Fandom: Queer as Folk US
Timeline: Post 5.13; POV's
Word Count: 5.397
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything. It’s all CowLip and Showtime.
Beta: My sweet later2nite - thank you :)
Had been a long long time, I know! But hey, I didn't leave you with a Cliffhanger! But, here it is now, the final chapter to this Series! The Epilogue!
Let me thank you, all of you, all my beta-readers and those who recognized me at the Convention in Cologne and told me how much they liked my little Series. This makes me so proud!
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 | 15 | 16
17. From now on 1 | 2
Today was the day. The papers were signed, the boy was waiting, and we were both fucking nervous. I admit I was more nervous than Blake. I had no idea how he was doing that. He was always so fucking calm and totally in control. Every time I look at him, I see the young stud that came after me – for a reason I will never understand but will always be thankful for – a drug addict and insecure man without any perspective for his future.
And now we were married – as legally as possible in Pennsylvania. We had a house, we both had jobs we loved, and from today on, we would be fathers. We'd be a family, he and I, together. It’s still unbelievable to me. We’ve been through so much, and even though we’d always loved each other, it seemed that time had always worked against us.
That is... until we met during the ski weekend almost five years after we'd first met. Since then, nothing and no one has been able to come between us. But I could still remember those years when I'd been looking for the one person who could make me feel complete, happy, needed, wanted, and loved. More than once I'd thought I'd found that person, just to end up alone in the end.
“You’re worrying again?”
I looked at him. He had parked the car in front of the children’s home. We had bought a child safety seat for the car and some toys for him to play with, and we had big plans for today because we still wanted Pascal to choose his new room.
“I was just thinking,” I said. “We had a lot of luck.”
Blake nodded, took my hand, and leaned over and kissed me softly. “We deserve it.”
“We deserve it.”
“Let’s go get our baby.”
When we'd told Pascal that he would live with us and that we'd be his new daddies, he hadn’t believed us. He'd thought we'd been talking about another weekend or some more visiting, and that, sooner or later, we wouldn’t show up anymore – just as we had told him.
“It turned out that people think the three of us should be together as a family,” Blake had tried to explain what we'd meant. “And that means you’re going to live with us in our house. Not just for a weekend, but forever. You’re going to have your own room, your own place, and we will be there every day. We’re going to be a family.”
“How long?” he'd asked.
“For the rest of our lives,” Blake had answered.
I'd nodded to try to convince the boy to trust us. I could totally understand that he didn’t. He had been through a lot lately - a lot of ups and downs, just like we had.
“And I can stay with you?”
“You’re going to be our son,” I'd said. “We’re going to be your daddies. We’re a family. You’ll stay with us and we're never going to leave you alone again.” Big words. I knew that. I’m sure his parents had also thought they'd always be together. They hadn’t expected to die so young and leave their baby boy alone in this cruel world.
“Promise?” the boy asked.
“Promise,” Blake and I answered.
And today was the day: The Big Day! I knew he was already waiting for us, probably afraid that we wouldn’t show up. But we did. We were there, just like we'd been the day before, when they'd given a big good-bye party for him with all his friends and the minders.
When we entered his room, he was sitting there with his big luggage, waiting for us. When he saw us, he smiled brightly and jumped into my arms. It’s such a weird feeling to know there’s someone completely counting on you and totally depending on you. He’s a baby. He needs people to take care of him and to love him, and now, we were the people to do so. We'd already gotten so much back from him - all the trust and all the love. It was scary and beautiful at the same time.
“You’re ready, Champ?” I asked him, carrying him, while Blake took the luggage.
“Yes,” he nodded happily.
And then we left the children’s home, and the plan was that not one of us would ever come back here.
We drove back home, Blake and I both having some free days from work to be there for Pascal to help him get acclimated to his new home. We had been warned that sometimes kids have nightmares in the beginning, or even get sick with fever or tummy ache. We'd also been warned that he'd probably acquire a bed-wetting habit, and that we'd just have to be there for him to make him feel safe and at home, especially during the first months.
