Are You Now or Have You Ever Been

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Are You Now or Have You Ever Been is a story written by shukyou and illustrated by quaedam. It ran in Issue 36 and can be found at and


A man whose job it is to root out communists meets a really cute communist.

From "dragged against his will into the ambit of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, Les is asked to 'do some digging' where one of the McCarthy hearing's witnesses is concerned and finds himself in a world that is both utterly unfamiliar to him and also something like home."

From "closeted disabled gay lawyer working for the House Un-American Affairs Committee during the McCarthy era tries to find out if a cafe owner is a Commie...and falls for him."

Les was late because, God damn them, they'd switched the room again without proper notice, and he'd arrived seven minutes ahead of the scheduled conversation to find an empty table. Finding a secretary who knew anything took him another five minutes, and when she told him they were the next wing over and three flights up, he clenched his fist to keep from shouting in disappointment and anger. Any other attorney, client, or whole man in the whole building could have gotten there in five minutes with three to spare, and probably some of the women too. Nobody else would have had a problem.
S2b2warning.png Content Warning: 1950s America

The author wishes to note that this story contains some sensitive material, including descriptions of period attitudes toward drugs, race, disabilities, interracial relationships, homosexuality, immigrants, Jews, and socialism.


Are You Now or Have You Ever Been could technically be considered part of the Whitniverse continuum, though it predates the setting by a good sixty years.

Related Links[edit]

Are You Now or Have You Ever Been has been featured on GoodReads.

Author's Notes[edit]

No lie, this entire story came from joking around and answering the Fall Out Boy question of 'Where is your boy tonight?' with the follow-up question, 'IS HE WITH HITLER?' ...And then the plot all shifted forward a decade or so, so that wasn't even relevant, but I feel that as an origin story, that pair of ridiculous sentences should be preserved.

Shocking no one, beeblebabe is responsible for most of Peter's personality -- the good parts, at least. And quaedam came through above and beyond the call of duty to do such lovely work, and so much of it! You guys, you're the best, you guys.

I fudged on a lot of historical things here because ... well, I've been too lazy and too busy to do the proper research. The February-March-April s2b2 schedule is pretty brutal, what with my winding up writing 23K words a month and all, and this one sort of got away from me. But hey, it ended in porn, so it can't be all bad, right?


External Reviews[edit]

  • "This is another historical piece, set in 1950's America, when people who were suspected to be Communists were under a dark cloud of suspicion. I loved both the main characters -- the lonely disabled man working for the government and the "subversive" man he's tasked with investigating. This one also has some great art, done by quaedam."
  • "I'm not entirely sure what Les Mitchell does, but somehow I feel kind of sad for him in the end, just a little. All those people he's left behind and not one of them said, oh, Les, are you really leaving, you must keep in touch."