Fandom: Queer as Folk US
Timeline: Post 5.13; POV's
Word Count: 4.285
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything. It’s all CowLip and Showtime.
Beta: My lovely mander3_swish - thank you :)
As always: Every comment is welcome. I Love to read what you think. Thanks!
01. Listen to me
02. Trust me
03. Babylon Part 1 | Part 2
04. Find a way Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
05. ...remember what's missing?
06. The Party
07. Thanksgiving 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
08. 1 wedding, 4 rings... 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
09. The first Webcam Sex Chat
10. The first call
11. Expectations - Happy Valentine | Revenge
12. March 18th 2006
13. Aftermath - 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
14. Be careful what you wish for
15. Changes - 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14
We had a good night. Well, he had a good night. He slept like a baby - didn’t even move - so he obviously he didn’t have bad dreams. When I woke up it was pretty early, but he was still asleep. Not wanting to wake him, I went downstairs, called Ted, went to my studio, grabbed my laptop, and got back in bed. I wanted to be there when he woke up. I had no idea why, but I hoped it would be better than him waking up alone.
I wrote some emails and waited.
By the time he finally woke up, it was almost noon. He blinked a few seconds and moaned.
“Good morning,” I said softly. “How did you sleep?”
He seemed a little confused. He wasn’t completely awake yet, but he seemed to recmember what had happened yesterday. “And how do you feel?”
I waited a few seconds before I leaned down and kissed him softly. He somehow seemed distant and that worried me a little, especially after what he had told me last night. He was finally opening up to me and I was hoping that it had happened willingly. But now it seemed like he was completely hung-over even though he wasn’t drunk last night.
“What time is it?” he asked.
That woke him up completely and it made him angry. I expected that. Raymon was still a big deal and there was still a lot of work to do and for Brian it was a priority.
“What the fuck? Why didn’t you wake me?”
“Because I thought you needed your sleep. And yes, I know that you have to work on the campaign for Raymon. I called Ted this morning and he said that he and Cynthia are still busy with getting all the details you were asking for and that they would call as soon as they were done.”
“Fuck that, I’m not sick!” He practically jumped out of the bed and gave me a bitter look. “Stop acting as if I needed a babysitter.”
I sighed and fell back on the bed, crossed my arms behind my head and looked at him. I was relaxed, as I said, and I expected him to freak out because of not waking him. “I knew you wouldn’t agree with me, but I wanted you to rest.”
But then something changed, something in his look. It changed from angry into panic and I knew that Raymon was no reason to panic, not even for him. So I got up, too. I stood on the bed and walked over to him, putting my arms on his shoulder. Just like last night when he needed to keep body contact I thought it would help me now, too.
“Do you want to visit her grave?” I asked him and touched his lips with my fingers. “It’s a way to say goodbye.”
It was as if we were drifting apart, even though we were standing close to each other. He was drifting away and I couldn’t stop him.
“Don’t touch me,” he said with a broken voice and pulled away, as if he couldn’t breathe.
Now I got worried and a little scared. He couldn’t be that angry just because I didn’t wake him. “Brian…”
“I have to go!”
He practically flew out of the room and the house. I tried to follow him, but I couldn’t get to him in time, and then he drove away. He was closing up again, shutting me out and pushing me away and I was not willing to accept that, not again. Not after last night, not after all these years. I wanted to follow him right away, but I wasn’t dressed.
I tried to call him, but it went straight to his voicemail.
Sometimes you’re not able to concentrate on just one thing. You can’t set priorities because everything that happens is important. Maybe not always to you, but to someone you care about.
Blake and I were still waiting for the lawyer to call us. I had talked to Melanie about it, too, and she told me that everything John Heldman had told us was right and that our chances to at least see Pascal again weren’t that bad – depending on the judge we would get.
Waiting for something to happen was just annoying. It was almost impossible to concentrate on anything else and the dinner with Raymon hadn’t turned out the way we wanted it too. He seemed to like us, Kinnetik, and Brian’s work – but he had very big expectations and we needed that client. It was important to work on it and I wanted to, but I was thankful that Brian and Cynthia were going to work on it as well so I didn’t have to concentrate on every single detail. If I missed something, they would see it. That was team work and we were good at it.
But then something got in the way. Of course we didn’t know what had happened. We just saw a woman that later turned out to be Brian’s sister storming into the office and then we heard the two of them fighting. The door was closed, so it hadn’t been that loud, but we had heard enough. Brian’s mother was dead.
Normally, you would just say “I’m sorry” and then you hug your friend and offer him some help, but with Brian nothing was ever normal. First of all, I only ever saw his mom twice, never talked to her, and for what I knew, they hadn’t been very close. Second… Brian didn’t seem to be shocked or even sad. After his sister had left, we waited a few min,utes and then got back to work. Brian came back in and told us to keep working on the Raymon stuff and then he left the office without saying anything more.
