Title: "The Last Dance"
Author: Mala
E-mail: malisita@yahoo.com
Fandom: "Queer as Folk"-US.
Rating/Classification: 'R' for language. Angst, Brian/Justin.
Disclaimer: Nope...don't own them. Some of the internal dialogue in ** is not mine but comes from the first episode of the season "Sexy and 17."
Notes: Now, I haven't actually SEEN the first season finale. I'm just working purely from what I've read and heard.
Summary: What happened to Justin could play out several different ways. "For Anyone" was one way...this is another.

"You can dance-every dance with the guy
Who gives you the eye, let him hold you tight
You can smile-every smile for the man
Who held your hand 'neath the candle light
But don't forget who's takin' you home
And in whose arms you're gonna be
So darlin' save the last dance for me."
--The Drifters.

"Oh, Kiddo...no. Don't...not this time."

You push your feet forward...one after the other...and you walk, slowly, up the hall. You try to filter out her well-meaning voice...you stare straight ahead at the bright lights, at the "Exit" sign because you know you can't look her in the eye. If you do, you might give up...you might give in...and goddamn it, Brian Kinney never gives in.

"He needs you. Sunshine *needs* you, Brian."

A bloodstained scarf is clutched in your fingers. You remember bits and pieces of an old song...something about remembering who's taking you home and in whose arms you're gonna be...which is weird because you *never* remember...and you know it's better for you to forget.

"*Well I guess we're all a little scared our first time. But I don't remember any more."*

The night air beckons you as you push against the double doors. And as you step over, you glance back. At Deb. At her tears and her pain and her disappointment. Nothing new. That's all you ever bring to anyone. That and the occasional near-fatal head injury.

You wince. You stumble a little. You get a vague wisp of bright blue eyes and ice cream being dripped on your nose. And then it's gone. Filed away in the lockbox at the back of your skull.

"Nobody *needs* me," you assure, softly.

And you don't look back again.

***

"How is he?" you ask, throat raw, lips suddenly unused to forming words. "Can I see him?"

What a picture you must make...the infamous Brian Kinney with a tearstained face and his best friend practically holding him up.

The doctor stares at you both from behind thick glasses and the doors behind him keep opening and closing as staff runs to and fro. Machines make noise and hinges creak and, somewhere...somewhere there's death happening right this minute.

"We're only allowing family to see the patient at this time, Sir," the officious prick announces, like he's reading the script off the chart held loosely in his hands. "What are you to Mr. Taylor?"

"Holy Jesus fuck." Mikey's hand on your neck keeps you from springing forward and throwing a punch and you shake your head, violently. "I'm his..." Boyfriend? *"I don't do boyfriends."* "I'm his..." Lover? Partner? *Ha*. Desperation rips up your vocal cords and sends acid rain dripping down your cheeks. "He's *mine*," you hiss, finally, straining against Mike's arms.

And, inside, you're laughing. Mad Hatter laughter. *What are you to Mr. Taylor?* Isn't that the eternal question? You don't even know. Nothing? Didn't you want to be nothing?

The doctor blinks. Twice. Apparently unfazed by a little gay drama. And he sounds like a clinical voice-over on the t.v. when he speaks. "Mr. Taylor sustained severe blunt trauma to the head. This trauma resulted in a mild skull fracture, accompanied by swelling. He is unconscious at the moment. He may be unconscious for hours...perhaps days. The sooner he wakes up, the better his chances for a full recovery."

"'Perhaps days'?" Your voice rises like a queen of the first order and you can't stop it. Just like you can't stop shaking. "You mean he's in a coma? Oh, fuck...I put him in a coma...it's all my fault...it's my fault...I did this..."

     

You don't know when they all came. When they converged...but Deb takes your hands and Emmett rubs your shoulder and somebody tells you "You didn't do this to him. It wasn't you" and you want to puke.

     

Of course it was you. It's always you. Your hands are still stained with his blood. You could've stopped this. You could've turned away from that gorgeous trick under the streetlight. You could've told him "no" a thousand times after that. You could've kicked his ass to the curb and *meant* it when you said "get out." But you didn't. You let him keep coming around. You let him strip for you with all that fucking glory in his eyes and take you in over and over again.

     

*"I want you to always remember this, so that no matter who you're ever with, I'll always be there."*

     

Somewhere deep inside, you knew he'd never leave no matter what you did, what you said. And you're too selfish to get rid of something that benefits you...that makes you feel good and strong and like a man.

     

You might as well have swung the bat yourself.

     

***

     

You've danced before. A million times. With a million different people. Grind of bodies out on the floor in Babylon...the prowl, the chase, the conquest. But this is different. A high school gym with this kid in your arms, people stopped in their tracks around you, and you dip him like you've seen couples do in old black and whites.

He laughs and you've heard the sound a million times, in a million different contexts, but this time it sounds different. Clearer. Surround sound. You both know who's taking who home...in whose arms you're gonna be...

You're not even sure you went to your own senior prom. You might've been smoking up in the back yard with Mikey...that's what you always seemed to be doing when other kids were doing those big, sweeping Rites of Passage things. So, you certainly weren't going to make some ridiculously romantic gesture and come to Justin's. No. You even mocked him, snarled, when he asked.

Brian Kinney doesn't do boyfriends. Doesn't do love. *Definitely* doesn't do proms.

But here you are, savoring this Very Special Episode moment. And he tastes so hot and so sweet and so fucking over-the-moon because you came and you think it might just be a little contagious because you're grinning and whispering candy-ass things to him under your breath and wanting...almost wanting...

You link hands and flee to the parking garage...dark shadows and light touches and something...oh, yeah...something.

And you don't look back. You only look forward...to the private little after Prom you'll have when he takes Daphne home and the strange, new silence between the two of you that you can't even really understand.

That's why you never see it coming.

That's why it all goes to Hell.

--end--

December 31, 2001.



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