MOST LIKELY YOU GO YOUR WAY AND I'LL GO MINE

"A Queer As Folk USA FanFic"

by Gaedhal

This is Part 1 of Chapter 104 in the "Queer Theories" series.

Go back to "Outlaw Blues -- Part 3", the previous chapter.

The narrator is Brian Kinney, and features Ron Rosenblum, Diane Rhys, Carmel, Maria, Others.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: Brian returns to L.A. and finds things a bit sticky at the house. Los Angeles, October 2002.
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.

"You say you love me
And you're thinking of me,
But you know you could be wrong.
You say you told me
That you wanna hold me,
But you know you're not that strong.
I just can't do what I done before,
I just can't beg you anymore.
I'm gonna let you pass
And I'll go last.
Then time will tell just who fell
And who's been left behind,
When you go your way and I go mine."

from "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine," by Bob Dylan.

***

Clippings:

From 'The New York Daily News' --
'Sightings' (with photo) --
"Jimmy Hardy and 'Olympian' co-star Brian Kinney at LAX, heading for Chicago and an 'Oprah' taping. Buzz on this controversial new flick is hot-hot-hot!"

From 'The New York Post' --
'Page Six Blind Item' --
"Power Trip? Some people think they can have it ALL -- but can they? It isn't enough for this Oscar powerhouse to parade in public with his oh-so-devoted Mrs. at every Tinsel Town party and charity ball, but he also wants to have his co-star and eat HIM, too! And he thought no one was watching! Stay tuned for further developments in this 'hot' production!"

***

I come into Los Angeles very late on Wednesday night. Of course, there's no one to meet me because no one knew I was coming. But I have the feeling that I wouldn't exactly be getting a warm welcome even if I'd let Ron know I was arriving.

I take a cab to the house and let myself in. The poolhouse fold-out bed looks pretty good to me after all those hours trying to sleep on the plane. But the first thing I do is call Justin to let him know that I'm in safely.

"Hey," I say into the cellphone. I'm not taking the chance on using Ron's phone.

"Hey! What's up?" I woke him up, but he doesn't seem to mind. We are both still wrapped in that well-fucked haze after three days of almost never getting out of bed.

"Just checking in. Everything a-okay?"

"I guess," he replies, sleepily. His voice sounds husky and sexy and that makes me hard just hearing it. I can picture him stretching and looking at the clock, then pulling the pillow against his cock, pretending it's me. "Except you aren't here."

"I know. But it won't be long. I know it won't." And I'm sure of that. I can feel that something is about to give.

Justin promises to smooth the feathers of Lindsay and Mikey -- especially since I blew both of them off while I was in Pittsburgh. And then there's Gus -- I'm really sorry not to have seen him while I was home. I know I'm a pretty rotten father, but at least I know enough to realize that I'm rotten. And I'll try to make it up to him later. Right -- it's always later. But I mean it. I do.

"Get some sleep now -- and don't miss any more classes!" I know that he skipped school while I was there -- and I couldn't bring myself to tell him not to do it. Not if it had meant him getting out of bed and leaving for a couple hours. But I don't want him getting into trouble with his professors, either.

"I won't. I promise," he says, yawning. It's so fucking late and I'm keeping him up by staying on the phone. So why don't I just hang up?

Later," I say, finally.

He sighs. "Later."

The next morning I drag myself out of bed way too early and stick my head out of the door of the poolhouse. I hear Carmel and Maria moving around the kitchen, but there's no sign of Ron. I get dressed and am out the door and into the Mustang before the girls even have time to react. I have a photo shoot at 10:00 and, for once, I'm glad to get out of the house before noon.

This damned photography session is a pain in the balls! It's the only thing that made me leave Pittsburgh -- and Justin -- so early. Without it I could have stayed at least until Saturday. Or even Sunday. But I'm in enough trouble without missing any other appointments. I have to be careful and not get the studio pissed off at me anymore than they probably already are for running out on that trip to the Wisconsin Dells to play golf (yeah, me playing golf!) with Jimmy and all those exhibitors.

