This is Page 1 of Part 23.
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Other stories in the"NOWHERE MAN" Series.
Go back to "Nowhere Man -- Part 22 -- "Dance".
Features Brian Kinney, Justin Taylor, Michael Novotny, Emmett Honeycutt, Ted Schmidt, Marcus, Alex, Ron Rosenblum.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: Brian gets a late-night phone call. 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.
Friday, September 8, 2000:
"I think it's time to take off," Brian said, draining the last of his beer and setting the bottle down on the bar.
"But Brian -- what about our dance?" Michael had been waiting around all evening for Brian to make good on his promise. Waiting patiently. Hoping that Brian might get tired of the annoying twink who seemed to be having a really 'gay' old time, as Emmett said, flitting all over Babylon, dancing and letting everyone buy him drinks. Michael figured that Brian would see this and recognize the kid for what he was -- a little slut-in-the-making.
But Brian only smiled as he watched Justin enjoying himself at his 'Coming Out Party' and his first official night as a queer. And after every dance, the kid made a beeline back to Brian for some intense kissing and groping before he ventured out again to dance with Emmett or Alex and Marcus or the other twinks -- or to coax Brian out for a turn and then a quick make-out session in the corner before he hit the dance floor again. Justin had even managed to get Ted to dance with him once.
"Okay, Mikey," said Brian, taking hold of Michael's elbow and heading for the floor. "But I've got to warn you -- I'm not exactly Fred Astaire!"
"That's no problem, Brian! It's just a chance for us to hang out a little together," replied Michael, moving to the music with a lot more rhythm than Brian was managing. Brian was right -- he was no Fred Astaire, but Michael didn't mind. Anything Brian did seemed great to Michael. "Did you ever think when we were hiding out in my room, reading comic books, that one day we'd be dancing together -- in public?"
"You mean that we'd both be 'official fags'? Out and about in the world?" Brian laughed. "No, Mikey -- I never thought that would happen. I guess I never thought I'd have the nerve. But it's funny what Fate has in store...." Brian's voice trailed off. Fate. Yes, Fate seemed to be working on Brian is strange ways lately. Ways that he couldn't even untangle completely. At least not yet.
"It took ME a long time to admit it, I'll tell you that, Brian. But I finally did. I had to," Michael's voice was quiet. "I think watching my Uncle Vic die was the last straw. I had to get a grip on my own life. And I'm trying." Michael smiled. "I'm still trying."
"I know you are, Mikey. I think you're doing just fine," said Brian, leaning his arms on Michael's shoulders. Dancing with Michael felt completely different from dancing with Justin. There was nothing sexual about it at all. It just felt relaxed. Natural. Like he was dancing with his brother. Or his best friend. A REAL friend. He'd known Mikey for a long time -- longer than anyone else outside his family and regardless of the years Brian had been away from Pittsburgh, he still felt comfortable with Mikey.
"Not as fine as you, Brian," said Michael, gazing at him. "You have everything! Which is what you deserve. Everything good!"
"It may look like that to you, Michael, but the reality...." Brian shook his head. "Things were very screwed up before I came to Pittsburgh -- and they've only gotten more complicated. A LOT more complicated."
"Complicated? Complicated how? You don't mean that kid, do you, Brian? You aren't serious about him!" Michael just stared at his old friend.
"But I think I am, Mikey," Brian replied. "I AM serious. My relationship with Ron was on the fucking rocks when I left Indiana. And now I can't see making things right. Or even wanting to make them right. Not anymore. I... I've changed now. And he changed a long time ago."
"Then come back to Pittsburgh, Brian. You can get a job here easy. You're so handsome and so smart -- you could do anything!" Michael began to get excited at the thought of Brian living in town again! He and Brian, hanging out together! They could be friends again. And as friends -- well, who knew? After all, he was friends with Ted and they hooked up pretty regularly. "You could get a place here and join the gang! Go out with us and do stuff. Meet us for breakfast at the diner. You'll have friends here. And your family, too. And you'll have... me." Michael looked up at his tall friend worshipfully.
"I know that, Michael. And I appreciate it." Brian gazed back down at Michael. He was just another one of those many complications.
"Here," said Michael, pulling out a small vial. "Wanna do a little bump? To celebrate your return to the Pitts?" Michael held up the popper and began to untwist it.
"No thanks, Mikey. Maybe next time. My head is spinning enough as it is."
