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Sorry for the delay and any rough edges. Just got back from beta today and didn't take the time to go over one last time. I regret missing prior deadline. Thanks to the team, it's certainly not their fault! Randall

Reconstructing Brian

Chapter 10

The opening of Chang Gallery in Tribeca was widely anticipated in the art world. The subject, Queer Art, was interesting enough to be hip, and the featured artists were the crème de la crème of the gay art scene. Brian's life was being consumed by the event, between Justin's serving Leo's manic needs to Lindsay's freaking over her first show while in her first job as manager of a major gallery. Her debut on the New York art world filled her with terror. Brian was a calm center, having nothing on the line.

Or did he?

Justin had noticed some mysterious phone calls that Brian refused to explain. While he didn't suspect that Brian's secrecy indicated his lover was cheating on him, he was still curious. That evening as they dressed in ubiquitous Manhattan black, Brian spent a lot of time on the phone between picking out a shirt and deciding on his Prada boots.

"What are you up to?" Justin finally blurted, and Brian met his gaze squarely, stunned by how grown-up Justin looked in a black silk sweater and black trousers over chunky black Doc Martens. The dark contrast to his silver blond hair was striking. Justin glared at him when their eyes met. "Don't even think about it. We don't have time."

"We should always make time for what's truly important," Brian said with an evil grin and Justin laughed as he eluded his grasp.

"We'll make plenty of time. After the event. Remember, I have to be there early. You still have a couple hours to be lazy."

"Lazy?" Rebuffed, Brian buttoned on his shirt. "I have things to do, too."



"You better not get distracted and never show up, Brian. This is a big night for me and a very big night for Linds and Leo."

"Wouldn't miss it for the world."

Justin narrowed his eyes, not quite believing what he was hearing. They left the loft at the same time, kissed goodbye, and then Brian went in one direction, Justin in another. From the moment the reception at the gallery began, Justin was more interested in when Brian would show up than the A-list fags and other art collectors arriving in limos and chugging champagne as they circulated among the paintings and sculptures.

Lindsay was smashing in a black strapless dress, and Mick accompanied her to the event wearing a man-cut black tux with a shawl collar and black silk tee. Mick seemed preoccupied, watching the door, as if she too was worried about Brian. When he finally showed up, he was not alone. He walked in with at least six very handsome young men. Except for Brian, they all wore black t-shirts with a large white plus sign on the chest and an equally large white minus sign on the back, although some had the reverse, minus on front and plus on back. Each was a beautiful example of youthful male sexuality.

While Brian went to get a flute of champagne, the boys circulated among the patrons, handing out slick flyers. The crowd reacted strongly to their presence, asking if the order of the plus/minus signs had any significance, what they were promoting, and why they were there. Justin picked up one of the flyers from a boy and stared hard at the cover of it. It was an arty black and white photo of a man's lean, muscled torso, from tits to pubes. He felt a jolt, recognizing those pecs, that deep sternum, the faint treasure trail from navel to pubes, and yet there was a mark he couldn't match to the body he knew so well. A tattoo of a skull in the indentation beside the hard abdominal wall. The tattoo was inscribed, "KID KILLER" in gothic letters.

Intrigued, he opened it to read in red, "AIDS KILLS KIDS". The text spouted chilling statistics, citing infectious rates among under-18 children, and about the lack of facilities and the lonely, painful end awaiting so many of these victims. There was a paragraph about the Patrick Donovan Foundation, and a tear-off envelope addressed to the Foundation to ease the mailing of a donation.

Brian yanked it out of his hands with a smirk. "Forget it. You gave at the office."

Justin grabbed it back and read the small print that credited "BACK IN" with a tiny "c" following the bold caps, so it really read "BACK INc" as the ad agency responsible for the brochure. "You did this, didn't you? It has your style all over it. Not to mention, your body."

"Couldn't afford a model, and couldn't get one booked in time anyway. Frankie took the picture, he's a professional photographer in his other life. A friend of his painted the tattoo."

"And the printing? This kind of thing is really expensive, isn't it?"

