OPEN LINES II

"A Queer As Folk USA FanFic"

by Gaedhal

This is Chapter 14 in the "Queer Theories" series.

Go back to "Drama Queen -- Part 2" , the previous chapter.

The narrators are Lindsay, Carmel, Ben, Michael, Cynthia, Justin.
Rated PG for language and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: More phones calls. Takes place in March 2002, directly after "Drama Queen."
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.

"Hello? Is this Carmel?"

"Yes. Who is this?"

"This is Lindsay Peterson."

"Who?"

"Brian's... girlfriend."

"OHH! Miss Lindsay! And how is that beautiful baby? When are you coming here? Soon, I hope?"

"Gus is fine, just fine. I'm not calling about Gus. I calling about Brian."

"Yes? He's not here."

"Well, I assumed that. You see, he was usually calling me almost every day. And then, all of a sudden, I stopped hearing from him. After a week went by I began to wonder, but I didn't want to call there and bother him. But then today -- well... Please, tell me, Carmel. Brian isn't... ill, is he? Please tell me the truth, because I'm worried sick about this."

"No, he's not sick. He's just fine."

"Because I received this letter today from some lawyer out there in L.A. and it describes a trust fund that Brian has set up for Gus...."

"A what?"

"Like a big sum of money for Gus to use when he gets older. It's a substantial amount of money and all I could think of was that Brian had cashed in an insurance policy -- more than one, even, judging by this amount -- to set this aside for his son. All I could think of was that... that...."

"No, he's not sick. It must be money from the movie."

"What movie?"

"He's working on a movie. With Mr. Ron. He leaves here early, early in the morning for the studio and comes back late at night, usually. I guess he has no time to call you and tell you this."

"What kind of movie is this?"

"With Mr. Hardy. He's a big star. He's starring in this movie. That's what they are doing."

"So, he's really working? He's getting paid for doing something on this film?"

"Yes, of course. He's not working for free! He must be sending the money he makes to his son! That is so beautiful! So beautiful! I must tell Mama."

"Carmel, I'm so relieved to have you tell me this. You can't imagine what I was thinking...."

"He's just fine! Better than fine! At least he's not hanging around this house all day, getting in my way. He's busy all day. That's why he can't call you. But he's remembering you and that baby with that money, for sure."

***

"Michael?"

"Hi, Ben. Just a sec. Okay. I wanted to get off this computer while we talk. What's up?"

"Couple of things, actually."

"Shoot"

"This may seem an odd question, but... have you been talking to Brian lately?"

"Brian? Why would you think that? No one has talked to Brian! Believe me, Ben, if I talked to Brian it would be big news."

"Well, I ask because I got a packet of material from Ron Rosenblum today."

"Yeah, so?"

"I know, Michael, let's not get into your feelings about Ron. Anyway, he included a note here and he says: 'Sorry to hear about you and Michael. Hope you can make it up.' Now what's that all about?"

"I have no clue, Ben. Where would he get the idea that we weren't seeing each other?"

"That's why I'm asking you, Michael. Could he have gotten it from Brian?"

"I told you -- no one has talked to Brian. And even if they did, why would anyone tell him such a thing? It isn't even close to being true!"

"That's what I'm trying to figure out here, Michael."

***

"Hello? Is this Justin Taylor?"

"Yes. Who's this?"

"This is Cynthia. From Ryder Associates."

"Oh, sure. What can I do for you? Is there a problem with the utility bill? Because I forwarded it to you the minute I got it. They were the ones who were late...."

"This has nothing to do with the utility bill, Justin."

"Okay -- then?"

"I wanted to inform you that the building you are living in has been sold and that this may impact you. I need to go over a number of things with you about this matter."

"The building has been sold? But what about the loft?"

"That's one of the things I need to speak to you about, Justin."

"Oh my God."

***

"I want to know when you are coming out here with that little baby? I want to see him before he gets too big!"

"I really don't know, Carmel. I have my work here, you see, and...."

"But you come out here, you don't have to work! You shop! You swim in the pool! You go to parties! Why would you stay there and work? You can be with your baby all day long -- and Mama and I will cook and take good care of you!"

"I don't know what Ron would think about us just moving in like that."

"Why would he care? There's plenty of room here!"

"I mean, he might not appreciate having a strange woman and baby invading his home."

