later2nite (later2nite) wrote,



(banner by little_sister)

Author: later2nite
Genre: AU
Rating: NC 17
Summary: Justin and Daphne are on the brink of becoming parents when Brian enters the picture. An angst-free little AU, comprised of equal parts canon and non-canon. How many twists can you spot, accounting for the title?
A/N: Many thanks to techgirl_on_ij for rising above and beyond the call of a normal beta,
without whose help this fic would literally not have been possible, and whose porny brain rescued it from dullness in several instances.



"I need to get fucked. I've figured out what my problem is, and I need to get fucked." Quietly stating the obvious, Justin takes a long drag on his Marlboro.

Daphne contorts one side of her face and raises an eyebrow, waiting for the rest.

"I couldn't even sketch a simple still life yesterday. I've been bottled up for a week. If I got fucked, it would unblock me. You know what I mean?"

"I guess." She reaches for his cigarette out of habit. "But, um, who?"

"That's just it. Tyler doesn't fit the bill. Neither does Jake. I need someone who is . . ."

"Perfect for you? Good luck with that!" Daphne laughs and tries for his smoke again. "Where do you even begin to look?"

"I'm not giving you this cigarette, Daph. You know it's not good for the baby if you smoke. You've made it eight and a half months already. A little longer won't kill you."

She lets out a long sigh. "I know. You're gonna be a great dad."

"I'd be a better one if I could just get fucked." Justin mashes the butt into the ashtray that Mrs. Chanders keeps out on the back deck for him.

"Oh, shit!" Daphne bolts out of her lawn chair. "I'm gonna throw up!" Running inside, with Justin hot on her heels, she makes it just in time to hunch over the toilet before losing her dinner.

Justin holds her hair back out of the way, wishing he could do more. "You shouldn't still be getting sick like this." He douses a facecloth with cool water and gives it to her. Then he takes her hand and walks them into her bedroom. "Let's sit in your beanbag chair. Remember when we used to solve the world's problems every day after school in this thing?" He helps Daphne down onto their trusty old friend, sinking in beside her.

"We were a lot smaller then. I was, at least."

"We still fit. Look." Leaning against her shoulder, Justin places an open hand on her stomach, hoping to feel the baby kick. "Seriously, Daph," he brings up the needing to get fucked thing again. "I've been thinking about it for a long time, and I really want to check out Liberty Avenue. It's like there's this whole other world going on down there. When we watch the Pride parade on TV every year, it makes me want to see it firsthand."

Daphne's eyes get round as saucers. "Some of the guys in those parades seem so weird. Aren't you scared?"

"A little. But I'll never forget the way you looked that morning after we did it. You were glowing, Daph. All over. You were somehow . . . different." Justin makes small circles with his hand and then moves it to the other side of her tummy. "I want to feel like that."

"But when?"

"Tonight!" he improvises on the spot. "Maybe after your queasiness settles down you can give me a ride. I'll just take the bus back. Leave your window open, and I'll climb up to the tree house and in from there. What do you think?"

"Yeah, we can do that. If you're sure. This is a big step, Justin."

"I'm sure. It's time for me to get fucked. Oh! There it is! The baby kicked!"

Daphne giggles, grasping Justin's hand with both of hers. "Help me up. Let's stop for ice cream cones on the way!"

. . . . .

His face is the most beautiful thing Brian's ever seen, at least during the past hour. Beautiful enough, in fact, to (minimum) require up close and personal scrutiny and possibly (best case scenario) total redirection of the evening's plans. Sunshine colored hair, cropped closely into the private school cut, is one of the first details to capture Brian's imagination when he leaves Michael and the guys out in front of Babylon and crosses the street to get a better look. With the unmistakable scent of fresh meat drawing him near, he drinks in soulful eyes, flawless skin, and a mouth that begs to be kissed. "Where're you headed?"

"No place special."

