Let's Get Political - Again
X 2 X
Debbie arrived at the diner thirty minutes before her shift was due to begin. The Concerned Citizens for the Truth were having a strategy session. As soon as she entered the establishment she saw Brian and Justin in a booth, looking over papers.
Debbie joined them, sliding in next to Justin. Both men greeted her and she looked at the papers splayed out on the table; she was ready to get down to business.
"So?" Debbie asked, looking at Brian.
"I'm meeting with the video guy this afternoon. He has a rough cut of the ad ready, but we're running into a problem."
"What?" Justin asked.
"We need more same-sex couples."
"That shouldn't be hard," Debbie said.
"Well," Brian began almost sheepishly, "That's not exactly my scene, so " he trailed off.
Debbie was about to say something sarcastic, but she bit her tongue. "Okay, well that shouldn't be too much trouble. I know more than a few; I'm sure we can find some."
"One of my professors at PIFA is gay; he's been with his partner for a long time," Justin offered.
"I suppose there is Ben and Mikey too, but " Brian trailed off.
"What?" Justin asked.
"They haven't been together long enough," Debbie said. "We need couples who've been with each other for a long time. We need to show those bigoted assholes that two men or two women are just as capable at long term relationships."
Brian nodded in relief; glad that Debbie understood and didn't take it personally that he didn't want Ben and Michael to appear in the ad.
As if by cue, Michael entered the diner and seeing his family already seated, he headed towards the booth and sat next to Brian, "Hey ma, guys." Looking at his mother, "Coffee please, ma."
"I'm not on duty, get it yourself," Debbie huffed.
Justin suppressed a giggle at Michael's indignant expression.
"Then what's going on?" Michael asked.
Deciding that the man would eventually find out anyway, Brian took a few minutes to explain what was going on and what they were searching for.
"You know," Michael said, leaning forward slightly. "When I was dating David, we had brunch with a couple who'd been together for almost fifty years."
"Fifty years?" Brian and Justin both asked simultaneously.
"Yeah," Michael responded. "I've stayed in touch with them, Ben and I have had dinner with them a few times. Maybe you want to talk to them?"
Brian agreed, "Fifty years is a long time." He stole a glance at Justin, a look that didn't go unnoticed by Debbie. "That's exactly the kind of couple we need for this ad."
Brian pulled out his cell phone, flipped through the phonebook until he found what he was looking for. Brian wrote the number down. He'd call them a little later; it was still too early.
Satisfied with the morning's meeting, conversation turned to personal matters for a few minutes before Debbie began her shift, Michael left to go to the store and Brian and Justin walked out of the diner together. Brian's mind was still spinning on the notion of spending fifty years with someone. Justin remained quiet; he knew that Brian was in deep thought over something, but he wasn't sure what. Silently they climbed into the car, and Brian dropped Justin off at Daphne's before heading to work himself.
Once at the office, Brian dialed the number Mikey had given him; he told the man on the other end who he was, his relationship to Michael and why he was calling. The two chatted for several minutes before setting up a lunch date; Brian was invited over to their house. If he were completely honest with himself, he was more curious about how two old fags that had been together for half a century lived, than anything else.
The next day Brian arrived at William and Henry's home. He had debated bringing Justin with him, but in a sense this was business. And if he was truthful, he wasn't at all sure he was ready to deal with the conclusions Justin might draw if Brian invited him along.
Brian was surprised as he entered the house. It was a house like any other, not flaming like he had suspected it might with two old queens living there. The men were comfortable. That seemed the right word to describe it. After fifty years the house was comfortable, as were the men with each other, and as they made Brian feel too.
Lunch was pleasant, salads, which suited Brian perfectly. They chatted a bit about the background of the two men who filled in some of the details of their lives together, things that Michael had forgotten or had never been told. When they sat with some fresh fruit and coffee at the end of the meal, things got a little more personal.
"So, Brian, you think we'd be a good advertisement for same-sex marriage, do you?" Henry asked.
"Fifty years is pretty fucking good by anyone's estimation," Brian replied.
"Yeah, I suppose," William said with a sigh. "But you know that we're not married."
"I know that it's not legal for you to get married in Pennsylvania, and that's what we're trying to change," Brian replied.
"Who's 'we'?" Henry wanted to know.
"I belong to a group called the Concerned Citizens for the Truth. We are trying to show, through this commercial, the hypocrisy of the existing government in trying to legislate the so-called sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, when even its most high profile advocates have had multiple marriages. It's a fucking joke! And you guys are proof that commitment doesn't come just in the form of a man and woman."
"That was quite a speech young man," William smiled.
"I'm in advertising," Brian said sucking in his bottom lip. "Have to know how to express myself," he added.
"Well, I think we would be happy to do the ad for you," Henry said looking at his partner who nodded his approval.
