Title: Changes
Feedback: sweety167yahoo.ca
Rating: PG-13 (boy kissing and touching)
Disclaimer: Nothing QAF related is mine and I'm not making any money off of this, it's a labour of love. Maybe even slight insanity.
Warning: For idealism and broken dreams.
Spoilers: Episode 502
Summary: "When did I change? When did WE change?" Michael/Brian
Completed: June, 2005

Michael stopped and spun around, "When did I change? When did we change?"

Brian starred back at the sad brown eyes with his usual insensitive mask, "What?"

"Us," he's stronger and surer than years before, but still, unmistakably, Mikey, "When did we stop kissing, when did we stop laughing? When did you stop being my best friend, my al --," he stopped, leaving the always hanging between them – like it had since the beginning, like it might forever, "When Brian?"

"Stop being pathetic Michael, and go scamper home to your husband," he tried to brush him off, brush off this whole turn the conversation had taken.

"Is that is? Is it when I married Ben?"

A sneer marked Brian's face, "The professor has never been a worry of mine."

"Then what? What changed us?" he was beginning to sound whiney, and worried, his brow wrinkled and lips pouted. A child, demanding.

Brian turned away. His hands spread along the bar top – to an outsider, a look of annoyance, but it was a moment to collect himself. Brace himself for the rest of this.

"Brian please," Michael reached out, but pulled back just shy of touching the shoulder in front of him. It's been years since he's had to second-guess touching him, be cautious about it. They used to touch, they were the closest of best friends, they were the closest…but now? "Explain this to me."

"You don't need me anymore, you haven't needed me for a long time," Brian gave a quirked smirk, "You're not my little pal Mikey anymore. You don't need me to protect you," he watched him from the corner of his eye, expecting…something. A moment of recognition, humour, but those brown eyes stared back, wide and sad. "Christ Mikey," he laughed, "When you put it all on the line for that shit of a kid, and came back crystal clean…I realised something."

Michael was quiet, waiting.

"I realised you were a big boy now, you didn't need me," he pushed off the bar and made a dramatic turn, arms sweeping the room, "My Mikey was a man."

Michael snorted, "Brian, I--"

He held up his hand for silence, "That's also when I realised I had stopped liking you."

Michael recoiled as if hit, his face wide in horror.

But Brian never missed a beat, "And realised I loved you, love you."

"Of…of course, we're friends…" Michael sputtered. Years of lonely wishing and fantasising threatened to be a cruel joke now. Or worse, reality.

"No. More. Something more," he closed his eyes and sighed, "Somewhere along the lines we changed. You were right there, my boy. We have changed," he opened his eyes. His focus back on his friend, meeting his eyes for the first time since this started.

They stayed locked on each other, as if challenging the other. A life long friendship now threatening to change or slip back into their deteriorating relationship.

Michael laughed; a harsh, straggled sound forced through his lungs. He was fighting the nervous sickness in his stomach, waiting for the punch line of this joke. "Right. You are suddenly in love with Me," his voice rose.

Brain snorted and pulled at his collar. He desperately wanted a cigarette. This new Brain didn't deal with deep interpersonal relationships any better than the old, no, then he did before. "So I'm treating you like shit. Testing how far away I can push you before I stop feeling this. Anything."

"You. You cold bastard," he suddenly lunged, shoving Brian's shoulder, "You can't joke about this. Not. With. Me." He shoved him back again, a hitch in his voice.

And Brian took it, each physical shove and verbal jab until Michael gave up, collapsing against the bar.

"Are you finished?" he asked, waiting for his friend to look at him, "I'm not joking. I'm serious." He started toward him; "I," a step, "Love," in front of him, "You." He stopped, leaned in and kissed the down turned lips of Michael's mouth.

It started slow and steady; Brian pressed light, nipping kisses along Michael's bottom lip, waiting for the slow response. The one he knew would build.

He pressed back, lips moving with hunger and a daring tongue asking for admittance. Licking at the lips offered to it. His hands snaked around Brain's neck, pulling closer. Desperate.

He wrapped an arm around Michael's waist, pressing their bodies together. Ever inch alive with electricity. A hand kneading his ass. A hand tracing circles on his hip.

The pair stood there, like they had countless times in the thumpa-thumpa mystic, arms around each other, tongues tasting each other, bodies stroking each other, but it was different now. All the lights were on at Babylon; all the false magic of twinkling lights and shaking bass was gone. It was just a room, it was the reality. It had turned the lights-on on them.

Brain pulled back, resting his forehead comfortably against Michael's, "Now what changes?"

Michael took a few haggard breaths before slowly pushing Brian back, "Nothing can."


I seem to hate me happy endings.