"I can change that." Brian's lips fold inward against each other, his light brown eyes growing wide with invitation. He doesn't look twenty-nine. Tall and thin, magnificently wrapped in a tight black tee shirt and jeans, he obviously works out.

Justin peers up into his handsome face, silently accepting the offer. The fact that Brian's never seen him before is the deal sealer. Brian always gets the hottest guys. Once.

"Come on, Brian!" Michael yells out from the other side of the street. "We're going!"

If there's one thing in all the world Michael absolutely hates, it's being ignored by Brian.

. . . . .

"Your friends look pretty upset. You're just gonna leave them there? Brian, is it?"

Brian's Jeep lurches forward when he throws it into gear, jarring his new friend in the passenger seat. "Yes, it's Brian. Brian Kinney. And you are?"

"Justin Taylor."

"Well, Justin Taylor, I can see those guys anytime. Right now, I'd rather see you." Brian's lips fold together again and then part into a magical smile, defined by his crooked upper left incisor. "You wanna come home with me, don't you?"

Justin returns the smile with megawattage of his own. "I'm going with you."



. . . . .

Brian's elegantly appointed sixth floor loft is the perfect spot for Justin to lose his virginity. Not that location plays any significant role. He would have followed him anywhere, certain the instant he gazed into Brian's eyes that he'd found what he was looking for. The attraction was immediate and intense.

Now Justin stares at a leggy, unclad god with outstretched arms, who wants to know if he's coming or going. Going is definitely out of the question. The other option seems to be the only choice as Brian stands motionless, waiting for the boy in the trance to come to him. It works like a charm. As if under a spell, Justin floats toward Brian, their eyes drawing them together with magnetic power.

Keeping just seconds away from the first kiss until anticipation reaches fever pitch, Brian lightly presses his lips against Justin's and then separates from them ever so briefly before doing it again. He's not going slowly because the fledgling's never been kissed. He's going slowly because that's how he kisses. It's one of his greatest pleasures.

Justin feels himself being taken over by a previously dormant force of nature that's suddenly barreling out of control. It's the most natural move he's ever made when he raises his arms and winds them around Brian's neck. He doesn't know what he's doing, but he's doing everything right. Brian's the reason he was put on this earth. Brian's the reason he's alive.

"So, what do you like to do?" that justification for existence asks, steering Justin onto his bed and helping him out of his clothes.

"Do? I don't know. Watch TV. Play Tomb Raider . . ."

Brian can't help but laugh. "How old are you?"

"Eighteen, next month."

"Have you ever done this before?"

"Um, well, not exactly."

"Maybe I should take you back to where I found you. Your mom's probably worried sick about you."

Justin's cock is what's worried sick. Worried sick it won't get any attention. And then there's his virgin asshole, still forlornly and unacceptably empty. Always priding himself on being a quick study, he pulls Brian in for more kissing, all too happy to learn how the French do it.

"Put your legs up on my shoulders. That's it." Face-to-face first time. It's Brian's gift to the boy, just for being so beautiful. Taking his time with preparation, he lubes and carefully fingers Justin's warm, taut hole, gradually coaxing it open. Brian grabs a condom from the bedside table and has Justin put it on his rock-hard cock, pre-come already bubbling out of his slit. Safely ensheathed, he gingerly inches inside, beginning a gentle friction.

Welcoming the fiery fullness, Justin exhales a breath he didn't even realize he was holding, the initially painful stretch starting to feel good when the tip of Brian's cock jabs his prostate. Rapidly discovering an itch only Brian can scratch, something primal demands that he yank Brian's body closer on every thrust. Don't stop. Please, don't ever stop! The words whirl round and round in Justin's head when Brian's pace speeds up, his dick ultimately exploding in electrifying jolts. Rivers of hot sperm sprinkle his chest while his hole clenches in spasms.

"Christ! Aahh, shit!" Brian pumps one last time into the vise grip otherwise known as Justin's ass, coming so hard he nearly passes out. "Jesus!" He crumples down onto Justin. "You're so goddamned tight!"

