Clan Short Pacific Rim Division

Chapter 20


Ewa Beach Dining Room

Monday, November 8, 2004 5:47PM HTZ

All the boys and many girls in the dining room had Mr. Fuzzy puppets hanging out of their back pockets. The kids that had been to school were proudly displaying their new baseball caps; telling others that hadn't been to school what the symbols on their caps meant. As they had been when leaving the dormitory, Chris and Jay led Sean into the dining room, with Troy still attached by the mouth to Sean's shoulder. Scott, Lance, Erik and Travis closely followed the first four. They went directly to the kitchen chow line.

Sharing a table near the middle of the room were Stephen Wickes, Aaron Farris, Roger and Nick, Aki and Hajami, Keanu and Liki. Seeing Troy attached to Sean, and with the other six newbies, Liki leaned close to Keanu to whisper, "Tell me that's not the cutest, most awesome thing we've seen in a week."

"I'm surprised you think so," Keanu indifferently smirked, and purposefully reached for his glass of 7-Up.

Liki had talked with Keanu about Sean hooking up with Troy, and all the changes they were noticing in Sean's general demeanor. They had both agreed it was a great thing to see. Stunned and watching Keanu drink, Liki sighed, "I thought it was cute."

Putting his glass down, Keanu smiled at Liki. So that every nearby kid paying any attention could hear, Keanu clearly told Liki, "The only thing cuter than you is you with me. The last couple of days, I can't even focus on anything or anyone else. Taking that test today, I was sure they were going to hand me a cap with a trash can on it. I'm a jerk, and an idiot, cos I never told you any of this before. I can't even hold your hand for a full minute at a time, and what really bites is I can't even tell you what I'm feeling, or why holding hands is a problem, but I get such a major rush from just being near you that I must love you. They're not near as cute as you are."

Nearby kids in the dining room smiled or giggled. Liki wondered, "What about kids?"

Waving his arm around part of the room, Keanu grinned, "To stay with you, pick a kid." In the line of Keanu's swinging arm were Craig and Phil Nash, Stu, Vaziik, the three Oldcambus brothers and their cousin Taron. All eight gathered their stuff on trays, stood up and moved to another table. Vaziik made no change of expression, but the other seven sadly shook their heads and sniggered. "Okay," Keanu grinned, "maybe not just any kid." Blankly staring at Keanu, it was obvious that Liki was dumbstruck.

"GOD!" Aaron loudly laughed.

Standing and reaching over the table, Stephen Wickes snapped his fingers before Liki and loudly ordered, "WAKE UP!" Hajimi quickly covered his mouth with a napkin and cracked up.

Aki sniggered, "You're supposed to kiss him now, Liki. Any other response will only have every gay dude in the division lining up to steal Keanu away from you."

Fifteen-year-old Felicity Pettis giggled, "Is there one cute straight boy in this division?"

Craig Nash had almost sat down, but stood up again and took his tray to Felicity's table. Politely, Craig asked, "May I join you?" When the half-dozen teen girls giggled, nodded, and shifted around to make room near Felicity, Craig put his tray down and sat. Knowing that his big bro had just stumbled into Nirvana, Phil Nash roared laughing, setting off the Oldcambus brothers and Taron in giggles. 

At last, Liki leaned over for a tender kiss and received one in return from Keanu. It was the first public display of affection for both boys. Without a word, they gathered half-eaten plates of roast beef dinners onto their trays and then went to the dishwasher. They stopped in the chow line, asked for McCoy milkshakes, assuring the chefs that there was no problem with the food, and then left the dining room to return to their dorm room.

With their dinner trays, Sean and Troy stepped out of the kitchen. Right behind them were Chris and Jay. Glancing around, they searched for a larger, empty table that could comfortably seat all eight of them. Sitting with her grandson Jason, and his new boyfriend, JD, Judy Faris called, "Troy, did you see what your son did?" Jason softly giggled. JD quickly put his halos over his head. Chris and Jay went to the recently vacated table.

Pausing briefly, Troy proudly smiled, "Jason did a great job this afternoon. The data from the PADD is uploaded..."

"Not that!" Judy impatiently huffed, and corrected, "Look at JD's neck."

Sean giggled. Troy sniggered, "Yep, I saw that already."

Judy smiled, "And what are you going to do about it?"

Shrugging, Troy chuckled, "We'll have a chat tonight with Jason and JD. By morning, both will know that hickeys are supposed to go where only the two of them can see 'em." Walking by with their dinner trays, Travis and Erik evilly snickered. Sean cracked up.

"I love my dad and pop," Jason cheered. Covering his food stuffed mouth, JD laughed.

Impatiently sighing, but grinning widely, Judy flicked her hands, signaling Troy and Sean to go away.

Five-year-old Dulce Kentesius giggled hysterically. The other girls at her table were giggling too, but not like Dulce. Getting up and still giggling, Dulce went to Craig and tapped on his back. Craig turned and smiled, "Hi."

"Got a secret for you," Dulce cutely sang.

Grinning, Craig told the other girls, "Excuse me for a few moments," and leaned over to hear the secret. Craig's primary motivation was to show Felicity that he could be nice to the youngest kids. Girls liked that sort of stuff, and it was really no problem; little kids were adorable. He probably would've listened to the secret if he was sitting with his brother and other boys.

Cupping her tiny mouth, Dulce softly giggled, "Your mommy says, remin' you to treat her like a special lady. If she's worth it, she'll really like it."

Turning pale, Craig remembered his mother saying almost exactly those words only weeks earlier. The only difference was the second use of the word 'like' should have been 'appreciate'. A five-year-old wouldn't have understood or been able to pronounce 'appreciate'. There was no way this girl could've known to say any of that unless she had heard it. Oddly, the table Dulce had been at was filled with six other girls, all no older than eight- or nine-years-old. With shivers running up and down his spine, Craig smiled, "Thank you, that was really nice to hear again." Dulce's teddy bear, Aster happily bounced and clapped his paws. Craig asked, "Would you tell my brother that too?"

"Okay!" Dulce giggled, and skipped over toward Phil, with Aster skipping along behind her. Craig didn't even have to ask if Dulce knew who Phil was. She went right to him and did the exact same thing.

Phil patiently listened to the secret. Clearly recalling all the teasing and harassing he had dished out to Craig about treating the girl 'special,' Phil turned even more pale than his brother. Phil gasped, "Who told you that?"

"Your mommy," Dulce giggled. "She's watching you and Craigie. She will as long as she can too!"

'Craigie' was what his mother called Craig when she needed or wanted some task or chore done. Craigie, take out the garbage. Craigie, mow the lawn in the morning, please? It drove Craig nuts. Phil wondered, "And where's my dad?"

"He went over there," Dulce warmly smiled.

With tears welling in his eyes, Phil asked, "Did she say anything else?"

Cutely humming affirmatively, Dulce gestured with her tiny index finger for Phil to lean closer. When he did, Dulce whispered, "It's okay, she says. The boy's name is Owen Reed. When you and your bro are settled and happy, she'll go to your daddy."

Shedding tears, Phil croaked, "Tell her, thank you, and that I really miss her."

Dulce giggled, "She knows already and heard you, silly!" and skipped away, back to her table and dinner.

