I CAN'T MAKE YOU LOVE ME

"A Queer As Folk USA FanFic"

by Gaedhal

This is Chapter 48 of the "Queer Realities" series.

The narrators are Brian Kinney, Dylan Burke, and Justin Taylor, and features Others.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: Brian and Justin face the consequences. Los Angeles. March 2003.
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.

"Turn down the lights,
Turn down the bed,
Turn down these voices
Inside my head.

Lay down with me,
Tell me no lies,
Just hold me close,
Don't patronize.

Don't patronize me.

'Cause I can't make you love me
If you don't.
You can't make your heart feel
Something it won't.
Here in the dark,
In these final hours,
I will lay down my heart,
And I'll feel the power,
But you won't,
No, you won't,
'Cause I can't make you love me
If you don't...."

***

If you've ever been in a car crash you'll understand what I mean.

The second you lose control you know that it's finished. That you can't change what's going to happen. That there's nothing you can do. Momentum takes over.

You find yourself hurtling through time and space. Suspended in mid-air, yet moving at the same time. Nothing can stop the inevitable. Nothing.

That's what I feel.

Then I open my eyes and see Justin. And Tess.

Watching.

The crash.

This is what I do. This is who I am. There's no way to stop the momentum. No way to change myself. So why do I bother to try? This is my reality. My fate. What I was meant to be. I'm only attempting to dodge the lamentable inevitable.

But it's already too late.

It was too late the fucking day I was born.

No one wanted me then. No one was there to show me the fucking way.

I was alone then and I'm alone now. That's the way I'll always be. It's inevitable. Fucked and fucked up. And it's my own fault. No one else is to blame but me.

Now I'm only looking for a way out.

***

"Look, Dylan!" he says. "There's Justin! On the Red Carpet!"

"I don't know why you want to watch that shit," I sneer, turning my face away from the television.

I also don't know why the fuck he's still hanging around here. Except that my roommate won't be back until tomorrow morning. He went home for the whole weekend and I don't want to waste having the room to myself.

So I gave him a call last night and he ran right over as fast as he could, the little slut. He could hardly wait to spread his legs for me.

"Come on, Dylan! I want to watch the show!" he whines. "Don't you want to see Justin on TV? It's SO cool! All those movie stars! And the TV cameras! And Justin in the middle of it!"

I let him stay overnight, which was probably a mistake. But he's an easy lay and he doesn't make too many demands. He's not like Ethan that way. Ethan is a better fuck, but he's also a pain in the ass with his bitching and moaning and talk about his fucking music and his 'great genius.' What a pretentious little jerk!

"Movie stars are just people," I tell him. "Way fucked up people. Like Kinney."

"Brian isn't fucked up!" he insists. "He has some problems, but who doesn't?" He gives me a weird look. "And he really loves Justin. Justin told me so."

"That guy doesn't love Justin," I snort. "He loves himself and he loves dick -- in that order."

"Look! There they are again. That's awesome! " He points at the television screen. "They're walking into the theater. Justin looks great. And Brian is really hot. Look! They're holding hands! Can't we watch whole show? Please, Dylan? I'm sure they'll show Justin again."

"I think it's time for you to leave," I say, getting out of bed.

There's no way I want to watch the Academy Awards. To see Justin there with that asshole Kinney and watching everyone slobber all over the two of them like they're some kind of celebrity faggot super-couple makes me sick to my fucking stomach.

"Do I have to leave?" he says in disappointment. "Now? I thought I could stay tonight, too."

"No! My roommate might be back early tomorrow morning and I don't want him to see you here."

I walk around the room, looking for my fucking pants in the tangle of discarded clothes on the floor. Like most dorm rooms, this one is a real shithole. I wish I lived some place nice. Like Justin's loft. There'd be plenty of room there. Plenty of food and booze -- Kinney always gives Justin a big allowance to buy anything he wants. And there's that big bed, too. Going to waste every night I'm not fucking Justin in it.

"Okay," he says slowly.

I watch Marshall get out of my narrow bed. His body isn't bad. At least he's not pasty and pudgy like that slug, Ethan. But he's no Justin. His skin isn't as smooth and his ass isn't as round and firm. But Marshall's always willing. And he's here. Too bad his ass doesn't feel as good as Justin's around my big dick.

Now I'm fucking horny again thinking of Justin.

"Wait," I say. "Why not stay until the show is over? You can watch it as long as you turn the sound down."

"Awesome!" Marshall says happily. "Thanks, Dylan!"

I know that Marshall is in love with me, but that's fucking meaningless. Thinking you're 'in love' with the first guy who fucks you is stupid. It's something a fucking girl would do. Like Justin thinks he's in love with Kinney just because he was the first guy to stick his dick up Justin's ass. That's such horseshit!