The photo shoot is one of those studio arranged things. The photographer is some non-entity -- he's nothing like Eugene or Chas Imperiale or even James Carson, who would come up with a few different twists. But they want just straight-forward, cheesy photos. The kind the studio will send out to newspapers and in press packets. Posed and phony, but easy to do. I slump left, I slouch right. I stick my hip out at the camera. I just think empty thoughts and the guy shoots the pictures. He's a hack and he makes me feel like a hack, but what the fuck.

I keep waiting for the studio rep who is in charge of the shoot to ream me out about missing the golf outing. But no one says a word. In fact, they all go out of their way to fuss over me and make a big fucking deal. Maybe no one even noticed I was missing! With Jimmy smoothing things out for me with the studio, maybe they really didn't care that I wasn't there. The theater owners only wanted to hang out with Jimmy, so I know THEY didn't give a damn. In fact, there's only ONE person who I know who definitely WILL make a big fucking deal about my absence. And I'll have to deal with him when I get back to the house.

They're finished with me just after noon, which is great, because I've made plans to meet Diane for lunch at 1:00. Our old usual spot in Beverly Hills -- the one where we had our infamous first drunken lunch way back last winter. But I'm determined that I'm going to stay sober as much as possible. It's part of my new resolution NOT to be an asshole all of the time. Something that I promised Justin before I left the Pitts.

Diane is waiting for me, a glass of white wine in front of her. She's cutting back, too. No double Cosmopolitan or Martini, like she usually has. She looks great, too. That pilot she did for the sitcom got the go-ahead to air in January. And she's the lead -- for real! The star! Now maybe she can move into a decent place and dump that fucking rat, Jerry Baxter.

She jumps up and kisses me when she sees me. "You're looking awfully good, Bridie! Is it that you are finally eating well? Or working out more? Or is it three days in bed with the Boy Toy?"

"Very funny, Princess Di! Which do you think it is?" I give her my patented smirk and one raised eyebrow in answer.

She just laughs at me, delighted. She loves to put me on the spot. "I think being in love agrees with you."

"Who says I'm in love?" I answer, innocently.

"You think you are SO slick, Bridie. But you are SO transparent!" she says. "You are so GONE, darling, it isn't even funny!"

"So YOU say!"

"Don't fight it, Bridie. It's good for you -- just believe that," Diane replies.

We both sit down and the waiter comes over. "Evian, with a lemon twist."

"On the wagon AGAIN?" Diane says, grinning. "I bet that's your secret."

"I'm not making a religion of it," I say. "I'm just trying NOT to fuck up too badly before the premiere."

"Which premiere do you mean, Bri?" says Diane, seriously. "Because I've been seeing a lot of hype for 'Hammersmith.' I thought that was just going to be some low-budget English flick that none of us were ever going to see? And now I see a big ad for it in 'The Hollywood Reporter'!"

"I thought so, too, Diane. But 'Hammersmith' seems to have... taken off, somehow," I say, shrugging. The waiter brings over my water. He smiles at me. He's a really fuckable Asian guy -- but I force myself NOT to notice him. And... it isn't as hard to ignore him as I thought it would be. I simply picture Justin sitting at the table, watching me. I simply picture Justin.

"Taken off?" says Diane. "How?"

"It seems that one of the songs from the picture is... on the charts." I slug down the Evian like it's Absolut.

Diane stares at me. "You mean, like the MUSIC charts? As in 'hit record'? In England?"

I nod. "Sort of. It's a cover of that old Badfinger song, 'Baby Blue.'"

"And who is singing on this 'hit record'?" Diane asks, dubiously.

I wince. "Sort of... me."

Diane explodes with laughter. "No freaking WAY!"

"Believe it, Diane. Dorian sent Justin a copy of the Soundtrack CD. It got there before I left. He played it immediately, of course."

"Well?" says Diane. She'll NEVER let me live this down.

