|QAF FanFiction by Morpheus
Intermission-10: Six Months
Part 2: First Date
We’re having Sunday dinner at Deb’s – just Michael, Lindsay, Melanie and me – and Lindsay hands me Gus – there’s this strange feeling I can’t describe when he holds out his arms to me and screeches ‘Daddy!’ So I’m relaxing, I’ve pushed back my chair and I’m bouncing Gus on my good leg and I’ve got this big stupid smile on my face when suddenly Michael exclaims, “Oh Brian, I almost forgot to tell you! I saw Justin at Woody’s last night.”
The smile freezes. So quickly I bury my nose in Gus’ fat little neck till I can be sure nothing’s showing on my face. I was at Woody’s last night, my first tricking adventure in three months. I didn’t set out to drag somebody off with me, it was just a sort of reflex – a hot guy gives me the eye and first thing I know we’re out in the alley headed for my jeep. By the time I’d limped – trying desperately not to limp – to the car, I was almost sorry.
Well okay, I was really sorry, because my leg was hurting and I knew I could not pull off a famous Brian Kinney fuck, not that night, probably not for a few weeks yet. So I dragged the guy around the other side of the jeep and pushed him down on his knees, let him give me a blowjob. Then I sent him away and got in the car and drove home. I couldn’t very well go back into Woody’s after that, could I? Only now I find out that Justin was there, I’d missed him.
Which in itself is a good thing, probably. But I haven’t seen him for several days and it might have been okay just to check up on him, see how he’s doing. I wondered if he had enough cash to keep gas in the car, and wished there was some way I could have given him a credit card. Creative as I am, I couldn’t think of a reason he would believe that the leased car came equipped with free gas refills.
I hand Gus back to Lindsay and she settles him on her lap. “How is Justin?” Lindsay asks Michael. “We haven’t heard from him for a while, a couple weeks. He’s got a heavy schedule this term, and he’s gone back to work at the diner, hasn’t he?”
“Yeah,” chimes in Debbie as she brings another huge bowl of pasta to the table and resumes her seat. “Second helpings everybody, or Vic’ll be eating penne for a month.”
“Eat, please eat!” Vic begs comically and everybody laughs.
“Sunshine’s been working his little ass off this past week,” Deb tells Lindsay. “It’s hard to get back into the grind of waiting tables when you’ve been away from it for a while. He’s probably too tired to see anybody.”
Michael snorts a loud laugh and we all turn to look at him. “But he’s not too tired to fuck around – he picked up a guy at Woody’s last night and went off with him. He had a lot to drink too, that kid sure can put away tequila shots.”
The room goes silent as everybody tries not to look at me, and as I try not to look like I’m the least bit interested. Finally I say, “Please pass the zucchini,” and when Vic hands me the bowl I take a large helping, though God knows that one more bite would choke me.
Finally Debbie pipes up, “Well, it’s good that Sunshine’s going out, he’s been shut-in for months.”
“Please pass the bread,” I say, tearing off a hunk of the crusty loaf.
“Ted and I were at a table in the corner and Justin completely ignored us. Ted waved at him once but he pretended not to see. He just sat down at the bar and started drinking, till this guy comes on to him, and – “
“Please pass the chicken.”
“Michael,” Lindsay chimes in, “How’s the comic book doing? Is the new issue coming out soon?”
“Justin’s behind schedule,” Michael complains, “At least now I know why, he’s too busy fucking around to meet the deadlines he agreed to.”
“Please pass the – “ I look around the table, there’s nothing left to pass.
Melanie laughs. “Brian, I’ve never seen you eat so much, you must be starving. Bet you’re missing Justin’s great cooking.”
I’m aware that Linds has reached over to pinch Mel’s arm, and Melanie laughs again. The bitch.
Casually I lean back in my chair. “Yeah, he’s a great cook. But I eat too much when he’s around. In fact,” I eye my loaded plate with revulsion, “I can’t finish this after all.”