Instinctively, a triumphant Justin takes this as the compliment it's meant to be. So that's what it feels like to get fucked. When can he do it again?

. . . . .

Morning arrives much too soon, barging in like an unwanted visitor with the six a.m. electronic beep on Brian's nightstand. Moments later, his eyelids slowly peeling open, he struggles to focus on one hell of a good-looking youngster in his bed with him, complete with an accompanying seventeen-year-old arm resting across his back. Highly unusual, as his policy after entertaining is to kick the guest out and wake up alone. The guest is about to be escorted off of Cloud Nine. "What the fuck are you doing here?"

"You said I could stay."

"Right. Your mom thinks you're at a friend's." Recreational drugs are a bitch the next morning. The fog should start to lift soon. "What's your name again?"

"Justin." Justin's infatuation with Brian is bigger than his disappointment. "Can I take a shower?"

"Yeah. It's through there." Brian points in the general direction where it should be. He stumbles out of bed toward the kitchen, the heavenly aroma of freshly brewed Colombian coffee beans conspicuously nonexistent. Shit! That's what happens when you don't flip the button the night before. Dragging his ass back up the steps to his bathroom, a stunning image of soaking wet milky white nakedness is all the stimulant he needs. This might shape up into a good morning after all. "One more time, your name?" he inquires, joining Blondie under the spray.


"Justin." Brian rolls the name off his tongue, his brain starting to hurt a whole lot less when he squeezes a glob of expensive shampoo into his palm and massages the boy's scalp with it.

"Mmmm. That feels really good. You have a really nice place here. I'm really glad you found me under that streetlight last night. I really-"

"Fuck! How many times can you say really in ten seconds?" Brian's brain hurt threatens to make a comeback. Big-time. It's unfathomable to him that they've been standing under the steady pelt of hot water together for five entire minutes and all they've done is talk. Ready for much more than talking, he whisks Justin around to face the shower door.

Smushed up against the glass, the sensation of being prepared by Brian's long soapy fingers sends Justin effectively out of his mind.

Fucking the youngest, tightest, most curvaceous ass Brian's ever been in catapults him in the same direction.

. . . . .

"When can I see you again?" Justin's not about to walk away from Brian's Jeep until he's certain there'll be a next time. Lingering in front of his high school with a crowd of gawking classmates looking on, the only thing that matters is being with Brian again.

A hint of a smile forms on the fashion model-esque ad executive's face. Brian does more for a good suit than any ad campaign ever could. "You can see me right now."

"I mean later . . . tonight!"

"Who knows where I'll be . . . later tonight."

"Please?" Justin craves the taste of Brian's tongue in his mouth once more. He's never wanted anything so badly in his life.

The hint of Brian's smile grows. He's not kidding when he says, "I'll see you in your dreams."

Justin's face falls at the thought of being a one-night stand. Brian has no intention of seeing him again. Left standing in the middle of the street, he watches the Jeep fade away, marooning him with nothing more than a vivid memory. How can the most beautiful thing that's ever happened to him be driving away?

"Where have you been? You said you were going to climb back in through the window." Daphne, Justin's best friend since fifth grade, had worried about him all night. "Your mom called. I didn't know what to tell her."

In all actuality, best friend doesn't begin to cover it. What do you call a friend for whom you'd do absolutely anything? The kind of friend who isn't even fazed when you confide your proclivity to lurk in the showers after P.E. to scope out cock because - and you've never breathed a word of this to another living soul - you think you may be, might be, possibly . . . GAY? The kind of friend who isn't embarrassed in the slightest when she requests the presence of your dick into her vagina because, well, she needs to know what it's all about, and who better to experiment with?

Daphne hands Justin his backpack and says she told his mom he was still asleep, neither of their mothers ever suspecting, until receiving confirmation seven months prior, that harmless sleepovers between best friends since fifth grade (isn't it cute?) could ever result in . . . whoops!

