Stuart-x-Vince

Stuart/Vince Signs:  They’re Sleeping Together, Okay?

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DISCLAIMER: This post is entirely self-indulgent and probably preaching to the choir. But whatever. Without further ado, here’s are 15 pieces of “evidence” that make me think Vince and Stuart are sleeping together by the time the QAF epilogue scene occurs.

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  1. Vince, who has NEVER TOLD ANYONE ALOUD HE FANCIES STUART (even though everyone knows, it’s not like it’s hard to see), TELLS STUART THAT HE HAS HISTORICALLY FANCIED HIM IN THEIR “GOODBYE” CLUB SCENE. I can’t overstate how important it is that Vince expresses what he has wanted aloud. Stuart’s known Vince is attracted to him, but he’s never had that clear/explicit an indication, and we know he’s constantly trying to get Vince to own up to shit on his own. So I think that would spur Stuart to act, combined with…
  2. Stuart effectively listed one of them sleeping together as one of his conditions for them leaving together (and they do leave together)
  3. The fact that the epilogue is preceded basically by them driving off into the sunset together; classic rom-com trope
  4. RTD has said that to him, driving off into the background in a jeep was a formative moment when he knew that two queer characters in a previous TV show were sexually active
  5. Vince taking Stuart’s hand, when Vince has previously never initiated physical contact unless Stuart was already in a bad mood–also Vince is both initiating SUPER-couple-y physical contact (which Stuart is fine with!!) and also starting a fight against someone homophobic–meaning they’re on more equal terms, to the extent that VINCE is now taking the lead. Something major has changed in their relationship/dynamic
  6. Their matching outfits (button down t-shirts and glasses); they’re in sync
  7. The colors of those matching outfits mean they support each other
  8. Stuart tells Vince “blood,” which both means he’s threatening the homophobic man who’s just insulted them, but ALSO that he’s calling back to his worry from the wedding scene with Hazel that he isn’t attracted to Vince (”If you fancy him, there’s blood, there’s a hard-on”). RTD doesn’t mince words, and he’s certainly not implying that Stuart has a hard-on for this jerk who’s calling them names. So, even though the timing and circumstances are odd, what’s TOTALLY also happening here is that Vince says “What do you think?” and Stuart responds: “*code word that means I’m aware I’m attracted to you*”
  9. This ties into the gun imagery that’s coded as sexual during the slow dance in this episode. (Not surprising; guns are often a phallic metaphor.)
  10. Stuart LETS VINCE TALK HIM DOWN. They’ve got a good cop/bad cop routine and they’re both thrilled with it. Please note that this answers Stuart’s s1 rhetorical question he asks before getting into the shower with Nathan in the pilot: “Why does nobody stop me?”
  11. That little hip-twitch Stuart does in Vince’s direction when Vince teases him “maybe next time” and Vince’s totally nonplussed reaction. Like it’s more cute than sexual, but it betrays a level of physical comfort together I don’t think they’ve had before when they were both sober.
  12. THEIR COORDINATED TURN AWAY FROM THE CAMERA like that had to be timed and choreographed so it happened in perfect unison; that’s meant to show us that they’re perfectly comfortable, that they’re physically coordinated together; that is a Thing.
  13. The open sky in the background indicates that Vince feels free and happy; Stuart sleeping with him would certainly help boost his self-esteem and lower his inhibitions (which we see evidence of in his behavior).
  14. Those rumors about Vince and Stuart? “All of them true.”
  15. RTD knows whether or not they’re sleeping together, even though he never says it in the show. But LOOK AT ALL THE WAYS HE INDICATES YES.

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AKA They’re sexually active; fight me.

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[more QAF UK meta]

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Stuart/Vince ⇄ Brian/Michael 

Credit @luvtheheaven

THINGS I HAD TO LEARN THE HARD WAY ABOUT STUART ALAN JONES (a queer as folk uk meta)

good-enough-for-me said: What did @checkersandbalances​ do to make you like Stuart even more? ;)

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WHAT DIDN’T SHE DO. omg. ahem. I first watched Queer as Folk UK in college and adored it, I’ve shouted “Vince is my favorite” from every hilltop (I’m dramatic that way) but I didn’t feel any need to do deep analysis and hadn’t thought about it too much since then.