"Thanks, guys. Here's the schedule and when we need you for filming. It's tomorrow if that's all right." Brian handed them a sheet of paper.
"We'll be there," William said folding the sheet of paper and setting it on the table next to him. "We're retired, so we have plenty of time to do something like this. May I ask you something, Brian?" he added.
"Do you have a partner?"
"He must be a lucky man. You should have brought him with you."
"I don't know about the lucky part," Brian said shaking his head. "I'm the lucky one."
William and Henry smiled at each other. "That's what we always say," Henry smiled. "Sounds like you two have a good relationship."
"I I should be going," Brian said standing up. This was getting a little too personal and sentimental for him.
"Well, it was lovely meeting you. We'll be at the studio tomorrow with bells on," William said shaking Brian's hand.
"You must come visit us again soon," Henry said, "and bring your partner with you."
"Sure," Brian said beating a hasty retreat. Somehow this had scared him, seeing these men happy and together after fifty years. It opened possibilities of things he wasn't sure he knew how to deal with. He quickly got in the Corvette and drove away.
Heading towards downtown, Brian glanced at the car's clock and mentally calculated how much time he had before he had to go to the video production company's office. There was just enough time to grab latte. He navigated the streets of downtown Pittsburgh, parking a block away from the building in which his meeting was scheduled. There was a small café not too far away that he'd eaten at once before; he headed in that direction.
All his life he thought that marriage was a sham. It was for straight people not queers. Then Justin came along and Brian could actually begin to understand the attraction that made people declare their love to one another publicly and create a life together. He understood it, but was still terrified of it.
He knew Justin loved him; and Brian realized he'd known this for a long time, but lately it seemed easier and more natural when he thought of it, or when he heard it or when Justin himself would say the three magical words to him.
His Brian-Stud-of-Liberty-Avenue-Kinney persona often wanted to shoot off a sarcastic phrase or two when Justin would say the words, but lately Brian had begun to accept them, even look forward to hearing them.
Brian found the café and was quickly seated; he ordered his coffee and patiently waited. He looked out at the traffic going by, at the busy sidewalk and the people bustling around. He wondered how many of those people had significant others. How many of them truly felt loved and gave their love in return. He also couldn't help but wonder how many of them were lonely. How many were hoping for someone to love and to love them but had so far never been in that position. Brian also couldn't help but wonder how many would never find someone. But he had. That was no longer a question in his mind.
He had Justin. He loved Justin; there was no arguing or denying it. It was the truth. Maybe he hadn't admitted it aloud, but he loved the man.
Brian's latte arrived; he slowly sipped it while continuing to watch people stream by. Henry and William had seemed so calm and at peace with one another. They loved each other; Brian saw it every time they glanced at one another, even after fifty years.
Fifty years was a long time. Brian couldn't help but wonder if he'd even be alive in fifty years. Or Justin for that matter, Brian wondered as his thoughts were drawn back to the prom. Maybe that was the secret, he thought to himself. Maybe the length of time didn't matter; rather it was what you did in that time and who you did it with. After all, look at Ben and Michael, they both knew they wouldn't have fifty years together, but it didn't stop them from committing to one another.
Brian finished his coffee. He knew he had to have a talk with Justin about this. At the very least he owed it to Justin, and also to himself.
Brian dropped some money on the table and left. He took his time in walking the short distance to his meeting.
An hour later, finished with the meeting and feeling very excited after seeing the initial version of the commercial, he called Justin's cell.
"Yeah?" Justin answered.
"Hey," Justin said; the smile evident even through the phone.
"Any plans for tonight?"
"I was wondering if you wanted to have dinner?" Brian asked.
"Of course. I'm just finishing some stuff up at school now."
"Meet me at the Tower Grille over on 6th, at 7?"
"I'll be there." Justin said as he disconnected his phone.
"Me too," Brian said with a smile as he closed his own phone.
A few hours later Brian had finished all he could do for the commercial until they filmed the next day. He had work to do at Kinnetik and had spent a couple of hours there. He used his washroom at Kinnetik to shower and change into a fresh suit that he kept there for just such purposes.
He arrived at the Tower Grille just before seven. The maitre d' had just seated him when he saw Justin appear in the doorway. He stood up so Justin could see him, and his partner made his way over. He had changed into dress pants and a blue silk sweater that Brian had given him at Christmas.
"You look good enough to eat," Brian whispered as Justin sat down.
"Later, big guy," Justin grinned at him.
Brian felt his cock jump at all those words implied. "Definitely later," Brian groaned. "Want a drink or some wine?"
"Wine would be good," Justin said picking up the menu.
The waiter appeared on cue and Brian ordered a bottle of red. They sipped the wine as they decided what they wanted to eat. When the waiter returned, they placed their orders and sat back to savor the wine.
"How do you like your date so far?" Brian asked with a smirk.
