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Home Truth Part 1:

Michael walked into the Diner in a huff. He still couldn’t believe the argument he and Lindsay had with Brian and how that little loose-lipped lizard, Justin, had been allowed to speak to them. It made him even angrier that there was a restraining order in place. There was no need for it! Somehow, someway, he had to figure out a way to remove Twinkie-boy’s influence and rescue his best friend.

“What’s got your ass all knotted up?” Debbie asked him. He hadn’t even seen or heard her approach as he was so involved in his thoughts.

“Brian. Do you know he had the nerve to stand by and let that whelp speak to me and Lindsay as if we were gum on the sidewalk? And now I can’t find Lindsay anywhere. She and I were supposed to meet at her house this afternoon to discuss what happened this morning and plan our next moves. I thought for sure that things would be back to normal by now and Brian would have gotten his head out of Justin’s ample ass!”

Debbie sighed as she sat down across from her son. There were days when she wished she slapped sense into him just a little harder. “Michael, do you realize how hurtful your words and actions were to Brian, let alone Justin? They were already having a hard enough time, Michael…”

“Only because Brian wouldn’t let Jennifer handle her son alone as he ought to have done. Besides, all I did was speak the truth. If that was hurtful to Brian, then he should have reevaluated his involvement with the trick that still won’t go away.”

“And yet, your truth has not only cost you your best friend, but is being rubbed in your face again and again. Nothing has changed, nor will it.”


“His whole association with Justin is going to make him a laughing stock. Hell, it already has!”

“When have you ever known Brian Kinney to give a fuck what anyone has to say about him? In fact, if we think about his motto of all publicity is good publicity, his stock is definitely going way up from you opening your big fat fucking mouth, while yours is plummeting! No one, except Lindsay, wants to associate with you, and believe me, she has her own agenda in all of this!” She took a deep, calming breath in the hopes that she could get Michael to see the error of his ways. “Let me tell you something, Michael, and hopefully you’ll finally get it… Justin is going to be around for the long haul. He is NOT a trick, and hasn’t been since he met Brian, whether the man admitted it aloud or not.”

“He’s just a twink, some nobody, no-nothing kid who’s latched onto Brian…”

“Right now, I’m not sure who’s more adult- you or Justin. From the looks of it, you may have the age to be an adult, but you’re more like a kid whose candy has been taken away and now he’s throwing a public tantrum. Fuck! Get your shit together, Michael! You’re a grown man; act like it!” Debbie got up from the table, noting the mutinous look on her son’s face. “You know what... nevermind. Keep doing exactly what you are doing now. Keep being an asshole. Keep putting your foot in your ever-running mouth. Keep holding onto your pipe dream which will never happen, while everyone else continues to live their lives without you whining in their ears. You keep saying that you’re trying to save your best friend and that Justin is the villain. Well here’s the newsflash you so obviously missed: Brian doesn’t need or want saving, and apparently, he doesn’t need or want your brand of friendship either! But you go on and do what you feel you have to do. You’ll be completely by yourself, while Brian AND Justin continue to live their lives… together.”

He crossed his arms and rolled his eyes as she moved off to service another customer, then mumbled, “Not if I have anything to say about it.”


Belleaire Country Club….

“So what are we going to do about Lindsay?” Justin asked.

“The bottom line is that she fucked up. Mel, in the company of us, has to get to Florida as soon as possible but…”

Mel sighed. “Brian, let me take care of a few things. You have to get to the hospital first and foremost.”

“I know. Gus can’t be left there under any circumstances. But why aren’t you going to the hospital?”

“I never said I wasn’t. I’ll meet you there but… well, do you have a copy of the paperwork handy?”

“Fuck! Cynthia, can you…”

“Already on it, Boss,” she answered, cell phone already in hand. "Between Marcy and I, we’ll get into the safe at the office. Since Gardner is over there with his ever-present scowl, there shouldn’t be anyone there to stop us, or better yet, anyone willing to. But just in case, I’m calling Peter Wells in legal. He’s a fan.”