Of course that's never happened to me. And it never will. I don't fall in love and I don't get fucked. No way! I don't roll over for anyone. I'm no fucking girl! So I'll never fall into that trap.

But I do know what I want.

I want Justin. And I'm going to have him.

But until then, Marshall will do.

I push him back on the bed and feed my big cock into his mouth. "Yeah!" I urge. "Take it, bitch! Suck that cock. I know you love to suck my dick!"

And Marshall nods, his face filled with my cock.

Yeah, he'll do. For now.

Until the real thing comes back to me.

***

I stumble out of sleep. Lurching. My stomach reeling.

Hungover.

Fuck.

I'm alone in bed.

What a surprise.

I get up and make my way to the bathroom. Everything is clean and new in here. New slate floor. New fixtures. State-of-the-art shower, toilet, bidet.

Everything is new except me. I'm the same old model.

The same lousy, fucking face looks back at me in the mirror. Red eyes. Hair a nightmare. Stubble all over my blotchy face.

Good morning!

Yeah. Whatever the fuck.

Back into the bedroom.

Ron's Oscar is sitting on the dresser, looking serene. Golden. Cold.

I glance at the clock. It's after 10:00.

Justin must have already gone down to have breakfast. He's used to getting up early for class

I'm supposed to meet Dorian for lunch at some new sushi place that's all the rage. Justin likes sushi. Dorian and I are going to talk about the screenplay I wrote at Springhurst, the one based on 'Red Shirt.' I had Leslie print out the latest revision from my iBook and send it to Dorian's office on Saturday. He's already seen most of it -- I've been e-mailing the scenes as I finish them -- but he told me last night that he'd looked over the new changes and wanted to discuss the finished 'project' with me. A project, huh? I had to laugh at that. I have no fucking illusions about my talent as a screenwriter, but Dorian's interest makes me feel good. I put a lot of work into that screenplay, even if it was only an exercise in therapy. But I actually accomplished something.

I had thought that after lunch Justin and I might go down and check on the boat. Maybe even spend the night on it. But that was before I found out Jimmy had promised the 'Letterman' producers that he and I would do their guest-host gig on Wednesday. That means there won't be time for the boat on this trip.

Shit. I've been thinking a lot about the boat. Getting away, even for only a weekend. I've also been thinking about going away for a longer trip. I even told Gorowitz about it during one of our sessions. Just the two of us cruising in 'La Diva.' Down to Mexico or up around San Francisco. Taking our time. Stopping whenever we want to stop, doing whatever we want to do. Why not? Why the fuck not?

I fumble around in the dresser drawers, looking for a pair of my dark blue socks. This is all new furniture in this bedroom and I can't find where the hell Leslie has put any of the clothes I left here at the house. I'll have to rearrange all this crap later when I have more time to do it properly. I should have a couple of weeks to get things in order between the time I return from Pittsburgh and the time I have to leave for Dorian's Cowboy Camp in Texas. The furniture for the living room will be in by then and the work on Justin's studio should be....

I stop.

Something's wrong.

Justin's suitcase is gone. And his carry-on bag.

And his clothes. I check the bathroom and his kit isn't there either.

Fuck!

I run out into the hall. No one else is here. Leslie isn't in the office today and Carmel and Maria aren't in the kitchen, either. In Los Angeles everyone spends the day after the Oscars recovering, even if they aren't in the movie industry. It's a good excuse for taking the fucking day off.

There's no one else in the house. I can feel it.

Justin isn't here.

The door of the guest room is ajar and I look inside. I'm almost afraid. But there are his bags. And some of his clothes are draped over the chair. The bed is made, but not very carefully. It's obvious that he slept in here last night.

I'm trying to remember what happened last night. Remember, Kinney! Try!

But all I can recall right now is coming back in the limo. Justin was with me. He helped me undress when we got home. I know he did.

But that's all.

Yeah, that's all. But I know it's not all. There's always more with me. Shit.

I go back to my room and find a pair of pants to pull on. Then I go downstairs. It's too fucking quiet. I slide open the door to the deck and stare at the pool. Listen to the water lapping against the cement and the drain sucking softly.

Sucking.

Then I remember. It all comes back to me with a horrible clarity. Freddy Weinstein. The scene at Morton's. The bar. And then Jimmy. In the alley. Justin. Tess.

The look on Justin's face.

I need a fucking drink! And I need one now!

But then I remember something else. The bar is closed. Literally. There's no booze in the house. None.

I go into the kitchen to find some juice. Carmel has stocked the fridge with all of my favorites. The guava juice is right in the front and my hand is shaking as I drink it straight from the jar.

