Title: The Apportionment of Blame

Author: Harper

Email: Xfjnky2@yahoo.com

Fandom: Queer as Folk

Pairing: Melanie/Lindsey… sort of

Rating: PG

Archiving: That'll be at http://www.realmoftheshadow/harper.htm. Should anyone else be interested, please drop me a note and ask.

Disclaimers/Warnings: I don't own these characters. I don't mean any infringement, and certainly don't make any profit from this. There are spoilers, I suppose, but I don't know the names of the episodes I would be spoiling. Just those where the girls have their little rift, I suppose.

A/N: This is my first attempt at this fandom, and its not much. Its unbeta'd, so all mistakes are entirely my fault. If you'd like to send feedback, I'd like to see what you've got to say. I'll be at Xfjnky2@yahoo.com.

Nothing but a parade of beautiful, empty, meaningless faces… that's what they were, these girls moving before me, to the side of me. I wasn't the same, didn't feel the same jolt of anticipation and expectation tingle through me at the sight of sweaty, lithe bodies writhing against one another in a thinly veiled parody of sex that most call dancing, at the resounding boom of the bass of loud, techno-something club music that made the floor beneath my feet bounce. Years ago I would have been in the middle of them, sweat making my shirt cling to me, arms above my head as I moved with reckless abandon. There would have been the soft press of breasts against my arm, the firm taut muscles of a deliciously curved female backside pressing into my crotch, and the promise of a long night of hot, extremely satisfying fucking looking back at me from eyes that held as much hunger as did my own.

Now, though, everywhere I look, I see her eyes, her face, the glint of strobe lights off the white gold silk of her hair. The foreign eyes still look at me, some feral, some enticing, some beckoning, but I can't bring myself to push away from the bar holding me up to venture out into the crowd and lose myself to the no-strings-attached pleasure being offered freely.

A laugh, short and bitter, moves past my lips, drawing the attention of my two companions. Wonderful guys really, and I appreciate the moral support that they're offering. Despite that, I'd rather be without their support and back with her, but she doesn't want me. At the moment, I can't blame her.

I know that I could take my pick of the women here tonight. Six years in a committed relationship hasn't made me complacent, and my firm body rivals any of the young Brittney Spears wannabes currently prancing around on the dance floor, that ridiculous glitter lotion making their skin shimmer, tiny pasted on fake jewels added to faces in the hopes of creating something exotic. One look, one of my patented come hither smirks and a little bit of promise in my dark eyes, and I could have one of these lollipop goddesses on her knees before me, worshipping in her own special way.

But, I don't look, I don't smirk, and I don't belong here. I belong at home, with my family. With my partner… no, my wife despite the laws of this country that say it isn't possible. With my son… our son, because he is ours, Lindsey's and mine, even if I don't even have legal claim over him. Fuck, to think of it that way, my family is a legal shadow, something that doesn't exist except in the ephemeral confines of my mind. A fiction in the eyes of society, with nothing except my desire for it to be so making it real. As depressed as I already am, that thought just seems to make it worse.

"Well, as heart-stoppingly exciting as our time together tonight has been, I think its time for us to bid you adieu and head on over to the boy's club." Its Emmett, with a bright smile and kind eyes that let me know that as much as he cares, he's had enough. I can't blame him really.

"Unless you need us to stay, that is." Ted, who is probably my best friend in the world now that I'm one half of an ex-perfect couple. I shouldn't keep them here. Hell, I don't want to be here myself, looking at all these girls I don't want. Missing the woman I do want, the one who doesn't want me. Not anymore.

"No, I'm going to cut out myself. I shouldn't even be here." There's a half empty beer bottle sitting beside me on the bar, and I contemplate chugging the remaining contents, but dismiss the idea. I'm morose enough as it is when I wake up in the morning alone, and certainly don't need to add a hangover to that.

"Give it time, honey," Emmett says, and I give him a smile that doesn't quite reach my eyes. He means well, and he's trying, but I don't think time will heal this wound. Either its going to gape open, raw and painful, or its going to be mended by the one person who has the power to do that… the one person who isn't here, who doesn't even want to speak to me or see me, much less forgive me.

"Its all my fault." I can't seem to move off this lament, can't seem to find any other explanation to offer, and feel the need to say the words as often as possible, almost as if they were part of a masochistic fit of self-disclosure. As if the airing of my failure, of my betrayal, would fix it, unlikely as that thought is.

They both nod their heads, looking at me with those soft, caring eyes that you reserve for young children or zoo animals, and I want to scream, want to kick, want to bite, want to find the me that once existed, the me that never would have allowed this to come to pass. Either she doesn't exist anymore, or I don't have the strength. No matter which it is, I remain in my state of limbo, the one that is quickly approaching perpetuity. God, what a bore I've become, one of those whining women who does nothing but weep about what she doesn't have.

The cold night air feels good after the stuffy, smoky, full of sex oppressiveness of the club, and I wave good-bye to the boys. My lonely, empty room is waiting, where I can lay in bed and run fingertips over my own body and pretend that they aren't mine, that they belong to the woman that I love, and I can turn my face into the pillow and cry myself to sleep again.

Knowing, as I do, that its all my fault.

Harper Queer As Folk Main Index