The day finally arrived for Justin and Brian to take Keegan home from the hospital. He was almost six pounds by that point and was a hearty eater. His hair had even grown out quite a bit.
Curtis’s parents had come by the day before to visit. They knew that Justin intended to raise Keegan, but they just wanted to see the baby and tell Justin that they respected the fact that he was Keegan’s father.
Justin and Brian were dressing Keegan in a tiny blue bodysuit when they heard loud arguing coming from the nurse’s station just outside the nursery. Brian looked out of one of the glass windows toward the raised voices and saw Curtis arguing with the charge nurse about “his son” being released to Justin.
Brian opened the door to hear the conversation.
“I’m sorry Dr. Anderson, but since Mr. Taylor is the birth father and closest blood relative to the baby, he has the legal right to take him home,” the nurse explained.
“Oh, that’s bullshit!” Curtis yelled. “That is my wife’s child, so I have every right to take him home with me.”
The nurse raised her hands palms up, clearly unable to help him. “My only suggestion is that you talk to a lawyer about this. The hospital has no authority to decide who has custody of a newborn, but all I know is that your wife is deceased and we can’t release a child to anyone else but the birth father.”
“How nice of you to show up, Curtis,” Brian interrupted. “Especially now that Keegan is being released today. You’ve only had almost two weeks to come and see him.”
Curtis curled his lip. “Jesus, Justin actually named him ‘Keegan’?”
“That was what Daphne wanted her son to be named,” Brian confirmed.
“So what? Daphne’s dead now and that’s a stupid fucking name,” Curtis said in a hateful tone.
Justin, having heard Curtis’s last statement, walked towards them with Keegan in a baby carrier. “It means ‘little fire’ which I think is perfect for him. You wouldn’t know, since you haven’t even bothered to come and visit him, even though you have been here on the medical campus working. Now, if you’ll excuse us, Brian and I are taking our son, Keegan Mercury Taylor, home.”
Brian had never heard Justin refer to Keegan as “our son” before then, and he didn’t quite know how to feel about it. Regardless, he stood beside his partner with his head held high, deciding that they needed to present a united front against Curtis.
Curtis let out a humorless laugh. “Oh, this is not over yet, buddy boy. I hope you have a good fucking lawyer.”
He turned on his heel and stomped away. Brian couldn’t help but notice that Curtis hadn’t even looked at Keegan, who had somehow slept through the commotion.
“Guess we’d better give Mel a call,” Brian mumbled.
Justin signed all of the release papers before taking Keegan over to the small photo area to have his hospital portraits taken. The handsome little boy was quite photogenic and held perfectly still for the photographer, probably because he slept through most of photo shoot.
Once they were ready to go, Brian brought his Audi sedan to the front of the hospital. They safely strapped Keegan into his car seat and hit the road for Britin.
Justin had spent almost two days painting the mural on the ceiling of Keegan’s new room, which had come out beautifully. He was thinking of doing a painting of it for his next show, if he could find the time. Justin and the guys had created the most beautiful nursery that Justin had ever seen, and he couldn’t wait to show it to Keegan and Brian.
Brian had been so busy at Kinnetik in Justin’s absence that he hadn’t yet gotten the chance to go out to Britin to see the completed nursery. Brian smiled at how happy Justin seemed during the ride out to the house, since he hadn’t had much to smile about lately other than Keegan growing healthier and stronger each day.
They had talked briefly about their living arrangements for the foreseeable future. Justin was going to work at Kinnetik part-time from home, suggesting that Brian hire another artist or two to pick up his slack. Since there was no room for the baby at the loft, Justin would permanently live at Britin. He didn’t want anyone else but the two of them to take care of Keegan, flat out refusing to hire a nanny.
Brian loved his partner more than he ever thought he could love anyone, but even after talking with Ted and Emmett, he was still nervous about the sudden changes in their lives and was very unsure of how to handle things without upsetting Justin. If no one else would be there to help with the baby, how would the two of them have any kind of life together that didn’t revolve around diapers, bottles, and not sleeping through the night when they actually did get to share a bed? He doubted that he would want to drive between Britin and the office five days a week, since it could be more than an hour each way depending on the traffic.