"I have friends in that industry, so I finagled a discount. About half a motorcycle paid for the whole thing."

"Who's 'BACK IN'?"

"Mick incorporated me, for tax purposes. BACK is the homophone for my initials, BAK. The IN part is just a slightly hipper version of 'Inc'. I like BACK IN. Back rooms, back doors, back action, but mostly, I'm back in the saddle again. Back in the game. It's all good."

"The boys?"

"Models I've worked with over time. They volunteered. Liked the t-shirts."

"Why did you do this, Brian? And why here?"

"Because the gay elite, the art snobs, are here and they have money, and they often ignore their own community. And because the Patrick Donovan Center is desperate for funds."

"Leo may not like it very much. A portion of what he sells is already earmarked for AIDS hospice charities."

"Leo can kiss my ass. Rules are made to be broken."

"Why HERE?" Lindsay came over and added her fuel to the discussion. Before Brian could respond, Mick joined them and said,

"Linds, back off. Brian and I planned it together. It was his idea, the creative part, anyway, but I encouraged him and helped pay the freight. We can't afford to be polite and politically correct. We need money to keep the doors open."

Lindsay looked at her and Brian watched her anger turn soft. She sighed and leaned over to kiss Mick lightly on the lips as she said, "Alright then, honey, but I wish we'd discussed it first."

"I didn't want you to be implicated, Linds, given the fact you manage this joint."

"That's sweet," Lindsay kissed her again, then went to mingle as Mick, Brian and Justin followed her with their eyes. The two men exchanged a look before Brian wryly remarked,

"Has there been some movement in this friendship?"

Mick met his gaze with a flat smile. "Ask me something that's your business, sport."

A tall, distinquished looking man interrupted them. "Excuse me, one of the young men in a t-shirt directed me to you. He said you were behind this ad campaign, is that true?"

"Yes," Brian admitted. "Why?"

"I'm not familiar with your agency."

"It's new," Justin piped up, smiling broadly at the man. "Brian is an advertising genius from Pittsburgh, who's won all kinds of awards and recently left a huge ad agency here, where he was a partner, so he could open his own business. BACK IN is going to be big. It's young, hip, has an alternative view."

Brian stared in wonder at his lover, and then laughed. "Say hello to my publicity department."

"A very attractive department it is," the man said with an appreciative stare at Justin. Brian instinctively slipped a proprietary arm around the blond's slim waist.

"I think so too."

The man looked from one to the other, and then smiled. "Oh, so that's how it is."

"That's how it is," Brian confirmed. The man handed Brian a card.

"Call me and set up an appointment. I'm thinking of changing agencies."

Brian glanced at the card. The guy was CEO of a large software manufacturer. He knew their games and some of their office applications. "Sure," he handed the man a card of his own. It was black and glossy, with his name, CEO title, BACK IN and his home phone number written in embossed Chinese red print. As the man walked away, tucking the card in a pocket, Justin asked for a card and perused it closely.

"You need a logo."

"Well, you're the artist, come up with one."

"Maybe I will."

"Well okay, then."

"Well alright."



Their eyes met and Brian smiled and pulled him into his arms, kissing him softly as the party continued around them. Brian whispered something in his ear and Justin shook his head. Brian looked pleading and Justin winced. "Come on," Brian prompted, and Justin said, "Where?" Brian shrugged, and Justin smiled and led him to the stairs, heading for the storage area which they could lock a door behind them.

Justin used his key to open it and pulled Brian in with him. "Turn on the light," Brian whispered as Justin fumbled with the lock. "I want to look at you." He did so. The room was cluttered with moveable wall panels that could be taken downstairs to hang more art. When not in use, the panels created artificial barriers and hiding slots that were strangely exciting to Brian. It made him feel as if others were sequestered, watching. He pulled Justin up against him, smoothing his hands under his shirt, roaming his chest and stiffening his nipples. Justin moaned and reached down to squeeze Brian's dick, opening his fly while his hand was there.

