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Adrian to Brian, Brian to Adrian Chapter 7

Image by Heather

WARNING: SIGNIFICANT SEASON FIVE SPOILERS IN THIS CHAPTER!

Two months later:

B,

Are you still around? Still accepting emails from lovesick, spurned Englishmen? I miss you. I think it's worse for me to not hear from you. Can we try this again? I promise to behave. I care enough for you that I'm willing to settle for this, if this is all it will ever be.

A


**********************************

A,

I've missed you like hell. Let's pretend nothing was said.

B


**********************************

B,

Can't put the genie back in the bottle, chap, but let's move forward and let me deal with my issues on my own. I'm a big boy. Tell me, beautiful Brian. What's happening in your life? Mine is unchanged. I work probably twelve to fourteen hours a day. I travel quite a bit on business, but have complete use of the company's jet fleet now, so at least the travel is painless. I've gone out with a few men, but very few. Mostly tricks. I don't have time or interest in more. My brother, the one with AIDS, died last week. Quite the one-two punch after the recent loss of my father. Worse on my Mum. Sad to say, I've been through so much with him, been disappointed so many times, and watched him sink so low that in a terrible way, it was a relief to see him released. He had no idea who he was or where he was at the end. He was subject to horrid hallucinations and then slipped into a brief coma before he died. He was terribly wasted, barely looked human. I've devoted much of my scant free time to serving on an advisory board for AIDS resources in Great Britain. I use it to soothe my guilt over him, perhaps. I feel that I failed him. I don't know what else I could have done, but whatever I did, it wasn't enough. Sorry to resume our correspondence on such a down note. How are you?

A


**********************************

A,

I'm very sorry. You know of course that you couldn't save him when he didn't want to be or couldn't be saved from his addiction. Don't be angry at yourself or at him, Adrian. He was a victim of a terrible illness, AIDS as well as addiction, and you aren't God, try as you might to play that role. It seems an odd time to say this, but Happy Birthday, Adrian. My condolences to your whole family over this second terrible loss.

B


**********************************

B,

Okay, enough sad stuff. Tell me how you feel, how the check ups are going. How is Justin?

A


**********************************

A,

The good news is, still cancer free. As for Justin, he's been in Hollywood the whole time we've been dark. We talk on the phone fairly frequently, but I feel very remote from him and getting more so. I plan to surprise him by flying out to Hollywood to visit him next weekend. I hope it's a good surprise. Will he be happy to see me? Who knows. Mikey promised not to tell, but we all know how good he is at keeping a secret. Happy birthday, Adrian. You're almost ancient.

B


**********************************

B,

I think you should go, should have gone some time ago, in fact. Protect that perfect skin from the sun, though. Not worth the damage for a temporary tan. My mum and my brother want me to come back to Coventry for a quiet little birthday celebration. I suppose since our little clan has taken such severe hits, it's important that we try to maintain what's left of the unit. Now that I can use the company jet for personal as well as business, a CEO perq worth having, at least it's quicker to fly in and out. I suspect it will be a bittersweet reunion. I'll have my laptop, but out in the hinterlands wireless still means the radio, so it might be hit or miss. Send me a post card from the Sunset Grill. I love that song. Not a huge fan of El Lay however. Plastic people, plastic surgery, plastic town, built on an industry that embraces the phoney and allows that conceit to percolate among its citizens. I'm an east coast kind of guy when I'm in the States. Have fun anyway, and don't forget to send that card. Excellent news on the cancer, Brian. Told you that you beat it.

A


**********************************

Brian's postcard to Adrian:

You may note this looks a lot like Pittsburgh. Because it is. I didn't go. He called to say he'd be out there three, four, who knows how many more months? He's never coming back, just as I predicted. A surprise visit would just be embarrassing. For both of us. Oh well, good for him. Exciting. I never thought it would end this way, with a whimper, not a bang. Very anti-climactic. Death by long distance. I'm fine. Brian



A,

Adding to my postcard. It's a sad way to conclude what was once a very hot romance. Maybe it's less painful than the last time, or the time before that, or the time... you get the drift. We seem to be a series of closing doors, our affair. Most of them closing in my face. But look, this is good for him, this Hollywood thing. He deserves his shot. He's a kid. I'll always be his first and that means something, and in many ways, he will always be my first, too. I'm grateful for that. He opened me up emotionally, maybe. Is that good? I don't know. Not sure I understand why people long for love. I probably had the right idea all along, at least for me. It's not about love, it's about fucking. Yeah, right. As if.