After a little while, I got worried and I tried calling Brian, but he didn’t answer his cell phone. Sure, maybe he was at home with Justin, but I would’ve been more relieved to know that for sure. Brian Kinney was a very smart man when it was all about business, but not so smart when it came to his private life. Sometimes he seemed to be helpless about what to do and it rubbed off on the people around him. Sometimes we had no idea how to handle him.
I went to Woody’s later to check out if he was there, but I only found Michael so I talked to him. He had no idea what had happened either. That wasn’t a good sign, was it? After all, Michael was Brian’s best friend.
I got a call from Justin the next morning to tell me that Brian would be late for work because he was still asleep and that he didn’t want to wake him up. I was relieved to hear that Brian was with Justin and so – of course – Cynthia and I took care of the Raymon stuff as good as possible. We still had some work to do, and we were both relieved knowing that Brian with Justin.
At 1:30 Justin showed up at Kinnetik. He did not look happy or relaxed.
“Hey,” I greeted him, happy to see him before I realized that normally he had no reason show up because Brian wasn’t there. “What’s going on?”
“Is Brian here?” he asked, obviously worried.
“No. He didn’t show up today. I thought he was with you.”
“He was, but then…” He closed his eyes briefly and shook his head. “I don’t know where he is, he won’t answer his phone.”
Obviously, something had gone wrong. As much as I knew Brian we weren’t close enough for me to figure out what had happened. “Did you try the loft?”
He nodded. “It’s empty.”
Okay, Brian was not a candidate for suicide, but he was definitely a candidate for idiocy because in his head he somehow thought that ignorance was a good way to make pain bearable.
“If he shows up…”
“I’ll call you,” I said and watched Justin leave. There was nothing else I could do.
“Ted, there’s a call for you!”
I turned around and saw Cynthia waving with the phone. If it had been Brian she would’ve told me and she would have been talking to him, so I knew it must be someone else.
“Hello?” I answered.
“Hey, it’s me.”
“I got a call from John Heldman.”
I was standing in my shop, staring at the huge Rage figure and the big ad about the webcomic that was coming soon.
I was waiting for Brian to call ever since I had seen Ted last night. I tried calling him all day, but no answer. That wasn’t normal. He hadn’t been at the diner this morning, he didn’t show up at his office, and wherever I called, he didn’t answer.
I knew his mother hadn’t been the best mother and that he always tried to avoid her. He never talked about her, not now and also not when we were kids. All he ever said was that she didn’t care about him, that she only cared about herself. I never believed him, not really. She was always nice when I saw her so how could she be as horrible as he said?
I remembered the first time my mom hugged Brian, like she tended to do with people, she loves to hug them. Anyway, when she hugged Brian the first time it was after we both got an A in geography – she totally knew he helped me and it was important for me to get a good grades – he was totally insecure how to respond and what to do.
“Would you just put your arms around me,” my mom had told him and he did. Back then, it was a funny moment for me, but now, when I look back, I think it was the first time ever that someone hugged him just to show him some love and gratitude – except for me of course, but that was different.
I sighed when I saw Justin entering my store. Finally!
“Hey,” I greeted him.
“Hey. Brian’s not here, is he?”
He looked really concerned and when I shook my head he closed his eyes and mumbled a “Fuck”.
“Don’t tell me you’ve been looking for him since we talked last night?” I asked.
Justin leaned against the table. “He came home. Right after we spoke and he stayed home and everything was okay… at least I thought so, but this morning he totally freaked out and I don’t know why. He woke up and at first I thought he was just angry because I hadn’t woke him up for work, but then… he fled. I tried to follow him, but I couldn’t catch up. And now…”
Fuck! We both knew the kind of pain management Brian preferred to use in order to ignore the feeling and problems as long as possible.
“Have you been to the loft?”
“Yes, I was at the loft and I was also at Kinnetik and I was at the Diner. Nothing. No one saw him, it’s like he completely disappeared.” He looked at me. “Why is he doing this? Coming home and then running away? It doesn’t make any sense.”
It’s not that I had a master plan, normally Brian always showed up, sooner or later. Sometimes he was a mess and sometimes he acted as if nothing had happened. It was pointless to push him, he wouldn’t open up unless he really wanted to or couldn’t help it anymore.
I shrugged. “Maybe you just have to wait. Maybe he just needed to get out. He’ll be back sooner or later, you know him.”
Justin shook his head and he looked almost angry. “I’m so done with that! I’m not willing to put up with this bullshit anymore. If he needs to be alone, fine, but I won’t let him push me away again! This is not how pain management works in a relationship.”
