CHAPTER TITLE: The System is Failing_Six of One Hundred
RATING: this chapter: PG-13ish for language
WORD COUNT: this chapter: 1,175
WARNINGS: this chapter: some angst, Editor POV
NON-CANON: Britin is in the countryside outside of Pittsburgh, not in West Virginia
DISCLAIMER: Nothing I can say that hasn’t been said already? Not mine.
Originally Beta’ed by herefordroad, all subsequent mistakes are mine.
Story throughout contains excerpts from The Brian Kinney Operating Manual including commentary from the Editors
SUMMARY FROM THE EDITORS: ‘Slowly, though, he starts to remember the mind-fucking images that flash through him when he‘s supposedly safely asleep.’
Brian’s damaged coping methods bring about nightmares that fuck with him
AUTHOR‘S NOTES: This story projects 59 years into the future and reflects all that that entails, many of the loose ends are tied-up. I dance with POV, I dance with time, in essence, I just dance to the song Brian & Justin sang to me.
Contains: Brian_others, Justin_others. They grow old, they are always together for just as long as time allows, but, ultimately, they will die.
As someone wise once said, ‘In the end, it’s all about Brian and Justin’ and I can only agree
A Time From Now
The System is Failing
Nightmares_the Beginning - Pittsburgh
The Brian Kinney Operating Manual - A Life Examined
the chapter titled - ‘Brian and His Coping Methods - Sometimes They Work, Sometimes They Don’t
They begin unnoticed, unacknowledged, they begin subtlety. At first, if we can surmise correctly and we‘re pretty sure we can, Brian is barely aware of the nighttime demons hidden deep inside his vulnerable mind, demons struggling to get out. He awakens in the morning a little more anxious then normally, but he considers this merely another symptom, not unlike the loft feeling ’haunted‘, of his Justin-withdrawal. He had naturally gotten very used to having him around. He was something warm and comfortable, if only somewhat understood. He does miss him so any anxiety he may feel is put down to this fact. Justin is gone and things just aren’t the same.
Slowly, though, he starts to remember the mind-fucking images that flash through him when he‘s supposedly safely asleep. Slowly he starts to remember the bits and pieces as he goes about his normal daily routine which includes but is not limited to…mid-morning meetings with his Kinnetik staff…lunches at the diner with friends and associates…late nights at Woody‘s playing pool with Michael and Ben…fuck-sessions at the loft. Sometimes he sees flash-images of Babylon in a way he knows it’s never existed with only gashes in the ground where it once had been and nothing else. Other times he sees only carnage and bloodshed and death.
In the beginning, blissfully, these flash-images are just that, lasting only a second or two. Naturally, he lets it go. We find we are not surprised. Denial. Denial. Denial. According to our psychoanalyst, his subconscious mind is trying to protect its conscious facet from further trauma, but the system it has built up for itself -- this fine tuned organization, which it has diligently developed over his formative years with the specific intent of protect him from himself -- is failing. In short, sometimes his copying methods work and sometimes they don’t.
Eventually the nightmares begin working themselves right up to his surface. He starts having them almost nightly, far too consistently, far too-on-a-regular-basis, and they never leave him, not even in the relative safety of daylight. It’s this fact that finally gets his attention. No more denial, he has to reluctantly admit, if only to himself, that he just might be in trouble, the kind of trouble that might require help, the operative word for him being ‘might’. Personally, we believe he is far beyond any measure of ‘might’ whether referring to his being in trouble or to his needing help, but our belief is of little consequence.
People like to believe that Brian is capable of handling any and all things on his own and in many, many instances, they are quite right. But in many other instances, the ones that matter most deeply, they are often wrong. What is it his friends always like to say -- that’s just Brian and his ‘pain management’? What we always like to say is -- whatthefuck people? Wake up, the man’s obviously in pain, but it’s not really for us to judge…too harshly. After all, for the most part, he chose them to be his friends, now didn’t he? He must have had his reasons.
Point is, all his demons are now awake and demanding, stomping their feet and gnashing their teeth, crying out to be acknowledged, to be confronted, to be dealt with…the confusion, fear and pain of his father’s abuse, his mother’s denial and his sister‘s indifference…the guilt brought on when Justin was hurt, nearly died, because he flaunted them in front of a bunch of high school kids, or at least one high school kid, who just wouldn‘t understand…the humiliation of being at the mercy of kids like Chris, never forgetting how they would harass him and Michael until he finally was old enough and strong enough to fight back. All these demons and more want their time in the sun even if none of them are the lit match. They are the combustibles…the fuel, the oxygen, the energy to the lit match of the night his club was bombed. When combined, these combustibles, this lit match push him perilously close to imploding as he fully appreciates that he should have been there with them when Babylon exploded and he hadn’t been.
So when all that fear and pain and humiliation and guilt turns into confusion then anger then hate, he chooses self-recrimination. He turns it on himself. For a time, for too long a time in our humble opinion, it will only get worse. Once let loose demons are seldom willingly brought back under control; they have this tendency to fight back. For a while, we can only watch as Brian dances far too close to the fiery abyss of unchecked guilt and self-recrimination. At least, far too close for our comfort anyway.
Initially, Brian had Justin even if, in some meaningful way, Justin only added to his guilt. He was, nonetheless, beautifully able to keep Brian sufficiently distracted, what with country estates and high-class weddings and amazing head, so that most of his demons were kept down, only the truly tenacious ones were able to already start poking their noses around, calculating the lay of the land, biding their time.. But as we all know only too well, for a time Justin went away, taking with him his many counted-upon distractions. We watched, fascinated, as Brian then struggled to find new ways of coping, ones not dependent on drugs or alcohol use, silk scarves or Ibiza or even pretty little blond-boy ass.
He adjusts, he evolves, he finds his new ways with the most promising method being, in our opinion although some might vigorously disagree, one that requires someone to be with him late at night and just once in a while so they can help him find his way back to sleep. He decides, after trial and error, that nothing else will work. The flash-images of destroyed Babylon, of death and bloodshed are always able to cut right through any of his usual methods of ’pain management’. He decides that the only way that will work is if someone is there to talk him down but, and here’s the tricky part, this someone needs to be a person he can trust. Since he doesn’t do trust, it gets complicated. This someone can’t be a one-time trick, Brain wouldn’t have any control. This someone has to be a person he can reason with, who will understand that he just needs some help getting back to sleep and only once in awhile. This person needs to be someone that will understand that he doesn’t want a ‘relationship’ but something more along the line of a fuck-buddy, which would be kind of nice, we admit, but which is generally easier said than done.
Complications and considerations abound about what steps need to be taken, but that something must be done and quickly, is understood, because it really has been only a short while since his Babylon exploded and he is aware, is becoming ever more increasingly conscious of the very real possibility that he’s losing his mind.
Anyone else smell burning sulfur in the air? Anyone else hear the howl of demons unleashed?
Next Chapter: Justin’s night out at Brian‘s insistence.
for original post & additional chapters, please see here