I SHALL BELIEVE

"A Queer As Folk USA FanFic"

by Gaedhal

This is Chapter 9 of the "Queer Realities" series.

Go back to "Queer Theories" for the beginning of this saga.

The narrator is Brian Kinney, and features Justin Taylor, Others.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: Brian wakes up -- somewhere.
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.

"Come to me now
And lay your hands over me,
Even if it's a lie
Say it will be alright,
And I shall believe

I'm broken in two
And I know you're on to me.
That I only come home
When I'm so all alone.
But I do believe.

That not everything is gonna be the way
You think it ought to be.
It seems like every time I try to make it right
It all comes down on me.
Please say honestly you won't give up on me --
And I shall believe.
And I shall believe."

***

It's those dreams.

Again.

Like the ones I used to have when I was... somewhere else.

The Spencer Pavilion.

That fucking Dr. Hall. He used to try to convince me that the dreams were only a by-product of all the fucking drugs they were pumping into me. Nothing but a chemical reaction.

But I knew better.

When I was asleep I really was somewhere else. In a better place. A more beautiful place. A place you never want to leave because all of your needs are met there. All of your desires fulfilled. You're never hungering for something you aren't allowed to taste. Or even allowed to imagine tasting.

Instead, something is filling you up inside. Filling all the empty places that you thought could never be reached.

And so you never want to open your eyes again. Then you aren't in that beautiful place anymore.

Of course, when I put out my arms he's right there.

That's the way it always is in a dream. What you want is always right there. Always perfect.

Nothing feels smoother, nothing softer, than his skin. And my hands are all rough and broken. They rake against that smoothness, which flinches and then moves against me again. Flowing like water. Washing into me. Washing over me. Just washing me clean.

Maybe I'm dreaming of that beach on Maui. Something saved me on that beach. He saved me. Something purified me on that beach. He purified me. That's where I must be, in this dream. On that beach with him. I'm there a lot. When I close my eyes.

This is the first time I've been able to breathe in a long time. I can sink back into myself. It's a relief. I don't feel like I'm pretending to be someone else anymore. Here I don't need to pretend.

No wonder I don't want to wake up. I could just drift off into this dream and never have to return to the hell of where I am. Like I said to him that time on the boat up in the islands. What if we just sailed, off into the sunset, and kept on sailing? Just cruised until the water swallowed us? It was a joke on the 'Colleen' because if we just kept sailing west we'd simply end up in Detroit. But on 'La Diva' we could do it. We really could do it.

Or I could do it.

That's what I should have done before. Left Desert Palm and taken the boat. They never would have found me. Never found the boat. Never found anything. It would have been a mystery. But I didn't do that. I didn't have the balls then. I guess I still don't.

Not without him. I guess I couldn't really do it without him. And he would never let me.

Which is why I need him to be here.

To protect me from myself.

It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Now I feel a hand on me. Touching my hair. Touching my skin. Touching my soul. I know this touch so well that it's easy to dream this part. Before I always wanted only anonymous hands. Hands that meant nothing to me. Good for stroking, probing, gripping, jerking.... But I didn't have to hold them. Didn't have to caress them. Didn't have to comfort them. Or fill them. Or answer to them. They were always empty. They never brought anything and never took anything away. They never took anything and they never gave anything -- except sensation.

And that's the way I wanted it.

But now things have changed so fucking much. This hand, this touch, I know better than my own. There isn't a single place on my body that this hand hasn't touched. That it isn't touching now. And it never turns away. That's why it comes now, in this dream. It says that you aren't alone. At least not while you keep your eyes closed.

Most sex dreams are about floating. Or about moments revealed by flashes of light. They aren't usually this soft or this warm.

Above I can feel the chill of the air, feel myself sinking deeper into some comfortable bed. Just like my own bed at the loft. Not this sagging, rattling thing that I'm really sleeping in at the Haven of the Hopeless. And that hot skin against my back, against my ass. The way it moves even closer. It's almost real.

"Brian," it says. But I can't answer. I don't want to scare it away and wake up to another fucking day.

"Brian," it repeats. "Can you hear me now?"

