In The Way You Do
by Glenn

Michael is restless, even in slumber.

His tossing and turning has roused me from a rather delicious dream involving cherries, chocolate syrup and a blindfold. I would have smiled, except that an elbow to the stomach and an almost successful jab to the chin, have made me take refuge on my side of the bed. Michael battles once again with monsters in his sleep, and whatever they are, they're putting up a hell of a fight.

He's been dreaming a lot these days. Ever since my homecoming from the hospital. I know he worries about me now more than ever. He can't help it; it's in his nature to care about the welfare of those he loves: Debbie, his uncle, his friends, Brian...

And now, me.

I've seen him track my movements when we're together in a room. As if I'll collapse again as I'm making dinner, or while reaching into the drawer for lube and condoms. However much he tries to live in the now, Michael fears what the future holds for us. Hence, his nightly campaigns to save the universe. I know him all too well. As does Brian.

Ah, Brian...

"That I know him in a way you don't."

Suddenly, I could hear that past echo reverberate inside my head. My own words from a night long ago...a snippet of memory that still strikes fear in me whenever it chooses to pop up. Just like now. Because that night could have ended badly, because Michael and I could have ended badly.

Who would have thought that a casual fuck years ago would come back to haunt the form of Michael's best friend, Brian Kinney?

Excuse me, THE Brian Kinney.

Who didn't know him, the reigning king of gay Pittsburgh? Certainly, I knew who he was at the White Party when he sauntered into the bar, bored out of his mind, drugged out of his skull. As his eyes roamed over the teeming landscape made from ridged muscle and sun-kissed flesh. And when those hazel orbs finally deigned to land on me....

Certainly, I knew I was about to waltz with royalty.

And what a waltz it was...Not even the disclosure of my HIV status made him fall out of rhythm; in fact, it even made our coupling even more desirable to him. As if dancing with death was a wish finally coming true.

And then, up in his room, Brian fucked me.

"They say his fucks are legendary." Michael's voice ripple across my mind.

Oh, he more than lived up to his reputation. A guaranteed promise of unrestrained power and an orgasm you'd be breathing hard from many days after. He knew all the tricks...when to ease in to pull out just right...what to grip for prolonged pleasure...where to press for added sensation...a thrust here to make you sigh...a nibble here to make you moan...He knew all the moves. And reveled in his perfection. He fucked me hard and good, I think he could have fucked me all night, if he wanted.

But I didn't.

Because you know, after all the hype, however well-deserved it may be, it was still just sweat and semen. Fucking him was the music in Babylon and every other gay club in the world. All screaming bass, thumping rhythm, a momentary, brain-numbing high. And I was fucking tired of dancing to the same old tune over and over again.

So I left right after I came. And never thought of him and that night since. Until that fuck almost fucked up my life...

A sound issues from Michael, jerking me back to the present. As I move closer, he stirs uneasily, hands in panicked flight as he searches for me. The moment his fingers touch me, calm settles upon him quickly and he burrows his slender, naked form against my warmth. His face then nestles into its favorite nook at the juncture of my neck and shoulder, as he drapes a hand across my stomach, pulling me even closer.

And I feel his lips whisper against my skin: "I thought I lost you there...for a minute."

I look at him, his head now raised, his bed-battered hair spiking every which way, his eyes trying to blink away his panic. I had to say something...

"I'm not going anywhere. I'll be here-" But he swoops down to kiss me, cutting me off before I finish. He doesn't want me to promise something we both know I may never be able to keep. Like forever, like always.

"But there is no always...there's only now."

This was what Michael had said that to me that night, when we finally made love for the first time. The decision we were about to make was going to be life-changing, to say the least. I was so fucking turned on but I was still unsure -- even more so than Michael, I think -- as I remembered the other time he was here, how scared he was, how devastated I'd been.

But now Michael was sure, and as he told me sometime after, he had never been so sure in all his life as he was that night. It was actually funny when you thought about it. He was the one at risk but I found myself being the one that needed reassurance. And he did give it to me.

In the form of long, slow, drugging kisses. In his each soft moan and impatient whimper as I explored his body. In every possessive caress he bestowed on mine. And when I entered him, his eyes told me everything that I needed to know - that he wanted to be with me. For now, for always, for whatever time we were allowed to be-


"What did you say, baby?''

"I said, I liked this, us sleeping together."

I'm glad to see that his nighttime fears have been allayed for the moment. But just to be sure...

"I like it too." I smile suggestively, to which Michael answers by rolling his eyes.

"I didn't mean that, you nympho! You know, just lying here, snuggled up together. It's nice." He snuggles up to me again, for emphasis.

"Yes, it is nice. But I dreamt of something nicer."

"What?" Michael's grin begins to grow, the corners of his mouth quirking up and giving his face an almost impish air.

"But I thought you just wanted to snuggle tonight. So...let's snuggle." Hugging Michael tightly, hiding my smile against his shoulder.

"Benjamin Bruckner!"

"Yeah, Ma?" A pillow to the head greets my Michael impersonation, which is, if I may say so myself, quite terrific.

"C'mon, tell me."

"Now who's the nympho?"


How could I resist that? As if I want to, anyway...So I tell him of my dream. I whisper in his ear every wicked little thing I could think of. What I'd do to him...How I'd blindfold him so he would only focus on hands... How the cherries would taste even sweeter...How the syrup would ooze down his body...How I'd lick it off...drop by sticky drop...

Michael's breath quickens and his body writhes against me, heightening my own arousal. I can feel his heart beating quickly in time with mine. And almost instinctively, we move. Our bodies gravitate towards one another, mine turning, his rising, until they lie flush. Lips kissing, chests touching, hands entangling, groins grinding against one another...

In wondrous rhythm.

In graceful measure.

In intimate harmony.

In pulse-pounding, mind-blowing synchronicity.

And when we finish, our bodies now growing quiet, heartbeats slowing down, breaths gentling, we somehow find ourselves arranged in a familiar pattern: on our sides, with my body spooned up behind his. He sighs as I nuzzle his neck...

"Wow, that was..." He is trying to describe what just happened.

"Yeah, it was." Suddenly, immediately, no more words are required between us tonight. Except maybe, for this:

"I love you."

"I love you too."

And with that, we close our eyes and settle down to sleep. A stray memory comes to my tired mind, something he said to me long ago:

"And he knows you in a way that I do."

No, baby. Never in the way you do.


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