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26 January 2012 @ 12:13 pm

banner and icon by galehot

Title: Can A Leopard Really Change Its Spots?
Author: later2nite
Genre: AU
A/N: Written for the Evil Kinney Girls
Birthday Project for yvonnereid.


"I'm just gonna run in and get Molly as fast as I can. This jet lag is kicking my ass." Justin leans over and sticks his tongue down Brian's throat before he gets out of the car. "Flying across the country without you to take care of business really sucks."

Brian glances down at Justin's lap and smirks. "I've got plans for that jet-lagged ass, you know. Sorry I told Lindsay we'd pick Molly up on our way home from the airport."

"It's okay. Be right back."

. . .

"Hi, honey! How was L.A.?" Jennifer reaches out and hugs Justin when she opens the door. "Where's Brian?"

"He's waiting for me in the car. Is Molly ready to babysit Gus?" Justin gives his mom a quick kiss. "I was hoping we could get together this weekend. Why don't you and Molly come out to the house for dinner? I'll make-"

"Sure, honey," Jennifer interrupts, trying to warn him before the shock kills him. "Justin, someone's here, and he's-"

"Hi, son. It's good to see you."

Astonishment ripples through Justin's senses, a voice he hasn't heard in years invading his ears and catching him off guard. Daring to peek inside over his mom's shoulder, he sees a much smaller man than he'd remembered, although decidedly happier.

"I waited for you to get here. Can you come in and talk?"

Justin mines Jennifer's eyes for answers, wondering what the fuck is going on. He shifts uncomfortably from one foot to the other when Craig Taylor smiles at him and comes over to shake his hand. "Dad. I thought you never wanted to see me again," he forces up and out of some dark hiding place. "You said-"

"Life is just too short. I hope you can forgive my atrocious behavior in the past, Justin. I'm really happy to see you. Come in and sit down."

Taken aback, Justin's gut reaction is mistrust. How can his dad look and sound so sincere? "I can't stay. My husband's out in the car." He knows he should feel rotten for goading his father into a scene right there at his mom's front door, but he doesn't. An eternity of hurt has taken its toll.

Craig's still smiling, though. "Okay. But I'd like to see him again before you take off."

"You'd like to see him again?" Justin's eyebrows raise halfway into his forehead. "He's gay, too. Remember? Is that going to bother you?"

Jennifer's house is suddenly filled to the rafters with Craig's booming laughter, she and Justin both peering at him rather warily before breaking into grins of their own.

Molly walks out of the kitchen and stands by her dad. "What'd I miss?"

"Your brother's really funny!" Craig roars. "I've missed that all these years!"

Jennifer takes a deep breath. "Molly, why don't you go ask Brian to come in for a minute?"

Justin nods at his sister. "Go ahead. He's wondering what's taking me so long."

"When did you get married?" Craig asks when Molly slips outside.

"Two years ago this June. We had a big wedding."

"Wish I'd been there. Your mom says you're a famous artist. I'd love to see your work sometime."

"Dad . . ."

"I know." Craig hangs his head and inspects his shoes. "It's my own fault that we've ended up here, son. Maybe someday-"

"Hey. Molly said you wanted me to come in?" Brian walks up to the door with her and gives his mother-in-law a peck on the cheek.

Grabbing his husband around the neck, Justin plants a big wet smack on his mouth. Then he pulls him in for more, sealing their lips together and putting on a show. "Brian, I'm sure you remember my dad, Craig Taylor," he says when he finally backs off. "Dad, this is my husband, Brian Kinney." Justin takes a step to the side, anticipating his father's meltdown.

"Great to see you again, Brian." Craig extends his hand out toward him. "After all this time," he adds as it hangs between them in limbo.

Speechless, Brian freezes, his eyes growing wide with suspicion.

"It's okay," Justin breaks the silence. "He's sorry. He wants to make up for lost time." Lifting Brian's right hand, he connects it with his dad's. "It doesn't repulse him anymore that you're gay."

Craig laughs again, though not as loudly as before.

Brian shakes hands with him cautiously. "You're sorry?" he starts. "For all the years of-"

"Brian." Justin lets his eyes finish when Brian glances at him sideways.

Craig squares his shoulders, facing Justin's husband man-to-man. "I don't blame you for being skeptical, Brian. In time, I hope to prove to you and Justin that I've changed." He stands a little taller. "Jen was right. She told me you're a special breed. That your love for Justin is fierce."

