This is Chapter 22 in the "Queer Theories" series.
Go back to "Venus in Furs", the previous chapter.
Omniscient POV, and features Brian Kinney, Ron Rosenblum, Diane Rhys, Freddy Weinstein, Jerry Baxter.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: Brian's disappearance has shut down production of 'The Olympian.' April 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.
"Diane has blown me off two days in a row. Plus, she missed that audition this morning. That's not like Diane to miss an chance for a part. I want to know what's going on." Jerry Baxter pulled into the parking lot of his mistress's building, just off Santa Monica Boulevard.
"Maybe she's shacked up with somebody," joked Freddy Weinstein, one of Jerry's agency partners.
"I don't think that's very funny, Fred."
"You are a paranoid bastard, you know that, Jer?"
"If she's really sick, I want to know. And if it's something else -- I wanna know THAT, too."
Jerry and Freddy got out of the BMW, but before they could enter the building, Jerry's mobile rang in the car.
"I'll take that. I'll be a minute."
While Freddy waited, his eye caught something that nudged his curiosity. He walked over to take a look. He circled it. Tried the door. Locked. Peeked in the windows. Then he took out his cellphone and punched in a number.
"WHAT?" came a harassed voice.
"Don't you say 'hello' anymore, Ron?"
"Fuck you, Freddy!"
"Don't hang up! I have a question to ask you."
"I'm a little too preoccupied here, Freddy, to play Twenty goddamn Questions with you." There was an edge of hysteria to his voice.
"Okay, Ronnie, I'll make it less than twenty. In fact, I won't ask any questions at all. I'll just describe something to you."
"Fred, if you don't mind. I'm trying to keep this line open and...."
"Indulge me, Ron. Picture this. Ford Mustang. Convertible. 1965, I'd say. Dark red, almost crimson. Black interior. White sidewalls, with wires...."
There was a long silence at the other end. "Where is it, Freddy?"
"Are you gonna hang up on me now, Ron?"
"Just tell me! Where the fuck are you, Freddy?" He was yelling now.
"Parking lot of an apartment building in West Hollywood. Just off Santa Monica. Diane Rhys' building. I'm here with Jerry."
Ron stood in his office at home, holding his head. "Shit! I'm such a fucking idiot!" He could hear the voice of Brian's friend in Pittsburgh saying to him: 'Friend? What friend?' Then he pictured Brian and Diane on the floor at their drunken lunch. Or leaving for the Jill Atwood premiere, dressed to kill. Diane coming out of his dressing room on the set. Sitting in the grass on the track meet set, holding a water bottle and a pair of sunglasses. Diane. Who the fuck else?
"I'll be right there! Don't go in until I get there!"
"Ron -- we don't even know if he's there. It could be just the car...."
"He's there. Or nowhere."
Jerry gave him the exact address and then clicked off. Ron hit speed-dial and Jimmy's assistant picked up.
"Put him on the phone. Now."
"A minute later Jimmy came on the line. "What's the word?" Jimmy sounded stressed.
"They found the car. The Mustang."
"The police? And?"
"No, actually, Freddy and Jerry found it."
"What are they now, the fucking Hardy Boys?"
"It's parked in front of Diane Rhys' building." Ron gave him the address. "I'm going over there now."
Jimmy was already there when Ron pulled the Jag into the lot. He parked right next to the Mustang and got out. The other three were leaning against the car, waiting. Jimmy was smoking, taking little puffs and blowing the smoke out through his nose. Just the way Brian used to.
Ron took another set of keys out of his pocket and opened the trunk. It was empty. Then he opened the driver's side door.
"This is it. But how long has it been here?"
Ron slid into the seat and leaned over to open the glovebox. The registration papers. Some paper napkins and straws. The remnants of a joint, which Ron immediately tossed out onto the asphalt. The back seat was empty.
"He's a tidy bastard. You should see my car!" Jimmy dropped his cigarette on the ground and stepped on it.
"Can we get going here? I've already wasted the whole morning on this monkey business. I'd like to get back to the office."
"You called ME, Freddy. If you want to leave, then get on your fucking horse. No one's stopping you."
They all walked up to the building. Jimmy put his hand on the door. "What if she won't let us in?"
