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[personal profile] lady_bug_kay
Title: Complications
Author: ladybugkay
Fandom: Queer As Folk
Pairing: Brian/Justin
Rating: R (language)
Word Count: 654
Warnings: angst
Summary: Justin's thoughts on learning Brian has syphilis. 505 gapfiller
Disclaimer: Showtime and Cowlip and Russell T. Davies own the rights. I write for fun and intend no copyright infringement.
A/N: Just a little something that occurred to me when I was watching this episode again. I'm not sure I like this, but I thought I'd throw it out there. Don't expect brilliance. (Or much of anything, really. LOL)


He looks at me, and he shrugs it off, tells me it’s no big deal. Just something that happened, and with a few more drugs—ones that aren’t anything at all, really, because they don’t even get you high—it’s over and done. On to the next day.

 

And I can’t help but wonder if he even understands that it’s not that simple for me. That he might have done this to me, might have actually given me something worse than that hustler all wrapped up in a big red bow, and that yes, it is a big deal. It’s not just another part of my day. If I have this, if Brian gave me this, it’s not so simple for me.

 

Has he forgotten that I’m allergic to penicillin and all those other lovely drugs in the penicillin family? Above and beyond and underneath all the other reasons that I hate that this happened, that it was ever a possibility, lies this one fact.

 

I can’t just take the easy way out, get the easy answer, the easy solution to the problem.

 

And that’s really what this is all about. I have no idea what they would give me, could give me, instead, if I do have it, but that’s not the point. Things are more complicated for me, with me, and I know he doesn’t even consider that, hasn’t as much as let it cross his mind. Then again, I’ve always been a complication he’s never allowed for, never asked for, and I suppose it shouldn’t bother me as much as it does that he isn’t thinking about me, in this, at all. Me. He’s acting as if I’m anyone else, as if I’m the same as everyone else, as all those other guys he’s fucked and had to tell about this thing that just happened.

 

And that makes me one of the crowd, I guess, merely one of the many who have worshipped at the altar of Brian Kinney.

 

No one special. No one important.

 

No one different. Just another piece of ass he’s had and has to notify, but it’s no big deal, because all I have to do if I have it is get a shot of something and it’s over. Nothing more to think about.

 

But it’s not that fucking simple. None of this, of us, has ever been that simple, and why can’t Brian fucking understand that? I can’t seem to make him understand that. It makes me want to wrap my hands around his neck and squeeze until he fucking notices me. Looks at me. At me. At who I am and how this affects me, and what it does to me every single time.

 

This isn’t as straightforward as Brian wants it to be.

 

Except that to Brian, it is that simple. We’re that simple. That uncomplicated and unambiguous… and unremarkable. That black and white. It’s what he wants and the way he wants it, or it’s out the fucking door, the one with no locks on it, and I hate that part of me thinks the second option is beginning to look a lot more appealing.

 

I don’t want it to.

 

I love him. I’ve loved him for years, and I know I’ll never stop. But I’m not so sure I like him, anymore. I’m not so sure he’s the face of god, anymore. He has feet of clay; I’ve seen them—he loves walking barefoot in the loft—and that’s not a medium I’ve ever worked in.

 

I’m no sculptor, and I’m no parishioner, and I’m sure as fuck no random trick just passing through.

 

Either Brian doesn’t see that, or he won’t admit it, but it amounts to the same thing, in the end.

 

I think I want out, and that terrifies me in ways that thunderstorms and spiders and Chris Hobbes and even fucking cancer don’t.

 

I think I want out.

 -

Date: 2007-11-02 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lastglances.livejournal.com
that was so powerful and the "i’m no sculptor, and i’m no parishioner, and i’m sure as fuck no random trick just passing through" line literally punched me in the face when i read it. this was just wow, such excellent inner dialogue.

Date: 2007-11-02 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Thanks! I didn't really think that much of this, but I did like that line, so I'm glad it worked for you.

Date: 2007-11-02 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] justinlovesart.livejournal.com
It’s what he wants and the way he wants it, or it’s out the fucking door, the one with no locks on it, and I hate that part of me thinks the second option is beginning to look a lot more appealing.

Yes, I think you've nailed perfectly what was going through Justin's mind at the time, the deep reason for his leaving.

Thank you for this intense story.

Date: 2007-11-02 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for your wonderful feedback. By this point, I think it's really a matter of Justin giving in to Brian's view of their relationship or getting out, and as much as it hurt to watch, his leaving was necessary.

Date: 2007-11-02 01:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randysgirl-645.livejournal.com
this was very in character as to justin's feelings in that scene. great job :D

Date: 2007-11-02 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2007-11-02 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] court1429.livejournal.com
Very well done. Painful and powerful and completely believable as to Justin's state of mind at this time.