"Well, okay," said Michael. Then he pressed the vial into Brian's hand. "You keep it for the next time. Then the two of us will really rip up this dance floor, right?"
"Right, Mikey! We'll rip it up!" Brian laughed and shoved the popper into his pocket. Maybe later, back at the motel, he and Justin might make use of it....
"And I say that if that Ron is being shitty to you, then fuck HIM!" Michael said, adamantly. "You don't need that! You don't need him!" Michael moved closer to Brian, looking up at his beautiful face. "You have people here who... love you. Like me, Brian. You know that I would still do anything for you. Anything!"
"I know, Mikey. Thanks for that. I... I don't have that many good friends. I never did. I was always a bit of a loner, afraid to let too many people outside of Ron and his family get close to me. It's nice to know that I can count on at least a few people right here in the Pitts." Brian leaned down and kissed Michael chastely. Yes, thought Brian, he could count on Michael -- and on Justin, too.
He could absolutely count on Justin. Every time Brian began to waver about just what his relationship with Justin was all about, all he had to do was touch him, hold him, and now even dance with him -- like tonight. Then all of Brian's insecurities melted away. It just felt so right when he was with Justin. HE felt so right with Justin. And thinking of him made Brian smile to himself.
And Michael saw that smile and returned it. Yes! He STILL had a chance! Brian WAS thinking of him. He was certain of it! Brian could never be really serious about that kid for long. Then he'd see what a good friend Michael was. Brian seemed actually ready to leave his partner and make a new start. Where else but in his hometown? In Pittsburgh! And Michael would be here, waiting! Brian wouldn't be alone. It would be him and Brian -- just like it used to be when they were kids.
When the dance ended, Brian collected Justin. Justin had been standing at the bar, waiting for Brian to finish dancing with Michael, and listening to Emmett and the two guys from the department store, Marcus and Alex, talk about clothes. The retail queens had interrogated Justin closely, asking all sorts of questions about Brian. They seemed so interested in him. Which was natural, thought Justin -- who wouldn't be interested in Brian?
Marcus and Alex had actually helped Brian pick out all his sexy new clothes, as well as Justin's fabulous blue shirt. Brian had referred to them, jokingly, as his 'fashion consultants' -- but it was true! As Justin watched Brian on the dance floor with Michael, he thought the two salesmen had done a fabulous job at transforming Brian's image. Because Brian was, without a doubt, the hottest guy in the place. And it wasn't just Justin who thought so. He'd seen all those other guys checking Brian out. It made Justin jealous and proud all at the same time.
"Bye, Mikey," said Brian, taking Justin by the hand and pulling him away from the bar.
"Bye, Bri," said Michael, looking at him longingly. He thought about trying to convince Brian to stay just a little longer, but he didn't want to push his luck.
"So long, guys!" said Brian, pulling on his leather jacket.
"Will you two be here tomorrow night?" asked Alex. And Marcus nodded.
"I don't know. I have another engagement earlier in the evening...." Brian said, tentatively.
"He has a date!" Justin opened his mouth and the information came popping out.
"A date!" Michael and Emmett exclaimed in unison.
"With a doctor," explained Justin. "It's his father's new specialist, so Brian HAS to be nice to him! Brian made the date BEFORE he met me and it's ONLY for dinner -- so it's okay as long as the guy doesn't want to fuck or anything!"
Brian rolled his eyes, while the other men stifled their laughter. "And there you have my complete schedule -- courtesy of Justin Taylor, Social Secretary!"
"I'm only telling THEM, Brian!" Justin said, putting his arms around Brian's waist, possessively.
"Well, if YOU don't want that doctor, Baby -- slip him MY number!" cried Emmett, flashing the two retail queens a knowing look. "Doctors always have such talented hands!"
"I'll definitely do that, Em, "Brian laughed. "Especially since this is only a social obligation and NOT a 'date date'!"
"It better NOT be!" Justin said, firmly.
"See?" sighed Brian. "I'm 'whipped' already! It's hopeless -- out of the frying pan and into the fire, right?" He gave Justin a squeeze.
"But only in a good way -- because I won't burn you, Brian. Not like... like Ron!" Justin looked up at Brian's face, which was suddenly very still.
"Let's go," Brian said abruptly. And they walked out of the club and straight to the Volvo.
Continue on to "Nowhere Man -- Part 23, Page 2".
©Gaedhal, January 2003.
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 January 1, 2003.