The first time Michael was a prick Emmett contradicted him.

Justin was putting garbage from the diner in the dumpster when Michael came up to him.

"Why don't you just leave Brian now, you are only setting yourself up for more hurt later when he dumps you and you don't have any friends of your own."

With that he left a stunned Justin behind to stare after him. What he didn't know was that Emmett and Brian had heard the whole thing. They were stunned; they had never heard Michael be deliberately cruel like that before.

Later that night at Babylon Emmett pulled Justin to the dance floor.

"Come on Baby, you are so much more fun to dance with than these guys, they can never keep up, I'm so glad you joined our little group."

Brian felt oddly happy that Emmett had said that, Michael's remark earlier had bugged him and he was wandering what to tell Justin to dispute the claim, now he didn't have to.

The second time Michael was a prick Mel contradicted him.

Justin was in Mel and Linz's kitchen, he was there to look after Gus while the mothers were going to a meeting at the GLC. Michael and Brian were there on their way to Babylon because Brian had bought his son a gift.

"Don't you think it's unfair to Gus that you let him get attached to you when you know that Brian is going to get tired of you and dump you at some point, then what is he going to think?"

Both Mel and Brian heard him, though not from the same spot, Mel was in the dining room and Brian was on his way back inside after a smoke in the back yard. Brian was fuming, there was no way Mel and Linz would ever exclude Justin from Gus' life, even if he himself never fucked the kid again, they wouldn't do that to either Justin or Gus. What was the matter with Michael?

When Justin came back into the living room Mel smiled brightly at him.

"It is so great that you are doing this Justin, we don't want to just hire a babysitter who doesn't know and love Gus like we know that you do. We feel much safer knowing that you are with him. Now, we won't be back till late, there are formula in the fridge just remember to test it on your arm before you give it to him." She winked at him at the reference to the time after the leather ball when she had found him about to give Gus too hot formula. "There is also plenty of stuff to make sandwiches so you just eat, ok, honey?"

With that they all left and Brian felt a little lighter knowing that he had been right, Mel and Linz would make sure there were as many people in Gus' life that loved him as possible.

The third time Michael was a prick Ted contradicted him.

Michael was at the diner waiting for the gang when Justin came to take his order.

"Look, Justin, why don't you just go back to your parents, you know that you'll never be able to afford to go to college if your father decides to cut you off."

With that Justin turned around and went back to the counter, deciding that Michael could wait until the rest of them showed up. Brian and Ted had just arrived and heard Michael, and Ted was wondering why he sounded so delighted, either at the prospect of Justin actually going back to his parents, or him not being able to afford college. Brian was thinking of ways to get Justin to accept help from him if that should ever be an issue.

When everybody had arrived Justin came back to the table and after they had ordered Ted took hold of Justin's arm just as he was about to leave.

"Justin, do you save anything up off your wages here? If you do I'd like to help you either find a good savings account that will give you the most dividends or maybe invest in some safe stock options if you have enough for that. It's never too early to get into good habits about things like that."

Justin smiled and thanked him while Brian silently plotted to find a way to get Ted to not tell Justin that Brian had chipped in to whatever plan he came up with. He wanted Justin to be able to go to whatever college he decided he wanted to go to.

The fourth time Michael was a prick Deb contradicted him.

Justin was in his room at Debbie's house, or as Michael liked to remind him, it was Michael's room. Justin did think it was a little pathetic that a man of close to 30 still hadn't moved all his things out of his mother's house, but he knew better than to tell Michael that. Especially right now when Michael was standing in his room sneering at him.

"Why don't you just move back home right now. You are going to have to do it anyway when Brian dumps you, he won't want you to live with his best friend's mother then."

Brian and Deb had been on their way up to Justin's room, Deb to tell Michael that she had found the thing he had come over looking for, and Brian to ask Justin if he wanted to come over for the night, it was Friday after all.

Deb looked utterly surprised and was about to barge in and give Michael a piece of his mind but Brian just shook his head and grabbed her arm to lead her down the stairs.

When Michael and Justin came downstairs Brian was sitting at the table and Deb was making dinner.

"Hey, Sunshine, would you be a dear and set the table, Brian is staying, I don't know about Michael."

"Sure Deb."

Justin bent down to kiss Brian on his way to get the plates and Brian kissed him back with more passion.

"Hey, save that for later, I have to help Deb."

Justin was smiling while he said it and Brian grinned back and let him go. Justin turned to Michael.

"Are you staying for dinner?"

Michael nodded grudgingly, not liking it one bit that Brian hadn't pushed Justin away when he kissed him. Justin just smiled and went to get plates, cutlery and glasses. When the table was set he bounded up the stairs to tell Vic that dinner was almost ready.

When Vic and Justin came back downstairs Deb looked up and smiled.

"You know what, I had forgotten how nice it is to have a young person in the house to help out with things around here. Plus you keep Vic on his toes, trying to stay sharp for the young stud living under his roof."

