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Rating: R for language, sexual content
Timeframe: AU after Season Three.
Genres: Angst, Drama, AU
Spoilers: Possible Season One-Three
Summary: After an incident of violence at the loft, Brian struggles with the fallout while Justin fights to be treated like an adult.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters nor am I associated with Queer as Folk, CowLip Productions, Russell T. Davies, or any other.

Author’s Note: This is written in first-person, from Justin’s point of view, so it’s much more expositional than the last fic. There’s a tiny bit of violence, which is not at all graphic, but nothing worse. It’s seven parts and will be posted rather quickly, so if you’d rather wait and read the whole thing, it’ll probably be up soon!

~ 1 ~

There’s been so much talk about this incident, so many stories going around, a ton of speculation, so I’m going to do us all a favor and tell you exactly what happened. That way you won’t have to sit around at Woody’s and talk about what kind of asshole Brian Kinney is, how you knew something like this would happen one day, what a shame he had to take me down with him, how he almost got me killed—all of it, every last piece of bullshit I hear every time I come into the place. Which I don’t do much anymore. I don’t go into many places on Liberty Avenue.

It all started when Brian’s mother died. I’ll bet you didn’t know that part of the story, did you? His mother died, and not in a nice way. To be perfectly honest, she was drunk and she fell down the stairs and struck her head That was that. Her daughter, Claire, found her a few hours later and called Brian.

Yes, he and Joanie didn’t get along. Still, when your mother dies, you feel something. Even Brian-fucking-Kinney who’d fashioned his reputation around a certain indifference that was almost always on display. So, yes, he pretended like it was just another day, that nothing had changed except he had to go through a pointless ritual in order to bury his mother. He and Claire had a number of arguments, but fucking Claire, damnit, she wasn’t good for anything. Half the time she cried, hands shaking, eyes red, blowing her nose and trying to look like a tragic heroine in some trashy novel. Okay, I’m being too hard, but she was glaring at me most of the time. Like it was my fault. I went along to support Brian, to be there, a person who loves him although I couldn’t say that. Couldn’t call myself his “partner,” or his “significant other” in front of her. No, I was just this kid who somehow happened to be with him. All the time.

Nor was Brian any help. Of course he wasn’t. If I spoke up and tried to make a suggestion, he’d look at me with surprise, like he hadn’t known I was in the room. He refused to talk about his feelings, and after I’d made a few attempts, I wised up and kept my mouth shut whether we were with Claire, the undertaker, the priest at his mom’s church, or alone in the loft. The only important “talk” we had during that four-day period between finding out she’d died and putting her in the ground was a couple of late night sessions of rough sex. Brian does pain management that way. He gets drunk, he takes some E, rolls a few joints, knocks back some JB, and then he fucks with a great deal of passion. Me, sometimes, or anyone in Babylon’s backroom who might be available. Just keep that in mind. It’s common knowledge, but seems to have been forgotten in all the fury.

We buried Joanie and everyone was there: Michael, Deb, Emmett, Ted, Lindsay, Mel, and me. Oh, and my mother came too. It was a sunny day although windy and cold. Given his expression throughout the whole damn thing, Brian could’ve been almost anywhere doing almost anything. His face was as blank and devoid of emotion as was humanly possible, something I found hard to watch. Afterwards, back at Claire’s, Brian sat in a corner and drank enough Chivas Regal to give him a massive hangover the next day. I drove him home, and half-carried him into the loft. He fell into his bed and slept, but I sat up for hours afterwards, thinking about losing my own parents, how that would feel, how I’d cope, who might be there to help me. Typical. I seemed more affected by everything than Brian.

End of story, right? I wish.

Days later, Brian was still drinking too much, still rolling too many joints, still popping E like it was coming out of a Pez dispenser. I was working on several projects for school and trying to cover a couple of Kiki, my coworker’s, shifts because she needed to go out of town. So I couldn’t keep him company the way I wanted to. Not that he would’ve allowed it, of course. I’d have to invent reasons to be around him, reasons that had nothing to do with his grief and discomfort. By now, nearly three years into the relationship, though, I was good at coming up with excuses. I told him my hand was really killing me one night, which wasn’t a total lie because I’d pushed too hard, trying to get something done. Still, it didn’t hurt that bad, but I exaggerated, asking him to massage it because he does such a good job. Another night, I showed up with dinner and a story about one of my unfair professors and what he’d said to me. I was creative like that.

When Friday night came around though, Brian wanted to hit Babylon again. Despite the frantic schedule, I’d been with him three nights in row, gotten four hours sleep on any one of those nights, crawled out of bed, and gone off to school each day because I had to. And this on top of spending hours with him at the loft, when I could, trying to be there for him, but making sure he didn’t think that’s what was going on. Exhausting. This is my life, me, the non-boyfriend. Still, that’s what you do when you love someone. And to be fair, he’d done much more than that for me especially after the bashing. If I told you all the shit Brian had to put up with from me, you’d run off to Rome and insist the pope make him a saint.