Although concentrating on the conversation he was having with six girls, Craig watched his little bro lean back in his chair and wipe his eyes. Kassidy seemed to show interest in why Phil stopped eating, but Phil only shook his head and softly muttered something.

Sending, 'You're being very silly, Dulce,' John telepathically tickled the little girl. She squealed then giggled and hurried back to her table. Not even looking up for a moment, Wade giggled and continued carefully placing peas and carrots in his small mound of mashed potatoes.

'Ask her if she's ever seen Leo's parents, hon,' Stephen sent.

'Good idea,' John replied, and then asked Dulce the question. Turning to John and giggling, Dulce nodded. John asked, 'Would you be around later tonight? We need to talk with Leo and you would be a big help.' Dulce nodded again. 'I'll come get you and take you back to your dorm room when we're done,' John offered. He telepathically let Drew and Corey know there would be help with Leo, but didn't specify the who or how.

King Aalona walked into the dining room carrying Kaimi on his hip. Behind the King were the rest of the Core Rimmers and the boys that had gone to Kaho'olawe. Paul, Reyes and Ryan did not follow the rest of the group, deciding instead to get ready for their first date. The King and Prince went to the Queen and the adults. The remaining boys went directly to the kitchen chow line.

At the table where Sean and Troy were sitting, Travis was being too quiet. Erik asked Travis, "What're you thinking, Champ?" The other six quietly grinned, now that Travis' pet name was out in the open.

Shrugging, Travis swallowed then sighed, "Part of me is still thinking we need to do something to help the division, ya know? How're you feeling?"

Erik smiled, "Like you need cuddles." The other six boys chortled.

Travis chuckled, "Very true, cuddle-bunny."

Chris giggled, "That fits you, Erik. You keep going, and going, and going..."

"I can't help it!" Erik laughed, and gestured to his new partner, giggling, "Trav's a hunky Champ!" Most of the eight boys at the table softly sniggered, poking fun at the Champ chasing the cuddle-bunny and vise-versa.

Wiping his mouth, Troy softly offered, "Core Rimmers aren't the only possibility. We still need dorm leaders. Your dormitory doesn't have any yet."

Erik asked, "What's that job include?"

Sean explained, "It's like being the oldest big brothers. On school nights, check on the other kids, to make sure little guys are getting to bed at decent hours. If someone needs something, you're the first contact to get whatever is needed. Let's say a kid is fussin' over homework, then you find someone that can help. If someone gets sick, you get the kid to the doctor. That kind of stuff."

"There's all sorts of other jobs that aren't round the clock," Troy smiled. "There are now two active auditoriums where movies can be shown. There are two kitchens that need dishwashers and floor moppers. Those jobs need older guys that have the muscle to push dishes and mops, and lift reels of film."

Shrugging, Travis asked Erik, "What do you think?"

Erik scowled, "In the kitchen, with the way these dudes cook, I'd be a heifer in a month. At the theater, I'd wind up watching the flick and forgetting to prep other reels."

Travis brightly beamed, "As dorm leaders, we'd have the supplies of lube and rubbers." The others softly chortled.

"Okay then!" Erik laughed.

Sean sniggered, "Remember, kids will be knocking on your door when they need stuff. It's important that you be available, and not intertwined."

"We're not intertwined that much," Travis chuckled. "Most of the time we're just kicked back, cuddling, chatting, and watchin' TV."

Nodding, Erik giggled, "Some dancing too, fast and real slow."

"Just an observation," Jay grinned, "you two guys are homebodies, more than me, Chris, Lance and Scott. Also, you're fifteen-years-old, Trav. That makes you and Craig the oldest guys in our dorm, so far."

"It would be lots easier for everybody to approach you, rather than slightly younger, twelve- or thirteen-year-old guys," Chris reminded.

Lance joked, "Teachin' 'em rocket science, like how to unroll a rubber, could be fun."

Erik cracked up and hollered, "SOLD!"

Travis chuckled, "Are you sure?"

Nodding, Erik said, "Everything said all day is true enough. We have been and are homebodies, as much or more than anyone else." Glancing around the table, Erik joked, "Whether this crew wants to believe it or not, we're clothed most of the time when we snuggle."

"Not buyin' it," Scott teased.

Shaking his head, Lance giggled, "Leave your door open and prove it."

Evilly grinning, Travis nodded, "We can take that dare and win."

Troy chuckled, "Being available is the biggest part of the job."

Sean checked, "Do you dudes really want the job?" One after the other, Erik and Travis agreed. Tapping his sub-vocal, Sean called, "Alden, connect me to Prez."

Seconds later, still in the kitchen chow line, Prez replied, "What's up, Sean?"

"We have two volunteers, Travis and Erik, for dorm three leadership," Sean explained.

"Excellent!" Prez cheered, and then instructed, "Have them chat with the other dorm leaders for a briefing. It's done."

"Got it, Prez," Sean smiled, "thanks."

"John is in on this already, just so we all know how and why it happened," Prez instructed.

"Kewl. Sean out." Flashing a thumbs up, Sean said, "The job is yours. Talk to Horacio, Corbin and Dominic later, so you get some first hand info from other dorm leaders. Horacio was my roommate and orphanage brother." He paused then giggled, "He's very kewl, for a muff diver." Sputtering, Lance quickly reached for napkins, covered his mouth and cracked up.

Sadly shaking his head, Scott softly chuckled, "Ya know, four days ago that used to be one of my goals, but now it does seem way more than a bit gross."

Nodding agreement, Troy smiled, "You two just started your relationship today. I don't want to hear a word about jobs from either of you for two days, minimum; not a word until Thursday, seriously. There's a whole bunch of new stuff for you two to talk about and share; that's priority one. Prez will back me up. Teamwork comes first."

Scott and Lance checked with one another. In unison, they cheekily grinned, "Yes, ma'am."

Shaking his head, Sean softly giggled, "I've been the bottom boy most of the last week. All day today, we've been playfully debating that issue."

Slightly blushing, Troy smiled, "The best you might hope for is switching day-to-day, Tiger."

"Required recovery time," Erik softly chortled.

Chris and Jay warmly smiled at each other. Catching their silent sharing, Travis chuckled, "Okay, old timers, how do you work it?"

Chris sniggered, "What you're doing, we did, so don't think that there's anything wrong at all."

Swallowing and nodding, Jay soon washed down his food with some iced tea, then quietly explained, "Right now, for you guys, the experiments are over. The thrill of something new is what's causing the situation you're in. Eventually, it does change. With my wrist as it is, I've been bottom six of the eight times, but before Friday, I had been top a pretty long while." He checked with Chris, "More than a week, wasn't it?"

"Almost two weeks," Chris mischievously grinned. Seeing only disbelief on the other six faces, Chris giggled, "We were at home, and going to school, so our chances were only once a day, but for eleven days..." He leered at Jay and hungrily hummed. All eight became hysterical and howled laughing.

"As I was trying to explain," Jay softly chuckled, "once the newness wears off, it becomes a normal part of the days. Chris was having some rough times, so it was my job to make it all better, if only for a little while, to give his off days a bright spot. Now, Chris is recovering from a big scare, as we've all seen first hand. It's still my job to make it all better, only this time I'm receiving instead of giving. When the cast is off and I can put weight on my arm without cringing, the roles will switch again. It'll go with the flow. It's all good, guys, just know it will change... sooner or later... eventually... someday." Again they all roared laughing.

