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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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qaffic: it's easier than falling, au
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
First, josselin posted more Joke! Go here. Dance, monkeys, dance!

No, I have no idea what that means either, but the story is very cool. Check it out. We love Josselin when she's producing and not traumatizing us with really, really terrifying websites.

Also, I bought a new mouse and ice cream. That's my only excuse.

It's a *really* good mouse.



Disclaimer: This second person pov kick is going to end if it requires a hatchet. I tried it in third and first and it did *not* move, but here it did. I have no idea what that means. I need a drink. Something in Jim Beam and coke, perhaps.


It's Easier Than Falling
by jenn
QaF, AU

when you thought about it:

Maybe things would have been different if you'd been stronger.

You dropped the rings at rehearsal twice and fell over your own feet at dinner, knocking over the gravy boat that has some weird Swedish name you can't remember, but it must have been expensive, because Lindz freaked out, and you think that just maybe, she doesn't like you.

You don't like her, so the feeling's mutual.

Brian's been dressing for three hours. He drove the tailor crazy when they were getting fittings, and you thank God that you were an easy size and got out early. You go into the bedroom and wait for Brian to stop staring at his cuffs like they've betrayed him.

"Ready, Mikey?"

He looks good, you think, flashing on fourteen and sixteen and eighteen and just last year, all the time you've known him and all the time you wonder if you've known him at all. Bitter kid in too-long jeans replaced with cool elegance, nothing like the boy who fell asleep in your bed eating popcorn and watching Patrick Swayze dance on your TV. You look for landmarks and don't find many at all.

You draw a deep breath and think no, I'm not, and yes, I am, and then you think you want a cigarette and God, you wish you were a smoker. "Sure. You?"

There's a lot of things wrong with this moment, so many that your mom yelled at Brian for hours, and you remember how the house shook and how Brian left, short quick steps down your stairs, and you thought out of your life. You found your mother crying when you went inside and you knew why.

You could have told her that it wouldn't work, that you tried that and tried this, and tried everything once and some things twice. You cried and you yelled and then you gave up and he kissed you for the last time and said it was better this way, and you knew he'd never do that again and that hurt, too.

You don't know the people here--the Petersons and their snooty friends that look down on you and laugh behind your back, and you think they still look at Brian a little warily, knowing where he came from, but he plays so well that they like him anyway. You think of high school and Brian had wanted to get away so badly and you think that somehow, he managed to not get anywhere at all.

You know the Kinneys and wish you didn't, wish Joanie would stop looking at you like you don't belong, because poor boys with gay uncles from the wrong side of the tracks maybe don't belong at society weddings, and if it wasn't for Brian, who made you promise, made you swear, you wouldn't be here at all.

"Mikey." His hand on your shoulder is familiar and not at all, because he's changed, he let himself change, and you hate that most. You hate the clothes and the polish and the sophistication he learned in college, and how he's smiling at you now, and it's so close to being real you could almost believe it.

"You don't have to do this." Where did that come from? You stopped arguing months ago, when you balanced it out and knew that he may say he loves you, he may say it and he may mean it, but that may not be enough. You may not be smart, but you know that Brian runs his life in balances, and you don't think love is enough to keep you safe.

His hand drops from his shoulder, and he's in the same room, right, but miles away, downstairs by the car or in the church already, maybe in the new house in the best part of town where he and Lindz will live forever and ever, amen.

"I'm not doing this again."

And you back down, because that's who you are and what you do, and you can't imagine being able to fight him for long. "Brian--"

But he turns away from you, and you bite your lip and try to think of all the words you rehearsed during the drive over, the toast you have to give, the movements of your hands that will probably shake again and make you drop the rings. You don't want to embarrass him. But then again, maybe you do.

When you look up, Brian's watching you in the mirror, and you think that's weirdly appropriate, maybe a metaphor or something, if you'd paid enough attention in lit class to know the right words. "I know what I'm doing, Mikey."