Justin smiled one of his best smiles. "I'm glad to see that you remembered your promise from Boston."
"That doesn't answer my question."
"I like it fine, but this is such a hetero place. How did you decide to come here?"
"I've come here for a lot of business dinners. They have great steaks."
Justin looked around. He could see that the couple at the next table were flirting with each other. She was rubbing her shoe up and down the guy's leg. Justin looked away.
"What's wrong?" Brian asked seeing the look on Justin's face.
"I was just wondering what people would do if I started flirting with you like that."
"They wouldn't do anything, because you would be more subtle."
"Would I?" Justin asked the challenge clear in his voice.
"I would fucking hope so. I have to bring clients here." Brian felt Justin's shoe move up his pant leg rubbing in a very suggestive way. He felt his cock grow hard as the foot slid between his thighs. "Justin," Brian said sternly.
"I want you," Justin mouthed as his foot made contact with Brian's balls. Brian's legs had opened involuntarily as Justin continued his climb up the inside of the man's thigh.
"Justin," Brian warned again, but it was more a growl of need than one that actually demanded that Justin stop.
"I'm just doing what they're doing," Justin said innocently indicating the couple. Her foot was now almost as far up the guy's leg as Justin's was. "It's all the same, isn't it?"
"What?" Brian gasped as Justin's foot made contact with his dick.
"Sex, it's all the same. You insert piece A into slot B," he said and increased the pressure of his foot against Brian's cock. He rubbed up and down a couple of times.
"Justin," Brian groaned.
"Want to get out of here?" Justin asked.
"Then let's go," Justin said standing up.
Brian stood, holding his hand in front of his erection as he fished for money to leave on the table. He didn't have enough cash. They'd have to wait for a credit card or
"Add the dinner and wine to Kinnetik's tab," Brian said as they made their way past the maitre d'.
"Certainly, Mr. Kinney," the man replied with a smirk. "Was there a problem? I hope everything was to your satisfaction, sir."
"Yes," Brian mumbled. "Everything was definitely to my satisfaction, but I have to get back to Kinnetik. I have a piece to insert in a slot."
The maitre d' looked at Brian like he was crazy and Justin's giggles only reinforced that impression as he was dragged out of the restaurant.
"Where's the car?" Justin asked as they emerged from the building.
"I left it at Kinnetik two blocks over," Brian stated.
"Shit!" Justin responded.
"You started this, Sunshine. Get that ass of yours moving. My piece needs its slot right now."
Brian marched them the two blocks to Kinnetik, unlocked the door, dragged Justin into his office and began ripping their clothes off. In moments Brian had his dick firmly planted in Justin's slot and he rode him hard.
Afterwards they lay wrapped around each other on the sofa.
"You are a very bad boy," Brian said. "I'm hungry. I had to pay for food we didn't eat, and I'm starving."
"I could give you some protein," Justin giggled.
"What's got into you tonight?"
"I don't know. Being on a date with you made me giddy." Justin giggled for a couple of minutes.
Brian stared at him. "Shall we order a pizza or go home?"
"We could go back to the Tower Grille."
"I don't think so. Once a night is enough."
"Never enough," Justin whispered. "Let's order a pizza, have it delivered to the loft, and we'll head there before it arrives."
"Let's go for it," Justin said picking up the phone next to the sofa. He placed his order as Brian kneaded his ass. "Stop that. We need to leave so we can be home to meet the pizza guy."
Brian groaned. "Let's go then, before my piece A gets all riled up again."
"Save it for dessert."
"Deal," Brian said as he pulled on his pants. "Hurry up. Tonight I'm looking forward to dessert."
Justin giggled as they made their way outside and to the Corvette.
The following evening Brian and Justin met Debbie at Michael and Ben's apartment. The Concerned Citizens for the Truth's membership had increased by two when Michael had told Brian earlier in the day that he and Ben wanted to do their part. The finished commercial arrived at Kinnetik by five that afternoon and Brian quickly called all involved to let them know it was finished.
"How is it?" Debbie nearly shouted as Brian and Justin entered the Bruckner-Novotny residence.
"I haven't seen it yet," Brian stated flatly.
"Why not?" Michael asked as he greeted his two friends.
"I thought we should all see it together."
Justin grabbed the tape from Brian and tossed it to Ben; the man caught it and quickly loaded it into the waiting VCR. Once the entire group was seated, Ben pushed play and took a seat next to Michael.
The commercial played and the audience remained totally silent for several minutes after the screen faded to black.
"Well?" Justin finally asked, looking at the other members of Concerned Citizens for the Truth.
"It was fucking amazing!" Deb shouted.
"I agree," Ben said. "It shows the hypocrisy and is very straightforward."
Michael nodded with his husband in agreement.
Everyone finally looked to the one member of the group who'd not commented yet. "What do you think, Brian?" Justin asked.