“I never knew that. Anyway, see if you can fax it before you meet me there, okay? There’s no telling what the hell the Petersons will do once they find out. Lindsay already called me collect from County to plead her case.”

“And of course, when her Peter won’t show up to bail her out, she’ll call Mommy and Daddy. Fucking hell, Brian, you have to hurry!” Melanie exclaimed, already gathering her things.

“Mel, for what it’s worth, I don’t think Lindsay’s daddy is going to be that much of a problem. Take a quick glance over there,” George said, already making a call of his own.

Justin snickered. “My, my... Well, he certainly doesn’t look happy with whatever Aurora Kelly is saying to him.”

“As well he shouldn’t. But come on, everyone, let’s clear out of here. I’ll take care of the bill and meet you at Allegheny. Cynthia, as soon as you have the documents in hand, fax them to this number,” George instructed as he handed her a slip of paper.

“Marcy Charles?”

“Yes. She’s someone Melanie might be familiar with.”

“Yeah, I am. She’s one of the best family law attorneys in the state, as well as the country.”

“That she is. She’s also well-versed in a particular WASP’s ultimate secret and betrayal.”

“You mean…”

“That’s right. All is not what it seems where Nancy Peterson is concerned. Just proves the saying that you can fool some of the people all of the time, but at no time should you fool yourself. But I’ll leave her to discuss all of that with the two of you and see where the information applies. In the meantime, let’s get busy people. Diane, I think you and I should stop by the police station on the way.”

At Diane’s nod, and a particularly unsettling gleam in George’s eyes, Jennifer spoke up. “I recognize that look, Uncle George,” Jennifer said. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing for you to trouble yourself over, my dear. You go along with Brian and Justin to the hospital to rescue little Gus from the evil- but well meaning- clutches of Child Protective Services. I’ll let you know when everything else is done. By the way, Cynthia, see if you can get Brian, Justin, and Mel’s tickets moved to tonight and an extra seat for Gus, if possible. Melanie, you have to go, and the sooner you are out of Lindsay’s orbit, the better. I suspect the same will go for Brian in reference to Debbie Novotny.”

“Why mention Deb?” Vic asked.

“Because… you know what Vic, why don’t you ride with me and Diane and I’ll explain on the way.”

“Uncle George?” Justin started, only to be interrupted.

“Justin, son, there are many advantages to being who we are as you are about to learn. Go with Brian, keep him calm as best you can until we get there. The paperwork should help, and also the fact that the third-party adoption papers should have already been filed. The good news is that in Lindsay's arrogance and desperation, Brian’s name appears on the birth certificate so no one can dispute that.”

“But he signed over his rights to Mel.”

“That’s correct, Justin,” Melanie confirmed. “But when I started noticing changes that I didn’t expect in Brian, and how Lindsay has been acting, I started proceedings to reinstate Brian’s full rights, along with giving me the rights of an adoptive parent. I didn’t tell anyone; I’m not even sure how George found out.”

“Very simple, Mel. I had you investigated from the minute I found out you were going to be taking on Justin’s civil case.”

“You what?” They all gasped.

“Don’t sound or look so surprised. I had to make sure that Justin was going to be represented adequately, especially after that misfortune of a mock trial the last time. I’m happy to say that you’ve proven yourself to be ethical; not only as a person, but as an attorney as well,” he directed his last comment to Melanie. “Now I don’t want you to worry about this. Gus will be back in your care by nightfall, but first you have to go to the hospital. We’ll see you in about an hour.”

They all left the restaurant heading to their different destinations. For Mel’s part, she had to stop by her office to gather all of the paperwork she had just received back the day before. Paperwork which reinstated Brian’s rights and gave her rights of her own. She was never more glad to have those in her possession than she was right now, otherwise Gus would be up shit’s creek without a paddle.

Home Truth Part 2:

George’s Car…

“What the hell!” Vic exclaimed. “They cannot be serious!”

“Unfortunately, they are. Even being ejected from the courtroom, they stuck around and apparently heard all of the testimony. Little Gus is in trouble, more than he knows.”

“So they decided that the best way to punish Brian is by claiming that he’s an abusive and neglectful parent?”

