Family Matters

Chapter One

"You're not going, Gus, and that's final!" Melanie Marcus yelled at her son.

"Mom … I'm almost 18 years old. You can't tell me what I can and can't do anymore! Next month, whether you like it or not, I'm going to Pittsburgh!" Gus yelled back, going into his room and slamming the door. Melanie sighed, shaking her head. She sat down on the couch and ran her hands over her face. Sitting back on the couch, she mentally re-visited the past 18 years.

Her partner, Lindsay Peterson, and she had been together for six years. Lindsay decided that she wanted to have a baby, and Melanie agreed. Lindsay was very adamant about having her longtime male friend, Brian Kinney, be the father, even though Melanie hated him. But, Melanie agreed to let Brian father the child, because it was what Lindsay wanted, and it would make Lindsay happy.

So, Gus was born. Gus … she still couldn't get over that name. Brian's little trick-of-the-night had decided on that name. Whatever … what's done is done. The first six to eight months of Gus' life, Melanie still had not been named a guardian. Brian still had not given up his rights. Finally, Lindsay convinced him to sign the rights over to Melanie. Melanie was grateful that Brian gave her the rights, but she still hated him.

About a year after Gus was born, Lindsay was involved in a fatal car accident, killing her. The next month, Melanie moved herself and Gus to Canada. Brian tried constantly to get in touch with Melanie so he could see Gus, but Melanie would not let him. She said Brian had no rights to Gus, and she didn't want Brian to have anything to do with Gus' upbringing.

As Gus grew up, Melanie lied, telling him that Brian never wanted anything to do with him. So, at 17, almost 18, Gus wanted to go to Pittsburgh to find Brian Kinney and ask why.

Melanie sighed, looking at Gus' closed bedroom door.

"I could really use some divine intervention, here, Linds," she whispered, shaking her head and going into the kitchen to make dinner.

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Brian Kinney opened his front door, dropping his briefcase and taking off his jacket.

"Papa! Papa!" he heard the excited voice approaching and smiled when he saw the little girl running towards him, blonde curls bouncing. He leaned down, catching her and picking her up.

"Hey Munchkin," he said, kissing her cheek and carrying her further into the house. "Where's Daddy?" he asked her.

"In the kitchen," she said, hugging Brian around the neck. Brian headed into the kitchen.

"Alex, honey, who're you talking to?" Brian heard the voice of his husband, Justin Taylor, ask. He entered the kitchen.

"It's Papa, Daddy. He's home from workin'," Alex said, squirming in Brian's arms. "Papa, put me down, please," she said. Brian put her down and she ran off into the playroom. Brian laughed, shaking his head.

"You're lucky she came out of there long enough to say hello to you. She's been in there all day playing with her Barbies," Justin smiled, stirring the pot of something on the stove. Brian smiled, going over to him.

"Well, it was your idea to buy her Barbies," he reminded Justin, who rolled his eyes. "Whatcha cookin'? It smells good," Brian said, peeking into the pots.

"Spaghetti. How was work?"

"Work was work. Glad to be home," Brian smiled, giving Justin a kiss.

"Mmm … go upstairs and change … dinner will be ready in about fifteen minutes," Justin said, going back to the pans. Brian smiled, going up the stairs and into his and Justin's room. While he changed, his mind ran over the past few years.

He and Justin had been together for almost 18 years. About 8 years ago, on their tenth anniversary, they had a commitment ceremony and exchanged rings. They moved out of the loft and into a nice house.

A little over three years later, Justin asked Brian about having a baby. It caught Brian off-guard, and it took him six months to agree. But he did agree, and Justin asked Daphne to mother their child. She agreed, and a little more than nine months later, Alexis Jennifer Taylor-Kinney was born.

Alex was now almost five, and Brian was finally happy. There was one thing that still bothered him. His son. Brian went to his bedside table and pulled open the drawer. There was a framed picture in the back from almost 18 years ago. It was of the night his son was born, a picture of Brian holding Gus. Brian ran his finger over the picture.

He tried for years after Melanie left to get ahold of her. She wouldn't let him see his son. He even went as far as to go to Toronto and knock on the front door, but she refused to let him inside. He didn't want to scare Gus and make him think that Brian was a scary man, so he left. He regrets that now. He came back to Pittsburgh. But, so that Gus knew that he existed, he sent a check monthly. He knew they were being put into the bank, but he didn't know if Gus ever saw them. He also set up a college fund for Gus, and added to it monthly since the day Gus was born. He planned on giving it to him on Gus' 18th birthday. He, Justin, and Alex had planned a trip to Toronto for Gus' birthday, and he would see his son. He didn't care if Melanie had to arrest him.

"Brian! Dinner!" Justin called from the bottom of the stairs, pulling him out of his thoughts.

"I'll be right down!" he called, putting the picture back in the drawer. Looking down at it, he sighed. "Soon, sonnyboy. I promise," he said, closing the drawer and heading downstairs.

End Chapter One
9-19-05