BEAST AND BEAUTY

"A Queer As Folk USA FanFic"

by Gaedhal

This is Chapter 83 in the "Queer Theories" series.

Go back to "In My Life", the previous chapter.

The narrator is Brian Kinney, and features Justin Taylor, Others.
Summary: Brian wakes up -- and the world hasn't ended. Yet. August 2002.

I open my eyes slowly and see that the fucking world has NOT ended.

I guess that's a good thing. I'll take it as a sign that I should go on from here. That telling Justin that I... Jesus, I'm stumbling over the word even in my fucking mind! Love! Okay! I said it. And I'm still breathing!

The paranoia and pessimism kick in immediately. I lay there and wait for my anxiety level to start rising. Wonder how long before I have to beg Justin for one fucking Xanax.

But nothing happens. Everything seems normal. My morning hard-on is right where it usually is -- knocking on Justin's backdoor. He's sound asleep, mouth open. Covered with this golden glow reflecting off all that blondness. The fuzz on his arms, his hair. The sun shining on him through the window. Is this REALLY England? Where the fuck did all the wonderful weather come from?

And my head isn't pounding. Doesn't feel like it's about to explode. I feel -- good? Is that possible?

Justin flips over and scoots up against me. He burrows into my neck, then down my chest. For some strange reason I think about that first morning when I turned over and wrapped my arms around him, smiling. Until I remembered I was supposed to be an asshole. "What the fuck are you doing here?" My usual line. It's so much cheerier than "Good morning"!

He's working my nipples now. Plenty of time because I don't have anything to do today -- especially not right now. Nice. But getting a good look at Justin in daylight that first morning scared the hell out of me! He looked about twelve! Now, I've never been into chicken. I used to laugh at guys who chased twinks. Called them pervs. Dirty Old Men. And I've never had any patience for ignorance in bed. Or out of bed. None at all. I can't be bothered to instruct guys who have no fucking clue. My time is valuable and twinks don't know what they're doing, so screw 'em.

Plus, I like a guy my own age. Dark hair. Well-built, but not a muscle-head. Tall. Emmett said once that if I could find my long-lost twin brother then I'd have found the perfect trick. The nearest thing to fucking myself. And he was probably pretty close to the mark.

Meaning, that Justin is a complete aberration. He shouldn't be here at all. This whole thing should not exist. He's the wrong age, wrong size, wrong shape, wrong coloring -- the wrong EVERYTHING! But whatever it was that possessed me to pick him up that night -- fuck! I just don't understand it at all. It doesn't make any sense.

And I'm sick of trying to fight it. I've been killing myself trying to fight it! But I don't even think of fighting what he's doing to my cock. Licking up and down the underside of it, while he rakes his fingernails ever so slightly up my inner thighs. That balance of the scratching, tickling feeling with the wet movement of his mouth....

So, rather than try to fight it, or understand it, or make sense out of it, I decide to fuck it. Now! Literally. Yes, even that first night -- for someone who didn't know what he was doing, Justin certainly knew what he was doing! I wasn't kidding when I told Mikey that he almost wore me out. And even half asleep, his eyes still a little hazy, he gets into the spirit of things without prompting. Moves right into the position I'm thinking of. Rolls over onto his back and spreads his knees. Sometimes it's almost as if he can read my mind....

And that was another thing that fucking freaked me out. Because I'm beginning to think he CAN read my mind. Or read something inside of me. Because that weird dream he had... I've NEVER told that incident to a living soul -- not even to Ron. One of my worst nightmares -- except it really happened. And he described it as if it happened to HIM. How superstitious do you have to BE to believe that something MUST be going on here? Something out of the ordinary. A connection so intense that he's tapping into me somehow? Not two any longer, but one....

Fuck! He always comes like it's the first time he ever did it! Fast and forceful. And his face! Like he can't believe his dick really did that. It makes me laugh out loud. But he never takes it the wrong way, so he laughs, too. Not really too soon, at least for the first time today. He reaches over and opens up the condom. He's an expert at sliding it on like he's jacking me off. And the lube, too. The way he moves it along my cock makes me think I'm not going to last before I can get it in where it belongs! And we're both laughing.

How many years did I fuck twenty guys a month and never crack a smile even ONCE? Just the grim determination to do it, get it over with, and go on to the next guy. Never the satisfaction that I seem to get by fucking one person over and over again. Who would have thought? Where could I have found someone who can do it all -- and with the same desire, the same fervor that I have? I'm trying to remember what the fuck I was looking for? Something better than THIS? THIS! THIS! Oh, Fuck!

