This is Part 4 of Chapter 120 in the "Queer Theories" series.
Go back to "Shooting Star -- Part 3", the previous section.
The narrator is Justin Taylor, and features Brian Kinney.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: Brian can't control himself. Los Angeles, December 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.
"Listen to the engine, listen to the bell,
As the last fire truck from hell
Goes rolling by.
All good people are praying,
It's the last temptation,
The last account,
The last time you might hear the sermon on the mount,
The last radio is playing...."
"What are you looking at?"
"Nothing." I say. "You." I've been watching him sleep for a long time. At least it feels like a long time. The world seems to be standing still now that everyone has gone and it's just the two of us.
"That's about right," he says, closing his eyes again. "Nothing."
"Brian, you have got to get yourself together! I am not kidding!" But he just blinks at me. "You missed the whole reception after the funeral! Everyone was asking where you were -- and I told them you weren't feeling very well. But they knew! They knew that you were so stoned you couldn't stand up! They all KNEW!"
"So?" Brian shrugs. "Who gives a shit? I don't give a fuck about any of those people!"
"Oh? What about Diane? Tess? Mrs. Rosenblum? Don't you give a fuck about what they think, if no one else? How do you think I felt, making excuses for you, Brian?"
"You shouldn't have, Sunshine. You should have thrown the doors open and let them all take a long, hard look," he says. "It might have been a good object lesson. Then the next time they come here, when it's MY turn to be the recipient of everyone's grief and concern, then they can all say, 'We knew it was coming! He was a fucking train wreck!'"
I just stare at him. "I don't think that's funny, Brian. Not funny at all!"
"I wasn't trying to be funny, Justin." His voice dies down to a whisper. "I'm just trying to warn you."
"Warn me to do what, Brian? To run away? To leave you alone so you can self-destruct in peace?" And I think of what Carmel said to me -- that it was obvious to many people that Ron was in trouble, that he was going down, but no one cared enough to stop him. To save him. No one loved him enough. But I love Brian more than enough. And I KNOW that our love can save him. I know it can! And I refuse to let what happened to Ron happen to Brian, too.
"Why not? I can do it quietly. Mikey screwed up my attempt to go out with the greatest fucking orgasm of my life, and since James Dean is the definitive car crash and Cobain already did the thing with the gun, I think I'll stick with the understated gesture. Just like Ron."
Hearing shit like that makes my blood boil! "For what, Brian? Because you are so fucked up with grief over Ron's death? You know THAT'S bullshit! You just feel sorry for yourself. It's not about Ron at all! He already took the easy way out. Because he was a fucking coward! I've thought you were a lot of things, Brian, but I never thought you were a coward."
"I am, Sunshine. I... I can't... Because it hurts too much." And his forehead furrows as if something is stabbing him.
"What, Brian? What hurts? Tell me and we can make it better! There's nothing we can't make better together." I try to look into Brian's eyes, but he avoids my gaze. "That's what you used to tell me when my headaches were so bad I was crying with pain. 'Justin, there's nothing we can't make better as long as we do it together. Believe it. Believe me.' So, was that a lie, Brian? It couldn't have been, because I'm here! I'm all right! And you will be, too! It goes both ways."
I stop. He's just staring into space. Not looking at me. Not looking at anything. Maybe into himself. Or into the abyss of his own mind created by all the drugs he's taken.
"Unless you don't want my help," I continue. "Unless you don't think I'm good enough to help the Great Brian Fucking Kinney? Because who the fuck am I really, Brian? Your little stalker? The president of your fan club? Adopt-a-trick? That fucking kid? Don't think I don't know all the names you used to call me. You and everyone else on Liberty Avenue. Because I DO know them! And don't think it didn't hurt me to hear them, because it did. But I swallowed my fucking pride and took it. Took the rejection. Took your insults. Took being an object of either pity or scorn from Deb and Michael and the guys! Even from my own mother! And my own father... I took it. I told my dad that I could take it like a man -- and I meant that! I took all the grief, all the humiliation, I buried my fucking pride in the ground because I thought you were worth it! And I haven't changed my mind about that. I'll never change my mind, Brian. But I also won't let you go down, like Ron went down, miserable and unloved. Alone. Because I won't let you die alone."
