HAPPY HOUR

"A Queer As Folk USA FanFic"

by Gaedhal

This is Chapter 89 in the "Queer Theories" series.

POV: Emmett Honeycutt, featuring Justin Taylor, Brian Kinney, Others.
Summary: Emmett attends the Tuesday Tea Dance at Babylon. August 2002.

I am just leaving my Tuesday afternoon shift at Jerk at Work when Gib, the fellow who comes after me on the net (in more ways than one!), stops me as he's going in.

"Hey, Em."

"Hello, Gibson! How's tricks?"

"Funny you should ask, as I just came from the Tuesday Afternoon Tea Dance at Babylon."

"Don't let Ted hear you say that, Gib! He'll think you are wasting precious energy over there either dancing or, er, expending yourself in other ways."

"I was only getting a little Happy Hour drink -- and picking up some inspiration before I had to come over here...."

"In more ways than one!"

"Right, Em. And I'm glad I was there." Gib puts down his bag and begins taking out his lube, his dildos, and his other working gear. "Because I always get hot watching Brian Kinney and his Boytoy making out. I don't know anyone who doesn't...."

Suddenly the Earth ceases revolving for a second. "What did you say, Gibson? Will you please repeat that?" Because I can't believe my little ears!

"I said 'I don't know anyone who doesn't'!"

"No! About Brian Kinney! And Justin! Did you say that you SAW them? At Babylon? TODAY?" I am practically shouting by this time.

"Yeah. I was just there." Gib's intellectual capacity leaves quite a bit to be desired, even on his best days. And this isn't his best day.

"Are you SURE? Really, truly certain?"

"Sure I'm sure, Emmett. I ought to know Brian! I've never gotten my chance with him, but I've seen him in the backroom enough. Although not in a long time, come to think of it. That kid must have him on a really short leash. I guess it happens to the best of 'em."

"Um, Gib -- in case you haven't noticed, Brian hasn't lived in the Pitts since last December. That MIGHT be why you haven't seen him much." As I've stated, Gibson is very cute and sweet, but he is as dumb as a box of rocks. "But thanks for the information. If you'll excuse me, I MUST fly!"

"Sure, Em. See you around."

Now I should really stop and tell Teddy this information. But Ted hasn't been in a very good mood lately. Jerk at Work is doing quite well, but Ted's personal life leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, it leaves EVERYTHING to be desired as it is basically non-existent. So interrupting him while he's toting up figures or arranging network connections or looking at photos of potential Jerkers at Work in order to make him go over with me to Babylon and watch Brian basking in the attention of every fag on Liberty Avenue is not the best idea. Or watch Brian pawing his little golden boy. While poor Teddy still spends most of his time watching his own product and jerking at his own workplace.

So, all alone but feeling decidedly NOT blue, I head to the Babylon Tuesday Tea Dance, a.k.a., Happy Hour! I flounce over quite confidently. Since I began my new career I have become a local celebrity on Liberty Avenue. Of course, nothing on the level of Brian, no siree! But I have my fans. My admirers. I've autographed my share of downloaded screen-captures -- some of them my best moments online! I admit that I look not-too-bad from a number of interesting angles.

But the doorman hardly registers my existence. He is too busy gossiping with a queen who is on his way out, hopefully to an engagement with a beauty consultant if what he is wearing is any indication of his usual fashion sense.

"...They got here this afternoon."

"Why didn't you CALL me first thing! And now I have to leave early!"

"Sorry, Duane. I forgot."

"Excuse me, but may I be stamped? Please, Sidney?"

"Oh, sure. Emmett." I start to enter. "Hey, Em knows them. Emmett, when did Brian Kinney and his twink get back in town? We were just talking about them being here."

"Very recently," I answer, knowingly. "Why Justin called me from England only the other day. He had me make a few arrangements for his mother's birthday. It is SO difficult to do those things when one is jet-setting, you know?"

"Hey, were those two really making movies over in Europe, Em?"