And I can't remember now. It's all a fog. Maybe I dreamed it....

I open my eyes and realize that I must have fallen back to sleep. A knock on the door wakes me up. Justin, wearing his white terry robe, his hair wet, opens the door and the guy wheels in the room service cart.

"Are you awake?" Justin's leaning over me.

"I think so. The last thing I remember is being attacked by a twink driving a large truck."

"No, a large DICK! And who attacked who?"

"You certainly aren't suggesting that I would initiate such activities so early in the day?"

He rolls his eyes. "I ordered breakfast. I don't feel like going down to the dining room. I mean, maybe we can eat in the suite for the rest of the time we're here?"

"Whatever you want to do. Are you going to serve me breakfast in bed?"

"Why not?" And he climbs up, balancing a tray.

"Don't spill the thing! All I need is hot coffee on my cock!"

"I won't spill it. That's one thing I'm not about to damage!" And he doesn't.

I can't believe how hungry I am until I start cramming toast into my mouth. I'm fucking starving! I remember eating something yesterday -- Dorian ordered room service -- but I couldn't tell you what it was. I even eat a couple of those British bangers, the big greasy sausages Justin is crazy about.

"You'll look just like one of these bangers if you keep eating them at that rate," I warn, taking one off of his fork and sticking it in my mouth. "All pink and packed into a too tight casing."

"But aren't they nice and juicy and tasty?"

"Maybe," I admit, taking another. "Why are you avoiding the dining room? Boy trouble?"

"Shut UP!" He punches my arm.

"Watch the coffee!" I say. "I'm just wondering if you're avoiding your pal Rowan?"

"I am -- kind of. I don't want to deal with him, Brian. It was so embarrassing doing those scenes with him, especially after he made such a big deal about being straight! That was a joke! He was practically humping me right in that doorway at the theater and I didn't like it at all! Nick, the assistant director, just kept encouraging him!" Justin snuggles down next to me, brooding. "I'm really looking forward to seeing this film when it's finished. I want to see what you look like all tarted up like a rock star, Brian. But I'm afraid those scenes with Rowan are going to ruin it for me." He hesitates. "And for you."

Yes, it does bother me -- much more than I want Justin to know. But I also don't want him to think I can't tell the difference between acting and reality. Obviously, Justin could be a bit upset himself when he sees the scenes in 'The Olympian' with me and Jimmy fucking -- No, maybe that's NOT such a good analogy. Okay, skip that one.

"Listen, Justin, I understand what you're saying. I had to kiss that bitch Helene in one of the scenes. Or, rather, SHE kissed me. But I had to look like I didn't mind -- too much. It was only acting. I didn't feel a thing -- obviously. Will that bother you when you see it?"

He chews on another sausage, thinking. "Probably, but I'll be big about it and forgive you!"

"Gee, thanks," I say. He has part of the big sausage sticking out of his mouth and I lean over and pretend to go down on the end of it. This could get interesting....

And that's when the phone begins to ring. And basically doesn't stop ringing all fucking day! And that's when I watch Justin go into full 'personal assistant mode.' It's really amazing to see. He answers the phone like he's in an office, wearing a three piece suit instead of his over-sized fluffy white bathrobe. He's brisk, business-like, and no nonsense. I'm getting quite a kick out of it.

"I'm sorry, but Mr. Kinney has no statement to make at this time. This is Mr. Taylor, his personal assistant. You can contact his solicitor if you need any more information. Thank you." Click! "Fucking press!" He makes a note on a pad of paper he got out of the desk.

"Let me guess? 'The Sun'?" I think of my photo next to the Page Three Topless Cutie.

"Nope. The 'New York Post'!"

"Shit! The American papers!" Because, like a dummy, I thought this story wouldn't travel beyond London and wouldn't last more than one day! And then the phone rings again. And again. And still again!

Each time Justin answers like a pro, gauging what he says by who it is and how friendly and forthcoming THEY are. Mostly, it's the press. Some want information. Some want photos. Some want an interview. He refers all the reporters to Dorian's office. "Let HIM sort them out. His people will know better than we do who is legit and who isn't!" Justin cracks me up with this kind of talk!

Sir Miles, the Sir Ken's solicitor, calls and I take it. He thinks all the charges are going to be dropped. Then he asks me if I've seen the morning papers. "Not really."

