Brian was at Daphne's waiting for Justin. His lover was taking a shower. They were going out to dinner. They were finally going to check out the one star restaurant with the four star waiters. Brian was surprised when he asked Justin to go with him, before the whole "Stockwell" meltdown, that he was refused. Justin used to jump anytime Brian wanted to do anything with him, but this time he refused. This was the closest that Brian had ever come to asking him on a date and the twat refused. Brian could tell this time around things were going to be different.

Justin came back to Brian on his own, silent, terms. The time apart had changed the young artist greatly. It seemed as though he'd had some taste of the real world and knew that happily ever after didn't really exist outside of fairy tales and movies. Justin came back to Brian, older and wiser. He no longer went along with things just to please the older man. He no longer dropped everything just to be with him. If he had something else to do, he was going to do it.

That point was made clearly the night of Brian's "orgy" party. While Brian was making the plans, he figured that he and Justin would fuck themselves crazy in the bedroom, while the twenty other hot fags surrounded them. Just thinking about it got him hard. When he had told Justin about the party, Justin declined. He had something else to do, but told Brian to have fun. The scary thing was that Brian knew Justin meant it. Justin came back to Brian with no illusions, tricking included. Justin finally understood that tricking meant nothing to Brian outside of the physical release, and did nothing to threaten the young artist's place in his life. He proved that then night Brian told the trick du jour that Justin was the guy he fucks more than once. "Unlike you," was Justin's reply. At that moment, Brian knew they were going to be ok.

In addition to being lovers, they were also truly becoming friends. Justin was wise and insightful. The things that came out his young lover's mouth were amazing. One of the most surprising things was that he called Brian on his bullshit. He no longer feared the older man's reaction. He was going to say what he wanted to say and do what he wanted to do. That was evident with the "anti-Stockwell" campaign. The night Brian caught Justin at Vanguard working on his posters, he ordered Justin to stop. Possibly, in the past, Justin would have complied, but not now. He wasn't going to take orders from Brian anymore. He was going to do what he believed in, and Brian could either accept or not, but it wouldn't change what Justin was going to do.

Their brief stint as Dr. Evil and the Secret Avenger had been fun. Being allies in a secret project was invigorating. Brian was very proud of his lover. To see the man that had emerged from the frightened kid he picked up on Liberty Avenue was amazing. Even though Justin could piss him off like no other, Brian admired and respected the man like no one else he had ever known. Brian had always cared for Justin and believed in him, but before he was always still just a kid. That kid had been replaced by a strong confident man. A man who loved him, respected him, enough to take him on, piss him off and make Brian want to be a better man.

Brian was jolted from his thoughts by someone knocking at the door. Since Justin was still in the shower and Daphne wasn't home, Brian went to answer the door. He was surprised to find Jennifer Taylor on the other side.


"Hi Jennifer."

The woman seemed very uncomfortable, "Umm is Justin here?"

Brian held the door open in an unspoken gesture for the woman to come inside, "Yeah, he's in the shower." Brian walked over to the bathroom and opened the door, "Hurry up Sunshine, your mom's here."

"Ok, I'll be right out!" Brian knew that meant at least another ten minutes.

Jennifer had settled down on the couch. Brian walked back into the living room and sat in a chair across from her. He could tell the woman was nervous. Brian had never been one of her favorite people, and Brian did not know how much she knew about their reunion. "He should be out in just a few minutes."

"Oh, ok, thanks."

"No problem." The two sat in an uncomfortable silence. Jennifer looked over to Brian several times. He knew she wanted to ask him something, but was unsure how to proceed. Thankfully Justin emerged from the bathroom in short time.

"Hey mom, what's up?"

"Hi sweetheart. Nothing's up, I just stopped by to see if you wanted to have dinner."

"I'd love to mom, but Brian and I already have dinner reservations, how about later in the week?"

Jennifer looked from Justin, to Brian and then back to Justin, something was different, "Ok sweetie, give me a call. Have fun tonight. Brian it was nice to see you."

Bullshit, Brian thought, "You too Jennifer."


Brian was alone at the loft. Justin was working at the diner until midnight. After they had both been fired from Vanguard, Justin went back to the diner. Luckily Debbie was always willing to take him back. Besides, she was so proud of the two of them, she wouldn't have been able to deny Justin anything, or Brian for that matter.

Surprisingly, Brian didn't feel like hunting down a trick. In fact the desire to trick had slowly been diminishing. He hadn't really given it a lot of thought, he was too caught up in fucking Justin all the time. When he was feeling that "itch" he called Justin. That was something he didn't do last time they were together. If Brian was in the mood for "trick" sex he found a trick. Now he called Justin. It didn't diminish the artist's place in his life, it was just really hot sex, free from emotion, just fucking. There were a few times Justin wasn't available, and Brian took care of himself by jerking off. He figured Justin just assumed when he wasn't available, Brian would just prowl the chat rooms. Or maybe he knew, they never talked about it.

The day before, Brian had sensed that Jennifer Taylor wanted to ask him something, but held back. For some reason, Brian wanted to hear what she had to say. Looking at his watch, he saw it was only eight o'clock, it would be several hours before Justin came over. He decided to give his "mother-in-law" a call. He knew Molly was with her dad, so Jennifer should be able to come over.


"Jennifer, it's Brian."

"Brian? Is anything wrong, is Justin okay?"

"Relax Jenn, I didn't mean to scare you. Justin's working at the diner."

"So what's going on?"

"I'd like you to come over, I think we should talk."

There was a long pause, "Give me a half hour."


A half hour later, Brian heard a knock at his door. He opened the door to let Jennifer in. She surveyed the loft suspiciously. She felt a bit like a lamb going in for the slaughter, but she had no choice. Ever since she found about her son's reconciliation with Brian, she had wanted answers. Surprisingly, Brian seemed willing to give them to her.

