This is Part 18.
Other recent stories in the "Queer Theories" series.
Go back to "Nowhere Man -- Part 17.
Features Brian Kinney, Justin Taylor, Others.
Rated R for language and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: Brian goes to the mall. September 2000.
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.
Thursday, September 7, 2000, continued:
"Are you going in now?"
"I don't know," smiled Justin. "Am I?" Justin thought that it was funny how Brian kept asking if he was going into school at the same time that Brian had his long arms and one long leg twined around Justin on the front seat of the Volvo. And that was quite a feat in a Volvo.
"I think you'd better go in," said Brian, taking his mouth away from Justin's neck for another second.
"Are you sure?"
"No -- but you had better go anyway," Brian sighed.
They were already much later than Brian had expected. On the way over to St. James Academy after they'd finished breakfast at the Liberty Diner -- an 'interesting' experience, to say the least! -- Justin mentioned that he had 'forgotten' his jacket back in the motel room. So, they had to turn around and drive back to the motel to retrieve it. Over an hour and a half later, they were finally outside the school. Lunch Period was almost over and Justin was still balking at leaving Brian and going inside.
"You have my cell number. Call me just before school lets out and I'll come and pick you up."
"But I don't have a phone!" Justin stalled.
"Can't you borrow one? Or use a pay phone. The school MUST have pay phones."
"I guess," Justin said, his eyes on the floor of the Volvo. "What are you going to do this afternoon? I mean -- without me?"
Brian smiled. "I thought I'd go down to Liberty Avenue and see if I could pick up a hot new guy. Maybe at that bar down there -- Woody's."
"Why would you do THAT?" Justin groaned, half-amused and half-alarmed.
"Why? Because I've HAD you. Now it's time to move on to somebody else. I've decided that I should have a different guy every day -- and no repeats. I wouldn't want to get bored, would I?"
"Briiiaan! Don't say that! Even as a joke," Justin cried, clinging to the man in the driver's seat. "It isn't funny. At least -- it isn't funny to me."
"Don't be silly, you little sex fiend! Of course, I'm kidding! Who could I possibly pick up?"
"Anybody," Justin replied, seriously. "Anybody you wanted to! Because you're so beautiful you COULD have a different guy every night -- if you wanted to. Even MORE than one! You could do anything you wanted to. You could drop me off here at school and drive away and I might never see you again -- except in my dreams. Then I wouldn't even know that THIS wasn't all a dream."
"It wasn't. Wait until you try to sit down in school -- then tell me if it was all a dream!"
Justin slapped Brian gently on his bare arm, then rubbed the spot he hit. Justin loved the black tank shirt and the way Brian's arms looked in it. The boy couldn't keep his hands off those arms, which were so hard, and yet so soft and smooth at the same time. "I can sit! My ass isn't THAT sore. And this last time we made love -- that was the best yet! I think I'm getting the hang of it."
"The hang of it? You already almost wore me out! If you get the hang of it anymore, you're going to KILL me, you know that, don't you, Justin?"
"I'll try NOT to kill you, Brian -- but if you have to go...." Justin arched his eyebrow in imitation of Brian's quizzical glance. "That's the way to go, I think!"
Brian just had to laugh out loud at Justin's enthusiasm. This kid was amazing! Amazing -- and insatiable. "Well, the only one going is YOU -- in to school."
"Go now, before I have to spank you."
"That could be hot, too!" Justin was picturing himself draped over Brian's lap, his pants pulled down to bare his round, pale ass.
"Get IN there!" Brian said, sternly. Then his voice softened. "Remember to call me -- and I'll be waiting outside." Jesus, thought Brian. Is THIS what it's come to? Waiting outside a school to pick up a teenage boy? After all, I'm a teacher, for God's sake! I should KNOW better! This really is too insane. Brian thought of the looks on the faces of the guys this morning at the diner. Jealousy? Curiosity? Disgust? Amusement? What WERE they thinking of him and Justin? Brian hadn't really cared about anyone else's opinion then because he was so wrapped up in the well-fucked haze they had both been in for hours. But now Brian's head was a lot clearer. But were his feelings still the same?
