Brian had just stepped out of the shower and was drying himself off when the phone started ringing. He quickly glanced at the Caller ID screen, and couldn't help but smile.

"You better be on your way home, Sunshine," he answered, his member hardening at the thought of all the things he planned to do to his blond lover once he got home.

"Actually, I'm still at the studio. I was just about ready to leave, but... then I got a call from Lindsay."

Brian rolled his eyes. "Okay... and?" he urged.

"Well, we sort of have a situation," Justin said, and then held his breath, preparing himself for Brian's reaction.

"What kind of situation?" Brian asked, frowning.

"Well apparently, Gus is still getting over the flu, and he had to miss the class trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, today. Lindsay said that their pediatrician told them that Gus wasn't well enough to go out, especially with this drizzly weather we've been having."

Brian sighed. "I bet he's upset. I know he was really looking forward to going on that trip. He must have told me about it a hundred times."

"Yeah, Lindsay said this morning he was crying, begging her to still let him go. He' been upset all day. It really broke her heart seeing him like that, but her hands were tied. She didn't want him to get worse, or risk getting any of the other children sick."

"So... why did she call you?" Brian was almost afraid to ask.

"Well, Mel is working late again tonight, and Lindsay herself, hasn't been feeling all that well lately. It's possible she might have the flu now too, but she thinks she may just be tired, or that it may be stress-related. Melanie has been working hard on that custody trial, and has been putting in a lot of hours at the office, which has left Lindsay with most of the slack at home. Gus has been home from school all week, and between taking care of him and Jenny Rebecka, Lindsay would just like a night to rest."

"And that's where we come in, right?" Brian said. There was a slight pause on the other end.

"She asked if it was at all possible for us to take him for the night," Justin said.

Brian pinched the bridge of his nose. This was definitely not how he had expected his night to go. Of course, he knew that Lindsay nor any of their other friends were aware that today was actually a day he and Justin made sure to acknowledge. They'd actually been "acknowledging" this day for the last 2 years -- at least that's what he liked to call it. It was better than actually saying the word "anniversary".

He and Justin had both had an extremely busy week and had been looking forward to "acknowledging" tonight in every sense of the word. Justin was going to bring home some dinner on the way home from the studio, and after they ate, the phone was to be unplugged, their cells were to be turned off, and they planned to spend the rest of their night "acknowledging" in bed. But now, it looked as though there might be a change of plans.

"Did you tell her yes?" Brian asked.

"No, I said that I would have to talk to you and then get back with her," Justin told him.

"You know, when I told you this morning to prepare for an evening you wouldn't soon forget, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind," Brian admitted.

Justin laughed. "You don't say?" Justin's voice got serious then. "It's up to you, Brian. Whatever you want to do is fine with me."

Never one to turn away his son, Brian groaned, knowing that his evening was going to be occupied not by one, but two kids. He smiled, nevertheless. It was a guilty pleasure of his, watching Justin and Gus interact together. His partner had always been a natural with Gus from day one, and Brian knew that his son loved Justin as a second dad. He couldn't deny that he enjoyed seeing the two most important people to him in the world, happy and laughing and playing together. He also knew Justin was probably the best person to bring up Gus's spirits tonight, and he had a feeling Lindsay had that in mind as well, when she had called him. She could have sent Gus to Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Carl for the night, or even had Alicia, their regular babysitter, come over to take care of him for a few hours until Melanie got home, but Brian was sure Lindsay knew Gus would be happiest at Brighton with his two dads.

"All right, call up Lindsay and tell her she can pack Sonnyboy's overnight bag. Looks like I'm gonna be spending the evening with my two favorite guys," Brian said with an exaggerated sigh. He swore he could hear Justin smiling through the phone.

"Brian, are you sure you're okay with this? I know tonight is --"

"Tell Lindsay you're on your way," Brian insisted in a tone that let it be known that he was okay with their change of plans.

"Okay, okay. I'm going to stop and pick up some food too. We should be home in an hour at the most."

"Sounds good."

"I love you, you know that?" Justin told him.

"Prove it to me tonight when Gus is fast asleep in his own room and far away from where your cries of ecstasy can be heard," Brian said, making Justin laugh.

"Count on it."


Brian was sitting at his desk in his private office looking over the latest ad campaign he'd practically been working nonstop on for the last couple of weeks, when he heard the front door close and then the sound of a dog barking. Brian groaned, realizing Gus had brought that damned drooling, designer shoe-eating mutt.

He sighed. "And so it begins," he whispered to himself, and shut down his computer before getting up to seek out his boys.

When he reached the living room, he saw Gus clad in his race car footed pajamas, leaning down to pet his hyperactive 6 month old chocolate lab, who couldn't seem to stop licking any part of flesh she came into contact with - especially Gus's face and hands.

