(The Phantom Speaks: I knew I should have listened in that map reading course in the school for phantoms and other freaks. My tunnel went sadly awry. Instead of ending up in Gale's trailer, my goal, I ended up in Sparky's home away from home! Good news, though. He wasn't there! I did notice a brochure entitled "Learn how to eat like an ADULT in six easy lessons!" Yay! Well, back to my digging. Now in which direction was Gale walking again??)
Sunday, 10:00 P.M. Sharp!
Last Week on Queer as Folk: Brian had a terrible meeting with a client, who turned out to be one of his neglected tricks. He and Justin met face to face in Babylon and Brian lost his temper. He called Justin late at night to apologize and Ethan was annoyed.
Scene 1: Brian's office. Morning.
Cynthia added a little Bailey's from Brian's bar to her coffee after she heard his confession about Trevor Rainer. She held up the bottle to him, but he shook his head, still queasy about alcohol.
"A bit early for that, isn't it?" he suggested gently. She sighed and sat across from his desk.
"Did you remember Trevor at all, Brian?"
"Only after he reminded me."
"How is that possible? Not only can I tell you every detail about every man I've ever slept with, but I actively TRY to forget some of those details and have no luck doing so."
Brian shrugged. "I guess it's the difference between climbing Mt. Everest and making it to the top of Blueberry Hill, Cyn. Some of us have put a little more energy into our promiscuity."
She laughed. "I'm not asking for any details of your sordid sex life, but what could you have done that so offended him? I thought you were supposed to be pretty good at that gay thing."
Brian sighed, sipping his black coffee as he reflected on that distant night at Meat Hook.
Scene 2: Flashback to Meat Hook, a leather bar.
Brian wasn't what anyone would consider a leather fetishist. He found some of the paraphernalia sexy, some of it ridiculous. He liked the occasional bout of rough sex, but he didn't like to be hurt. While he didn't get off on inflicting pain, he found bondage titillating. Meat Hook wasn't limited to the leather scene. A dress code kept it from becoming just another gay bar, but the rules weren't extensive: no disco diva clothes, no cologne, no drag, no coats and ties, no button down shirts. Dressed in black leather pants, boots and a black sweater, Brian fit in fine. He would also fit in fine in any good restaurant in the city.
Most of the patrons were more extreme. They wore leather chaps, with leather jocks, or bare butt, leather jocks without chaps, Sam Brown belts, studded jewelry, dog collars, and a large variety of wear that invoked a specific fetish. There were leather masks, full and half face, a variety of leather vests. Tattoos and body piercings were varied and plentiful. No weapons were allowed, but police issue handcuffs were worn like a fashion accessory. Heavy chains rattled like ghosts in a Scottish castle.
Similar to Babylon, there was a bar and a dance floor, but no go-go boys. The backroom action at Meat Hook was far more ritualized than it was at Babylon. There were multiple bondage and discipline scenes going on every night as well as slings, swings, and the requisite fisting exhibition. The men dancing were more manic and aggressive than at Babylon, and minimum age rules were strictly enforced at the door. Generally, the crowd was not as pretty as the boys at Babylon. Heavily muscled and smoothly oiled bodybuilders were outnumbered by hairy "bears" who would have been ridiculed at Babylon. They could score at Meat Hook with little effort.
Brian liked to tell himself he went to Meat Hook for a change of pace. But he knew better. He went there for one reason that night. He wanted to get his ass fucked. It was an infrequent craving for him, but not one that concerned him unduly. He was secure enough in his primacy as a top that an occasional trip into the submissive was not alarming. He set his own rules about how he indulged this desire. He didn't allow individual tricks that experience, not wanting to hear them gossip about how Brian was secretly a Nellie bottom. By bringing his lust into the open in a backroom setting, he made it clear that he wasn't insecure about his sexual status, removing any shock value to be gained in gossip. The semi-public atmosphere of the backroom also removed much of the intimacy from the experience. He didn't want to feel vulnerable to any trick, and the casual anonymity at Meat Hook displaced that concern. He was established as an alpha male, which made it easy for him to take ! a few detours.