“Don’t worry sweetie,” Debbie jumps up and leans over to grab my plate. “I’ll wrap this up for you to take home, you can have it for dinner tomorrow. Okay?” When I nod, Deb grabs Michael’s shoulder and shakes it. “Come on, help me in the kitchen a minute.”
“Come ON,” Deb insists, grabbing hold of Michael’s sleeve and physically lifting him out of his chair.
“So, Brian,” Vic leans his elbows on the table and smiles at me, “How’s the therapy going – still working out with that personal trainer?”
“What?” It takes a moment to realize what Vic is asking me. “Yeah – yeah, he’s great. He’s not so rough on me as the PT at the hospital – she’s a killer. You know what – “ I glance at my wrist as if I’m wearing a watch. I haven’t worn a watch for five years at least. So I look around for a wall clock, Deb has three of them scattered around the kitchen and living room, though they all show slightly different times. It’s seven-thirty. Or seven-thirty-three. Or seven-thirty-eight. “I need to be getting home,” I continue, rising to my feet, “I have an early meeting tomorrow and there’s a presentation I need to finish up tonight.”
“Oh, don’t go, Brian,” Lindsay begs, “Gus hasn’t seen you for ages – “
“Yeah, sorry,” I say over my shoulder as I limp to the closet by the door to retrieve my jacket, “I’ll call you in a few days, maybe I can stop by after work one night.”
Linds hands Gus to Mel and comes over to the entry where I’m putting on my jacket. “Brian – “
“I’ll call you,” I promise, leaning down to kiss her cheek. She puts a hand on my arm but I pull away, go into the kitchen where Debbie is sliding the contents of my overloaded dinner plate into a Tupperware container.
“Thanks for dinner, Deb, it was great.” I give her a kiss too and she shoves the Tupperware into my hands. There’s no way I’m going to eat it tomorrow but I don’t need to tell her that. “Bye,” I say to Deb, to Michael, to Vic, just one big general ‘goodbye’ before I turn around and limp quickly to the door.
I’m almost free, I’m almost out of there when Michael calls, “Wait up, I’ll walk you to the car.”
“Okay,” I agree, “But I’ve got to hurry.” I pull open the door and take two steps across the porch when my leg gives out on me and I slip sideways, almost falling, if Michael hadn’t grabbed my arm to steady me, I’d have gone head first – or ass first – down the porch stairs.
“Jesus, Brian, slow down,” he warns me and I nod, yeah-yeah-yeah, then turn away and move as quickly as possible toward the jeep.
He doesn’t say anything till we’re at the car and I’ve unlocked the door and pulled it open. “Brian – are you mad at me?”
“Of course not,” I tell him, swinging myself onto the car seat, “Why should I be mad at you?”
Christ, I hope he doesn’t answer me. Then he does.
“Because I told you about Justin. I didn’t think you’d care about him screwing around now, you guys aren’t together any more, right?”
“Michael.” I put the key in the ignition but don’t turn it. Then I look at him. “It’s okay that you told me,” I say, almost honestly, “But you didn’t have to tell everybody else. It’s Justin’s business, it’s his personal business.”
“Oh,” Michael says, he looks first chagrined, then crestfallen. “I didn’t think about that. I’m sorry.”
“I’ve got to go now, okay?” I raise my eyebrows at him and wait till he backs up so I can close the door. “Bye, Mikey,” I mouth at him through the car window, then I swing my head away, turn the ignition, put the car in gear and pull away from the curb. I can’t wait to get home, I’m just suddenly so amazingly tired. There really is a big presentation I’m preparing for tomorrow, but I don’t think I can work on it tonight.
Tonight is my first-ever real date and at the very last minute I think about calling Lawrence and canceling. Not for any special reason, just because.