Beginning to return to their dinners, Erik and Lance seemed to be have a giggling contest. Chris prompted, "What's the joke?"

"It's no joke, just an observation," Erik giggled.

Nodding, Lance grinned, "We shared a little too much personal info."

Scott chuckled, "I'll bet I know where this is going." Discretely, Lance moved his left hand onto Scott's lap, wiggled his fingers to give a slight tickle, and then squeezed his lover's thigh. Believing that was one of the kewlest and sweetest things Lance had done all day, Scott beamed.

"It's a silly question, really, but I can't help asking," Erik offered, and then explained, "Of us four couples here, Trav's taller and heavier than me, Scott's taller and heavier than Lance, Jay's not too much taller than Chris, but Jay has at least ten pounds of muscle over Chris. What really shocks me are Troy and Sean, almost the exact same height and weight, but the hidden truth is in Sean's boardies." Troy widely grinned. Sean blushed and giggled. Locking eyes with Sean, Erik wondered, "You took longer to get Troy ready, I assume?"

Nodding, Sean softly grinned, "Of course. I was a sex toy, but was crazy in love with a virgin. What you guys did in a day, I took more than two days, almost three days doing. We went from a five-by-four dildo, to a seven-by-five, to a nine-by-six."

Lance checked, "And you consider yourself mostly a bottom?"

Nodding, Sean admitted, "For five years, I was a bottom. Part of what I learned, which are really the only useful memories, is that size has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Some men are simply inconsiderate jerks, regardless of what they're packing. A nice guy with less than average can make sex just as good as the hung, more than average guy. I got very lucky with Troy in lots of ways, including a guy that's got more than average. For instance, if this conversation was happening a week ago, I'd doubt I'd be participating. That's how insecure I was. Even my grower wasn't kewl, because it attracted attention I didn't want. Troy changed all that. Then, the next day, we became Morale Rimmers, and Troy had six other dudes backing up everything he was telling me in private. From what we shared in the dorm before, I know all of us normally hang similarly, except Lance, who has almost six inches hanging. The majority of teenagers here fall into the average category, hanging between three and four inches."

Troy shared, "That extra time was necessary, I'll admit that, but I will add it was personally frustrating. Sean knows that I felt like a wimp, but I had him showing me that he was perfectly fine waiting for success. Over five days, I tried and failed then wound up his top again. Even when I did succeed, Sean kept me on top the next couple o' times, in control and riding him. Last night was my first time with my legs in the air and with him in control. As great as all the other rides were, the real magic happened last night." Sean leaned over and kissed Troy on the ear, earning a giggle.

Chris and Jay checked with each other. Then Jay asked, "Does that mean what I think it does?"

Troy nodded and proudly smiled, "Yep. I soaked my belly and chest without Sean or me touching my cock. The next time I got off twice, once hands free, and the second time barely two minutes later, with Sean's help."

Lance gasped, "That can really happen?"

Chris, Jay, Sean and Troy nodded. Troy pleasantly sighed, "When it's right, and it's physical and emotional, watch out for amazing feats never before imagined."

"All those men and years later, I didn't even know about that," Sean proudly smiled. "Last week, twice in a single ten minute session, Troy made me shoot. That was only our third time having intercourse too. In addition to the physical feelings, Troy was saying the most awesome stuff between kisses. I shivered like a little kid, and didn't even realize what had happened, until I felt the wet spots."

Erik, Lance, Scott and Travis disjointedly droned, "Oh my God." 

Lance turned to Scott, giggling the warning; "If you do that to me, all bets are off. We were attached before having sex. I know I've been clinging to you all day. When that happens to us, fahgedaboudit!"

Around the dining room, several ex-New Yorkers loudly chanted, "Fahgedaboudit!"

Widely smiling, Prez, Keith, Derrick and Mike glanced around the dining room. Knowing the kids were sharing, they returned to their mealtime conversation.

Lance, Scott, Troy, Chris and Jay roared laughing. "Oh man!" Troy laughed, "I haven't heard that since I left New Jersey." Noticing Sean, Erik and Travis were only smiling and softly chortling, Troy translated for Sean; "Forget about it, in New York City slang. In other words, Lance becomes Scott's leech, like I was with you, the whole walk here."

Scott sniggered, "We've gotta get these Hawaiians and Californians picking up some Big Apple slang."

Nudging Travis, Chris laughed, "Yeah, DUDES!"

"No, no, no!" Travis and Erik giggled. Sean covered his eyes and slowly shook his head.

Widely smiling, Troy asked Sean, "What's the matter, Tiger?"

Shrugging, Sean giggled, "I'm getting scared. The battle of American East versus West will happen here. Should I warn Prez, King Aalona or both?"

Travis grinned, "No need to warn anyone. It'll be fun, and a war of words only."

Erik sniggered, "Forgetaboutit!"

"No R's and only one T at the end, dude," Lance playfully instructed. "Fah-ged-aboud-it."

Erik grinned, "There's one long U in dude, not two O's."

"Dude?" Lance cheekily confirmed.

"FAHGEDABOUDIT," Erik loudly giggled. Putting their forks down, Lance, Scott, Troy, Chris and Jay applauded.

Again around the dining room, all eleven ex-New Yorkers and many other kids loudly cheered, "Fahgedaboudit!"

Sean, Troy, Chris, Jay, Lance and Scott cracked up.

Travis softly sniggered, "There goes the neighborhood."

"Guess we can fahgedaboud being dorm leaders," Erik giggled. "We'll be off base... actually on Ewa Beach, in a very small hut of our own."

Waikiki Beach, The Ocean House Restaurant

Monday, November 8, 2004 6:33PM HTZ

In a rush to get going on their date after the trip to Kaho'olawe, Reyes had Alden get all three of them quickly redressed in comfortable khaki cargo pants, polo shirts and light windbreakers, since they intended to walk the beach after eating. From different locations, Reyes' and Mike's security teams were transported from Ewa Beach to just outside the restaurant with Reyes, Paul and Ryan. After waiting an additional twenty-five minutes, the threesome were finally seated. Paul got a little fidgety and stressed about the wait, but Reyes and Ryan calmed him down easily enough by finding a nearby vantage point to watch the sunset. It was the first time Reyes had seen his new home from a distance. Above the tree line, a small portion of the auditorium and CIC roof could be seen. Reyes' party was called and they hurried back to the restaurant. They had met their waitress and were served glasses of water.

Alone at last, or as alone as they could be with a gorilla and a G-Cat covering outdoors, and Mike's security, Clay and Manny inside the restaurant at a nearby table, Paul leaned forward and grinned, "I thought you said this was a nice, casual place, Reyes?"

Ryan giggled, "We're dressed informally, but we still look like paupers compared to some of the other customers."

Reyes smiled, "There aren't any tuxes, white shirts or ties. This is really nice though. Right near the beach, just like I remember it."

"It's on the beach, Reyes," Paul smirked. "Any closer and we'd be floating."

Ryan lifted a menu and quickly gasped. Reyes and Paul picked up and looked at the menu. Ryan whispered, "Twenty credits for an appetizer; ten for a salad? Thirty for grilled chicken and fifty for steaks of almost every sort."

"Have the prime rib," Reyes giggled. "It used to be the best around."

Paul softly bitched, "That's sixty credits each!"