"Of course," I reply. "Brian has made a couple of movies. This was only the most recent. And Justin wrote me that he has a small role in the film, as well."

"Porn?" pipes up the unfashionable queen.

"Of course not!" These people need to be set straight immediately. "Brian just finished a movie with Jimmy Hardy right before this one. Porn! Really!"

"See," says the doorman to his friend. "I told you."

"I'll believe it when I see it myself!" huffs the queen.

I give him a pitying glance. "You'll eat those words someday, dearie!" And with that, I leave those two to the streets and proceed inside.

It isn't difficult to find the subjects of our previous conversation. They are in their usual spot -- the very center of the main floor at Babylon -- dancing their little asses off. Watched by a hoard of admiring fags and faggettes who surround them, but don't press too closely. Royalty has its privileges, after all.

I wait until the song is over before I barge over. That gives me time to look the Boys over. To consider a few things that Justin has confided to me over the phone. Things I have to take care that Brian not realize I know about. Because I have every intention of keeping Justin's confidences. As good and as juicy as the gossip may be, I have been selected as the vessel for the boy's innermost secrets and that is a grave responsibility!

So, Brian Kinney has made his declaration of Love! Ha! That would shock most people, but not me. Because I've known Brian for a number of years now. And I've watched the way he is with Justin. How he's NOT the way he is with anyone else -- and that includes Michael and Lindsay. Oh, Michael would deny it, I'm certain, but there's a completely different tone to Brian when the boy is around. A sweeter tone. Perhaps more frustrated at times, more exasperated. But also more human. More -- dare I breathe it? -- normal. A loving tone.

Brian is close to Michael and Lindsay and makes no secret of the fact that he feels great love for them. But they view him differently than Justin does. They have their own conceptions of what Brian is. The uncompromising hard-ass. The queer superhero. The fuck-all libertine. And I don't believe that is what Brian is at all -- not down deep. But that's how they see him. It's how they want him to be. It's how we ALL have wanted him to be, truthfully. An icon. The quintessential asshole. He Who Doesn't Give a Fuck. Someone has to fill that role, so why not Brian? We LIKE Brian that way. It's so simple to label him, then, and not have to deal with his demons.

But Justin had no preconceived notions about Brian. Even when Michael read him chapter and verse from the Brian Kinney Handbook -- on NOT doing boyfriends, not repeating tricks, not falling in love -- Justin just ignored it all! He threw out the rulebook and there went the old ball game! Oh my God! Emmett Honeycutt using a SPORTS metaphor -- let the World end now! Only, it is too true.

So I hone in on the two of them. They look gorgeous, as always. Justin's hair is longer, flowing like an angel's, picking up the lights strobing across the dance floor. And Brian is looking a little shaggy, too. But on him it looks more dangerous. He was playing a rock star in that English film and that's exactly how he looks. Brian is wearing skin-tight black leather pants and a leather vest that shows off his bare chest, while Justin is all in white -- white pants and a white silk shirt that is also unbuttoned and flying around his torso like wings.

As usual, there might as well be no one else in the room. While every eye is on THEM -- dancing to their beat, moving their heads to their cadence, even jerking off to their pulse -- they don't see any of it. Others are merely the extras in their private movie.

The song -- some techno-mix thing -- ends, thankfully. How I yearn for Eighties Night! I need Divas and I need TUNES! But I'm not here to dance, after all, I'm here to lend a helping hand. To be the supportive friend. I try to catch Justin's eye before they are lost to me for another round of gyrating. But, luckily, the pair decide to take a break. The sea parts and they move towards the bar -- directly into my path. "Baby! Over here!"

Justin looks around. "Emmett!" He waves his arms over his head. "We're back!" Obviously! He rushes into my arms. I give him a great big hug. Well, not TOO big, because I'm aware of Brian's lurking presence, standing right behind the boy. Brian usually doesn't take too kindly of people putting their hands on Justin. Even ME, who is the closest thing to a Big Sister that Justin will ever have!