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And then I SOMEHOW drew checkersandbalances down the rabbit hole with me. We’d met as Sherlock fans, so I knew hard-core obsession (and long-winded meta!) was in our nature. But a funny thing happened: as much as I shouted about Vince, as loudly as I wanted to sympathize with every one of his bad choices, as much as my heart went to him…checkersandbalances felt the same way about Stuart.

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Like, I hope you all have the life-changing experience of having a fellow friend/fan love another character in your favorite show as much as you love your fave in that show. Suddenly we started getting into fights about Stuart’s motivations; checkersandbalances was usually right. And suddenly Stuart moments that were mildly humorous to me became outright hilarious. And suddenly, inspired by about a trillion capslock texts, I started writing meta. So here’s a rundown of what I gained, complete with some links to the meta it inspired.

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Stuart’s A Good Man:

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Okay, so obviously I KNEW Stuart is a good person, or I’d never have shipped him with my baby AKA Vince (and I ship them SO HARD). But. Like. I sent checkersandbalances a LOT of texts early on that implied Stuart is incredibly selfish. Or rather, she’d be like, “Stuart’s got good intentions here” and I’d text back “YOU SURE??? PROVE IT” but probably more subtly because I knew she loved Stuart. Here’s the thing: she was right, every time. Some key moments when I underestimated Stuart:

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STUART’S STRUGGLING WITH GRIEF IN THE FUNERAL EPISODE (e4).

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I saw this through Vince’s eyes the first few viewings. I thought Stuart was saying rude things about Phil because Stuart likes bragging that much. Um. Nope. Wrong. Stuart is trying to distance himself and Vince from Phil as much as possible, to reassure himself that they’ll never die in the way Phil did. Turns out its a valid fear. Vince assumes Stuart’s story means he’d sleep with anyone besides Vince–but Stuart’s trying to show that he sets Vince apart. (Also, that time Stuart calls Vince good-looking? Not a joke.)

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STUART’S WORRIED ABOUT VINCE’S SELF-ESTEEM.

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In episode 5, Vince goes on his first date with Cameron and comes back mad that Cameron didn’t try to sleep with him on date one. It’s how we get Stuart’s AMAZING line, “Vince, is it so hard to believe that someone fancies you?” (YES, YES IT IS STUART, WHICH IS WHY VINCE PICKS UP NONE OF YOUR SIGNALS IN SEASON TWO EVEN WHEN ONE OF YOUR SIGNALS IS INVITING VINCE TO A THREESOME, omg.) Vince picks up a meaningless (and awful!) shag rather than deal with his self-steem issues, and we see Stuart watching Vince, upset. This moment (and Stuart trying to convince Vince he’s good looking post-funeral last episode) is HUGE because it lays the groundwork for Vince’s bday in e7, where Stuart tries to manipulate Vince to leave him because he believes it will be better for Vince’s self-esteem. I don’t even remember what I thought the first time I watched the e5 scene, because it was so clearly wrong that I don’t even have space in my head for it now that I understand what is actually happening and how important it is.

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STUART KNOWS AND ALSO DOESN’T CARE (AT ALL) THAT VINCE HAS A “SMALL AND TINY WORLD.”

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Unfortunately, I do remember my first impression of this scene. The s1e8 “Good Enough for Me” scene is probably my favorite scene EVER, and I knew that Stuart was demonstrating his love for Vince by naming all the Doctor Who actors. But I thought,for sure, that Stuart believed Vince’s world was too small for Stuart’s goals. He tries to run off to London at the end of the show, after all!  When Vince is like “please get lunch with me again” and Stuart turns him down with that conflicted look, I thought that was a SURE sign Stuart was trying to discourage Vince’s romantic attraction because Stuart couldn’t return it. But, um. NOPE. Please enjoy/feel your heart break at this original script excerpt:

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“IF IT GOES ANY FURTHER, HE’LL PULL VINCE TO HIS SIDE,” the script says, and Stuart thinks this BEFORE he tells Vince that Vince doesn’t fit in his world. So OF COURSE Stuart still wants to include Vince–he just thinks that if he doesn’t distance himself from Vince now, Vince will never find his self-esteem and flourish on his own. (As if Stuart would EVER be upset that Vince follows him around, blatantly in love. Stuart doesn’t want Vince to lie to people and say they’re dating (see: s2 wedding episode) but boy does he sure enjoy kissing and slow-dancing with Vince about 5 seconds later in that same scene.)