Brian's large, semi-erect phallus flopped free of his trousers and Justin seized it, stroking him into full erection as they kissed and tongued each other with aggressive urgency. Brian moaned and circled his wrist, urging him to stop before it went too far and he passed the point of being an effective lover.

"Fuck me," Justin pleaded, unzipping his own pants and lowering them down his hips. Brian groaned as he let his hands roam Justin's firm ass. He frenched him and pressed naked phallus against naked phallus, rubbing them together. "No lube," Justin suddenly remembered with a moan, and Brian smiled. Since they had begun barebacking, nature had a remedy. He smoothed his fingers between them, coating them in their combined pre-cum. He used the silky goo to lubricate his lover as he turned him around and slowly slid those fingers inside. Once the passage felt silky enough to accommodate him, he smoothed the oozing semen down the length of his shaft, gently kneading his balls with his other hand to milk additional flow. He forced himself to stop the pleasurable sensation of jerking his well oiled palm against his penis in order to seek the even more pleasurable release of Justin's tight ass.

He penetrated smoothly and Justin pushed back against Brian's body to get the full measure of him, inhaling sharply at the sudden thrust of pressure. He reached back and rested a hand on Brian's ass as he shoved it into him, using his other hand to masturbate. Brian dropped his mouth to Justin's neck, sucking in a mouthful of soft, fragrant flesh, chewing on it gently while he buried his nose in blond hair. Justin shot seconds before Brian, who filled him up with his blast and then leaned into him, gasping, waiting for his strength to return. Justin sacrificed a pair of white cotton gloves used to handle etchings without leaving behind the oil from fingers, turning them into a makeshift cum rag, and then tossed the used gloves into the trash.

"You're sex walking," Justin said softly as they kissed after fixing their clothes. "I love you, Brian."

"You just love my dick," Brian teased, resting his forehead against Justin's. "The rest of me comes with."

"True," Justin fired back, inhaling the steamy scent of their combined sexuality. "My secret is out."

Brian laughed and took his hand. "We'd better get out there before Leo decides not to pay you for tonight. I need to make up the money for the brochures."

Justin laughed, letting go of his hand to turn off the light and lock the door behind them. "That means, at my rate of pay, we should be in good shape in six months."

"Never waste a drip," Brian said, and then winced. "That came out wrong. Oh. So did that." They were still giggling together as they rejoined the crowd.

Back in the storage room, in the sudden darkness left by Justin's turning off the light as they left, Lindsay leaned against Mick with a relieved sigh. They had gone up there for the same reason Brian and Justin fled, only they arrived a few minutes before and left the lights off as they took shelter behind a far panel. A couple of kisses later, the boys intruded. Mick's instinct was to interrupt them before anything got started, but Lindsay stopped her with a silent restraining touch on her arm. She had always wanted to see what it was like with Brian and another man, especially what it was like between Brian and the one man he loved.

Heterosexually, Brian had been a tentative lover, although that fact could have been exacerbated by their youth and relative inexperience at the time they were intimate. Unlike the straight boys she dated, he always seemed slow to arouse and even slower to get off. For her, it was good, because she had problems reaching orgasm, and never did so with the slam-bam variety of lover. Because Brian was patient, and slow, she could come with him, which was a great relief. But she always had to start it, and he was always funny about it, preferring her to suck him rather than fuck, and never even suggesting he return the favor with cunnilingus. She understood all that now, but back then it was frustrating. He was so beautiful, and yet strangely unavailable, even when they were most intimate.

Peeking around the partition to see the heated urgency with which he fucked Justin, to read his overpowering excitement and blistering need in his facial expressions, and then to see the tenderness between them afterwards, Lindsay realized how wrong it would have been for them if she and Brian had given it a chance. He was right about that. He would've lived half a life, and his misery would've eventually caused him to resent her. For the first time since college, Lindsay was able to understand just how wrong their romance would've been.