I didn’t date in high school, not even girls, and then I jumped into Brian’s bed and hung around with his friends and went twice to the baths with Brian and we shared quite a few tricks in our bed, so now dating just seems, I don’t know, weird. I’ve changed my clothes like about four times, I feel like I’m starring in some after-school special, I’m getting more and more nervous and I really, really would just like to call the whole thing off.
Lawrence phoned me Wednesday night to confirm and to give me directions to the Vietnamese restaurant, Nguyen’s, and now I can’t remember where I wrote them down. I’ll probably drive around for hours looking for the place. Or I guess I could call the restaurant. But actually I remember the directions so I don’t need to call. I can’t remember ever having sweaty palms before, it will be so humiliating if Lawrence tries to hold my hand and I just slip right out of his grasp like I’ve been lubed.
Should I take lube? Should I put a bottle in the car? I assume we’re going to have sex, that’s what adults do when they go on dates. As far as I know. Do I want to have sex with him? I’ve tried not to think about it all week. I haven’t messed around since I left Brian. Well, there was that one time with Jamie. And of course there was Ethan, but that wasn’t messing around, that was love. Or something.
In the end I’m late, I hate being late, I hate waiting for people, and I wonder if maybe Lawrence might have given up and left the restaurant, but when I come through the door I see him sitting on a bench in the entryway. He stands up and smiles at me and taking a deep breath, I move forward and smile back at him. “Sorry I’m late.”
“No problem, no worries mate.”
God, he’s not going to do an Australian accent all night, is he?
“You can leave your jacket here, there’s a cloak room.” Lawrence points at the corner where a woman steps forward and takes my coat, bowing. I manage to stop myself from bowing back at her and instead follow Lawrence into the restaurant; they’re holding a table for us.
We’re handed beautiful menus and we both admire the artwork, what looks like real leaves have been woven into the edges of the cards, then Lawrence describes some of the dishes. He tells me that the French occupied Vietnam for a long time, way before the American war, so there’s a strong influence of French cooking on the cuisine. I listen carefully to Lawrence’s comments, and when he glances over the top of his menu at me, he does a double-take.
“Sorry, was I being a teacher?” he asks ruefully.
“Oh no, no, I was just really interested, I didn’t know that history before.”
“I’ve been to Vietnam actually,” he says, “But I’ll save that lecture for another time.”
“I’d love to hear about it.” I mean it too. “I want to travel all over the world when I finish school.”
“You’re sure?” When I nod, Lawrence says, “Let’s order first, then I’ll tell you a little. If you start snoring and fall face-first into your soup, that’ll be my clue to stop.”
That makes me laugh; he’s nice. I forgot that he’s nice. Then I settle down to seriously read the menu; I’m starving.
After dinner we leave my car at the restaurant and Lawrence drives us to a bar he likes called Bogey’s. It’s small and dark and smoky, but immediately I fall in love with the place, there’s all this Humphrey Bogart movie memorabilia type stuff on the walls, fake palm trees, even a tiny five piece band playing music from (Lawrence tells me) the nineteen-forties. I like it, and when we’re seated at a tiny round table under a fake palm tree, Lawrence urges me to order a fruity drink that comes in a real coconut with a little paper umbrella stuck into the edge. I just absolutely love this place, and I look around smiling and laughing.
“I hoped you’d like Bogey’s,” Lawrence says, leaning over the table and putting his hand on my arm. That’s the first real physical contact we’ve had, and I’m okay with it.
“It’s great!” I exclaim happily, then Lawrence leans way over the table and plants a tiny kiss on my mouth. I’m okay with that, too.
When we’re leaving Bogey’s, Lawrence gets our coats and we put them on before going outside. I had a glass of wine with dinner and two coconut drinks at Bogey’s so when the cold night air hits me, I kind of wobble sideways. I can drink a lot of guys under the table so I don’t know why the coconuts affected me. Lawrence puts an arm around my shoulders to steady me, and it brings my face close to his. We’re in the parking lot, it’s deserted, and when he kisses me, I close my eyes and lean into his body. When Lawrence invites me back to his place, I’m ready. I’m ready for this. Brian says I should experience life. Everybody tells me the same thing. So I’m going to go ahead and do it.
