Title: "The Sum of Their Parts"
Author: monimala
Fandom: Nip/Tuck
Rating/Classification: AC for language, some adult content, Christian/Sean slash implications, angst.
Disclaimer: SO not mine.
Summary: This is his fourteenth mid-life crisis. 450 words. Filler scene for S4.3, "Monica Wilder."

This is his fourteenth mid-life crisis. He hates to admit that he's in his goddamn mid-life, but there you have it. His car is obnoxious, his ass hurts from the lipo lunch, and if he drives just fast enough, he can forget everything he wishes he couldn't remember. The Carver. Kit. Kimber. Goddamn Kimber, who is even less recognizable even though her face is perfect again. He fixed her. He fixed her and she's still broken, never that slightly shallow girl he was going to marry.

And he would have, damn it.

That's what he tells himself. If Quentin hadn't grabbed her, hadn't cut her, he'd be a husband now. Maybe they'd be having a baby. A perfect little monster. The sum of their parts.

Connor stares at him from behind the glass, looking so much like Sean with that accusatory expression that it sucker punches him. He gasps, resting his forehead against the barrier and closing his eyes against the sea of babies, of new life and hope and bullshit in diapers. The kid is just a few hours old and he already knows that his uncle Christian is a liar, a fraud, a fake.

A nurse brushes by him, jerking him out of his reverie. The bitch probably did it on purpose, thinking he's some kind of pervert, trolling for jollies in the neonatal ward. He's a pervert, but not like that. Never like that. "I promise, Connor," he whispers, staring at those tiny, misshapen hands. "I promise I'll protect you."

It's not a promise he expects to keep. He whispered the same thing over Matty's crib, and holding Annie's hand before her first day of pre-school. And he's done so well with them, hasn't he? Uncle Christian the liar, the fraud, the fake.

He is not in love with Sean.

They've been friends for 20 years and, no, goddamn it, he's not in love with Sean.

Even though they know each other better than anyone. Even though, in 20 years, their partnership has been mistaken for *that* kind of partnership too many times to count. *Licking chocolate cake crumbs from Sean's fingers, whispering "sweetheart" and "baby" and faking spun-sugar smiles for the cake consultant.* Even though Sean yelled, "I loved you the most," after finding out about him and Julia -- and isn't that the fucking queerest declaration ever? Even though he wakes up in a sweat some nights, jerking off until his cock goes soft...and realizes he was dreaming of a surgeon's hands on his body. Skilled, precise, the best hands in the business. Next to his own, of course.

He would have married Kimber.

*Fake*.

It would have been enough.

*Fraud*.

Connor's gaze doesn't waver.

*Liar*.

--end--

September 25, 2006



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