Author Notes: I'm not a big fan of most of season 4 or season 5 in general, but the scene when Brian pushed Justin out of the loft has always bothered me. That was a pretty violent action and I wished it had been addressed in the show. I wish there had been some kind of reaction, and that's where this little story came from. I would also like to thank JustBeAQueen for being a fabulous beta.
Brian wanted to drown himself in alcohol, but knew that it wouldn't solve anything. His thoughts kept going back to what had happened just a couple of hours ago. Brian had found out that Justin knew about the cancer. He was angry, not at Justin, but at himself. He was no longer perfect. He was short one ball. His biggest fear was that Justin would come to his senses and leave him; he wouldn't blame the blond either, but the idea terrified him. Before Justin could leave, Brian decided he would strike first.
He didn't just tell Justin to go, oh no. Brian knew Justin wouldn't leave just because he said to. If Justin would, that whole first year before the prom and the years following would never have happened. He physically shoved Justin out of the loft before slamming the steel door shut. He took a hot shower to drown out the shouts and pleas from Justin. When he stepped out, it was now quiet outside of the loft; Justin had given up.
The image he couldn't get out of his head was him pushing Justin out. It continuously flashed before his eyes. He had never raised his hand before; one of his biggest fears was turning out to be no better than Jack Kinney. That line was now crossed though. He may have not hit or punched, but he had pushed Justin, one of the most important people in his life. What if Justin had fallen and had hit his head on the ground? With his previous head injury, any head injuries would be twice as dangerous to him.
He didn't deserve Justin, and if Justin knew what is good for him, he'd stay away.
He tried to forget about the blond, about his sunshine smile, about his helpful hands, about his eyes full of love. It wasn't so easy. He couldn't forget that he had pushed Justin out of his life, literally. The idea that Justin could have been hurt was haunting him.
When the blond didn't attempt to reconcile, when he didn't stalk him as in that first year, Brian knew he had to make sure Justin was okay, if only to put his mind at ease.
Deep down, he knew he just wanted to see Justin and showing that he cared would endear Justin to the idea of stalking him and breaking down his defenses once again. It may have not been good for the younger man's wellbeing, but Brian wanted Justin back in his life, even if he had to make the first move. It was selfish, but Brian had always been a selfish, arrogant asshole. It was a universal truth.
Brian was waiting for Justin outside of PIFA, fighting off a bout of nausea; radiation was a fucking bitch. The brunet knew Justin was going to be coming out of his last class before going to the diner for his shift. It really was kind of pathetic that Brian knew Justin's schedule just as good, if not better, than his own.
Suddenly, the sunlight seemingly got brighter as the young man was seen walking across the campus. He hadn't yet noticed Brian or the 'vette as he was in a deep conversation with another guy. Brian felt a twinge of emotion that he had first come to know when Justin won the King of Babylon contest and chose to go to the backroom with a nameless trick over him, and then again during the Ian fiasco. It was an emotion he didn't like, but it was there as the unknown guy touched Justin's shoulder with a too familiar touch. Brian wondered for a moment if this guy was the reason he hadn't tried too hard to get Brian to let him in to help. Maybe Justin liked the guy and the guy was easier, and Justin wanted easy now after trying to deal with Brian and all of his hang ups. Brian quickly shook the thought away. He might have pushed Justin away because of insecurity, no matter how much he may protest the notion, but he wasn't so insecure that he didn't believe in Justin's feelings. The two of them have been through so much together and were both past most of the insecurity that helped Ian come to fruition in their lives.
Brian pushed himself away from the car and walked a few feet until he was standing right in Justin's path. The blond still hadn't noticed him, but his companion did. Justin turned, most likely to see why his buddy was no longer looking at him, but instead sharing straight ahead. "Brian…"
"Speechless Sunshine? That's a first." Even as the words came out of his mouth, Brian inwardly cringed, but outwardly kept a straight face.
"Fuck you asshole."
Brian turned to Justin's silent companion. "I'm Brian, and you would be…" Brian stated in mock politeness.
"Steven," this ballsy kid answered as he put his arm on Justin, resting it on his shoulders.
Brian's eyes narrowed as a wave of nausea hit him, forcing him to close his eyes as he pressed a hand to his mouth, his knees almost buckling. He breathed deeply, trying to fight the feeling of wanting to vomit.
Justin was at his side quickly, rubbing his back in small circles. Brian hadn't seen him move to his side, but was grateful for the warm hands on his body as his stomach settled. "I guess I don't have to ask if you started radiation yet."