"I just saw the face of God." Justin looks fondly down the street where God just drove away. "His name is Brian Kinney."


"I'll tell you all about it at lunch." He holds St. James Academy's door open for her and quickly follows her in. "How's the morning sickness today?"

"It's hell." Daphne snakes an arm around Justin's waist, offering up her own backpack with her other hand when he reaches for it. "I can't believe women willfully put themselves through this."

"Aww, my little incubator." He plants a kiss on her forehead.

"Excuse me? Incubate this!" Daphne pushes Justin's face away, but not before kissing his lips in sworn solidarity. The life inside her quickens as if to acknowledge its daddy, Daphne calming herself yet again with the image of them living in their own apartment, raising their offspring together.

Hey! It could happen! Justin promised her! As soon as they turn eighteen, which will be within two weeks of each other and exactly one week and three weeks after graduation, respectively, they'll move into a great place, courtesy of the sizable inheritance left to him by his alcoholic grandmother.

"I thought that was in a trust fund you couldn't touch!" she'd disputed, still pretty much in shock over the plastic test strip in her hand, its two blue lines glaring up at her.

"I gain full access to it on my eighteenth birthday. Daphne, we can do this!"

His beaming face was difficult to dismiss. 'Kill Me Now' had gradually given way to 'We're Gonna Be Parents' at his loving insistence, every argument she put forth to the contrary met with vehement opposition by her cohort in crime.

"Daphne." Justin took her hands in his. "I'll always love you. You know that, right?"

She remembers how she nodded, feeling herself acquiesce.

"I'll take care of you," he vowed. "And the baby. You'll never have to worry."

Daphne's faith in Justin never stronger, she walks into Homeroom with him just before the final bell.

"Hey, Taylor!" Chris Hobbs shouts from a desk in the back. "Get any last night?"

Wanton snickers emanate from the likes of stupid teenage girls, Daphne tightening her long sweater around her midsection.

Grinning like a loon, Justin still feels Brian's cock in his ass and tastes Brian's sweet mouth on his. "Fuck, yeah!"

If only these walls could talk.

. . . . .

"I come all the way down here to see him, and he doesn't want anything to do with me."

"The thing you have to know about Brian is that he doesn't do boyfriends." Michael's useful information is the voice of experience talking, he and Justin sitting at the Liberty Diner's snack bar scarfing down their bacon cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes. Waiting for the kid to predictably show up on the exact corner where Brian found him the night before, Michael had hauled him off with the lure of greasy food and an agenda that's certain to jettison his pesky ass back to the suburbs where it belongs.

"You weren't there with us last night. You don't know what we did . . . the way he kissed me . . ."

Michael's perturbed that Brian makes the messes and he cleans them up. He's thinking of charging extra for babysitting. "Listen. Brian's fucking selfish. He doesn't care about anyone but himself. If I were you, I'd just forget him." There. It's out in the open, and he's not lying about any of it.

Great advice, Debbie thinks, not that she's eavesdropping or anything. Too bad you can't take it yourself. Slinging hash at the Liberty Diner keeps Michael's mom up on all the latest drama.

Michael and Justin finish eating, pay, and walk out of the diner. Michael would like to drive him far, far away. "Do you need a ride?"

"No, thanks. I borrowed a friend's car."

"What? You don't have a little Beemer of your own?" Michael tries to keep the snark out of his tone. Well, most of it anyway.

Justin calculates how much longer till his birthday in his head. "I'm working on it," he tells Brian's best friend. He receives one last precious gem before he climbs into Daphne's car.

"And don't go looking for him either. It'll just make things worse." Michael only hopes Justin will take heed. If he never sees the little fucker again, it'll be too soon.

Justin floors it and drives straight to Brian's loft.

. . . . .

"Leave him alone. He's alright. In fact, he's kind of sweet." Brian doesn't understand why Michael's so upset.