Nodding, Reyes giggled, "I learned at Kaho'olawe that I need to slow you both down. So, you two have steak, and I'll have lobster. You'll be digesting and on east coast time, so I might have a chance."

Placing the menu down, Ryan softly giggled, "You kept us busy all afternoon, carefully avoiding anywhere near a bedroom."

Reyes innocently wondered, "Would I do that?"

Paul smirked at Ryan, who broke into loud giggles and covered his mouth with his cloth napkin and a hand. Sadly shaking his head, Paul grinned, "Two old diabetics just took nose dives into their soup. I hope you're satisfied."

"Jeez!" Reyes giggled, "I could've picked a five-star restaurant, with prices twice as high, but not anywhere near as nice as this. Next time, we go to McDonald's."

Calming down enough to speak, Ryan giggled, "You were sure to get lucky tonight anyway."

"I didn't bring you here for that reason," Reyes sniggered. "This really is a place I ate at several times in the nineteen-seventies. I can't share memories with both of you, but bringing you here makes you part of the memories. Besides, that little show at Kaho'olawe already proved that I didn't need to take extraordinary steps." Glancing at Paul, Reyes smiled, "No one said a word about what we were doing. We're completely safe everywhere and doing anything."

Paul softly grunted. The whole time he was being naughty, Paul had kept close watch on everyone that was within hearing range. All he would've had to hear was one nasty remark and all hell would've broken loose. Maybe Reyes was right though; maybe in the ROH people were different.

The waitress returned, pleasantly asking, "Have you made any decisions?"

Looking up, Ryan gestured to Reyes, giggling, "I'll defer to our host." Trying his damnedest to not smile, Paul slowly nodded agreement.

Reyes smiled, "We'd like to start with the coconut lobster skewers appetizer. Then we'll have Caesar salads. Could you give us about fifteen or twenty minutes, between the finished salads and the main course, please, Alamea?"

Scribbling the order, the waitress nodded, "Certainly." Paul appeared ready to skewer Reyes. Ryan had the widest smile yet seen that clearly warned Reyes of a very late and active night.

"Thank you," Reyes helplessly giggled. "For the main courses, my two friends will have the Ocean House Cut Prime Rib, with baked potatoes. Please bring butter, sour cream and chives separately, so they can go as light or heavy as they like. I'll have the Cold Water Tristan Lobster Tail." Pausing, Reyes checked with Paul and Ryan, "Sodas or iced tea?"

"Tea," Paul answered, and a smile escaped.

Reyes told the waitress, "Three iced teas, and keep them filled, please."

"Yes, Sir," the waitress helplessly giggled. Of course, she thought she was speaking to a very confident thirteen-year-old Hawaiian boy; not realizing that all three boys were old enough to be her father. She choked back another giggle and smiled, "I'll have your appetizers in less than ten minutes."

Reyes grinned, "Thanks, Alamea." The waitress slowly walked away, jotting down notes on her order slip. Seeing his boyfriends slowly shaking their heads, Reyes cackled, "What?"

Paul groaned, "You're dropping big bucks."

Reyes nodded, "I wanted to call both of you Thursday, but it never happened. Friday, I was a Core Rimmer, and called by Danny to pick up three boys in Colorado. Before I completed that, I was called to Des Moines for three more. Chris, who you met this afternoon, was one of those three. When I was done with them, I had exactly twenty-seven-point-two minutes to check around, drop into the diving well, and then dry off to go to Des Moines again, for another seven kids. My entire afternoon was spent working. I could've called you Friday night, just after midnight Eastern time. As it turned out, I wound up working again after dinner here. It was plain luck on Saturday when Prez invited the AI Division, before I got a chance to call you. Yesterday, my plans went to hell too. So far, this day has gone really well, considering Clan insanity. Since our talk this morning, it's been an amazingly good day. Nothing is screwing up this dinner. If you think I sound determined, you should've heard my dad's and pop's tones, when they told me to have an awesome time. One was an order and the other was pretty close to a threat."

Reaching both arms out to have his hands taken by Ryan and then Paul, Reyes smiled, "If you like this dinner, then I'll tell grandpa Danny to get off his buns and get you your own debit cards. Our next trip here, one of you can treat us." He focused on Paul, giggling, "Stop looking like you're going to kill me." Looking at Ryan, Reyes softly giggled, "It's impossible to rape the willing."

Leaning back slightly, Paul sighed, "It's been so long since any of us have been to a place like this."

Ryan wondered, "What other surprises are you planning?"

Reyes shrugged, "That depends on both of you. I figure you'll be tired way before me, so it becomes your choice; I go with you to Sullivan's Island, or we stay at Ewa Beach."

"Where?" Paul asked, "At your family's townhouse?"

"I had Alden prepare a single bedroom condo unit," Reyes giggled.

Ryan laughed, "When did you do that?"

Pointing at the sub-vocal in his left ear, Reyes sniggered, "While I was on stage drumming. I don't have to say a word aloud. Alden's got us all set with drinks, food, flowers and necessities."

Ryan began giggling. Smirking and nodding at his brother, Paul sniggered, "We know you now, Reyes. You're not saying everything, so be detailed about this condo."

Reyes smiled, "Drinks include a selection of juices, sodas, sweet tea, the way Aunt Mary makes, an automatic coffee maker for the morning, and a bottle of Champagne."

"Ah ha!" Ryan and Paul laughed.

Reyes giggled, "Other than cookies and snacks, there's a few things for breakfast, if we decide to stay home and cook. I'd rather we eat at the CIC though. I'd like to at least see and chat with my fathers and brothers before they go to school."

Slowly nodding, Paul grinned, "And the other necessities are?"

Tapping his sub-vocal, Reyes checked, "What did you get in the way of necessities, Alden?" 

Over their comm-badges, Alden giggled, "Sheets, three pillows, a blanket, lube, towels, rubbers, toilet paper, extra lube, soap and shampoo, extra rubbers, and the widest variety of toys yet ordered by any division, including a hammock. For some reason, Reyes decided on no chaps or spurs. He won't tell me why."

"Spurs would get caught in the hammock," Reyes sniggered. Lifting his napkin again, Ryan covered his mouth and roared laughing.

Sadly shaking his head, Paul helplessly giggled, "If you had simply said that you setup a love nest, it might've been quicker."

"It's not a love nest," Reyes smiled. "It's only a private place to be. A love nest would include a lot more."

Now getting into the game, Paul giggled, "Such as?"

"There's a nice TV and sound system, but no DVDs or CDs," Reyes joked. "We'll have to get by without for a night. If I had my druthers, we'd have a king sized bed, not a queen size. Again, we can get by for a night. We would eventually need a loin cloth, chaps and spurs to play cowboys and indian."

Ryan giggled, "We're the cowboys and you're the indian?"

"Course!" Reyes laughed.

"Of course," Paul sniggered.

A gentleman, apparently in his early fifties approached the table. Softly giggling, the boys watched and paused their silly conversation. Stopping beside the table, the man smiled, "Good evening, boys. My name is Conrad Dean. I'm the restaurant manager. How're you this evening?"

Answering, "Fine," Paul wore a slight smile, but Reyes and Ryan could see suspicion in his eyes. Ryan nodded.

Reyes cheerfully asked, "How can we help you, Mr. Dean?"