Brian shook his head as he stood up straight, regaining his lost composure. "We need to speak." It wasn't a question.
Now that Justin was sure Brian was okay, he was back to being aloof. "We have nothing to discuss. You made yourself perfectly clear at the loft. I have the bruise to prove it."
Suddenly Brian felt like he was suffocating. "Bruise…you have a bruise?"
Justin must have seen something in the older man's eyes, because his own softened considerably, along with his voice. "I was exaggerating Bri. It was only a slight red mark from where you grabbed my arm. It's completely gone now."
"It doesn't matter; I'm no better than him." He stumbled to his car, not listening to Justin's cry to stop. He needed to get out of there.
Brian wanted to stay out all night, forgetting about everything, but he ended up going home early. He couldn't fuck, he couldn't drink, and he couldn't get high. He felt sick and just wanted to sleep away the pain.
When the steel door was pulled open the smell of soup with chicken broth wafted under his nose, turning his already sour stomach. He leaned against the counter as Justin expertly prepared the soup, waiting to be noticed. After being ignored seemingly forever (when it was probably just a couple minutes), he decided to confront Justin. "What the fuck are you doing here and how the fuck did you get in?"
"I still have my key. I never gave it back, or did you forget?"
"You should leave."
"It may be easier to leave, but it wouldn't make me happy you selfish son of a bitch." It was all said very nonchalantly.
"Go back to Stewart; he's better for you."
Justin chuckled with very little humor behind it. "First of all, it's Steven. Second of all, he's only a friend; although he's made it pretty clear he's interested in more. I only want friendship though and he knows it. Third of all, you might make everything a goddamn fight, but I still love you. I'm willing to duke it out if I have to."
Brian's eyes shift down. "I pushed you."
"That's really bothering you, isn't it?"
Brian exploded, "Of course it is." He continued quieter, "When my father was using me as his personal punching bag, I promised myself that I would never ever follow in his footsteps, and I'm already on that path."
Justin stepped close to the older man, resting a hand gently on his flat stomach, soothingly rubbing it. "You are nothing like your father. You are obviously feeling regret, and don't you dare say 'no apologies, no regrets.'" Brian closed his mouth. "There isn't a good excuse for doing it, but you weren't in the right state of mind. You were angry and scared, and yes Brian, you do do fear, so don't you dare deny it."
"No," The fiery blond interrupted. "You don't get to push me off of another infamous Kinney cliff for my supposed own good. I get to make my own decisions and decide where I want to be, and I want you be with you, you giant prick. Now you will lie down and eat the goddamn soup. Do I make myself clear?"
Brian stayed silent, but him walking up the steps and to the bed without anymore fuss was answer enough. Justin huffed a breath of relief as he spooned some soup. He quietly made his way to the bed and handed it to his pouting, although Brian would deny the action vehemently, lover. "Eat as much as you can. I'm going to go clean up; yell if you need anything."
There were no interruptions as Justin quietly worked at getting the kitchen back to its pristine condition. When he peeked over at the bed, the soup was on the bedside table near the bowl of condoms and Brian was lying on his side, clutching his stomach. Justin made sure that the trash can was within reach of Brian. As he turned away to go keep himself busy while Brian rested, his hand was grabbed by Brian.
Justin gazed into his lover's eyes. Brian's eyes spoke volumes that he would never allow his mouth to verbalize. Brian wanted him to stay, without feeling weak for asking.
He climbed into bed after shedding his pants, keeping his shirt, socks, and boxer briefs on. Brian was rubbing Justin's arm, the same place where he had harshly grabbed it.
Justin softly squeezed Brian's side. "It's okay. It was a mistake, one I'm sure you'll never make again. I forgive you; you just need to forgive yourself now."
Brian's eyes locked onto Justin's; they were searching, trying to figure out if he was truly forgiven. He saw nothing but pure honesty and trust in those bright blue irises. He bent his head, and their lips met in a soft kiss, filled with emotions that were not uttered, emotions that no longer had to be uttered to know that they were there. The kiss wasn't passionate, but soft and loving and filled with promises. Brian drifted off into a restless sleep, being haunted by inner demons, as Justin watched over the man he loved, similar to 2 years in the past, when Brian would watch over Justin's sleep as he tossed and turned from night terrors. The situations were reversed this time, but the same feelings were there and stronger.
Their relationship wasn't easy, but they would overcome everything that was thrown at them because their love was real and not of the hallmark brand. They just had to stay strong.