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by s.a.

This is why you take care of Brian Kinney.

Michael knew he was different, whatever the hell that meant, by the time he was twelve. He didn't have many friends--it was the same old sob story every queer growing up in lower middle class America has, and he doesn't feel the need to beat it to death over and over again. He's over it. Really. But Michael never had friends when he was a kid. His mom was his best friend, and as annoying and embarrassing as that was, he loved her all the more.

But then fourteen came and he discovered the wonders of his dick, and then came Brian Kinney. Brian was flashy and unpredictable. Everyone at school thought he was the coolest shit ever but no one really knew what he was like. He'd do anything though, and just give that cocky grin when the teachers reamed him out.

Michael still doesn't know why Brian picked him out of every one else, everyone cooler and smarter and hotter, but he was sitting on the stadium steps one afternoon reading Scorpius issue forty-one when Brian came up behind him and scared the shit out of him, then asked him if he wanted to go for a ride in his dad's hotwired car.

He said yes, and never looked back.

For five years, Michael's gotten high, drunk, and fucked with Brian in the foreground, and he's picked Brian up every time he fell down. In return Brian's let him see through the impenetrable Kinney shield so that he knows who Brian is, more than anyone else in the world. He was there the night Brian's dad kicked him out of the house after finding pot in his room, and he dragged him from the bars on Liberty Avenue in the middle of the night after sneaking out of his house.

He's seen Brian drunk, naked, scared, crying, invincible, stoned, fucked, fucking, cocky, childish, breaking down, and dying of laughter. Brian stayed over at his house nearly as much as Michael did, and Michael's mom just snorted and put another plate on the table.

Brian took Michael out the night he got his first blowjob, and was there when Michael freaked out about having another man's come on his hand. Michael wiped Brian's mouth and petted his head after one of a hundred nights of binging, and made conversation with Brian's mom while Brian grabbed his shit to cut out for awhile.

Brian's hand was the first one other than Michael's own to touch his dick, and Michael sang Brian to sleep every night one week when nightmares were terrorizing him so badly even he couldn't shrug it off.

For Michael, it's not that he doesn't see how Brian treats him most of the time. He does--he's not stupid. But he can never stop taking care of Brian because he's seen Brian at every point in his life when he needed to be taken care of, and Michael loves being that person. Loves Brian Kinney, and
knows that Brian loves him because Michael takes care of him. Even if Brian will never be *in love* with Michael, it's still worth it. It's all worth it.


This is why you can never leave Brian Kinney.

In college Lindsay dated guys. Exclusively. She was a business major when she came in, and an art teacher when she came out. Mainly because of Brian.

She met him when she was a sophomore, when they were both sophomores, and didn't know he was gay. He must have picked up on that, because he asked her out for dinner one night after flirting with her for a month, and she said yes as coyly as she could.

Of course, a week later she was beating the shit out of him after seeing him fucking a football player in the bathroom of his dorm. A week after that Brian had somehow managed to win her over *and* convinced her to take an art class.

They met each other's parents, and everyone exclaimed what an adorable couple they made, at which they discreetly rolled their eyes and played it up. They kept up the farce, at least with Lindsey's parents, until she met the First Lesbian Love of her life and was determined to be the Out and Proud Lesbian. Brian watched it all with a smirk and took them both out for dinner afterwards as Lindsey ranted and raved about how if she could just get her parents to really *hear* her, everything would be all right.

About a month after that, the First Lesbian Love dumped her, citing too much drama and a weird hang-up on that Brian guy. Lindsey was crushed, and Brian listened to her whining for three days until he finally threw her hottest, smallest black dress at her and told her to get changed. He took her dancing all over down, got her plastered, and then slept next to her after pouring her into bed. Lindsey won't deny it helped to kick the sorrow, but the next week she made him pose for her art class in retaliation. (Of course, she forgot the simple fact that Brian Kinney *liked* being naked, though her professor seemed to enjoy his antics, thereby saving her grade.)

Brian Kinney has always been at the center of the maelstrom of her life. While he's caused a couple of the shittier moments in her history, he's been there for all of the important ones. In his own completely prickish way, he supported her and took care of her, for whatever reason. Brian basically has to be at the center of her life, because he's the reason she has one at all. Brian made her figure out what she wanted to be, made her come out, made her keep dating and walk into the bar where she met Melanie, and is half of her sweet child. Brian can never go away, because he is an irrefutable and inextricable part of her existance, and she holds onto him with the strength
of a nail sliding into a hole.

Sometimes, when she's got a moment of quiet between Gus's frenetic baby activity and Melanie's loud and less welcome presence, she figures that Brian is basically the other half of her soul. It's just dumb luck that they both happen to be fanatically gay, otherwise it would have been an interesting ride. Not that it isn't now--god, when would it ever stop?--but. Sometimes Lindsey can't help but wonder what her life would have been like, if, if, if.

And that, more than anything, is why she can't leave him. Who could leave their soulmate?


This is why you love Brian Kinney.

Brian is like a shining beacon of light in Justin's dismal upper middle class suburban life. He broke up the monotony of Justin's existence the first moment that predatory smile was set on him. It's like he was torn to pieces and remade into something that is better than he was--maybe like a shadow of what Brian is, though Justin dislikes thinking of it that way, because who would really want to be anyone's shadow? Brian already has Michael.

It wasn't just the sex. Okay, a lot of it was the sex, but it was also the ghosting "love you" Brian's lips made across his skin as they fucked that first time, or even the lame attempts to bat Justin away as though he didn't have a chance of meaning something in Brian's world. Justin knows he's wrong, though, knows it with a certainty that he's never before felt, and even when everything's going to hell he's got this idea of Brian waiting beyond is all, like his reward for having shitty homophobic parents.

He knows that Brian is his from the way that Justin fits in his life. His friends, his place, his diner--everything just seems to bend to accommodate Justin, and he's more than happy to worm his way into the world of Brian. Justin sees that Brian's world has become pinched and small, and he sincerely believes that he was thrown into it for a reason.

He can love Brian with all of his heart, not simply because he's young or because he's never been in love before. He can love Brian because Brian needs it, soaks it up like a sponge whenever he thinks Justin's not looking. It's not blind adoration--Justin knows there are other people Brian has for that. It's love, pure and plain and simple and there, and as soon as Brian gets his head out of his ass, he's going to trip over his own words as he realizes just what happened.

See, Justin has a plan. It consists of nothing more than just being there, through everything. Even when he loses his temper and can't control his frustration; even when Brian is being a world-class dick (and not in the good way) Justin plans on sticking around for a damn long time. He learned this from suburban hell: everyone there is so fucking unhappy with what and who they've got that if he's lucky enough to stumble across something perfect and wonderful he'd better cling to it with his last dying breath.

So he does.

This is why Justin loves Brian Kinney: because at the end of the day, when he sees Justin in his apartment rifling through his cds, he doesn't get mad. He picks up the one Justin was glancing at and slips in into the cd player, sliding back to where Justin is and undressing him with a look. They kiss, and it's sweet and deep and wordless, full of meaning and promise that Justin thinks Brian is still to blind to see. They sway to the piano in the background, the soft raspy voice, and when they have sex, Brian slips and calls it "making love."