Mr. Dean smiled, "I only came by to meet the Clan Short representatives visiting our fine establishment. From following the news this past week, I'm very happy that you chose to have dinner here. Your organization's activities have helped our island nation in numerous ways. We're very proud that Pacific Rim Headquarters is here on Oahu. If there's anything I can get for you, to make your evening more pleasant, please let me or your server know."

Ryan politely said, "Thank you," and Paul slowly nodded.

Reyes grinned, "We'll be sure to do that, Sir. Thank you for taking the time to greet us."

"You're welcome," Mr. Dean smiled, and then turned around and left the boys alone.

Ryan softly prompted, "Calm down, bro."

Grimacing, Paul nodded and wondered, "What sort of activities is he referring to, Reyes?"

Shrugging, Reyes carefully answered, "There are thirty-one fewer teen prostitutes on the street. We've rescued other kids that had bad parents and home lives. We closed down the militant factions of the FCC in the Pacific Rim, and got more kids from that. Then there's the California orphanages and all the kids we've rescued from Battle of Earth. Lastly, with all the kids to feed and shelter, I'm sure we're helping the economy." 

Paul and Ryan wordlessly checked with each other. 

Reyes smiled, "I know you have a good family on Sullivan's Island, but I watched you two today. Everywhere we went on both bases, and even over at Kaho'olawe, you seemed to enjoy yourselves." When they nodded, Reyes softly admitted, "I'd hoped you'd feel more comfortable here. There are so many really kewl kids, and you both mixed in really well, considering today was your first visit. That made me happy, and the interaction is what you need to get over the past. At some point, I'd really like it if you decided to stay here, with me. We could visit Sullivan's Island, and have your family and friends visit us here too." Again, Paul and Ryan checked with one another and then softly chuckled. Reyes giggled, "Too soon, huh?"

Paul smirked, "We held your hands the whole time the manager was here. He didn't say a word about it."

"I don't know," Ryan sighed. "Jon and Mary are starting to feel like real parents. As kewl as things are there, I'm more comfortable at Ewa Beach. When you were up on stage, Erik, Travis, Chris and Jay were really nice. They didn't even blink when Paul told them you're our boyfriend."

Paul softly smiled, "Jon and Mary didn't say a word about it either. All they were concerned about was when we'd be home. I think we all expected some reaction when I said you might return with us, or we might stay the night here. Only Jerry and Joey giggled."

Reyes wondered, "When I was in the conference room for that meeting, what did you dudes do?"

"We talked with Mike's father," Ryan answered.

Paul nodded, "We also met Derrick's mom and Corey's little brothers, Cesar and Felipe. I couldn't help keeping an eye on the few adults in the reception area, but everything was kewl. It's going to take me time to trust people again, Reyes. Your meeting didn't last very long, thankfully."

Glancing at each of his boyfriends, Reyes checked, "Thankfully?"

Blushing, Paul smirked, "We would've run out of things to say."

Choosing to say what his brother wouldn't, Ryan giggled, "We missed you, Reyes. Yeah, you were only gone about twenty-five minutes, but you're why we're here. It seems we're always talking about you and missing you."

"We'll have to work on that, because I've missed you too," Reyes brightly smiled. Seeing the waitress approaching, Reyes released Paul's and Ryan's hands, briefly explaining, "Our appetizer is here." The waitress delivered their iced tea, placed the platter on the table and put a plate down before each of the three boys. "Thanks, Alamea," Reyes smiled.

"Will there be anything else?" she asked.

Ryan and Paul shook their heads. Reyes answered, "Nope, we're good." Alamea nodded, turned and walked away to check her other tables and customers. The boys each took a skewer of lobster and began carefully pulling fruit, vegetables and meat off the steel skewers. Reyes softly wondered, "What do you guys do to keep busy at home?"

Ryan shrugged, "We spend a lot of time at home, but we take walks along the beach too."

"We used to do a lot of mountain biking, hiking and camping in the Appalachians," Paul answered. He sampled a small piece of lobster and hummed.

While his brother purred, Ryan giggled, "It's good, bro?" Still chewing, Paul rapidly nodded.

Stabbing a piece of lobster and a piece of pineapple, Reyes smiled, "I used to do some mountain biking after we moved here. There are remote places that tourists never see." Reyes tasted his appetizer and slowly nodded.

Ryan asked, "Do you think we might be able to go mountain biking sometime?" He lifted his fork to his mouth and tried the new cuisine.

Paul reached for his glass of tea, took a sip, and then grinned, "I'd really like to check out some remote spots." Ryan stopped chewing and stared at his brother. Quickly pulling his napkin to his mouth, Reyes sputtered and helplessly chuckled. Ryan swallowed and then cracked up. Closing his eyes, Paul softly huffed, "You're both very bad!" Opening his eyes again, Paul complained, "We were talking about mountain biking, but you two go directly into the gutter! Be ashamed of yourselves!"

Ryan breathlessly giggled, "It was the way you said it, bro."

"I knew you were referring to mountain biking," Reyes sniggered, "but Ryan's expression made me take the tangents." Beginning to blush, Reyes giggled, "I'll show you all the island's remote spots, and mine too, Paul."

"I think I can find them myself, without a map," Paul evilly grinned. Reyes and Ryan howled laughing.

"Yes, we can go mountain biking, probably with only my security," Reyes softly chortled. "Casim and Kahdi would love it too. I can see both of them in the rain forest, never in our sight, but always within shouting distance."

"I'm surprised you like them being around," Paul groused.

Reyes shrugged, "Security is required for all Clan Short leaders, since the battle in Montana. They're a lot like me; interested in music and attached to family. They may not be my best friends or family, but they are nice people."

To change the subject, Ryan prompted, "Tell us about the mountains here in the ROH."

"Five minutes off any trail and you're alone on the planet, in a lush rain forest," Reyes smiled. "I could get us to a couple of waterfalls I think you guys will love. Lulumahu Fall is probably going to be the first one we visit. Sacred Fall is on the list too. It's about a hundred feet tall. When I've exhausted all I know about on Oahu, we can blaze some new trails over on Maui or Kauai. I know there are waterfalls on both islands, but I never got the chance to find them." 

While Reyes ate a little more, Paul and Ryan shared descriptions and stories of hikes in the Appalachian Mountains of South Carolina. Through their appetizer and salads, round and round the threesome went, chatting about favorite activities, hobbies, interests and places. Back in the nineteen-seventies, Ryan loved disco dancing and got to be a good dancer with Paul's reluctant help.

The waitress reappeared to clean up the salad plates and overheard their conversation. Paul grumbled, "How people ever danced wearing the tightest clothes they could pour themselves into, I'll never know."

"You looked good though, bro," Ryan teased. Ryan gestured to his brother, and told Reyes, "At a neighbor's birthday party, Paul had a whole group of girls dancing with him at once."

"Here we go again," Paul smirked. Reyes softly giggled.

Ryan teased, "ALL the girls at the party eventually got some dance floor time with Paul."

Paul reminded, "Did we go there for that reason, bro? No, we went there for Robin's birthday."

Once the waitress walked away, Ryan giggled, "Robin Summers was the cutest kid on the block. By his fourteenth birthday, Robin switched from cute to mouthwatering. We tried..."

"You tried, ya mean," Paul corrected.

"WE tried so many discrete ways to get in Robin's pants," Ryan giggled. "It was sad at the time, but it's really funny now."