"It was enough to frighten small children," I admit. "But Justin loved it. And it's... selling in Britain. It's in the Top Ten! That makes me fear for the future of British youth."

Diane just sits there, shaking her head and smiling. "Freaking unbelievable! You have the craziest life, Bridie!"

"Tell me something I don't already know," I answer. And the waiter comes around again and we order lunch.

***

Clippings:

From 'The New York Post' --
'Cindy Adams' Column' --
"Tess Hardy is branching out into producing. She's optioned a script written by unknown actress Cara Restifo about a close-knit Italian clan not unlike Tess' own family in Chicago. Husband Jimmy, out on the stump for his hot new pic, 'The Olympian,' is fully behind this new endeavor."

From 'Variety' --
"Openly gay director Ron Rosenblum ('The Olympian') denies that there is a 'Gay Mafia' at work in Hollywood. 'If such a thing DID exist, do you think it would have taken me and Jimmy (Hardy) a decade to get 'The Olympian' to the screen? No way!' Rosenblum also stated that the 'honesty' of the scenes in his new film will 'blow everyone away,' and he predicted major stardom for his hot new discovery, Brian Kinney."

***

I stretch out lunch with Diane as long as I dare. She keeps grilling me on every aspect of my 'relationship' with Justin. What I'm feeling about it. What Justin is feeling about it. What all my friends back in Pittsburgh are feeling about it! Jesus! Things were so much simpler when it was just fucking! Simpler -- and so crummy.

But then it's getting late and, finally, I have to go back to the house and 'face the music.' Diane wishes me luck and I point the Mustang back up into the canyons.

Carmel and Maria hardly even glance up when I walk into the kitchen. Armani is the only one to greet me. He comes running up, yipping and wagging his tail. I pick him up and he licks my face. Sometimes I feel like stealing Armani and sending him to Justin -- someone who would appreciate him and make a big fuss over a little dog, but Justin's asthma and allergies make that impossible.

I set the dog down. "Nice that someone is glad to see me, isn't it, ladies?"

"One dog to another," sniffs Carmel, sorting through a pile of coupons. Ron gives her a monthly food budget larger than the mortgage on Mikey's store and she's still cutting coupons.

"Woof woof," I bark at her.

"I wouldn't go upstairs if I was you," she says, without looking up.

"I wasn't planning to go upstairs. I'm going to the poolhouse." And I start walking out there, but halfway around the pool I make a detour and head for Ron's office. I know that he's in there. And he's purposely not coming out.

I should just go back to the poolhouse and leave it. Just say, 'fuck it' -- but I can't. Why can't I? That's the real question. Was there ever an Irishman on the planet who could leave well enough alone? Who ever saw a quiet pond and didn't throw a rock into it? If there ever was such a person, his name wasn't Kinney, that's for certain. I push open the office door.

Ron is sitting at his desk, going over papers. He's always going over piles of stuff like some fucking insurance man. Checking things off. Signing things. Shuffling papers. He doesn't look up at me. He looks like shit. Like he hasn't slept in weeks. And not from being up fucking, either.

So I go over and knock the papers onto the floor. That makes him look up.

"What the fuck are you doing, Brian?"

Throwing a big rock into the water, what else? "Nothing. Just getting your attention. Is that the way you greet your 'major star,' Mister Director?"

He's fucking furious. But he was furious before I even walked into the room. "Is THAT what you are? A 'star'? I thought you didn't go for such bourgeois labels, Brian?"

"I don't. I'm just repeating what the studio wonks were saying this morning. And 'Variety,' too. You should read your own publicity, Ron," I say. "Oh, by the way -- I made it to that photo shoot. I told you that I wouldn't miss any important publicity shit and I haven't. I didn't want to come back for it -- but I did."

"Oh, that's big of you," says Ron, his face red. "And you 'promised' you wouldn't miss any important events, huh? Then why did you walk out on the press tour in Chicago, Brian? Huh? Explain THAT!"

"I didn't walk out, Ron. It was over," I answer. "I just let Jimmy take care of the golfers."