Then he looked at Justin's face, grinning at him. He felt the now familiar flipping of his stomach whenever he caught the boy looking at him. Or when he looked at Justin. Or touched him. Yes, if that's what it's come to, then so be it! And Brian knew that he'd be there when St. James Academy let out. Waiting to pick up a teenage boy. And now he was getting hard again in anticipation. He moved a little, hoping that Justin wouldn't notice. Because if he did notice, he'd want to blow Brian right there, in the front seat of the Volvo, parked in front of the school. And that probably would NOT be the best idea.
Brian glanced at Justin's lap and saw that HIS pants were also stirring just a little. Justin sighed and balled up his jacket in his lap, trying to ignore the beginnings of his latest erection. "What ARE you going to do today? Really, Brian?"
"Just what I said before -- I'm going to go shopping. I need a few new things. And something to wear tonight -- if we are actually going to that Babylon club. Do you really want to go, Justin?"
"Yes!" the boy cried. "Emmett said it would be a party just for ME!"
Brian smiled. "I think Emmett exaggerates a bit. I think EVERY night is a party for someone at Babylon." Especially if that someone gets laid, thought Brian, ironically. "But if you want me to take you there, then I don't want to go dressed like a dork again. I don't want you to be embarrassed to be seen with me!"
"Embarrassed? By you?" Justin blurted out. "You're CRAZY! How could I be embarrassed to be seen with the hottest guy in Pittsburgh? And Brian -- you could never look like a dork! You're gorgeous even in nothing! ESPECIALLY in nothing!"
"Believe me, Justin -- last night I looked like a dork in my Dockers and my loafers and my Van Heusen shirt! And that means I need something new to wear."
"But what about me? I don't have anything to wear, either!"
"You have your youth -- that's all you need to wear! That's more valuable and hotter than any designer shirt could ever be." And Brian couldn't resist leaning in to kiss those young, pouting lips.
And Justin wrapped his arms around Brian again, clinging desperately. "I'm afraid that if I let you out of my sight, you really WILL disappear!"
"I won't," Brian laughed. "I promise. I'm only going to disappear to the mall. Then probably to my folks' place to see how my dad is doing."
"Is he real sick, Brian?" asked Justin, seriously. "I heard you talking to Debbie about him at the diner."
Brian's face was somber. "Yes, he's pretty sick. Very sick. That's why I came to town -- to take him to a new doctor. I have to go with him to his appointment tomorrow morning, too." Brian considered the situation. Then he suddenly recalled something else. Something that he'd put completely out of his mind once Justin had walked into his head. "In fact, Justin, I just remembered that I have a date tomorrow night! Shit! I almost forgot all about that."
"A date? Tomorrow night?" Justin's face fell. He pictured Brian with some hot guy -- on a date!
"With my father's doctor. His oncologist." Brian contemplated the forlorn expression on Justin's face. "But it's only a friendly dinner -- and that's all. I want to be nice to this guy. After all, he'll be treating my father. I can't very well stand him up."
"But tomorrow is... Friday night! I thought WE would do something -- together!"
"Maybe after my dinner I could pick you up," Brian mused. "But we better wait and see what happens tonight. I don't want you to get into trouble, Justin. You know, your parents might actually want you to spend the night at home once in a while! Are you planning to stay at the motel with me tonight, too?"
"No, Justin," Brian said. "We have to think this out. I don't want you to worry your parents and just not come home all night. And I hate you lying to them, too."
"Well, what then, Brian? I sure can't tell them the truth!" Justin shuddered to think of the reaction his parents -- especially his father! -- would have if they knew what their son had been doing for the last twelve hours!
Brian looked at his watch. "You better get inside. We'll discuss this after school, okay?"
"Okay," said the boy. And he couldn't stop himself from leaning over and kissing Brian once more, hard and deep, before he reluctantly dragged himself out of the car.