"Princess," Gus giggled. Brian's heart warmed, seeing how happy the puppy made his son.

"Hey, Sonnyboy," Brian smiled as he walked over to the boy. Gus looked up at Brian and smiled back.

"Hi, Daddy!" his hoarse voice replied and held out his arms to his father.

Brian picked up his son and hugged him. "So what's this I hear about you having the flu?" he asked, smoothing away some of the hair from the Gus's forehead.

Gus nodded. "I got sick," he replied, and suddenly let out a horrible sounding cough, followed by a frown. "Ouch," he told Brian, his eyes moist.

"I know, Sonnyboy. Did Mommy put some medicine for that in your bag?" he asked as he put down his son and walked toward the sofa, where Gus's overnight duffel bag was sitting.

"It's okay, Brian, Lindsay packed everything he needed and wrote down all the instructions for his medication," Justin explained as he walked toward them.

Brian nodded, and then felt a cold nose nudge at his leg. When he looked down to meet the excited eyes of the puppy, he smiled and gave in, bending down to scratch behind her ears. "Hey, mutt," he said.

"Daddy, don't call her that. Her name is Princess, and she missed you!" Gus said, and as if she were agreeing with Gus's last comment, Princess jumped up and started licking Brian's face.

"Ugh!" Brian said, pushing the dog away. "Canine cologne," he frowned, and grabbed a nearby tissue from the Kleenex box to wipe away the dog slobber.

Justin and Gus only laughed. The relationship between Brian and Princess amused them to no end. Brian had actually got the puppy for Gus, two months prior. Gus had been asking for a dog for over a year, and after talking to Lindsay and Melanie about it, they agreed to let Brian take him to the local Humane Society to pick out a dog. Princess had been found in an abandoned house with four other pups. She had been the last of the puppies to be released for adoption because of a respiratory infection. In fact, she had still been sick when Brian and Gus first saw her, which was why they couldn't take her home right away. Because no one else had wanted to wait for a sick puppy to get better, Brian was at the top of the list to adopt Princess, and a couple of weeks later they got the call that they could adopt her, and went back to the Humane Society to pick up the new newest member of the family.

Brian had never really been much of a dog person; especially being the neat freak he was. Just the very thought of having to clean up piss and shit accidents and having dog hair and drool get on everything was enough to make him throw a bitch fit - which was why they had all agreed that the dog would stay with Gus at Lindsay and Melanie's with only the occasional visit to Brighton. But unbeknownst to them all, though Princess was friendly to everyone, she seemed to respond to Brian more than anyone else. No matter how much he tried to ignore, scold or push the lab away, it didn't make Princess any less loyal. Whenever Brian walked into the room, she was almost always right there by his side, excitedly wagging her tail and licking him, giving him her cute, innocent puppy eyes. Brian eventually gave up trying to fight his affection for the damned mutt. In fact, though he loved to complain, he wouldn't admit that he'd actually started to get used to Princess and didn't mind so much when Gus brought her over.

Brian looked down at the dog with narrow eyes and wagged a finger at her. "You shit or piss anywhere in this house tonight, and I'll drive you to the pound myself," he warned the pup, who seemed oblivious to his threat as she happily jumped up on his legs, begging him to play with her.

"Daddy, she doesn't do that anymore. She's potty trained!" Gus said with a frown.

Brian looked sternly at his son. "Well, you better make sure you take her out when she needs to go," he told him.

"Mommy said I can't go outside," Gus pointed out.

"Well, you can put her out in the backyard for a while until she's done and then let her back in," Brian said.

"We'll work it out later. Let's eat before the food gets cold," Justin told them.

"What'd you get?" Brian asked.

"We stopped at the soup and salad place. I thought it would be better for Gus to have soup than anything else. I hope that's okay," Justin said.

Brian nodded and leaned down to kiss Justin's lips softly. "It's fine. I'm going to take Gus to wash his hands, and then we'll meet you in the kitchen."


"Daddy, can we watch The Incredibles?" Gus asked. The three of them had just finished their second game of "Go Fish", and Brian could tell Gus was getting bored with it.

Brian sighed. "Gus, how many times have you seen that movie?"

Gus coughed loudly and then sniffled before he gave his father a shrug. "I don't know."

"Why don't you pick something else out?" Brian asked. They had a growing collection of movies for Gus to be able to watch when he came over. Problem was, Gus never seemed to get tired of watching The Incredibles, and Brian thought if he had to see that movie again he'd go out of his mind.

"Aw!" Gus whined.

"Actually, Gus, the last time Molly was here, she left Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Would you be interested in watching that?" Justin asked.

Gus's face immediately lit up again. "Yeah!" he cheered. Justin smiled and nodded.