Brian always cruised Meat Hook alone. He would never lie about what he did there, but he was not interested in graphically demonstrating his action to Mikey, Emmett or Ted.
Scene 2 (cont.) Meat Hook, the backroom.
That night, Brian danced a little, took a couple hits of the usual drugs and made his way to the back. Even here, Brian was a star. Hands reached for him, comments were made, and he basked in their adoration while maintaining his cool fašade. From the corner of his eye, he saw a man being fisted. The passive partner was shackled to an X-shaped frame, and a low light beamed down on his butt so others could observe. The aggressor folded up his lubricated hand like a closed tulip and began the trek up the shackled man's anus. Brian showed no emotion, although he winced, internally. That act was one hunger he didn't share, but he also didn't censure those who did.
He paused when a big man came up behind him, smelling of leather. The man pressed his erect cock against Brian's ass as he reached around to squeeze Brian's nipples over his sweater. Another man came up to Brian from the front. He began fondling Brian's genitals and nibbling his neck. A third joined them, placing Brian's hand on his crotch and tonguing the man who was pressing against Brian's butt. Suddenly, someone was sucking Brian's cock. Someone else was sucking his fingers. Another person had rolled up Brian's sweater to lick his pecs. Brian felt as if he were being consumed by men. His eyes closed as he let the tension build. Brian's control was slipping away as he rapidly slid into sexual oblivion.
Even in his nirvanic state of sexual bliss, Brian was aware that the man behind him had eased his lubed and latex covered erection between the firm planes of his ass. His cocksucker swallowed Brian's large, hard cock even more deeply than before. Someone pushed an erect dick into his free hand and Brian stroked it. The combination of sensations was almost too hot to endure. Before he left home, Brian had prepared himself by masturbating with a dildo. He used the device to open himself up so it would be less painful when a real dick invaded. A residue of lube remained within his rectal walls, speeding the glide of the strange cock inside his body. Once the cock had fully penetrated, the persistent pressure on Brian's prostate was enough of a thrill to offset any lingering pain.
Brian groaned as he surrendered to the titillation, allowing his orgasm to approach at its own frenetic pace. He had stilled his demons once again, and it would be months before he would return for another session. Perhaps even longer. Maybe this time he got it out of his system forever.
Flash forward to Brian's office, the present.
Cynthia watched Brian's gaze become distant. He was lost in a memory that brought a flush of color to his cheeks. She smiled. "I don't dare ask what you're remembering."
Brian smiled wryly. "You don't want to know."
"I do want to know if it's about our wayward client. I take it this all happened before you met Justin?"
Brian frowned at Justin's mention. He had told no one at work about the events at the Rage party and the devastation that followed. He wasn't ready to do so now. "Yeah, it was."
"Did you pick Trevor up or vice versa?"
Brian paused, trying to recall the exact sequence of their initial meeting.
Flashback to the Meat Hook, the bar.
Brian was exhausted and raw, emotionally as well as physically. Getting fucked always left him feeling a little too exposed. He stopped at the bar for a quick drink before heading home. He was cruising no one, and was giving no one any hope who cruised him. But then he noticed one of his fellow barflies. The man's blond hair gleamed amid the dark hats and masks and leather. His only nod to leather accoutrement was a belt worn with jeans and a ribbed sweater, as well as his brown leather bomber jacket. He looked as out of place as a nun at a hip hop festival, with his tanned, healthy features and sunny smile. Despite his fatigue and sexual saturation, Brian had to approach him.
"Aren't you in the wrong duck pond, Chicken Little?" Brian teased.
Trevor looked up at the tall, handsome man who smelled vaguely of sex, sweat and leather. He then smiled, glad he decided to give the place five more minutes before he left. "You don't look like a bad biker boy yourself," Trevor responded, and Brian shrugged.
"Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't."
"You always quote trite ad slogans?" Trevor said with a smile and Brian chuckled.