I sigh and turn over. I move into this dream. I used to try to run away from life, from dreams. Fuck that shit. I don't want to run away any more. So maybe if I fuck this dream hard enough I won't have to go back. I won't have to wake up. I can make this place real. I'll never have to open my eyes again.

It's all slow motion.

I feel that hand on me again. And then its mate. They are all over me. I want them to touch me. To pretend that I'm real. To leave me with something I can remember when I wake up tomorrow.

"Brian? Can you really hear me?"

It's so far way, this voice.

No, it's in my head. It's inside me. It IS me.

Something is spinning. I feel like I'm falling. I'm shaking. My cock is hard. I can feel that. But I can't feel my feet or my hands.

I know I'm going to fall.

"No!" I hear a voice. It's my voice.

"It's okay. You're okay. I'm right here."

No, everything isn't okay! Don't you know that I'm lost? That it's too late? Too late for anything!

I've fucked up everything. Again. Always.

I don't deserve to be alive, but I also don't deserve to be in this place. Inside this quiet, beautiful dream.

I feel myself falling again.

I let myself. I want to go. Just go....

***

"Brian?"

"My head hurts."

"It's okay, Brian. You're just a little hungover."

"Oh, God...."

"Here. Sit up a little."

"I'm fucking dizzy. Too dizzy. I think I'm going to fall...."

"I know. Just take it easy. No... slowly."

"My fucking head."

"Have some water. You must be dehydrated, Brian."

"My... my throat is pretty dry."

"Drink some more. A little more. Like that."

"That's enough. Jesus."

"Feel better?"

"No. Not really."

"Brian... just relax. It's okay."

"How did I get here? Justin?"

"I... it's a long story, Brian."

"I'm not going anywhere... I don't think. Oh, shit. My fucking head."

"We'll talk about it later, Brian."

"I think I fucked up. Did I? Justin?"

"We'll talk about it later, Brian. Don't worry about it."

"My whole body hurts."

"I know. That's why you should relax."

"Except my cock. That's the only thing that doesn't hurt."

"Brian, your dick will live on and on long after you're gone."

"That's what I'm afraid of. I'll be dead and my dick won't have gotten the message. That could be embarrassing."

"At that point I don't think you'll care about embarrassment, Brian."

"I guess not."

"Probably not."

"Justin?"

"Hm?"

"My dick is hard."

"So I see. And I can feel it, too."

"I can feel you feeling it."

"Anything you want me to do about it, Brian?"

"Whatever you can think of, Justin. Yes... Please?"

***

I'm drifting off again.

Why do I feel safe when I know that safety is bullshit? No one is ever safe. And no one can save you from yourself. No one.

"Brian, I love you. Do you believe that? Do you?"

Yes, I think. I do believe that.

I believe it like I've never believed in anything before in my life.

So why do I pretend that I can't hear the words. Why?

I'm so fucked up.

I can feel a shiver go through my body. That sickening tingle between my shoulders. That twisting deep in my gut. Goading me. Reminding me. Telling me that it's almost time. That it's getting close. Pretty soon I'll start to sweat. And then my hands will shake -- just a little. But that's enough. Just enough. Shit.

He has his arms around me. His head against my chest. Why? Why does he keep doing it? Why doesn't he escape? He's had so many chances to run away. So many chances to say 'Fuck this!' But he doesn't.

And I've had so many chances to fuck up. And I use every chance I get to do just that.

I hear his breathing grow steady. It's dim in the loft, but never totally dark. I had it designed that way, with lights inset in all the walls, so I'd never be caught in the dark. So I would never wake up and feel the darkness closing in on me. Everyone thinks that it's just decor, but it's about my own fucked up head. My own fucked up fear.

I roll off the bed and stumble to the bathroom. I see a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I have to turn away. I can't stand to look at myself right now. I'm afraid to look at myself right now. What if I see something that I can't stand to face? Or... what if there's nothing there? What if I'm just a shadow? Finally?

I piss. I wash my hands. I rinse out my mouth. I need to turn myself inside out. To clean myself out in every way. But I can't. I don't know how to fix myself anymore.

If Haven of Hope was my last chance, then I've really fucked it up. I've gone beyond the end of the end. I keep thinking about the total losers at the Haven. People like poor Ernie, who has spent the better part of his life either in rehab or out in the world getting himself fucked up and ready to go back to rehab. If that's my Fate then... Jesus. I can't think about that. I can't.