Justin slammed the door of the old Volvo and walked slowly up the sidewalk towards the entrance of St. James Academy. He looked up to see his best friend, Daphne, standing on the sandstone steps that led up to the school. She was staring at him, her mouth hanging open.
"Justin! Where have you BEEN? Your mom called! I didn't know what to tell her! I said you were still asleep. She really wanted to talk to you!" The girl craned her neck to look at the car her friend had gotten out of, which was still idling at the curb. "Who were you with? Did you actually go down to Liberty Avenue? Did you? Justin?"
Justin turned and waved at the Volvo. The car started up and slowly inched its way down the street, as if it didn't want to leave the area. Justin watched the car until it turned the corner and disappeared from view.
Then Justin smiled and began walking up to the school, while Daphne trailed behind. "I DID go to Liberty Avenue," Justin replied. "And everything has changed! I mean EVERYTHING!"
"My God, Justin! What happened to you?"
"Oh, everything -- that's all!" he said. "I just saw the face of God! Or the closest thing I'll ever get to seeing it." Justin looked directly at his friend. "Everyone around here is always talking about sex -- but I really did it! And that's the way things were meant to be! The way I'M meant to be. Because I made love ALL night long and it was amazing! HE was amazing -- and he made ME amazing, too! And we are going to be together. Forever. You'll see, Daphne. Just wait."
"But, Justin!" cried Daphne, trying to take it all in. "You don't even KNOW this... this guy!"
"Yes I do. I knew everything about him. Or all I need to know. I love him. And HE loves ME! And THAT is the only thing that matters." And Justin pushed open the large doors of St. James and marched inside.
Brian decided that his best bet was the Monroeville Mall. It had a Kaufmann's and he and Ron had an account there. He also had his VISA and American Express cards. Brian ordinarily wouldn't go out and buy clothes on a whim. He usually needed an occasion to allow himself to spend any money. Well, if THIS wasn't an occasion, then he didn't know what was! And he wouldn't even think about the cost. Let Ron worry about that. Right! Let HIM deal with the bills when they came in!
After parking at the main entrance, Brian meandered through the mall for a while, looking at all the clothing stores with new eyes. He was inspecting the styles and colors in a different way. Thinking about what would look good on HIM, rather than what was 'suitable' for teaching or to go to a faculty function or what Ron would think was 'all right' -- not too flashy, not too trashy, and NEVER faggy. But Brian didn't care about 'suitable' right now. He wanted something 'hot' -- and Brian knew that he'd find something hot to wear for tonight. Maybe even a leather jacket.
Brian stood in front of the display window of Abercrombie and Fitch, staring at some leather pants and a few pseudo-cowboy shirts and belts on the mannequins. He suddenly became aware of another presence, a man, standing right behind him. Close behind him. Practically breathing down his neck. Brian could see the figure reflected in the window glass, but he couldn't see him very clearly. But he could smell him -- a sweaty, musky aroma. And feel him. Moving closer.
"Lookin' for some action?" Said a voice, right in his ear.
"Huh?" said Brian, startled. He was aware of the man boldly pressing up against Brian from behind. He turned slightly and saw a dark, Italian-looking guy in tight jeans and a white tee shirt. "What did you say?"
"You heard me," whispered the guy, smiling slyly. "There's a john in the department store, but my place isn't far. I've got an hour until I have to be back at the site."
"The site?" Brian stared at the man as if he were speaking a completely foreign language -- but Brian understood his meaning well enough -- the guy's body language was as clear as daylight.
"Construction site. Across the street. I came over here to catch something to eat -- but I'd rather catch that dick in my mouth."
Brian looked down at himself to see the obvious bulge in the front of his too tight jeans. Shit! No wonder Ron never wanted him to wear these jeans out of the yard! Had they always been so... so revealing? Or was his cock just taking advantage of the new sense of freedom that the last night had brought Brian to flaunt itself so proudly?
