One hundred thousand dollars, what the hell was he thinking?
Who in his right mind takes on city hall single handedly? Look up in the sky!
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's "Rage", defender of gayopolis, and queers
everywhere. Armed with his mighty credit cards he defeats the evil villain
Stockwell, who goes back to his normal life, while our hero goes down the
toilet. What's wrong with this picture? Perhaps he had taken the "Rage" persona
a little too personally. Brian Kinney's no super hero. He's just an advertising
executive, correction an ex-advertising, soon to be on food stamps executive.
Brian passed his personal check through the finance office window of Pittsburgh's Institute of Fine Arts. The new semester was about to begin, and it had come down to the choice of paying the mortgage, or paying Justin's tuition. A deal was a deal, and a promise to Justin outweighed Brian's promise to the bank that held the deed to his loft. Besides what difference would it make if he became homeless today, or tomorrow? The end was eminent. Brian stepped out onto the steps of the institute's great hall and looked at the students scurrying back, and forth to class. Justin was somewhere among them. Oh to be nineteen again with his future ahead of him, instead of thirty-one with no foreseeable future at all. Who the hell would hire an add man who backstabs his own client? To aggravate a bad situation even further Brian reached into his jacket pocket for his car keys. "Shit!" He swore to himself when he quickly remembered that his car was now gone too. In one last grandiose show of stupidity he had given it to Michael to run across state lines with a minor. Brian raised his hand, and massaged the area over his eyes. "Jesus Christ, Brian Kinney could you be any dumber?" he chastised himself out loud.
"Brian Kinney, are you Brian Kinney?"
Brian turned to the voice, with the unrecognizable face. "Do I know you?" he asked.
The stranger extended his hand. "No, you don't know me. I saw you on the news. I think it's wonderful what you did for your community. We need more dedicated citizens like you."
Brian shook the young man's hand, and walked over to the bus stop. He reached into his front trouser pocket, and pulled out enough change for the morning newspaper. Brian immediately turned to the employment section. Just as suspected there weren't any listings for superheroes, stud-muffins, or top level advertising executives.
"Brian Kinney, how are you sir?"
Again Brian looked into the face of a stranger who was extending his hand. "Who are you?" Brian asked.
"I was reading about you in the paper this morning." The young man said.
"The one you're holding." The young man pointed.
Brian turned his paper over to the front page. There in the lower left hand corner was a picture of him standing next to Stockwell. The boldface caption underneath read: Hero.
The bus pulled up before Brian could turn to the article. He was about to put his fare into the box when the bus driver covered the slot with his hand. "This ride's on me." The driver smiled. "That's the least I can do for someone who had the balls to stick it to one of those lying politicians."
Brian looked at the driver. He was about to speak when a hail of cheers, and applauses began to echo throughout the crowded bus. A young black man stood up, and offered Brian his seat. "Sit down here brother." he said. "You're one bad motherfucker."
Brian didn't get a chance to read the article during his ride. Instead he was bombarded with stories from common people who had been in some way, or another victimized by the system. There was a woman who had been unjustly arrested in front of her child, a young gay man who had lost his lover to a bashing, a black teen who was thrown onto a squad car, and searched for being in the wrong neighborhood, and an unemployed Gulf War veteran who was having trouble receiving medical benefits. It seemed as if everyone had a story to tell about an injustice that had touched their lives, and a paid, elected official who had let them down.
The bus ride ended with Brian waving, and thanking his adoring admirers. His feet had barely hit the curb when an army of reporters swarmed him. The questions were coming so fast, that Brian couldn't make them out. What was clear however was that Brian Kinney, the private citizen who alone had brazenly taken it upon himself to fight political corruption was now a local hero. Brian fought through the microphones, and the flashing cameras to a familiar face inside his building's vestibule. Justin wrapped his arms around his lover's neck, and pulled him in for a kiss. "Welcome home partner." The young man smiled.
"What the fuck is all this?" Brian asked in bewilderment.
"You're a hero." Justin said.
"Hero?" Brian looked back at the reporters who continued to call out questions from his building stoop. The couple got into the elevator, and rode it to their floor. "What are you doing home, and how are you involved in this?" Brian asked.
"I thought the newspapers would be interested in a great human interest story, so I telephoned them." Justin grinned as they walked toward the loft door entrance.
Brian shook his head. "Thank you baby." He tried to smiled. "Now all of Pittsburgh will know that I got canned for sticking it to my client."
"For sticking it to a corrupt politician." Justin corrected him. "You're famous Brian. Do you have any idea how many people would like to have the balls to do what you did?"
Brian slumped down onto the only piece of furniture left in the loft. He covered his eyes with his arm, then swooned back onto the bed. "I'm one hundred thousand dollars in debt baby. Oh God." he sighed. Justin climbed on top of him, and laid flat against his worried lover's body. "Not now baby, daddy's not in the mood." Brian groaned.
"You won't be in debt for long." Justin smiled.
"What else did you do, rob a bank?" Brian whined.
"No. I booked you on "Good Morning Pittsburgh" tomorrow morning....."
"What?" Brian peeked out from under the elbow arched across his eyes.
"And the evening news." Justin continued.
"Sixty Minutes" even called. They want to include you in an exposť on ordinary people turned hero..."
"Sixty Minutes?" Brian's eyes widened.
"There's even talk about a movie." Justin said as a matter of fact. "I told you, you're a hero Brian. Everybody loves a hero."
"What about you?" Brian asked.
"Especially me." Justin smiled, and gave his lover a kiss. "Now about my twenty percent...."
"What twenty percent?"
"As your agent I get twenty percent off the top." Justin informed him.
Brian starred into his scheming baby's eyes. "You're serious aren't you?" he asked.
"As serious as a heart attack." Justin said with no uncertainties.
Brian smiled, and kissed his lover's throat. "Twenty percent huh?" he purred.
"Off the top." Justin held firmly to his offer.
"Are you sure you want it off the top?" Brian snaked his arms around his baby's waist, and rolled his hips suggestively.
"Oh I'm sure." Justin mimicked Brian's movement with a slow grind of his own.
"Alright." Brian smiled, and rolled over onto his belly.
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