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Queer as Folk ficlet: It's Not Goodbye - Proud to Slash
Queer as Folk ficlet: It's Not Goodbye

So I've been called evil and mean because of the last ficlet. I'm wondering what you'll come up with now *snickers* But before you hire a gunman, remember that you need me alive to continue this series *tongue in cheek grin*

As always, feedback makes Brian very happy indeed ... and he needs some happiness, doesn't he? With all this shit happening... Oh, and if you can, get your hands on Laura Pausini's beautiful song It's Not Goodbye and listen to it while reading the ficlet. And maybe get some kleenex, just to be safe ;)

Title: It's Not Goodbye
Fandom: Queer as Folk US
Type: Romance, Drama
Rating: YELLOW
Pairings: Brian / Justin
Warnings: POV, Sequel to Running Away. This is slash, as in two males in a relationship. If that's not your cup of tea, leave now.
Disclaimer: All QaF characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. No profit is being made, no copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: At times it takes a stupid song to make you see things for what they really are.
Notes: Set between 3.03 and 3.04. The song I incorporated this time is Laura Pausini's beautiful It's Not Goodbye.
Beta reader: undomiel_48Domi ... you're a gem :)

It's Not Goodbye

When he jumped out of the car, practically fleeing from me, I felt like I'd been stabbed. Again. 'Twice in two days? Congratulations, Kinney. That must be a new record, even for you.' Everything came crashing down on me, and I knew that wherever Jack was, he was laughing his ass off right then. Because I'd dared to hope ... but it was just a dream, and it's time to return to reality. The reality of an empty loft – far too big now that he's gone. Too empty... Empty like my life had been until that fateful night when I saw a pretty blond twink under a street lamp and just had to take him with me. Empty like my life is once again. Only ... it's worse now, cause I know it can be different...

'You're a fucking cripple, Kinney. Did you really think he'd come back because of those pitiful attempts to show him how much he means to you? Tuition fees and posters don't solve any problems, impossibly tender kisses can't fix anything... And if you thought he'd fall back into your arms because you left a potential trick behind so you could drive him home – that told him just how pathetic you are, by the way – well, you know how that played out...' Oh yes. He was so disgusted he couldn't stand my touch... You're fucking worthless, Sonny-boy. And sooner or later everyone will see that. I guess Justin finally did.

'He was your one chance, your only chance ... and you blew it. There won't be another. Hell! He fled from you.' Like he should have done ages ago. Because of me he nearly died. He lost his father simply because I was around. It was inevitable, really. He had a narrow escape, and in a way, he'll still be stigmatised for the rest of his life. Cause he was with me. 'And you'll always carry him with you, too. You might think the feelings will go away eventually, but they won't. He'll always be there. And you'll always, always love him. He'll always be a part of you.' And you think I don't want that?

I don't know how long I sat there, staring at my hands on the steering wheel – hands that touched him millions of times – biting the inside of my cheek to keep from crying like the pathetic loser I've become. Like that little boy had done so often because his family despised him. Back then, I thought nothing could be worse than that feeling of being unwanted, unloved. Now I know differently. Because now it's Justin, and Justin is worth so much more. There's one valuable item that's missing that can't be replaced... I wish I'd listened to Linz.

It's a week until I see him again, on the street outside the diner, and as soon as he becomes aware of me, he turns and... 'Runs away again, Kinney. Cause he can't stand the sight of you. Probably running back to Ian. And the fiddler will touch him, Kinney, will fuck him, and Justin won't recoil...' Don't! Just ... just leave me the fuck alone. "Mom said he changed his shifts..." Oh really, Mikey? I wouldn't have guessed. Of course he did! He doesn't want to be around me, I thought that much was obvious. Just like it's obvious that Mikey told Deb about that night... That fucking pep talk. "Com on, Brian... Let's go." And I allow him to drag me to the 'vette, even hand over the keys so he can drive us home. 'Home? Aren't you forgetting something? You have no home now that Justin's gone.'

When we get to the loft, Mikey decides we should get stoned together – "Oh, come on. We haven't smoked anything in ages." Not since Justin left, he means. But maybe it's not such a bad idea, might take my mind off things I really don't want to think about. 'Like Justin? Sorry to tell you, but no E, no Crystal, no fucking cocaine will be enough to make you forget about Justin. He's fucking ingrained in your soul.' Fuck it! But I can at least try, right? So I get out my stash, and we're sprawled on the floor, and it's only when we're through the second joint that I realise that Mikey's still very coherent. And Mikey really can't stomach very much... Shit! He made me smoke to get me mellow, there's no other explanation. Fucker! Does he want me to once again spill my guts to him? And then run straight to Deb like he did last time? "He's fucking miserable, you know? Looked like death warmed over when he came by the shop yesterday." I try to act nonchalant, like I don't give a shit. But I know I'm failing miserably. Fucking drugs. "He misses you as much as you miss him..." Whoever said that I miss the little shit, huh?