And Brian looked back at the display window, gazing at the reflection of himself. No wonder the guy had assumed he was cruising! Between the tight jeans and the black wifebeater, Brian LOOKED like he was on the prowl. And maybe he was -- in a way. Maybe his mind was tuned to all the sex he and Justin had had since meeting under the streetlight last night and this guy was somehow picking up on those strong vibrations. Maybe he was walking in a different way. Even standing in a different way. Brian remembered how, when he was hustling in New York, guys somehow instinctively knew what he was and what he was doing. It was an aura that he gave off. An aura that Brian had been desperately suppressing for the past twelve years. And this guy's attention, for all it was unexpected and unwelcome, also felt good. Strangely good.
"Sorry. I can't. I... I have to do some things and I don't have an hour to...." To what? Go with this stranger and fuck? Yes, that was it. That's what it was all about. A quick and mindless fuck. Nothing like what he and Justin did. "Sorry, but I'm not interested."
"Here," said the man, undeterred. He pulled an envelope and a pencil stub out of his back pocket and wrote something on the corner, then tore it off and handed it to Brian. "Call me. Anytime. And I mean ANYTIME! Name's Joe."
Brian took the scrap of paper and shoved it in his pocket without looking at the number. He glanced around, certain that the mall cops were going to swoop down on the two of them any minute, but the mall was quite empty on a quiet Thursday afternoon. Still, Brian's natural paranoia about street pick ups and the cops was kicking in. Brian eyed the man suspiciously. When he was on the Bowery, he'd always been cocky about the fact that he'd never been arrested. That he was too smart, too careful for that. But he hadn't thought about such things in ages. He was older, now, and more wary, obviously. Maybe he still needed to be on his guard. This 'Joe' might be a cop trying to trap him. He needed to he careful. Very careful.
Still, this guy didn't smell like a cop -- literally. He smelled like a real construction worker. Shit, talk about a fag's dream fantasy. Except that Brian only had one fantasy on his mind -- and that fantasy was sitting in his AP American History class at that very moment.
"Ah -- Thanks. And my name's Brian. See you." He didn't think it was exactly correct to shake the rejected pick up's hand, so Brian started to walk down in the direction of Kaufmann's. To his dismay, Joe walked right along with him.
"You live in this neighborhood?"
"Um, no. Farther into town."
"You hang out on Liberty Avenue? I've never seen you down there. I'd remember."
"No, not too much."
"You ever go to the Tool Shed on Hendricks? Or Muggsy's, downtown?"
"No, I don't," said Brian, nervously.
"You ought to come by some time. I hang out at those two places, mainly. The Tool Shed is mostly leather gear. You look like you're into leather," said Joe, checking out Brian's ass in the tight jeans for about the fifth time.
"Not really." Brian just kept moving.
"You should be. You'd be hot in leather," said Joe, getting closer to Brian as they walked.
"Maybe. Listen," said Brian, stopping. "I've got to get going. But I'll see you around, okay?"
"Sure," Joe nodded. "Don't forget to call that number. It'll be SO worth your while. So don't forget."
"I won't," Brian assured him. And the guy turned and headed back towards the Food Court, leaving Brian to exhale with relief.
Brian went into Kaufmann's and directly to the Men's Department. He literally didn't know where to begin. Well, when in doubt, start with the inside and work outward, Brian thought. He found the underwear section and pawed though the tee shirts, looking for another black wifebeater like the one he was wearing.
"Can I help you?" An eager young salesman was standing next to Brian, practically wagging with helpfulness. He was short and sandy-haired and, Brian thought, obviously gay. Very obviously. But a different kind of obvious than Joe.
Shit, thought Brian, I must really be broadcasting it today. I can't even shop in peace! I might as well have brought Justin with me. At least then the interruptions would be fun!
"I'm looking for some tee shirts. In different colors. Like this one." Brian touched the black material of his wifebeater.
"Oh, we have many tank styles! How about white? Or navy?" The young salesman began pulling out plastic packages.
"I guess, one of each. No black?" said Brian, disappointed.
