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27 September 2011 @ 09:23 pm
(Permanently?) Unfinished QAF AU  
Alright, I have QAF snippets for y'all. Actually, they're from a story that just doesn't seem to be happening. It's the first attempt I've ever made at an AU--the ever-popular "Brian and Justin meet under different circumstances."

And actually, there are two different beginnings, and I like parts of both, and dislike other parts. And then one scene that I came up with one night that I continue to like. I have to say, though, that I never realized how different the two starts were until I read through them again. (Btw, wtf is up with LJ's font sizes?)

Start One:

Really, there were only two options as to the reason why Brian was doing this. Neither was a very pleasant choice.

Option A was that he was bitter about his best friend settling down, moving to the homosexual version of Stepford Avenue, and becoming—he nearly gagged—monogamous. This would, however, involve actual jealousy, as well as making pronouncements on other people's lives, which Brian had just recently criticized Michael for. Brian refused to be a hypocrite.

Option B was that it had to do with the man—kid, really—that he was sighting. But that would mean that he was either in love with him, or at least wanted him badly enough to chase. He didn't believe in love, and would never chase after anyone.

There was still Option C, which was a mix between the two, but that was least palatable of all.

He made up Option D on the spot for which to tell the guys. That he had decided to try out being The Other Man. And thinking about it, it wasn't really a bad idea. He needed a change in life; he'd come to realize recently that he had been working for the same company since leaving college, albeit with a different boss, frequented the same clubs, fucked the  same asses only with different faces. It might be nice to have a regular sex partner. It wasn't like he was looking for a life partner—a phrase he hated almost as much as 'commitment ceremony' –and when the kid left to go back to his boyfriend, Brian would move on to the next.

Of course, in order for that to happen, he'd have to actually get him in bed first.

~ ~ ~

He'd met Justin through his boyfriend, which should have been a warning bell from the beginning.

The boyfriend, Ethan, was a violinist who had been offered a job in a commercial and turned it down because he wanted to hold onto some stupid musician's pride. Brian had considered the guy for about two seconds before deciding that he'd never fuck a guy with a little beard-thingy, even if he wasn't an arrogant asshole. Ethan, however, had picked up immediately on that two seconds of interest and made sure Brian knew that he had a boyfriend, and went on to say what an amazing artist his was; he mentioned that PIFA was having their spring show, and that they should go.

Brian almost didn't bother, but decided that it could be worth it. The opening night of shows for art schools tended to have lots of high-rollers show up in order to snag the best pieces first, and if nothing else he could make some connections.

Justin Taylor, being an honor student, had an entire section of one of the galleries to himself. Brian gazed slowly at one of the paintings when a young blonde man came to stand next to him.

After a moment of looking between the brunette and the painting he asked, “So, what do you think?”

Brian shrugged. “They're okay. I like that one,” he said, pointing to one near the end.

The blonde smiled. “Ethan didn't want me to put that one in the show. He said it was too sexual.”

Brian raised his eyebrows in surprise. “So you're the artist. Tell me, do you always do what your boyfriend says?”

Obviously not.”

You know what I think?” Brian said. “I think you have talent, potential, but it needs to be honed.”

That's what I'm going to school for.”

Not everything can be taught in the classroom.” When Justin raised his eyebrows, Brian said, “When I went into marketing in college, I was taught about target audiences, presentation, composition, but brilliant ideas aren't taught. It's something you have to find on your own.”

You're the guy from the advertising agency that Ethan mentioned.”

Brian Kinney.” Justin took the offered hand.

Ethan said you were handsome.”

Did he?” Brian wasn't sure why the thought repulsed him.

He also said you were checking him out.”

Giving someone a once-over hardly qualifies as 'checking out.'”

Justin laughed, and Brian was suddenly struck by his beauty. He considered this delayed reaction, and supposed it had to do with the fact that young man was living, as far as he understood, a psuedo-heterosexual life; despite how much of a turn-off it was, Brian found himself more than willing to overlook it for this blonde kid. He leaned sideways against the wall and had opened his mouth to speak when, seemingly from nowhere, the violinist boyfriend showed up. He closed his mouth and gave a tense smile as the two kissed. Brian almost felt uncomfortable. Finally, they turned to look at him again.

Mr. Kinney,” Ethan said. “I didn't think you'd show up.”

Neither did I,” he said. “But what better thing to do on a Friday night than to walk around looking at student art?”

So, what do you think of Justin's art?”

It's not bad.” Ethan rubbed him the wrong way, and the more they spoke, the more he became aware of it. Brian wanted him to go away so that he could continue to hit on his blonde boyfriend.

Not bad? He's brilliant.”

Mr. Kinney should know,” Justin spoke up. “He works with dozens of professional artists all day.”

Brian wanted to tell Justin that he could call him by his first name, but he was afraid that his boyfriend would take it as permission to do so himself. And he wanted to talk to Justin about looking at some of his other work, but didn't want any third parties involved in the conversation, no matter how close the third party was to one of the first two. He found himself simultaneously trying to find a way out of the situation and silently begging Ethan to just fuck off.