“Yes, and they were there when Lindsay was brought in. So in essence, it lends credence to Joan and Claire’s claims. I’m sure their reasoning is that if he wasn’t in court, then he would have been taking care of Gus, as he ought to have been doing, instead of defending his child-lover.”

“But that’s preposterous!”

“We all know that, but what I suspect is that Joan and Claire never figured that their latest actions would come back to bite them in the ass.”

“What exactly are they hoping to gain by doing this?” Diane asked.

“Unlimited access to Gus, and therefore to his father’s bank account, I’m willing to bet. If they can somehow convince the police to look into Brian, and get the court to grant temporary custody to them, especially with Gus being left in the car by Lindsay, they think they will have Brian over a barrel and he won’t be able to withdraw his financial support.”

“Those vicious bitches!” Vic exclaimed. “I’ll bank that they won’t be expecting me…”

“Or me,” Diane said. “But why didn’t you bring Jennifer along? She could only lend truth to what we are going to say about Brian.”

“True. But she would also end up in a jail cell by the end of it all. Don’t tell me you didn’t see the look in her eyes when she found out that Brian’s mother and sister were at the courthouse.”

Vic chuckled. “She was definitely battle-ready. She reminded me of Deb.”

“Trust me, that threat to Joan wasn’t an idle one,” George chuckled in return.

“I just can’t see how they think they could win this,” Diane said, as they pulled into the station parking lot.

“They will play the devout Christian mother card, as always,” Vic spat. “Joan Kinney and in turn, Claire Townsend are anything but. Each of them stood idly by while Jack beat Brian to within an inch of his life most days. They forget that while Debbie was there to patch Brian up, I was there to help him through the emotional trauma of it.”

57th Precinct:

Walking into the station, they weren’t surprised to hear the urgent pleas of Joan and Claire, imploring the police to go and arrest Brian. In their minds, since their grandson and nephew’s mother was sitting within a holding cell, the father should be held just as responsible, since he was somewhere gallivanting with his lover while neglecting his responsibilities as a father.

“Please, you have to arrest, Brian, Officer. This isn’t the first time he’s been neglectful and put his own needs ahead of a child’s. My own sons have told me that he often chose to set up dates on the computer with other men while he was supposed to be watching them. Remember mother, when Peter ended up with a broken arm because he tripped down the stairs in Brian’s apartment? Had Brian been as vigilant as he should have been, I wouldn’t have had to take off of work, which costs me almost a day’s wages.”

“That’s right, Claire. Officer, my son is a degenerate and a deviant, who chooses to follow his own rules instead of those of the church. I can’t understand where I went so wrong with him. To leave Gus in his care would be a dereliction of duty and moral responsibility on the part of this department.”

Vic couldn’t keep silent a moment longer. “What a load of horseshit you speak, you half-drunk bitch! Do me a favor, Officer, and provide her with a breathalyzer right now. I would also recommend a blood test to see how much Vodka and Sherry is in her bloodstream. It’s the only reason I can think of that she would tell these obvious lies.”

“Look here, I don’t know who you are but…” Claire began only to be cut off by Vic.

“I’ll tell you exactly who I am. I’m the man that helped my sister patch up Brian every time his father got heavy-handed, and Sanctimonious Saint Joan here got too drunk to stop him. Tell me Joan, where in your Bible does it say that physical, emotional, and mental abuse is okay? I’ll wait while you look it up.”

“I should have known you’d be here to defend that deviant son of mine,” Joan sneered.

“And you should have known that if you were going to make false accusations against Brian that someone would come forth who knew the truth about you. You’re lucky it’s me and not Debbie, who would probably punch you the same way you allowed Jack to lay into his son!”

“He was only doing what he thought was best, Officer,” she said, turning to the man standing behind the desk staring blankly at the scene, but Vic was having none of it. He wouldn’t let Joan play the innocent, helpless handmaiden she never was.