He blinks out of his haze a little. "What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"
"Exactly what it sounds like. Take it any way you want to," I shrug. "But don't forget the Chatterton, Brian. You thought I was bluffing when I told you that if you were going to be a fucking addict then I'd make sure you had company. You didn't think I'd do it, did you? You didn't think I'd snort your dope. But I surprised you. I did it. Because I'm not afraid. Anything YOU can do, I'll do. And anywhere you decide to go, even straight into Hell, I'll go there, too."
"Shut the fuck up!" he rasps at me. His voice is dry and harsh. His beautiful cream Marc Jacobs shirt is hanging half off of him and the trousers of his dark blue Armani suit are undone. Diane and I didn't do a very good job of undressing him when we got back from the cemetery
"No!" I blast back. "You can't shut me up! Because I used to be afraid of you, Brian. Intimidated by you. I was afraid that if I did or said something that you didn't like then I'd lose you completely. But not anymore. I'll say what I think and do what I want to do -- and you can't stop me!" I put my face right up next to his. I can see the rawness around his nose. I know what he's been snorting -- and he knows that I know. "And if you let yourself fall, Brian, whether you go out like Ron, or James Dean, or fucking Kurt Cobain -- I don't care what role model you use! -- I'll follow you. Like a good little stalker, I won't let you get away. So remember THAT if you decide to do anything stupid. Because you won't just be killing yourself -- you'll be killing me, too!"
"I said to shut the fuck up!" he cries. "Don't say that! Don't even think that!" He's leaning on top of me all of a sudden, pushing against me. "And don't you threaten me, Justin! Don't you ever threaten me! You think you're going to kill yourself and follow me into Hell? Well, I'll make you follow me through a Hell on this Earth that you can't understand or even imagine, and I'm not kidding! Because you can't possible understand what my fucking life has been in the past. Or what it's like now. What it's like in my fucking head!"
"Brian, I do understand," I say. "I really do! I just want to be with you! Unconditionally!"
"No! You don't understand!" Brian shouts. "You think you know what I've seen in my rotten life? You think you have any idea with your little visions and your fucking empathy and all that shit? Do you have any idea of what it's like to hear your own father tell you when you're 6 years old that the world would be better off if you'd been flushed down a fucking toilet? And have your mother stand there, not saying anything at all? The feel of a drunk, 200 pound man hitting you straight across the face when you're a helpless kid is nothing compared to what those words felt like."
"So you think you understand me, Sunshine? Do you understand what it's like to live in a freezing, rat-infested building and have to fuck some toothless, disease-ridden cretin just to survive? To drag yourself through the streets in the middle of the night in the dead of winter and put yourself in the hands of some fucker with more money than brains who thinks he can do anything with you because he's got a hundred dollars in his pocket? Or what it feels like to puke so much and shake so much that you want to throw yourself out a fifth story window just to make it stop?"
"No, I don't," I say, my voice quivering. Because now I'm scared. Scared of Brian. He looks large and strong -- so much stronger than I am -- and very angry. Angry with himself. With Ron. With the world. With me.
"You think you know what it's like to be pumped so full of drugs that you can't fucking move? That all you can do is stare into yourself -- and what you see is something ugly and repulsive. Something you want to destroy. But you can't. You... can't. Even though you know everyone would be better off without you. Better off if you HAD been flushed down the drain a long time ago. But you're too much of a fucking coward to do it."