"Which is what was so completely ridiculous," Paul groused. "We're ready to do anything with this guy, but what actually happened was a lot of dancing, a bunch of straight couples hookin' up, and we went home alone, sweaty from dancing, in tight slacks, in the middle of June."

Reyes giggled, "Compare Robin to me."

Both brothers hummed, and then Paul thoughtfully scowled, "Robin was a soccer player; platinum blond, hazel eyes, getting really muscular in the arms and torso."

"Of all the guys dancing at the party, Robin had two left feet," Ryan smiled. 

Reyes giggled, "Other than the two left feet, Robin sounds a little like my dad."

Shaking his head, Paul said, "Derrick's got curly dirty blond hair and already has awesome muscles." Reyes and Ryan tilted their heads and widely smiled at Paul. "Oh jeez!" Paul sniggered, "That didn't sound right at all, did it?"

Since they weren't eating, Ryan took Reyes hand, giggling, "Robin was eye candy, but little else. Before our lives went to hell, Robin's life took a worse turn, when two girls pointed him out as the father. I think the yelling of three fathers is still reverberating around out there. Robin had to drop out of high school to support both babies."

Taking Reyes other hand, Paul assured, "You're equally good looking, and have the personality Robin never could develop. Take yesterday in the store as a perfect example. All those kids were having fun just getting clothes. You're just as approachable as all the other Core Rimmers, and the kids were proving that."

"I agree," Ryan quickly added. "The kids were going to you and all the Rimmers, but since we were standing right there with you, me and Paul were helping who we could."

Nodding, Reyes smiled, "For that, I accessed my empathy routines for the first time. It was very much required."

Paul wondered, "Are you accessing those empathy routines now?"

"No," Reyes honestly answered, "there's no need to, because I know both of you. Seventy-one boys were blank slates when we went to the store, so I needed it." Taking a deep breath, Reyes softly admitted, "I don't want to be more than I've always been, so all the databases and routines Danny and Marc gave me are off to the side, until I need them for a specific job. If I ever start seeing you guys as a job, or have to access databases to deal, then there's big trouble. I'll say something long before going there." Ryan and Paul grinned at one another then squeezed Reyes' hands. Reyes giggled, "What did I say?"

Ryan smiled, "That's twice today you put me in a dream state."

"It's the first time for me," Paul softly admitted.

"But Ryan's easier," Paul and Reyes simultaneously joked. The fact it was unplanned caused Reyes and Paul to crack up laughing.

Giggling madly and turning red, Ryan released Reyes' hand, leaned back in his chair and softly pouted, "Just perfect."

"Aww!" Reyes and Paul sang through their giggles.

Focusing on Reyes, Ryan softly giggled, "You don't really know how easy I am... YET!" Turning to his evil brother, Ryan more loudly giggled, "You were supposed keep that a secret!"

"There are no secrets between two when there are three," Paul softly sniggered.

Ewa Beach, CIC Dining Room

Monday November 8, 2004 7:17PM

Sean and Troy remained with Chris, Jay, Eric, Travis, Lance and Scott through dinner. It was one of those nights where kids finished their meals, but didn't immediately scatter for other activities. The furthest place the younger kids were going was into the rec room. Judy Faris was still with her grandson Jason, and his new boyfriend, JD. Drew, Corey and Leo were still with Jim and Jen Hundser. Prez, Keith, Derrick and Mike were still at a table together too, working out a new song for the band to cover.

Of their group of eight, Lance and Scott were the first to excuse themselves to return to their dorm room. Watching them stand, Troy playfully asked, "You're going to work on them modes now, huh?"

Lance and Scott intensely blushed. "Yeah," Scott evilly snickered, "there are seven now, but by morning, we'll have at least twice that many modes." The other six roared laughing.

Turning slightly to hide his blush, Lance smiled at Scott and loudly giggled, "Are you planning on an early night? Try three times as many modes. And then we'll pickup the guitars!"

Waving to his friends, Scott chuckled, "See ya in the mornin'."

Erik and Travis then excused themselves to chat with Horacio and Sonia. In moments, Horacio and Sonia were calling the other dorm leaders. Privy to this conversation were Roy and Peter, who were already at the table with Mollie and Nell.

On their way out of the CIC, Lance and Scott overheard Derrick, Mike, Keith and Prez softly singing while working out 'Comfortably Numb'. The fact that they were singing in key without any instruments stunned and surprised Lance and Scott. Walking outside, they couldn't understand how anyone could figure out a song without a single instrument.

Coming out of the Command Center, AJ and Jerry crossed the dining room with envelopes, heading directly for the table where now only Chris, Jay, Sean and Troy were sitting. Within a few meters of the group at the table, Jerry brightly greeted, "How's it goin', dudes?"

Sean knowingly grinned, "Having access to that room is still very kewl, isn't it?"

Nodding, AJ chuckled, "Just getting to know the UNIT guys and the communications equipment."

Jerry checked the names on the envelopes then passed them out, saying, "One for Jason Montigua and one for Christopher Stokley. They're only ID cards, just stuff 'em into your wallets. The really good news comes with debit cards, hopefully in another day or two."

Watching Chris and Jay reach for their wallets, AJ explained, "With ninety-five newbies yesterday, I'll bet our card cutter needs sharpening." Just as expected, Chris and Jay opened the envelopes and then stuffed the ID cards into their wallets with little more than a glance.

Troy grinned, "Sit with us, guys. We've got a little while before any of us need to find our youngest sons."

"Aww, you guys are so fatherly," Chris teased. Jay rapidly nodded and widely smiled. Distinctly, Chris got the impression that Jay wanted to be a father as soon as possible. This would become the topic of a few pillow-talk sessions very soon.

Taking a chair, Jerry chuckled, "You try racing after four- and six-year-old boys."

Sitting beside his lover and soon-to-be-husband, AJ giggled, "Tonight's our first time getting them into a bathtub. If we can't actually catch them, we have to at least funnel them toward the stairs. After their bath, Jerry promised to read to them. Our eight-year-old is trying to figure out his sexual preference, with very little knowledge. That's what I'll be trying to deal with, until Jerry joins the fun."

Sean's and Troy's eyebrows rose. Sean softly reminded, "Billy and Jason have boyfriends."

Pointing at the table where his mother was with Jason and JD, Troy offered, "We need to explain stuff to Billy, Robbie, Jason and JD. What if we got our sons together, and maybe add Stan, Kaleo's and Tory's oldest?"

"How old is Stan?" Jerry wondered. Of Kaleo's brood of five boys, Stan was the tallest, but not by much. He had assumed that Stan was six- or seven-years-old.

"He's eight," Sean answered, "small for his age, thanks to certain assholes in California."

Disjointedly, Chris, Jay, Troy, Sean, Jerry and AJ called, "Kaleo."

Instinctually bouncing in his chair, Kaleo shouted, "JESUS!" and spun around.

Jerry sniggered, "No miracles required, bro. But one may have just happened, so bring your hubby and let's chat."

"Uh oh," Tory softly droned, thinking that Prez's secret may have already leaked. Tory and Kaleo stood, clasped hands and walked across the room.

As they approached, Sean invited, "Have a seat, bros."

Watching Kaleo and Tory take chairs, Troy explained, "We're planning on a facts-of-life chat later, with Billy, Robbie Taylor, Jason and JD."