As the men performed their erotic ballet together, Mick took advantage of Lindsay's fire for Brian, slipping her hands over Lindsay's soft breasts and down her belly. Lindsay suppressed a moan, leaning against Mick's body as she grabbed her hand and pushed it between her thighs. When the men turned off the lights and left, Mick reached inside Lindsay's lacy black panties to slip a finger along the slick wet groove until she rested her fingertip against her peak, jiggling against the hard little button until Lindsay came with a gasp of relief. Her fond memories of heterosexual experimentation with Brian faded as she realized again how women knew just where to go and what to do and how fast to do it and for how long, a mystery few men seemed to unravel. She turned and kissed Mick hard on the mouth, enjoying her firm, broad body with her hands as the heat of her passion subsided to a pleasant tingle.

The Gallery was empty except for Leo, Bill, Mick, Lindsay, Brian and Justin, along with the cleaning crew. The principals sat around on low slung couches, finishing off the champagne and a tray of canapés. Bill proposed a toast. "To a successful opening and a shitload of sales. I see a lot of red dots when I look around this room."

Brian laughed. "Fags buying fag art, what a phenomenon. If I had a job, I'd buy that charcoal of the nude. It's a beautiful drawing."

Justin looked over his shoulder at the rendition of a man lying on a bed, stomach down, a cat curled up on his back, sleeping. It wasn't terribly expensive. He made a mental note.

"You have good taste," Leo said. "I think Joanne will be a very hot artist one day. She has a remarkable eye for the human form."

"I bought one of hers," Mick said. She had shed her tuxedo jacket to drape it over Lindsay's shoulders when the evening waned and her lack of adrenaline chilled her in her bare dress. "It's the one of the two women sitting on that wicker loveseat on the porch. I loved the colors and the wistful expressions, like they were both remembering happier days."

"Yeah, let me buy a depressing painting to light up my life," Brian smirked and Mick swatted him with one of the brochures he printed up. Leo took it from her and held it up.

"Want to explain this?"

Brian took it from him. "It's called a brochure, Leo. Although in the UK, they emphasize the first syllable, BROchure. On the front, you normally put an eye-catching visual, in this case the naked torso of an incredibly attractive man," he glanced at Justin, who giggled, and went on. "Inside is the meat of the message, if you get my drift. This one is unique in that it has a tear-off self-addressed envelope to make it easy to make donations. It's promoting the Patrick Donovan Foundation, which assists HIV positive youths."

"Yes, but this opening already had a charitable component."

"So now it has two. And Leo, your whole approach is wrong. Rich people don't give a shit that you're donating part of your proceeds to charity. Rich people want something they can write off. They can't write off anything when the check is for the sticker price of the painting, because they got full value for their bucks. You may get a write off, but fuck them."

Lindsay gave him a 'PLEASE STOP' look, but he ignored it and went on. "And your promotion of the opening was marginal. You emphasized the 'queer' at the expense of the 'art', which is a downside to many people. I would've pitched it differently."

"How would you have pitched it?" Leo asked.

Brian handed him a slick black card. "Like the whore at the end of the block, I don't give it away for free. Call me sometime. Sunshine, I don't know if you're stuck here for awhile, but I'm going home. I'm beat."

Leo nodded at Justin, and Brian glanced over his shoulder at Lindsay and Mick. "And the next time you girls want a gay porn show, go to a theater. I can recommend a few. It's not cool to spy on friends."

In the cab, Justin looked curiously at Brian. "What was that about?"

"When we left the storeroom tonight, and you turned off the light, I saw it flash off of something metal. From the light in the hallway, I noticed shoes peeking out behind a partition. Those slinky shoes Linds is wearing. And I think it was that chunky jewelry of Mick's that caught the light."

Justin's eyes grew wide as his face burned beneath a blush. "T-they saw us?"


Justin moaned and slunk down in the seat. "Kill me now!"

"Fuck it, let them dream about dick for a change. It's not tragic. It's just rude."

"It's embarrassing is what it is, Bri!"

Brian slipped an arm around Justin and pulled him close. "I'm sorry, Justin. I wish I had seen them before. But hell, it's all hot with us. They can only watch it and weep, except for one thing."