"Allow me." Jerry buzzed Diane's apartment. No response. He buzzed again.
"Honey, it's me."
"Diane. Buzz me in!"
"I'm not feeling well, Jerry. I'll call you tonight. 'Bye."
"Diane -- let me the fuck in! If you don't, I'll call the fuckin' super. I'll call the fuckin' cops!"
"For what reason, Jerry?"
"Diane, just let us in!"
"Who is 'us'?"
"Who the hell do you think? Me, Fred, Ron, and Jimmy. Who else?"
There was a long wait and then the door buzzed and Jerry pushed it open.
"If he's there," said Freddy in the elevator, "What are you going to do? Tie him up and drag him to the set? What if he doesn't want to go?"
"Shut up, Fred," said Jimmy.
"He'll probably just take off again. He's not exactly trustworthy. I said that from the start."
"I said, shut the fuck up, Freddy."
"Dolly was right all along. You can't depend on that type."
"And what type is that, Freddy?" said Jimmy, stepping out of the elevator. "I'd like to know what Fred is driving at? I'd like to know his complete and honest opinion of Brian. I'd like to hear it -- right to my face, why don't you?"
"I'm just saying," said Freddy.
"Leave it for now." Ron moved between them.
"Jesus, Jimmy, don't get your nuts in a knot. It's not like he's YOUR fucking boyfriend."
"I said, let's leave it."
"Nobody wants to hear your opinion, Freddy, so keep it to yourself. And you can tell Dolly for me that SHE ought to keep her trap shut, too, about Brian. Wake up, Fred. She's only been trying to get into him from day one. And she might be trashing him to YOU, but she's also calling his house AND the set constantly, trying to get his attention. I know -- I've been there when she calls."
"Keep it up, Jimmy."
"Deal with the reality, Fred."
"You sound like you're jealous, Jim."
Jerry held up his hands. "You want every tenant in this building to call the fuckin' cops? Both of you shut up!"
Jerry knocked on the door and Diane, looking tired and apprehensive, opened it. "Hey, Jerry."
"What's going on, Honey? And give me the straight story." Jerry pushed past her and the others tumbled in behind him.
"What is this, a Marx Brothers' routine?"
"When did he get here, Diane?" Ron moved towards the bedroom door, but she blocked his way.
She took a deep breath. "Saturday night. Right after you left, Jerry."
"Fuck! He's been here all that time?" Ron put his hand over his eyes, suddenly exhausted. "We have the cops looking in every ditch between San Diego and Malibu! The fucking picture is shut down -- We told the studio he's got the flu, but the news will be all over town if he doesn't get his ass home RIGHT NOW!"
"Calm down, Ron. He's here. He's okay!"
"HE'S okay? What about ME? I'm ready to have a nervous breakdown here!"
Diane looked at him without much sympathy. "That's good, because I think Brian has already had one. You can join him. You ALL can freakin' well join him!"
"Let me in there, Diane."
"Not until you calm down, Ron." Ron sat down on the couch and shook his head.
Jerry stepped up to the bedroom door and looked down at his girlfriend. She seemed tiny next to Jerry's bulk. "So, he's been here since Saturday? He came in here after I left?"
"That's the truth, Jerry."
"You've been fucking this guy behind my back, Diane?"
Jimmy guffawed and sat down next to Ron on the couch, elbowing him. "There's a giant lightbulb that just went on -- to no avail!"
"What the fuck does that mean, Jimmy?" Jerry's head whipped around.
"It means," said Diane, "That you should get real, Jerry. Jeez, are ALL men complete morons?"
"Shut the fuck up, Diane! I deserve a little respect from you!" He grabbed her arm and tried to pull her away from the door.
"Damn it -- that hurts! Let go of me, Jerry!"
"I'll break your fucking arm if you don't tell me what's been going on here!"
The door of the bedroom opened and Brian loomed in the doorway, naked, his unshaven face dark and furious, his hair sticking up at wild angles. He reached out and took hold of Jerry's arm, twisting it until he released Diane.
"Christ! You're gonna break my arm!"
"I thought that's the line YOU use on women?" Brian twisted Jerry's arm a little tighter, his own grip like iron. "You want me to break it, I can do it."