"No, I try to come up with NEW trite ad slogans. It's what I do. I'm in advertising." Why did he say that? He never told tricks anything about his life.
"Me too, in a manner of speaking. Vice President over Marketing for the North American division of a large manufacturer of consumer electronics."
"A corporate puke," Brian said with a smile, and Trevor laughed.
"Careful, I may want to hire your firm someday."
"You sound a bit Brit."
"I am a bit Brit, but don't hold that against me. We all had to come from somewhere. Trevor Rainer," he thrust out his hand and Brian shook it and gave him his name.
"Irish?" Trevor asked and Brian shrugged.
"Genetically, but don't worry. The only IRA connections I have are Investment Retirement Accounts."
Trevor laughed and offered to buy Brian a drink. Brian accepted. Fifteen minutes later, they left together.
Scene 3, the alley behind Meat Hook.
The weather was cool and crisp, a stark contrast to the overheated club. The alley was dark and damp, a shortcut to the parking lot. Brian was suddenly overcome with desire. He flung Trevor against the wall and kissed him deeply, insinuating his thigh between the other man's legs so he could feel his cock stiffen.
"Not here, not like this," Trevor tried to convince him, but Brian was an immutable force. His hands roamed Trevor's body under his sweater and he rubbed his erection against Trevor's pelvis, thrusting his tongue back in his mouth to quiet him. Brian held Trevor's wrists in a grip as tight as handcuffs and any reservations Trevor had about the place or the method melted away in the heat of his excitement.
Within minutes, Brian turned Trevor to the wall, pressing his forearm against the back of his neck, as if to restrain him, while he opened his leather pants and let them slip, expertly snapping on a condom with one hand. He used his fingers to stretch the ring of Trevor's sphincter, wanting to ease his own penetration. He reclaimed his status as a top in one smooth upward shove of his hard cock, pulling Trevor against his body as he fucked him. Brian's lips sucked at Trevor's neck, his eyes closed, as his mind escaped into that familiar land of poke and stroke.
Trevor became engaged in it, masturbating with the same vigor Brian showed for his ass. The discomfort caused by Brian's oversized cock was eased by the pleasure he created with his knowledgeable thrusting. Trevor came first, leaving his illegible graffiti on the wall just moments before Brian finished. His brimming condom was abandoned on the cement along with countless other reminders of outlaw sex in a dark alleyway.
They fixed their clothing and Brian lit a cigarette, offering one to Trevor, who declined. Trevor handed him a card.
"Look, I'm new in town, Brian. I don't really know any gay men here. I rather wish we had started more slowly, because I think we have much in common and I'd like to be friends."
Brian politely put the card in his pocket, having no intention of calling him. He didn't date, didn't do the same trick twice. And if he just wanted to hang out, he had friends for that already. They walked towards the parking lot together.
"You won't call me, will you?" Trevor said, stopping near a Porsche that Brian admired with a glance.
"Probably not, no. I don't do that."
"Perhaps you should. I think we'd have a lot to talk about."
"Yeah, well..." Brian squinted in the dim light of an acid yellow street lamp, locating his Jeep. "I have to go."
"Call me if you ever decide to grow up, Peter Pan," Trevor called out and Brian smiled at his insult, but didn't turn around as he continued walking to his car.
Flash forward to Brian's office.
Cynthia sighed. Brian didn't tell her everything, but what he did share was an interesting glimpse into her boss's complex sexuality. "Ok, you meet him, you like him, you have fabulous sex, albeit in an alley, and then.....nada? You don't even REMEMBER him? Gee, Brian, I kind of hate you myself right now."
Brian laughed. "I can understand that. Look, I don't DATE. I met Justin right after that happened and my whole world was turned upside down. I've had a lot of men in my life, Cyn. Trevor's timing was off. He got lost in the shuffle, I guess. When I met with him on this campaign, he looked familiar, but I didn't put it together until now. I thought maybe he was that guy, but he didn't seem eager to recall that night, so I let it go. Gay Etiquette 101. Pretend it never happened, and it never happened. People have lots of reasons for wanting to forget. And I've had other things to occupy my time."