There were a few times during the watching of this show where I just wanted to throttle Brian. This is definitely one of them.

Very interesting, too, to bring up a penecillin allergy and use that complication as a metaphor for the inner workings of this relationhip. Thanks for posting!

Date: 2007-11-02 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Yes, this was definitely one of those moments where Brian was being the biggest of assholes and really deserved a huge wake-up call. And since in the very first episode, Justin admits to being allergic to penicillin, that's what hit me when I watched this episode. The metaphor just fell into place.

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments; they are very much appreciated.

Date: 2007-11-02 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfspell.livejournal.com
"He has feet of clay; I’ve seen them—he loves walking barefoot in the loft—and that’s not a medium I’ve ever worked in."

OhmyGod that line was brilliant. Absolutely. Short but awesome. Very good gapfiller!

Date: 2007-11-02 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Thank you! I really liked that line, although I wasn't sure how it would read with other people, and I'm thrilled that you liked it.

Justin's allergy to pencillin is in the very first episode, and I never understood why this didn't occur to Brian during the whole syphilis thing; to me, it was just one more way Brian was being an asshole at that moment.

Date: 2007-11-02 02:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfspell.livejournal.com
Yeah, I noticed that about the drug allergies. But they (the writers) sort of forgot Justin's allergies really quickly, didn't they?

Date: 2007-11-02 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Yep. They forgot about his allergies in the same way they forgot about the bashing and its effects until every once in a while, they pulled it out of the bag for something like the Pink Posse, of all things.

CowLip was bad for a lot of things like that, not least of which was their truly screwed up timeline.

Date: 2007-11-02 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jans-intentions.livejournal.com
Brilliant. Of course he'd feel this way about it. I can't believe how callous Brian was.

Date: 2007-11-02 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Callous is definitely the word to describe Brian in this moment.

I didn't really need to write this, except that Justin's allergy seemed such an obvious problem that wasn't even mentioned on the show, and then I couldn't help myself. Thanks for commenting.

Date: 2007-11-02 03:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freakykat.livejournal.com
Actually it was a little worse because he was *trying* to be callous, trying to be flippant about it. Mostly cause I think he was scared, rightfully so, about Justin's reaction. Cause he *knew* he was wrong.

They were seriously so not communicating and so not in a good place lol...

Date: 2007-11-02 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jans-intentions.livejournal.com
Yeah, you are right. He was afraid of how Justin would react and typically buried it by acting that way. It's what I seriously found annoying with five, how he avoided any intimacy with Justin until the very end.

Date: 2007-11-02 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freakykat.livejournal.com
Absolutely. He was terrified. They both were. I think alot of it had to do with how much he'd opened up in the previous season and when Justin left to go work he took it as a personal rejection.

And Justin did the same when he came back...he took Brian's distance as a rejection. It was all screwed up. And since Brian isn't the best communicator it just got worse. It was what frustrated me the most of 511, when Justin wouldn't believe him lol. I was like "Dude!! COME. ON!!! He means it!!"

Grrrr...but I have to say 510 - half of 513 made me happy lol...

Date: 2007-11-02 07:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Brian did close down a lot in season 5, especially after everything he and Jusitn went through in season 4 with the cancer. I mean, he'd called Justin his partner and celebrated their coupledom at the party for Kinnetik and everything, and then suddenly they've only been together for 4 weeks?

These two really aren't good at talking.

(And 510 did make me very happy. Sometimes, I just don't want to think 513 exists, and other times, I run straight for the good post 513 fic. LOL)

Date: 2007-11-02 07:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freakykat.livejournal.com
Mr. Kinney is a stubborn sonofabitch. I think he closed down so much because he'd opened up and it hadn't gone the way he wanted. He went backwards. Some of that I think was the writing as well. It sucked for season 5. I mean I'm one who adores Michael and I could barely stand him in that season until the end.

It was all just miscommunication. Brian not willing to open up and watch Justin walk out again. Justin not sure where he stood and afraid to demand anything. *pulls hair* It really frustrating LOL.

Date: 2007-11-02 03:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freakykat.livejournal.com
Oh god. I love this and I hate it. I love it because I think it's a dead on account of what was happening in Justin's head. I hate it because the truth is if Brian had thought of him that way, he wouldn't have even been there. I love it cause Justin has the strength to understand himself and what he thinks he can't get from Brian. I hate it cause he never gives Brian a chance to prove him that maybe there's more. I love it cause I respected the decision he made. I hated it cause he gave Brian no choice. And in the end I love that he knew what he wanted but hated that in the end it really wasn't what he wanted...