We had a big family, who, of course, were totally excited to finally meet him. But we decided to wait until the weekend before we let them all run over him. We decided to call it a welcome-party and have everybody bring some little presents, so that Pascal would be sure to warm up to them.
When we arrived at home, he stood in front of the house for a while and just looked at it. Then, he looked at us and walked to the door. I opened it and let him in.
“Here we are,” Blake said, setting the luggage down as Pascal again just stood there in the living room.
We showed him everything: the kitchen, the bathroom, the garden, our sleeping room, my office room, and his room, of course, which was still pretty empty.
“That’s it. That’s our house,” Blake said when we were done.
The boy was obviously totally confused. He seemed almost lost. “Where’s everyone?"
“Who?” I asked.
“All the people who live here? Where are they?”
“We live here,” Blake told him. “This is our house. Ted’s and mine. We’re the only people who live here. And now, you live here, too. This is our home.”
“Such a big house?” he asked, somewhat confused.
“Yeah. It’s all for us. It’s your new home, from now on,” I said.
Starting to trust my words, he totally brightened up, jumping up and down in his room. Then, he suddenly stopped and looked almost shocked. “I have to pee.”
Blake led him to the bathroom. “Can you do it yourself?”
“I’m a big boy!”
“Of course, you are! I’m sorry.” Blake left the room and closed the door.
A few minutes later, the boy came back out. While Blake went downstairs with him, I checked the bathroom and … yeah, he really was a big boy. Everything was clean.
The furniture was bought pretty quickly because the boy was easy going. We went to the Home Center and as soon as he saw the bunk bed, he wanted to have it.
We had lunch and dinner, and we played with him for a long time, mostly in the garden and mostly to get him tired so that he would sleep safely and soundly his first night.
“Can I have a swing?” he asked as we sat on the lawn in our garden after running around for what seemed like hours. “We had one at the children’s home and I liked it a lot. But if it’s too much, it’s okay, too.” He was still afraid that we wouldn’t want to have him or that we would get angry for no reason and bring him back to the children’s home.
Blake hugged him and laughed. “A swing’s not a problem.”
The first night was a lot easier than we'd expected. Since the furniture wouldn’t be delivered for two weeks, we bought him a kid’s tent to create a little safe place for him. We showed him again where he could find us if he needed us, and again where the toilet was. And, of course, we stayed until he was asleep. We looked in on him every single hour until we went to bed, too.
“He’s here,” Blake said as soon as we lay down. “He’s really here.”
He kissed me and cuddled against me. “Thank you.”
“Everything, Ted. This. This home, us, the boy… today. Everything. I have never been so happy in my entire life, and none of it would’ve been possible without you.”
I put my arm around him, holding him closely. It felt unreal. We'd be a family, from now on. No one knew what the future would give us, but for now, we were absolutely happy.
It was already 9 AM when I woke up, feeling a bump on my shoulder. “Hey,” I greeted the boy. When I turned around, I saw that my husband was still asleep. Obviously, we had been just as worn out as Pascal had been. I bumped him and got up.
“I’m hungry,” the boy said. “Can I have something to eat?” He held his teddy, looking almost scared because he'd awakened me.
“Of course, you can.” I took his hand in mine. “Let’s go downstairs. We’re going to make breakfast for the three of us, okay?”
Our first family breakfast was pretty cool. The boy babbled on and on, which we took as a sign that he felt comfortable, and that was the most important thing for us. He ate some toast with peanut butter and jam, and he drank almost an entire liter of milk. We went to the supermarket later that day to get some things that were familiar to him, like his favorite breakfast and the orange juice he always drank at the children’s home.
It turned out that Pascal was a huge fan of Batman and Robin, so we asked Justin to help us out with one wall in the boy's room. Of course, he agreed. One week later, he'd produced a colored drawing of Batman, Robin, and Pascal saving the world.
Pascal adored Justin from the moment he'd offered to draw him as a friend of Batman and Robin, and a superhero, too. The boy was totally fascinated when Justin drew the picture on his wall, and then colored it in.
