Bittersweet Promise by charming1, Lorie
Past Featured StorySummary:

Present day, post-episode 5.13. Justin has returned to Pittsburgh to build a life and future with Brian. When Daphne asks Justin for a favor, he agrees without realizing the effect it will later have on him, Brian, and their entire family’s lives.

Categories: QAF US, Reader's Choice Award Characters: Blake Wyzecki, Brian Kinney, Daphne Chanders, Debbie Novotny, Emmett Honeycutt, Gus Marcus-Peterson, Jennifer Taylor, Jenny Rebecca Marcus-Peterson, Justin Taylor, Lindsay Peterson, Melanie Marcus, Michael Novotny, Original Character, Original Female Character, Original Male Character, Ted Schmidt
Tags: 10k+ Word Count, Anal Sex (Lots of it!), Anniversary, Anti-Lindsay, Anti-Michael, Birthday, Bottom Brian, Death, Established Relationship, Family, Friendship, Hatred, Homophobia, Language, M/M, Masturbation , Minor Character Death, Oral Sex, Post-series, Raw Sex, Real Life Issues, Responsible Justin, Rimming, Sex Toys, Toppy Justin, Vacation, Wedding
Genres: Angst, Angst w/ Happy Ending, Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Porny, Romance, Tragedy
Pairings: Brian/Justin
Challenges: None
Series: Bittersweet Universe
Chapters: 32 Completed: Yes Word count: 98688 Read: 210524 Published: May 04, 2016 Updated: Oct 01, 2017
The Payback by charming1

On their way to the airport after getting off the ship, Justin was leaning on Brian in the back of the car, thinking about their trip.

"Brian, are we flying home on the Remson plane?"

"Yes, unless you don't want to. I could call and get seats on Liberty Air, if you would rather."

"No. I loved that plane, especially the back of it, with the comfy bed."

"Good, because it's my turn to top on the flight home," Brian said with a smirk.

Wanting to save their energy for the flight, the couple just snuggled on the way to the airport.

Once they boarded the plane, Justin glanced toward the bedroom.

"You know we have to be seated until we reach cruising altitude. I'm sure you can last a little longer," Brian told his anxious husband.

Actually Brian was glad that he had a little more time to think about the discussion that he wanted to have with his young husband sometime during the flight. He was hoping that Justin would agree with his request.

An hour later, the couple was slowly making love in the big bed, both trying to hold off their orgasms as long as possible. Finally they gave in to the pleasure and came together explosively.

Lying in each other's arms afterward, Brian held his husband tightly as he started to speak. "Sunshine, I've been thinking about something and I wanted to ask you... how would you feel about... about having another baby?"

Justin pulled out of Brian's arms and sat up quickly. "What?"

"Well, I was thinking that if we had another baby, Keegan would have someone close to his age to play with and grow up with. Plus, I really like having kids around, more than I ever thought I would."

"Phoenix is only one year older than Keegan; they're the same age, as far as their developmental skills go," Justin pointed out.

"I know, but Phoenix doesn't live with us, and I'm sure that Ted and Blake want to keep their son at their house. Our new baby would be living in the same house as Keegan, a live-in playmate for him. Gus and JR would love a new little sibling."

Justin scratched his head, one of his nervous tics. "Have you really thought this out? I mean, Keegan is still so young. Sure, he seems fairly easy now, but just wait until he starts walking and potty training, while simultaneously dealing with a new baby..."

"Yes, I have thought this out. Have you ever known me to be spontaneous? Shit, it took me sixteen years to marry you. I've been thinking about this since we got engaged. That's part of the reason why I asked Deb and Carl to move out to Britin. Their cottage will be done in a few weeks, so they'll be there every day to help us with Keegan and our new son or daughter. I told Deb that I want more kids and she was thrilled. I'd really like to have a baby with you, Sunshine, one that was ours from the very beginning. We would make sure ahead of time that the surrogate would want to give up her parental rights, so we don't go through another custody battle. Think about it, please."

Justin smiled at his husband and wondered if this amazing man would ever stop surprising him. "I will definitely think about it, Brian. I would love to just say yes, but give me some time, okay? It's a really big decision."

Brian smiled. "Okay, I'll let you think about it."

From the look on Justin's face, Brian figured that another baby would be all Justin would think about until he realized they should do it.

The rest of the flight home was uneventful. Justin was seriously considering Brian's proposal and trying to come up with any logical reason why they should not add another child to their family.