"I'm afraid not," said the salesman. "But the navy is quite dark. It looks almost black."
"I suppose that's all right," Brian frowned. "No red or anything?"
"No, I'm sorry," said the salesman. "You'd have to try a catalog for that. Like 'International Male' -- do you get that?"
"No, I don't," said Brian, feeling decidedly uncool.
"Oh, you should! There are lots of really hot styles!" the salesman exclaimed, excitedly. "I mean -- if that's what you're looking for." The young man tilted his head. "If you know what I mean?"
"No, what DO you mean?" said Brian, confused.
"Well -- are you getting some things for a vacation? Or a cruise? Or something like that?" The man was looking Brian up and down almost as avidly as Joe had.
Brian sighed and decided to give in. If this guy was going to help him shop, then he might as well level with him. "If you want to know the truth, I just broke up with someone and I need some new clothes. I want to look different and feel different."
"But you already look great! What you're wearing is very stylish. Simple, but stylish!" said the salesman. And a second salesman, an even younger black man, appeared. "Marcus, this gentleman needs a new look."
And the other salesman's eyes widened. "Looks hot to ME, honey! And I know what I'm talking about when I talk about HOT!" He nodded to the first man.
"Believe me, fellas," said Brian. "I don't usually dress like this. I live in Dockers and plain white shirts. My clothes are totally boring. I'm supposed to go to this dance club tonight and I have nothing to wear but my usual boring clothes. I want something different."
"What club are you going to?" asked the sandy-haired young man.
"Babylon. On Liberty Avenue."
The two salesmen exchanged glances. "What a coincidence!" exclaimed Marcus, the other salesman. "Alex and I are going to Babylon tonight, too!"
"You are?" Brian eyed the pair dubiously.
"Oh, YES! We always go to Babylon on... Thursday night! Always! Don't we, Alex?" And the first salesman nodded. "So, you put yourself in OUR hands, honey! We'll make sure you look fabulous tonight -- and every night!"
"Why not?" sighed Brian. "That's why I came here." And Brian allowed the two nelly retail queens to lead him around the Men's Department, selecting everything from underwear to pants and shirts.
After stocking up on 'cutting edge' underwear, at least according to Alex, Marcus stood Brian in a changing room and brought stacks of dress trousers and casual slacks in a multitude of styles and fabrics.
"Those hips! You want something nice and snug, honey," said Marcus, adjusting a pair of light-weight wool trousers. "Classic, but not too old fashioned. There." He stood back and surveyed Brian from behind. "Hm -- a little baggy. Such a NICE tush -- but you really have to SEE it to appreciate it. These are cut a little too generously back there for you."
"I know -- it's not much of a rear end," said Brian, looking at himself in the full-length mirror.
"Now don't you dare say that! It's not your tush, honey -- it's these pants. You should have EVERYTHING tailored just for you!"
"I wish I could afford to, but..." Brian shrugged.
"Honey, leave it to Alex and me! We'll find you a rich sugar daddy to keep you in nothing but designer clothes!"
"I'm sure," said Brian. Yes, that's just what I DON'T need right now!
With a couple of pairs of pants and a new pair of 501's selected, they moved over to the shirt section, where Alex was waiting with an assortment of shirts, none of which were Van Huesens.
"These colors are perfect for you! You need strong, bold colors. No pastels -- nothing wimpy," said Alex, holding up first a deep crimson silk shirt and then a royal blue one in the same style.
"I usually wear... off white. It... goes with everything," said Brian, lamely. He was realizing just how little time he spent thinking about how he looked.
"Off white -- that will just wash you out, honey!" cried Marcus. "If you're going to wear white, wear a strong white-white. Your skin is so pale, but you have a nice golden tone to it -- naturally! You want to bring that out."
"How about this bronze, then?" Alex held the shirt up in front of Brian. "Brings out the gold in his eyes, too, don't you think, Marcus?"
"I don't know -- I like the red. It says 'Power' to me! And it will stand out better in a dark club than the bronze." Marcus helped Brian on with the red silk, lingering a little over buttoning it up.