"Would you like something to drink?"


Brian poured her a glass of chardonnay. She was surprised that he knew her favorite drink. Brian led her into the living room and gestured for her to sit down. He had a brown wooden box on the coffee table. He pulled out a joint, and looked at Jennifer, "Do you mind?"

Jennifer shook her head no. Brian lit the joint, and inhaled deeply. He remembered the way he and Debbie had bonded over a joint, and thought maybe the same could happen with Jennifer Taylor. He silently offered the joint to her. She hesitated for a second, but took the joint from him and inhaled just as deeply.

"Wow, you must not be as proper as you seem."

Jennifer felt the marijuana surge through her, "You'd be surprised Kinney." The two companions laughed nervously. "So why did you invite me here?"

"The other day, I felt you had something that you wanted to ask me."

"I did, I do."

Brian took a hit before passing it back to Jenn, "I figured. I would like to tell you it all … from the beginning."

"I'd like to hear it. I know that Justin is a man, but he will always be my baby." The pot was mellowing her out.

Brian took a deep breath, but he knew he needed to do this, for him, for Justin, for them. "I know. I know that everything you've ever thought or felt about me was because of your need to protect your son. That's why I respect you so much. I wish that my mother would have protected me the way you protect Justin. The first night I picked Justin up on Liberty Avenue, he wasn't supposed to be anything more than a one night stand." He saw Jennifer wince at those words, any mother would. "There was something different about him. I felt things I had never felt before, hell I took him to the hospital after my son was born, and I even let him name Gus."

Jennifer smiled about that, she'd heard this story from Melanie and Lindsey, and always thought it was so sweet that Justin named Gus after his teddy bear.

Brian continued, "I wanted to get rid of him, but he wouldn't go away. He just kept, being there. Eventually I didn't mind … too much. He would call me on my bullshit with all his teenage wisdom, and there was such a childlike innocence about it. I realized that I actually felt something for him. That's why I went to his prom. He had done a lot for me, and I wanted to do something for him. But we all now how that turned out."

Jennifer choked back a sob and saw that Brian had tears in his eyes too, "After he got hurt, things changed. His innocence was gone. He'd gotten a brutal introduction to the real world. He no longer baited me like he used to. He walked on egg shells around me. He wouldn't stand up for what he wanted. He just did whatever I wanted because he didn't want to piss me off and have me kick him out. I'll admit, I certainly had a hand in that. I made it perfectly clear that I wanted him here, but I was going to do exactly as I pleased, and he could deal with it or leave. He eventually left. You see right from the start he had me on a pedestal, he hero worshipped me. Well I eventually came crashing down from that pedestal. When he left, I thought it was all a lie. He claimed to love me, but when the man behind the hero emerged, he couldn't handle it, so he left. That's how it has always been. People like or love my image, but not me, not the man behind the mask. When Justin left, he just confirmed that. Brian Kinney, the enigma, was worshipped and adored. Brian Kinney, the man, was disposable."

In spite of herself, Jennifer felt saddened for Brian. She knew the man was exposing himself to her. "How did you get back together? He has never told me."

Brian gave her his trademark tongue-in-cheek smirk, "I was wrong. Sure, Justin loved me on my pedestal, but he loved me even more when I fell of, it just took him a little while to realize it, and I don't mean that arrogantly. He became relentless. He walked into my office and told me he decided I should take him back. He admitted that he had made some mistakes, but I would be making a bigger one not to give him a second chance. I never had a choice."

"Is it different this time?"

"Yes it is. He has no illusions. He accepts and loves me as I am. He no longer bends to my whims. He stands up to me with a tenacity like never before. He does what he wants, even if he knows it will piss me off, he doesn't care. And that makes me respect him like no one I've ever known. The Stockwell posters are a prime example."

"What are you talking about?"

"When the first posters went up, I didn't know that Justin had done them. I caught him at Vanguard one night, copying the new ones. I told him he had to stop, that he had his fun and now it was over. He never backed down, told me he was doing what he believed in, and really didn't care what I thought."

"What did you do?"

"I eventually helped him hang them."

A realization swept over Jennifer, "My god, you're 'deep throat!' "

"Excuse me?"

"That night at Woody's after the GLC ambush, Justin told us he had a 'deep throat' help him with those unsolved cases. It was you wasn't it?"


"My god, you really love him."

"I love that kid I met under the streetlight, I love that kid who wouldn't leave me alone, even when I was a prick. I love that kid I danced with at the prom. I love that scared vulnerable man that had to put his life back together. I love the strong confident man who is a worthy adversary and partner."

"So why doesn't he live here?"

"We're waiting until the time is right. The first time he moved in here was because his dad didn't want him at home. The second time was because he was hurt and needed to be protected. We want the third and final time to be for the right reasons."

"So why is it different this time?"

"Because, he has become such a man in his own right, that if I fuck up he will really leave. In the past he never would. He would do whatever he thought I wanted for me to let him stay around. That's not true anymore. If I don't treat him as an equal and respect him, he will leave. And I don't want that."


Justin got to the loft around twelve thirty. He was shocked to find his mom and Brian talking on the sofa.

"Umm hey!"


"Hey Sunshine."

"What's going on?"

"Nothing, Brian and I were just talking," Jennifer got up to kiss her son on the cheek, and got ready to leave, "I'll talk to you tomorrow."

Justin turned and looked at Brian, "What was my mom doing here."

"She and I just needed to talk."

"Really? What about?"

"She just needed to understand why this time things are different."

Justin wrapped his arms around his lover's neck, "And are they?"

"Oh, yes they are."

The End

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