You think he might, and you think that makes it worse.

"Are you sure?" you say, and your voice shakes.

Green eyes flicker down, fixing on that offensive cuff and the cufflinks that Lindz's dad had gave him, big and ostentatious and ugly, for a tuxedo for a wedding that is all those things and more, and yes, simile, metaphor, whatever, it all works.

If he said no, you'd get him in the car and drive him wherever he wanted to go. You'd get him drugs and alcohol and hold him and tell him that being gay didn't mean you couldn't do anything you damn well wanted to do, except you're sort of in the closet at the Big Q and you're not sure that you really have a leg to stand on. But you would. You'd go with him, anywhere he wanted to go, and you'd follow him, anywhere he cared to lead, and you're proving that, you're going to prove that, because you're going to follow him into a church and down the aisle and watch him promise someone forever, and it's not just that it's not you, it's that it shouldn't be her.

But he doesn't. He turns around to look at you, and his palms are warm on your cheeks, and he kisses you, eyes closed, and you taste how much things have changed between you. You think it's the last time he'll ever kiss you and mean it.

When he pulls away, you know he knows it, too.

You know that won't change a fucking thing.

*****

not entirely unexpected:

She thinks you don't know, but you do.

There's time and chance, and circumstance and accident, and there's working late, but you are so far from stupid that it's unbelievable she thinks she can pull this crap and get away with it. You think that guilt's a good look on her, better than Christian Dior and overpriced jewelry, and you're glad that it means she doesn't want to fuck as much, because you're tired of pretending to like it.

But then, you're tired of a lot of things, and that's why you're drinking tonight.

"Brian. Come on. You've had enough."

That's not a word that's even in your vocabulary.

You've missed this, and you knew you missed it, but money makes up for a lot of things, and so does your secret stash of porn, but you forgot how good it feels to be here, to feel this free. You're used to how people look at you at work, at those endless fucking parties that Lindz drags you to, perfect couple with their perfect life, and it's sometimes worth it, because you scare them and you know you do and you really like it.

You always promised yourself that you'd be better, and you are, you think, and you like that, too.

But, you forgot how it feels to be looked at like this, to feel eyes on you everywhere you go, to push someone up against a wall and feel a cock in your mouth. Dance until you pass out. Drink until you can't move. So high you sometimes think you don't even need to breathe.

You think you like this better.

"Brian. Please."

You can almost hear Debbie in your head, the sharp sound of her voice like biting into tinfoil, and maybe she's laughing now, because she said you sold your soul for power, and she said you'd never be able to get away from who and what you were, and you used to think she was so fucking wrong about that, but she. Was. Right.

You should call and tell her. You will. Later.

You came home early tonight, because you had a headache and the fuckers in accounting screwed up what's probably the biggest transaction in the entire agency, Ryder chewed you out like you have any *fucking* control over fucking computers and you left because you'd be damned if you were staying another minute. You came home early and mixed a drink and wondered if you were drinking more than you used to and tried to think about caring, but mostly, you just wanted to go to sleep.

You heard them before you saw them, because Lindz is fucking vocal and you kind of used to like that, and then you went in the bedroom.

They never saw you at all.

And you're kind of glad about that, because you think you were supposed to be pissed, or supposed to be yelling, and you think if you'd thought about it first, if it hadn't been such a shock, you might have done just that, but that wasn't what happened first. You didn't do what Jack would have done, but you've worked your entire life to do nothing that Jack would do, and you probably didn't act like Lindz would have, because you're not a fucking twat, but you think that maybe, just maybe, your first instinct wasn't what you expected, though you should have. You really, really should have.

You thought, thank God.

Then you left and came here, because for some reason, and right now, you just can't imagine why, you thought this part of your life was over.

"Brian, this--you can't do this. No matter what happened with--with Lindz. You've--you've got a life, a--a career. You have a kid coming, for Christ's sake." It's somewhat ironic that it's Michael saying this, and you're sure the humor should work for you more, but right now, there's a tall brunet ten feet away and you think you just might want him.