Brian and Justin dragged themselves into Britin at almost midnight, exhausted from their full day of flying after their long vacation. All they wanted to do was go upstairs, check on Keegan, and go to bed, but Melanie stopped them when they walked through the front door, her tablet in her hands.

"Holy fuck, you guys, did you hear what happened?" the petite brunette nearly yelled.

"Nice to see you too, Mel," Justin cracked. "You make us feel so welcome to be back home."

"Did we hear what?" Brian asked in a stage-whisper, mindful of the sleeping children upstairs, unlike her.

Melanie was almost bouncing, as if she had been drinking way too much coffee in order to wait up for them. "You haven't looked at the local news, or gotten any texts, or..."

"Mel, what is it?" Justin questioned, a yawn escaping.

She turned her tablet around and shoved it in their faces. "‘Man Attacked by Jealous Husband'! At first I was like, ‘Wait, was he attacked by his jealous husband or someone else's jealous husband, but then I read it and..."

Melanie's voice faded as the men huddled together to read the news article.

"Curtis was attacked by one of his whores' husbands?" Justin said, his eyes wide in surprise.

"Yep," Melanie said, pulling the tablet away before either of them could finish reading the article. "He was leaving work yesterday when this huge man beat the shit out of him. Curtis has been waiting tables at Applebees since being fired from the hospital after I turned him in for dating his intern. There were a few witnesses in the parking lot, and they told the cops that this man was yelling at Curtis about not letting him get away with fucking his wife and that he was going to make sure Curtis would never fuck anyone again. The man had Curtis on the ground, kicking him in the balls before three men were able to pull him away."

The newlyweds both cringed, feeling sympathy pain in their three balls between them.

"I hate that motherfucker, but ouch," Justin said.

Melanie chuckled. "It couldn't have happened to a bigger asshole."


Brian and Justin had been home from their honeymoon for about a week when Brian was informed by his assistant, a cute little twink named Joey, that Amanda Crawford was in the Kinnetik lobby. Brian told Joey to let Justin know, and once his husband had joined him, Brian called for Amanda to come in. Justin, ever the gracious host, greeted her first.

"Hi, Amanda," he said, shaking her hand warmly.

"Hello, Mr. Taylor. I'd like to speak to you and Mr. Kinney, if I could."

Justin smiled. "Actually, Brian and I are both ‘Mr. Kinney' now. You can call us by our first names, to make it easier."

"Oh yeah, you guys got married recently, didn't you?" Amanda recalled. "Congratulations."

Brian stood proudly next to his husband. "It's nice to see you again, Amanda. Would you like some coffee or something?"

"Coffee would be nice, thank you, Brian."

Brian had Joey bring in some fresh coffee, then the three adults sat at the conference table.

Amanda spoke first. "I just wanted to come and thank both of you in person, and ask why you did it."

Brian rolled in his lips before saying, "We didn't have anything to do with that guy kicking Curtis's ass."

"No, of course you didn't! The guy that attacked him is married to a heart surgeon at the hospital, and Curtis has been fucking her for years, according to breakroom gossip. Apparently she never told Curtis that her husband is built like a gorilla on steroids. They were still seeing each other even after Curtis was fired, and the husband somehow found out. Curtis totally deserved that, if not worse for what he put you guys through with that stupid lawsuit.

"I'm talking about the money. I mean, who else would have anonymously shelled out thousands of dollars to pay off all eight years of my student loans? I nearly shit my pants when I received the letter from the bursar's office. I even needed a couple of days to recover from the shock before I could come here to thank you."

"Oh, yeah, that," Brian answered casually. "We just wanted to thank you for what you did during the trial. You didn't have to help; in fact, you stepped up and did the right thing without asking for anything in return. You knew that we have money and could have tried to extort us in exchange for your testimony, but you didn't. You were even risking your own future by confessing to your affair with Curtis. You could have been expelled. We just wanted to show you our appreciation. This way you can start your career after you graduate medical school next May without that debt hanging over your head."

"Are you sure? It's a lot of money," Amanda said hesitantly.

"We insist," Justin said. "You're not the first person that we've sent to college; in fact, Brian paid for my education, twice. All we ask in exchange is that you maintain that you keep your grades up and not sleep with any more doctors, at least until after you're a doctor, too."