"You mean Justin?"
"I mean let's leave memory lane behind and start talking about how we can fix this."
Cynthia leaned across his desk and said in a half-joking manner, "How far are you willing to go, Kinney?"
He smiled slightly. "I always go to the wall for an account, you know that."
Cynthia nodded, realizing yet again what pretty poison her boss could be.
Scene 3, the cafeteria at the university. Ben and Justin are at a table, eating lunch off of trays.
Ben smiled patiently at Justin who was poking a gelled salad with a fork. "It's disgusting. Why did you buy it?" Ben asked.
"Jello is comfort food for me. But this is like rubber with bananas trapped in it. My mom makes one with bing cherries that..." he sighed. "Why am I so nervous?"
"I don't know. You shouldn't be. I'm sorry I couldn't get away for a longer lunch. I have a class at 12:30, so..."
"I know. It's fine. I'm just glad you agreed to see me. I thought maybe you wouldn't."
"Why is that, Justin?"
"Well," he shifted his weight uncomfortably. "Michael is so mad at me, I thought maybe you were too...I guess I'm the enemy now."
"Justin," Ben reached across the table to pat his arm in a comforting gesture. "Be reasonable. Michael is Brian's best friend. They have a long history together. Of course he's going to be protective of Brian. I'd be disappointed in him if he weren't. From Michael's point of view, you hurt Brian. And you did it in a public way. Just give Michael some time to work through his emotions. I think Brian's perspective will help."
Justin looked confused. "Brian?"
"Yes. I can't pretend to understand the clockworks that make Brian tick, not sure anyone can, including Brian. But I suspect he'll take some pleasure out of the fact that in his own circuitous mind, he seems to believe he did a good thing for you."
"What do you mean?"
Ben sighed, not wanting to delve too deeply into the psychology of their relationship. "Justin, it's just my supposition added to something Brian said to Michael the day after it happened."
"Please tell me, Ben. I don't understand Brian either. I may be closer to him than a lot of people, but I never got all the way through his layers."
Ben looked surprised. "Sure you did."
"Why do you say that?"
"Because you did, Justin. I watched you two together. I saw things in Brian when he was with you or reacting to you that I never saw even a glimpse of with anyone else. I think you did mine down to the core, but maybe you didn't know it."
Justin wrinkled his nose, reminding Ben of a confused bunny. Sometimes the boy's premature sophistication masked his youth. Other times he boiled over with an innocence only the young can manage with any honesty. "What good thing did he do for me, Ben? I mean I know he did a lot of good things for me, but you seem to imply there was something specific."
"I think Brian realized that you still had a lot of growing up to do and life to live before you could or should handle a complex relationship with a man like him. You want romance? Well, he's not the one to give you that. Flowers and violins and the whole sweetheart dance? Nothing wrong with wanting it, Justin, it's part of growing up. But it's a stage Brian can't offer you. So he made it easy for you to find it with someone who can."
Justin leaned back in his chair, his lunch untouched. "You mean he wanted me to go with Ethan?"
"I can't speak for Brian," Ben said quietly. "I'm sure the mass of his heart and brain and being is devastated by your being gone. But some little corner of him is unselfish enough to want the best for you, and I think he believes that's with someone other than himself."
Ben saw Justin's sunny features turn cloudy. He wondered if he said too much or said the wrong thing. Was it possible that Justin didn't realize Brian had pushed him from the nest? Did it change anything? "Of course, that's just my opinion," he added as a disclaimer. He was not a meddler by nature, and he found this situation tense. "As for Michael and the comic book venture..." he tried to return to safe ground, but Justin stood up.
"I...I need to go, Ben. Thanks for listening and buying my lunch and...thanks. I'll try to be more patient with Michael. I ... bye."
He left and Ben watched him go, hoping he hadn't crossed the line between friend and buttinsky.