He had always been very ambitious when it came to Brian. He wanted him to do things, to say things, and to accepts things Brian Kinney would never do, say, and accept. I always told him that Brian would never change, but honestly… they lived in a big house outside of Pittsburgh, they were wearing rings, and they had long-distance relationship for over 3 years. Fuck, that kid had even gotten a proposal from Brian so who was I to tell him what to do? He must have had done some things right so far.
I could handle the teenage Brian and I was pretty good at it, but we weren’t teenagers anymore. Things had changed, circumstances had changed, and we had changed too, both of us. Unfortuneately, we hadn’t really changed together. Sure, we were still friends and somehow I knew that in one or two weeks we would end up at the loft smoking some really good stuff and talking about the good old times, and yes, maybe that would help him to cheer up for a few hours, but I was not the one he came too when something happened – not anymore.
I wasn’t sure if I was proud of Justin or disappointed because of the development. I always enjoyed being the best friend, having a special status and being the one Brian trusts more than anyone else. I knew I still was the best friend and I would always have a special status and that he still trusted me, but… it was weird to loose that first place status in his life and be dumped to second.
“Okay,” I nodded. “You should check out Woody’s and Babylon... maybe he’s in his office there. And even if I don’t think is, he might be with Claire to discuss the funeral and…”
“The funeral was last Friday.”
Huh? What the fuck…? “But…”
“She said she couldn’t find him.”
“He didn’t even get a chance to see his mother once more before she died?” What the hell was wrong with that family? They were all so fucked up and somehow it was always Brian that ended up taking their bullshit.
Justin obviously felt the same. “No.”
“Unbelievable. Then… maybe he’s at his parent’s house. I’ll give you the address.”
I wrote him a note.
“Thanks. And when he shows up…”
“I’ll call you.” I nodded. Just a few seconds after he left the phone rang. My inner voice told me that Brian would call my cell phone and not the stores phone, but I still had some hope that he would finally call me.
“Hi Daddy! Guess what?!”
I called him every five minutes, but every time it went straight to voicemail. Of course I left messages that he should call me back, but how many messages was I supposed to leave? It was obvious that he didn’t want to talk to me – he was running away.
I checked out the address Michael gave me from Brian’s parent’s home, and I went to Lindsay’s because I thought maybe Brian wanted to spend time with Gus. Lord, I even drove to his sister’s house, only to realize that not in a million years he would go there. She bitched at me, didn’t even let me in, and told me to tell Brian that she was still waiting for the money to pay for the funeral.
I tried to be nice, I mean… she had lost her mother, too, so I tried to be respectful, but she really made it impossible and when I left I changed the goodbye into “Bitch”, turned around and drove back to the loft, hoping that he’d returned.
I called Ted again, I called Michael, I called Debbie… no one had seen him.
What was I supposed to do now? Where should I go? Where did he go? Was he with someone else? I leaned against the loft door, took my cell phone out and dialed Brian’s number again.
“Hey, it’s me. Again. I know I already left you at least five messages and it’s obvious that you don’t want to call me back. So this is my last call. You know, Brian… this sucks! I’m worried about you, I care about you, and this is not how this is going to work. If you need to be alone, then tell me. Don’t run away and don’t push me away! I won’t let you get away with that. I have no idea where you are and I don’t know where else you could be. I’ve checked every everywhere! I’m driving back home now and I’ll wait there for you. I really hope you’re okay. Please take care of yourself.”
It was his seventh message, it was the last one, and I listened to it over and over and over again for about twenty minutes. I had so many messages on my voicemail from Michael, Debbie, and even Ted. They were all worried about me, but it was this last one from Justin that totally caught me off-guard.
I had been sitting in my car in front of the cemetery for hours. I had gone to the loft first, but I left minutes later, not knowing what do or where to go. I felt like passing out. It seemed that there was no place left for me, no place to stay, no home. I felt empty, unable to feel, think, or talk.
And then the voicemail beeped again and I listened to Justin’s seventh’ message, and when it was over I listened to it again and with each time I felt like I was coming back to life. Things became more clear in my head and everything made sense again.
The loft wasn’t home anymore because I had grown out of it. It was still a cool place, expensive, and fascinating, but it wasn’t me anymore. It seemed that we didn’t fit anymore.
Michael was still a safe place for me and I knew I could go there, he would be there, and we would talk about the past. That was what we always did and it was fun, it was safe, we had no responsibilities, and it was just him and me and the endless past we shared. But I didn’t need a safe place, not anymore. There was nothing left from what I was running away from. They were both dead.
I’m driving back home now and I’ll wait there for you.