"Mother Taylor said that?" Brian's face softens. "I've always admired her. She gave me the benefit of the doubt very early on, and that took guts. We've been close ever since."

"She didn't deserve the way I walked out on her." Craig eyes his ex-wife with sorrow. "And I can never get back all the years with Justin that I threw away. I've been so foolish."

Justin squints, imperceptively rolling his eyes. "Okay, we gotta get going," he announces. "You ready, Mollusk? We'll drop you off at Lindsay's." He turns to hug his mom good-bye. "So about five o'clock Saturday for dinner?"

Craig smiles at Brian. "It was a pleasure to see you again." Offering his hand once more, he breathes a sigh of relief when Brian's less standoffish and shakes with him. Then he thrusts both arms out toward his son. "Justin." He reels him close and holds on.

Justin's eyes are fixed on Brian's, a crazy idea running amok in their brains. "You want to come with Mom and Molly for dinner on Saturday?" he asks, freeing himself from his dad's grip. "Maybe we can get to know each other again. Maybe we won't, you know, hate each other this time."

"I'd love to, Justin. Thanks." Is that the painful reality of the last six years biting Craig Taylor in the ass? "Well, I guess Jen can tell me where you live."

"All right. Saturday it is." Brian kisses Jennifer good-bye, reaching for Justin's hand as they walk to the car with Molly. "What the fuck just happened?" he mumbles when they pile in.

Molly laughs, buckling her seat belt in the back. "I think he's going through a midlife crisis or something. It's like he's a totally different person lately."

Justin can't stop shaking his head. "All I know is we're slugging the asshole in the face and kicking the shit out of him as soon as he lets one wrong word out of his mouth."

"Yes, dear." Brian squeezes Justin's leg and puts the key in the ignition. "It is kind of empowering to give him enough rope to hang himself."

Molly looks at her brother and his husband. "Or maybe you guys just might be surprised. He's really not homophobic anymore."

Justin rolls down the window while Brian backs out of the driveway. Rubbing his eyes, he tries to reconcile years of rejection with the last ten minutes of his life. Brian runs his fingers over his sore jaw, a sharp pang attacking his rib cage.

"We'll see," they utter as one, each lost in his thoughts.

rulisteningbjrulisteningbj on January 26th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a surprise. Can't believe that Craig has changed and wants a relationship with his son and son's husband. That was nice. I have never read a fic where Craig did an about face. Thanks for sharing Vonnie's gift with us.

Dee Dee
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 27th, 2012 02:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Dee Dee. Yeah, I know it's pretty out there to believe Craig could be serious, but the intent was to put Justin and Brian in control for a change, instead of being the victims of his hate.

Glad you liked it. ♥
soulmatejunkee: Evil Kinney Girlssoulmatejunkee on January 26th, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
Wow now that's what I call a development for Craigs character :)
A little late, but better late than never, right? :)
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 27th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, quite a huge development, but it's totally high time he try to make amends for being an asshole all those years.. Better late than never is exactly right. ♥
7WildWaysUp7wildwaysup on January 26th, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
Definitely surprising for Justin and Brian but can they really trust him??? Seems like a great start for a longer fic...

Later Darling ~ Kathleen ♥♥♥
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 27th, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, very surprising, I agree. They don't know if they can trust him, but at least now they're in the driver's seat. They can beat him up and throw him out if he's still an asshole. I just liked the idea of them being in control of the situation, not the victims.

I hadn't thought of making it longer, but... You've given me food for thought.

Later ♥
Cindy: Quote  B/J Secretstrintiff on January 26th, 2012 11:54 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this! No teary eyed confessions but a couple of steps toward each other. Umm, I' d REALLY like it if you wrote about the dinner Saturday night! Really, really like it! :-D

Hugs, Cindy
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 27th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Cindy. Glad you really like it. I hadn't thought of continuing on, but you've given me food for thought. Maybe I should write about the dinner.

Hugs ♥
(no subject) - trintiff on January 27th, 2012 03:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Kmacorinakmacorina on January 27th, 2012 02:05 am (UTC)
Mmmmm can we belive in Craig´s new mood?
I don´t think so...

I like the fic!!!


later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 27th, 2012 03:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you like it. Craig's new mood may or may not be genuine, but at least Justin and Brian are in control of the situation now, not helpless victims.

Kissesssssssss ♥
aaa_mazing: pic#115624983aaa_mazing on January 27th, 2012 01:24 pm (UTC)
If only... Not for Craig. For Justin. It's the worst thing to be rejected by your parent. Who used to love you.
Great idea!
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 27th, 2012 03:15 pm (UTC)
YES!!!! You've understood my intention. It's for Justin. He deserves to know his father is sorry, and deserves to be in charge of the situation now, no longer a helpless victim of the hate.