Damn this one got me emotional....I'm all over the map. Proud of Justin and completely protective of Brian. You suck for doing this to me and are just wonderful for having such a great take on the character! Just lovely...

Date: 2007-11-02 07:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
If it got you that emotional and frustrated with it, I'm taking that as a compliment.

Justin's decision to leave Brian in season 5 made ME very emotional. I understood where he was coming from, to a certain extent, because Brian was no longer really acknowledging him and his place in Brian's life. But I wanted to scream at him for not TALKING (as you mentioned before) about everything with Brian, first. Because Brian might have said all those wonderful things from 510 much earlier, before there ever was a bombing.

Anyway, I'm very glad that this one affected you so strongly, and I apologize for playing with your emotions. LOL I promise I'm writing some happy fic as we speak. Er, writer. Thanks for commenting; I love to hear from you.

Date: 2007-11-02 07:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freakykat.livejournal.com
Justin's decision to leave Brian in season 5 made ME very emotional. I understood where he was coming from, to a certain extent, because Brian was no longer really acknowledging him and his place in Brian's life. But I wanted to scream at him for not TALKING (as you mentioned before) about everything with Brian, first. Because Brian might have said all those wonderful things from 510 much earlier, before there ever was a bombing.

I totally respected the decision even as it broke mine and Brian's heart. HELL - even Brian showed respect for the decision lol. But there problem ALWAYS was communication. Justin would NEVER TELL Brian what he wanted. Brian had to guess. They would never TALK about it. Justin would leave. Brian would let him. And I agree...if they had talked about it MAYBE they would have come to some understanding and eventually Brian would have gotten there. He always did. It just took him longer.

I had very polar reactions to this one lol. AND YAY for happy! I love happy!

Date: 2007-11-02 05:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rosy5000.livejournal.com
This episode always makes me so sad because of how uncaring Brian acts throughout. I never even gave Justin's allegeries a thought myself, but that does make it even that much worse.

I think this was a very good delve into Justin's thoughts too. :)

Date: 2007-11-02 07:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Thanks! A lot of episodes in season 5 made me sad, with regard to Brian and Justin. And a few of them hit me with these strange little inconsistencies or things the writers seemed to be ignoring, such as this scene, and made me want to write about them.

Date: 2007-11-02 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rosy5000.livejournal.com
I think season 5 was made of inconsistencies... especially character development. They took Brian, who was maturing very nicely, and reverted him back to the first couple episodes. Justin couldn't seem to make up his mind from one ep to the next how he wanted to be with Brian.

Date: 2007-11-02 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Yes, they did regress Brian, especially in the final scene with Michael. Because suddenly, they seemed to turn a complete 180 and imply that this show was all about staying that free, unattached, club-ideal Brian from the very beginning. After Justin left, that seemed to be what they were trying to say about the character, once Michael showed up. Everyone else was showed to have grown and changed, but Brian stayed dancing: a figure eternal.

Which, frankly is why I hated that final scene in QAF. (And why I imagine that Justin was just running late for the reopening of Babylon.)

Date: 2007-11-02 06:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bksbracelet.livejournal.com
WOW that was a powerful fic and I loved it. I remember thinking how pissed I'd be if my partner was so blase about a STD and it was a good arc of C/L to include it, but you have have gone deeper and given us a reason why Justin may have walked away that would have been more believable than theirs cheers Chris

Date: 2007-11-02 07:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Thank you. Brian didn't seem to want to acknowledge how big a deal the syphilis actually was, and why Justin was so upset. Not just because Brian had an STD, which was a huge thing, as it was, but what it stood for in terms of their relationship as a whole.

And if I gave another strong reason for why Justin needed to end things with Brian, I'm glad; I had a love/hate relationship with his decision to leave, anyway, so I think I needed to justify his leaving for myself, as much as anything, with this fic.

Date: 2007-11-02 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kari77.livejournal.com
Oh, wow! Such few words and yet so intense it makes me want to cry and to strangle Brian for Justin. I think the way Brian just shrugged the STD off like it was nothing was the only moment in the show I really didn't like him.

It’s what he wants and the way he wants it, or it’s out the fucking door, the one with no locks on it, and I hate that part of me thinks the second option is beginning to look a lot more appealing.
You perfectly put into words how frustrated he was at that time in their relationship.

I love him. I’ve loved him for years, and I know I’ll never stop. But I’m not so sure I like him, anymore.
I didn't think this ficlet could be more perfect until I came across this part.

Thanks so much for sharing. :-)

Date: 2007-11-03 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Wow. Thank you so much for your positive feedback; it means a lot. You always say the nicest things!