"Charley Weston's wife has put him into rehab, so his charges will probably also be dismissed. It seems she's been trying to get him clean for some time."

So, Charley has a wife. Who knew? He was always surrounded by the skankiest groupies imaginable. "The band's scenes in the film are over so Dorian isn't going to need him anymore," I tell Sir Miles. "And they already pre-recorded the basic tracks for the songs. There are only a couple that I still need to put vocals on -- but they don't need Charley for that."

"You are exceedingly lucky, Brian," lectures the solicitor. "I hope you realize that. The laws are quite forgiving here -- but no court procedure is pleasant."

"I know. It's a wake up call, Sir Miles." And I thank him for what he's done. I'll need to properly thank Sir Ken, too, for what he's done in all this. Especially the support he and Hughie have given Justin. And I need to thank Dorian, too. That may be a stickier issue.

I hand the phone over to Justin and tell him to order up ALL the papers. Even the tabloids. Especially the tabloids. I want to see the damage for myself. After they are brought up, I lay in bed and go through them, groaning, as Justin continues to deal with the fucking phone calls.

The next person to call is Harry Collins. We chat for a while and I assure him that I'm fine and that the charges against me will be dropped. He really seems relieved. Then he invites me and Justin down to Sussex for the weekend. I shudder when I think of the last visit and I decline.

"Please reconsider, Brian. It's only me here. Gerry is in heavy rehearsals with the new play and won't be down. And I've told Sybil and Albert not to come. It's lovely here and you can get away from the city -- and the press -- for a few days. The lad can go riding again. Please say 'Yes.'"

And I end up doing just that after consulting with Justin. To my surprise, he wants to go. "Are you sure you want to go down there again?"

"I really do. I'm not afraid. Not now," he says. "I'd like to see Harry. And maybe we can check out that little spot by the river...." He smiles and I start picturing him in his riding gear, with the hat and boots. Then in the hat and boots only, by that riverbank....

Justin keeps handling the phone like he was born to be a personal assistant. He holds the phone tucked under his chin and his notepad and pen in his hands and coordinates the calls, messages, and my running commentary -- all without missing a beat.

"Brian." Justin interrupts my reading of yet another interview with the lovely Miss Helene DeMarr, my fiancée. I should have these articles pressed into my memory book! "You better take this one."

"Holy shit, Brian! What is going on over there? Are you out of JAIL?!"

"Yes, Mikey, I'm fine. It was all a misunderstanding! What time is it there, anyway?"

"I don't know. It's pitch dark outside! Ben got up super-early to go to a conference in Philadelphia -- and he was checking his e-mail before he left and he read about you ON THE INTERNET! He woke me up and I've been trying to get through to you for almost a fucking hour!"

"You and everyone else in the known world, Mikey. I'm okay. I really am!"

"This whole thing scared the SHIT out of me, I'm telling you, Brian! When are you coming HOME?"

"The filming wraps this week. Maybe another week after that."

"Two more weeks! What are you DOING over there, anyway? I mean, besides landing in jail?"

"Working, Mikey! Making this movie, what do you think? Then I'll need some time to unwind after the shoot. And after that Justin and I will be back, safe and sound, in the Pitts." Except, I think, everything will be different. I'm different. Justin and I are different....

"Well, it's about fucking TIME for you to come HOME!"

We continue the conversation in this vein for another few minutes before I can sign off. The minute I'm off with Michael, I call Lindsay. I know I'm waking her up, but I want her to hear all this shit from me and not from someone else. She's very concerned, naturally, and wants to make sure that I'm really all right.

"Lindz, I'm good. I mean it! So don't freak out at anything you might read in the papers."

"Put Justin on, Brian. I need to hear it from him." Right. JUSTIN, she trusts! So, he gives her the song and dance and relieves her fears. He does it so smoothly. It's his way with people. I just always end up getting mad and telling everyone to fuck off. Justin gives them the straight story and puts them at ease.

While he's talking to Lindsay, I get out my Filofax and check my schedule. I've penciled a drive around the country in for the whole of next week. I've already reserved a rental car and have an itinerary mapped out. Have had for a while. Bath. Stratford. The Lake District. I can picture all the places I want to stop along the way to eat, take pictures, and fuck. Just the two of us and no distractions. I realize that I've had this little 'honeymoon trip' all planned out in my head for months. You know, one of these days my unconscious is going to have to let the rest of my body know what the fuck is going on with myself!