It wasn’t as if Brian didn’t love the baby; that was not even an issue. Keegan was the spitting image of Justin. The only things that he seemed to have gotten from Daphne were curls in his sunny blond hair and a slightly darker skin tone, and everything else was pure Justin. Watching Keegan grow up would be like getting to watch Justin grow up, except that Keegan would always have unconditional love from his father no matter who he grew up to love.
While Brian went through all of this in his head, Justin had been happily chatting away about the nursery. When Justin finally stopped talking long enough to turn in his seat and check on Keegan in the back of the car, Brian told him that he couldn’t wait to see what he had done at the house. Since it was a Friday, Brian planned on staying at Britin the whole weekend. He was hoping that Keegan would sleep well enough that he and his Sunshine could get some much needed alone time.
Brian had announced at the diner on Wednesday morning that they would be bringing the baby home on Friday and to spread the word that they would be unavailable until Monday morning. They did not want any visitors or phone calls at all during the weekend. Brian had done this so that they could get Keegan settled into the house and Justin could help Brian out with a very lucrative campaign for a client who always insisted that Justin work directly with Brian on their ads.
Once they had arrived at Britin, Keegan was awake and looking around. They brought the baby inside and proceeded to give him a full tour of the house, ending at the door of his nursery. Justin asked Brian to open the door, which the older man did.
Stepping inside, Brian looked around the beautifully furnished room and smiled. He then looked up and saw the mural that his loving partner had painted of the mother of his child.
“Sunshine, you know that I love all of your previous work and that I think you are absolutely brilliant, but that is the most amazing thing I have ever seen,” Brian said as he wrapped his arms around the younger man, who had Keegan in his arms. “Definitely the best piece you’ve ever painted. It’s like Daphne is really here watching over her child.”
The perfect moment was ruined when the doorbell rang.
“What the fuck?” Brian snarled. “Does anyone in this family listen? I said no one was to come here this weekend. Why don’t you show Keegan around his room Sunshine, and I will get rid of whoever that is.”
He walked downstairs and was confronted on the front porch by a scowling Michael Novotny, who started ranting the moment Brian had opened the door.
“Brian, what the fuck are you doing? Are you just going to let that little shit take over your life and make you raise a kid that isn’t even yours? What the hell does he expect you to do, just support him and his bastard kid so that he can sit on his ass and do nothing but use…”
Brian had been momentarily stunned to see his former friend at the door to his home. He looked at the man from head to toe, noticing that Michael had let himself go over the years, his boyish good looks now long gone. Michael had put on quite a bit of weight and his hair had grayed significantly, making him appear much older than his forty-four years. His vision must have gone as well, since he was now wearing glasses. He still dressed like a child, wearing a windbreaker, a vintage Captain America t-shirt, ratty blue jeans, and tennis shoes. Brian would have felt sorry for him if he didn’t despise him so much.
When Michael finally took a breath, Brian raised his hand and spoke up. “Uh, Michael? It's been almost eight years since I've had to hear your whining voice, and that is not nearly long enough after the shit you pulled. Get off of our property and forget where we live, otherwise I will call the police and have you removed in handcuffs. Go the fuck away.”
With that, Brian slammed the door in Michael's face and locked it. He then began to replay in his mind what had transpired at the hands of the shrill little man and how he and Justin had almost lost each other because of him.
Eight years earlier...
Michael had called and asked Brian to pick him up from the comic book store after closing to go to Woody’s for drinks. After months of careful planning and scheming, Michael had decided that now was the time for the final push that would separate his best friend from the young blond who had taken what Michael saw as his.
He had diligently been planting seeds of doubt in both Brian and Justin’s minds by subtly telling each of them that the other man had seemed to be getting on with his life. The fact that if his plan worked out the way he hoped would devastate his husband Ben and their son Hunter was totally inconsequential to Michael. The only thing that mattered to the little man was that he got what he had been wanting since he was fourteen: Brian all to himself.
When Michael saw Brian park his new Jeep in front of the store and get out, he turned his back to the door and pretended to be having a serious conversation on his cell phone.
Brian opened the door and heard Michael say, “Well, if that’s what you want, you really need to tell him.”
Michael then turned around and jumped as if Brian had surprised him, saying into the phone, “I… I have to go. I’ll talk to you later.”
Once he had pretended to hang up the phone and put it in his pocket, he looked at Brian guiltily and acted nervous.