Brian let out a sigh of relief and smiled at Justin and mouthed, "Thank you". He'd never seen Harry Potter, and had been working late when Molly had brought it over for them to watch, the last time.

"Okay, how about we get you in the bath first and into some fresh pajamas, and then we'll all watch Harry Potter and share some popcorn?" Justin suggested.

Gus immediately ran over to hug Justin, excited for the fun that was to come. "Yay!" he said and started jumping up and down. He stopped for a minute to start coughing.

"All right, Sonnyboy, settle down," Brian told his son, and rubbed his back gently. He looked over at Justin. "We also need to give him his medicine." He then leaned into Justin's ear and added "With any luck it will knock him out before the movie is over and we can call it a night and get started on our 'acknowledgment'," he said, and gave Justin's neck a little nibble.

"Brian!" Justin giggled, pushing his partner away. "Why don't you take Princess for a quick walk while I help Gus with his bath?" Justin said.

Brian sighed. "Yeah, I suppose I'd better so she doesn't decide to take a piss on our $3,000 sofa."

Justin rolled his eyes. "Come on Gus, let's go upstairs," he said, walking towards the staircase, and Gus followed behind him, continuing to cough and sniffle.

Brian looked down at Princess who was wagging her tail at him as always. "Okay, girl. Ready to roam the block and mark some territory?" he asked as he picked up her leash. Princess started barking excitedly and could barely hold still long enough for Brian to attach the leash to her collar.

Twenty minutes later, Brian and Princess re-entered Brighton. Brian had to admit, he kind of liked having an excuse to go for a walk around the neighborhood. In fact, the thought crossed his mind that he might want to take Princess out for a run with him in the morning. He usually used his treadmill for running, but it would be nice to try something different, not to mention have some scenery instead of staring at the television or the wall.

Brian removed the leash from Princess' collar, and then got the lab to follow him to the kitchen. It smelled like popcorn, which Justin obviously had started popping in the microwave while he was upstairs. Brian got out a bowl from the cupboard which was kept there just for her, and filled it with water. He could swear that Princess smiled at him in appreciation before she started drinking from the bowl. He leaned over and patted her head while she drank. "You're a good girl," he whispered.

"How was your walk?" Justin asked, coming up behind Brian and wrapping his arms around him.

"She behaved herself," Brian smiled. "I thought I might take her for a run in the morning," he added.

Justin nodded. "I'm sure she'd enjoy that," Justin said, giving his lover a knowing smile.

"What? Don't look at me like that," he tried to say with a straight face but failed miserably.

Justin laughed. "You so have a soft spot for her," he grinned. Brian rolled his eyes in response.

"Please. I just don't want to deal with a hyper dog tearing shit up because she's got energy to burn," Brian defended.

"Yeah. Whatever you say, softy," Justin said, the grin never leaving his face.

Brian wrapped his arms around Justin's waist and pulled him close. "You're going to have to stop smiling at me like that. It makes me want to carry you upstairs and fuck you into the mattress," he said, huskily.

"Mmm, promises, promises," Justin purred, and pulled Brian's face down to kiss him. They stood there kissing for a couple of minutes until Gus came running in.

"Daddy, Justin, come on! Let's watch the movie!" he urged.

Brian sighed. "All right, Sonnyboy, we're coming," he answered.

Justin smiled at him again and pecked his lips once more before pulling away to grab the popcorn. "Grab some apple juice for him and a couple of beers for us, and meet us in the living room," Justin told him.

"Yes, dear," Brian answered in a falsetto voice. Justin laughed as he rolled his eyes and walked out of the kitchen.


Brian watched as Gus fought to keep his eyes open, but the boy finally conked out about a half an hour before the movie ended. Brian nudged Justin and then nodded toward a sleeping Gus. Justin picked up the remote and stopped the movie.

"He's out like a light. Let's put him to bed," Brian whispered softly, not wanting to wake his son.

"And then you can put ME to bed," Justin said, giving him a sexy look, causing Brian's cock to awaken.

Brian carefully picked up his son and carried him up the stairs, Princess following close behind them, while Justin carried the popcorn bowl to the kitchen and then turned off all the lights downstairs before making his way up to the bedroom.


"Oh, God. Justin!" Brian moaned, as Justin rode him for all he was worth. He felt the familiar tingle in his groin that told him that he was about to cum, and grasped his lover's cock and started pumping it in rhythm with Justin's thrusting.

"Mmm... fuck... Brian!" Justin called out, as his cum spilled out onto his man's chest. He clamped down onto the thick cock and could feel Brian's hot cum filling him, as he rode out the waves of his orgasm. Glowing and satisfied, Justin leaned forward to kiss his lover's delicious lips, which Brian happily kissed back. They continued kissing for several minutes, holding each other all wet and sticky.