Deb winked, Justin blushed, and Michael scowled while Brian and Vic laughed.

The fifth time Michael was a prick Lindsay contradicted him.

It was time for the semiannual art show at the GLC and Justin was hanging some of his things when Michael walked in and saw him. He was there to meet Brian who was there to talk to Lindsay.

He walked up behind Justin and pulled a face.

"You really think that you are talented enough to go anywhere with your art? I think you are deluding yourself and I can't understand why you don't just accept the offer to go to Dartmouth and make your father happy."

Brian and Lindsay had just entered the hall and both stopped at Michael's words. Lindsay looked completely shocked, but Brian just looked resigned, he had heard Michael go off on Justin so many times by now that he just shook his head.

Justin was done just as they stepped into the room and he turned around giving Brian his full sunshine smile and he couldn't help but smile back. All four of them left to do what they had to do before the show the same evening.

When they all gathered in front of Justin's work later that night the whole gang was there, including Vic and Debbie and Lindsay put a hand on Justin's shoulder.

"God, they are beautiful, honey, you have so much talent. I'm sometimes jealous of you; I wish I had as much talent as you do."

She gave him a smile that was a little sad but mostly proud.

"I've seen your stuff, Lindsay, and you are good."

"Yeah, I know, but good really isn't enough, and you are spectacular, or your talent is, with some formal training you'll go far in whatever field in the art world you choose."

Justin smiled brightly at her and Brian slung his arm around his shoulder, glad that Lindsay had said something.

The sixth time Michael was a prick Brian had had enough.

They were finished with Sunday dinner at Deb's when Justin said he wanted a smoke and went to the back yard. Not long after Michael got up and went after him. Brian found this suspicious since the only time Michael seemed to seek out Justin's company was when he wanted to say something nasty to him.

Brian got up, put a finger to his lips and went, quietly, to open the back door so everybody in the kitchen could hear what was going on; he didn't want to alert Michael to the fact that the others could hear him.

"You're really not as smart as you think you are you can't even see that Brian just doesn't know how to get rid of you. That's the only reason you're still here, not because he, or anybody else actually cares about you."

"Michael, are you not getting tired of trying to get rid of me, it's not working, I'm not going anywhere. Even if Brian never fucks me again I'm still staying. This is my family now too, so you better get used to it."

"This is not your family. You are nothing but a stray my mother took in because she felt sorry for you."

Deb looked like she was torn between wanting to rip Michael a new one and hugging Justin, but to her credit she stayed put; she had a feeling that Brian was going to take care of things. The rest of the table was shaking their heads, they had almost all heard Michael be nasty to Justin, but didn't think it was as bad as that.

The only one who looked completely shocked was David, he had never heard Michael sound so spiteful and mean before and he wondered where all that vitriol came from. He thought Michael had gotten over the idea that he wanted Brian for himself, but by the sound of it he hadn't; and that didn't bode well for their relationship.

Michael huffed, loud enough for the people in the kitchen to hear him and then he stalked up the stairs to the back porch and in through the still open door. He froze when he realized that they had all heard him and that Brian was standing just inside the door with an expression like a thunder cloud on his face.

Justin came in right behind him and looked around, confused as to why they all seemed to be really pissed about something.

"What's going on?"

Justin sounded as confused as he looked.

"I'd like to know the same thing. What do you think you'll accomplish by saying all those things to Justin?"

Brian turned to Michael, still with the same expression on his face and Michael flinched as if he had been hit.

"Come on, Brian, you know it's true, you just don't know how to tell the brat that you don't want him around anymore."

"You know what, Mikey? You don't know shit, if I didn't want Justin around I would tell him so, have you ever known me to not tell someone to fuck off if they weren't welcome?"

Michael shook his head, a little worried about the anger in Brian's voice.

"Good, now cut that shit out, I'm tired of listening to this shit."

"What, Boy Wonder has run to daddy when I have said something to hurt his wittle feelings?"

"I'm not his fucking daddy, and Justin hasn't told me shit, I've heard you try to get rid of him for months now, and it ends tonight. I'm not telling the good doctor to leave you, am I? That he's not welcome in this family, that nobody wants him around?"

"Why would you do that? David is my boyfriend; Justin is just a convenient fuck for you."

"You really believe that he's convenient? Do you have any idea how not convenient he really is? He makes a fucking mess off the loft."

At that Justin backhanded him gently.

"Hey, I do not make a mess."

Brian smirked at him and then turned back to Michael.

"It takes a lot longer to fuck him than a quick in and out with someone else and then I have to actually talk to the twat, there isn't a single thing about him that's convenient, besides, when have you ever know me to need convenient, like it was so hard for me to get some ass."

Brian scoffs and rolls his eyes at the same time as Mel does. With that Brian slung his arm around Justin's neck and gave Gus a little kiss on the top of his head and then the two left to go back to the loft for an inconvenient fuck.