And I guess that answers the question I posed to Justin on the flight over here -- not really knowing the answer myself. Why DID I bring him with me? I guess THIS is why. To get him away from everyone else and all their bullshit. To get him out of Pittsburgh and away from our so-called friends hovering over us every minute, watching our every move, and taking fucking BETS on how long we'll last! Yes, I know all about THAT! No wonder I couldn't tell him that I... SHIT! I've got to get that word out again! Love. Okay, I did it again. Not so hard that time. Maybe next time I can actually do it out loud.

I search around inside of myself for that inkling of regret. For that urge to bolt. But I can't find it. I watch Justin strolling around the room, fielding calls, making notes on his pad, shooting me glances and rolling his eyes as he talks to this person and that person. Between calls he starts to get dressed. Wiggling into his white briefs. Trying to decide whether to put on the blue shirt or the brown and white one. Oh, the blue one, definitely, I nod. It seems so natural that he's here. And I realize that the time that did NOT seem right was the time I was in L.A. The time I was away from him. The time I was trying to be something I'm not -- Ron's boy.

And I try to remember what I was like and how I lived before that hot night in September almost two years ago, but all THAT seems to be in a fog. I picture the loft. Clean and uncluttered. And I'm alone. Always alone. Drunk and alone. Stoned and alone. Fucking some nameless trick -- and still alone.

I can hear myself in that hotel in New York, telling Justin that there was only room in my loft for ONE person -- and that person was me. And then I remember, after he'd gotten his shit and moved to Deb's, going back to the loft after work and listening to the emptiness. I really started drinking again after that. Drinking alone. Just to shut up the fucking silence. And when I'm alone and drinking or alone and high -- that's when I get all those brilliant ideas! Like, why not push Mikey off a fucking cliff? Or why not move to New York and get away from all those people who are driving me crazy? Get away from -- HIM, once and for all. Or like scarfing would be a great way to cap off my fucking birthday! Or like why not show up at the prom? All those brilliant ideas.

Actually, I was stone sober when I made the prom decision. I made a couple of decisions that night -- all of which were wiped out with one, quick sweep of that bat. And it's taken this fucking long and all the corresponding agony just to get back to that one place. The place where I can admit that I love him. Fuck! It would have all been so different if I'd said it then! So much trauma avoided! And now....

"Brian?"

"Huh?"

"The phone. It's Jimmy."

"Oh, shit." But I get out of bed and take it.

"Where are you, Bri? Are you okay?" He's obviously drunk. And alone. Where the fuck is his wife?

"Jimmy, I'm in London. I'm fine. I was released. What's wrong now?" But he's babbling on and on about the film and when am I coming back out to L.A., and some other stuff I can't make out. "Jimmy -- put Tess on. Where is Tess?"

But he's off on some other tangent. "Brian -- when are you coming back to do this publicity? MY movie, Brian! OUR movie! You CAN'T go to jail when I need you HERE!"

"I'm not going to jail, Jimmy. I'll come back when it's time to do the press junkets. Everything will be fine."

"Are you OKAY?" I can almost hear him drooling all over the receiver.

"Jimmy -- I'm okay! Really."

"Let me talk to Ron now. I have to talk to Ron."

"Ron isn't here, Jimmy. He's at the Dorchester. Go to sleep and call him there in the morning after you wake up."

"He's not THERE? Why isn't RON there, Brian? Is Ron okay?"

"He's just dandy, Jimmy. He's at another hotel. Is Tess there? Can I talk to her?"

"She's in Palm Springs." Shit. That is a bad sign. Whenever she gets mad at her husband, Tess goes to Palm Springs and stays with her mother. I wrangle around with Jimmy for another few minutes until I convince him to hang up and sleep it off.

"Sounds like he had another fucking fight with Tess," I tell Justin. "She's gone to stay with her mother."

"Poor Jimmy. He sounded so wasted. I've never seen him drunk before -- except in a movie."

"He doesn't do drunk very well. Not like me. He hasn't had the practice I have!" I look down and realize that I'm wandering around the room naked. Not that Justin is complaining. "Now that I'm out of bed, I might as well get dressed."

Justin comes into the bathroom while I'm shaving. "That was Dorian just now. Your call tomorrow is at 8:00 a.m., so he's sending the car at 6:30."

"Shit, that's early. And the older and more decrepit I get, the more make up I'll need and it will be even earlier!"

"Brian, you just get better looking!"

I roll my eyes.

"It's TRUE! Those pictures of you and Michael in high school -- you were kind of geeky!"

"Thanks loads."