"You blew off a special meet-and-greet with important money men, Brian!" Ron is practically shouting.

"They don't know ME, Ron!" I answer. "They didn't care. They just wanted to hang out with Jimmy Hardy and be big shots with a movie star. And they did! No fucking harm done!"

"No harm done? How the hell do YOU know, you son of a bitch?" Ron stands up from the desk and pushes by me, stooping to pick his papers up off the floor. His stupid fucking papers!

"I know because YOU knew where I was, Ron," I say, watching him scramble after those damn pieces of paper. "Jimmy knew where I was. The fucking studio knew where I was! And no one called me. No one sent the goons to scoop me up and drag me to Wisconsin. No one gave a shit! THAT'S how I know."

"You think you can make all the rules, Brian?" Ron says, standing up and getting right in my face. "Well, you can't! You promised to do certain things and you are fucking walking the line! I'm telling you!"

"So sue me, Ron. Kill me!"

"Shut the fuck up, Brian!" We're practically nose to nose, squared off against each other.

"Why am I not worried, Ron? Why am I SO not worried about YOU threatening me anymore? You know why? Because of THIS!" On his desk Ron has a pile of 'Hammersmith' promotional material. He even has a copy of the CD. I know Dorian didn't send it to him, so he must have other sources of information. Poor little Hughie Marsh must not have been his only stooge over in London. I pick up the promo art. With MY picture on it. With MY name on top -- over Sir Kenneth Fielding's name. "THIS, Ron. This has nothing to do with YOU. No one can say, 'he only got the part because his boyfriend is the director.' THAT'S why!"

"NO! But it's STILL only because you're fucking the director, Brian! That's the only way YOU could ever get a part in a film and that's the truth!" Ron shouts. "Sir Kenneth should really feel screwed over about this! Too bad he can't compete with your dick for Dorian Folco's affections!"

"I've NEVER fucked Dorian, Ron -- and YOU know it!" Ron's one track mind! "And Sir Kenneth is all right with the credit. I called him on Tuesday after I saw the CD cover in Pittsburgh. He's great with it. He's got a percentage of the film and he told me that if marketing it to a bunch of teenage girls will make him a shitload of money, then he's all for it! The Brits -- they are realists, Ron. Especially the actors. They don't pretend it's about 'art.' Maybe YOU should take a hint from Sir Ken."

Ron nods grimly. "You saw the CD in Pittsburgh? How did Dorian know you were there, huh, Brian? How?"

I pause. What the fuck! "He didn't. He sent a copy to Justin and it arrived while I was there."

Ron's face gets almost purple with anger. "Some 'family emergency'! You blew off the press junket to go and fuck that kid! As if I didn't already know! You are pathetic, Brian!"

"No, I'm not, Ron. Look in the mirror if you want to see the definition of 'pathetic,'" I reply. "And who I fuck and where I do it isn't YOUR business!"

"And THIS isn't my business, I guess?" Ron pulls something out from under another pile of folders and papers. It's a magazine. The new issue of 'Vanity Fair.' "Have you seen THIS? Have you?"

I reach for it. "No, I haven't." I stare at the cover. "Shit!" I saw the mock-ups that Eugene had, but it's different seeing the actual magazine. Holding it in my hand. It's more real. And this issue certainly IS real. Almost TOO real.

The headline for the cover story reads, "I run like I fuck." The 'forbidden' catchphrase. The one the studio hates -- but is using anyway. The one that got the trailer banned from one entire chain of theaters because it wasn't suitable for 'All Audiences'!

"Do you know that 'Vanity Fair' has to put a fucking WRAPPER on all the magazines because of that line?" Ron snipes. "And those photos inside...." He shakes his head and turns away from me.

"Jesus, Ron -- THEY put that quote on the cover, not me! I haven't seen anything in here. Yet."