"Lindsay may well wonder about the difference in how I am with you and how I was with her."

"Is it that different?"

Brian laughed and held up one of the black t-shirts he had the boys wear. This was an extra one. He flipped it in front of Justin, showing first the plus sign, then the negative. Justin got the message and smiled, kissing Brian soundly.

When they arrived at the loft, Brian listened to the phone messages, a habit not easily broken. Justin stood at the refrigerator downing a bottle of water as he did so. A call from Michael, saying he and Ben wanted to come back soon, that Ben had family in New York he promised to visit and that they still needed to hit some clubs. "I've created a monster," Brian quipped. One from Shea, sounding tired, but reminding Brian he was supposed to go with him to Lydia's tomorrow. He was staying at the Center, through the kindness of Frankie and Mick, but he was having a very difficult time adjusting to his regimen of meds, perhaps because he was still recovering from his hospital stay. Brian made a mental note of the appointment time. And then, Melanie's brittle voice crackled across the wire. "Brian, if you get this, I need to speak with Lindsay. I know she's staying with you, so don't try to act like she isn't. She turned off her cell service. Tell her to call me at the office tomorrow. It's important. It's about Gus."

Brian met Justin's expression with a wince as he paused the messages. "This won't be pretty."

"What about Gus?" Justin asked and Brian shrugged.

"Who knows? A fine mess Linds has gotten herself into."

Justin nodded as Brian resumed the messages. The last message said, "Brian, it's Cynthia. Call me. Your spy inside the firm may have some interesting info."

He glanced at his watch and realized it was too late to call. His spy would have to hold onto her information until morning. The phone rang, startling him, just as he was walking away from it.

"Brian, you shit! I know you never gave Lindsay my message. Now put her on."

"Do you know what time it is, Melanie?"

"About the time you're dragging your promiscuous ass home from some club, I would imagine."

"Yeah, that's it. I've been out backrooming it all night." He rolled his eyes at Justin.

"Put her on."

"She's not here."

"Quit covering for her, Brian, and put her on the line!"

"I'm not covering for her, but I'll tell her you called."

"You expect me to believe that Lindsay is out at this hour? Is this supposed to be a ploy to make me jealous?"

"I don't give a fuck what you believe."

"And I suppose she just left Gus with you, Mr. Responsibility. I heard you don't even have a job now. Big surprise. It was only a matter of time before you fucked that up like you fuck up everything and everyone around you."

Justin watched Brian roll his lips inward, against his teeth, a sure sign of stress. He walked over to put an arm around Brian. He could feel his lover relax a little in his embrace. "Thank you for your understanding, Mel. Anything else before I hang up?"

"You can't keep me from her and from my son, you piece of shit. I'll come there if I have to, but I am talking to Lindsay!"

"You do that. 'Night, Melanie." He hung up, following that act with a one fingered salute to the implement. "Fucking dyke cunt."

Justin winced. "What was that all about?"

"Let's not talk about it. I may have nightmares of harridan dykes on brooms."

"I always thought that was kind of sexual, the link between witches and brooms," Justin deliberately lightened the mood.

"You think everything is sexual," Brian said with a laugh, leading him into their bedroom.

"Look who's talking," Justin teased as Brian pulled him into his arms and proved it with a kiss.

Dr. Lydia Johnson's Notes: Following Shea Hennessey's session, BK put Shea in a cab, he returned for his own session. BK appears to be focused and highly functional, despite the stresses introduced into his life.

Excerpt from transcript:

Doctor: Next time I think I should meet with Shea alone.

BK: If he will, sure. I'm not the one inserting myself into this process.

Doctor: I know that, Brian. We just need to transition him to individual sessions, because your presence is an inhibiting factor. You don't intend it to be, but it is just by virtue of your being here.

BK: I understand.

Doctor: So how is your life?

BK: You know all those problems I had the last time we met?

Doctor: Remind me.

BK: Out of work, suing old agency, testifying against Jeffrey, son and his mother in town, got involved with a kid with AIDS...(holds up fingers to tic off his points)

Doctor: There's the list. Made any progress?