'Oh, don't worry, you didn't. But breaking down in front of Mikey must have tipped him off. Not to mention that you haven't tricked in a week. And you know how gossipy certain fags are. News of it must have travelled up and down Liberty after the first day of your self-imposed celibacy. Seriously, Brian Kinney isn't tricking ... must be the end of the world.' And why should I? All I ever see is him – on his knees, his side ... his back, those beautiful eyes gazing into my fucking soul... "But he ... he thinks he deserves to suffer. After all, he cheated on you – and don't give me that shit about him having the right to do so. And he left you ... and Brian, there were locks. If there hadn't been, if you hadn't invested so fucking much into that non-relationship, you wouldn't be hurting like you are. Both of you."

I should tell him to fuck off. To just leave me alone with this shit. I should tell him that I don't give a fuck about Justin. That's what the old Brian Kinney would have done. That fucking idiot who put his stupid pride first, and then was surprised when Justin left for greener pastures. The fool who said he didn't believe in love, and who hurt Justin over and over, simply because he couldn't admit he'd been wrong. Who couldn't tell Justin that, yes, they were partners. That Justin wasn't a simple trick who was allowed to hang around. He never had been... Anyway, that's what that pathetic loser would have said. Instead of telling Mikey to piss off, I find myself battling my inner demons, cause Mikey's words ... they smart. Not because he's right about me, no. But if it's true what he says about Justin... So maybe I can find a way to... Maybe we could... But those demons are strong. Fuck, they had thirty one years to grow in power, and I know that I nourished them, fool that I was. There's ... there's no way that I can win against them. Not anymore.

Because it was he who gave me the strength to even try to step out of their shadow. And when he left – and rightfully so – he took it all away. 'He took everything that was good about your life away. All the warmth, all the joy ... it's gone now. You feel it even when you're with Gus. Cause Gus is looking for his other dad, and you can no longer...' I can no longer stand all this shit, that's what I can do no longer. "It'll ... it'll pass. After all, he's got the fiddler. Give it a few weeks, and he'll be bad as new." At least I hope so. He needs to get over this, even if I can't. He needs to, so he can finally find the ... the happiness he deserves. And if it lies with the fiddle-fuck, so be it. He wasn't happy with me. No one will ever want to be with you, Sonny-boy. Who'd want to be with the greatest loser this world has ever seen?

Mikey stares at me as if I'd grown a second cock, or turned a vibrant pink, or something. "You don't believe that. Fuck, Brian! Denial is nice at times, but this... He fucking longs for you! So much he couldn't mask it. You should have seen him gaze at the new sketches of Rage and JT – as if he wanted nothing more than swap places with JT. Cause if he did, he'd be with you still..." He looks up, imploringly. What the fuck would he have me do? "What's wrong with the two of you? Why can't you just cut the crap and work things out?"

Because things don't work that way... "There's nothing we could work out, Michael." He hears the warning in my voice, but also something else. Otherwise he wouldn't wrap his arm around me like I'm some stupid little faggot. So he really wants to hear this? Well, fine! "He's fucking repulsed by me, okay?! You saw him – he doesn't want to be anywhere near me. Can't stand my touch. He ... he fucking ran away from me. And he should. As fast as he can. You know, I tried to show him..." I shake my head. "It's over. Done with." Mikey looks unconvinced. "You remember what Jack always said? Well, he was right. It was stupid to even try..."

Mikey's arm falls away, and he heaves a resigned sigh. "He loves you, Brian. Believe it or not, but he does." That's where you're mistaken. No one can love me. He slowly gets up, gazing down at me. "I've to get going, but..." he places something on the counter, "here's something you might wanna look at..." What. The. Fuck?! It's a CD. Why would I want to look at a CD from him? Knowing his taste... The door slides shut behind him, and this is my chance. 'Yeah, just throw it away. After all, you don't want to hear any more of the shit he told you, right? Throw it away. He probably needed hours to find the songs he thinks you should listen to, but you don't give a shit, do you? Then again, he's all you have left now...'

So I reach for yet another joint, and then pick up the CD and put it in the player. And groan. I guess Mikey got some help from Emmett, because some of the songs are just ... cheesy. Or make that all of them. I drop down onto the cushions on the floor, chuckling. Mikey, Mikey... So you want me to crawl to Justin and beg him to please forgive me? To unbreak my heart? Where the fuck did they get these songs anyway? The Losers' Songlist? Do they really think I'm so far gone that a simple song can make me break down and cry like a dickless fag? "No way, Mikey." They must have mistaken me for a certain blond twink. Oh yes, Justin would probably cry his eyes out. Or we'd laugh together... If he were here, we'd listen to that rubbish, laughing like fucking loonies before... 'Before you'd fuck each other's brains out? Or ... before you'd make passionate love?' Oh, shut up! It's sex! A fuck! There's no such thing as making love. 'Then why was it always so much better with him? Why are you aching to be with him again?'