"I " Brian looked at each pair of eyes staring at him. "I like it."
"I'll call Diane tomorrow and ask her if she'd be willing to take a look at it." Debbie said as she pushed herself up from the couch and went to the kitchen to fix snacks.
"You really think she'd use it?" Michael asked.
"Well," Debbie said as she plopped a tray on the table and began pulling off the plastic wrap. "She might not be able to, but if she likes it, I'm sure she could get it to those who could use it."
Ben and Debbie passed out plates of food and the group began talking amongst themselves, catching up on the events of the past few days. Brian kept his eyes on Justin; watching the young man interact with his adopted family. He'd intended to have a talk with Justin at the restaurant the previous evening, but as happened often in their relationship, sex took center stage.
Justin, feeling Brian's eyes on him, looked at his lover and gave him a smile. Brian's features immediately softened and he returned the smile. Justin slowly made his way over to Brian and quietly whispered, "What's up?"
Brian pulled Justin onto his lap and gave the blond a gentle kiss. "Why do you assume something's up?"
"Because I know you," Justin said with a kind of 'duh' tone.
Brian smiled and once again thought of Henry and William's ease of interaction. "You do, don't you," Brian stated.
"Not now," Brian said giving the man another kiss. "Later."
Justin nodded, gave Brian a kiss and got off the man's lap, leaving Brian with his thoughts.
A few days later the Concerned Citizens for the Truth reassembled at Debbie's house. Debbie had taken the tape to Diane Baxter who had been impressed with it. She had shown it to some of her contacts hoping to get the Kerry campaign to use it as part of their national program. However, the people Diane showed it to did not think that was likely to happen. When Debbie told the group what Diane had relayed back to her they were all indignant.
"What the fuck's their problem?" Brian demanded.
"How can they deny the hypocrisy of these Republicans who support a constitutional ban on gay marriage?" Ben asked.
"Did they think it was too controversial?" Justin wanted to know.
"Tell us what their reasoning is, Ma," Michael said.
"Give me a fucking chance, will you!" Debbie said. When they all remained silent she cleared her throat to continue. Brian glowered at her. The others looked expectantly at her. "Diane said the consensus was that the tape was an attack on the Republicans, not a defense of gay marriage."
"Shit!" Brian reacted. He had spent a lot of time and effort on that fucking commercial.
"So it was all for nothing? They won't use it?" Justin asked. Debbie shook her head.
"I can't believe they refused it," Michael said.
"I fucking can!" Brian reacted. "I should have known they didn't really want to go after those buggers. Politicians are all hypocrites."
"Not all of them," Debbie said. "Diane did her best."
"And look where that got us," Brian retorted.
"Brian," Justin said softly. "You tried. That's the main thing."
Brian snorted his disapproval. He hated to fail.
"It doesn't do anything to get Michael and Ben any closer to legal marriage," Debbie said looking at her two boys.
"We're fine," Ben said trying to make his almost mother-in-law feel better.
"Thanks, Ben," Debbie replied.
Michael had been silent all this time. The wheels were turning in his head. He knew how hard Brian had worked to make the commercial. He knew how much his mother wanted him and Ben to be able to have a legal marriage in the United States. He knew Ben had been hurt by the fiasco at the border when they came back from Canada. There should be something they could do.
"I have an idea," Michael said suddenly.
"I thought I smelled burning rubber," Brian scowled knowing that Michael's ideas often led to more problems than they solved.
"Thanks for nothing!" Michael shot back.
Brian looked slightly sorry as he asked, "So what's your brainstorm?"
"They think the commercial is an attack on the Republicans, right?"
"So!" Brian replied. He had intended it as an attack on the bastards he had seen denouncing same sex marriage on the TV.
"What if it could be made into something else?"
"What do you mean?"
"What if there was a voice-over or something that said, 'Why should these people have the right to marry and divorce at will when these committed partners don't even have the right to marry at all?'" Michael said.
"You mean make it a fairness issue?" Brian asked thoughtfully. "That's what got me involved in this crusade in the first place. I should have thought of that."
"By George, I think you've got something there," Ben said giving Michael a kiss.
"What if we quoted something like 'all men are created equal, so where's the equality in this?'" Justin said.
"Oh, that's good, Sunshine," Debbie said with a smile. "Do you think you could do something like that, Brian?"
"I sure as fuck can. But will it make a difference to Diane and the people she shows it to?"
"All we can do is try," Debbie added.
"I'll get on it right away," Brian said standing up and retrieving the tape. He'd get his technician working on the voice-over right away. "Thanks, Mikey. You may have saved the day."
Michael grinned, basking in the glow of Brian's praise. "Good job, Zephyr," Justin chuckled as he followed Brian to the door.
"Thanks, Boy Wonder," Michael replied as Ben leaned over and gave him a big kiss.
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