But tonight Brian seems rather mellow. Not smirking, either, but really smiling kind of softly, even as his eyes shift over the crowd. He even smiles directly at me. "Emmett. Fancy meeting you here."

"I hustled my very well-toned behind over here the second I heard you two were in town!"

"So," says Brian. "The word spreads swiftly, I see." He reaches for his drink on the bar. I'm surprised to behold him sipping a glass of water with a lemon twist instead of his usual Absolut, or, if he's in a mood to get seriously fucked up, Jim Beam. But not tonight. And I wonder if this is just a temporary thing -- or if Brian Kinney, the posterboy for substance abuse, is truly on the wagon?

"It does when it comes to the two of you. Liberty Avenue hasn't discussed much else all summer long!"

"Really?" Justin's face is all aglow. But Brian grimaces.

"Really, Baby. YOU are the star of this show!"

"Aw, come on!" blushes the boy.

But Brian does NOT look pleased. "I'd rather not be the subject of any more fucking gossip," he says, shortly.

Justin telegraphs him a message with his eyes. It seems to say -- don't get into a mood. Not now. And Brian backs off. He sighs and leans back, taking a drink of his water.

The other thing I notice that the two are never out of body contact, even if it's only a finger touching or a foot nudging. But mainly they are welded together, hip to hip, whether standing at the bar, or moving away for a moment to whisper to each other, which they do frequently without regard to anyone else who might be in the vicinity. But I don't take it personally. It's impossible to take it personally. Because it IS their World, isn't it? The rest of us are only here to provide background. Or commentary.

"Em, my mom said that those flowers you picked out for her birthday were PERFECT. And the Leo the Lion pin...." Justin leans close to me. "She thinks I picked it out. I should have told her that it was you, but...."

"Baby! Don't be ridiculous! I only tried to think of what YOU would have gotten her -- and then I let my imagination soar!"

"Thanks. I really appreciate it. I'll do something for you some day, Emmett -- when you really need me, I'll be there. I promise. Especially now...."

"We'll be there for each other, Justin. What are friends for? You don't even need to say it."

He smiles. I HATE to use the old cliche, the Sunshine Smile, but it IS so apt! "Wait until you see all the photos I took!" Justin crows. "Some I developed over there, but a lot of them I dropped off this afternoon. I have SO many pictures! I'm dying for you to look at them!"

"I can hardly wait, Baby!" And I mean it. I am so curious about their trip that I will even settle for perusing their postcards at this point!

"Brian says that if I invite everyone over and have a slideshow, he'll blow up my camera and that will be the end of my photography career." He glances next to him, but Brian is gazing out at the dancers, pretending not to be listening. "Brian says that no one is interested in seeing someone else's vacation snapshots -- no matter how good friends they are."

"Yes, sweetie, but Brian is thinking of Michael and David's trip to France. NO ONE wanted to see those two getting smoochy! On the other hand, EVERYONE wants to see Brian acting like a normal person and standing in front of landmarks and doing all kinds of cute, coupley things!" I say this loud enough so I'm certain Brian can hear me. I am answered with a Kinney-esque snort.

"I do have a few of those," says Justin. "But only a few. Well -- maybe MORE than a few." The boy is grinning from ear to ear. Now I am dying to see his collection of snaps! Justin stretches up to whisper. "Sometimes I got other tourists to take our picture. Like standing in front of fountains or pubs or things. And once in front of these huge, ancient rocks! I found one that looked a little like a gigantic penis! This really nice woman took a bunch of pictures of us there. We were kind of... making out!"

"Do tell!"

"Kind of."

Brian can't let this pass. "We were just standing."

"AND making out."

"Why don't you two wait until the photos are developed," I interject. "Then I'LL decide just what you two were doing, hm?"