When it was done, he was absolutely stunned. “That’s me!”
“That’s you,” Justin agreed. “That’s you helping Robin and Batman save the world. Without you, they couldn’t have done it. You like it?”
“Yeah!” He beamed at Justin and nodded. “Thank you.”
“You’re very welcome, Little Man.”
Pascal turned around to Blake and me. “Look! I helped Batman and Robin save the world!”
And from that second on, I had no doubts anymore that this boy totally and perfectly fit into our strange, loud, and sometimes weird family.
They would love him and he would love them.
Raymon catapulted my agency from sort of unknown to absolutely well known. We had tons of requests from companies that wanted and needed something provoking to get them back on track. The slump was still going on, but it was a fucking relief to know that it wouldn’t affect us any more than it already had.
Ted and I called every single employee we'd had to lay off a few months earlier, and almost all of them agreed to come back. That was another relief, since we wouldn’t have to break them in. They knew us, the company, the work we did, and how we worked. I'd gotten Kinnetik back on track - and fuck! I was proud of it!
Not only that, but everything seemed to be working out absolutely perfectly lately. Even though, deep down, I knew it wouldn’t last, at the moment I was just thankful and happy. And maybe, for the first time ever, I was absolutely fine with all the changes that had happened around me and in my life. I knew that, sooner or later, it would scare the shit out of me again, as always.
Simply, the thought that I, Brian Kinney, well known as Stud of Liberty Avenue, lived in a monogamous relationship in a manor out of town and was fucking my partner raw, was just frightening. Or maybe, it was the fact that it didn’t frighten me at all that frightened me the most.
Fucking raw was more than I'd ever expected it to be. It was pure, and no matter how fast or hard the fuck was, it was never just a fuck. It was always… raw and pure. Nothing to save you from all the feelings you have inside, nothing to keep your heart from feeling all its lust and love, and nothing to practically let you strip off the fuck that just happened. It’s only you… raw and pure.
In the beginning, it had felt so fucking intense that none of our fucks had lasted longer than just a few minutes – for both of us.
“Maybe we should extend the foreplay a little,” Justin had said after another really short, but very exhausting, fuck. “Maybe that will help us to last longer.”
“Maybe we just have to practice more.”
And, Lord! We did practice! It seemed so much easier now, although it wasn’t because I'd always placed the condoms all around the house to make sure I could fuck him wherever and whenever I wanted to. But now, we were fucking everywhere. All the time. And it felt so pure every time.
“Have I ever told you it’s absolutely and incredibly cute that, after all these years, you’re still dreaming of him when he’s not around?”
I closed my eyes briefly and gave Cynthia an annoyed look, but it didn’t make her stop smiling like a stupid brat. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said.
“Of course, you do.” She handed me the daily mail. “Never mind, Boss.”
“Thank you.” I took the post and looked after her when she left, and then I grabbed the phone and dialed our number at home.
“Missing me?” I asked him while looking through the mail.
“My ass hurts,” he complained. He practically always complains about that but, as soon as I get home, his ass seems perfectly in shape.
“I promise to take care of that later,” I said.
He laughed. “Everything okay?”
“Of course. I was just thinking of you, and since my lovely assistant has already caught me while doing it, I thought it would be okay if I called you while I’m doing it.”
“You know, it’s really cute that, after all these years, you’re still thinking about me when I’m not around.”
Really? I rolled my eyes. “What is this? The slogan of the day?”
“The Rage animation has already had almost 250,000 visitors, and there are at least 12 illegal copies all around the internet. How fucking cool is that?”
“How much money does that mean for you?” I asked him, holding a handwritten envelope in my hand. No sender address.
“Not sure. I have to wait till the month is over before Zack gets the whole costs.”
I opened the envelope and another one fell out of it, together with a note that said, Mom left this for you. Love, Claire. Of course, the envelope had already been opened.
“Yeah. Still here. I have to go, though. How about dinner tonight? There’s this new Thai restaurant that's supposed to be very exclusive not far from here. I’ll pick you up you at seven?”
“Okay. I'll be waiting for you. Keep thinking about me.”