"Look at him. Following us in here. He's like our teen stalker or something." Michael had been banking on Justin doing a disappearing act after their little chat the previous night, but . . . no such luck. There he is, all blond and smiling at the end of the bar, eyeing Brian like a hawk. "We can't even unwind in Woody's without him lurking around."

Brian's on to the next subject. Namely, the guy across the room in the shiny shirt, currently giving him the eye. "Well, I know who I'm doing tonight, Mikey. How about you? See anybody you like?" He drains the last of his beer bottle in one long swig and gets ready to go.

"No, Brian. I can't just give some guy the secret sign, knowing he'll blow me out in the alley ten minutes later."

"What's up with you?" Brian pulls a couple of bills out of his wallet and throws them onto the bar. "Come on. He's leaving."

Michael stifles the protest forming in his gut. He can't remember a time when he hasn't been Brian's one-man audience for the nightly pick up show. Oh, yeah. That week he was home with the flu. Following Brian out of Woody's, Michael remembers he really doesn't have anything better to do anyway. "Let's go to Babylon!" He grabs Brian's arm, all traces of hostility vanished just as rapidly as they'd surfaced. "I think Ted and Emmett are going tonight."

"Because we all know I go there to fraternize with you boys." Brian tails Shiny Shirt Guy down the street and, as luck would have it, into Babylon. He grins at Michael and grabs a cigarette from his shirt pocket. "This won't take long."

. . . . .

Sighting his target on the dance floor, Brian sidles up to him, whispers in his ear once, and it's a done deal.

Michael takes it all in from the sidelines - yet again. Let the show begin.

Justin hadn't been far behind Brian and Michael on the short walk to the club. From his vantage point, everything is crystal clear. The St. James Academy honor student doesn't need a road map. One trick after another, an endless stream of meaningless encounters, is Brian's M.O.

"I don't believe in love. I believe in fucking," he'd flat out said when Justin left the diner and drove to his loft in hopes of a repeat performance, turning him away at the door after explaining in no uncertain terms that it would never happen.

Justin glares out onto Babylon's dance floor and watches Brian hold court. Apparently, Shiny Shirt Guy won't be enough for him. Justin gapes in disbelief as Brian signals to a second trick, who promptly dances himself right over. For Michael, this is a new twist in viewing the Brian's Nightly Prey show. For Justin, it's suffocating. He can feel his throat closing up.

"You're not exactly a troll, you know," Daphne had said that morning when Justin told her about Brian's rejection. "You can get any guy you want. You should pick up the cutest one you can find while that cocksucker watches. Make him jealous."

Justin had laughed in her face. "He won't even care. He's had me. I'm not a challenge anymore."

Now he thinks that plan doesn't sound half bad. Without much forethought, Justin walks into the crowd of dancing boys and men, the glitter raining down from the rafters clinging to his bare upper body when he slips out of his shirt along the way. Stopping in front of the ménage a trois-to-be, he shakes his ass in time to the thumping beat, eyes intentionally cast off into the distance.

Brian doesn't notice him at first, preoccupied with his impending orgy. Within minutes, though, what happens next astounds them both, Justin proving himself impossible to ignore. When first one and then the other of Brian's tricks gravitates toward him, Justin finds himself sandwiched between Hot and Hotter, the one behind him running his palms up and down Justin's arms while the one facing him paws his smooth, pale, teenage chest.

Not losing his cool, it doesn't bother Brian at all that his two handpicked trophies prefer Justin. Glancing at them with their hands all over the boy, he silently bids them farewell. He knows something they don't know.

Justin just keeps dancing. His scheme lacks an ending.

Fortunately, Brian's specialty is manipulating every situation into the outcome he wants it to have. This is going to be so easy. You two clowns think he wants you? Watch this. Repelling them out of his way, he steps in front of Justin and locks eyes with him, their silent communication deafening. It's me you want, right?