"No fucking way!" says Brian. He crosses his arms over his chest. That black leather vest definitely DOES something for that man! So I don't argue any further. I know that if there are any REALLY good photos, that Justin will show them to me! I AM his confidante, after all!

Brian excuses himself and goes to the little boys' room. Usually this would be the time when he might disappear for anywhere from fifteen minutes to two hours, depending on how lucky he got there. But I'm shocked -- Justin is NOT -- when he returns five minutes later. It seems that he actually DID have to pee! Must be all that water he's drinking!

"Shit," he says to Justin. "I was standing there and looked in the mirror -- and for a minute I thought I saw Rowan."

Justin's eyes widen. "No fucking way!"

"Yes. But I turned around -- and it was some other red-haired guy."

"Jesus, Brian. Can you imagine Rowan following us ALL the way back to Pittsburgh?"

"He said he wanted to come to the States. All I could think of was that he DID it!" Brian shrugs.

"Um, excuse me? But who are you two talking about?" I feel allowed to interrupt at this point because, A. I'm standing right HERE, and B. I'm dying to know who this Rowan is who has their undies in such a bundle.

"Rowan is a guy who was my 'friend' in London. But he was really just a pain in the ass. Brian thought he was trying to get into my pants the whole time we were there. But it was Brian's imagination."

I hear that Kinney snort again.

"It WAS, Brian! I still don't even think Rowan is gay!" Justin cocks his head. "Or TOO gay. I think Rowan isn't exactly sure WHAT he is."

"Oh," retorts Brian. "He's SURE, all right!" Brian's arm tightens protectively around the boy's waist.

"Emmett, this was the weirdest thing," says Justin, confidentially. "Rowan kept insisting that he was straight. I thought he was straight." Brian rolls his eyes behind the boy's back. "So, remember that scene I filmed for Brian's movie that I wrote you about on that postcard of the Queen? The one at the concert?"

"Ooo -- that one is on my refrigerator at this very moment!"

"Anyway, Rowan was the one who did the scene with me. We were supposed to be making out -- and Rowan got WAY into it!"

"Yeah -- TOO into it," grumps Brian.

And Brian is grimacing at the thought of this other boy. Now THIS is a beautiful molecule of information! So, Brian had a rival in England! And Justin had an almost boyfriend! Of course, Brian Kinney doesn't DO 'jealous'! My FOOT he doesn't! Now, I've always said that a little healthy jealousy is good for any relationship. It helps to prove how much you care. And, more importantly, how much HE cares for YOU! As long as no one pulls a razor -- which did happen with great regularity down in Hazelhurst, Mississippi. But tempers are shorter in the South. It's the humidity, I believe.

"Oh, shit," says Brian, looking across the dance floor. Because a redhead is walking right towards the three of us. And he's a dish, too. Tall and lanky. About twenty-one or so. And -- he looks vaguely familiar.

"Hey." The red-haired dish sidles up to Brian. "Remember me?"

Brian's eyes narrow. But it's Justin whose hackles are raising. I can feel him standing up straighter, his neck muscles tensing. He almost growls at the other twink.

"Should I?"

"Alan. Ben Bruckner's office? A couple of months ago?"

"I don't remember," Brian says, putting him off. But he does remember this guy, that's certain. And Justin remembers him, too. Because he was the boy Justin chased out of Woody's when he walked into the room and found the kid with his hand on Brian's ass! Oh, that was quite a scene!

"Sure you do. I've heard you've been out of town. What? California or something? Maybe we could hook up now that you're back?" Red moves a little closer. He's breathing on Brian's shoulder.

But Brian moves just as far away. "What IS it with me and redheads? I don't get it!" Brian sighs, half to himself.

Red -- Alan -- is surely noticing Justin's presence. And just as surely ignoring it. He's baiting the boy, perhaps to get even with him for embarrassing him in front of half of Gay Pittsburgh at Woody's that night. He's smirking at Justin. He reaches over to touch Brian's bare upper arm. As I said -- that leather vest is to DIE for -- as is the flesh holding it up! Who could resist a feel?