Turning the woman back to him, Vic continued to make Joan face her culpability in Brian’s abuse. “So breaking his ribs was best for Brian? Having him play soccer with a fractured collarbone was what was best for Brian? He was so desperate to get away from you and your brand of love that he risked life and limb to get away from that house of horrors you call a home. And I’ll be damned if I let you taint one of the best things- one of the best people- in Brian’s life just so he can keep you in booze, and you in drugs Claire, with a roof over your fucked up heads while you denigrate him!”

George placed a calming hand on Vic’s shoulder. He was worried for Vic’s health as he watched helplessly as the veins in Vic’s temples throbbed with every damning word he spat at Joan. “Officer, I would advise you to look into your records in reference to Brian Aiden Kinney. I know that he didn’t press charges against his abusers at the time. I mean, how could he and not in up in a foster care system that would have made life with his parents seem as a walk in the park? But I’m sure this department was called for many of disturbances to the Kinney residence, not by Vic Grassi and Debbie Novotny, but their surrounding neighbors. Joan was given several chances to dissociate herself from Jack Kinney, but chose to keep her son in danger. I mean, as long as Jack stopped beating her, it was all good for her to stay there, right? It didn’t matter that Brian was there; after all, he was growing to be a man and should have been able to take it in her stead. I’m pretty sure that this wasn’t what the Good Book implied when it said to ‘Honor thy Mother and Father so that your days may be long.' Right, Mrs. Kinney?”

The Desk Sergeant typed Brian’s name into the computer, and also the names of Joan Kinney and Claire Kinney-Townsend. Coming around the desk, he took his handcuffs out. “Claire Kinney-Townsend, you are under arrest for fraud. Thank you for making this easy for us.”

“What? What are you talking about?!” Claire screeched.

“You filed a false insurance claim on the ‘death’ of your husband about a year ago, but the Declaration of Divorce was only officially filed with the courts here and in Washington state two weeks ago. Needless to say that when your ex-husband went to take you off of his various insurances as the beneficiary, he was surprised to find out that he was supposedly already dead.”

“This is some sort of mistake!”

“Not likely, but if it is, you made it. The Green Mountain Insurance Company in Seattle sent over the paperwork to have you arrested three days ago. You really should have done your absolute best to avoid law enforcement, but well... You have the right to remain silent…”

“Mother! Mother! You’ve got to help me! I only did what you told me!”


“Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law,” The officer continued reciting Claire her Miranda rights.

“Claire, shut up! I told you to do no such thing. Oh, how as a God-fearing woman, I ended up with two heathens, I’ll never understand!"


"You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be provided to you." The officer kept reading as Claire and Joan continued to argue loudly within the confines of the station. He winced, thinking that he'd heard screeching cats sound quieter as the hissing and spitting of accusations continued.


"I’ll call Brian. This is yet another thing he owes us for. If he was at home with his son where he belonged instead of with that boy, then we wouldn't have felt compelled to come here to instruct the police on how to do their jobs in reference to his neglect. Now go with the officer, and for the love of God, keep quiet!” Joan ordered, finally silencing a caterwauling Claire as she pulled out her cell phone.

Diane snatched it away. “Oh no, you don’t! You have the nerve to expect him to do anything for you while you were just standing here, trying to have him arrested? Lady, you are either arrogance personified or the biggest fool in the Christendom. Personally, I think you should be in the cell next to that bitchy barracuda you call your daughter!”

“I don’t care for you tone or your attitude…”

“And I don’t care for the fact that you are still breathing! And you call yourself a mother? Let me tell you something… someday when I meet my Creator face-to-face, I’m going to ask him how he could give someone so undeserving a uterus to birth anything. God’s got some serious explaining to do in that quarter. If there were ever people who shouldn’t have been allowed to procreate it was you and that asshole, Jack Kinney!” Diane yelled. “And another thing, if you so much as think to harm Brian either verbally or emotionally, I will make sure that you would wish that YOU were never born!”

“Are you threatening me? I’m sure that your constituents would love to know what a violent person they let into the White House.”