I don’t know what I’ve let myself in for with Justin. While I’ve always liked men younger than myself, I’ve never seriously dated anyone this young, I’ve never dated a student - former student - before now. I remember when he was in my class last year I had to force myself not to stare at him, not to show any favoritism, not to make a fool of myself. I knew he had a boyfriend – several times I’d seen this guy in a jeep picking up Justin in the parking lot, I’d seen them kissing. Later I’d seen Justin hanging out with one of the music students and I’d seen them kissing too. Justin’s still a kid, he’s probably not nearly ready to settle down yet.
When I ran into Justin at Woody’s I was sure he’d give me the brush off. I know I’m attractive but I’m thirty-four, almost twice his age. I’d never have dared to ask him out if we hadn’t had such a great time playing pool. Justin seemed totally at ease with me, in fact I forgot about our age difference and he seemed to do the same. When I asked him out I felt there a good chance he’d turn me down but when he accepted, I felt my heart go THUMP - just like that. I laughed about it later, but at the time the sensation of joy felt very real.
The thing about Justin is – he can be so open with his feelings, transparent as glass, and moments later, he’s shut up tight as a clam inside its shell. He was open all through dinner, his enjoyment of my favorite bar was palpable, the first time I kissed him, he almost fell into my arms. The way things were going was almost too good to be true. Which turned out to be the case.
Justin came home with me, we walked through the door and pulled off our coats, and I was going to offer him a drink or some coffee when suddenly I felt him grab my arm, whirl me around, and push his body against mine. “Let’s fuck,” he said throatily, and I felt my cock immediately spring into action. We started kissing and he had my shirt off before I even noticed what he was doing, so I started pulling off his clothes and I could hear myself gasping with desire for this incredibly beautiful and sexy boy.
He wanted to fuck on the sofa but I managed to maneuver him into the bedroom, I’m not old-fashioned, I just like comfort (and I didn’t want come stains on my just-reupholstered damask sofa). He came along willingly – we were both naked by then – and he helped me pull off the bedspread and blankets, then he leaped into the middle of the bed and spread-eagled himself on the mattress. “Are you a top or a bottom?” he demanded, and when I said ‘both’ he laughed. “Me too,” he said, “But mostly I’m a top, so you better have plenty of lube because I forgot to bring mine!”
To say I was surprised by Justin’s sexual aggression would be an understatement. Not that it wasn’t exciting, not that it wasn’t fantastic actually – but looking at that innocent angelic face with the beautiful wide-open blue eyes would not prepare anyone for the Justin lurking just beneath the surface. It never occurred to me in my wildest fantasies that I’d get my ass fucked tonight – much less that I’d enjoy it so much. Justin was obviously very experienced and very talented in bed.
And yet, and yet. . .
Afterwards, after we’d both shouted loud enough with our orgasms to set the neighbors dialing 911, I lay prone on the bed, exhausted and working hard to get my breathing back to normal. What I wanted more than anything else was to cuddle up with Justin in my arms, go to sleep holding on to those beautiful pale shoulders with the silky soft skin. But he pulled away from me, and when I looked at his face, it was as if Justin had rolled shutters down over his eyes. Gone was the laughing, happy boy of only moments before, and in his place was this stranger, a changeling almost. He just pulled away and said sullenly, “I need a smoke,” and I lay on the bed, dismayed by this personality change, watching him walk into the living room and rifle through the pockets of his jacket looking for cigarettes. Then he sat on the sofa with his back to the open bedroom door, puffing away in silence.
Finally I got up and found an ashtray in the kitchen and brought it to him. He took it from my hand without looking at me. “Thanks,” he said tersely.
“Is something – wrong?” I finally dared to ask, perching on the arm of the sofa.
