This is a "Nowhere Man" Flashforward -- "Getting Better
-- Part 3."
Features Brian Kinney, Ron Rosenblum, Lindsay Peterson,
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: "The Tea Treatment." Pittsburgh, February
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch "Queer As
Folk" on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read
the stories and enjoy.
"Turn here," said Brian.
Ron turned the Lexus down a side street and into a
residential area not far from the university.
"Just where are we going, Baby?" asked Ron.
"Please don't call me that," Brian sighed. "Especially
not in front of Justin."
"I don't see what difference it makes, Brian," Ron sniffed.
"Because I'm not a baby, that's why. And I'm not YOUR
baby. Besides, I fucking HATE cute nicknames," Brian
"You mean like 'Sunshine'?" Ron returned.
Brian sighed. "Touché." Brian pointed. "Go around this
park, right here."
"You haven't told me where we're going yet, Brian," Ron
"We're going to see my son," said Brian.
"Oh." Ron's hands gripped the wheel. He vaguely knew that
Brian had a son. Some lesbians he had met when he first
came back to Pittsburgh had been looking for a sperm
donor so that they could have a baby and Brian -- tall,
beautiful, intelligent, and gay -- had fit the bill in
every way. He had provided a cup of his spunk and the
women had done the rest. Brian had no legal connection
to the kid, but apparently he still made appearances at
birthday and holidays.
"I haven't seen him since I was diagnosed, so...." Brian
shrugged. "I'd just like to see him."
"Of course, Brian." Ron sighed. Brian was in one of his
melancholy moods today. Ron wasn't certain if it was
because he'd started radiation again that morning or if
it was just the season. It had been such a cold and gloomy
February that it would make anyone depressed. But
especially someone battling a serious illness.
"Do these women know about... about the cancer?"
Brian nodded. "Oh, yeah. I called and told Lindsay right
away. That's something I thought she'd want to know
about. After all, my father died of cancer, and now me.
I'd hate to think that... that... Gus might...." Brian
"Brian, just because your father had cancer and you
have it, too, doesn't mean that your son is going to get
it," Ron insisted.
"How do you know?"
"Brian, my father died of a heart attack, but you don't
see ME obsessing over it, do you?" Ron stated.
Brian gaped at Ron. "Jesus Christ! You run to the
Emergency Room every time you have a palpitation,
Ron! You're the biggest hypochondriac I've ever
"I'm just being careful," Ron reasoned.
"It's that house on the right. With the weird entry
arch," said Brian, directing Ron to pull the Lexus
"Do they know we're coming?" asked Ron. He wasn't
sure that he wanted to spend the entire afternoon
with a couple of dykes and a toddler.
"Yeah, I called Lindsay this morning and she said it
was a good time." Brian got out of the car and pulled
his scarf up around his neck. The wind was whipping
up again. "Don't worry, Ron. Mel is at work. So it'll
just be a single female that you'll have to contend with."
"You act like I'm some kind of misogynist or something,
Baby," Ron sniffed. "Sorry -- BRIAN. I like women
just fine. I was engaged to one, after all!"
Brian snorted. "I know! You're the Hugh Hefner of
Fagdom, Ron." They went through the archway and up
the walk to the house. "But you'll like Lindsay. She's
an art teacher. Justin met her when he was taking art
classes at the Gay and Lesbian Center. She helped get
him into PIFA."
"What's the girlfriend? A truck driver?" asked Ron.
"Hardly!" Brian laughed. "She's a lawyer. But she
DOES have a motorcycle. Too bad the weather isn't
nicer. She could take you for a ride while you're in
"No thank you." Ron shuddered. The last thing he wanted
to do was tool around Pittsburgh on a motorcycle driven
by some 300 pound bulldyke.
Lindsay saw Brian and another man coming up the
walkway. She had been expecting Brian and had Gus
up, bathed, and dressed. She had been hoping that
Brian would come over to see his son ever since he
had told her that he was going into the hospital for
cancer surgery. Over the past few years she had
come to love Brian and she looked forward to the
times, however infrequent, when he and Justin
came over to the house.
"Brian!" she cried, opening the door wide. "Come in
and get warm!"
"Thanks, Lindz," said Brian, wiping the snow off his
boots. "This is Ron, my... my friend from California."
"The pleasure is all mine," said Ron. He held out his
hand to Lindsay and she took it. He was pleasantly
surprised. The woman was a lovely blonde. Ron had no
taste for women anymore, but he did appreciate a
beautiful one. This female and Brian could make some
very attractive children together. Now Ron was very
curious to see Brian's son.
"You're very welcome! Come in!"
Lindsay led the way into the living room. Gus was
sitting on the rug, playing with his stuffed panda.
"Hey, Sonny Boy!" said Brian, sitting down on the
floor next to the child.
Gus grinned at Brian. "Dada come!"
"Yeah, I came!" Brian smiled back. "I told you I would
the last time I saw you. Is this your bear, Gus? Is that
the bear Dada and Justin got you for Christmas?"
"Dada bear for Gus!" He giggled and handed the panda
to Brian. Brian tousled his son's dark hair.
"Why don't I get us all some tea?" said Lindsay, heading
for the kitchen.
"I'll help you," said Ron, following her into the kitchen.
It was a brightly colored room. Chocolate chip cookies
were cooling on the kitchen table. "This is nice."
"Have you been visiting long, Ron?" asked Lindsay. She
knew that this man was Brian's ex-lover, but she didn't
think that Brian had much contact with him anymore.
"I got here over the weekend," said Ron. Lindsay offered
him a cookie. It was quite tasty. "I'm helping Brian.
Driving him to his treatments, things like that."
"That's so nice of you!" Lindsay said. Ron seemed like
such a supportive friend. "And... where's Justin?"
"Oh," said Ron. "He's in class. He took the Jeep. I've
rented a Lexus while I'm in town. I have one back in
"The Lexus is nice," Lindsay agreed. "I keep telling
Mel that we need to get a bigger car, or maybe an SUV,
now that Gus is getting bigger."
The kettle began to boil and Lindsay poured the water
into the teapot. Then she placed the pot, the cups, the
sugar bowl, and the milk on a silver tray that she had
inherited from her Grandmother Peterson.
"Let me carry that for you, my dear," said Ron, taking
the tray from her hands.
"Oh, thank you!" Lindsay cooed. Ron was really, really
nice! Why hadn't Brian mentioned that before?
Lindsay and Ron went out into the living room and saw
that Gus was sitting by himself on the rug.
"Where's Brian?" Lindsay asked.
"Dada go!" Gus piped up.
Ron set the tray down on the coffee table. "I bet he's
upstairs in the bathroom."
"The bathroom?" Lindsay frowned.
"The radiation makes him... feel ill," Ron explained.
"He's on a new prescription and we were hoping that
it would stop the nausea."
"Poor Brian!" Lindsay murmured.
"I better go up and see if he's all right," said Ron.
"Excuse me, will you, Lindsay?"
Ron went upstairs. One door was shut. Ron tapped on it.
"Brian? Is everything okay?"
"No," said the muffled voice.
Ron heard the sound of the toilet flushing. "Brian, do
you want me to come in there?"
"No! I think I can throw up by myself!" said Brian.
"So fuck off!"
"Brian, do you need anything?"
"Whatever the fuck!" The toilet flushed again.
Ron sighed. "I'll be downstairs. When you're feeling a
little better we can go straight home, all right?" Ron
waited. "All right?"
"I said whatever!"
Ron closed his eyes. "When you're ready, Brian, I'll
be waiting." Ron paused. "To take us home."