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STUART IS A TOTAL MESS OVER VINCE BY THE END OF S2.

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Like, obviously I spotted Stuart’s breakdown during his fight with Vince (Adian Gillen, way to be the Best Actor Ever, damn) but I had failed to appreciate a whole bunch of moments where Stuart is struggling so much in s2 with his feelings around Vince, and how to stay friends/something more with Vince. There are a lot (here are more) but I’d like to take this particular opportunity to remind you that Stuart hoped Vince would join him on a balcony at a wedding in the evening while a romantic song played in the background. (Also, that the music that plays, encapsulating Stuart’s emotions, is a love song about how madly in love with someone the singer is, even though it’s a difficult feeling. And that right after the song ends Stuart asks Vince to slow-dance with him for the first time ever; WHAT A GREAT SEQUENCE.)

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STUART IS A FUCKING NERD. (AND ADORABLY SO!)

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If his utter enchantment with Vince’s Doctor Who obsession isn’t enough (it’s enough! it’s so good!!), please recall in s2 when he welcomes the police into his apartment and goes through his  cabinet of, like, every issue of Attitude and Gay magazine ever published to pull out some magazines for his coffee table. Like, I get that he was performing his sexuality to make him seem more innocent to the police, or whatever. That doesn’t negate the fact that he has a perfectly curated cabinet of every issue of attitude and gay magazine he’s ever received. You know he started that collection the moment they started publishing Gay Times in 1984, right? It’s my headcanon that Stuart is an expert on queer history, he cares about this stuff SO MUCH, and no one can convince me otherwise.

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Stuart’s Unintentionally Hilarious

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Once you understand that Stuart’s motivations come from a good, flawed, even awkward place (because he’s in an emotional place of rapid growth around his relationship with Vince) the experience of being a Stuart fan becomes a lot of more fun. Because, um, those who don’t yet grasp his emotions kinda think he’s like Satan? (Not my language!) And that’s delightful in part because Stuart would love being seen as all-powerful SO. MUCH.

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tl;dr: I loved this show a lot, but @checkersandbalances made me love it 1000x more because now I better understand her fave, Stuart Alan Jones.

[even more QAF UK meta]

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Stuart/Vince Signs:  Opposite Closets (Part 2, Vince’s Workplace)

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To sum up from part 1 of this series, Stuart and Vince are carefully written to have opposite spaces where they’re still in the closet. At the start of the series Stuart’s parents think he’s straight, and Vince’s coworkers think Vince is straight. By the end of the show, all our leads–Vince, Stuart and Nathan–are out and proud in every section of their current lives. But oh, there’s a journey to get there. And for Vince and Stuart, that journey is shippy AF.

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Vince: Closeted at Work

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Through most of season 1, Vince is in the closet at his job. We learn this at the very beginning of the second episode, the first time we see Vince at work at all. In a few minutes of footage we see Vince check out a customer (above), make fun of the customer with his coworkers in order to fit in, feel ashamed when the customer sees Vince faux-laughing at a homophobic gesture, and then (a few minutes later) Vince gets tricked into going on a heterosexual group date thing.

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Vince is not living his best life, here.

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This pub night, understandably, really stresses Vince out. Vince calls Stuart on his way to the pub. Here’s a bit of that chat:

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Stuart: Well just don’t go [to the date setup].
Vince: We need a codeword, if I phone you up and say a certain word, you come and get me. Think of a word.
Stuart: Twilight.
Vince: How the hell am I supposed to get twilight into a sentence?
Stuart: Then don’t go!
Vince: Oh my God I’m here, straight pub. I’m going in, I can’t stop.

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Vince isn’t thrilled about this, but he’s going anyway. He tell Stuart later that in an alternate universe, he might have married Rosalie, his set-up. They bond over TV and Vince ends up having fun with her. Still, when she spots him at a gay club one episode later, he’s really, really upset about it.