“Twat.” I hung up and stared at the opened envelope. What was I supposed to do? Read it? Throw it away? What would she have left me? Another loud and clear message that I'll burn in hell? Sighing, I pulled the letter out. What was there to lose?
With all the costs and work that was done, I'd probably get a few thousand dollars out of the Rage animation. Whoever expected Rage to become such a rewarding investment? It was fucking cool, and it was inspiring. I'd been painting a lot lately. It was like there were thousands of pictures in my head that had to come out. Everything seemed to inspire me.
I had spent the entire previous week at Ted and Blake's house, drawing a Batman, Robin, and Pascal comic on the wall of the little boy's room and... what can I say? He’s just adorable and sweet. He was totally excited. When I finished, he was so happy and thankful. It was just adorable. And Ted and Blake were so fucking proud of him.
Having a kid had never been a real theme between Brian and me. Sure, we had talked about it, but, back then, it was all far away in the future. It still is, but the issue's come up again. I can feel it. Seeing everyone around me have a family, I keep thinking about it. If I ever decide that we'll become a family, too, I know I have to build the idea in Brian's head so that, in the end, he'll think he was the one who came up with it. That’s the only way it'll work. It has to be his idea.
But, so far, there isn’t a plan or any real idea. We still have a lot of time, and right now, I just want to enjoy us. I just know that all this inspiration came up because I'm so fucking happy.
Anyway, Bill told me I'd made it easy for him to help me, lately. I'd had a few shows all around the United States, and that was fucking cool. I had been in Philadelphia for almost five days. I'd been in three shows and had received a lot of pretty good reviews out of them.
My website was also still up and running, and I'd sold two of my paintings on it. You could say I'd been having a really good run, lately… we'd been having a really good run, lately. Getting this huge Raymon account had caused Kinnetik to return to 'Winning Street' and Brian was pretty happy about that. He was relieved to be able to rehire almost all of the people he'd had to fire.
So... we were happy. We were a happy couple, and I admit that it made me a little nervous. I was probably a little oversensitive, sort of watching Brian all the time to make sure that he was happy, too. That was a stupid thing to do. I should’ve enjoyed what we had, and, so far, we had a lot.
Fucking raw, without a condom, was absolutely amazing. It was so much better than I ever expected it to be. It was more than I ever expected it to be, too, not only making me feel a lot more loved than before, but also more vulnerable. And if I felt like this, how must Brian feel? And there… another fear. So, I kept watching him, just to make sure our little bubble wouldn’t burst. Of course, I tried to do it low-key, acting totally normally.
But I never forgot all those little things that had always burst my bubbles before - like the Zucchini Man, who'd just made some stupid comments about Brian and me, and our relationship; or the hustler he'd gotten me for my 19th birthday; or Michael and Ben, when they'd decided to get married. And now, Ted and Blake had adopted a little boy. My antennae were quivering. Everything seemed to be a possible danger. As I said, I was a little oversensitive.
From time to time, I had these little daydream nightmares where something would happen and Brian would just break free, get drunk, and fuck some random trick or get his dick sucked by some random guy. So far, nothing had happened and I knew Brian had changed. I knew he tried a lot, so I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to put any pressure on him for no reason. I also didn’t want to be seen as ungrateful.
I took a shower and got dressed, waiting for him to pick me up for the new restaurant, but he didn’t show up. He didn't he call me, either. I waited till 8 PM before I called him, his phone ringing and going straight to voice mail. He obviously pressed my call away.
“Mh, hey, me. I’m waiting here. Call me if you can’t make it, so I can order some food. Bye.”
I didn’t really worry. I knew he was very busy and something had likely happened... maybe some urgent new client, or whatever. But when he didn’t return my call during the next hour, I did start to worry. I tried to call him again, and again, he pressed my call away.
I didn’t leave another message. What for? Obviously, he didn’t want to talk to me.