BK: Still out of work, suing and testifying. But, I think I made some headway in all of those areas.

Doctor: How do you feel about that?

BK: Good. At least I'm not frozen.

Doctor: Any movement on your employment status?

BK: Sent out some resumes, but the firms seem to be ducking me for some reason. Mick incorporated me in order to have a business structure to do some pro bono work or take the occasional paying gig. I promoted a charitable push and it felt good to be back in it. Not so much from a Good Samaritan standpoint, but from realizing I still have it.

Doctor: Good. Your confidence level is very important right now. The lawsuit?

BK: Mick and I had a settlement conference with the other side. They offered me a ridiculously low amount and we rejected it. That was fun. It was great to see Felix the Cat squirm. So, I guess we're gonna rock and roll on that claim.

Doctor: You seem prepared for that.

BK: I've always enjoyed a good brawl.

Doctor: And the Walker case?

BK: Psycho bastard. I went to see him after that letter. I told him if he sent me another, I'd give it to the DA, unopened. I told him to leave me the hell alone.

Doctor: You went to the jail?

BK: Yes. It was grim. The visit, not the jail. Well, okay, both were grim. Turns out I was coming down with the stomach flu, but I thought it was hearing Jeffrey tell me he still loves me that made me gack.

Doctor: He said that?

BK: (Nods.) Just wanted to let me know he was motivated by love. Love is all you need. Love, love, love. Love makes the world go around. It's amore!

Doctor: Do I detect a faint glimmer of sarcasm?

BK: (Smirks) Good, I haven't lost my edge.

Doctor: All kidding aside, how did you respond when he declared his love?

BK: Threw up. No, that was a little later. It chilled me. I was looking into the perversion of love personified in this one man. You know I've never been a big fan of the love thing. It's overused and overvalued. But through Justin, I've learned what it really means, and Jeffrey Walker is the opposite of love.

Doctor: Brian, look at me. How did you FEEL about his declaration?

BK: (Pause) Guilty.

Doctor: In what way?

BK: I led him on, in the beginning. I wanted to fuck him. I was flattered by his interest in me and impressed by his genius. Watching him change, I almost feel as if I was the one who caused it. As if I made him into a monster.

Doctor: Do you believe that?

BK: Not entirely, but sort of.

Doctor: You're not that powerful, Brian. Jeffrey is an extreme narcissist. He's also a control freak with a psychotic twist and an erotomaniac where you're concerned. His intelligence makes him that much more dangerous. I'm quite concerned with his obsession for you. I haven't told you this, but I think he broke into my car while you were in Italy. He left a tape, nothing overt, but I believe it was intended to threaten me away from pursuing professional ethical charges. It didn't work. But his following you to Italy, at the risk of his freedom, and now this recent declaration concerns me. He's still lost in his obsession for you, and that's dangerous. His brand of love means if he can't have you, no one will. If he were out, I'd fear for your safety. You humiliated him. You rejected him and destroyed his life. Yet he loves you? No, it's hatred, Brian. He despises you. But he's jumbled his emotions to exculpate himself.

BK: Swell. I guess they'd better keep him inside, then. Did you call the police when he broke into your car?

Doctor: No, it seemed too minor to bother, and I couldn't prove anything. After he jumped bail, I wished I had.

BK: What do I do if he gets out?

Doctor: Get a restraining order, an unlisted phone number, an alarm system and be very cautious while out. That, or move.

BK: He's not making me run. Fuck that.

Doctor: Let's worry about it when and if it happens. How are you coping with your son and his mother? Are they gone?

BK: Oh hell no. Lindsay's a New Yorker now. Got a job, which is more than I can say for myself, and a new lesbian.

Doctor: A new lesbian?

BK: She and Gus went to stay with my lawyer, Mick, when Justin and I were sick. I guess the unnatural took its course, and now they're doing whatever it is munchers do. I try not to linger on that.

Doctor: How do you feel about it?

