Title: Substitution
Author: LM Simpson (Kady the Red Panda)
Pairing(s): Tintin/Haddock, Tintin/Chang
Rating: T
Warning(s): slash, sexual themes
Disclaimer: Excerpts from "Love the One You're With" by Stephen Stills and "Talking in Your Sleep" by the Romantics are used for creative purposes, and with no monetary profit expected. Same thing goes with all of the Tintin characters.
Other tidbits:
The Frankenstein type result of a Skype conversation about Tintin pairings and simultaneous listening to "Talking in Your Sleep."


"You tell me that you want me/You tell me that you need me/You tell me that you love me/And I know that I'm right/Cause I hear it in the night"

–"Talking in Your Sleep," the Romantics


There's an American song I once heard on the radio. It went something like this: "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." I won't be surprised if that's the philosophy the lad goes by, if the words he spouts mid-sleep is anything to go by.

At first I thought all was going well. After the near-death experiences during our disastrous moon trip I realized how dearly I cared for the lad, and how eagerly I desired a more than platonic bond with him. My heart about skipped a beat, it was so happy when I discovered I was not such a perverted freak after all and that he wanted the same. I will still never forget the first time my lips met his, the first time I gently pushed him onto the bed, the first time I pried his legs apart, all the while gazing upon him with a passion I normally reserve for the bottle…

It was only Tintin and I. Just us. Together. As a team. As lovers.

Just us… Until Chang entered my life.

He sounded like a nice enough young chap when Tintin first spoke of him. Granted, the one time I met him he was in dire need of a doctor. But he was and is still one of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet (when I finally did meet him in person, obviously).

Even then I thought it odd that Tintin would so desperately try to save someone he met only once before. Especially after considering the odds of said person still surviving a plane crash in the Himalayas after a whole team of scientists perished, it appeared more like a wild goose chase conducted by a five year old to me than anything. But when you get right to it you realize and remember Tintin is Tintin—he is supremely compassionate and supremely loyal to those he cares about. I'm sure he would do the same for me, even if we weren't in a relationship. I know I would. So after having a brief go with him I complied and assisted in the search. And in the immediate days after the rescuse I gladly allowed Tintin to sleep in Chang's rooms so that they can socialize and that Tintin could care for him when need be. I had slept alone before Tintin and I knew I could do so again for a few nights if it was for Tintin to be happy. When I had to literally tear the lad away from Chang when it was finally time for us to leave Kathmandu I interpreted it as him as being crushed he had to leave an old friend once again.

… Thundering typhoons Archibald can you be a true blockhead sometimes.

I had countless sleepless nights when I was wheelchair bound. Normally I'm the heaviest sleeper but insomnia and the frustration of the Milanese Nightingale and countless paparazzi invading my estate daily robbed me any chance of a wink.

Usually I can just glimpse upon Tintin's sweet sleeping face and peacefully drift into a blissful sleep if that's the problem. The second night I "slept" downstairs, however, signified the first night I would hear the lad muttering Chang's name over and over.

Okay, I thought, he was probably just dreaming Chang was in danger again. I have those kinds of dreams about Tintin all the time.

Then there came the "My Chang"s and "I love you Chang"s. They often came in bursts, peppered here and there with the occasional wanting moan. Even long after we relocated back into our normal bedroom I heard the same words slipping off his tongue every sleepless night.

Billions of blistering barnacles! I'm sorry, but if I'm his lover shouldn't he be talking about me like that in his sleep?

I think I quit giving him the benefit of the doubt after three months of that. Whenever we make love he seems disconnected from the experience. I can see it in his eyes—he wants, craves, an intimate experience with me, but at the same time he does not want me. He insists it's just him when I do conspicuously ask him questions, but I know the truth. He no longer cares for me the way he used to. I doubt he physically cheated on me in the Himalayas because of how weak Chang was then. That's not what's important.

I have nothing against Chang himself. As I've said he's a nice, sweet lad. I doubt that opinion will ever change. It's just that… It's just that now I know that I have been reduced to the second best, the alternative since he cannot have Chang. Worse, I am completely aware of it going on. No matter what I do to try to reignite our relationship the flame does not burn as bright as it did before. There is now a scented candle where a raging inferno used to be. I know the lad still loves me... He just doesn't love me the same way as he does for a boy he's only met twice in his life, that's all. And frankly, that is unfair for me and unfair for Chang.

I know what you're asking: if I'm so sure of all this, why am I staying? Well since you want it so bad, here's your answer:

I'm no psychiatrist. I don't even have the brain for that sort of work anyway. But I've been Tintin's age and I know how brains at that age process things when it comes to the birds and the bees. You develop these intense feelings for a person for a certain period of time only to wake up one day and feel next to nothing sexually for them. Perhaps that is the case with Chang. And when he reevaluates the boy as just a friend, the lad could want to restore our rapport to its previous glory. Surely that is another reason why he stays with me, a middle aged drunken fool…