And steam is coming out of Sunshine's ears.

Now the really delicious thing is that in days long ago, in the time of the 'Real' Brian Kinney -- the one we ALL loved to hate -- Brian would have grabbed the redhead then and there, taken him into the backroom, had his horrible way with him, and been back in position all before Justin even had time to register what had happened. But that was then and this is now, as the song goes.

Justin is about ready to replay his hair-pulling match with the hunky Alan when Brian steps between them.

"Listen, Al...."

"Alan."

"Whatever the fuck. I think we went through this the last time we met. I'm not interested. I'm just trying to have a drink here, talk to some friends, and dance a little. So why not move on?"

Alan laughs. "Because you're Brian Kinney! I've wanted to have a crack at you ever since I started at Carnegie Mellon and heard about your reputation. I'm not looking for a relationship. No way! I'm just interested in a fuck. I've already fucked all the hot guys at the university. Now I'm ready for something a little more challenging. And that's YOU!"

"Kids," says Brian, looking at me. "Where do they get this stuff?"

I look around me and notice that Brian and his developing 'scene' has drawn a small crowd of onlookers. However it ends, it will be the talk of Liberty Avenue tomorrow and probably for days to come. Now I'm sorry I didn't bring Ted!

"That's all you're interested in? A quick fuck?" says Brian, in an almost paternal manner. "Look around you, kid. The world is your smorgasbord." Justin tenses between Brian and I. But I notice that Brian still has his hand wrapped around the boy's waist, his thumb hooked securely in Justin's belt-loop. "But I'm not on your menu. Get it?"

Alan nods. "I get it. And I know YOUR story, inside out, MISTER Kinney. I'll just hang out until your boytoy has to go home and go to bed. I know HIS story, too. I'll just wait until you're finished with him -- and I'll catch YOU later."

Brian's hand whips out like a shot and grabs the redhead by the front of his shirt. "It's NEVER 'later' for YOU, you asshole!" Brian's face is right up against the kid's. A big vein is sticking out on Brian's forehead. "I don't care if I'm here by myself or with the Mormon fucking Tabernacle Choir. I don't want you coming near me AGAIN! YOU know MY story? You know JUSTIN'S story? You don't know SHIT about either of us!" And Brian drops the kid, pushing him away roughly.

The redhead is flustered. "Sorry. Sorry, okay?" He shakes himself off, a little frightened.

Obviously, the Kinney Iron Grip is not merely a legend. Supposedly, he uses it to hold a trick in place with one hand while he fucks them. But it seems to work for getting rid of unwanted guys just as well. The assembled masses murmur. This has been even better than expected for a Tuesday afternoon!

"Besides," adds Brian in a loud voice, his arm obviously wrapped around Justin. "When I'm here with my BOYFRIEND, we don't need a bunch of people bothering us. Especially since WE JUST GOT BACK FROM OUR VACATION IN ENGLAND and we'd like a little quiet time. Is that TOO much to ask?"

"Ah, no. Sorry." And Alan slinks away, dissed once more by the Dynamic Duo.

But the real dish is NOT the twink making his getaway. It is Brian Kinney announcing to all assembled that the Earth had JUST done a complete turn and reversed its spin. Because now we are going into a universe where La Diva not only DOES boyfriends, he admits it. In public! And I don't mean that hypothetical film person 'boyfriend' out in Hollywood. He has always seemed more mythological than actual, especially in the stark reality of Pittsburgh! But Justin IS real! We ALL know him. We can SEE him. And see him and Brian together -- right before our very eyes! The Twinkie King of Babylon paired with the Stud of Liberty Avenue! Truly! It's like a Royal Wedding -- but without Fred Astaire OR Princess Di!

"Well," says Brian, matter of factly. "What's everybody looking at?" And the crowd begins to back off. To drift back to the dance floor, leaving Brian and Justin and I to follow their retreat with our eyes.