We had been through so much – he had been through so much with me. I knew that. I always had. I never asked him to; that always had been my excuse when anyone blamed me for treating him like shit – pretty lame wasn’t it? Sure, I never asked him to fall in love with me and to put up with all my bullshit and maybe I never made any promises, at least not with words, but there were moments when I asked him to love me, practically begged for it and just hoped that he realized it because, I couldn’t say it, because I was too scared to take responsibility for my feelings.
Just like this morning.
Who else would stay with someone and always come back to someone who was so fucking messed up? Why would someone do that?
I’m worried about you, I care about you.
Because he loved me, that’s why. And I knew he did, I’ve always known that. But love had always been something I couldn’t reach out for, something unreal. Sometimes it felt even wrong to me. Seeing other couples made me sad – of course I never showed it, but sometimes I just wanted to have what they had, but then I didn’t, I couldn’t. What if I ended up just like my father?
Please take care of yourself.
And now? Now I was sitting in my car, in front of the cemetery, not knowing what to do. I didn’t answer the any of the calls from the people who cared about me. I preferred to stay alone, waiting for something I didn’t even know. Now I was on the best path to become exactly who I never wanted to be: my father. A guy who ran away from everything his whole life instead of taking responsibility for what he really wanted. He probably called it noble that he stayed with his wife and his kids – I call it chicken. He didn’t want to be there, he didn’t love her, and all the anger he had because in his mind he was bound to a life he didn’t want to live, he missed out on me – and my mother. If he would’ve left us, maybe he wouldn’t have minded us so much.
I always focused so much on everything I thought I never wanted or needed that I totally lost control over what I wanted and needed. It was time to stop running away from the things my father couldn’t deal with as soon as I was reminded of him.
I got out of the car and walked through the cemetery to the family grave. The ground was a fresh mound and there were a few wreaths on the grave. I just stood there and stared at the place in front of me. They couldn’t stand each other during their lifetimes and now they were reunited in eternity. I wonder if my mother realized that when she had prayed for his and her soul all the time. I couldn’t help it, I had to laugh.
They had been so fucking pathetic.
“Fuck you,” I said and laughed again. I knew it was sacreligious, after all I was at a cemetery, but I felt like getting free of every fucking bond I ever had. No one would ever tell me again that I would burn in hell, at least no one that mattered. No one would ever tell me again that I wasn’t supposed to have kids, to be in a relationship, to be a family guy. “Fuck you!”
I would send my sister a check for about two grand and if there was a god above I would never ever have to see or to hear from her again.
I walked back to my car and drove home. As weird as it might sound and as cheesy as it was and no matter how often I would still roll my eyes on that insight: Home was where Justin was. Where ever it was. The loft – it had been my home, until he moved in and I wanted him to move in. As soon as he left, the loft felt empty, uncomfortable, and not like home anymore. The fucking hotel room in New York – it was luxurious, comfortable, and warm, but the only reason I went there was for him. The house – it was big, it was beautiful, it was cool, but without him it was just big and empty and I couldn’t live there.
After eight years, he had finally turned me into a cheesy lesbian and I had to check if I still had a dick or if it already had changed into a pussy, but what the fuck?
“Justin?!” I slammed the door behind me and waited for an answer. Nothing, but his car – a stupid red, little puppy car – was outside, so he had to be home. “Justin?!”
There was only one place he couldn’t hear me, so I walked to his studio and went in without knocking. He was sitting in front of his computer and he winced when I opened the door without knocking.
“Fuck!” He closed his eyes briefly and took a deep breath when he got up. “You scared the shit out of me! Where the fuck have you been? Do you have any id…”
I put one hand on his neck and pulled him into my arms for a kiss. At first there was a little resistance, but after a few seconds he gave in, so I deepened the kiss, moved down a little down to grab him under his ass and lifted him up. I sighed thankfully when he put his legs around my waist.
“Okay, that’s a nice way to apologize, but I’m still angry,” he said when we broke the kiss to breathe again.
My forehead was leaned against his and I couldn’t help smiling. I had absolutely no idea what to say. There was a lot to say, but on the other hand, there was nothing left to discuss. Plus, I just wasn’t good with expressing my feelings.
“I was worrying abo…”
“I love you,” I interrupted him, still carrying him.
“I know, but that’s no excuse, Brian.”
I shook my head against his and looked him straight in the eyes and hoped that he would see what I was trying to say. “I love you.”
He just answered my look for a few seconds and then gave me a smile, one of those I love you, too-smiles and I knew he got it. At least the most important thing: That I wanted to be with him and that I was back home.
I kissed him again and opened the studio door with my feet and headed back to the house.
He laughed on my lips. “I can walk. You can let me down.”
“I won’t let you down.”
I carried him through the garden into the house and upstairs into the bedroom. Maybe I wasn’t good with words, but there were other things I was good at.