Brian and Michael

"Always have, always will." - Brian Kinney

Brian Kinney and Michael Novotny are from the US version of Queer As Folk. They were lifelong best friends with a unique relationship that did not make a lot of sense to anyone outside of the pair. While never romantically involved, Brian and Michael's love for each other ran deeper than most romantic pairings, and there was always an undercurrent of sexual tension behind all of their interactions. Keeping their relationship pseudo-platonic allowed them the freedom to love each other freely outside of the confines of a normal dating scenario, while also protecting their bond from what they probably thought would be an inevitable implosion should they ever give in to their desires and actually sleep with one another.

The greatest thing about Brian and Michael as a pair is how supportive they were of each other. Michael continually justified Brian's actions to others, and Brian always pushed Michael towards achieving his dreams, often times with poorly thought out consequences, but they were always there for each other. They knew each other better than anyone and could always go to each other with their problems without judgment. Both of them were seen to drop everything to come to their friend's side at a moment's notice, Michael before boarding a plane to start his new life with David, and Brian leaving work just before a big meeting with a new client, without hesitation. Brian may have had Justin in his life, but outside of their physical connection, Brian's most character revealing scenes consistently involved Michael. When he was craving comfort after talking to his dad, reeling after his dad's funeral, or needing to confide his fears about surviving cancer, he went to Michael. Whenever Michael wasn't around, Brian would be lost, and when Michael eventually got married to Ben and started devoting most of his time towards his family, Brian lashed out in a way that we had never seen before. While it wasn't healthy the way that Brian kept toying with Michael's feelings throughout the years, Brian was emotionally stunted himself and didn't know any better how to ensure that Michael remained in his life.

By the end of the series, after everything they had been through together, Brian and Michael had finally reached an even level in their relationship. Sure, Michael had a husband and children, but he still retained his deep love for his best friend and almost-lover Brian. I wouldn't condone or want Michael to do anything to mess up his relationship with Ben, but I believe that if Michael were to end up alone at some point in the future, that he and Brian might be able to give it a go. I mean, Brian's son and Michael's daughter were even siblings, so there would really be no way for their connection to wane as the years went on. Brian never devoted himself to anyone else the way that he did to Michael, and changing himself to fit with anyone else (as he tried to do with Justin at the end of the series) just did not suit him. Michael wouldn't ever ask or want Brian to be anyone other than himself, but would give him the room to grow and change as he wanted to. Brian and Michael were as close to being lovers as you can get without actually sleeping with each other, and no matter what, that bond would be able to withstand anything that came their way.


Episode 1x04

Brian: "I want it to be you."

Michael: "What?"

Brian: "I want it to be you. I'll put it in writing."

Michael: "I want it to be you too. You pull my plug."

Brian: "And you pull mine."

Episode 1x10

Mysterious Marilyn: "Ouija, what is his true love's name? B-R-I-"

Ted: "Oh, this is too weird."

Michael: "That is not my boyfriend's name."

Mysterious Marilyn: "That wasn't the question, and frankly, he's a bad bet."

Brian: "I'm glad you came with me."

Michael: "We've always been there for each other."

Brian: "You more than me."

Michael: "That's not true."

Brian: "Yeah, it is. I know I can be shitty to you sometimes. I know that. But it's only because I know that you'll always love me, no matter what."

Michael: "I do."

Brian: "I do too. Always have, always will. I don't know how I could have made it without you. "

Episode 1x22

Brian: "Why do you always have to ruin everything?"

Michael: "Ruin? I'm saving you! Just like Toby Harper saved Captain Astro in issue 231 of Astro Comics, when Captain Astro thought that he'd lost all of his superpower."

Brian: "God, you are so pathetic."

Michael: "No, you are! Don't you know that you still have your powers? All your powers, and you always will. Whether you're 18, or you're 30, or you're 50, or you're 100. You will always be young and you will always be beautiful. You're Brian Kinney for fuck's sake!"

Episode 2x01

Michael: "I don't know where the fuck I belong."

[Brian pulls Michael in for a kiss]

Brian: "There. That's where."

Episode 2x03

Brian: "Hey, let's get a picture."

