11:49 AM. August 7, 2005

Justin's POV

He is making a mistake. It runs through his head like a mantra. Shouldn't have left, shouldn't have left, shouldn't have left. As the taxi had long since left the curb at La Guardia, the fleeting streets of New York outside his window are replaced by what happened the night before.

When he'd kissed him in the loft, he hadn't been able to hide the despair he'd felt. He'd kissed him like a man condemned and he'd known that Brian had been able to tell that the brave face that he'd put on had been nothing more than a farce. What he'd said was true, they didn't know if they'd ever see each other again. They might still live happily ever after, but they might not. Much as it would kill the both of them slowly, there really wasn't any way to tell.

It's only time.

So Justin had kissed him like he was never going to kiss him again, and when they'd made love, he'd clung to him desperately as if he were drowning and Brian was the only thing keeping him afloat. He'd mapped Brian's body, committed it to memory, and even though it'd been too deep, too hard, too rough, he knew that he would never forget a single second of it. He didn't know how he'd managed not to cry for Brian's sake and his own – he'd wanted to, for what could have and should have been – but he'd known that he couldn't and somehow the tears hadn't come. He'd felt like it was his responsibility to maintain the semblance of hope he'd put on for both their sakes so it was surprising to him when Brian hadn't been able to repress the pure anguish that had escaped from his chest each time he'd come. He was certain that he had left as many bruises on Brian as he'd counted on his own skin this morning.

He hadn't been able to say goodbye to him. Sneaking out of the loft before Brian had woken up wasn't something he was particularly proud of, but the thought of leaving him there, walking away while he watched, was unbearable. Insupportable, as they said in French. Sometimes the French had it right. Leaving him like that...well, it just wasn't an option that he could consider.

He yawns.

He hadn't been able to sleep, either. They'd been up most of the night, but Brian had finally fallen asleep around 5 AM. Justin had tried to sleep, too, at first – until the realisation that this could be it hit him. Afterwards, he'd stayed awake not out of choice but out of necessity. He had to be awake when the sun rose. He'd done it a million times and he'd watched Brian sleep more times than he was willing to admit even to himself, so it only seemed fitting that he do it one last time. He was exhausted, but his determination to savour ever last second they had together had won out. It might have been better to have slept, he decides now. He'd hoped that it would be cathartic to watch him, but it wasn't. So when Justin had finally left the loft, he hadn't looked back. As he slid the heavy metal door shut behind him, he was filled not with any semblance of closure but a sense of crippling surety deep in the pit of his stomach that he was making the biggest mistake of his life.

Brian's POV

When Brian wakes up it is to the dull grinding noise of his loft door opening. He forces open his eyes still swollen with sleep just in time to see Justin leave without looking back. He stays where he is and says nothing and before he can rouse himself into action Justin is gone and he is alone.

9: 58 PM. April 8, 2012

Brian's POV

"Kinney."

"Are you sitting down?"

He can hear the smile in Ted's voice even over the phone. He feels his pulse quicken and he leans into his phone. Of course he is sitting down. He's just parked his car in the garage and is pulling his keys from the ignition. "Give me the good news, Theodore."

"Kinnetik has had a record breaking quarter in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago. The Los Angeles branch alone has already doubled our projections from last year." Ted stops to clarify, "Our nationwide projections."

A crazed grin breaks out on his face even though he manages to keep his voice level in the dark. "Jesus."

"It's time, Brian." The connection crackles.

He knows what is coming. He isn't sure if he wants to hear it. "For what?"

"New York."

Justin's POV

"You're late."

Justin's heart seizes in his chest and he lets out a semi-girlie, panicked shriek. "JesusfuckingChristyouscaredmeMiles!"

Laughter bounces from the overstuffed sofa on the other side of the room. Miles lets the newspaper he was reading flop down so that his green eyes can find Justin's across the apartment. He smiles. "I'm sorry, baby. How was your day?"

Justin lets his messenger bag slide from his shoulder onto the floor. "What are you doing here?" his tone is slightly suspicious. "I thought you were supposed to be back tomorrow morning!"

"The exhibit wasn't nearly as promising as we expected. I was able to catch an earlier flight." Miles closes his newspaper and tosses it aside. "I've been home since four."

Justin crosses the room and takes the paper from Miles' grip. He folds it carefully, sets it beside him on the sofa and climbs onto Miles' lap, straddling his hips and cupping his face gently. "Good..." he punctuates each word with a kiss. "Missed...you." He pulls away with an incandescent smile on his face. "I'm glad you're home. How was Chicago?"

Miles practically purrs. "Horrible. It rained the whole time we were there and the food was terrible." His arms come up under Justin's t-shirt to stroke his bare back. "There's some gnocchi in the fridge. I had to eat without you."

Justin shoots him a knowing look. "Gnocchi?"

A smile tugs at the corners of Miles' lips. "Yeah, gnocchi."