You're not sure how you end up outside, beside the Jeep that Lindz hates, but Michael's still making mumbling sounds of don't and can't and shouldn't, which make absolutely no sense, but you're very hard and very high and that guy gave lousy head. Even Lindz could do better than that, and that's not saying much.

Somewhere, Mikey's moronic friends are trailing behind, trying to pretend they aren't watching, and you really wish they'd go away and do whatever it is gay losers in Pittsburgh do these days.

That's when you see him, too pretty and too young, standing on a street corner like an invitation to molestation, and you think maybe, just maybe, that you really need a change.

*****

you'll stay around:

You kind of think it's worth it.

You drew his wife today, sitting on their carpet with your sketchpad on your knees, her and their son, who doesn't look much like a Gus at all. She's pretty and she's smart, and she gives you weird looks, like maybe she knows more than she tells, but you really doubt she knows much at all.

You bet she doesn't know that an hour ago, he was fucking you in her bed, and you dug your fingers so deeply into the sheets that you tore them. She doesn't know that you walked barefoot through her bathroom and took a shower, and he fucked you there, too, and you were sore and exhausted and happier than you've ever been. You're vocal and you know he likes that, like he likes your mouth wrapped around his cock in the kitchen, like he likes you on your knees, bent over the back of the couch, right before she got home and looked at you sitting on her floor and you asked if you could draw her.

"You do amazing work," she says when you give her the drawing, and you smile at her and think of the other ones, the ones you drew of Brian, long and lean and so perfect it hurts you to look too long. They're four pages back, and you tap your fingers on your pad and wonder what she'd think if you told her. "Brian will love this."

You like how Brian winces when he comes in and watches, and you like even better the way his eyes fix on your mouth when you talk, so you talk a lot. You tell her you're an artist, like she is, and you tell her that your mom sent you with a gift since she missed the baby shower, and it's not even a lie. She likes the blankets, and when she's folding them up, you look at Brian and smile.

He always says not again, but you really think he's lying.

"How'd you get over here?" she asks, like she cares, and you almost feel bad, but you can still feel Brian inside you, and sitting still hurts, but that's worth it, too.

"I walked," you say, flipping through the pictures. Brian looks good when he sleeps but better when he fucks. You drew those from memory, from the dresser mirror when he leaned over your shoulder and bit into your throat and whispered your name into your skin. "It's a nice day." You're just a pretty teenage boy with too much time on your hands, and that's all you want her to see. You can taste her husband in your mouth, coating the tip of your tongue, feel him under your hands, smell him on your skin.

"It's too late for a boy your age," she says, like you're three and don't know the neighborhood better than she does.

Brian sits on the arm of the chair nearby, and you like the way he stops, eyes on your sketchpad, and you turn to smile at him. "Hey, Mr. Kinney."

He winces, something that ripples under his skin, but his eyes are on your mouth again, like he's remembering how it feels, and you're remembering, too.

"Brian, can you drive--Justin, right?--home? It's too dark to walk."

"Lindz--"

"You said you were going to Michael's anyway. You can drop him off before that, can't you?" Her voice is tight and low, and you think this is an old argument, though about what, you don't know.

He closes his eyes, and you see your future written in the clench of long fingers. "Yeah. Get in the car. I'll be out in a minute."

"Sure. Thanks, Mrs. Kinney."

"Lindsay." She kisses your cheek when you lean over, and you wonder if you can smell Brian all over you, and you think you want her to. "Come by anytime. I love to talk to a fellow artist."

She sounds like she means it, this polished woman in pale pink in this pretty suburban home, and you blink hard and think of Brian, who fucks you like he's starving and can't quite make himself tell you no.

You'll get in the car and Brian will try to get you home, but he'll never make it to Michael's that night. You'll stretch out in the backseat and slide off your jeans, feel him kiss you like you're the only thing he's ever wanted. You'll fuck on the skin-warmed leather, your heels pressed to the ceiling, and you'll breathe his name and think.

