|for zeldachilds - fic - Jim Stockwell is not a Fudgepacker [Justin/Stockwell]
||[Mar. 31st, 2005|04:46 am]
Jim Stockwell is not a Fudgepacker|
Pairing: Justin/Stockwell, Brian/Justin
Summary: Once upon a time there lived in Gayopolis a boy named JT. Takes place between 314 and 401.
Well, fuck, Justin thinks blankly when Jim Stockwell unzips himself next to him in a bathroom. Stockwell looks like he's thinking the same thing.
"I just needed some coffee, I didn't want to come into this queer joint - " Stockwell says, surprised.
"This is a Starbucks."
"Ah," Stockwell says, and then, after a moment, "Hail to the Chief."
"Yes." Justin pictures Stockwell-as-Hitler in his mind. It isn't difficult.
A pause. "Those posters - do you really think I look like that?"
"And what would the point be of drawing things exactly as they are?"
This is the beginning of something bad, Justin knows. He and Stockwell will relieve their bladders, wash their hands like gentlemen, and sit down to talk with coffee smoking between them. They will have to talk, about why Stockwell thinks of himself as a good father, and about Brian. There is so much to talk about. They might never leave. But for now, here in the bathroom, still in the bathroom, when Justin sees Stockwell's head turning, he turns his too. Sizing up each others' dicks slowly and in great detail.
A man's cock is never completely his own after puberty and his first times - first gropes, first touch, first halting swallowing heat of a blowjob. They don't surprise him anymore. (It is difficult, not caring about the men they are attached to.) But Stockwell matters, so it is with purpose that he looks to his right and down a bit. What he sees will remain between him and the slyly tiled wall.
Justin knows by now that he was - is - brave; he has had to be. But he cannot be brave enough to talk to straight men in bathrooms about why they lost an election, he cannot ever explain the fascination he has with Stockwell as the man who almost made Brian sell his soul for a New York office. It irks him, not being able to explain what it means to be a gay man. He can't tell Stockwell about sex, about the pure undisturbed routine of Brian's skin against his, the fine strong relationship between a gay man and his dick. About love, he can tell him nothing at all. He has no ring on his finger, after all, no permanent living arrangement. He cannot explain how it is to love Brian to a person who does not already understand the frightening animal of Justin-and-Brian, Brian-and-Justin. Without rings or children, he likes to think they have a romance Mies van der Rohe would be proud of.
Topics discussed: Chris Hobbs, Rage, queer fairytales.
The next night, Justin shows him Rage. But it is so difficult to do it without telling him the story of Chris Hobb, the lost dance, and how broken up Brian was about it, so he tells him everything. He has to, because Rage the Gay Comic is so true. Justin is only a little horrified at how he's become a bit of an archetype, and how Brian really does mount bliss-faced seductees, grunting in their ears, and making them go all liquid because it's just that good. And Stockwell, Juicepig, another fantasy, no less powerful, of the dependably incomed and absolutely loving family man, who in his spare time takes aim at the fags of the town. He is a version of Brian's father, of his own father, who is less personally despicable and more publicly horrible. Justin can understand that Stockwell has the certain thin sorrow of a man who does believe the world is going to hell in a fag's carefully crafted handbasket, who really cares about him and his own.
But there is a problem with people like him and Brian, who tend to define people by their acquaintance. Justin can never be the twink who met him beneath a streetlight in the dead white hours, staring into his face across the upshine, ever again. Like Brian has spoiled him for conventional romance, Stockwell has ruined him for loving cops, cop fetishes, cop costumes, and agitprop art without crude graphics. He used to think that he wanted to be good, but he really wanted to be brilliant, not to be one of those artists to fall short of the attention span of history. He wants to be amazing, and he wants Stockwell to love Rage.
"This is good shit," Stockwell says, smiling for the first time, his hand on the last page of the first issue.
Justin leans back in his seat. "More sugar," he says, happy and trying not to show it; smiling while Stockwell fixes him with a superior look.
"You," says Stockwell. "An aneurysm waiting to happen." But he adds more, anyway. When he pulls away, he leaves his hand on Justin's knee.
Justin doesn't understand anything.
On the third night, Stockwell tells Justin that his wife announced she's leaving him. He offers to drive Justin home.
"I don't get into cars with strange men. I know that's the cliché, but I don't."
He does anyway, and suddenly he's in there with this large unsure cat of a man who has all of the feline desires and none of the restraint. Stockwell must be drunk, because he looks at Justin with something approaching regard. Justin thinks he knows for the first time what it must be like to be a girl slightly trapped in a car with a man, to feel him close and smell him and not feel desire but fear.
When Stockwell touches the back of Justin's neck with the very tips of his fingers, Justin shudders. He does not know if he is afraid of Stockwell, or of being a headrest away from a kiss in the minivan where Stockwell's kids are growing up with soccer practice and drives to friends' houses. (Tom, aged 11, and David, 9.)