“So, what’s up Mikey? Why do you look like you want to run away?” Brian asked, wondering why in the hell his friend was acting so weird.
“Umm… umm, what do you mean, Brian? I’m fine,” Michael claimed.
“No you’re not, Mikey. You know you’ve always had a terrible poker face. Who was on the phone and what the hell is going on?” Brian asked in concern for his best friend.
Calling up his inner drama queen, Michael wrapped his arms around Brian’s shoulders and started to fake-cry. “Oh Brian, I didn’t want to be the one to tell you, but Justin is living with someone and he’s trying to figure out how to end things with you once and for all. I’m just so upset about all of this and I want to be there for you… any way that you need me to be.”
All of a sudden, Emmett stormed out from the back of the store screaming, “Michael Novotny, you God damned lying son of a bitch! I’ve been wondering why Justin has been so down lately, questioning if Brian even cared about him at all anymore. Now I know why.”
Michael had been so busy with his sneaky little plan that he had forgotten that Emmett came with him to the store earlier that day to help him do inventory before getting a headache and needing to lay down on the couch in his office.
Emmett continued, “I’ve been awake for a while, and I know that you weren’t on the phone with anyone when Brian walked in. Justin wouldn’t tell me why he thought Brian has been seeing someone else, but all he would say was that he felt like Brian was trying to get over him and wasn’t sure how to tell him. It’s been you all along, trying to break them up. How the fuck could you do something so nasty and underhanded? I have never been so ashamed to call someone my friend.”
Turning to Brian, the tall queen said, “Justin has been miserable without you. He wants to come home, but he doesn’t want to disappoint you and make you think he’s giving up on his dream of becoming a famous artist in New York just to come back here and be with you. You’re his dream, Brian. He cries himself to sleep at night because he’s so lonely without you.”
Brian felt like he was about to explode. “Is this true, Michael? Have you just been feeding both Justin and me lies to try and break us up? Is that why Justin barely talks to me when I call him; that is, when he even answers the phone? Because you have been telling him that I’ve gotten over him, that I’ve found someone else? How the fuck could you do that to us? I thought you were over this jealousy bullshit, especially since you’ve been with Ben for seven fucking years now!”
Michael looked like he was about to cry for real, telling Brian all he needed to know.
“Emmett, please call Justin right now,” Brian ordered. “If I try to call, he may not answer.”
Emmett called Justin, who answered the phone right away.
“Baby, you need to hear this. You are not going to believe what has been going on. Someone who loves you very much needs to talk to you,” Emmett said before handing Brian the phone.
“Brian?” Justin said, his voice cracking.
“Justin, Michael has something he needs to tell you.” Brian put the phone on speaker and said, “Tell him, Michael, all of it. Right fucking now.”
Michael, having no other choice, proceeded to admit what he had been doing to try and break up the couple in an attempt to get Brian to finally give himself to him. By the time Michael finished, he was bawling his eyes out.
“Brian, I am so fucking sorry,” Michael said. “Please forgive me… I could never live with myself if my stupid little plan ruined our friendship.”
Speaking loud enough for Justin to hear him through the phone, Brian said in the calmest tone he could handle at that moment, “Michael, don’t contact me or Justin again. We don’t want to hear from you or even know that you exist. You are dead to us. If you see us out somewhere, pretend you don’t know us. Goodbye, Michael.”
Walking away from his former friend, Brian again spoke to the one person who made his life worth living. “Sunshine, how long do you need to pack up and settle things there? I’m getting in the Jeep right now to drive to New York and bring you home with me where you belong. I’ve been so fucking lonely without you, and I don’t ever want to be separated from you again. I should never have let you go in the first place. We’re never going to let anyone else decide the fate of our relationship.”
Crying, Justin answered, “I’m going to start packing right now. The furniture isn’t mine, so I don’t have much to bring back. How fast can you get here? I love you and I just want to be with you.”
“I love you too, Justin. I’m leaving now, so I should be there in about six hours. Make sure the bed has sheets on it, because I need to be in that sweet ass of yours as soon as I get there. I’ll call when I reach the city. Later, Sunshine.”
Emmett had followed Brian out onto the sidewalk.
“You coming, Em?” Brian said as he handed his phone back. “I can take you home, and then I need to head out to bring Justin home once and for all.”