"No," I whisper. "I don't pretend to know everything you've been through, Brian. But I DO know YOU. And I know a little bit about what it's like to be in such pain, physical and mental, that you don't want to go on. I know what it's like to feel that life isn't worth living anymore because you've lost the only thing that means anything to you. The only person who means anything to you. But you can't give up because it's braver to live. Harder to live. Harder to face every day and know that you have to survive. I know a little something about that. Something."
"Stop being my fucking conscience!" he moans, like he's in physical pain. "Get the fuck out of my head! Get out!" And he rolls over on the sagging mattress of the fold-out, his hands over his eyes.
"Brian...." I reach over and stroke his hair. The back of his neck.
"I said STOP!" he yells and he's on top of me again, holding me down. Pinning my arms up over my head with one hand. The Kinney Grip -- that iron hand he's used to hold a thousand guys into place while he fucked them. "Shut the fuck up. Shut up!" he mutters as he forces himself against me. I'm completely naked and he's still half-dressed -- his creamy shirt gaping open and his suit pants pulled partially down. His big cock looks obscene looming out at me. Obscene and menacing. Like a weapon. And that's what it is -- Brian's weapon. He uses it to ravage his victims, but he also uses it to ravage himself. Because the desire to punish himself is stronger than his need for relief. This is one desire that can never be filled. He can try fucking the pain away, but it will never work. It will never be enough.
He ruts against me fiercely, pressing me into the lumpy fold-out bed. I try to pull my hands free, but he won't let me. I try to move under him, but he grinds me into the mattress even harder. He avoids my mouth, but attacks my neck, my jaw, my shoulders, with his teeth, biting and sucking at me. I'm afraid. I'm excited. I'm fighting back, but I'm also fighting with him. It's beyond just the two of us in this poolhouse, in this bed. It's all the tricks, all the johns, all the lovers. It's both of us and neither of us at the same time. Something primal. Something beyond our control.
I grapple back, finally freeing my hands. I dig my fingers into the back of Brian's head, into the hard muscles of his shoulders. I grip at his upper arms, which are as taut at steel under the silky material of his now ruined dress shirt. I thrust myself up to meet him, moving as furiously as he moves. I bite back. I press my lips against his lips and suck hard until he gasps. Until he throws me down again and crushes me with his bigger body, making me squirm under him, panting and growling, making all sorts of primitive animal noises.
He dips his head down and licks at the ring through my right nipple. Pulls it until I yelp and then pulls it again. And I trail my hand down and feel for the place where I know his tattoo is, on his right upper thigh, digging my nails into it, feeling him twitch with the pain, with the sheer ability to feel something. Anything. Not to be numb. Not to be hard and unfeeling. But to feel the pain. To revel in it. To know that you're human and that you can accept that single fact.
I tilt myself up and wrap my legs around him. My dick feels like its on fire as it rubs against Brian's slick skin and the edges of his trousers. He jerks those trousers all the way down and then pulls my ass up higher, pulls me right up off the mattress. His cock feels hot and angry, so fucking angry. It spits pre-come and Brian jacks it violently with his right hand, as if bringing it to life again. As if trying to bring himself to life again. Bringing into being the one thing that almost never fails him. Except for me, that is -- because I'll never fail him, either. I know that! I promise that!
And almost before either of us realize what is happening, he thrusts himself into me, hard, knocking the air out of my lungs. It's like a punch. Like seeing stars. It's not like the first time he fucked me. No, there's no careful breaching, no slow impact. It's just... just pure. And horrible. And incredible. The way I meet him right there, at that moment, wanting to be fucked. Wanting to be taken. Wanting also to feel something in a place I thought may have been numbed by exhaustion and by doubt -- in my pure, raw desire for him and for no one else. In any way. In any form. In love or in violence. But it hasn't been numbed. It's stark and strong. And I don't care what he's doing to me. I don't give a fuck.
I don't even know if he comprehends what he is doing. But I know.