“What?” he looked up at me, his eyes still shuttered. “Oh no, no, everything’s fine. Hey, that was great,” he added with a big fake smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “But I really need to go now, could you give me a ride to my car?”
“I’d hoped you’d stay the night,” I told him, and when he said nothing, I sighed. “But of course I’ll take you to your car.”
We got dressed then in silence and drove back to Nguyen’s. I tried to chat with Justin but I got only monosyllabic answers, then at the restaurant, before he opened the car door, he turned to me and said quietly, “Thanks, Lawrence, I had a great time.”
“I’m glad,” I replied, “I did too. Will you see me again?”
He seemed to be thinking about it. “I don’t know,” he answered at last. “Can I call you?”
“Sure. Of course.”
“Thanks again, bye now.” And he got out of my car and into his own. We waved at each other and I drove off, wondering what the hell had happened to me tonight. Wondering if Justin would call me, or had he given me the brush off? Wondering how long it would take me to get over it, if Justin didn’t want to see me again.
I’ve just had a shower and I’m turning down the bed when my doorbell buzzes. I glance at the clock and see that it’s nearly two a.m., I’m tempted to ignore the buzzer because nobody would be coming to see me at this time of night, and some neighborhood kids have been going around ringing everybody’s doorbells the past week or so. But it buzzes again, and then again. Fuck.
Padding across the floor to the door, I mutter into the intercom, “Who is it?”
“It’s me. Let me in.” It’s Justin.
“Are you okay?”
“Brian, just let me in. I don’t have my – I mean your – key.”
Without answering I push the buzzer, then limp back to the bedroom to pull on my jeans before returning to open the door just as Justin reaches the landing.
“You okay?” I ask again, he’s stopped at the top of the stairs.
“No.” He looks – angry.
Without answering, Justin pushes past me into the loft. He pulls off his coat and throws it on the floor. Closing the door behind us, I take a closer look, Justin’s face is flushed pink and I try to see if his eyes are dilated.
“No, I am not fucking wasted,” he growls, kicking off his shoes, stomping into the living room and throwing himself down on the sofa.
“Justin,” I’m getting annoyed, “What the fuck’s going on? It’s two in the fucking morning, is this a social visit or what?”
“No,” he says. Then a moment later he says, “Or yes. Maybe it is.”
“Do you need coffee?” I try again, running a hand through my hair.
“Don’t humor me, don’t placate me, don’t offer me coffee!” he glares up at me, and now I’m getting worried. Maybe he’s wasted after all, this is very un-Justin-like behavior.
“What’s going on, Justin, this isn’t like you, this – “
“Hunh!” he exclaims loudly. “No, this is NOT like me. Not like the old me. This is the NEW, IMPROVED ME!”
Sitting next to Justin, I try to take his arm but he pulls away.
“Why aren’t you yelling at me?” he asks. “Why aren’t you throwing me out of the loft – again?”
I feel myself getting irritated even though I know it’s equal parts worry. “Just tell me whatever the fuck it is you came here to say, can you do that?”
Justin jumps up and paces around the coffee table till he’s facing me.
“Know what I did tonight?” he spits out, glaring at me.
“Killed somebody?” I hazard a guess. “Run somebody over with your car?”
“No!” he shouts, “I had a DATE.”
I nod, keeping my face noncommittal; I don’t have a clever answer ready for that announcement.
“With a GUY!”
I nod again. “Actually, I could have guessed you didn’t have a date with a girl.”
“He took me to dinner!”
“Yeah,” Justin’s calmer now, “That’s okay with you, right? Justin’s experiencing life. Cool.”
I wait, he’s obviously got more to say.
“And you know what we did afterwards?” he demands, leaning over the coffee table and staring into my eyes.
“I can guess.” Why is he telling me all this?
“Damn right. Damn right!” Justin throws out his arms. “We fucked. I fucked him, I fucked the shit out of him, and he fucking LOVED IT.”