But I also know that I had to leave there. I had to. It's one thing to blame me for my lousy behavoir. I'm willing to take that blame. I've taken the blame my whole life, even when I didn't know what it was that I'd done. Didn't understand why my own fucking parents didn't want me. Didn't love me. Couldn't love me. Or why I was a fag. Or why I was a fucking emotionless robot. A heartless asshole. Those things I could deal with. Those things I could understand.

But blaming Justin. That's fucked! That's wrong. Haven of Hope is fucked! Dr. Lorenz is fucked. Skip is fucked. The whole Program is fucked!

So, if that means I'm fucked, so be it.

I won't go back. I won't.

I walk out of the bathroom and down the steps out of the bedroom. Someone is sleeping on the sofa. And on the air mattress. Shit. I go over there and look. It's Mikey. And Emmett, too. Double shit. I'm trying to remember what happened. Where I was. Babylon. I remember that, vaguely. They must have all been there. They must have seen me all fucked up.

Justin must have seen me.

I can't even imagine what he must have thought.

My jacket. It has to be here somewhere. It wasn't next to the bed. It MUST be here. I fucking have to find it.

The tingle down my back feels like fire now. My hands are shaking.

I'm stumbling around again. I'm such a fucking idiot! This is ridiculous. But I find the jacket. It's draped over the kitchen counter. I feel the inside pocket. Justin's photo is still there. I stroke it softly. Then I feel underneath the pocket. Feel for the flap where I tore a hole into the lining. Yes. It's there. The shit is still there.

This is fucking pitiful. I pull out the squares of aluminum foil and hold them in my hand. If I wasn't totally fucked up I would go straight into the bathroom and flush every one of them down the crapper.

But I don't.

God fucking help me -- I don't.

***

"Baby. Wake up."

I hear a voice over me. I feel Justin stirring next to me.

"What time is it, Em?"

"It's almost 8:00. We're going to go now, all right, Baby?"

"Let me get up and get you guys something to eat."

"No, it's okay. We're going to the diner and then we'll go back to Babylon and pick up my car. Then we'll bring the Jeep back. You won't need it before that, will you?"

"No, Michael, I don't think so. I think everything's okay. Brian seems to be fine."

"More than fine, I'd say, Baby! At least from what Michael and I heard last night!"

"Will you shut up, Emmett! Jesus!"

"I'm so sorry, guys. I... I didn't think about anyone else being in the loft. I don't think Brian was really too aware of what he was doing. It just kind of... happened."

"Don't apologize, Baby! I wish I could get action like that when I'm unconscious!"

"Em, please shut the fuck up! For Chrissake!"

"Sorry, Michael, but it's true. We're going now, Baby. I'll call you later, all right?"

"Okay, Em. Oh, and please don't... you know... don't spread the word about what happened last night. Or the fact that Brian is here. Please?"

"Honey, I think it's too late for that. About a million guys saw Brian at Babylon last night. We can't tell everyone that it was an optical illusion."

"I know. But... but just... try to play it down, okay? Please, Emmett? Michael?"

"Sure, Baby."

"Come on, Emmett. Let's get moving."

"I'm coming, Michael. Be good, Baby. And good luck. I have a feeling you're going to need it."

"Thanks, Em."

***

I'm in that place again.

It feels good. Warm.

I put my arms out and he rolls into them, sighing.

This is the way I want to be all the time. I'll never have to leave here again. There's no day and no night. No winter or summer. No hot or cold. No right or wrong.

No, only the blue lights. Only what is happening in my head.

Here with him in that beautiful place.

And I never need to wake up again.

***

"Open the door
And show me your face tonight.
I know it's true,
No one heals me like you,
And you hold the key.

Never again
would I turn away from you.
I'm so heavy tonight,
But your love is alright
And I do believe.

That not everything is gonna be the way
You think it ought to be.
It seems like every time I try to make it right
It all comes down on me.
Please say honestly you won't give up on me --
And I shall believe.
I shall believe.
And I shall believe."

"I Shall Believe" by Sheryl Crow/Bill Bottrell.

Continue on to "Up to Zero".

©Gaedhal, March 2004.

Posted March 1, 2004.