Amanda smiled gratefully, blinking back tears. "I promise. I was afraid that I would be thrown out of medical school for confessing my relationship with Curtis, but I couldn't have lived with myself if he had gotten custody of your son knowing that I could have done something to help. I hated seeing what he was doing to your family, when he didn't even want the baby and only wanted the money from Daphne's life insurance. After Ms. Marcus filed the complaint with the hospital against Curtis, I got swept up in his investigation. I explained to the board of directors that Curtis could be very intimidating and that I was worried he would fail me if I refused his advances. They were surprisingly understanding and let me stay for my final year, in exchange for writing letters of apology to the head of orthopedics and the director of the internship program."

"We may have sent a letter to the director of the hospital back in August saying that we were going to donate a nice little chunk of change to the hospital, and we may have also mentioned your name," Brian confessed.

Justin bumped Brian's shoulder, silently pleading with him to shut up. "We were already planning on making a donation, after the wonderful care they gave Keegan. Also, we know how important the hospital was to Daphne, since that's where she went to medical school, too."

"How is Keegan?" Amanda asked.

Justin, the proud papa, pulled out his cell phone and showed Amanda tons of pictures of his precious son. She soon had to leave to go to a lecture.

"Thank you so much, again," Amanda said, this time giving both men hugs.

"If either of us ever needs a joint replacement in the future, we'll give you a call," Brian said.

After she was gone, Justin looked at Brian. "You're a good man, Mr. Kinney."

"So are you, Mr. Kinney," Brian replied, giving his husband a kiss. "So, um... have you thought about what I asked you on the plane?"

Justin smiled. "Yes, I have."

Brian waited a few seconds before asking, "And...?"

"... and I say ‘yes.' I'd love to give Gus, JR, and Keegan a new little brother or sister."

Brian called Joey and told him to cancel his lunch meeting so they could celebrate.


After winning Justin's custody case back in May, Melanie had set about establishing her own legal practice. Brian and Justin offered to loan her some money to rent some office space in Pittsburgh and hire a staff, but she refused, wanting to go at it on her own. She used her half of the money received from the sale of the Toronto home to buy Debbie's house, which she and Carl had since moved out of in order to move to the newly-constructed cottage at Britin, and turn it into an office. Melanie had acquired some clients from the LGBT community along with working as a public defender. She was able to hire a paralegal, a nice lady named Katie.  

Melanie was in her new office, Debbie and Carl's old bedroom, when Katie called her.

"Mel, there's a Dr. Anderson here. He doesn't have an appointment, but he insists on seeing you immediately. He claims you know him."

She snorted out an amused chuckle. "What the fuck... alright, send him up."

"Um... I don't think he'll be able to handle the stairs, because of his injuries. He barely got up the porch steps. We really ought to put in a ramp outside, especially if you plan to take on more personal injury cases."

"That's a good idea. I'll come down in a minute to see what the hell he wants. I'm sure it will be amusing."

In the waiting room stood Curtis Anderson, looking like he had come in after riding a horse all day, a grimace on his face. It had been a month since the attack, but he was still recovering.

Fighting the urge to laugh at the obviously hurting man, Melanie asked, "What are you doing here, Curtis?"

"I need a good lawyer. I'm going to sue the son of a bitch that did this to me for everything he has. He ruined my life."

"Well, good luck finding one," she said with a smile.

"Oh, come on, Melanie," Curtis said, turning on the charm. "We can leave the past in the past in order to work together. Justin got to keep the kid and live happily ever after with Brian in that big-ass house of theirs. You'll get like, forty percent of whatever I win in the lawsuit, right? You really can't afford to turn away clients while you're still building your practice."

"My rate is actually thirty-five percent with a contingency fee arrangement. You may actually have a winnable case, but I will not work for you. I can turn down whoever the fuck I want... that's the beauty of running a solo practice."

"I can never have sex, ever again!" Curtis screamed. "That bastard caused so much trauma to my testicles and perineum, my urologist said I may never be able to get an erection again, even with Viagra or a penile pump! I spent three days in the hospital, had to have surgery! My right testicle ruptured!"

"I'd say that man deserves a medal. Karma truly is a bitch. Now, I have work to do. Goodbye and good riddance," Mel replied, laughing as she went back upstairs to her office.

She then called Brian, wanting to share the news of her latest visitor. Brian and Justin were at Kinnetik going over a couple of problems with an important client, slightly stressed. By the end of the conversation, both men were laughing their asses off at her description of the disgraced doctor and how he tried to hire her.


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