B


**********************************

B,

I'm sorry. I know you must be disappointed, but I don't take this to mean he won't come back. He has a job to do. Be patient. Stay busy. God, I sound like an old woman. I'm sorry, Brian. Want to know how I really feel? Gloves off, mate. Fuck him. He's making his choices, all for good and sufficient reasons. But we all make choices. And we live with the results of those choices. Go out and have fun. To hell with him. He has a pattern of Justin comes first. Is that the proper foundation for a relationship? No. There has to be healthy compromise. On both sides. I know you think he's accommodated your tricking, your inability or unwillingness to express your feelings for him, a hundred other things. I know, even as I rant about him, that this is a terrible mistake. I'll only make you resent me and nothing will change your feelings for him. But since I've put my feelings for you out in the open, and you know I have my own agenda, and my own biases, I'm going to be blunt. Look at yourself, Brian! You are so much more than you think you are! You're funny and smart and caring and decent and intelligent. You work hard, you've built a fine business on your own, you have integrity. You deserve more than your shitty friends and your childish me-first boyfriend. Shit. Delete, Adrian, delete. Fuck it. Let the chips fall. This is how I feel.

A


**********************************

A,

Down boy. Don't blame Justin, Adrian. I don't. You don't really know him at all. He's a good person, and he's done some wonderful things for me, things I haven't bothered to share with you, because I guess I'd rather just bitch and moan about my pitiful plight. He's young and talented and ambitious, and I for one admire that. You were the same way at his age and so was I. I'm the pathetic one for letting him get so deep inside my skin, for being vulnerable. Please let's change the subject. I'm buying Babylon. We had a really good year at Kinnetik, so I have the money to burn, which I suspect is exactly what will happen to my investment. Babylon was shut down by the Feds due to back taxes that ass Saperstein failed to pay. I need a nice backroom in which to wag the old willy. It's worth it to me. It will give me a hobby to run Babylon. So much of my life has changed. Justin's gone, the lesbians are suing each other for child custody issues not involving Gus, my friend Mikey and Zen Ben are buying a house in Stepford to become Stepford fags. The de-homogenization of Liberty Avenue is really getting old. This is why I risked everything to fight Stockwell ? So fags could move to the suburbs and emulate breeders? Don't get me started. I'm tired of seeing all these guys I either tricked with or watched trick suddenly find that 'old time religion' and look down their dicks at those of us who still enjoy a good party. If that's the way they want to live, their funeral. But why do they have to act as though diversity in the gay culture is an abomination? I think they drank the Republican guava juice. Fuck them. Maybe it's just their fear of being on the outside in a Nazi regime. Whatever it is, I'm over it.

B


**********************************

Two weeks later:

B,

Happy birthday, beautiful Brian. You're almost the age I was when we met. Make you feel old? Well, I've aged too, so it doesn't matter. How's your new venture (Babylon) going? How's your health? Do you still miss him? Sorry about my prior rant, uncalled for and rude. I understand your anger over the schism among gays. I see it here too, to a lesser extent. Breeders don't live just one way, so why should we? It's all very silly when you break it down. We live in fascist times.

A


**********************************

A,

Guess who came home while I was in the middle of fucking a trick? Yeah. His movie got shelved. He asked me if my offer to move in was still open. I wanted to say no. I know I was second choice to Hollywood for him, but I couldn't. He's here. I want him here. He told me he loved it there and didn't want to come back. Big duh. But he also said I was here and that I mattered. I know it's not much, but... I hate this. Vulnerable. I tell everyone that if it were me, I'd never come back, and maybe I wouldn't. But if it were me, I'd find a way to include him in my world out there, wherever out there might be. Doesn't seem to be a priority for him, whether I'm around or not. In fact, I feel that he thinks it would limit him if I were in his pocket. My not being in his world didn't seem to create much of a dent for him. I feel like he's treading water here, with me. That's a nervous and embarrassing feeling. I think I'm still worth more than that. But what do I do about it? Not a damned thing. Why? I'm not sure. I'm really not. Love, I guess. But he's been fucking around out there at least as much as I have here, only with higher end guys, so I don't expect him to turn Stepford on me. Anyway, health is good. So far. How are you?

B


**********************************

B,

You just keep taking him back. No matter what he does. Okay, fine. Your call. Wish you luck. Bad mood. Later,

A


**********************************

Time passes.

