Note: This was written for the 2005 Fest on the Stuart/Vince QaF yahoo group. It has since occured to me that I haven't posted it here and therefore I've decided to. The challenge was: After the threesome, Stuart finds out that Vince has a threesome with a couple of other people. He doesn't want it to, but it bothers him that Vince wouldn't do it with him. Issued By: Mitori. I ended up writing a how they got together fic. A big thank you to Margo for the wonderful beta.
A Question of Fault:
Stuart tightened his hold on Vince's hip and pulled him closer. Vince wrapped his arms around Stuart's neck and leaned into him for support before he buried his face against Stuart's shoulder and moaned, "This is all your fault."
"My fault Vince?" Stuart grinned, the perfect picture of faux innocence, "How is this my fault?"
Vince pulled back to blink at him, "You kept putting drinks in my hand."
"That didn't mean you had to drink them," Stuart pointed out as he fitted his key into the lock and pulled his door open while still keeping a hold on Vince.
"Yes, I did," Vince slurred, his arms sliding around Stuarts shoulders. Stumbling inside Vince continued, "You announce you're leaving, tomorrow."
Vince paused as if to let it sink in, "And then you buy me drinks."
Stuart cupped Vince's face and looked him in the eye, "Didn't mean you had to accept."
"Yes, I did," Vince told him slowly then added quickly, suddenly nervous, "You're going to leave tomorrow, and I have a meeting. I should go."
It was the best concept Vince could think of, same as pulling a bandage off, it hurts less if you do it quickly.
Sliding his hands around Vince's waist, Stuart hauled his friend bodily against him, waist to waist, "We need to talk Vince."
They stared at each other.
Unable to take the close proximity, knowing that the next day he was scheduled to lose this forever Vince pulled away from Stuart, pushing away hands that attempted to keep hold. He could never think clearly with Stuart that close, especially not when he'd had one too many and the fear of losing was threatening to reduce him to tears. He swayed slightly then steadied himself and said, "I'm fine, can get myself home, no need to worry about me."
Stuart moved closer, and attempted to close the distance between them. Vince stepped back.
"Vince, I said we need to talk."
Vince blinked slowly; watching as Stuart moved close again.
"I've heard some things." He cupped Vince's face.
"Yeah?" Vince asked.
"You. Threesomes," Stuart admitted.
"You had to get me pissed to ask about threesomes?" Vince asked, not thinking it through before he did, but then he couldn't think, not with his head swimming.
Stuart attempted to charm with a Chesire-cat grin, "Vince, would you've come here if I hadn't?"
Vince frowned, no he wouldn't have, he'd have found some excuse not to. At the same time, as far as he was concerned, what Stuart had done was wrong. He felt not only used, due to Stuart's tactic, but cornered as well. Stuart didn't need to know about his threesomes. He gave into his first instinct, to run, and pushing Stuart away from him with an angry look he headed towards the door.
Stuart caught him, spun him around, and swore. All night buying Vince drinks to ensure that he wouldn't swan off and yet he still tried.
"I shouldn't have had to." Stuart finally admitted, "But you need to stay because we need to talk."
They stared at each other in silence until Vince hiccupped a sob and buried his face against Stuart's chest, his arms holding tight, the thought of actually losing Stuart was too much for him.
Stuart's wrapped his arms around Vince, hugging him back. He felt a stab of guilt; he hadn't meant to reduce his Vince to tears.
"Vince, don't cry, it's fine," Stuart soothed.
Vince took a deep breath; he couldn't do this, break down in front of Stuart. He backed away one step, and then another before he told Stuart, "I'm supposed to be the one taking care of you."
Stuart stepped forward and leaned in towards his friend, "Maybe you should let me take care of you for once."
"You're leaving," Vince countered not wanting to believe he'd heard Stuart's words right. His alcohol addled mind made him want to believe it, fall into those words and beg Stuart to stay, or take him along for the ride, but the common sense he had creeping in at the edge of his mind kept him from believing.
