Story notes for the "Six Weeks" snippets by Resonant
First posted August 11, 2003
When I wrote "Midnight Oil," I had every intention of following up on this exchange:
"Ah. Listen. About that." Blair turned on his side, facing Jim, but he wouldn't meet Jim's eye. "I had a thought about that."
"And?" Jim said cautiously.
"Well, we could get tested."
"And then we could, like, wait the six weeks and get tested again."
"Uh ... yeah?"
"Just as a way we could avoid, you know, the latex reality." Blair was pulling irresolutely at a wrinkle in the sheet. Jim touched his cheek and his face came up. He was blushing.
"But the only way that would be safe, Chief, is if we ..."
"Look, look, it was just a thought, no big deal, man, I'll go to Planet Latex with you anytime. It's just that I thought, I mean, but maybe you're not there yet, you know? And that's cool, it's cool, because quite frankly it's a bit of a shock to find myself there, given my usual mode of operations, which is not exactly ..."
"Sandburg, you're babbling," Jim said tenderly, and Blair exploded, "Look, I don't want anybody else, OK?" And then he saw Jim's face, and all the guardedness went out of his posture, and he whispered, "I don't need anybody else. If I've got you. Have I got you, Jim?"
"Oh, yeah," Jim said hoarsely. "Oh, yeah, absolutely, you've got me."
Well, my original aim for "Six Weeks" was to see how many different ways I could come up with of writing latex-free safe sex. Smut variety -- a fine ambition, and one I still stand by.
What I discovered, though, was that when you write about the six weeks after a couple first get together, you may start out writing about sex, but pretty quickly you find yourself writing about relationship development. And when I started trying to develop the relationship, I discovered that with each step, the problems in the original stories were magnified.
For instance, here's a Jim who thinks of himself as straight and a Blair whose experience with guys is limited to "drunken dorm party curiosity kisses," and within less than twenty-four hours I have them entering an exclusive, committed romantic relationship without ever batting an eye.
So I struggled with it, and I struggled with it, and I was still struggling with it when my connection with Jim and Blair started to fade, and I was still struggling with it when they stopped talking to me altogether. And here I was left with some cute relationship-development scenes and some rather nice sex scenes, which I simply could not make into a real story.
But it's my fourth anniversary as a slash writer, and you know what? I'm going to stop being a perfectionist about this and just toss them up there and hope y'all can enjoy them for what they are -- not stories, but Scenes from the Six Weeks Universe.
Thank-you department: These tidbits have been in intermittent progress for four years, and I really can't remember who-all helped me with them. I remember Cesca reading them over and saying that they needed a grouchiness rewrite, which I've attempted to provide. I remember Livia helping me out with characterization checks on subjects such as: "Jim does Blair's taxes. Yes or no?" I remember Julad looking over the whole thing and seconding my opinion that it was going to be a big problem to make it come together into a real story. I imagine that some other people have helped, too, and I'm sorry if you're one of them and I've forgotten you -- drop me a line and tell me, and I'll add your name to the list.
Read "Cold Feet"
Read "Midnight Oil"
Back to in medias Res