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While Michael Novotny and Ben Bruckner are living together, Chief Jim Stockwell's recent "cleanup" of Liberty Avenue forces gay prostitutes to solicit in front of their building. One night a fight breaks out, and Ben goes to break it up, helping Hunter. Ben allows him to spend the night, and gives him the opportunity to stay longer if he wants. Both Ben and Michael are shocked by the fact that Hunter is willing to do anything sexually, and doesn't mind doing something with Ben, despite knowing that Ben is HIV positive. However, when Hunter ends up in hospital and puts Ben down as his family member to contact, Ben is told that Hunter himself is also HIV positive and takes it upon himself to tell him. Eventually, Hunter starts living with Michael and Ben, and begins to attend school. Michael is against Hunter staying with them, though he eventually turns around as Hunter seems to have equal interests in comic books.
Towards the end of the third season, Rita, Hunter's mother, appears. She claims that she had given him up for adoption due to a tumultuous marriage and for fear that she wouldn't have been able to raise her son on her low income, but would now be capable to do so. Hunter reacts badly when told that his mother has visited Ben and Michael. When asked for the reason for his reaction, he accuses his mother of having forced him to commit acts of prostitution from an early age. She does win custody initially, but the judge hears her callous and homophobic remarks regarding Hunter's HIV status "You dirty little faggot ... Are you trying to give it to me?", and awards custody to Ben and Michael.
During the fourth season, it is revealed that Hunter is in a heterosexual relationship with a girl Callie. First of all Michael is upset by this, by having a heterosexual son, but he learns to accept it, even having dinner with Callie's parents. However, the girl's parents force the relationship to end after learning Hunter is HIV positive and a former male prostitute.
During Season 5, Callie's parents also expose Hunter's HIV status at a swim meet after he has an accident, cuts his forehead open and bleeds into the water. This makes Hunter a target for bullying and hatred at school. This culminates in the school's principal calling a meeting for the concerned parents to try to disarm them. The meeting is a joke. However Hunter is able to take a stand and point out that the other children's intolerance of him at school is not their fault but he knows where they learned it from: " From you..." (their parents). However he soon finds out that Callie has a new boyfriend and is extremely upset by this. He also feels slightly pushed out because of JR and their new home, and so decides to leave as he does not feel like part of the family. Ben and Michael are very worried about their son and Ben tends to get very emotional and upset. Finally, they receive an E-mail from Hunter, telling them that he is OK.
After Michael is hurt in the bombing, a worried Hunter returns home. After a chat with Debbie, he decides to stay for good. He reveals that he hitched to Disney World and got a job as one of Snow White's seven Dwarfs. He gets a job at the diner, and further encouraged by Debbie, decides to go back to school.
In his last scene, Hunter is working at the diner when Ben and Michael call him over and tell him he passed all his subjects. They then hand him a journal with the letters 'H.N.B' inscribed on it. Ben explains that they are his initals, Hunter Novotny-Bruckner, if he wants them to be. Writing in his diary, Hunter says; "Today Ben and Michael asked me to be their real son. I said yes.". They all hug happily. However, his adoption is subject to Proposition 14 not being passed.