Author's Notes:  Written for Heather as part of the 2003 Queer as Folk Secret Santa Challenge.   I was also experiencing with a new style of writing… which doesn't seem to suit me much. Hm.  Much love to Erin for the speedy beta.  All mistakes are mine.

Regarding Feedback:  Oh yes, please review.  Both positive and negative feedback are encouraged.  Con-crit is good as well.

Disclaimer:  All recognizable characters belong to Cowlip and Showtime.  Copyright infringement not intended.  Please do not sue.

Warning:  This is a slash (male/male) fic.  So if that's not your thing, please leave now.  Also contains Season 3 spoilers. The Kinney Anti-Aging Formula

"I'm sorry sir, the transaction isn't coming through…. Would you like me to try again?"

"No – that won't be necessary."

And she looks at him with sympathetic eyes. But he doesn't notice, he's already turned away.

He remembers it wasn't always like this. He remembers he wasn't always so pathetic. And he feels better, a little, until he sees his empty hands.

He wonders if maybe minimal is in this year.

He realizes he has nothing to do, nowhere to go. He stands and tries to look casual, purposeful, like the thousands of other bodies rushing about, hands full of boxes and gift bags and lists a mile long. He thinks he succeeds but really he only manages to look lost. But he doesn't know that, so everything's in place and he continues to wonder. It's funny how there always seemed to be plenty to do when he had no time. But when he has the time, there's always never anything to do.

Or is it the other way around?

He isn't sure.

He isn't sure about anything anymore. And that's a little scary. So he ignores it because he's learnt that ignorance equals bliss. And blissfulness is an essential ingredient to the Kinney anti-aging formula.

He wonders if twinks are also an essential ingredient.

And then he remembers.

He wasn't pathetic. He wasn't a loser faggot with nothing better to do but wander the streets and collect unemployment. He was hot. He was rich. And he was successful. He was the fucking Messiah.

And then he remembers where he is.

The whispers.

The looks.

The fucking pity.

Yes. Twinks are an essential ingredient. But not any twink, he must be blonde and blue eyed, with a killer bubble butt and a sunshine smile. Born a WASP, artist, hero, pole dancer and more. Born to understand, to love, to believe, and to inspire.

Maybe he knows all this.  Maybe he just doesn't want to.  Or maybe he does.  Maybe he never really forgot.

Nothing makes sense anymore.

But maybe things are finally making sense for the first time.

He no longer looks lost. Perhaps it's just the light?

He makes a phone call. An important phone call. It has to be because his shoulders go tense and he's chewing his lip.


"Brian." The voice is tense. Expectant. Resigned.

"Merry Christmas."

There's silence on the other side. And suddenly all these busy last minute shoppers disappear. The light's on and it's shining on Brian, and everything else blacks out. Or freezes. Or something, anything, just as dramatic.

In this silence, in this stillness, Brian's voice rings loud and clear, "Are we still going to Deb's tomorrow?"

And if this were a performance, there would be a collective sigh from the audience. But it's not, it's real life and the only one to make that sound is Justin. The twink. Sunshine. The voice on the other side. The sound is light and vague, and maybe it didn't even exist.


Everything is the way it's supposed to be. Everything makes sense.