I went with him to Babylon. I wasn’t about to relax my vigilance because Brian was still not being Brian. I could see the pain behind that bored mask he wore, a lacerated expression in his eyes that tore at my heart. The guy was hurting and I knew why. Not because his mother was this wonderful person whom he missed so much, no. She wasn’t. I mean, sure, she must’ve had good qualities, but when it came to Brian, she’d dropped the ball big time. Still, she was his mother and they’d never worked it out and then she’d just died. That left him high and dry. Couldn’t hit rewind and go back a year, have that talk, somehow fix everything. No. His mother fucking told him he was evil and going to hell. Period. Nice, huh? That’s one of the last things she’d said to him.

So, there I was at Babylon, but I was falling asleep on my feet and it didn’t take the others long to realize it. Brian was drinking and tricking, piling it on, and even though he was considerate enough to take me to the backroom with him once, I wasn’t really his focus. So, when Emmett commented on how tired I looked, Michael heard, and offered to watch Brian if I’d like to go home. The professor was out of town, so Michael was by himself. He’d done it a million times, hadn’t he? Michael was Brian’s childhood buddy. He knew how Brian could be about suppressing his feelings, how dangerous it could get if someone didn’t monitor him. All these thoughts went through my head in an instant, and it made perfect sense.

So, I told Brian I was going back to the loft. It barely seemed to register.

Then I did just that.

~ 2 ~

It was some time after 3:00 a.m. when I heard the loft door rolling back. From my place burrowed deep in the bed, I could make out voices, but figured it must be Brian and Michael. I expected Michael to appear, supporting Brian, as he brought him to bed. I debated helping him, but since I wasn’t dressed, decided it would be easier to just pretend I was asleep. Closing my eyes, I listened, and sure enough, I heard Brian’s drunken chortle. Damn, I wished we could talk about this instead of pretending like it didn’t exist, but, that was part of being with Brian, wasn’t it? Along with not doing boyfriends, he didn’t do grief.

“Wow, great place. Is this the bedroom?”

My eyes flew open. Oh, shit. That was not Michael.

“Come on, my man. Where’s this luscious little friend of yours?”

Another voice. Oh, fuck. Two of them.

Brian giggled again. “Yeah … up here.”

Rolling to the right, I groped in the dark, looking for my sweatpants, but right then, the light behind the bed came on and the whole area was bathed in orange light.

A big, hulking type stood there, swaying a little, a stupid grin on his ugly face. Trust me, this was not a hot guy. Yeah, he had the muscles, the ripped abs, the pecs, all that good stuff. But that was all. His face looked a little like someone hit him with one of the weights he used—smashed in nose, eyes too close, almost no lips. And being shit-faced at 3:00 a.m. did not add to his appeal. “Ow-wee, look what I found?” he said when his eyes lit on me. “The fuck-toy, in person.”

Brian was behind him, hanging onto the arm of another beefcake, this one with big, doe eyes and lots of tightly curled hair. Curly, that’s what I called him, so the other one became Moe. Curly grinned like a motherfucker as his eyes met mine. “Howdy, there, pretty little thing. Why you’re just about perfect, now aren’t you? We are going to have us a par-tay!” I swear that’s what he said. Then he hoisted a bottle of something and chug-a-lugged.

“Brian, what the fuck are you doing?” I’d raised my voice to talk over Curly. “Get them out of here.”

Brian’s eyes were not focused, but he smiled when he heard my voice. “Let’s have fun, Sunshine,” he said, his speech slow and slurred. He let go of Curly, but instead of coming to the bed, he staggered toward the bathroom.

“No time like the present.” Grinning like a fool, Moe was pulling off his shoes and socks then his shirt, his muscles rippling in the garish light.

“No fucking way.” I pushed away from him. “Get you and your friend out of here. I’m not doing anything with a bunch of drunken fools, and that includes Brian.”

Moe wasn’t listening. He pulled off his pants and came onto the bed, crawling on all fours toward me. “You’re hot, know that?”

I was at the edge of the bed, still looking for my pants, hoping Brian would return and take control of the situation, which I wasn’t liking very much. In case you’re wondering, though, I wasn’t panicked. I’d dealt with drunks before. Besides, it wasn’t exactly me against these two hunks. I knew Brian would never let anything happen although I have to admit I was a little concerned he’d brought them into the loft in the first place.

“Get off!” I said when Moe threw back the covers and pounced on me, half covering me with his big, hairy body. “You fucking need to get out of here and—” I was silenced when the asshole kissed me, teeth grinding, tongue exploring, the whole obnoxious deal.

