T.K's third fear.

(TK/Brett)

He teases me. Encourages Max. Making me look stupid. He's been doing it all night. Well, he always does it, always when the guys are around.

"Always too slow" he says, nipping the beeper from my fingers and grinning like a school boy. What I don't get is how he can be this annoying and still make me hard. Really. There must be some deep-seated, dysfunctional need bordering in self-destruction at root here. What else could explain this infatuation? It's not like he's acting lovable in the slightest. Ever.

But tonight though, he's being insufferable. And all night I've been semi-hard. I don't know what pisses me off more.

I gaze back at him, eyes steady, silently pleading, but face set in stone. He knows. All of it, the little bastard. He knows how much I hate it when he acts like this. He knows how hot and bothered I really am right now. I learnt self-control from the best, but he knows me well enough. He's taken up permanent residence under the top-layer of my skin so he should.

He stares me down, grinning like the Grinch who stole Christmas, eyes all a-twinkle, challenging and taunting me. The others are laughing around us. I think Max is in my peripheral, by I can't be sure. When he's in front of me the rest of it just kind of melts away. I'm such a mush. His eyebrows twitch. Oh, fuck off.

"You're the doctor now? Oh, okay… here you go--"

I wasn't this childish even as a child. I hate that he has this ability, this control over me. That he can bring me down to this. He smirks, says, Come on.

"Doctor Brett…"

"Come on!"

There is a split second when our eyes stay locked and we don't speak. The others are laughing still, but they have no idea what just happened. They're missing one piece of this puzzle and it's the one that goes in the middle, that makes the outline of the image come together and be complete, so they don't see the whole picture. They don't see what I see and what really taunts me, because it isn't the challenge or the mocking or even touch of coldness in his eyes that burrows in under my skin.

I have to look away, I know I shouldn't, I know I'll make it worse and I should feel bad about this, but I kind of hate him right now for being an ass, so I decide to make it worse and walk away.

Even Brett has no idea. Because he's so full of himself that he doesn't know I can see through him like this. But I can and I do and I see it, the jealousy, no not jealousy per se, more like insecurity, desperation, fear, that wants to know how much of this cover-up is fiction and how much if fact. It's a tiny glint but it's enough. And it breaks my heart a little. Because it was never my idea to make up these lies in the first place.

Sure, it makes sense. And I'm the one who needs the lie the most with my father being what he is and my chance at this pathetic excuse for a career, although sometimes I wonder if I'm making a career in saving lives or destroying my own. But it does make sense to keep up appearances, at least for as long as I'm depending on the old man's funds to get me through med school. Once I've got my own means of supporting myself I can live however I want but until then I'd do best not to have myself thrown out on the street and the family.

Even as I'm telling myself this, like every other time, it's Brett voice I hear.

Of course, like everything else in my life, the cover was Brett's idea. Everything is always Brett's idea. Like tonight's charade. Come to think of it, if this is prime example of Brett's genius, maybe I should have thought it over a little more before I agreed to let people think I have a girlfriend called Chickie. Just listen to it. A girl with a name like that is either a stripper or made-up, clearly.

I'd just like to know why he does this to himself. He must know that one word from him is all it takes and I would come clean with everyone, Avery, Max, my old man, the whole world. I would give them every sordid detail of my bent out of shape sex life and my, obviously unhealthy, feelings towards my best mate. I would. One word from you, Brett.

But he keeps quiet. Even though there's nothing in it for him. He doesn't have anyone to lie to. He has his own apartment, his own job, He's his own man already. The only reason he would have to keep this a secret, is for my sake not his, so why are we? I don't like it. Logically I know it would be stupid not to, but that doesn't make me like it any more. If he said the word and gave me the go to turn my world inside-out I would and I'd be happy doing it, as long as he'd have my back.

Three things scares me in life. Not living up to my father's expectations, living up to my father's expectations, and the real reason why he insists we keep this thing, this semi-relationship, a secret: that he wouldn't have my back, that he doesn't love me that way at all, that this is just experimentation for him, a phase, a fuck, a favour between friends.

I've lived with the first two my whole life, I'm used to them. It's the third one. That's the one that's going to break me, I just know it.

End.