I'm about to get the Beam to shut that annoying little voice up once and for all – or at least for the time being – when the last song starts playing. All the others I could just brush aside, could just ridicule. But this one... It's as if my most desperate hopes – the ones I don't even want to acknowledge myself – had been put into a song. As if someone had placed my heart under a fucking microscope. Cause I do have a heart – even though certain people have serious doubts as far as that is concerned. 'Well, that's because you pretend you're a heartless son of a bitch most of the time. He was the only one who saw right through you.' Fuck it!

It starts out slow, like those songs Justin could play for hours when he wanted to drive me nuts, and already the first few lines are enough to drive a dagger into my chest. Again. Nothing new there, huh? Shit, I'm going fucking crazy. And what if I never kiss your lips again, or feel the touch of your sweet embrace? How would I ever go on, without you there's no place to belong. 'Nothing you want to think about, am I right, Kinney? But that's exactly the reason why you haven't shoved your dick up anyone's ass or down anyone's throat for what? A week? Without him, you're nothing. And you have nothing. It was always, always him. His touch, his kiss, his pliant body welcoming you...' The inside of my cheek is getting a fucking workout here, but I know if the song doesn't suddenly turn all cheerful, or I switch it off...

Well someday love is gonna lead you back to me... Yeah, sure... His love fucking lead him away from me. Because there was only so much he could take. What was that other stupid song? Love Hurts? Well, no shit! I must have shredded him at times, so why the fuck would he come back? 'Because Mikey said he misses you? And you know he does. And you fucking hope that despite it all, he'll come back. Because without him there's no place to belong for you.' But 'til it does I'll have an empty heart... More than empty. It feels like a black hole, sucking me in. And I'm not sure for how long I can fight its pull... So I'll just have to believe somewhere out there you're thinking of me... 'You know he does. There's no doubt about that. The only problem is, you don't know if he likes to think of you. Or if he'd rather erase you from his memory...' I pinch the bridge of my nose, because I can feel my eyes sting. Cause that fucking voice is right...

'Til the day I'll let you go, 'til we say our next hello, it's not goodbye... It never will be. I mean, how could it be? To see him walk away, his arms around that fucking Ian, that was anything but a goodbye. Maybe he wanted it to be, but for me... 'You'll never be able to let go. You were his first, Kinney. But he was yours as well...' 'Til I see you again, I'll be right here rememberin' when... Well, I couldn't forget if I wanted to, so... And if time is on our side there will be no tears to cry... 'It's too late for that now, isn't it?' Judging by the wetness on my cheeks, I'd have to agree with that assessment. And if I fare like this... Fuck it! I never ever wanted to hurt Justin. That's why I made sure he left. 'But you're finally realising that you might have been mistaken there, right? That you're both hurting even more, now that you're apart.' On down the road there is one thing I can't deny - it's not goodbye. And I'm not trying to. Contrary to Mikey's opinion, I'm not denying that. It would be senseless, and I'm pragmatic...

You'd think I'd be strong enough to make it through and rise above when the rain falls down. But it's so hard to be strong when you've been missin' somebody so long. Fuck! Does Mikey think I don't know all this shit? Or is he trying to tell me something I don't know yet? Fucked if I know. But I do know that I'm anything but strong. I never was. It was only ever make-believe, and I'm fucking good at that, so everyone bought it. Even Mikey. Alright, especially Mikey. He and his fucking hero-worship... I couldn't disappoint him, cause he was the only one I had. So I had to pretend. 'Your whole life is all about pretending, isn't it? About lying – to yourself, to others. And the biggest fucking lie you ever told was that you don't believe in...' In love! Yes, I know. It took a blond twink to show me how wrong I'd been. And Gus... I knew, in those first seconds that I saw him, that I loved him. Just like I must have loved Justin, but I was too much of a coward to admit that. It took six months until I finally... And then Hobbs came along with his bat, and it all went to hell.

It's just a matter of time I'm sure... 'But you're not sure, not at all. Not after he ran away from you. Not after everything you tried to keep him in your life, to stay part of his... He doesn't want you, or does he?' But time takes time and I can't hold on... I think that much is obvious, huh? I'm sitting here, in the empty loft, crying my eyes out over a stupid song. So won't you try as hard as you can to put my broken heart together again... 'Cause if anyone can do that, it's him. You can't pull it off, Kinney.' And I wouldn't want to... Wouldn't know how to... That's what Mikey's trying to tell me. But there's shit I can do with that realisation, because Justin... 'Then make him listen to you, for fuck's sake. Brian Kinney, advertisement genius, who can convince anyone of anything.'

Maybe I should. Maybe Mikey's right. Maybe Justin is only staying away because he's afraid to see me go on like nothing had happened. Especially after that kiss... I swallow around the stupid lump in my throat. He came to the Carnivale, didn't he? And he left the fiddler behind when he did. So ... so things can't be as wonderful as he thought they'd be. And when we were walking down the street, and Ian came up... Justin looked uneasy... 'So fucking do something about it!' Shit! I should probably give Mikey a fucking medal or something. Because he's right. It's not goodbye. And if I have a say in it, it will never be...



Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: Laura Pausini - It's Not Good-bye

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