The sensation is too intense, too overwhelming. I stutter out, "Fuck. Fuck. Ffffffuck!" as he drives into me. I come hard, spilling all over myself and Brian. He bends his head down, bracing against my chest, as he pulls almost all the way out -- and then shoves his long cock into me with a final powerful thrust and then Brian comes too. Comes with a rasping groan. He's always so fucking loud. So fucking extreme.
And the feeling inside me is... it's staggering. I love getting fucked by Brian in every way, in every position. Hard or soft, fast or slow. But this, with nothing between us, feels incredible. It's something that I've always wanted, to do it raw with Brian. I know that it's the great 'forbidden' in our relationship -- something that Brian has always been adamant about. But I don't really care. The sensation of his come shooting deeply inside of me is a feeling that I'll never forget. And never regret.
Then it's like all the air has been exploded out of Brian and he falls on top of me, panting, sweating. The wheeze in his nose sounds like a buzzsaw next to my ear and I wrap my arms around him tightly, afraid that he'll pull out. Afraid the moment will be broken too soon. Afraid that he'll realize what we've just done...
But he only seems exhausted. I press my face against his. "I love you," I say. "Don't ever forget that! Never forget!"
"Don't love me. Don't," he whispers. "I can't take it. I can't take anyone loving me."
"Why? It's easy. I don't even have to try," I answer. "I just... breathe. It's like that."
It's so silent. I can hear the rain beginning, hitting the roof of the poolhouse, slowly at first and then harder. And the sound of Brian's heartbeat, drumming against me.
He's lying on my chest. I can feel his small sighs. "Why is it so hard, Justin? Why is it so fucking hard just to... to say a few fucking little words?"
I stifle a laugh. "How much time have you got, Brian?" I can feel his dick retreating. Leaving me. Someone, something is always leaving me. I sigh, too, as it slips away and I reach over and pull out a handful of kleenex from the box on the table next to the sofa bed. I wipe the come off my chest, then wipe off Brian's chest, too. His eyes are closed and he seems to be dozing quietly. I get some more tissues and gently wipe off his cock. It no longer looks angry, no longer like a weapon. It looks completely vulnerable.
Brian opens his eyes and gazes at me. I smile at him as I caress his cock. My ass is sore as hell, but I don't mind. I like a hard, mean fuck sometimes. I don't always want to be handled like I'm going to break in two. That reminds me too much of when I just got out of the hospital and every time Brian touched me it was like he was afraid I was going to fall apart in his hands. The first time he really fucked the shit out of me back then is when I truly knew I was on the road to recovery.
I lean over and kiss him. Move up close to him. Maybe everything will be fine. This is only another little bump in the road. Okay, a big bump in the road. But everything will work out.
"Justin," he says suddenly. He sits up, blinking. Moving his tongue around in his mouth, like he's trying to remember. He's still high, but he's not totally wasted. He looks at me. "What the fuck did I do?"
I freeze. "It's all right, Brian. We're both okay," I say.
"The condom. What the fuck?" He glances around. "Shit!"
"Brian!" I tell him, grabbing his arm. "It's okay! It doesn't matter! Really. We are both FINE."
"It's NOT okay! It's NEVER okay!" He jumps out of the bed and rushes into the bathroom. I follow him in there. He's pissing and staring at his dick. He looks at me. "Why the fuck did you let me do that?"
"Brian, I'm fine! It's no big fucking deal! It's only one time -- and I'm all right. You're negative and so am I."
"It is NEVER all right!" Brian rants. "And you can't know that I'm okay! You can never know that! You can never trust me!"
"Don't be an asshole, Brian. Do I look concerned?" I say. Unless... "If you're worried about... about when you and Ron... was that all right? I mean, when you and he...."
"Yes," he whispers. "It was safe. But... but that shouldn't make any fucking difference!" He closes his eyes. "Justin!"
"I said I'm fine!"