"But I'll need shirts for more than just tonight" said Brian, looking at himself in the mirror, wearing the red. He didn't look bad at all "Maybe I should get a couple of them. The red AND the blue?"
"Of course!" the two salesmen exclaimed in unison.
"And something more casual?" added Alex. "These sleeveless denims with the snaps in front? Highly 'fuckable' -- if you don't mind my saying so!"
"I guess I don't mind," said Brian, surprised that he didn't feel as embarrassed by the attentions of the two salesmen as he had thought he'd be. In fact, he was rather enjoying the pampering.
Alex came with another shirt that looked more like a woman's blouse -- very loose and gauzy, almost transparent. It was in a blue that was one shade darker than the sky. "Hey, this one...." Brian fingered the delicate material.
"No, no, Alex! That's the wrong blue for him!" said Marcus.
"I wasn't thinking for me," said Brian. "I... I have a friend this would be perfect for." Now Brian did feel embarrassed. "This color -- it's just like his... eyes."
"Ooo, then this might be a perfect gift," said Alex, winking at Marcus. "What size?"
"I have no idea," said Brian. "Smaller than me." Brian held his hand up to where Justin's head came to against his chest. "Slender."
The two salesmen conferred and then selected a smaller size. "Do you want that wrapped?"
"Sure. Why not?" said Brian. Why not go all the way? He could picture Justin tearing the bright paper off the box, his eyes shining like it was Christmas.
Marcus carried the blue shirt off to be wrapped, while Alex rang up Brian's purchases. The total staggered him a bit. Brian had never spent so much on clothes in his entire life -- at least not on one shopping trip. But what the hell. He had no idea what was going to happen after this week. Maybe nothing -- or maybe everything. But Brian knew that he wanted those clothes. And he also wanted....
"Excuse me -- but I think I'll need a jacket, too." Yes, Brian reflected, I'm ready for this now!
Alex looked up. "Like a sport coat? Or something more... interesting?"
Brian swallowed. "Like a leather jacket, I was thinking."
Alex was grinning from ear to ear. "But of course! Just a minute while I take care of this." He finished ringing up the sale and Brian handed over his store credit card without flinching. Marcus returned with the wrapped box for Justin and added it to Brian's shopping bags.
"What's up?" said Marcus.
"Leather jacket," answered Alex.
"My dear!" said Marcus. "Come right this way!" And the young salesman took Brian's elbow and guided him to another area of the floor. Racks of leather jackets and coat lined the walls and stood in the middle of the area. Another salesman -- a blond named Jon -- began pulling out jackets in Brian's size. The blond smiled at Brian knowingly. Jesus, thought, Brian, is everyone who works in this store gay? Or just the ones who wait on me? But the trio of salesmen put jackets on him and then took them off, discussing the pros and cons of each one as Brian stood there, passively, like a big, beautiful Ken doll.
Finally, one particular jacket caught Brian's fancy. It was heavier and plainer than some of the others, but more like a real motorcycle jacket. It had heft to it. It felt... familiar. It was like the jacket he used to wear long ago, except newer, cleaner. And the lining was soft and padded -- it felt like water sliding around his bare arms as he slipped it on.
"This one. Definitely."
The salesmen -- Alex, Marcus, and Jon -- all nodded. "Very butch," commented Alex. "I approve."
"You don't think I look... ridiculous in this? I mean... do you really think it looks all right?"
"Ridiculous?" said Marcus. "Honey, that is BETTER than all right! That is HOT!" And the others nodded in agreement.
"Well," said Brian. "That's what I want. Yes," he repeated, hugging himself to feel the leather jacket. "This IS what I want. What I want. Finally."
Continue on to "Nowhere Man -- Part 19.
©Gaedhal, November 2002
Send Gaedhal any comments, critiques, suggestions. I welcome all of your comments on "Nowhere Man." Without your feedback I don't know if you are enjoying this series!
Posted November 28, 2002