"I had to," Stuart admitted. What other choice did he have? The one man he wanted, would want a life with, that he already had a long-term relationship with didn't want him. He hadn't been hurt when Vince ran from their threesome, because he'd understood. Their first time together should be special, not something they hurried into, but then Vince rejected him at his sister's wedding and Stuart began to wonder if maybe Vince didn't fancy him after all.
Then he'd found out Vince had had threesomes, more then one, and though Stuart hadn't wanted it to, it ate at him until he felt trapped, suffocated, and he decided he had to leave Manchester. There was no point in staying if Vince didn't want him. He remembered that the shag they'd brought home had pointed out Vince wasn't even turned on. So he said his cryptic goodbye to Vince, all the while hoping that Vince would stop him, and tried to let it be enough. Then as he was leaving he'd seen two men try and pull Vince and he hadn't been able to walk away. He'd stomped over, glared at both of them and with an arm around Vince's waist led him to the bar. Now they were here, staring at each other, each with questions that needed to be answered, each with things unsaid, but each worried about the lifetime worth of rejection that they'd face if the right words weren't spoken.
Stuart closed the distance between them and laid his head against the side of Vince's face, he couldn't do this and look at Vince at the same time, "You don't want me, is that it?"
"Stu-art," Vince begged softly, pleading for his heart not to be broken, to not have to say everything that was inside of him and be rejected.
Stuart's fingers found the top edge of Vince's pants and his fingers lazily circled the edge. He buried his face into Vince's neck and breathed in deeply, loving the way Vince smelled and wanting to fool himself into believing that this was his.
"I can't have you," Vince managed to whisper as his arms found their way around Stuart's waist, "and then not have you."
Stuart pulled back, almost not believing that Vince had managed to phrase what he'd needed to hear, and he barely managed to tell him, "Then have me."
Vince shook his head, not quite believing that he wasn't being pushed away.
"Have me Vince," Stuart managed to say the words with more force, and then semi-frantic because Vince merely looked at him with wide eyes he continued, "I want you to have me, and then have me again. What is it you want Vince?"
He whispered in Vince's ear teasingly, "You want me to be Mrs. Vincent Tyler? I might be able to manage that."
Vince laughed, the tension finally broken. With a smile Stuart continued, "Or do you want me to-"
Vince cut Stuart off with his lips, trying in that one instance to convey everything flowing through him-the want, the fear, and the hope-as their tongues danced.
They pulled apart. Stuart's head was now the one swimming. He took a quick breath, then asked, "I take it that was a yes then?"
Vince nodded yes.
"Come to bed then."
Vince shook his head, "No, Stuart."
Stuart's brow knitted, "Why the hell not?"
"I have to be sober."
Inwardly Stuart breathed a sigh of relief, for a moment he thought he'd been accepted and then rejected, "I meant to sleep. Come to bed, I'm not going to seduce you when you're sloshed."
"Too late for that."
They shared a grin.
Stuart's voice faltered, "And no pretending this conversation didn't happen in the morning or I'll be forced to tie you to my bed until you admit we had it because I'm not having it again."
Vince shook his head as Stuart wrapped an arm around his waist; helping him to the bedroom.
"You'll move in with me right?" Stuart asked, "Think of it Vince, you and me starting over in some place new."
"I'll have to get a transfer, but that shouldn't be too hard."
Stuart grinned. Vince paused, "What about..."
"You can send Hazel anything that she needs."
Vince nodded, "Who's going to keep Alex together?"
Vince nodded again, "What about Alfie?"
"He's got mothers," Stuart pointed out, "besides he can visit."
Vince nodded, "I think that's everything."
By now they'd reached the bed and with a grin Stuart brushed a kiss across the side of Vince's forehead and, with an affectionate smile, said, "I love you."
Vince swayed, blinked, and whispered, "Say that again."
"I said I love you Vince," Stuart smiled. He adored the shocked yet wanting look on Vince's face.
"I think I'm going to pass out," Vince announced as he wrapped himself around Stuart and then moaned into shoulder, "This is all your fault."
Vince's legs gave out and carefully, lowering him onto the bed, Stuart told him, "I know."