He is dropped off at the corner of the street, because Justin knows Brian is still prone to anxiety about the dangerous people Justin might be off fucking at night, and so has taken to smoking in front of the window.
Getting out of the car as quickly as he can, it is a not a walk back to the loft, it's a shameful march. He feels like he should do something special for Brian to make up for sitting in a minivan with Rage's archnemesis Juicepig and being touched on the neck. It is as close as he's been to cheating since Ethan. Maybe he should tell him something important, but it won't phrase itself. "I love you" is easy enough, but not always welcome. "I love you" isn't saved for anniversaries or birthdays or floor picnics, it's something they do, in bed and making coffee and within hearing distance of people who believe women should walk head down and humble behind their husbands. That's what it's like, isn't it, loving Brian.
(Justin has thought about this, you see.)
(Only Brian could make him bullshit like this.)
But Brian is already asleep under the blue lights, so Justin lies down beside him, and, streetlights winking, plans things to fill the space hollowed out by Brian's unemployment tomorrow morning. All around the loft, from the bed to the space that obviously used to house a TV and now does not, to the island in the kitchen, they'll dick around and take advantage of every quirk in space and time to touch each other. He will be lying here, just here, when Brian's hand, smudged in the grey, faltering light, will creep toward Justin, his brown fingers sleepwalking nearer and nearer until it catches Justin's hair, well-loved, and nudges him into a kiss.
And when it's five at night, when he'll be all soaked in sweat again and bewildered by how lucky he is, they will go to Deb's and eat, for the first time, for both the pleasure of her company and because, they both know, sandwiches are only two dollars and you can't buy a meal with integrity. Maybe he'll see Stockwell later.
They meet again in the bathroom, and Justin's skin gets suddenly sensitive, like it does right after you get out of a bath. Stockwell is not Brian. He isn't nearly as good-looking. But Justin knows from the earlier glimpses and that goddamn commercial that Stockwell's stomach is still flat, and his legs are still solid and satisfying to look at.
They glance at each other. They piss and then they stop pissing. They wash their hands like gentlemen.
Then Stockwell (he's Stockwell still, Stockwell and not Jim) raises his large shovel of a hand and covers the side of Justin's face. Is it more real for him this way. Is it easier or harder to touch a queer when you can feel their pulse beneath your own rough skin in a reminder that they are also human. They both shake a little. Stockwell rubs his dry lips against his, slowly but so hungrily it's like he's trying to relieve something. Justin takes Stockwell's face in his open hands and Stockwell's lips in his open mouth. They sigh quietly. It is so dark here, with all the feeling driven through the roof of his mouth, and also his tongue, and also the spots on his back where Stockwell-who-is-not-Jim holds him like he knows him.
And then Stockwell jumps back and leans against the opposite wall, looking like the large ghost of somebody Justin has just killed, or a man grown old in the process of recovering from a head injury. Justin feels just as vulnerable, sweatshirted but naked.
"I'm a good man," Stockwell says nervously.
There's a terrible heat coming from Justin's groin, as if the shame in his face has forked off between his chest (beating like a motherfucker) and stomach (twisting nervously).
And Stockwell is a homophobic prick, but there's something about him Justin admires intensely. He knows Stockwell is not the kind of man to kiss illicitly in bathroom stalls, and Justin wonders how long it will take him to hate it, fight it, gobble Justin down, and how much it would hurt. Would he bring a group of his cronies who would share one bat, would he hold Justin close against the stink of him before pulling a trigger, would he legislate him slowly to death? It's dangerous, so dangerous, being in a bathroom with this man wearing kiss-swollen lips and guilt in his face. They're going to indict you, and we'll be just fine, Justin thinks, wiping his mouth. He will be just fine, because of who he knows and loves, whose child he is: he inherits his nose from his father, his art from his mother, and control from Brian. He has control.
"I'm Jim Stockwell, police chief and coach of my son's basketball team," Justin says quietly.
Stockwell tries to back up even further onto the far wall.
And, and Justin says, "They're calling me a Nazi! A Nazi! And it's because of those goddamn posters."
Finally, "I remember that boy. His murder was tragic. Someone so young."
All the while Justin leans back on the cheap door to the entrance, which trembles equally as he is trembling. He steps to the side when Stockwell rushes out.
Justin watches him, loves the sound of the door shutting, and thinks to himself that he is saying goodbye to a certain kind of pain. He leaves with something like satisfaction. There is an empty loft, after all, and a bed with Brian in it.
Months later, after pink shirts and the night during which he went to the construction site and Came Back, Justin will think of Stockwell as the cause and the solution.
Once upon a time there lived in Gayopolis a boy named JT. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned all that for the love of a beautiful brown-haired gay crusader; he beat up some straight people, but decided that was just a phase, and continued to sail beside Rage through clouds fluffier than the towels on men in the baths. He loved. And never forgot Juicepig.