Curly decided to join the fray right then, and it wasn’t more than thirty seconds later that I found myself in bed, sandwiched between two ugly, naked, drunken guys, both groping me like I was a marked down item at Barney’s. Yeah, I was complaining whenever I had a chance, but they were doing a good job of directing the activity and, in an instant, I was on the losing end. Moe had my arms pinned and continued to ply me with nasty, spit laden kisses while Curly sat on my legs and decided to give me a hand-job whether I wanted one or not. Between them, I was looking at close to four hundred pounds of determined male, and it seemed clear I had no say in what we were doing.

Brian did not come back and even over the smacking, sucking, slurping sounds these two creeps were making, I could not hear anything coming from the bathroom—no water running, no toilet, or shower, nothing. After a few minutes of this, all I could think was, shit, I am fucked. Literally. These guys are gonna do me whether I want them to or not. Wasn’t there a word for that? Oh, yeah, right. Rape. I was yelling by then, calling Brian’s name, trying to buck them off me, cursing when Moe bit my neck, when Curly figured a blow-job would be a lot more fun, but I was losing on all counts.

Desperation set in.

It was time to get clever.

“Hey, hey!” I said when Moe relinquished control of my mouth for one fucking second. “Listen, would you listen to me? Let’s slow it down a little, huh? Get a few toys, a little weed. Have some real fun.” I gave them my best smile although I’m sure it seemed more like a grimace. I was throbbing from stubble burn, teeth marks, and finger imprints, but despite that, I tried to look interested and excited by all their attention.

Moe grinned back, his one brain cell activated. “Hey, Kinney’s right. You are fun. Let’s fuck.”

“Sounds good. Just let me get some lube and condoms. And let’s get Brian in on this!” I was working hard to be cheerful and happy, the cute kid who couldn’t wait to service the two hunks who’d turned up in my bed so fortuitously.

I could’ve wept when Moe loosened his grip. “Good thought, baby. Let’s get some weed. Where’s Kinney?”

“You’ve got a big dick for such a tiny little thing,” Curly said as he uncoupled himself from my cock and moved back.

“Thanks.” I sat up in bed, cleared a little space between me and Moe, smiled my most winning Sunshine smile then punched him as hard at I could.

“What the fuck!” Curly lunged but I kicked him in the chest with the heel of my foot, twisting away, almost off the bed.

“No you don’t!” Moe smacked me hard, my head snapping back as the blow caught me just below the right eye. I fell off the bed, and hit the floor with a resounding crash, landing hard against one shoulder. He looked after me, rubbing his jaw. “What the fuck you think you’re doing?”

The wind had been knocked out of me, but I managed to grab my sweatpants and scuttle backwards. “Get the fuck out of here, both of you!”

Moe jumped off the bed in pursuit. “We came here to have fun. You got no reason to hit me like that.”

I’d managed to stand, still backing away from him. “You don’t jump on someone in bed without their permission or didn’t your mother teach you any manners?” The bathroom door, I saw, was closed. Shit, shit, shit. What the hell happened to Brian? “Either get out or I’m calling the cops.”

Moe grabbed my arm. “Kinney said—”

“I said, get out!” I pulled against him, and we struggled. He slammed me back against the doorframe and everything went gray. Then I swore at him and punched him again. Somehow, I tore loose from his grip and made it out of the bedroom. Winded and tottering, I snatched up the phone on the desk and held it up when they both stampeded after me. “I mean it!” I raised my voice to scream at them. “Get the fuck out!”

They were drunk, they were disorderly, but as it turned out, they weren’t ready to go to jail. As I stood there, trembling, trying to breathe, so angry I could barely see straight, they gathered their clothes and left, grumbling and disgruntled that the fuck-toy wasn’t playing their game. No apology, no backward glance, they were just gone.

After that, I stood there and shook like someone having a seizure. My teeth chattered and I hung onto a chair, worried my PTSD, which hadn’t been much of a problem, might make a comeback. I kept flashing on blood, Chris Hobbs, cold cement, Brian’s voice calling me, the sound of the bat hitting my head--all that good shit. Clinging to that chair, I breathed deeply and focused on where I was—not there, but here, in the loft, safe. Thank God, it didn’t go any further.

Even then, I wanted to rip Brian to shreds. I couldn’t believe he’d done something so incredibly stupid. And Michael! What the fuck happened to Michael, to Brian’s good friend, the guy who was there to look after him? He’d been a lot of help. Finally, I was able to let go of the chair, and pull on the sweatpants. I crossed the floor and went back upstairs, a little worried about Brian. Pushing open the bathroom door, I saw him, lying on the floor, curled on one side, his hands cradling his arms. Sound asleep.

Just to be sure, I checked his breathing, but no, he was fine. Just dead drunk. I debated trying to haul him into the bed, but after what I’d just come through, I was not in a charitable mood. Fuck, what did he think he’d been doing? Well, nothing, of course. He was too stinking drunk to know anything. I got a blanket, covered him, and propped his back with pillows so he couldn’t roll over. Then I made sure the loft door was securely locked, and went back to bed. My body was throbbing, but I didn’t want to deal with any of it. So, I tried to go back to sleep.

Eventually, I did.

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