It seemed that his prayers were answered, because Ethan gave Justin a kiss on the cheek and said, “I'm going to go look around a bit.”


And they were left alone.

Is he your first boyfriend?” Brian cursed himself, not knowing how that one slipped out.

Yeah,” Justin said. “We met when I was a freshman. It's been a little over three years. Why, is something wrong with him?”

Yeah, everything. “I was just wondering if you were new to the whole relationship game.”

What about you? Do you have a boyfriend?”

Brian laughed. “God, no. They insist on declarations of love, and eventually marriage and a family, and it's all such bullshit.”

What, to love someone?” Justin laughed incredulously.

I don't believe in love.”

Mr Kinney—“


If you don't believe in love, then what do you believe in?”

That.” Brian pointed to Justin's painting.

Sex?” Justin looked skeptical.

There's no more real feeling in the world.”


Start Two:

Brian had never meant to pursue a married man. He certainly never meant to be in an affair with one.

He'd fucked more than his fair share of them—his firm belief that mankind was not intended for monogamy meant that he felt no qualms about doing so—and yet there was a difference between fucking a married man in the bathroom and this.

He could remember when he had told Michael and Emmett that he'd had sort-of-sex with Ted, and he had said, “It just sort of happened. Things do.” It's the only way he can describe this thing Justin.

That he had heard his name for the first time from the kid's boyfriend was the first omen. Ethan Gold had been offered a job in a commercial and turned it down, but not before making it clear—needlessly—that he had a boyfriend. Who had a spot in a gallery opening.

Brian, being a man who did not believe in omens, took the little advertisement card and never bothered to look at it. If he had, he would never have given in to Lindsey's pleading to attend the opening; Melanie was in bed with the flu, and Lindsey insisted that it was always a good idea to have a date to one of these events. He was getting soft.

Justin Taylor had shown all the signs of wanting Brian, so it took longer than it should have to realize that this was the boyfriend that Gold had
referred to. He didn't even think that the kid was aware that he was flirting, but his body gave all the interested signals, from leaning sideways against the wall, smiling at everything Brian said, and even batting his eyes. And after all, Brian was a man that was attracted to certain timeless pleasures—classic suits, classic cars, and yes, the classic blonde bombshell, albeit the male version.

He was a decent artist, too, in the 'has potential' sort of way. When Brian told the artist that he had liked a particular painting over the others, Justin had simply said, “My boyfriend didn't want me to display it.”

“Do you always do what your boyfriend wants you to?”

The blonde laughed. “Obviously not.”

“Why didn't he want you to show it?”

“He said it was too sexual,” Justin said.

Brian laughed. “There's nothing wrong with expressing one's sexuality. It's certainly something that anyone can relate to, more than any other emotion.”

Justin tilted his head in a strangely adorable way, as if assessing Brian. “And sex without love?”

“Love doesn't exist, at least not the way you've been taught to think it does. It's not real, certainly not as real as sexuality is. Although, you've probably never fucked a guy that you didn't believe you loved, have you?”

Justin blinked, all flirty attitude gone, and gave a firm, “No. I've never felt the need to. And even if I did, I wouldn't even know how to go about hooking up with some guy.”

“It's not that complicated,” Brian laughed. “You go into the backroom of a club, pick a hot guy, and pull down your pants.”

“I've never been in a club before.”

Brian was shocked frozen for a moment, then gave out a huff of laughter. “Life is a cabaret, Sunshine, so come to the cabaret.”

Justin just gave him a slightly confused look. Brian could only feel pity for the boy, now. It was one to never have had a one night stand or been to a nightclub, but apparently he'd never even had the rudimentary musical theatre education that every gay man should have.

And then the topic came up of Justin's three-year relationship, and that his boyfriend Ethan played violin, and it was then that Brian decided that, just once, he would have this kid. Because he knew that, for all that the boy was—he nearly gagged—made love to every night, softly, tenderly, he had never been really and truly fucked. He was sure that there would be people who thought that it would be about breaking the kid, and dispelling his ridiculous notions about love. But it wasn't.

It was about setting him free, and seeing what he would become.


And a scene:

“He told me that whatever I'm doing to inspire myself, I should keep doing it. All I could think was, 'what, cheat on my boyfriend?'”

“It's because of your inner conflict. Human beings thrive on each others misery. Don't worry, as soon as you manage to settle back down and become contented again, they'll lose interest in your work.”

“You honestly believe that that's why a person becomes famous, because they're in pain?”

“Sure. Just look at the entertainment industry. The moment a character in a television show finds peace, he either has a new life-altering problem or he gets canceled, because nobody wants to know the story about someone who's happy.

“You don't think that maybe it's because people like stories about people who surmount seemingly insurmountable problems, triumph over the evils of the world, and find love despite all the odds stacked against them?”

“I will tell you, Mr. Taylor, I have never found optimism refreshing until I met you.”