No one says a word for a number of seconds. Then Justin bursts out laughing, guffawing, hooting like crazy. Brian even smiles a little wider. "THAT was SO great, Brian!" The boy is pumping Brian's arm. He jumps up and licks Brian's ear with his pink, wet tongue. And I feel a shiver.

"Okay, okay -- I just told that guy the truth. That's all." He shakes his arm out, trying to get the feeling back into it. "I just told the truth," he repeats, as if no one will believe it. But I believe it. Yes. I believe it. Because I believe my own eyes.

Brian leans over and whispers to Justin, who nods his head. "I'll be back in a flash, Brian. See you in a minute, Em." And he's off on some Brian errand.

Brian watches him disappear into the crowd and then turns to me. "Emmett, I sent Justin away for a couple of minutes because I wanted to make sure you don't freak him out with too much talk about this gossip shit. I didn't like the way that kid referred to 'Justin's story' -- like he's the subject of a lot of back-biting or other rumors."

"Why, Brian, Justin doesn't seem the least bit unsettled by it. What's the trouble?"

Brian shakes his head. "It bugs me. It really does. You don't know what it was like in London, Emmett. Especially after I... was arrested." He hesitates. "The tabloids were all over me. And I was afraid that Justin would get caught up in it all. That somehow they'd see him and find out his name and put it in the papers. And after all that publicity after the bashing, with reporters following him when he was still vulnerable...." Brian has a bit of a sick look on his face.

"Justin seems to have handled all that hoopla in England so well! He's much stronger than you realize."

"Maybe. But I didn't handle it too well myself, to tell you the truth. And I don't know if I could handle it if all that started up here, too." I see in his eyes that he's leveling with me. And that says a LOT about Brian's true feelings. And his real fears. His fears not only for Justin, but for himself. For his own weaknesses.

"Well, face facts, Brian, because it's too late to avoid talk. All the chatter. You can't retreat from it now." Leave it to Aunty Em to lay it on the line to La Diva Kinney. "Because you ARE famous. And, by implication and relation, so is Justin. THAT is the reality!"

"That doesn't mean I have to like it," Brian says, quietly. His eyes reflect all the colors that are flashing across the dance floor.

"It's only gossip, Brian. Something you should be used to, since you court it every waking moment of your life!"

A little smile plays around those red, pouty lips! "I do NOT!"

"Oh, honey -- be REAL! Let's start with your reputation for fucking and then rejecting every good-looking, hot guy between the ages of sixteen and forty in Pittsburgh who was gay, bi, curious, or just happened to trot by your lair at the right moment. And that's only the beginning. How about your turn as Liberty Avenue's most celebrated sperm donor? This has given you a certain infamy in the Pittsburgh lesbo community."

"I know. I'm still getting inquiries from dykes with turkey basters." He smiles ruefully.

"And your sexual harassment suit was also the talk of the town. As was the way it was suddenly dropped. There was a slew of talk about what YOU did to stifle THAT pesky fellow. You'll have to give me the real scoop someday, Brian."

But he's silent. He's not biting on that bit of bait.

"Then there was your Great Disappearance, which closely followed your 'film debut' as Boy Hustler Extraordinaire." Brian cringes at that. I didn't think he was so sensitive! "At the Carnegie Mellon LesBiGay Film Festival or whatever the fuck it was called."

"Close enough," he says, glumly.

"But YOU weren't in town to hear what happened after all THAT, Brian. You were, I assume, basking by some California pool and shopping your brains out for a new wardrobe on your rich new boyfriend's shiny dime. That was about the time I was drying Justin's tears in a local shopping mall. Because he was getting spiteful comments about you from every queer on Liberty Avenue practically on the hour. Every guy you ever fucked and fucked over. Every trick you ever insulted, Brian. Every guy you blew off as not worthy of your dick -- they ALL had a nasty story to tell. And they all made certain that the one they told it to was Justin. That he heard all of their tales of lust and lechery. In graphic detail."