You're all I dream about. Justin's face comes alive as he throws his arms around Brian's neck, their crotches pressing together while Brian loses himself in his new favorite pastime: making out with Justin Taylor.

Michael wants to cry, the gnarling in the pit of his stomach expanding by the minute. He's watched his oldest and dearest friend chase - and catch - every hot guy in Pittsburgh since they were fourteen years old, always wishing he'd be next. And this isn't how Brian does it. Michael feels physically ill as any glimmer of hope he's ever had with Brian disintegrates before his very eyes. Where did this fucking kid come from anyway?

Sparkling with fallen glitter, the chemistry between Brian and Justin is undeniable. A white-hot heat sizzles from their bodies on the dance floor, Michael fleeing the club in dismay.

. . . . .

Brian takes his prize home with him again, stripping as soon as he enters his loft and gluing his lips to Justin's as he drags him up to the bedroom. "I'm gonna fuck the shit out of you, just so you know," he clarifies his immediate plans.

"Promise?" A bundle of urgent need, Justin rips off his clothes and exposes his bobbing dick. Sinking into Brian's bed, he draws him in like a moth to a flame.

"Have you ever been sucked?" Brian clasps Justin's thick pink shaft, slowly kneading it stiff. "I'm going to show you what I like." Tonguing the tip of Justin's cock, he licks the pre-come out of his slit before he swallows him whole, bringing him to the brink of relief several times before finally sucking him off.

Justin writhes with pleasure, soon feeling his come boiling in his balls. He moans a warning of its inevitable escape, unable to stop himself from jerking his hips and shooting strings of hot white liquid down Brian's throat. Lost somewhere in the stratosphere, his breath heaves in and out while Brian drinks him dry, prolonging his orgasm.

"Your first blow job." Brian beams, prouder of himself than he'd like to admit.

"I can see why you like that." Justin wraps his arms around Brian's chest and holds him close. "Are you gonna fuck me now?"

"Hell, yes!" Brian laughs, not fully understanding why he's in no hurry to free himself from Justin's embrace. What the fuck am I doing? he wonders. Roll him over. Fuck him all night long. Relieved to find himself nudging Justin onto his stomach, he kneels at his side and brushes his fingers against Justin's mouth. "Open up. Make them wet."

Justin sucks on each one, groaning in anticipation. "Fuck me," he begs, rocking back and forth while Brian plays with his crack.

"I will, but I want you ready for me." Brian works his moist pinkie between the most perfect ass cheeks he's ever seen, slowly penetrating Justin's hole.

Hard once more and insanely horny, Justin gnashes the front of his body around on the mattress.

"Stop. I want you to come with me inside you."

"I can't do that until you fuck me!"

Brian laughs again and rolls a condom onto his leaking dick. "You're so fucking hot, I'm not gonna last." Literally not believing what he's just said, he asks himself what the hell he thinks he's doing, noting that it's the second time the question's come up in the last fifteen minutes. But when Justin rises to his knees and rears backward into his cock, Brian glides inside his tight little hole and everything's instantly right with the world. Fucking Justin is all that matters. Fucking Justin is all that will ever matter, Brian suspects.

Panting with desire, Justin rams his prostate gland into the swelled head of Brian's dick over and over. Turns out he's the one who won't last, soaking Brian's sheets in a matter of minutes.

Brian pounds into Justin's ass one last time before he pulls out and quickly removes the condom, shuddering through his orgasm while long ropes of semen land on Justin's back.

"I came all over your bed." A sheepish Justin twists around and looks Brian in the eye.

"I came all over you." Brian doesn't remember ever marking a trick before. What is it about this kid? Grinning madly, the sound of an unfamiliar ring tone interrupts his fantasy of what he'd like to do to Justin next.

"That's my phone."

"Don't answer it."

Already out of bed, Justin gets his jeans from the floor and rummages through the pockets. "I have to. It might be important."

"What could be more important than my- ?"

"Hello? Mrs. Chanders?"