"No, I mean it. You were too skinny and you were all arms and legs and kind of awkward-looking."

"I wasn't awkward. I was pretty athletic. Soccer. Baseball. Track."

"I know -- 'The Olympian'!" He says it in a deep, pretentious voice.

"At least I could FAKE the running scenes! The only sport YOU ever went out for was Varsity Jerking Off!"

"And I lettered in it, too!" His smile is so funny that I lean over and kiss him, getting the remnants of my shaving cream on his face. Of course, the phone rings again right at that moment. Justin goes to answer it and I finish up my face.

By the time I'm dressed and the calls are dying down it's noon. Justin calls Jennifer to clue her in the situation and I cringe to think about what she's thinking of how I'm taking 'care' of her son! But he only stays on the line with her for a short time.

"Mom says 'Hi' to you."

"Hi and I want to kill you?"

"I explained to her that it was all a big misunderstanding. But it's cleared up now. Practically."

"Remind me to ask Sir Ken what the proper gift is to a lawyer who has just saved your ass!"

"I don't know. What did you give Melanie in that harassment suit?"

"She didn't save me. Kip dropped the case on his own. I guess he knew he couldn't make it stand up in court."

Justin looks at me. "Brian...I need to tell you something...."

"Besides, Justin -- I gave Melanie SOMETHING in return. Although she'll never give me the credit in a million years!"

"Gus," he says. "You gave her Gus. But Brian, I...."

"You're the advocate of killing people with kindness. I guess it worked in that case. For THEM."

"Brian -- please listen." He's touching my arm.

"What? What is it?"

"I should have told you this earlier, but...."

"What is it? What are you up to now? Are you and Lindsay plotting something with me in the middle of it. Because if you are, then...."

"I did it, Brian. I got Kip to drop the lawsuit."

I stare at him. "Like fuck you did."

"I saw him go into your loft that night you kicked me out. And when I found out what had happened... what he was doing to you... I followed him out into the alley and I... I got him to take me to his place."

"I don't believe you." But I do. I DO believe him.

"And I let him... I told him that...." He sits down on the bed and puts his head down. "Then I told him that I was only seventeen and my father would have him arrested if he didn't drop the suit against you."

I stand there, blinking at him. Why the fuck is he telling me this NOW? What am I supposed to make of this little revelation?

"He obviously didn't consult with HIS lawyer, because he dropped the lawsuit the next day. He didn't even check the law to find out that... that I was legal." He looks up and me and smiles, vaguely. "He was really dumb, right, Brian? And what about the new baby?" he says, changing the subject so fast he almost gets whiplash. "Are you going to sign over your rights to it?"

"How the fuck should I know, Justin?" I've hardly thought of that one. It seems so far away. Next March. That seems an eternity. And now a million other thoughts are going through my mind. Justin -- and fucking KIP! "Justin, just tell me one thing about you and Kip...."

"The baby should be born at the same time as the Academy Awards! Maybe the same night! Wouldn't THAT be something, Brian?" He obviously doesn't want me to ask any more questions about Kip. Then WHY did he tell me this now? Something is going on. Now I have to get to the bottom of it.

"You really believe in cramming all the big days together, don't you, Justin?" I say, watching him closely. "Just pray that doesn't happen! Please! My heart couldn't take it."

"Do you think you'll be nominated?" He's avoiding my eyes.

"Jesus, Justin! The movie isn't even out yet! What if it bombs? What if I'm terrible?"

He turns and faces me directly. Then he comes up and reaches up to put his arms around my neck. "Then I'll have to support you so you don't go on Skid Row. Because I'll do anything for you, Brian." He pauses and looks into my eyes. "ANYTHING. Do you understand?"

And I do understand. He WILL do anything. No questions asked. And so will I. I'll do anything to make sure he's not hurt. That's a promise. "We'll have to come back to London and you can draw the tourists on Portobello Road. And I'll get a trained monkey and collect money in a hat. Sounds reasonable."

"I don't care -- as long as we're together." He pauses. "Well?"

"Well, what?"

"I'm waiting for one of your sarcastic comments. You know about couples and dykes in Vera Wang?"

"I take the Fifth Amendment." But I find myself touching my heart charm, rubbing it absently.

A little while later we are just about to leave the hotel to get something to eat when the manager stops us in the lobby. "Mr. Kinney, just a heads up before you walk out, but there are some photographers waiting for you." He looks pointedly at Justin.

"Shit! Still?"