"You're crazy! He would love it! And you are not some strange woman and baby -- you are Mr. Brian's woman and baby!"

"Actually, Carmel...."

"No, you listen to me -- you come out here soon! I mean it!"

***

"Are you sure Justin hasn't been talking to Brian, telling him things about us?"

"Of course not, Ben! First of all, why would he say we were broken up? What's the point of telling Brian such a thing? Besides, don't you think that if he were talking to Brian I would know about it? I'm living in the loft, for heaven's sake, Justin is working for me -- we're together 24/7 -- or so it seems sometimes."

"Yeah, and I'm not exactly thrilled about that."

"Jeez, Ben. It's like living with my brother, having to sleep in the same bed as my little, bratty brother! Any other idea is just so wrong I can't even express it!"

"Well...."

"Total incest, Ben! Total incest!"

***

"What's going to happen? I mean, with the loft?"

"That's what I'm trying to tell you, if you'd only calm down."

"Sorry. I'm sorry!"

"You see, Brian is the one who's bought the building."

"Brian? Brian bought this building? This whole building?"

"Yes, as an investment."

"But where did he get the money to buy this whole building?"

"I'm afraid I can't discuss that, Justin."

"Oh. I see. It isn't Brian who's buying it -- it's that Ron."

"Justin, I assure you -- Brian is the new owner. No one else."

"Sure. But the money came from Ron. I know the score."

"Anyway, Brian wants some renovations done, so I have the names of some contractors who will be contacting you...."

"My God! He wants me out! He really wants me out of here! What are they going to do? Convert the place into fucking condos?"

***

"Carmel, I know that Brian's tried to explain it to you before, but we are not a couple!"

"How can you be, when he is here and you are there in... wherever that place you are?"

"Pittsburgh."

"Pittsburgh! It even sounds like a nasty place! 'Pitts'!"

"It's very nice, Carmel. It's my home!"

"I bet it is snowing there."

"A little."

"It is a beautiful day here. Sunny. Warm. Excellent for the baby."

"Yes, I'm sure it would be wonderful for Gus...."

"You hear what I say, Miss Lindsay -- you come out and get your man! Staying back in that Pitts will NOT do it! I have lived a life of sorrow and I know this! Think of the future of your beautiful baby if you don't think of yourself?"

"Carmel, how can I ever make you understand?"

***

"So how is the living arrangement for 'The Odd Couple' going?"

"Better than you'd imagine. Although the loft isn't the most comfortable place in the world."

"How so?"

"Well, for one thing, it is damn cold up there. No wonder Brian was always fucking -- it's the only way you can keep warm!""

"Oh? Is that so?"

"Keep your mind out of the gutter, Ben."

"My mind is never in the gutter. I always keep my mind on higher pursuits."

"Well, if you were spending any time over here, you'd keep your mind on keeping warm. The other night I almost piled all that fucking white furniture into the center of the loft and set it on fire! A nice bonfire would have cut the chill -- a little!"

"Doesn't that bother Justin?"

"Well, he throws on another sweatshirt and goes on his merry way. I guess he's used to it. What amazes me is how Brian used to ramble around here wearing practically nothing. He must have the metabolism of a reindeer."

"Studies have shown that some people are just naturally hot-blooded."

"Hot-blooded? In Brian's case, I'd say that was an understatement!"

***

"Justin, the building is NOT being converted into condos. And you are not being kicked out of there. On the contrary."

"Well, what is going on, then?"

"There's an empty apartment just below the loft, right?"

"I think so. I think the guy moved out a few weeks ago. I didn't know him at all, I just saw him occasionally downstairs at the mailbox."

"The contractors are coming to convert THAT space, not the loft."

"Shit! You really had me worried."

"There's nothing to worry about, believe me."

"So, you want me to let the guys in? Show them around the apartment? That kind of thing?"

"Yes, definitely. But a lot more, too."

"Like what?"

"They will need to go over the plans and specifications with you personally."

"But why? I don't know anything about renovating an apartment."

"Justin, the contractors have been hired to convert that space into an art studio. For you."

Continue on to "Outtakes I" , the next section of Chapter 15 of "Queer Theories."

©Gaedhal, May 2002

Picture of Robert Gant and Hal Sparks from Showtime.

Updated May 19, 2002