Curtly cut off, Brian has no choice but to listen to the one-sided conversation. He feels slightly affronted until it becomes clear there's some sort of emergency in Justin's life.

"You're at the hospital now? Oh, my God! Is Daphne all right?" Justin picks up the rest of his clothes and rushes to dress himself with one hand. "No, that's okay. It'll be faster if I take a cab. Have my mom stay there with you and Daphne."

Brian's disappointed to see Justin's spectacular ass disappear into his boxer briefs. Finding his own jeans and shirt scattered on the sofa, he comes back to the bedroom and puts them on. "I'll drive you," he mouths to his jittery boy.

"Tell Daphne I'll be there in twenty minutes. I know she's counting on me. Yes . . . Okay . . . Bye, Mrs. Chanders." Justin responds to the bewildered look on Brian's face by throwing a quick kiss onto his lips. "I'll catch you up in the car! Run!"

. . . . .

"I'm driving as fast as I can. Try to calm the fuck down." Brian appreciates Justin's need for speed, but, by the same token, doesn't want to wake up dead.

"I know. It's just that I'm kinda freaking out here!" Justin lights a cigarette with visibly shaky hands. "I can't believe it's finally happening. I'm gonna be a father! Shit! I need some cigars to pass out!"

Brian does a double take in Justin's direction, rubbing the palm of his hand over his chin. "You . . . you're gonna be a father? How in the fuck is that even possible?"

"You mean you were absent from Health class the day they covered reproduction? Well, when the male-"

"Smart-ass. I just never would have pegged you for a breeder, what with you begging me to fuck you and all. Oh, and I seem to recall the complete bliss on your face not more than an hour ago when your dick was crammed in my mouth." Brian stares at Justin for as long as he can before he starts to worry about waking up dead again.

"It's Daphne. We've been best friends since we were like ten. All the girls in our senior class have been ragging on her for a long time about still being a virgin, and she just got tired of it." Justin lights another cigarette with the end of his first one. "She held out on her boyfriend forever because she was scared. At the end of last summer she was ready, but she'd broken up with him by then. She pleaded with me for weeks, finally convincing me to be her first time because she said I was the only guy she could trust."

"So . . . you're a breeder with closeted homo tendencies?"

"Shit, no!" Justin shakes his head and laughs.

Brian thinks for a minute and then smirks, as though he's just aced semester finals. "I get it. You're bi."

"Fuck, no! I knew I was gay when I was thirteen. Daphne was the first person I ever told. She looked at me like I'd just said I was going to buy new shoes, and then she asked what my mom was making for dinner because she was spending the night with me."

Turning into the hospital parking lot, Brian thinks he might finally understand. "So the gay boy fucks his best friend because she needs to be a woman, and the two of you have never heard of birth control?"

"The condom broke, okay?" Justin rips off his seat belt when Brian pulls into a parking space and stops short. "It was a total accident and I know we're young and everything but it's our baby and we're moving into an apartment over on Spruce Street right after graduation and we're gonna raise him or her together." Coming up for air, he snuffs his cigarette out in the ashtray. "Daphne and I have loved each other for years. If I were straight, we'd be getting married. This baby is wanted and loved."

Brian kills the Jeep's engine, studying Justin in a whole new light. He wonders how he would have handled the situation if he'd given in to Lindsay's request a few years back.

"Come on, Brian!" Justin jumps out and breaks into a sprint toward the hospital doors. "I'm gonna be a dad!"

. . . . .

"Where's Justin?" Daphne cries, riding the crest of another agonizing contraction. "I thought you said you called him!"

Dorothy Chanders sighs, smoothing the hair out of her daughter's eyes. "He's on his way, honey. Just breathe like you learned in Lamaze."

"I need him!" Daphne bats the unwanted hand off her forehead. "I can't do this without him. Fuck! It hurts!"

"Daphne! Language!"

"Fuck you, Mom. Go get Justin!"