It's worth it.


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(Deleted comment)
I like the Michael bit best I think, and I'm not sure why.

Thanks!

I loved the three different POVs. You captured Michael's helplessness so well. I liked the fact that although it starts off wildly divergent from canon, it still comes back to that moment of Brian walking out of Babylon and seeing Justin (and once he meets Justin, he is so fucked)

Personal Jenn CHallenge

TEll me what happens next. Please? Help this become a story wiht llots of gratuituos sex

You *Know* you wan too....

Wish I could help, but I always end up with more plot in my porn :/ But maaaaaaan oh man, sogood. Sogood. Brian selling his soul and starving inside for it, Debbie yelling and haunting him, Michael, Michael, Michael... best friends *sniffle*

Justin has so much power in this, it's scary. In the good way.

*snickers*

Thanks, chica. And I do like the Michael bit the best--I really need to try more Mikey friendship fics.

Justin has so much power in this, it's scary. In the good way.

And *knows* it, too. Just imagine the dinner parties in the future.

*hugs* Glad you liked

God, yes. "How many courses until Brian sucks me off in the bathroom this time?" Which, of course, makes me wonder... how far will Justin go, wielding that power? How far can he push this Brian, and what would make him back off? Where's the line between "fuck this is hot" and "fuck, I'm hurting him"?

*ponders*

Where's the line between "fuck this is hot" and "fuck, I'm hurting him"?

Oooh. *Ooooh*.

*ponders*

*dies giggling* Ben! My hero!

He'll save every one of us.

beatperfume made it for me. Isn't it beautiful?

Lovely! And so very appropriate ;)

I actually don't hate this, though I'd like it a lot better were it not in second person. I don't quite follow the dynamic in the last section... ? But I like poor Brian all determined at the wedding and him walking in on Lindsay and Mel. :)

*looks at you* But....you were going to hate it! I knew you would!

Hmmm.

I don't quite follow the dynamic in the last section... ?

How so? The third came off weird to me, too, but I thought it was because I was anticipating a Lindz pov that I couldn't fit in, so it felt off from what I imagined.

*curious*

I couldn't understand what Lindsay was doing? It sort of felt like she was totally onto Brian, but then I couldn't understand why she was sending him off to take the kid home, unless she was just being sort of perverse, and if she was doing that, I still didn't totally follow why. Maybe I was just reading it wrong. :/

(I kind of want it to be even more wrong, where somehow she's friends with Jennifer, who is all excited about the help she gives Justin with his artwork, and Brian fucks Justin upstairs with Lindsay and Justin's mother downstairs, and Brian is just *dying* of guilt and whatever here, and Justin is all like, "Wow!" and Lindsay is all vicious. Maybe that's where you were going anyway and I was just sort of missing it.)

I couldn't understand what Lindsay was doing? It sort of felt like she was totally onto Brian, but then I couldn't understand why she was sending him off to take the kid home, unless she was just being sort of perverse, and if she was doing that, I still didn't totally follow why. Maybe I was just reading it wrong. :/

I originally wrote it that she doesn't know, but knows something is off with Brian in a big way, but kind of can't quite finger why, since she's kind of involved in her own thing right now with Mel.

Hmm. Maybe I should rewrite and clarify that.

(I kind of want it to be even more wrong, where somehow she's friends with Jennifer, who is all excited about the help she gives Justin with his artwork, and Brian fucks Justin upstairs with Lindsay and Justin's mother downstairs, and Brian is just *dying* of guilt and whatever here, and Justin is all like, "Wow!" and Lindsay is all vicious. Maybe that's where you were going anyway and I was just sort of missing it.)

Well, no, I wasn't going there, but I kind of want to now. Lindsay's going to find out, and she's going to be angry, and I can totally see her setting up Brian like that.

You're like the perversity imp or something.

You're like the perversity imp or something.