A,

Have you defrosted? Here's a funny little tidbit for you. I got the clap. From a blow job. Felt so young again! LOL. Two weeks of good behavior and a load of penicillin, that's the treatment. It really pissed him off. Justin, that is. I did mention I could easily have gotten it from him since he was fucking around as much as me, but he tested clear, so he could be righteous, I guess. There's a hot new stud in town, named Brandon. He keeps trolling my tricks. What an asshole. He's not all that to me, but the challenge is clear. Admittedly I tried to trick him before I realized his agenda was to unseat me as top dawg in our robust queer scene. Oh, happy news. The latest scan is clear. And here's something you'll really like. Justin moved out. Turns out he did want a monogamous Mikey and Zen Ben kind of thing. I can't do that. He understands, he says, but since we want such different lives, why continue together? So he left. He's going to stay with Mikey and ZB for the interim. Until he gets his own place. That was fast, wasn't it? I can hear you groan all the way across the Atlantic. I know how ridiculous I am, so don't even say it. I got ripped and went over and confronted Mikey for poisoning Justin with his faux homo good life. If it's so fucking good, why did Hunter, his putative kid, leave? Why is he in litigation over his sperm donated daughter? When did he change and when did he decide I was such a piece of shit for being the same person he used to love and call his best friend? I'm sick of it. As for Justin, this time it's over. He fucks around all over Hollywood, and when he gets back, we team fuck all over Pittsburgh, but then... what? Ding, ding, ding, the bell rang in the back of his head and now he's back to being a breeder wannabee? I'm a useless party stud? It's done. Happy?

B


**********************************

B

Wait a minute. He wants monogamy? When did he stop fucking around? The day before he confronted you with this "different thing" he wanted? Since he's not in L.A., with his movie stars, he expects it all to change with you, and if not, you've become the enemy? Damn, Brian. I don't understand. And no I'm not happy, because you are obviously in pain. I wish I could comprehend your continuing attraction to this person. As for this Brandon, there's always a new gunfighter in town, Brian. Way of the west. Inevitable. Once again, thrilled for your continued recovery. Prioritize. That is the most significant news in your email. The rest is crap. (or CLAP as the case may be - isn't modern medicine wonderful?) Be careful, you dolt. Your immune system is still rebuilding.

A


**********************************

A,

I don't know why I continue to be attracted to him, either. But I am. I hate it. And I hate that I can't be the person he wants. How stupid is that?

B


**********************************

B,

I don't know what to say to that. I love the person you are. So I can't make sense of this. Perhaps it's his youth. Isn't youth a convenient excuse for all kinds of bad behaviour? I've used it so often myself to excuse the younger men who have moved in and out of my own life. "He's just young," I tell myself. Still finding his way. Experiencing life. Does that mean they're free to treat us like pavement? Stay strong, Brian.

A


**********************************

One month later:

A,

It's gotten ugly here. Proposition 14 is a bill that would deny gays certain fundamental rights, including marriage. It's picked up steam. The breeders drive along Liberty Avenue and hurl insults at gays, and use bullhorns to shout out anti-gay slogans. I'm just over the whole political thing after Stockwell. Of course, Mikey and I are at each other's throats, still, because I'm a piece of shit whore and he's suddenly Mrs. Cleaver. Justin's still gone and still active in the cause. Brandon and I got involved in a fuck-off to see who was King of the Homos and I won. That entitled me to his ass, but frankly I didn't want it when it was offered to me. I feel pretty stupid for having done this. I'm too old for such silly shit. It was just embarrassing, in retrospect. After a rocky start, Babylon is going stronger than ever. They asked me if they could use Babylon for a rally for the anti-Proposition 14 forces and I said yes. As for me, I need a break. I'm going to Sydney for Mardi Gras. It's supposed to be spectacular. Adrian, ever been there? Care to meet me? I think I would enjoy it more if you were along.

B


**********************************

B,

Do you still love him?

A


**********************************

A,

Yes, but it's hopeless.

B


**********************************

B,

In that case, have fun. Send me a postcard.

A


**********************************

A,

Come on, Adrian. Go with me.

B


**********************************

B,

You just don't get it, Brian. I've fallen for you. I love you. But I'm not a complete asshole, and this is my problem, not yours. I have an executive suite at the Harbourfront Hotel overlooking the Opera House. It will be yours for as long as you're in Sydney. Just give your name at the desk and everything will be taken care of. I want you to enjoy yourself, beautiful Brian. You deserve it. I'm just sorry I can't be there with you, but not this time. My shell's not that hard. Have fun, my darling.

A


**********************************

A,

Okay, thanks. And thanks for your generosity. How long does the cooling off period between love affairs have to be before you're comfortable? My fantasy is that I'll arrive and you'll be waiting in that suite for me. Think about it. Don't be a coward.

B


**********************************

Later.

B,

I was waiting in the suite and yet you never arrived. Not sure if I can do this anymore, Brian. This was heartbreaking for me.

A


Continue to Chapter 8 (finale)

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Beginning
July 25, 2004