“Actually, my car is at Michael and Ben’s house. I may just wait there to make sure that Michael tells the hunky professor all about this.”
“Great idea, I’ll take you over there. And Em, thank you… so much. I know that this couldn’t have been easy for you.”
“I’m just sorry that I didn’t figure it out sooner. Three long years you two have wasted, being miserable without each other...” Emmett responded, shaking his head.
“Don’t blame yourself. Justin and I should have talked more to each other about our relationship and less to other people. We’ll be fine now, thanks to you.”
Brian grabbed Emmett in a crushing hug before they climbed into his Jeep. He dropped Emmett off at Michael and Ben’s, where Michael later came home and spilled the beans to his husband at Emmett’s insistence. Ben had been furious and told Michael to get the fuck out, filing for divorce the very next day. The entire family, minus Debbie who only put up with him because he was still her son, washed their hands of Michael. Debbie still had family dinners but Michael never attended, since no one considered him part of the family anymore. Melanie never let him see Jenny Rebecca again.
Brian had broken every speed limit to get to Manhattan to bring his Sunshine home.
Back upstairs at Britin...
Justin heard shouting while he was settling Keegan into his new room, pointing out to the baby Daphne’s face on the ceiling where she would always be watching over him. When he heard Michael’s voice traveling up the stairs, he wondered why the sniveling, whiny-voiced parasite was darkening their doorstep. He decided that he wouldn’t interfere and would wait for Brian to come back upstairs to find out what was going on.
Once his lover returned to the nursery, Justin looked at the older man and raised his eyebrows.
Brian shook his head. “I have no fucking idea what he thought he was doing coming here or who was dumb enough to tell him about Keegan.”
He told Justin what Michael had said during his rant. As he spoke, Justin’s face showed the fury that he felt towards the man who had almost destroyed their relationship, and if it had not been for Brian holding him and reminding him of how much he loved him, Justin would have taken off after the unwanted interloper.
Brian was glad that he had answered the door rather than Justin, because if Michael had started screaming at Justin the way he had at Brian, Justin probably would have beaten the nasty little prick to a pulp. Justin may not have looked like it, but he could fight like a pit bull. Wrestling with the blond a few times himself had convinced Brian of that, along with Justin having taken some self defense classes while living in Manhattan.
Justin had soon calmed down and Keegan was sleeping in his new crib, so Brian led Justin into the master bedroom, taking the baby monitor so they could hear if they were needed.
Once they were inside with the door closed, Brian kissed his blond and started stripping him of his clothes. When Justin was naked, Brian laid him onto the bed on his stomach and reached for the massage oils that were in the nightstand drawer. Starting at his Sunshine’s neck, Brian proceeded to massage out all the tension he could feel in his younger lover.
Eventually Brian included licks and kisses to his massage, eliciting moans and wiggling from the pale body beneath him. Brian put some lube on his fingers and started to circle the hot little hole between Justin’s cheeks, smoothing his index finger over it before slowly dipping inside. He soon added a second finger, scissoring them to open up the rosebud so that he could make love to his partner.
Justin was so turned on by Brian’s ministrations that he told the older man, “If you have any intention of fucking me, you better get to it. I’m going to be finished soon and won’t need anything more from you, stud.”
Brian took the hint and quickly removed the rest of his clothes before adding some lube to his now very hard and needy cock. Flipping Justin onto his back, Brian wrapped the pale furry legs around his waist and slipped his steel rod into the tight heat of his lover.
They rocked together, kissing and looking into each other’s eyes, whispering words of love. Both started to feel the tingling of their impending orgasms. They sped up the pace of their coupling, soon shouting and shooting their essence, Brian into Justin’s tight ass and Justin all over both of their stomachs.
Brian rolled to his back, pulling his still-attached lover to rest his head over his heart. They lightly dozed as their breathing returned to normal.
They heard small cries coming from the baby monitor a short while later.
“Well Sunshine, at least your son is a proper WASP, waiting for us to be finished and not interrupting,” Brian quipped, knowing that they would most likely get interrupted often in the future.
Justin playfully slapped Brian’s chest before climbing off of him. “I’m sure that’s it, or maybe he just didn’t want to hear you grumbling about not getting laid,” he replied, getting up and putting on a robe before heading to the nursery to see what his son needed.