“Just try it, Mrs. Kinney. My record speaks for itself, but I would happily give up my seat and don the orange jumpsuit of this county if it means I get to punch the living daylights out of you! Besides, I’m sure you have a whole lot more to lose than I do.” Diane stared down at the iron-haired lady as she silently dared her to make another threat. “This was a waste of time, Mrs. Kinney. It’s time for you to go home and reevaluate your life. Oh, and explain to Claire’s children why their mother won’t be coming home tonight. It should be a very interesting conversation. By the way, where are her children? You and Claire were all set to run Brian through with a verbal sword about him not being with Gus while the both of you are here at the police station, without her kids in tow. Talk about hypocrisy and double standards! Well I hope for your sake, they are somewhere safe and sound with a responsible babysitter.”

Joan’s eyes widened as she rushed out of the station. Diane laughed as she looked down at her right hand. Never in all her life had she wanted to hit someone as much as she did that hate-mongering woman who had just left. Considering she felt that urge even more strongly than when she had seen Clara Hobbs earlier in the day was saying a whole lot. “Looks like old iron-ass forgot something as she rushed out of here on her broom.” She held up the object in her hand.

“Well, now she definitely won’t be calling Brian after all,” Vic chuckled right along with her. “Come on, we have to get to the hospital.”

Allegheny General Hospital- Pediatric Unit

“Mr. Kinney, I understand that you are upset, but we have to follow protocol,” Officer Moran spoke calmly to the irate man.

“Fuck you and your protocol! My son is in there and I can’t see or hold him!” Brian paced in front of the man. It was taking all he had in him not to run roughshod over the muscular man in front of him in order to get to his son.

“Brian, please just let him ask his questions. The sooner he can, the sooner we can get to Gus,” Justin said as he placed a staying hand on Brian’s arm. “Officer, I can assure you that we didn’t know Lindsay would do this, or that she was even capable of doing something so thoughtless. Up until a few months ago, she was a decent mother.”

The answering snicker came from the corner where his mother was sitting. “Justin dear, I think you are downplaying Lindsay’s motives and actions throughout the last year.”

“I’m just trying to be fair, even though I’m beyond pissed with her.”

“There’s fairness, and then there is being willfully blind, Justin. I think it’s safe to say that Gus was her bargaining chip, and when he didn’t pan out the way she thought he would, he became just another burden.”


“No, Justin. She’s right,” Brian interjected. “I can look back on it now and see just where she played me- played all of us! Officer, Lindsay’s actions aren’t as much of a surprise as we would have liked to believe. She tends to forget anything beyond her goals of the moment. But I can assure you that I and his other mother, Melanie, wouldn’t do that to Gus. The only reason neither of us were with him today was because we had court. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Hobbs case…”

“I am. So you’re the guy?” He looked over at Justin.

“Pardon me?”  

“You’re the guy who has our chief in the hot seat?”

“It wasn’t intentional…” Justin said, feeling his temper rise. “If he had done his job correctly, as I would like to believe you are trying to do, he wouldn’t be in the hot seat as you so cleverly put it!”

“I concur, Officer Moran.” At the new voice, the tall man turned to face the speaker. “I’m Melanie Marcus, Gus’ other mother. And I believe that you continuing to detain Brian and Justin is bordering on harassment.”

“Whoa, no harassment here, Ms. Marcus.” He held up his hands. “I’m just trying to do my job adequately. You must admit that this is a very sensitive case.”

“I do. But Brian Kinney is not the cause of it. My former partner, Lindsay Peterson is. Here is all the paperwork you should need in order to release Gus into our care. The hospital and an employee of Child Protective Services, a Mister Trevor Brown, have already received their copies. But I’m curious to know why you made that comment to Justin.”

The officer took a deep breath before speaking. “It wasn’t for any other reason than that I was there the night of the bashing. I didn’t put the name of the two together until he mentioned the case that had us all baffled. Not many of us agreed with Stockwell ruling the case as a simple assault when it was clearly attempted homicide, but there wasn’t anything we could do. For what it’s worth, I hope you won against that snot-nosed idiot.”

“We did, thank you. Which is why none of us were available this afternoon. Then we went to have a well deserved repast, as it has been a trying day. None of us could have imagined the lengths Lindsay would go to obtain her goals of bringing me and Brian back into her well-ordered lines. Brian and I will be seeking full custody and attempt to see that her rights are revoked.”