Hugs you, Nastya. ♥
mitakaymitakay on January 27th, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
ooh- I liked this a lot. Life is too short, Craig is right about that.
I would love if you wrote a part two with the dinner scene...

Thanks for sharing!
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 27th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. I'm happy you liked it. I knew it would turn a lot of people off, but I wanted Justin and Brian to be in control finally, not the victims of hate.

I guess I should continue it with the dinner. A few people have asked for it, along with you.

Hugs ♥

guavejuice: pic#115626231guavejuice on January 27th, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
Great use of the prompt, sweetie. Very intense and honest.
Very well done
*hugs you tight*
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 27th, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks, V. So glad you liked it. ♥
isijus: B&Jisijus on January 27th, 2012 02:02 pm (UTC)
I think it's the first fic I read where Craig attempts a realistic approach to Justin unconditionally, I liked it, kisses

Hahahah I love Traslator
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 27th, 2012 03:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, Linda. I'm happy you liked it. Just thought it was time for Craig to change. ♥
Pam81: Happy Birthday Vonniepam81 on January 27th, 2012 08:10 pm (UTC)
Great story sweetie ♥ Loved to see that Craig has opened his eyes.
It’s not going to be easy, but it’s a start. *hugs*
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 27th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, Pam. Yeah, it won't be easy, but maybe Justin can take a small bit of comfort in knowing his father is contrite and wants to change. At the very least, he and Brian can control things from now on.

Hugs ♥
Rena: Doodles Justin Yarnedrainbow1907 on January 27th, 2012 09:07 pm (UTC)
You'd like to meet my husband? He's gay, too. LOL Absolutely priceless!

It's almost too good to be true but sometime people do change :)

What a lovely gift for Vonnie ♥ Thank you very much :) Rena
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 27th, 2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Rena. Glad you liked it.

Yeah, I just thought it was high time that Justin get some love from his father. It might be potentially too good to be true, but at least Justin and Brian will call the shots from now on. I wanted them to finally be in control.

Hugs ♥
shenovashenova on January 27th, 2012 10:05 pm (UTC)
That a surprise but I suppose people can change and at least this time Justin will decide if he wants a relationship with his dad.
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 27th, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
You, my dear Shenova, have gotten to the crux of the matter! My intention, exactly, was to have Justin make the decision whether he'll let his dad into his life, or not. We don't even have to know what that decision is, only that Justin is in control of the situation now.

Thank you so much for your comment! ♥
mander3_swish: vonnie's bdaymander3_swish on January 28th, 2012 04:51 am (UTC)
I still wouldn't trust Craig as far as i could throw him. Great look at the first steps towards some familial healing. (ps I LOVE that Molly's babysitting Gus!)

The whole time reading this, the song stuck in my head was 'Control' by Janet Jackson (as sung by Glee) ...the lyrics are rather fitting for Justin's situation.
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on January 28th, 2012 08:48 am (UTC)
True. He could very well not be trust worthy, but Justin and Brian will have the opportunity to evaluate the situation and make choices: first steps, like you say.

'Control' by Janet Jackson is totally fitting. I'd forgotten all about that song til you mentioned it. ♥
Yvonne Reidyvonnereid on January 31st, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this alot.Thanks so much for writing it for me hon.I don't read much where Craig and B/J are friendly.

Thanks so much for this,Love you xoxox
later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on February 1st, 2012 12:02 am (UTC)
Hey... there you are! I thought you got lost on your weekend away! I'm glad you enjoyed the fic. Galehot had given us a few prompts, and the one I chose was 'Parental Control'. Of all the parents on the show, Craig was the one who needed to be written about! LOL I just wanted Justin and Brian to be able to choose what to do about him, instead of being victims of his hate. I'm like that - always wanting to rewrite the show!

So, did you get your tattoo? Can we see pics of it? I'm sure you liked Nastya's fic about the b/j tattoos. I loved that one.

Hugs ♥
techgirl_on_ijtechgirl_on_ij on February 5th, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
I really like this as a one shot!!

So great to read a fic written by you.

later2nite: vonnie's iconlater2nite on February 5th, 2012 08:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, it works much better as a one shot. You're right about that. I'm so happy you saved V.V. ♥

You're so sweet to say that.

*Smooches you back*