AJ briefly added, "And we're planning on the same with Kenny."

"Care to add Stan into the picture?" grinned Jerry.

Raising their eyebrows, Kaleo and Tory silently considered it a few seconds. Tory shared, "We'll need to chase down our rug-rats and get them in a tub."

"So will we," AJ and Jerry chuckled.

Troy pointed around the table, "It'll be me, Sean, AJ, Chris and Jay, there to answer questions, guide and advise while our sons talk."

Jay chuckled, "Why invite us into this? We're not fathers."

"Yet," Chris helplessly giggled.

"Yeah, yeah," Sean sniggered, "fahgedaboudit! You've got three years together. Besides, I expect this to be cute, funny and bordering on insane."

Troy nodded and grinned, "Billy and Jase already know that some old, bad lessons need corrections. JD, Robbie, Kenny and Stan are at slightly different levels of knowledge, but they're fundamentally the same. We get the discussion started and let them talk, then it's all advise and guidance. That's the plan, unless we determine we need to take more control."

"It sounds like an awesome idea," Kaleo beamed. "As soon as our youngest are in bed, either Tory or I will join you. Six boys and six dads sounds very kewl. I don't think Stan will get too embarrassed. By observation, I can tell you that when Stan giggles 'no' and blushes, that only means, 'standby while I process'. Then he'll come back again with another comment or question."

Tory hummed then wondered, "Do you think the head Rimmers and analysts have gone there? Maybe Gage, Jonah, Ben and Sammy need to participate?"

Kaleo smiled at Tory, prompting, "Let's check it out." They quickly got up and went to Prez.

Moments later, evil snickering erupted at the table where Prez, Keith, Derrick and Mike were sitting. Keith chuckled, "Been there, done that, with Dee, Gage and Sammy."

Mike sniggered, "Maybe Jonah might want to help anyway."

"He's already gone, with Gage," Derrick grinned, "something about cleaning teeth and oral hygiene." Looking up at Kaleo and Tory, Derrick chuckled, "I think it's beyond the talking phase to the trying phase."

Prez smiled, "Thanks for checking and offering though." He then gestured for Tory and Kaleo to lean down. Prez whispered a question. Tory and Kaleo stood again, shaking their heads. All six Core Rimmers evilly snickered. Kaleo and Tory turned around and returned to the table with Troy, Sean, Chris, Jay, Jerry and AJ.

Kaleo said, "We're set. Now we can try and capture our youngest."

"Operation rug-rat rec room extraction in sixty-seconds," Jerry chuckled.

AJ giggled, "Say that twenty-times, real fast." Instead, Jerry leaned over for a kiss and a different sort of tongue-twister.

Chris checked with Jay. "We'll block the exit doors," Jay grinned.

All the boys at the table stood. Troy loudly called, "Jason, has grandma finished teaching you to curse like a New Yorker?"

Jason giggled, "Not yet, pop."

JD joked, "How'd you know?" 

Troy shrugged, "How do you think I learned?"

Sean giggled, and then called, "Be home at eight, Jason, with your boyfriend."

Slouching, Jason giggled, "How'd you know I was gonna ask that?"

"The hickey might've been a clue, Jase," Sean sniggered, and followed the other seven to the rec room doors. The six Core Rimmer fathers entered the room. Chris and Jay separated to take their stations. 

Jerry approached Shaun, nonchalantly asking, "How's it goin', buddy?" Spinning around, Shaun ran to Jerry and leaped into his pop's arms. 

AJ asked Mike Hunnicutt, "Are you ready to call it a day, pal?"

Mike pointed and giggled, "Richie and Jimmy is racin' monster trucks, daddy."

Heading toward where Mark and Marv were playing, Tory stealthily watched his five-year-old sons. Kaleo went to his spectating six-year-old sons, Leonard and Russ, who were watching Dillon and Scott Deaver play the Formula 1 race car game. Kneeling down, Kaleo wrapped his arms around Leonard and Russ, chuckling, "Gotchya!"

Russ giggled, "Or maybe we got you, daddy!"

Leonard loudly cackled, "We're not ready fer bed, daddy!" Sadly shaking his head, Kaleo cracked up. The foul, three letter 'B' word caused every kid under eight years old to begin complaining.

Out in the dining room, Prez, Keith, Derrick and Mike clearly heard Leonard's cry. More little guys in the rec room started whining and complaining. Older boys began laughing and teasing the rug-rats. Sadly shaking his head, Keith sniggered, "New dads haven't learned their kids eventually get tired and want to go home."

Derrick chuckled, "Let's go help, before our mouth and morale Rimmers get pounced."

"I can't imagine Kaleo with a permanently high, squeaky voice," Prez grinned. "That would be frightening."

Standing, Mike offered, "We'll get back to arranging 'Comfortably Numb' later." He noticed Jonah and Gage returning to the dining room and head toward the rec room.

The four Core Rimmers crossed the room. Seeing Chris and Jay at the doorways, blocking squealing little guys, all four began sniggering and hurried. Prez softly suggested to Keith that Jimmy Carr could sleep over their house, so Troy and Sean could deal with their older sons. Liking the idea, Derrick told Mike, "And we'll take Dillon and Scott."

Nodding, Mike sniggered, "It might prevent a future rug-rat mutiny."

Arriving at the doorway behind Jay, and seeing the pandemonium inside the rec room, Prez prompted, "Take the other doorway and help your boyfriend, bro." Evilly chuckling and nodding, Jay jogged past all the dimensional doors. Once Jay was in place, Prez bellowed "WHOA! ATTENTION MINI-RIMMERS!" All the little kids came to an abrupt halt. Chris and Jay struggled to hold in their laughter.

Richie whined, "Poppa, we don' wanna go ta bed yet!"

Keith smirked, "That's too bad. I guess Jimmy will have to go home for his bath and bedtime, instead of bathing and sleeping with you." Richie's and Jimmy's jaws dropped.

Hurrying to Derrick and Mike, Dillon asked, "Me and Scott too?"

Softly chortling, Derrick nodded. Mike loudly announced, "Only IF all you dudes under eight give it up and go find your parents."

Seven-year-old Albert McPhearson cutely blinked his eyes at his new big brother, reminding, "We don't gotta go to school, Mike."

Nodding, Mike smiled, "That's true, Al, but breakfast is still here in the morning, and then you and Charlie get to play all day. If you'd rather take naps tomorrow?"

Three-dozen revolted little boys incredulously squealed, "NAPS?"

All the Core Rimmers in the room nodded and evilly grinned. Walking by his dad and pop with Ben, Sammy softly chuckled, "You're so bad, pop." Cheekily grinning and bouncing his red eyebrows, Prez nodded.

Ben giggled, "I already checked, Sammy can come home with me, if it's kewl?"

Sammy grinned, "The last I heard, Gage and Jonah will be at our house tonight, dad."

Making a space for the two boys to pass, Keith nodded and smiled, "Go ahead, dudes. We'll see you in the morning." Ben and Sammy squeezed by and received good night kisses from Keith and Mike.

By this time, the rug-rats were saying goodnight to friends, and soon dragging their reluctant, tiny butts to the doors. Wade and Frankie passed by Chris and Jay. Unexpectedly, both teens howled laughing and started squirming in the doorway. Ignoring the stack of halos over his little brother's head, Frankie saw the determined look in Wade's eyes and evilly snickered.