Normally, I would’ve just gone to bed. A little angry, yes, but what the fuck? But, with this oversensitive mood I'd been in lately, I couldn’t go to sleep. I waited and waited, ate some Cheerios, and kept waiting. Nothing. No call. No email. Nothing. Okay, I was angry now, but I was also worried. At midnight, I took my keys and drove toward Pittsburgh.
First, I checked Woody’s. I saw Emmett and Drew, but no Brian. Then, I checked Babylon. I checked the bar, his office, the VIP Lounge... and then I stood in front of the back room, turning down at least twelve offers from guys who wanted to fuck me, but I couldn’t go in. So I walked out and checked the cars in front of the club. Brian’s car wasn’t there.
I was relieved, but I was also running out of ideas. If something had happened with one of the family, I would’ve received a call. So, I drove to Kinnetik and there it was - his car - right in front of the building. I parked my car right beside his and went in. The alarm was off, the door was open, and no one else was there. Of course, not.
“Brian?” I walked across the floor, into his office, and then I saw him. He was sleeping on the sofa, an almost empty bottle of Scotch right beside him. Something had happened. I knew he never got this drunk without a reason. A problem with Raymon? Maybe the account fell through? But, why? And why so suddenly? I walked over to him and saw an envelope on the table. It was hand-written and looked personal.
Picking it up, I pulled another envelope out of it and a small note. Mom left this for you. Love, Claire. I rolled my eyes. Even without reading what “mom had left,” I knew what had happened. Stroking his cheek softly, I heard him sigh. He turned around, still asleep. Then, I pulled the letter from the second envelope and read it.
It was horrible and full of upbraiding! She couldn’t count on him, ever. He'd left her alone, even though she was sick. She'd always tried her best to be a good mother; she'd tried to protect him when he was younger and he could’ve, at least, thanked her for that. She’s sorry he's unable to find the right way to get absolution and she’s praying for his lost soul until she dies. She also begged him to finally understand that what he’s doing is wrong, and that it will lead him to hell because it’s a sin and it’s not what God had planned for him.
She even used the word “disappointed.” She's always wanted them to be as close as they were supposed to be and she’s sorry that he wasn’t willing to at least try to be a good son – so to say.
I've only met that woman once, but … really? What the fuck was wrong with her?
Don’t worry about me. I’m not alone. I've already told you that I can always count on God. He’s always there for me. I hope you’ll see that, too, one day. God’s the only one you can count on. About whom can you say that?
But the best line was the last one: My endless love.
I looked at Brian, still asleep, and closed my eyes briefly.
I woke up when I fell off the sofa, bumping my head on the table. One look at the clock, and I just wanted to fall asleep again. Fuck! It was almost 6 AM! I had completely overslept everything and I hadn’t called Justin, who was probably more than pissed.
Getting up from the floor, I sat down on the sofa and tried to shake the sleep out of my body. I had to drive back home. I couldn’t stay at the office. No one needed to see me like this.
I grabbed my cell phone and saw that he hadn’t called again after the last try at midnight. Well, he probably really was pissed. Maybe he'd already packed his stuff, ready to leave me. Sighing, I snatched the letter, only to realize that it was open. I remembered putting it back into the envelope after reading it once, twice… again and again while getting drunk.
And then I saw that there was something written with a red marker, right at the end of the letter.
I couldn’t really sleep, so I got up at 6:30 AM and made myself some coffee. Thank god I hadn’t any big plans for that day. Brian wasn’t home yet, nor had he called me back. Nothing.
Okay, I knew where he was. I knew what had happened, and it had been my decision to not wake him up. I figured he didn’t want to talk about it, and I'd left him alone. I'd also left him a small note on the letter, so that he would know I'd been there, and then I'd left. He knew where to find me. But, as soon as I was back home, alone and in my bed, I realized that it was bullshit. I should’ve woken him up.
On my way from the kitchen to the studio, I practically ran into Brian. He looked awful, tired, and not really sober. “Good morning,” I said.
He blinked at me, holding up the letter from his mom so that I could see the big red words I'd left. “You can always count on me?”
I raised an eyebrow and cleared my throat. “Too much?”