Michael: "That's for kids."

Brian: "Come on, Mikey."

Michael: "It's stupid."

Brian: "It wasn't stupid when we used to lock ourselves up in your room reading Captain Astro and Galaxy Lad, wishing we were invincible like them, and pretending that no earthly force could ever separate us, like them. And swearing that we'd always be there for each other, like them."

Michael: "You remember that?"

Episode 2x18

Michael: "I need to be strong."

Brian: "You are. You- You are strong."

Michael: "No I'm not, my mom was right."

Brian: "You're mom doesn't know shit. Listen to me. Listen to me. Listen to me. Are you listening?"

Michael: "I'm listening."

Brian: "The night Justin was bashed, and I called you, and you were about to get on a plane, and you came here and you sat with me for three days, waiting to see if he was going to live or die. If it hadn't been for you, I never would have made it. It was because of you. You're strong enough for both of us, and you're going to be strong for Ben."

[they kiss]

Episode 3x09

Brian: "When I'm on the 99th floor of my new office in New York City, this is all going to seem like a distant memory."

Michael: "Fine. Go. Take Justin with you."

Brian: "Hey! You didn't let me finish. It'll all seem like a distant memory, except for you. Because wherever I go, and whoever I'm with, I'll always love you."

Michael: "Bullshit."

Brian: "It's not bullshit."

[Brian kisses Michael on the forehead]

Episode 4x07

Michael: "I just...I just get scared at the thought of being alone."

Brian: "It's how we all came in. It's how we're all going out."

Michael: "Yeah, but until then, I'd...I'd prefer at least the illusion that someone else will be there, if only temporarily."

Brian: "Believe what you want, but...the less you have to hold on to, the easier it is to let go."

Michael: "Maybe so. Still, I'm glad I have you."

Brian: "Who said anything about me?"

Michael: "'s nice to know that no matter what happens, we'll always have each other, like we always have. Right?"

Episode 4x08

Michael: "I want it to be at that know, the one with all the stars' footprints? Wouldn't it be cool if...we had our footprints in the cement? Michael and Brian...immortalized forever. Just you and me."

Episode 4x13

Michael: "Ben proposed."

Brian: "Proposed what?"

Michael: "Marriage. It's legal for us to get married here in Toronto."

Brian: "I believe I read that somewhere. Well I hope that when he was down on his knees he did something useful."

Michael: "It was beautiful and heartfelt."

Brian: "I'm sure. But you declined, of course, because deep down, you still love me best."

Michael: "Shut up. I didn't give him an answer yet."

Brian: "Well, what's stopping you?"

Episode 4x14

Michael: "Hey, sport. How you doing?"

Brian: "Never should have had that second piece of wedding cake, but when the love of your life marries somebody else, what choice do you have but to drown yourself in butter cream filling?"

Episode 5x09

Debbie: "He got married. He had a family. You know, everything he's ever wanted to do as a kid. A normal home. [Brian laughs] Why do you have such a problem with that? I'll tell you why. You don't. Your problem is...he left you. He left you, and he moved on. Only he didn't. You and he just made different choices, that's all. It doesn't mean that you don't still love each other."

Brian: "He won't talk to me."

Debbie: "Then you talk to him."

Episode 5x12

Ben: "Look, you and Brian have a long and significant history, all right? There are a lot of strong feelings."

Michael: "'Were'."

Ben: "No, 'are'. Whether you want to admit it or not, you still love each other."

Michael: "I do not love him. I don't. And he certainly doesn't love me. I mean, did he show up once to visit me at the hospital?"

Ben: "As a matter of fact, he did. I'm sure he'd never want me to tell you this..."

Michael: "As if I care."

Ben: "But the night of the bombing, when you'd lost all that blood and we were afraid we were gonna lose you, Brian was with us in the E.R. He wanted to donate his own blood, but the doctor refused to take it because he's gay. Well, when Brian heard that, he went into a rage."

Michael: "He did?"

Ben: "Yeah, you should've seen him. He was like a wild man."

Michael: "Yeah, he can get that way."

Ben: "Point is, a person wouldn't act that way unless he loved someone."

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Season 1
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Season 4
Season 5