Frustration was a big part of what I was trying to get across of Justin's state of mind, because he's incredibly torn about what he should do. It wasn't an easy decision for him to make, but it was a necessary one.

Date: 2007-11-04 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadehunter.livejournal.com
This was possibly one of the worst scenes in tbe entire B/J saga IMO, mostly because Brian was being so callous about Justin's health, something I didn't think was possible. Still, despite my distaste for the scene, I never really thought about the syphilis and what it could possibly mean for Justin with all his allergies, and I loved this fic for pointing it out.

The break-up in Season 5 was very adult, one I think Justin thought about a lot, and I love how you've illustrated part of his reasoning here. This wasn't the desperate lashing out of Season 2, it was Justin coming to a realization. This is a very effective piece, using the bare minimum of words necessary to just strike at the heart. Love.

And now I want to read a fic where Justin did get the syphilis from Brian, lol. According to Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syphilis#Treatment), treatment of syphilis with anything else for people allergic to penicillin is still mostly unsure footing, so... I mean, there are things the doctors can try, but there's no one-hundred percent cure as penicillin is.

Date: 2007-11-04 02:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments. They made me blush, actually. There was something quite terrible about Brian being this cavalier about Justin's health, even if he was acting that way because he knew he'd screwed up. In some ways, it really didn't ring true for his character.

>>According to Wiki, treatment of syphilis with anything else for people allergic to penicillin is still mostly unsure footing, so... I mean, there are things the doctors can try, but there's no one-hundred percent cure as penicillin is.

Yeah, that's the thing. I didn't check to find alternate treatments, but I did that on purpose, because I didn't think Justin would ever have considered that HE would have to worry about such an eventuality. I don't know of any fics that had Brian giving Justin syphilis, but that would be an interesting read, wouldn't it?

And yes, the break-up in season 5 wasn't a spur of the moment thing, a la season 2; it was Justin doing a LOT of soul-searching and making a terribly difficult decision, in the end. So I'm glad you felt this fic did that decision justice. Thanks again for commenting.

Date: 2007-11-05 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eawen-penallion.livejournal.com
Thank for such an insightful fic - it certainly made me see Justin's point of view much clearer. However: -

I personally think that by season 5 the writers were bored and inept. One of the main scenes that made me go WTF? was in 511, when Justin was painting (1st proposal scene in his studio) and he talked about coping post-prom by creating stuff.

DUH?! He couldn't paint, nor could he cope by himself! That was the whole point of early season 2!

So when it comes to Justin's allergies, I guess that they were WAAAY down the list of continuity inaccuracies ...

Date: 2007-11-06 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Thanks for commenting.

Yes, by season 5, the writers had lost sight of their characters and the information they had provided about them. Which is why I find fanfic is a great way to make sense of the show's mistakes or the things the writers had forgotten/neglected. Justin's allergies were way down the list--I know what you mean about that scene in 511--but it was a jarring error during this particular scene that I wanted to address. Season 5 made me so mad for a lot of reasons...

Date: 2008-01-30 06:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chimosa.livejournal.com
Oh, god, I never even thought about this before: what *would* Justin do if he had gotten syphilis?? And it makes me wanna smack Brian upside the head, myself! I think the whole STD plotline was a wonderful move on the part of the show, but I wish it had the same resonance as it does in your piece. That is wasn't about the tricking/monogamy/embarrassment/pride, it was a question of health and Brian putting Justin in a potentially dangerous position. Makes me want to see an expanded version of this where the syphilis isn't upstaged by the bombing. Great job!

Date: 2008-01-31 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
Yeah. In the whole syphilis thing, I think the writers just forgot the whole 'allergic to penicillin' thing they had given Justin in the first episode, but it's little things like that that make me wish they had paid more attention. Because there was so much more they could have done with certain storylines if they'd bothered to try to make them real and not finish them off in a single episode or two.

A lot of people have defended Brian saying that he knew it was a big deal and was just pretending it wasn't because he felt guilty, and that is true. But he was playing fast and loose with Justin's health and safety, and that always bothered me.

Makes me want to see an expanded version of this where the syphilis isn't upstaged by the bombing.

Hmm. Maybe someday.

Date: 2010-05-25 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 6frog.livejournal.com
'Has he forgotten that I’m allergic to penicillin and all those other lovely drugs in the penicillin family?'

This makes me miserable, I understand Justin's POV so well but if you cut the love out of your life part of your soul goes with it.

You are wonderful. Thank you.

Love from 6frog

Date: 2010-05-25 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybugkay.livejournal.com
This one broke my heart to write, the same way it broke my heart when they broke up in season 5. And in season 2.

Should I be sorry it made you miserable, too?

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