*smiles innocently*

(Deleted comment)
*Grins* It's kind of different from what we were talking about, and I really, really wanted to do a Lindz pov, except there was nothing really for her to do but either find out about Justin and Brian or do Mel, and those were already done.

And it's sort of nice she doesn't know. I wonder how long Brian and Justin can keep this hidden.

*bounce* So glad you liked it. *hugs hard*

Hi! Really liked this story. Intense, uneasy AU.

Your postcard is in the mail! Tackiest I could find on short notice. *g*

-Silverkyst

Aww, thanks.

And WHOO HOO! POSTCARD!

You made me like second person POV. I have sworn hatred for that tense, but you made me go and like it with this fic. *shakes fist at you* :D

I say it's a testiment to your skills as a writer, so yes. Thanks so much for sharing, and I loved the Michael one--it's my favorite. I think you really captured the sadness of the moment, both in Brian and in Michael. If someone gave me this premise just out of the blue, I would go, "Pshaw, that's wack!" But you really made it work because of the wonderful, spot-on characterization, so kudos!

You made me like second person POV. I have sworn hatred for that tense, but you made me go and like it with this fic. *shakes fist at you*

*shakes fist at second-person pov* I tried *so hard* to do any other pov, but this one is addictive. *looks at it suspiciously* Crackish, even.

I say it's a testiment to your skills as a writer, so yes. Thanks so much for sharing, and I loved the Michael one--it's my favorite. I think you really captured the sadness of the moment, both in Brian and in Michael. If someone gave me this premise just out of the blue, I would go, "Pshaw, that's wack!" But you really made it work because of the wonderful, spot-on characterization, so kudos!

*glows* Thanks!

There's just something fundamentally *wrong* with the idea that I couldn't leave it alone. I'm glad it worked though--I wasn't sure it would outside my own head.

Thanks so much for the feedback!

incidentally, i [heart] second person POV something fierce. this was really gorgeous, and i loved the slow way that it unwound, the way that nobody was really ready to know anything that they didn't want to know. and this broke me just a little bit: and you're glad that it means she doesn't want to fuck as much, because you're tired of pretending to like it. oh, brian. still can't pull any punches.

wrong fandom on the icon, but there aren't too many places where this one is appropriate, so i kind of couldn't help myself.

*g* I like that icon. Lance?

incidentally, i [heart] second person POV something fierce. this was really gorgeous, and i loved the slow way that it unwound, the way that nobody was really ready to know anything that they didn't want to know.

Heh. I'ts funny, you and Josselin, and I'll explain why. When I wrote it, I had meant to have a Lindz pov with Mel and finding out about B/J, but I couldn't figure out why I needed it, since the facts were already established by these three points of view, so she could'nt actually add anything. But Josselin thought Lindz *did* know, which is now making me wonder if she did.

*read* Okay, I hope that made sense.

*hugs* Thanks for the gorgeous feedback. I'm absolutely *thrilled* that the point of view thing wasn't annoying.

I actually don't hate or love second person POV. Most people I know hate it though and refuse to write in it, so seeing this fic, and seeing how great it came out i'm wondering why people could hate it.

I really like this storyline. It's like unconsciously addictive, you don't think you'll like it, especially if the thought of Lindsay and Brian makes you a little ill, which it does for me. I still can't get through the second QAF novel, pathetic I know.

So does this mean you're going to continue? Cause that would be awesome!

It's like unconsciously addictive, you don't think you'll like it, especially if the thought of Lindsay and Brian makes you a little ill, which it does for me. I still can't get through the second QAF novel, pathetic I know.

Oh no. I get hives thinking of it. I love Lindz, but--just no. It feels wrong. Oh so wrong.

So does this mean you're going to continue? Cause that would be awesome!

*laughs* I have no idea. I sort of like how it is, though I wish I'd gotten around to doing a Lindz and Deb pov.

Thanks for the feedback! *hugs* I appreciate it.

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