Scene 4, late night. Brian's loft.
Brian awoke with a raging hard on, unsure if a dream or just some vagrant bio rhythm inspired his lust. If a dream was at the back of it, he couldn't remember a thing about it. He reached across the bed for Justin's body, then winced. No Justin. How long was he going to reach out for ghosts and listen for spirits and long for the lost? His erection diminished. He squinted at the clock. Almost three. Too early to get out of bed and start his day, too late to go out and pretend it was all part of the same night. Weeknight, three a.m., only the losers and hard core sex addicts would be out at this hour. Not that he wasn't a hard core sex addict.
He picked up the cordless phone, dialing an 800 number by the blue light of the neon over his bed. A voice responded, Brian sighed. He began stroking himself as the disembodied voice on the sex line encouraged him with graphic descriptions of his own response. Instead of exciting him, the whole thing seemed suddenly ludicrous, and Brian hung up, dialing another number.
Justin, sleepy. "Hello?"
Brian's eyes closed, he pulled harder at his cock.
"Hello!" Justin demanded more forcefully, and then he half whispered, "Brian?"
Brian chuckled. Too easy. "Just...talk to me."
"I don't care. Just recite the alphabet or the Pledge of Allegiance. It doesn't matter. Talk to me."
"Uh, four score and seven years ago our forefathers...what am I doing, Brian?"
Brian felt his tension build. He needed to hear Justin's voice. He had to keep him talking. "Tell me the words to your favorite torch song. That one Judy Garland sang before you were conceived. The one you found on that weird CD of faggot standards. Tell me the words..."
Justin sighed. Brian ridiculed Justin when he caught him listening to this song. Justin had originally bought it from the markdown bin as a joke gift for Emmett. But these songs had a resonance for him when he listened to them, and he became attached to the meaning more than the melody. He even took it with him when he left Brian. "The night is bitter, the stars have lost their glitter, the wind blows colder and suddenly you're older. And all because of the man who got away..."
Brian winced, torn between the thrill of his impending orgasm and the pain of the lyrics. "Continue..." he beseeched him.
Justin continued with the lyrics, skipping over a stanza. He slowly understood what was happening on the other end of the conversation, so familiar with Brian's lust, that he could hear it in his voice. The thought of it was both compelling and confusing. "The man that won you, has gone off and undone you, that great beginning has seen the final inning, don't know what happened, it's all a crazy game! No more that all time thrill, for you've been through the mill....and..." he paused as he heard that catch in Brian's throat and a low moan as Brian finished himself off. Justin felt a responding thrill, but resisted it as Brian completed the lyrics for him,
"And never, never a new love will be the same. Goodnight Sunshine."
He hung up and Justin did the same, staring out at the velvety dark while he imagined Brian alone under the blue lights above his bed.
"You're repeating song lyrics to him at three in the morning?" Ethan turned towards him, but Justin kept his back to the bed. "It's got to stop!"
"He's going through something, Ethan. I'm just trying to be sympathetic. This isn't easy for Brian, you know."
"No, I don't fucking know. What I know is, he was totally emotionally unavailable to you when you were together and now suddenly he's mister sensitivity? What a load of crap! There are men who don't want a lover until that lover finds someone else, you know. It's a sick pathology. You have to stop playing into it, Justin. Either you're with me, or you're not. And I'm not having Brian fucking Kinney in my bed every night!"
Justin sighed and went into Ethan's arms, craving the comfort of his embrace. "I understand, but how do I tell him that? I've hurt him enough. How do I tell him not to call me?"
"If you can't, I will," Ethan said ominously, nuzzling Justin's pale hair and seeking his lips with his mouth. Justin relaxed under his embrace, willing his mind not to slip to that bed under the blue lights where Brian drifted into sleep, soothed by a moment of intimacy shared with the man who got away.
Next week on Transitions:
An angry Ethan confronts Brian about his late night calls. Brian seeks help from an unlikely source. Justin searches for insight from Lindsay. Brian makes an offer to Trevor.
|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