Ron used to hate it when I did that. "That's disgusting, Brian! You ARE a savage at heart, aren't you?" I can hear his voice so clearly it's like he's standing right next to me.

"I thought that's what attracted you to me, Ron?" I say out loud. "My crude, undomesticated simplicity."

But there's no answer.

Ron isn't standing next to me. Ron is gone.

And so is Justin. Maybe not physically. Not yet. But soon.

He's been trying to tell me that he was done with me for weeks now, but I've been denying it. Not coming up to Springhurst. Not returning my calls. Not wanting me to come to his opening at the Warhol Museum. Justin was distancing himself. Moving away from me. It's so fucking obvious.

The inevitable.

Last night Justin saw the truth. They all saw the truth. What I really am.

Freddy Weinstein is a fucking asshole, but that doesn't mean that he was wrong. Everything he said was true.

I killed Ron. Not Homophobic Hollywood. But me. I did it.

And if Justin doesn't get the fuck away from me as fast as he can I'll take him down, too. Destroy him. Like I destroy everything I touch. Everyone I love. That's inevitable, too.

So why can't I face that fact? Why do I still want to hold onto Justin when I know it's the worst possible thing for him? Because every day I try to hold onto him I'm keeping him from finding what he really needs and what he really deserves. Someone who can love him without fear and without bullshit. Someone who won't always disappoint him. Someone who won't fuck up every single time.

I'm so fucking selfish. I want him, so I hold onto him. I don't deserve him, but I love him. I'm always thinking of myself first. But now I need to know what the fuck to do!

"Ron!" I shout. "I know you're here! You must know what I should do. You must be able to see everything. Wherever you are, you must know what the right thing is. You have to know! And you have to tell me."

I close my eyes, listening. Hoping for a fucking answer. But there's no hope. There's no answer. There's nothing. Ron's not here. Ron's not anywhere. He's dead, just as he wanted to be. Out of all this shit. The only flaw in his plan was that he didn't manage to take me with him, the way he wanted to. That was the real mistake. I wanted to live too badly. And I did. And now here I am.

Alone.

But for what? What the fuck did I know when I fought so passionately to keep living? When I was a kid. In New York. My whole fucking life? And at the end, when Ron wanted me to go with him. Why did I want to live? Was it for this? So that I could fuck up everything and be alone in the end? Just me and my fucking philosophy. Me, getting high. Me, getting my needs met. Getting fucked in every way.

I walk out the kitchen door to the driveway. It's a beautiful day. The garage door is open and I can see that Justin's PT Cruiser is gone. He took it. Who the fuck knows where he went? But he's a free agent. The car is his. He's free to come -- and to go. What's the old song say? 'This door swings both ways, It's marked in and out.' Or that trick who once told me that when you leave the door wide open you never know who'll walk in. Or walk out.

In and out. Out and in.

And then there's me. Somewhere in between and unable to move.

Fucking nowhere.

***

The house is dark when I pull the PT Cruiser into the garage.

Dark and silent.

The way I feel inside.

One day Brian will know the truth. Someday -- probably very soon -- Michael will tell Brian about what I am. That Michael saw me and Dylan at the museum. Maybe then Brian will hate me. Or maybe he'll no longer give a shit. Because I'll be part of the past. Out of sight, out of mind, right? He obviously wasn't thinking of me last night. He was too busy thinking about his dick. As usual.

And Dylan. I can't even think about him without feeling sick to my stomach. Why did I let Dylan fuck me? And why do I keep going back to him when I fucking hate him? I can't even claim it was once or twice, because it was more. But why? It's not like I love Dylan, because I don't. I don't know what I feel anymore. I can't understand myself anymore. I don't know what I want or what I'm doing. But I have to get away. Away from Brian. And away from Dylan, too. It all makes my head ache. It makes me want to block out everything. To feel nothing.

I trudge upstairs and see a light on in Brian's room. Which was our room. In our house. For two whole nights.

His door is slightly open.

He's lying in bed smoking a joint.

"Have fun today, Sunshine?" he says. He's naked, with the duvet pulled up over his hips. His hair is falling into his face and there are shadows under his dark green eyes.

"Like you?" I sniff. "Where did you get the joint?"

"A kindly parking attendant at a sushi bar on Melrose." Brian blows out a puff of the sweetly sickening smoke. "He was willing to oblige me."

"Did he blow you, Brian?" I say, trying to make my voice like ice, but failing miserably. "Did he 'oblige' you that way, too?"

"Would you care if he did?" Brian asks bluntly.

"Yes." My voice is shaking.

"Would it make any difference?" he adds.

"No," I reply.

"Then what does it matter?" Brian takes a deep toke on the joint. "So, how is Diane? Did she dry your wee little tears, Sonny Boy? Did she send me her love?"