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Vince: Work alert, we’re going, see you outside. It’s that bloody Rosalie, this place is getting so straight.

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Stuart doesn’t exactly cope with all of this well. I mean, for contrast, here’s Stuart at his workplace:

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That’s Stuart making eyes at a client, who he’s about to suck off. There are some pretty intense class issues at play here–Stuart’s got a white-collar job at an advertising agency, whereas Vince works in management at a supermarket. Between the fancy job and its perks (company car etc.) we’re to believe Stuart had more “fuck you” money than Vince, meaning Stuart feels the freedom to work somewhere accepting of his sexuality. Vince, on the other hand, is working to pay for his life but also sending money home to his mom. Vince and his family need his s2 promotion, and Vince feels less freedom.

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So when Stuart repeatedly tells Vince to come out, at least to Rosalie, he’s coming from a good place (he hates seeing Vince miserable!) but also, it’s not something Vince plans to do anytime soon. Like, um, Vince isn’t gonna follow this advice, Stuart:

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Stuart: Oh for fuck’s sake, tell [Rosalie] you take it up the arse and get out [of the straight pub].

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Vince’s mid-season boyfriend Cameron, by contrast, doesn’t give Vince any advice on the subject. He does show up at work to flirt with Vince, but it’s all verbal innuendo, totally discrete. Cameron is willing to respect Vince’s rules. Stuart is too, to an extent–he eggs Rosalie on by telling her that Vince has a crush in the hopes of upsetting Vince enough to get Vince to come out to Rosalie (and possibly to damage their friendship, I think Stuart’s a little jealous Vince had a good time with his coworkers). But it’s only after Stuart has already decided to torpedo his friendship with Vince that he crosses a line.

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Because once Stuart needs a way to so offend Vince that Vince will throw away their friendship, Stuart knows just what line to cross. He invites Rosalie to Vince’s birthday party and outs him.

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Rosalie’s embarrassed, and Vince is so mad. Rosalie uses some homophobic language and storms off, Vince leaves the elaborate birthday party Stuart has thrown in Vince’s honor, and Cameron even calls Stuart out directly, showing yet again that he’s team Let Vince Stay in the Closet at Work:

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Cameron [to Stuart[: What’s he [Vince] going to do at work? Christ, but you’re a bastard.

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Here’s the thing: Stuart isn’t exactly a one-motive kind of guy. Like, yes, he thought he needed to anger Vince to ultimately help Vince gain independence, but I think he also wanted to help Vince ultimately feel more comfortable at work. And he succeeds! Rosalie eventually forgives Vince, and Vince comes out to his other coworkers at the end of the season. Please enjoy Marcie’s reaction:

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Here’s how the script describes the end of the scene:

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Vince gives Rosalie a smile, saunters back the way he came. King od his domain.

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Vince will run into issues involving homophobia and the supermarket in s2, but at least he’s no longer hiding. 

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Why is this shippy?

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There are a few reasons why this matters for Vince/Stuart. Firstly, we see how these closets hurt the relationship between our boys. Each “closet” fucks with their respective head spaces and leads them to “break up” as friends at Vince’s 30th birthday. And issues with the relationship between Vince and Stuart is where the series as a whole finds its conflict.


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Secondly, though, we’re looking at a fundamental truth of shipping. One of the key ways media-creators write compelling romances is to have the main ship resemble a series of opposites, so that their coming together as an “ironic pair,” representing order being brought to a disorderly system.


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So RTD has strengthened the ties between Stuart and Vince, and how dramatically compelling it would be for them to get together, by showing them each dealing with a “closet” of their own. It puts more quality conflict between them, and, in each coming out of their closets, helps them find the freedom to be together.


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[even more QAF UK meta]

Stuart is so gone on Vince. Vince is so gone on Stuart. But Stuart has such a fucked up connection between love and sex that it would be a total disaster if he ever made a move on vince. At least he knows that though, at least he knows himself enough to know that he should sort his shit, if he ever can, before he tries to be romantical with his best friend. At least he knows enough to be afraid of fucking up his best friend. He’s not a totally unaware narcissist.