Title: Gone Away

Pairing: Brian/Michael friendship

Summary: Brian goes back to the rooftop ledge, and this time, Michael's not there to save him…

Spoilers: For all seasons except for season five. There are no spoilers for season five in this fic.

"Leaving flowers on your grave

Show that I still care

but black roses and Hail Mary's

Can't bring back what's taken from me

I reach to the sky

and call out your name

and if I could trade I would"

Gone away; The Offspring

The wind was cooler than it was last time. It was below ten, and Brian stood on top of the hospital in nothing but a ripped-up tank top and beat up shorts that he had worn years ago. The snow fell so softly, and made a light blanket of white cover the wet, gray streets below.

No one knew he was up there. Not Ben, or Deb, not even Justin, though he was sure the blond one was wondering where he was about then. Emmett had called out his name a few times as he took off down the cold hallway, but after awhile he had given up and walked back down to the hospital room where Michael was.

It was his fault, and he knew it. He remembered the last time he stood on the icy rooftop ledge, looking down at the busy lights of the city whirring around the hospital. Then, Brian was scared of living. Now, it didn't matter much anymore.

It was dark, and he didn't even bother to get the lights fixed on the jeep. He figured there was no use; he'd get them fixed the next day. Hell, the auto shop wouldn't even be open then. He would have to wait. Still, he shouldn't have been driving then. He was higher than he thought he ever had been, and it was pretty dark. He should have just waited until the morning.

But he didn't. He went out, and swerved along the road. He didn't see where he was or where he was going. He didn't know, and he didn't care. And he didn't see Michael on the sidewalk waving to him until it was too late.

He heard a thumping sound on his hood and a sickening crunch as the younger man fell below the wheels. He saw the blood shoot up from the ground and his wails shrink down to nothing more than a pathetic whimper.

Brian remembered at that party where he had punched Michael. He remembered all of the nasty looks shot at him afterwards and the pain in Mikey's eyes as he looked up at him from his position on the ground. This time, Debbie didn't even say a word to him. And her silence was worse than being screamed at so loudly that everyone in a three hundred mile radius could hear her.

Stepping onto the ledge and looking at the gorgeous city below him, he imagined the last time he was up here. Mikey was wrapped around him, his breath's heavy and his hands clutching onto Brian's thighs. There was fear in his eyes, but superseding that was trust. He trusted him more than he trusted anyone. Even Ben.

He remembered after Justin got out of the hospital. He thought back to him holding his face in his hands and repeating the same words over and over again. It's not your fault. It's not your fault.

Justin hadn't said it this time, because he knew. It was his fault this time, and he was going to have to live with it. Of course, like last time, there was another option.

When Gus was born, he stepped onto the same ledge and announced he was jumping. He looked at the mixture of red and green and yellow, mesmerized as they mingled together in front of him. Michael actually took his hand and stopped him. They looked out together and he knew there was no way it was going to happen.

Turning thirty was almost the hardest thing to deal with for Brian. Going out the best way possible was the only potential way to deal. He had been getting ready, the rope held firmly in his hands when Michael told him how beautiful he was. The look he gave Brian was the only assurance the older man needed.

Being diagnosed with cancer was the last straw. No way in fucking hell was Brian Kinney going to be hooked up to a bunch of wires and machines just to live a life he didn't even want. Until Michael came along.

"I'll always have you, right?" he asked up in the loft, kissing his neck softly as Brian took a long drag from his cigarette. And he was right. As long as there was a Michael, there was a Brian. That's how it was, and how it always would be.

So Brian looked down a final time, closing his eyes and seeing Michael with him. There was no more Michael, so Brian felt himself dying.

The breeze picked up around him as the ground shot up at him, getting closer and closer by the minute. The lights were so much more clear to him, and he could see the individual cars that the lights were protruding from. The ledge looked so fucking far away now.

And this time, Michael wasn't there to save him.