"I didn't see Diane," I say. "I didn't see anyone. I just drove. Then I parked and walked around West Hollywood. Then I drove some more. And then I came back."

"You should have picked up a trick and had a little fun on your last night in L.A.," he tells me.

I feel my face flush red. "I'm not you, Brian!" I say angrily.

He stares at me. "I know. I know you're not. If you were this would all be so easy, wouldn't it?"

"What would be?" I whisper.

"This," he shrugs. "Everything. Nothing. Whatever the fuck. You'd know how meaningless certain things are. I wouldn't need to explain anything then. And you'd also know when to accept the inevitable. But maybe you've already done that, Sunshine." Brian holds the joint in his hand and examines it like it's going to tell him something.

"You don't explain anything as it is, Brian," I remind him. "Remember? I've always had to struggle from the beginning to become an expert in Kinney Speak. And I used to be able to understand it perfectly. I thought I was so on to you. But... but now it's too hard. I... I don't know if I can translate it anymore. Or if I even want to."

Brian nods at the joint, like it was doing the talking instead of me. "Fair enough, Sunshine," he says very softly. "Your ticket to Pittsburgh is on the dresser. If you want it, Justin, then take it. The flight leaves tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. When you get up call the number I've written on the envelope and the studio will send a car to take you to LAX. That way you won't have to wait for a cab, which takes forever in this town."

I walk over to the dresser. If I take the ticket, then that's it. I'll go back to Pittsburgh and Brian will go to New York with Jimmy to do the 'Letterman' show. And then...

I take the ticket.

"Okay," Brian says quietly. "I'm no longer your responsibility, Justin. Remember that, no matter what happens. I absolve you, my son! Go in peace!" And Brian waves the joint like he's giving me some kind of stoned blessing. Then he turns off the lamp next to the bed, leaving the room in darkness except for the glow at the end of the joint.

I go into the guest room and finish packing my stuff. I leave the Armani tux hanging in the closet. I doubt that I'll need it in Pittsburgh any time soon. And the Institute of Fine Art doesn't have a prom.

I get undressed for bed. Everything is in my suitcase except what I'm going to wear tomorrow. The plane ticket sits on top of my carry-on.

I was so exhausted before. Like I'd run a marathon but never reached the finish line. Instead, I stopped in the middle of the race. I was too tired to go on. I thought it would feel so good to stop. That it would be a relief to tell myself that it was finally over. To convince myself that I no longer loved Brian.

But it doesn't feel good. I don't feel any relief at all. Because it's a fucking lie! My feelings for Brian haven't changed one bit. And now I understand that my feelings for him will never change. I'll always love Brian, but I'll have to learn to live my life without him. Without the person I've spent so many years wanting. Dreaming about. Pursuing with every fiber of my fucking being!

But I know he'll never change. And I can't live my entire life getting hurt by him over and over again.

Brian. The only person I'll ever love. I know that's true because I still believe in the visions that Fiona showed us. The two of us -- always meeting. Always coming together under that goddamn streetlight. But Fiona also said that not all Streams end the way you want them to. I think of those other Streams. That vision I had of me with that dark-haired musician, Ethan. And then I picture myself in this Stream. With Dylan and not with Brian. I don't want to see that! Or think about that! My head aches as I close my eyes, but I can't block out those images. I can't change those other fates, those other Streams, both good and bad. But I also can't block out Brian. He's always there, in front of me. Always.

But that doesn't mean that I can't walk away from him. I can. And I will.

That's the choice I've made.

I stand for a long time, rubbing my right hand as it clenches and unclenches. Then I walk out of the guest room and down the hall. The door of the master bedroom is still ajar and I go inside. Brian's joint is no longer burning, but the bitter smoke still hangs in the air.

I go up to the bed and reach out my hand, groping in the darkness. Brian pulls back the duvet and I get in. He covers me up and presses against me from behind, but that's all. He simply holds onto me. Touches me. And that's enough.

Brian doesn't say anything and neither do I. What's the point? What would words do now? Words have never helped us before. Silence is a thankful relief.

But you can drown in that silence. And I am.

***

"I'll close my eyes
Then I won't see
The love you don't feel
When you're holding me.

Morning will come,
And I'll do what's right,
Just give me 'til then
To give up this fight,
And I will give up this fight.

'Cause I can't make you love me
If you don't.
You can't make your heart feel
Something it won't.
Here in the dark,
In these final hours,
I will lay down my heart,
And I'll feel the power,
But you won't,
No, you won't,
'Cause I can't make you love me
If you don't."

(Reid and Shamblin)

Continue on to "No Regrets".

©Gaedhal, May 2005.

Posted May 19, 2005.