The first time that Miles asked him out, he turned him down. The second and the third time, too. It wasn't until the fourth time he asked that Justin had finally caved and said yes. The day that Miles asked him out for the fourth time was the day after what would have been their third wedding anniversary. It also happened to be the first year that Brian didn't come to New York to spend the day with him.

"Really? You've never tried gnocchi before?"

Justin shook his head.

"Well, then," Miles' voice dropped conspiratorially, "you are in for a treat. It's my grandmother's secret Italian family recipe. And I happen to be an excellent cook."

Justin smiled. "Are you sure that there isn't anything I can do?"

"Actually," Miles took a deep sip of his wine, "there is. You can tell me why you finally said yes."

Justin leaned in and silenced him with his mouth.

Justin's hands drop to loosen Miles' silk tie. "I had a late lunch at the studio."

"Excellent." Miles leans forward and holds Justin's lower lip between his teeth for an instant before kissing him soundly.

Justin slides his hands down the front of Miles' dress shirt and tugs it from his pants. He unbuttons it carefully, meticulously even, before sending it to the floor in a wrinkled heap. When he drags his nails across Miles' chest, he watches as he casts his head back against the back of the sofa and exhales sharply. He snickers when he feels Miles' cock twitch between his legs.

"I think you missed me, too." Justin brushes his lips again Miles' earlobe. His legs are starting to cramp, so he shifts his weight to accommodate and grinds harder against the bulge in Miles' pants.

Miles moans again and lets out a string of inappropriate words under his breath. He has clearly finished humouring him. He stands up with Justin's legs wrapped around his waist and, as Justin's laughter rings through the apartment, carries him to their bedroom.

"I'll take that as a yes."

Miles lays him gently against the mattress and jerks his jeans down his hips.

"No underwear?" he asks, surprised.

"I left them at the studio."

"You're awfully promiscuous, Mr. Taylor."

Justin moans when Miles strokes him. "Mhmm."

It isn't long before Justin's shirt joins the rest of his clothes on the hardwood. Dropping lower, he spreads Justin's legs and runs his tongue up the length of his shaft before taking the tip into his mouth and sucking gently.

Justin fists his hands in Miles' dark, wavy hair and gasps his name.

Out of nowhere, Miles and his warm mouth disappear but then they are back and a slippery finger bypasses his balls and strokes him softly.

"Please." It is filled with longing. "Please, Miles."

The finger is gone again.

The sound of the condom wrapper ripping open is the most beautiful thing Justin has heard in years. It is the most beautiful thing he's heard in years only because there are no sirens. He cannot taste any smoke and the slate grey walls of their bedroom are not the dark wood panels at Britin. When it is over and Miles has collapsed on top of him it is all words.

"I love you."

"I love you, Miles."

"I'll love you forever. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Justin."

Justin's heart is pounding so hard he wonders if Miles can hear it. He knows what was coming. He isn't surprised when he hears Miles say it and when Justin gives his answer, they lay there together for hours holding one another and laughing through their tears.

Marry me, Justin.

It isn't until much later that he becomes sad upon the realisation that he hadn't thought of Brian when he'd said yes.

7:33 PM. September 2, 2005

Brian's POV

Justin practically attacks him when he opens the door and now the little twat has wedged his face into his neck and is half-sniffling, half-sobbing against the collar of his jacket. "What took you so fucking long? You asshole, that was the longest month of my life. I missed you so much. Could you have waited any longer to come and see me?"

Brian doesn't answer him, only hugs him tighter and buries his nose in the silky blonde strands that he's loved for five years. When Justin has finally gotten his shit together, he pulls back and stares into his eyes. They are red rimmed from crying and look a thousand times bluer than Brian remembers. He tilts Justin's chin upwards and kisses him hard. When they finally break apart, he opens his mouth—I missed you, too. I missed you so fucking much—and asks, "Are you going to let me in or should we just fuck in the hall?"

Justin's face lights up with a grin and he laughs. "It is kind of dirty out here."

The apartment that Justin is sharing with Daphne's friend is even worse than the drug dens and rattraps that he'd pictured on the flight to New York. When Justin pulls him inside and drags him to his bedroom he pulls his mouth away long enough to mumble something about his roommate having gone away for the weekend.

When they make love this time, it is every bit as desperate as it had been the night before Justin had left for New York. Brian knows that he'd accidentally ripped one of the seams on Justin's t-shirt in his struggle to get it off as quickly as possible. They are every bit as insatiable as they'd been every time before and the noises they make are maybe even more anguished than they'd ever been. At one point he notices that his face is wet, but so is Justin's and he has no idea whether the salty tears he tastes are Justin's or his own. It isn't until afterward, when they are lying face-to-face on their sides, clutching each other tightly, that Brian begins to feel that maybe—just maybe—things are going to be okay.


A/N: Queer as Folk and its characters, etc., belong to Showtime and CowLip.

Title is not mine either. Thanks, John Mayer.

So, I watched the season 5 finale and it shattered my heart. I wouldn't change the ending, but...ungh. This is how I'm coping.

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Let me know what you think :)