Brian is wincing. "Fuck."

"Oh, yes. So don't go on about gossip and how you are protecting the lad and all that. Recalling, of course, how it all finally came to a head the February morning at the diner when Justin almost KILLED Ted. Because Ted brought it up once more. Brought up YOU. Called you a name that I will not repeat here -- especially to your face. But that was one time too many for poor Sunshine."

"Fuck," he says again.

"Fuck, yes," I agree. "Justin lost it. He launched at the astonished Ted, sending a full tray flying through the air and leaving Teddy on his ass. And although I'm Ted's dearest friend, I can't fault the boy, Brian. Because sometimes enough IS enough. A man can take only so much. Even when he's a boy. Alone. Waiting. Abandoned -- or so he believes. But if he never stops loving that person... what else can he do? What else could Justin do? While he was waiting for YOU? And I know, Brian. I was there." I look him right in the eye. "And where were you?"

Brian doesn't answer me. Instead, he looks away and can't meet my gaze. I understand why he can't face me. Because I know that Brian is planning some new stunt. I don't know what it is, and -- truthfully -- I don't want to know. But I've promised Justin that I would support him and be his confidante through whatever is going to happen. And through the fallout, whatever it may be. So I know it's something that is going to hurt the boy. That Brian is going to hurt him. Again.

I can see by looking at the man that he DOES care. He really does love Sunshine. His face shows it. His body language shows it. He tenses up like a coil when I talk about what Justin went through last winter. But is THAT enough to stop him from doing something equally stupid again? I have no idea!

If I can just plant a tiny little seed in his conscience, then maybe.... And I KNOW Brian has a conscience. I think he has more of one than most people -- which is why he does many of the asinine things he does. Because he thinks it's for the right reason. What is it they say about doing the wrong thing for the right reason? It's bound to end in tragedy.

Brian looks like he's about to say something to me. Perhaps explain himself. Absolve himself in some way. But then Justin comes bouncing back, smiling broadly. He whispers something in Brian's ear. At that moment "Let's Hear It for the Boy" booms over the system. Everyone in Babylon knows it is THEIR song. Well, ONE of their many songs! Brian obviously sent HIS boy up to the booth to request it. And no one turns down a personal request from La Diva. Not anymore.

Brian takes his Boytoy by the hand and leads him to the floor. I've often said that individually they aren't the best dancers at Babylon. They aren't even close. Justin isn't too bad, for an untrained twink! He has a certain flair, a certain wild and innocent charm, which -- along with his perky posterior -- was enough to get him crowned 'King of Babylon' last year! But Brian doesn't even attempt to have a 'style' -- not like the one I myself have cultivated through the years. With my own set of moves. My patented hip flips and hand gestures. Brian just IS on the dance floor. He presents himself and you take it -- or leave it. And most guys -- if they have that opportunity -- take it! Because with Brian, you know that the dance is merely the prelude to the best fuck of your life, should you be so chosen. And there's only one person chosen right now.

Because together Brian and Justin have that synthesis that makes them so much greater than the sum of their separate parts. Something magical. Something that makes them not longer even a couple, but a single entity. It isn't even in question that they should be at the center of Babylon, dancing to their special song. Or even that they should be the heart of Queer Pitts. The subject of every conversation. Every speculation. Every envious, horny conjecture. Every Queer Theory posed by every fabulous fag in town. Because they are IT! And it is there for everyone to see.

I watch calmly as they devour each other under the flashing lights. Suddenly I feel a presence next to me. Tapping my arm. It's Ted. He's dragged himself away from the office to join me for the last minutes of the Tea Dance. His eyes blink in the sweeping colored lights. He's oblivious to The Boys, directly in front of him.

"Well, Em -- did I miss anything?"

Ah, Teddy, I want to say. Nothing much. And only Everything.

©Gaedhal, September 2002.

Updated September 27, 2002