"Brian, please don't. I'm okay." Diane tried to put herself between Brian and Jerry, who was wincing with pain.
"Won't look too good on your macho resume, Jerry. Lose your girlfriend to a fag AND have him break your arm -- all in the same day. Maybe I'll give your old lady Brian's number -- she might want to get in on this, too!" Jimmy looked around with a malevolent smile.
"Let him go, Brian." Ron stood up and put his hand on Brian's arm. "He's an asshole. Just leave it."
Brian dropped him and walked over to Diane's kitchenette. He took a bottle of juice from the fridge and drank the whole thing down.
"Ron, I've been trying to get him to eat something for three days. He won't do it. You've got to get him to eat when you get him home."
"I will, I will."
Diane followed Brian into the kitchen. "I washed your tee shirt and jeans. Why don't you take a shower and get cleaned up? You'll feel better then. Please? Then we can all talk a little more rationally."
"Okay." Brian went back into the bedroom without looking at the others and Diane trailed after him. She closed the door behind them.
"Shit! He's a strong fucker!" Jerry tried to run the sensation back into his arm.
Freddy went and leaned over the couch to Jimmy. "I'm not sure what you and Ron are up to, Jim, but after seeing him -- well, you two are certainly getting your money's worth!"
"Shut the fuck up, Freddy!"
Diane came out of the bedroom and motioned to Ron. "He's taking a shower and I have his clothes laid out. Believe me, Ron -- I didn't mean for him to stay here this long. But I couldn't kick him out!"
"You should have called me, Diane!"
"I couldn't do that. I couldn't... betray him like that."
"It's for his own good, Diane."
"Is it? Is it, really? He's not a five year old and you're not his daddy, Ron. If he wants to make himself scarce, then I'm supposed to turn him in? To you guys? You must be freakin' out of your minds! You guys are a freakin' train wreck! The way you've been treating him...."
"Open your eyes, Ron. Look at yourself first. Then ask yourself how you've been treating him? You may get this picture finished -- but it'll finish Brian, too. He's ready to freakin' crack -- if he hasn't cracked already."
"I think you underestimate him...," Jimmy began.
"Be quiet, Jimmy. Go home to your wife, why don't you? And you, too, Jerry." Diane turned and walked to the dining niche, slumping down on one of the chairs. Brian's leather jacket was hanging on the back of it. Ron sat down in the chair next to her.
"I've been trying, Diane." He absently stroked the shoulder of the jacket.
"Really? He told me he just wants to go home."
"So, we're going home!"
"No, Ron. Not to YOUR home. He wants to go to HIS home."
"You mean, to Pittsburgh? No fucking way!"
"That's what he told me. I think you'd better let him go."
Ron's mouth set in a hard line. "He has this shoot to finish! He has -- everything HERE! This is where he's staying. He's just a little confused right now."
"I think that's the one thing he ISN'T confused about. He wants to go home."
After about twenty minutes the bedroom door opened and Brian came out. His hair was wet and he'd shaved -- a bit raggedly -- and put on the clean tee shirt and jeans. Diane held out his leather jacket and slipped it on him.
"Your phone and keys and wallet and everything are in the pocket of your jacket."
"Thanks." He leaned down and kissed her.
"Finally!" Freddy barrelled out the door and Jerry stalked out after him, not looking back at his mistress when he left.
Jimmy put one arm around Brian. "I'll see you on the set -- tomorrow? Maybe Friday, then. No harm done, after all." He squeezed Brian's shoulder and then went out.
Ron moved over to Brian and tried to put his arms around him, but Brian stepped back and shook him off. Ron cleared his throat, nervously. "I'll send someone over to pick up the Mustang...."
"I'm driving myself." And Brian was out the door.
"He's fucking gone again!" Ron started to bolt after him, but Diane caught him up short.
"He'll go home this time, Ron," said Diane. "This is the end of the line for Brian, I'm afraid. Where else can he go? Who else is left for him to go to? "
Continue on to "Drama Queen II - Part 1", the next chapter
©Gaedhal, June 2002
Picture of Gale Harold from" Flaunt."
Updated June 4, 2002