Push and Pull

Suz

Disclaimer - CowLip/Russell T Davies/Showtime own them all, darn it.

QAF fic! Brian/Justin. Rated R for language. This is set after episode 122, but it's definitely an AU because in my 122 things went a *little* differently...

Feedback would be great! Many, many thanks to my nel. *smooch*



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The day you're released from the hospital, it's like all of Pittsburgh goes with you.

Five seconds before your head's about to explode, they announce that they're leaving. Mikey complains that you shouldn't be left on your own but Deb hustles him out quickly, murmuring something about how he doesn't need to worry about it.

That should have been your first clue.

When everyone's finally gone from the loft you sigh in relief - until you realise that everyone *isn't* gone because Justin's rummaging through the strangely considerable contents of your fridge.

Rolling your eyes at the kid's appetite, you shoot him a dirty look. "When are you fucking going?"

"I'm not," Justin replies simply, inspecting a chicken breast that you definitely didn't buy. "Hey, you want chicken for dinner?"

Reminding him that Debbie left behind enough food to feed several third-world countries, you then tell him to get the fuck out.

In response he chops up a carrot.

You don't sleep that night, and try to ignore the sound of Justin crying on the sofa.

*

Everything Justin does becomes increasingly fucking irritating. It doesn't matter what it is - trying to do something for you or leaving you to do it by yourself. Just the fact that he's always hovering around is pissing you off.

You become the pissiest drama queen you can be - nothing is good enough. You shit on everything he says, does; even the way he walks.

Finally, finally he lashes back out at you in a pretty damn stunning display of four-letter words and you know that it's time. He'll leave you the fuck alone now, and you can get on with your life the way it should be.

When you go to bed that night, not expecting to sleep, Justin's on the sofa as usual.

*

You decide to hit Babylon. You're sick of the loft, the exercises, Justin, and your so-called friends who keep dropping by like they give a shit or something.

You don't know if Mom came to see you at the hospital, and you'll never ask.

Justin says he'll go with you but you storm out of the loft before he's finished changing, completely forgetting that you can't fucking drive.

The driver in the cab nearly freaks you the fuck out when he talks too much and tells you to call him Chris. When Justin finds you in the back room twenty minutes later, you're not having a panic attack and you're definitely not screaming at the leather queen who keeps trying to touch you.

Justin takes you home and as soon as you reach the loft you push him towards the sofa and tell him to leave you the fuck alone.

*

The third time you throw Justin out of the loft, he doesn't come back.

Pacing around the wooden floor, you tell the empty space how fucking glad you are, then drink four bottles of water and piss for what feels like half an hour.

Flicking through the channels on the TV, you ignore how tense and itchy your body feels and grumble internally about how there's nothing worth watching - then grumble again when you realise you sound like dear old Dad.

You can't bring yourself to attempt jacking off, so ponder watching the porn tape you and Justin made a while ago, before remembering that your hand wasn't useless then and you lose all interest.

You work on your exercises because it's the only way you're ever going to get better - something the doctor's made abundantly clear - but Justin's not there the way he always is when you exercise your hand, so you keep working and working and working until the door slides open eight hours and twenty-seven minutes after it last slid shut.

Yanking the ball out of your grasp - because he knows how easy it is to do that now, the fucker - he sits down next to you.

"How long have you been doing that?"

You shrug, staring at the blank TV. "A while."

"Too long," Justin warns, seeing the way your useless hand is trembling even though you try to hide it. "You're not supposed to over-exert-"

"Fuck off," you snap, and even as you're getting to your feet and turning your back to him more words are tumbling from your mouth. "I did it for you. I was fucking *there* because of you."

You had no idea you were going to say that, but Justin doesn't sound surprised when he finally replies.

"I know."

Still facing away, you close your eyes and decide it's okay to keep hating him.

*

You manage to sleep and don't wake up screaming, so you're in as good a mood as you can be when you turn over in the morning to see Justin laying next to you.

He's naked, but he's not sleeping.

"I saw Michael yesterday," he says. "He misses seeing you at Woody's in the evening."

So Mikey said the last time he visited.