"I don't fucking care!" He reaches up and pulls down the cloth that Tess had put over the bathroom mirror. She covered all of the mirrors in the house before the guests came to sit Shiva for Ron. Brian stares at himself. His hair is going in all directions. His eyes are red and his face blotchy. His Marc Jacobs shirt is stained and missing a button. He hikes up the trousers of his dark blue Armani suit and fastens them. I don't know what happened to the suit's jacket. It's on the floor somewhere. Probably ruined, too. But it's only a stupid suit. Only a shirt. "I'm a fucking mess. What the fuck am I doing to myself?" he asks the mirror. Then he turns. "What am I doing to you, Justin? What the fuck?"
"Brian, the worst part is over. It is! Tomorrow everything will be quieter. We can clean up around here, you can rest, and we can get ready to go home on Tuesday. Home, Brian. Back to Pittsburgh. Things will seem different when we get there. You can feel safe. You'll BE safe! We both will be!"
He gapes at me. "Safe? SAFE? How many time do I have to tell you? I'm never safe! Never! About anything!" He backs away from me. "Fuck! FUCK!"
He bolts out of the bathroom. And out of the poolhouse. It's raining hard now. I'm naked and Brian doesn't have on any shoes, but he dashes past the swimming pool and I follow him. He pauses at the bar, but there's nothing to drink there. I threw out all the bottles yesterday. He stands and looks at the bar, then at the house. The rain is pouring down.
"This is MY fucking house now, Sunshine!" Brian says, looking up into the rain. "What do you think? I have all of Ron's fucking stuff. Maybe that will make ME Ron now. Do you think?"
"Brian, I think I'm going to get dressed," I say calmly. "Then I'm going to make a LOT of coffee. And you're going to drink it."
I turn and start walking back to the poolhouse to look for my clothes. Brian continues on into the kitchen. I stop. Then I run. Because I know what he's going to do. He's not going to fucking get away again! Sure enough, he's in the Jeep. The garage door is open and he's gunning the engine. I make a dive for the door, but fall back as he speeds out of the garage. "Brian! No! Stop!" I start to chase the Jeep down the long driveway. I see the two security guards opening the gate and the Jeep speeds out.
I stand there, not sure what to do. I run back into the house and up the stairs to our room, throwing on some clothes as fast as I can. I pull on my sweats and fumble around, looking for my cellphone in the disarray of the guest room. I know that Brian's cellphone is still in the Jeep, probably sitting on the passenger's seat or on the floor. I hit the number and it rings. I just keep hitting it as I run back downstairs and get into the PT Cruiser. I pull my car out and drive to the gate. The two guards are sitting in their car. I put down my window. "Which way did he turn?" I ask the guard. "The Jeep! Which way?"
This guy is not happy about having to get out of his warm car and talk to me in the heavy rain. He points up the canyon. Up? That doesn't make sense. I would think Brian would head down, towards town, maybe towards West Hollywood. "Are you sure?" And the bastard just gapes at me.
I drive up the winding road and then up another. It's fucking dark out and I can hardly see in the downpour. I'm getting lost up here. It's confusing enough in the daytime, but at night and in the rain it's impossible. I pull over and hit the redial again.
"What?" I hear Brian's voice.
"Brian!" I yell. "Come back! Now!" I pause, but he doesn't reply. "I'm in the Cruiser. I'm looking for you, Brian, but I don't know where I am! Tell me where you are! Brian?"
"I can't hear you!" His voice sounds like static. It sounds far away. "Don't come after me, Justin! I mean it! I... Fuck!" He says. "Fuck! I think I'm going to...."
Then I hear a loud thud. And then nothing. Nothing.
"Brian!" I scream into my cell. But his phone is dead.
"Seen a shooting star tonight
Tomorrow will be another day.
Guess it's too late to say the things to you
That you needed to hear me say.
Seen a shooting star tonight
from "Shooting Star" by Bob Dylan.
Continue on to "Pale Blue Eyes -- Part 1", the previous section.
©Gaedhal, October 2003.
Updated October 24, 2003.