Rating: PG-13 for language.
Characters: Tony/Maxxie, with talk of Michelle.

Spoilers: All the way up to present day, so series two, obviously.
Disclaimer: People that aren't me own this show, OK.

Summary: To her, he's broken, he's wrong, he's not Tony anymore. To him, he just needs a helping hand.

A/N: I've officially been writing Skins fic for a year, it's gone really quick, I can't quite believe it.

Almost Beyond Repair

'Hello.'

Silence follows, and then the creaking of floorboards beneath soft footfalls, a frustrated sigh and a muffled bang as something drops to the carpet.

'Hi.'

A child laughing out in the street breaks the awkward moment, and then the squeak of old bedsprings as Maxxie takes a seat apprehensively.

'Fuck…'

There's another bang and then Tony joins him, throwing himself down heavily, hands becoming fists in his hair as he seethes quietly. Maxxie frowns and then reaches out, his fingertips lightly brushing his friend's arm, a wordless gesture of comfort and understanding.

Neither moves, neither speaks, there's no point.

'I don't know what else to do,' Tony says, his words helpless. 'I'm trying and she…'

No, no point.

'Why?'

The question catches him off guard and Tony pulls away from Maxxie's consideration, curling into himself instead, gaze to the floor, frozen.

'Because she wants…'

Wants what? What does she want? He doesn't know anymore, has no idea what he can do to make it right, or even if he can.

'A prick for a boyfriend?'

Their eyes meet across the small space; Tony laughs shortly, Maxxie's mouth turns up into the beginnings of a bright and happy smile, his eyes creasing at the corners.

'Yes.'

Silence again, their heads dipped, the sound of the TV downstairs floating up the steps, the ruffle of bedcovers as one of them edges towards the other.

'She'll come round eventually.'

Maxxie's hand finds Tony's and he continues to smile, reassuringly, or so it seems. The perfect accompaniment to his words. It's forced, there purely for show because he thinks that's what Tony wants to see, wants to hear. Michelle's his friend too though and he's trying to do what he thinks is best for both of them.

'I don't care now.'

Faltering, he drops his friend's hand as though he's doing something wrong, leans forward instead, hiding his face behind splayed fingers, shoulders hunched. He won't pretend he's not pleased to hear this tiny scrap of information, simply hide it.

Gaining confidence, Maxxie glances over again, looking at Tony through a curtain of heavily highlighted hair, bright eyes wide.

'No?' he asks, the question drenched with curiosity.

Nothing is said in response.

Tony's movement is sudden. He's right there, breath hot in Maxxie's ear, fingers clawing at his arm, gathering fabric and grabbing desperately.

'Help me?'

Turning his head, Maxxie observes for a moment, unsure what kind of help Tony wants. He's rooted to the spot, unable to move even if he wants to. The seconds that pass are agonising. They stare, teetering on the edge, both confused, neither sure of the consequences this will bring.

A sigh leaves his lips disobediently and he frowns, reaching a hand out, mirroring actions.

'Tony… this isn't-'

Arguing too late, Maxxie's already given himself over. So he stops, closing the minute gap between them, his hands wrestling with fabric, fingertips dancing over cool skin. He smiles against Tony's lips, breaks away again, satisfied with his work as he drops both offending garments to the floor.

That's as far as it goes. He understands, he accepts, he enjoys what there is to enjoy. Tony's different now anyway, so why should it always have to be the same?