“We will?” Brian asked, a little shocked. He thought for sure that this would be a battle of the bulls between Mel and Lindz, thereby leaving him out of it.

“Yes, we will. You don’t know this, Brian, but your rights have officially been reinstated. The paperwork came yesterday, which is why I had to stop by my office. You were going to get your copy in the mail, but I went ahead and made you a copy now.”

“So Gus is mine again?”

“Yes, and this time he is officially mine, too. Lindsay will never have the opportunity to use him in her schemes again. I’ll be filing the paperwork electronically while we’re on our way to Florida.”

“Where’s Lindsay now?” Jennifer asked.

“As far as I know, she’s still in jail. I know that Brian and I aren’t posting her bail. We don’t even plan to be at the arraignment hearing, but I did file a temporary restraining order, which should be effective once she’s out. She’s not allowed to be within fifty feet of Gus.”

“I wonder how Nancy will respond to that,” Justin said.

“I can assure you, it won’t be well. Oh, and I took the liberty of calling Marcy Charles on the way here. She understands the expediency of the circumstances and will meet with us in two days while we’re in Florida.”

“Florida?” Officer Moran asked.

“Yes. My father is dying and has requested to see me before he does, which is why we need to get Gus and be able to make our flights tonight.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Will you be back for Ms. Peterson’s trial? I’m sure she’s not going to plead guilty and save the taxpayers the time and money it will cost to prosecute her. She doesn’t seem the type.”

Mel snickered. “You have her pegged and on such short acquaintance, too. Lindsay will feel the need to explain why her thoughtless actions were justified. She just can’t be guilty of negligence and bad decision making; there must always be a reason that it is never her fault.”

The nurse came out of the examination room with a sleeping baby nestled in her arms. The doctor followed her. “I’m Doctor Samson. I take it you are all here for this little guy?”

“Yes, Doctor Samson. I’m Brian Kinney and this is Melanie Marcus, Gus’ mother.”

“Oh? I was given to understand that he was left abandoned in a car by his mother?”

“Whereas that’s semi-true, Mel is his adoptive mother. Lindsay Peterson is the one who left him in a parked car while she was elsewhere.”

“Okay, I see. Well, I’m happy to give a report to both of you that there shouldn’t be any lasting effects from Gus’ ordeal. His neurological tests and bloodwork all came back within normal range.”


“Yes. It’s standard to perform lab work in situations like this to check the oxygen levels within the blood. The lungs and neurological tests can only tell us so much, but not whether there was an interruption within the circulatory system.”

“Okay, that makes sense. So you’re saying that Gus has a clean bill of health?”

“Yes, Mr. Kinney. Thankfully, it was a moderate day weather wise, which we all know is iffy this time of year. Had it not been relatively mild, this story would be much different I’m afraid.”

“Is he able to fly? We have to be in Florida by tomorrow morning for a family emergency involving Ms. Marcus.”


“No, Mel. This can’t be put off. We don’t know how much time he’s got and your mother, I’m sure, won’t understand you not being there when he passes. I mean, look at what happened with Joan, and I was right here in Pittsburgh. This… this can’t wait.” Brian didn’t know why he felt a sudden urgency to get Melanie to Florida, but he was never one to go against the instincts that had often served him well.

“I don’t foresee any problems with Gus accompanying you. But should the need arise, let me get you the number of a pediatrician I know there. Which part of Florida are you going to? My practice used to be there before I moved here to be with my daughter,” Dr. Samson offered.

“We’ll be in South Miami,” Mel answered when he looked to her.

“Even better. My sister’s practice is there. I will inform her to contact me if there are any complications with Gus. Her name is Iris Samson and she isn’t hard to find. Just tell her secretary that Ira sent you.”


“That’s my name. She’s my twin. And don’t hesitate to call me to let me know how Gus is once you’re back.” He handed Mel and Brian a card each. Looking upon Gus lovingly. “Today was a good day.”


They left the hospital, answering a few more of Officer Moran’s questions. Brian looked down into the face of his sleeping son, remembering the doctor’s words. Today was indeed a good day.  


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