I flip through the pages and immediately know why Ron is freaking out. The very first page of the cover story layout has a picture of me, shaving. With Gus, looking adorable, perched on the edge of the sink, laughing. And Justin holding him up. In fact, there are a LOT of pictures with Justin in them. Photos that make us look like a couple. At least, that's how it looks to me. And how it looks to Ron, obviously. I have no idea how someone who didn't know me or Justin would read these photos.

And then there's the BIG picture -- a two page spread of me, naked, with Gus lying on top, just barely covering my dick. That Eugene! He's a talented bastard who certainly knows how to get the money shot! But all the pictures look great. Really, really great. Justin and I together -- it just looks... right. I can't explain it.

"You let that fucking Eugene put that kid in the shoot! You did it on purpose, Brian!" Ron rages.

"No, I didn't, Ron," I say, honestly. "Eugene had him in there holding up Gus! I... I didn't even realize he was in the frame half the time." And I didn't. I wasn't even aware of what was going on in the shots and that's the truth. You are so busy trying not to look stupid or trying to hold your gut in that you have no clue where the camera is pointing. Especially not the way Eugene shoots -- he wants everything to look unposed and natural.

"Sure! Sure you didn't! You are such a fucking liar, Brian!" Ron grabs the magazine out of my hand and throws it across the room. "Get OUT of here!"

"I was going anyway, Ron. Don't get your knickers in a twist." I turn and head for the door, picking up the 'Vanity Fair' as I go.

"No! I don't mean just get out and go to the poolhouse, Brian! I mean get OUT! Out of this house! Out of HERE!" Ron is yelling louder. I see Carmel and Maria peeking out of the kitchen, listening to what is going on. Shit, they can hear Ron down on Rodeo Drive! They can hear him all the way to Santa Monica!

I look at him carefully. "Do you mean that, Ron? Do you really want me to go?"

"Fuck YES! The sooner the better! Get your shit and get OUT!" And he shoves by me and goes towards the stairs. "Go to Diane's shit-hole of an apartment! Go to Pittsburgh and ram your little blond waiter until he can't stand up! Go to London and move in with Dorian! Or go to HELL, Brian! Just get out of HERE!"

I stand there and watch him. That's all I need to hear. All bets are off. He said it. He wants me to get out. And I will.

I always do what I'm told, after all. Don't I?

***

Clippings:

From 'The New York Post' --
'Liz Smith's Column' --
"Hunky new heartthrob Brian Kinney, of the homoerotic romance 'The Olympian,' wowed the ladies in the 'Oprah' audience, but never mentioned that, although single, he's got a knock-out blonde gal-pal and two year old son hiding away at home. See the upcoming 'Vanity Fair' for the scoop on the gay-playing actor's super-straight home-life!"

From 'Auntie Roo's Online Gossip Net' --
"Guys-in-the-know in West Hollywood are having a HOOT over the Dreamboat build-up that star of a certain 'athletic supporter' movie is getting on the press circuit. Not only is the too-dreamy stud the main squeeze of the director of said flick, but rumor has it he has also given the 'run-around' to half the hotties in Boys Town, as well as bedding his bursting-out-of-the-closet co-star. And, says a little bird, he also keeps a too-cute Boy Toy back home who is just barely legal. Wow! This fellow could win an Olympic medal in bed-hopping AND chutzpah, says Auntie Roo!"

***

"You say you're sorry
For tellin' stories
That you know I believe are true.
You say ya got some
Other kinda lover
And yes, I believe you do.
You say my kisses are not like his,
But this time I'm not gonna tell you why that is.
I'm just gonna let you pass,
Yes, and I'll go last,
Then time will tell just who fell
And who's been left behind,
When you go your way and I go mine."

from "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine," by Bob Dylan.

(Lyrics © 1966, renewed 1994, Dwarf Music)

Continue on to "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine -- Part 2", the next section.

Go to see Brian's "Vanity Fair" Cover. Another great job by the Fabulous Mia!

©Gaedhal, January 2003.

Send Gaedhal any comments, critiques, suggestions. I welcome all of your feedback on this chapter.

Updated January 10, 2003.