Hey, it's a new fic! The point of this story is explained in the author's note at the bottom.

Never screw with Peter Fleming's family.

Un-beta'ed, so quibble away.

- o – o -

The Palm City media loved the Faraday-Fleming household, and any new stories concerning the so-called Palm City Royal Family were jumped on with wild abandon. Watching the average newsroom during one of their family outings was akin to watching a piranha feeding frenzy.

Because of these facts, the Copper Hills Athletic Club could have avoided a very humiliating experience and quite a bit of bad press, if they'd just let Vince have the membership card he'd paid for…

- o – o -

Peter Fleming had been looking forward to a quiet day at home, spent with a cup of coffee and some reports he'd been meaning to go over for the past few days. His partner of almost six years, Vince, had told him that he was going to turn into a vampire if he didn't get more sunlight. Peter's rejoinder had made Chess quite proud, and had Vince blushing crimson for several minutes.

Vince was out for the day with Trip (now a moody sixteen, and as headstrong as his father and stepsister), and Charles "Charlie" Faraday-Fleming (now aged three, and quite willing to tell that fact to anyone who listened). The three of them were heading for the Copper Hills Athletic Club, mostly for the swimming. Charlie was, as far as Trip was concerned, half-fish.

The billionaire was halfway through his second pot of coffee and the stack of reports when the elevator dinged. He frowned and checked his watch, sure that not enough time had passed. He was right—it had only been an hour since Vince had left with his sons. Peter looked up as Vince stormed past with Charlie, a dark look on his face. Trip slouched into the family room and flopped down on the sofa.

"Did something go wrong?" Peter asked mildly.

"I'm going to murder someone, and then dance on their graves," Trip growled. Peter raised an eyebrow.

Can I train him as my replacement? Chess piped up in the back of his mind. Peter pushed the irritant back down with a mental growl. This wasn't the time.

"I think that's going to the extremes," Peter replied evenly, sipping his coffee. There was a time when he'd gladly have taught the boy how to correctly murder someone, but… Well, he had no desire for Deveraux to swoop back in, or for Vince to drop him off the roof. Not that it wouldn't be worth it, but…

"Bite me," Trip snapped. He rubbed his eyes with a grimace. "Is it wrong that I've got two sets of parents, and one set just happens to be two dads?"

Peter wondered if he could make Vince believe that letting Chess loose was an accident. But, Trip was speaking—ranting—again, and he needed to concentrate on that.

"I mean, so what if my dad married another guy? It's not like there's anything wrong with it, aside from the fact that… Well…" The teenager trailed off. "Never mind. The point is, why does my dad being gay mean I can't go swimming in a stupid pool with him and my little brother?" He was fiddling with the cowry shell bracelet on his wrist now, which was the best indicator of his current level of agitation.

"In other words…" Peter began, "Vince was denied entry to this club…because he's married to me?"

"You mean because he's a fag? Yeah."

"Trip…" There was a distinct warning note in Peter's voice. It let the sixteen-year-old know that his allowance would be cut off for the foreseeable future, and there would be more consequences later.

"I know, I know!" Trip said exasperatedly, throwing his hands in the air. "Still, it's what that asshole at the club said. And I quote," he added, clearing his throat, "'Mr. Faraday, people like you aren't allowed in our club; your application shouldn't have been processed at all. Good day, sir'. And then he had security throw us out."

"I'll deal with this," Peter promised. Despite Chess' incessant pleas to be let out to deal with the directors of the club in a more permanent fashion, he had a much better way to deal with the situation. Of course, if it didn't work, there was always the bloody revenge Chess had in mind…

- o – o -

The next morning, Peter delivered a copy of the Palm City Herald to Trip personally. The teenager took one look at the headline and smiled.

"You know, I think I might actually stop hating you," the sixteen-year-old said mildly. Peter smiled at his stepson, and was about to reply when they both heard cursing from the bedroom Peter shared with his spouse. "But I think you should probably stop dad from mauling a reporter first…"

Peter left and Trip reclined on his bed, reading the paper with a sense of satisfaction.

They really shouldn't have tried screwing with anyone Peter Fleming cared for…

- o – o -

So, what did you think? Good? Bad? Want to applaud Peter for having such good self control? Drop a line and let me know!

Author's note: The Faraday-Fleming family depicted in this story draws heavily on the family depicted in WtchCool's The Baby Carriage, although it in no way reflects on the future of the family itself, in names or gender of the alleged child.

To reach the petition that inspired this story, use the link below, removing spaces and adding dashes and dots where indicated.

Change DOT o r g/ petitions (forward slash)carilion(dash)clinic(dash) family(dash)is(dash)family (dash)don-t-kick-out-kids-from-the-pool-because-they-have-gay-dads