Babylon was easy, at least until you freaked out. They're meant to stare at you there, and it was so loud and dark that you could imagine they were staring at you for the same reason they always did.

Woody's...is different. So you ignore what he's trying to get you to do, and ask something else instead.

"Why do you keep sticking around?"

Justin doesn't say anything. He just moves closer and puts his arm across your chest.

*

You don't leave the loft the day of the sentencing, but Justin does. You carefully avoid all the local news channels on the TV, and every time you peer out the window you wonder what the hell the group of reporters who are stalking your building find so damn fascinating.

When Justin comes back you almost feel guilty about letting him go by himself, but you know even without asking that everyone else went, that he didn't have to sit there alone.

You do have to wonder, though, if they're crying as much as he is.

You don't ask. You never have to.

Taking him into the bedroom, you fuck him so hard your eyes sting and when you fall asleep later, still inside him, it's almost like you were never bashed at all.

*

You start going out more. Despite what happened at Babylon, leaving the loft was never really a problem. It was just easier not to.

So you drop by Debbie's on occasional evenings, because if you don't let her smother you there she'll only come and smother you at the loft and you still want some space to yourself.

You head off to the muncher's more often, though you still refuse to try and pick up Gus, instead giving him the occasional pat with your good hand.

You even end up at the diner most days, usually sticking to coffee or food that can be easily eaten with one hand because Justin's the only one who gets to see how difficult it is. You don't even want Justin to see it, but the little shit keeps coming back when you throw him away. He's like a fucking boomerang.

You're not an artist like Justin, but you have to write and draw sketches a lot for your job, and Ryder keeps leaving messages on your phone about how much he understands but you're going to have to come back soon.

One Thursday evening you bump into Jennifer Taylor. Your left arm is around Justin's shoulder and your useless hand is shoved into your jacket pocket. Your hair has long since covered the scar and you look like everyone else.

"Justin!" she exclaims, and then the boy's pulling away to hug his mother. You know they keep in contact because you hear him on the phone sometimes, and there are some hours of the day when Justin isn't with you.

"Brian," she greets you warmly but warily, stepping forward as if she's going to touch you before thinking better of it. "It's good to see you. I keep meaning to drop by, but with the new job everything's been so busy."

You're not sure if that's a lie or not, but then you're not sure it really matters anyway.

"You're looking good," she continues, and though it's irritating at least it's not the dreaded "How are you doing?"

"I *always* look good," you tell her, turning to smirk at Justin. "Isn't that right, Sunshine?"

Justin smacks you playfully, not caring that you almost died at his prom.

*

Mikey eventually manages to coax you out to Woody's with the news of his new beau. Things with the doc tanked after you got bashed, and apparently Mikey's seeing some professor now.

You almost expect the room to hold its breath when you step into the bar but instead it goes the other way, soft murmurs magnifying as your presence is noticed. You've suffered through this ever since the bashing, of course, but not so many you've been able to notice all at once.

Brian Kinney. He hasn't been here since he got bashed at that prom.

Your knees lock into place, but then Justin's mouth is by your ear.

"Stop being a pussy."

So you walk to the bar and order a drink because you can hold a glass for a few minutes now before your hand starts shaking. Tomorrow, you know, you'll have to call Ryder, but for the moment you let Justin lean against you and pretend that you're the one holding him up.

The gang's all there, including the new beau. You've fucked him, of course, but he's hot so you would have. Ben'd seemed like a nice guy at the time and you're glad to discover that he genuinely is. Ted thinks that he's perfect except for the little fact of his HIV, but you remind him that after that scare last year he shouldn't be giving safe-sex lectures to *anyone*.

When the pool table's free, everyone moves over there like they always do when there's this many of you. You're kind of glad because it means that no one's thinking about your hand, then lean against a wall and wrap your arms around Justin, claiming that you'd much rather feel him up. Which turns out to be the truth, anyway.

Watching the others play, Justin's back against your chest, you nuzzle the side of his neck.

Something tells you there's going to be a pool table in the loft by the end of the week, and you don't really care.

*

In bed that night, you ask him the question again.

This time he answers.

"Because you want me to."

You don't speak, don't say anything, just push Justin onto his back and fuck him.

It's the only truth you can give.

End