"I'm afraid so, sir. We moved them away from the portico and onto the street, but they are still out there."

I try to think. "Can you call a cab?" The manager picks up the phone, while I take Justin aside. "There's no fucking way that they are getting any pictures of you. Now, unless we want to spend the rest of the week hiding in the suite, we'll have to be careful."

"I don't care if they take my picture!"

"But I DO! And your mother will care, too. So just do what I say," I lean down and whisper. "Slave boy. All right?" And he nods.

I send Justin out the door. He walks calmly past the press -- there are only a couple of them -- and up the road on his way to Notting Hill Gate. A little while later the cab comes and I go out. Answer a few questions. Let them take my picture -- I'm glad I shaved, so I don't look like a total bum. Then I get in the cab. I direct the guy up to the corner of Notting Hill where Justin is waiting on the corner.

"That was fun," he says, getting into the cab and kissing me. "Let them take a picture of that!"

"It's a fucking pain in the ass! Now I'm glad we're going away this weekend, if we can't even walk up to the corner without being harassed!"

"They only want your picture, Brian. And if they took one of me, it wouldn't be the end of the world."

"YOU saw the tabloids, Justin! You know how vicious they are. I don't want ANY pictures of you getting into the papers." But it isn't the tabloid photos I'm thinking of. It's certain videos that I keep picturing. And the headlines. And Justin's name and face in the center of it all. "So be careful! Because they are lurking in every bush!"

Our plans to eat tonight at Vong, the place I missed on Saturday night, go down the tubes when I think of how popular it is. No way to have a quiet dinner in a spot like that. Even trying to think of a place to have lunch is getting to me.

"Drop us off here," Justin tells the driver.

"Why? What's here?"

"Nothing. But we'll be in this taxi forever while you try to make up your mind. Let's just get out and eat. Nobody gives a shit who you are, Brian. Really."

We're near Soho, so we walk to the restaurant on Old Compton Street. What better place for a couple of queers to hide out than with a whole bunch of queers? Everyone wants to buy us drinks -- but I decline and tell them I'm on the wagon after my close call! They all laugh at that, but it's true. At least for the rest of our time in London. I can't fucking take a chance like that again.

We actually spend a great afternoon there, eating and joking around. As usual, we get about fifty invitations to various parties, orgies, tea dances, and dirty weekends. But we already have our dirty weekend planned. Sussex. The horses. That riverbank.

By the time we head back to the hotel it's getting dark and I have that early call in the morning. We stop and buy a pizza to eat in the room. So much for fine dining. We stop at the front desk and I pick up a pile of messages. Most are immediate throwaways, but I see calls from Sir Kenneth, Debbie, Diane, and my agent, Lew Blackmore. Two more calls from Jimmy. Another from Tess. And five messages from Ron. I crumple those up and toss them in the trash. Then I ask for the list of DVDs's they have at the hotel. I scan the list, looking for something not too depressing or too violent. I see what I want and the desk clerk gets it for me.

"What are we watching?"

"A classic. 'Beauty and the Beast.' You'll like it."

"Brian, I've seen that movie about a million times!"

"Not the Disney version, you little Fiend! This is Jean Cocteau directing! In French."

"Not sub-titles, Brian! I hate reading movies!"

"You are a barbarian, aren't you? Get a little culture. You're an artist! The Disney is great, but THIS movie is a work of art! You'll see."

We eat the pizza and watch the film. It really is beautiful, even more so than I had remembered. I first watched it in Advanced French class at Penn State and thought at the time that it was a great queer masterpiece. I didn't know a fucking thing about Cocteau or his lover, Jean Marais, who played the Beast/Prince, but I knew what was going on. I just knew.

Beauty sacrifices herself to the Beast to save her father, but eventually she falls in love with him because she can see beyond his hideous form into his soul, which is still that of a beautiful prince. At the end, when the Beast is transformed back, Justin is crying.

"Hey! It's not SAD! That's a happy ending!" I say, pointing to Marais' face. He really IS more gorgeous than his co-star, Josette Day, who plays Beauty.

"I want the Beast BACK! Not that fucking Pretty Boy! I want the Beast!"

"Jesus Christ!" I say, pushing him back onto the pillows. "You already HAVE the Beast. Right here. I'm right here. And you're my Beauty. Always."

Continue on to "Landslide -- Part 1", the next chapter.

Picture of Gale Harold and Randy Harrison from Showtime.

©Gaedhal, September 2002

Updated September 10, 2002