“Of course he did. You’re good.” It’s very important that I keep a straight face. For some reason I feel like laughing, though nothing about this situation is remotely amusing. Why do I feel laughter bubbling up in my chest, threatening to spill out of my mouth? Justin’s already furious for some reason. If I laugh he’ll go ballistic.
Finally I beat down the urge to laugh and ask seriously, “So why are you pissed off, Justin? Why’d you come banging on my door at two in the – “
“Because I didn’t want to fuck HIM. I wanted to fuck YOU. Damn you to hell, Brian fucking Kinney!” And with that Justin steps over the coffee table and throws himself – literally – on top of me. He’s straddling me on the sofa and trying to pin my arms down to my sides. Of course I’m much stronger and it would be easy to buck him right off my lap. Easy as pie.
We’re nose to nose, and that urge to laugh is bubbling up in my throat again. To forestall it I kiss Justin – only to stop that bubble of laughter. I let him pin me to the sofa and I let him shove his tongue down my throat. I can smell the other guy on him but it doesn’t bother me. Much. I let him rip off my jeans – even in his anger and fury and passion, he’s careful of my leg – and I let him push me down on my back on the sofa.
“You’ve done your quota of fucking tonight,” I tell him, grinning, “But you can sit on my cock if you want to.”
Justin laughs at that, and then I can laugh too, I can let loose the laughter trapped inside my chest and I let out a roar of it, and then I sigh deeply. Then I close my eyes and let Justin have his way with me – as long as he knows whose cock is really in charge here.
Later, when we’re once again sitting on the sofa, our bodies glued together with sweat and laughter and a certain amount of shared but unexpressed anger, we smoke a cigarette. “You need to go home now,” I tell him and he nods his head.
“I know. In a few minutes?”
“Sure.” I’m agreeable. “And come back again after your next date, okay?”
“Do we have to do this? Do I have to experience life for six more fucking months?”
“Yes.” I hug him tight for a moment, then push him gently away. “But you have to try harder to enjoy it.”
Justin sighs resignedly and we begin to separate our tangled sticky body parts.
I can’t help asking, “Do you like this guy – your date – whoever he is?”
“Yeah,” Justin answers half-heartedly. “He’s nice. We went to a Vietnamese restaurant. They like people who eat a lot, they brought me extra side dishes.”
Of course they did, why am I not surprised? “You going to see him again?”
“I don’t know.” He stands up and picks up his clothing from the various points of the room where I threw it and begins to get dressed. “Maybe.”
That’s good. It’s good that Justin’s going to be dating other kids for a while. And if it’s more than ‘a while,’ well, that’s good too. As great as we are in bed together, I know myself and I know Justin pretty well too. We’re not a good match. I’m not a good match for anybody but he can be, if he gives himself a chance. He needs this chance to be with other kids his age, go out to dinner, to younger clubs, to fuck around, to have fun. When the six months are up, if he –
Nope. I won’t think about that ‘if.’
Justin’s dressed and I walk him to the door. I know it will annoy him but I can’t help asking, “You need anything? Gas money, or – “
“No, no, I’m fine.” He’s annoyed.
“Okay.” I put my hand on the back of his neck and squeeze. “I’ll see you around. I’m not ready for Babylon yet, but I’ve made it to Woody’s a couple times.”
”Yeah, I know,” Justin turns to pull open the door. “Bye,” he says solemnly.
“Zip up your jacket, it’s cold outside,” I tell him, sounding like Debbie.
Justin zips his jacket and takes off down the stairs. At the first turn he looks around and smiles at me and I give him a wave, then I pull the door closed. I feel the need for a drink or at least for some strong coffee, but instead I turn off the lights and limp up to the bedroom, slide into bed between the sheets. They’re chilly, and my last wakeful thought is a wish that Justin were here to slip his arms around my chest, push his warm naked body tight against mine and help me heat up this cold empty bed.