“Way too much.” He squeezed his eyes shut and sighed. “But it helped me get rid of the Scotch.”
I decided that he needed the coffee a lot more urgently than I did, so I offered him my cup. “There’s no sugar in it, so far. Give it try. Might help.”
He took it and drank it. “Why didn’t you wake me up.”
I shrugged. “I figured that if you had wanted to talk to me, you wouldn’t have let me wait here for hours without calling me.”
He nodded tiredly. “I didn’t plan to drink so much. I should’ve called.” Then he held up the letter again. “So… what the fuck?”
I sighed. “I’m… I was… Well, I was worrying.”
He frowned. “That I would do what?”
We would really have this conversation right in middle of the floor, in front of the door. I bit my lip and crossed my arms. “I know how much you've changed and I totally appreciate that. I’m so in love with you and you make me so happy, and I know that you’re happy, too. I’m relieved that you’re finally willing to just be happy and I don’t want to lose that again. Lose you again. Or us.”
I closed my eyes briefly, feeling a little cornered, but then, maybe it was about time to talk it out. “And when something like this fucking letter from your – sorry – fucking mother comes up, I’m afraid that it might break us and what we have. I'm afraid that you might build up your walls again and cut me out again... that you'll get drunk and high and… laid. So I thought I'd play it safe and remind you that there is someone waiting for you.”
He nodded lightly, and then he did this thing with his lips. He always did that when he was vulnerable and insecure. I loved it. He pushed me against the wall and kissed me softly, before leaning his forehead against mine. “I won’t break us.”
It was still so fucking incredible when he tried to find the right words because it was still so hard for him to talk about his feelings and fears. He could barely look at me. “I might be … a little complicated, but I’m not stupid. So, if I run away, and I probably will from time to time, give it a little trust that I’ll be back.”
I was never good with people who seemed to be dependent on me. I was afraid to take that kind of responsibility. I was afraid to disappoint people. Same goes for promises. I never made any kind of big promises. As long as you don’t promise anything, you can’t break a promise. You don’t have any kind of responsibility. It works! Unfortunately, it doesn’t help when you fall in love… even though your major plan had been to never, ever fall in love, because love is just another kind of huge responsibility. And, not only can you easily hurt someone, you also give someone else the power to hurt you.
But this fucking thing called love was just some unpredictable idiocy that caught me off guard, and then never let me go again. And it happened all the time.
When I was a kid, and old enough to realize that my parents were for shit, that I couldn’t count on them, and that whatever they gave me, it wasn’t love, I tried to stop loving them. I tried to hate them in order to take away the power they had over me. Guess what? It never worked. They’re both dead now, and still… they had the power to hurt me. And they always would have.
When I was a teenager, I met Michael. He was this poor, stupid little kid, who wasn’t able to take care of himself whenever some bully tried to irk him. He looked so helpless, I had to do something. It wasn’t planned as what it then became. I wasn’t looking out for a best friend: someone who counted on me, trusted me, and on top of that, fell in love with me, or… with the idea of who I was. But I got used to that, and after a while, I was more afraid of losing it than of having it. And in the end, it was me depending on him.
And when I was already too old to run around with all those stupid and childish wisdoms of love and trust, but still couldn’t get rid of them, I found Justin – under a street lamp in front of Babylon. If, just in that moment, someone would’ve offered me a way to time travel to this very moment, lying in the Jacuzzi with his arms and legs around me, I probably would’ve decided to never walk over to the street light to talk to him.
But there was no time traveling and so I did walk over, and everything changed.
I put my hand over his, ring over ring, and I couldn’t help it - I had to laugh.
“What?” he asked. “What are you thinking about?”
He let the water from the sponge drop down on my chest. “And what would you change?”
I would love to change a lot of things in my life, but if any of it would prevent me from ending up right where I was in that moment, I wouldn’t change anything. I leaned my head back on his shoulder, my hand holding his, and closed my eyes. “Nothing. No apologies, no excuses…”
“No regrets,” he finished, hugging me from behind. “Yeah.”
Who would’ve thought that this fucking motto would let me end up here?