Flabbergasted by the profanity pouring from her normally angelic daughter, Dorothy tries to make herself useful. "I'll see if Jennifer's found him yet. She's waiting at the main entrance to bring him up here to the maternity ward."

"Hurry!" Daphne screams, on the verge of tears with a healthy dose of panic thrown in for good measure. "Oh, shit! Here comes another one!"

"Take it easy, Daph." Justin's voice is at once consoling and authoritative when he and his mom rush into the room just as Dorothy's about to exit. "Take deep breaths. Focus." Bounding to her bedside, he takes Daphne's hand and kisses her cheek. "That's it. Breathe out through your mouth. Remember how we practiced? Squeeze my hand at the height of the next contraction."

Impressed with Justin's ability to take charge, the mothers of the two teens watch Daphne start to relax.

"My water broke and I called you, but you didn't pick up. I'm still two weeks away from my due date, but I guess we'll just . . . Oh, God! Here it comes again!" Daphne grips Justin's hand, breathing through the pain.

"I'm here now. I was with a friend at a dance club. I guess I didn't hear my phone in my pocket." Justin conveniently omits the part about forgetting to check his messages because he needed to get fucked so badly. "I'm glad your mom called me again. How many centimeters are you dilated? Has Dr. Nelson checked you? Did you get the epidural yet?"

Daphne loosens her grasp on Justin's hand as the discomfort ebbs. "She said I was at seven centimeters a half an hour ago when she did the internal exam. The epidural is starting to wear off."

"That means you're in transition now. It won't be too much longer until you can push." Justin spoons a few ice chips into her mouth from the Styrofoam cup on the bedside table. "Do you still want me in the delivery room like we planned?"

"Hey, I'm not going in there alone! You better get into some scrubs."

"I'll track down a nurse to get them for me. Will you be all right for a little bit?" Justin leans down and kisses her forehead when she nods. Then he asks Mrs. Chanders if she can help Daphne through the next contraction.

"Justin, I've told you repeatedly to call me Dorothy." Daphne's mom regards him warmly, pulling him in for a hug.

"Oh, yeah . . . Sorry, Mrs. Chanders." He hugs her back before he dashes out in search of suitable delivery room attire.

Stunned at the maturity they've just witnessed, the grandmothers-to-be share a knowing glance. Maybe their grandchild will be in good hands after all.

"He must have been paying attention in all those birthing classes you guys went to," Jennifer tells Daph.

Dorothy laughs. "Justin certainly has grown up this year!"

. . . . .

"Sorry you got roped into this." Justin finds Brian in a waiting room at the end of the hallway.

Brian reaches out and embraces him before he has time to stop himself. It just feels like the right thing to do. "Guess I'm caught up in all the excitement. Mind if I stick around?"

"You can be one of the first people to see my kid after it's born!"

Brian tries to kiss the ear-to-ear grin right off of Justin's face. That just feels right, too. Ignoring an elderly couple sitting in the corner who suddenly remember a place they need to be that isn't there, Brian tips his forehead down to rest on Justin's. "I'll just hang out in here and wait for you."

"Daphne's in the last stages of labor now, so she'll be moved to delivery pretty soon. The baby should be here before morning."

Brian walks over to the vending machine and selects a bottle of water. "You sure have all the lingo down. Sounds like you know what you're talking about or something."

"I've gone with Daphne to all of her prenatal care appointments, and we've been going to Lamaze classes for the last six weeks. She still sorta flips out every time she thinks about actually giving birth, though, so I can't wimp out on her." Checking the time, Justin realizes he's been out of her room for eight minutes, and he still has to change and sterilize his hands.

"Okay, Dad. Go have your baby, and then come back and tell me if it's a boy or a girl." Brian gives him a peck on the forehead and a big smile, sending him off to wherever it is that babies are born.

"Brian?" Justin turns around on his way out of the waiting room. "Thanks for being here with me."


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