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blue dragon

February Festival ~ Day 5 ~ Formed or changed your perception of characters:

I’m having a hard time with this topic, because there are so many versions of the guys out there. Take JC for example. Artistic JC, autocratic JC, JC who won’t accept any mistakes in the studio, sleepy JC, spacey JC, kinky JC,

Unpretty by cjmarlowe

This wasn't the way he'd planned it in his head, when this had all begun, when he thought that he'd finally be good enough to be somebody. Now he was a doll, a thing to look at and play with and feel free to abuse because he wasn't real. They could change his hair and change his clothes and change the way he moved and it didn't matter to anyone what he was inside. And if he should break, well, he could always be replaced -- there were a hundred more, who looked just like him.

… //////////////// …

Then they said all sorts of things about him. That he was fat. That he was dumb. That he was lazy. But he was always popular and he was always pretty and that was the most important thing. All he had to do was be vapid and smile and give the girls a thrill. Oh, and sing, but that was an afterthought. As, really, it always had been with him. Being able to perform and move his body in the right ways and flirt at just the right times were critical; singing was just an excuse to do everything else.

This story is from Nick’s totally embittered point of view, and it shows him getting his various tattoos not only as acts of rebellion but as necessary steps towards regaining his soul.

Disarm by Jae

Justin - well, easy was perhaps not the right word. Justin hadn't chosen the press, the pictures, the applause and the adoration that haloed him in a hard opaque glare. It had come to him so smoothly and covered him so seamlessly that even Lance sometimes had to blink and stare to see him through it. Once Lance had been jealous of the way that Justin had slipped inside that veil, yet another dance step that he'd learned effortlessly while Lance sweated and wept over it. But Lance had caught him more than once gazing at his reflection in the bus window, flashing different smiles into the smoky glass, and had known that Justin wasn't running through his repertoire or exercising his charm, but looking for the smile that was real. That smile was only there now when Chris was in the room, and not always then. The armor had come easily to Justin, but Lance thought shedding it might be a different matter.

This story is told from Lance’s perspective, as he tries to understand JC’s new look and new attitude. It begins as he describes how each of them have crafted their public personas, and I had never really spent a lot of time thinking about how celebrities must have totally separate public and personal selves before I read this.

Edited to add: As you can see in the comments section below, eponymous was totally my hero and found the story for me. It's Diversion by Calico.

And the comment originally said:

And I’m about to cheat here because I just spent hours trying to track down one particular story, with no luck (Google, Pinboard, Delicious, and Diigo… all of them have decided they hate me today). And all I can give you are the hazy outlines because I can’t recall the title or author, so I know, that’s not really fair, right? But anyway: Justin is shopping in a drug store and bumps into Brian (maybe Howie, but I’m 98% sure it’s Brian). Justin notices Brian buying lube and the like, and makes fun of him, because it comes out that Brian is more or less buying supplies for Nick and AJ who are back at the hotel getting it on, while Brian has to go make the supply run. Brian invites Justin back to his room, and is very dom-like in getting a blowjob, starting up against the wall and then with Justin under him on a bed. And then just when Justin is ready for his payoff, Brian turns very cold and says something to the effect of “Nick was right. Your mouth is great once you get on your knees, but it’s almost not worth the effort of everything you have to listen to to get you there.” And then he turns and leaves to join Nick and AJ. And the sheer casual nastiness of it, and the unexpectedness of it coming from Brian of all people, made me stop and reconsider the absolute metric ton of Mr. Nice Guy stories I’d read about him. (And as soon as I can track down that story I’ll post the link. Or if one of you can point me in the right direction, I’d appreciate it.)


Chris J's livejournal is cjmarlowe, and the story's Diversion by Calico. (:
Oh my God. If you knew how long I spent crawling through all my lists of popslash authors, and all the searches I did (and nowadays it seems like almost every search for Brian/Justin comes up with a Queer As Folk fic, even if you enter "popslash" as a search term)... it was enough to make me want to toss my laptop through the window. Thank you so much!
Happy to help!