BK: (Shrugs.) I just wish Lindsay would settle up with the lesbian she left in Pittsburgh before she jumps into something new with Mick. I know her deal with Melanie isn't done, not by a long shot, and I really like Mick. I don't want to see her get hurt.

Doctor: You seem more worried for Mick than for Lindsay.

BK: I am. Mick is taken with her. Lindsay can be very manipulative in that silky blonde way of hers.

Doctor: Does she manipulate you?

BK: She tries, but I'm on to her. Known her too long. But sometimes she still surprises me. Weird thing happened last night. We were all at a gallery opening. Justin and I snuck off to fuck. We went to the storage room and locked the door and did what we do. As we left, I discovered that Lindsay and Mick were already up there and they saw the whole thing.

Doctor: They spied on you?

BK: Yeah.

Doctor: Does that bother you?

BK: Yeah. I feel invaded, somehow. We didn't go there to put on a show. We went there to be alone, and we weren't. Look, Justin and I have had sex with other people, men obviously, and we've done it in clubs, while playing our little outlaw games. But the other people were long ago, and the games are at our choice and are performed among other gay men, strangers. Frankly, this peep show made me angry and I told her so.

Doctor: Why do you think she did it?

BK: Curiosity, probably. She lost me to men, and yet she's never seen me with a man. Well, she should understand now. I certainly wasn't like that with her. Of course, I'm not like that with anyone, only Justin. No one gets to me the way he does.

Doctor: You're well within your rights to feel your privacy was invaded, Brian. If she's going to be around, you need to establish some boundaries.

BK: I know. I will.

Doctor: Which brings us to Shea. How are you handling it? I'm very impressed with your compassion.

BK: (Winces.) I backed into it. He has no one. I tried to interest his family and got nowhere. I may be a cold bastard, but Jesus, is anyone that cold? He's seventeen, for chrissakes. It could have been me, Lydia. You think I didn't get plenty of offers to take money for sex when I was a twink? Oh yeah. And it was tempting. But I had a kind of structure with Debbie and Mikey and Vic. I had a safe place to go. Without that, who knows what might have happened? Who would be there to help me if I were in his situation? I just feel so bad for him.

Doctor: Just so you realize he's a very sick boy and that you can't change that fact, Brian. There are no miracle cures for Shea. His chances for survival are slim if he doesn't accommodate the treatment better than he has so far.

BK: (Winces.) Changing the subject...

Doctor: Okay, to what?

BK: Justin.

Doctor: What about him?

BK: He started regression therapy.

Doctor: Good. How's he doing with it?

BK: Too soon to tell, but he's incredibly strong.

Doctor: You two are good?

BK: Uh...we two are...yeah, okay, good. We're good.

Doctor: Brian, I do believe you're blushing.

BK: No way, it's just hot in here.

Doctor: It's okay to be in love, Brian, and to feel happy over that fact.

BK: Until it all comes crashing down on your head like some vagrant satellite.

Doctor: The Tao According to Brian. I love it.

BK: Thanks folks, I'll be here all week. Tell your friends.

End of session.

Doctor's Notes: BK has shown remarkable coping skills in dealing with several concurrent stresses in his life. He's learned that masking his fear and pain with drugs, alcohol or sex is no solution, and he is facing each issue head-on and coping. Undoubtedly, some of this ability has to be credited to his partner, JT, with whom he has established a loving and mutual relationship for the first time in BK's life. He has a support system in JT that he lacked before, and for a man with borderline personality issues, this is key. By allowing himself to love JT, he is allowing himself to accept the fact he is not a worthless human being. If he were, how could JT love him back? Self-hatred, stemming from childhood trauma, is at the core of BK's issues. I fear that if Jeffrey Walker is released and if he stalks BK and interferes in his life, that tenuous progress he has made could be threatened, if not his actual safety.

Go to Chapter 11

Disclaimer: The television show Queer As Folk and its characters are the property of Showtime and CowLip Productions. No money is being made. Stories and discussion are intended purely for the entertainment of fans of Queer as Folk, the Brian and Justin characters, and Randall's writings.
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July 25, 2004