"You're amazing," Brian whispered, looking deep into Justin's eyes.

"You're not bad yourself, old man," Justin teased.

"Twat," Brian smiled, and reached around and pinched Justin's ass.

"Ouch!" Justin laughed.

"You deserved that."

"I think I deserve a lot more than that," Justin replied, and captured Brian's lips again. "You owe me at least two more rounds. We should at least fuck as many if not more times than we did last year."

"You won't hear any complaining from me," Brian smiled, and kissed him for a few minutes before turning Justin over onto his back so he could engulf his semi-hard cock.


"So, even though things didn't go exactly as we planned for the evening, I'd say that we've still managed to properly 'acknowledge' this day, wouldn't you?" Brian panted, rubbing his hands up and down Justin's flushed back.

"Mmm, yeah, I'd definitely have to agree with you on that one," Justin said, still catching his breath.

They were quiet then for a few moments, just holding each other contentedly, and listening to one another breathe. "You really made Gus's day, you know that?" Justin said.

"I didn't do anything. It was all you, Sunshine. All I did was agree to have him come over. You did the rest. He had a good time tonight because you made it happen," Brian told him.

"Don't give me all the credit. He loves being here with both of us. You didn't have to say yes, but you knew that he needed to be here with us tonight, that it would bring up his spirits, not only because he's been sick all week, but also because he missed his class trip. And even though tonight was especially planned for just the two of us, you still came through for him. You love him enough to put his needs above your own."

Brian kissed the top of Justin's head. "I like having him here," Brian admitted. He thought about the evening they'd had with Gus, and he smiled, realizing that he had actually had a good time tonight. He knew they all had. Princess included. He had enjoyed being with his family.

"Well, even though we had a little change in plans, we were at least still able to get in some good fucking," Brian smiled.

Justin chuckled and nodded. "Can you believe it's been three years?" he asked.

Brian shook his head. "I know."

"Three years ago tonight you got on a plane and asked me to come home."

Brian lightly stroked Justin's cheek with his hand. "Yeah... I finally got some sense," he said, with a small smile, and kissed Justin before positioning them so he was spooned behind him.

He lightly ran his hands up and down Justin's arm, just enjoying the contact, as he thought about his decision three years ago. Justin had told him four years ago that he wanted to come back to Pittsburgh. He had insisted that he knew his place was with Brian, and he missed him terribly, along with the rest of their family. But Brian had refused to let him pass up the opportunity to make something of himself in New York, especially if it was just for him. He knew Justin had wonderful potential; that he was talented. He wasn't about to let him ruin his chance at being a successful artist in the name of love, no matter how much it killed him to be away from the younger man, and despite knowing the likelihood of Justin eventually moving on and meeting someone else.

Justin couldn't afford to fly home for visits, but wouldn't ask Brian to buy him a ticket because he hated having to keep asking him for things. He felt that Brian had already done more than enough for him over the years.

Brian would visit Justin once or twice a month, but never offered to fly him home, because honestly, he didn't know if he would be able to let him get back on that plane to New York after having him back home and in his bed again. It was just too hard to say goodbye, and the same fears kept running through his mind. He didn't want to be responsible for holding Justin back.

Their relationship drifted further and further apart, and it wasn't until a screaming argument with Justin over the phone one night telling Brian he was a fucking fool for letting him leave in the first place, that he realized just how badly he had fucked things up and how miserable they both were because of it. It had killed him to hear the hurt in Justin's voice. To know how unhappy he was. To know that by what he had done was the end result of Justin giving up on him and their relationship. Justin had said that he was so tired of Brian pushing him away, and had told him that he resented him for deciding what was best for him and fighting him every step of the way whenever it came to the two of them being together. The conversation ended with Justin in tears and hanging up on the other man, and then, of course, Brian had dealt with it the only way he knew how -- by going straight to Woody's to try to drink it all away.

A week later, Brian had grown more and more miserable and knew he couldn't lose Justin again. He wouldn't. He'd do whatever he had to do to make things work for them. After making that decision, everything else just sort of fell into place. He hopped on the next flight to New York, and showed up at Justin's door. There were no words. Just pure passion. They made desperate love, clinging to each other as if their lives depended on it. Afterward, as they lay in bed holding one another, Brian whispered for Justin to come home.

It was three years ago tonight that that had happened. Brian's arm tightened a little more around Justin's waist as he spooned him. He kissed the sensitive spot behind Justin's ear, and smiled when Justin moaned his approval.

"You're thinking about that night, aren't you?" Justin asked softly.


Justin turned around so that he was facing his partner and kissed his lips gently. "You made the right choice," Justin whispered.

"I know," Brian whispered back.



"Happy Acknowledgment Day."

Brian could only smile back at the man he loved. "Happy Acknowledgment Day."

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