nearly makes Brian come on the spot. Brian has heard his name whispered, moaned, shouted, cursed. But it will never sound like the way Justin murmurs it in the dark, and Brian wants to hear it again.

"Justin," Brian whispers in his ear, and Justin clenches around him.

"Brian," he says in a low voice, and again: "Brian."

Brian tries not to thrust, tries his level best to just feel the sensation of keeping still with Justin surrounding him, but Justin pushes back with his ass the tiniest fraction, and Brian is lost. He thrusts deeply, dropping his forehead to the hollow between Justin's shoulderblades, and listens to the boy gasping beneath him. He knows Justin's going to get off all over his satin comforter and Brian doesn't care, he only wants to hear Justin moan in the back of his throat when he comes.

"No," Justin protests, "no, don't want to yet... Christ, Brian, not so fast."

But Brian can't, he's too far along and Justin is too tight and hot and it's been much too long since Brian has been here. "God, you're pretty," he gasps against Justin's back, feeling his dick starting to pulse. "You're so pretty."

"Fuck," Justin whimpers, and Brian feels him jerk against the bed once, twice, three times. It's all Brian needs to push him over, and when Justin clenches that tight ring of muscle around him, Brian groans and shudders and bites into Justin's shoulder.

The loft is quiet for a long time.

Brian lifts himself carefully off of Justin and leans up on one elbow. Justin opens one eye sleepily. "I'm in the wet spot," Justin says, with a wrinkle of his small nose.

"Then roll over," Brian says rationally, and pulls Justin back against him. Brian feels his own heart beat against Justin's back.

Justin plays with Brian's fingers drowsily. Brian lets him. "So ... I get an easy out whenever I want?" Justin asks casually.

Brian is not fooled. "Third time's the charm, little one. Next easy out's your last."

"You said I could have as many as I wanted!"

"I changed my mind. Even you won't be that stupid."

"You'd be surprised," Justin says snippily. "I'm here, aren't I?"

Brian lets out a startled bark of laughter. "Sunshine, you never fail to amaze." He ponders their entwined hands before saying, "I won't say it, you know."

"Say what?"

"Don't play dumb. You know what. It's not in me. I won't say it."



"You already have."