"WADE!" John loudly laughed, "No getting even with tickles!"

Giggling, Wade hurried to his daddy and poppa, before Chris and Jay recovered to tickle him back.

Glancing at her son and son-in-law, Kathleen Marr checked, "Wade did that?"

Nodding, Stephen sniggered, "He didn't even warn Frankie, so we were clueless, until Chris and Jay started dancing." Kathleen wondered if she should help bathe the boys, or go to her room and count her Valium tablets.

On the way to the rec room exit, Mike Hunnicutt whispered to Geoff, "Ya wanna sleep at my house?"

Geoff whispered back, "T'morrow night, okay? Me and Lenny need to be home tonight, for Leo." He then gave Mike a quick and completely unexpected kiss on the cheek. Both little tikes began giggling. Holding the spot where Geoff kissed him, Mike dreamily wandered to his poppa. Softly chortling at his son's expression, Jerry squatted down and picked Mike up. Geoff met Lenny and they started for the doors.

Troy and Sean walked to Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick. Troy smiled, "Thanks so much, guys."

Prez nodded, "Your hands are full with Jason and Billy tonight."

"We can get the kids bathed and in bed," Derrick assured.

Keith grinned, "In the unlikely event of home-sickness, Alden can fix that in a flash."

Mike prompted, "Put 'Comfortably Numb' on repeat for a while, Troy."

Troy checked, "Tomorrow, after school?"

"That's the plan," Prez smiled.

Derrick prompted, "We need to check the Oneula Beach auditorium."

Sean offered, "Lance and Scott say the auditorium's way smaller than here, but still very large. They said it's still big enough for our entire division; this one is big enough for several divisions."

"Reyes mentioned it earlier," Mike smiled. "From what he told us, it's pretty much the same, with a few gear differences."

Squatting down, Sean kissed Scott then softly instructed, "You be good for Uncle Mike and Uncle Derrick."

Scott giggled, "I'll be even better for Dillon." Cracking up, Dillon playfully shoved Scott.

"I'm sure you will," Sean snickered and stood.

Derrick called, "Jonah? Home by ten and asleep by eleven; there's school in the morning."

Flashing a thumbs-up, Jonah nodded, "No problem, dad."

Involved in a flight simulation video game, Gage loudly assured, "We'll prob'ly be home before ten. It only depends on how many are still here."

Finished kissing his youngest two sons goodnight, and letting Troy say goodnight to them, Sean called, "Jason and JD, are you ready to go home?" The two boys got up and gave grandma Judy kisses on the cheek before hurrying across the room.

All the Core Rimmers left the rec room, including Chris and Jay. Troy, Sean, AJ, Jerry, Kaleo and Tory went to dimensional doors with their sons and were soon at Oneula Beach. Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick paused at the tables where their parents were sitting, so grandparents could get kisses goodnight from their grandsons. The victims of telepathic tickles, Chris and Jay completely forgot about joining Troy and Sean, and instead went to find Erik and Travis.

John telepathically called, 'Dulce, are you ready, little sister?' When Dulce nodded and told her teddy bear to follow, John sent, 'You know Leo's going to cry. I'll help keep you strong, so you can talk for Leo's mommy and daddy.'

Nodding and taking the final few steps to John, Dulce softly wondered, "Why do some people cry?"

Carefully flicking some stray hairs off the girl's face, John answered, "Because you're proving love never dies, Dulce. You and I know that, but some folks don't really get it. They're happy tears anyway."

Minutes before eight o'clock, the dining room began emptying. With the coast clear of her overprotective Core Rimmer son, Judy Faris went to the kitchen, where she invited Randy Leister to stop by for a night cap. Pleasantly surprised, Randy quickly accepted and promised he would be at Judy's condo before ten o'clock. Randy Leister was the first of two men that had caught her fancy. Doctor Randall Wiener was the second man that Judy wanted to get to know. Walking to her condo, Judy could almost hear Troy bitterly complaining, "MOM! Jesus H. Christ! They're both Randys! Why not just take out an ad? Divorced single mother and grandmother seeks handsome, randy man that loves kids and wants to make some." In the elevator up to the fifth floor, Judy roared laughing.

Monday, November 8, 2004 8:02PM HTZ

Outside the CIC, Corey and Drew took their family home. Dulce and her teddy bear, Aster waited for John to finish explaining things to his mother-in-law and family. "This won't take too long," John offered, "maybe an hour, depending on Leo. Then I'll give our very awesome little girl some treats that Mrs. Combs is making specially for Dulce."

Wide-eyed, Dulce repeated, "Treats? I gets treats?"

Stephen, Frankie and Wade helplessly giggled. Smiling down at Dulce, John teased, "Secret treats, for you and your closest friends at the dorm. As soon as we're done, we'll get the treats and transport to your common room, with the treats. I'll take off real quick, and you can share your treats."

Softly chortling at the little girl and her Teddy clapping their hands, Stephen gave John a tender kiss, sending, 'Hurry home, hon.'

'Right into your arms,' John silently promised. He then levitated Frankie and Wade, so that he didn't have to bend down to kiss either son goodnight. Lastly, John made a show of kissing Stephen's mom and climbed two invisible steps to kiss her goodnight. Frankie and Stephen went into giggling fits. Grabbing his belly, Wade howled laughing.

Walking back down his virtual steps, John asked, "Ready, Dulce?"

Rapidly shaking her head, Dulce giggled, "Float me."

Grinning, John pointed to Aster, instructing, "Warn your teddy."

"Aster," Dulce giggled, "John's gonna make me float. It's fun!"

Aster confirmed, "You will not be harmed?"

Dulce giggled, "Nope, I'll be fine."

"Lowering friend safety protocols for ten minutes," Aster announced.

Immediately, Dulce rose off the ground and squealed in delight. John carried the little clairvoyant girl to Drew's and Corey's townhouse. Every now and then, John slowly spun her around, so she got a good ride. At the front of the townhomes, about a meter before the steps leading up to the door, John lowered Dulce to the ground. Grinning at the cackling five-year-old, John pointed at Aster. As soon as she caught her breath, Dulce giggled, "Home safety rules, Aster."

"Home safety protocols engaged," Aster declared, and then quickly asked, "Was it fun?"

"Very!" Dulce laughed, and reached for her teddy bear's paw. Aster took his best friend's hand. Taking Dulce's other hand, John walked up the steps and knocked on the door. Moments later, the door was opened by Lenny. He had red, puffy eyes and slouched like he was drained of strength.

Suddenly appearing very relieved, Lenny huffed, "Come in, Uncle John. Hi, Dulce."

John gently told Lenny, "It's gonna be fine."

"I wish," Lenny frowned, and stepped aside. 

With Dulce and Aster, John walked in, opened his N-Gen empathy and began drawing the sadness from his brother, brother-in-law and all three nephews. Lenny closed the door and joined his family on the sofa. All the living room lights were on as well as the kitchen fluorescent lights. After a few moments, when everyone was down to sniffles and wiping their eyes, John asked, "Dulce, are they here?"

"Course!" Dulce smiled. "They never leave Leo."

Glancing around the room, like his brothers and dads, Leo softly wondered "Who's where?"

Twisting to and fro, Dulce cutely answered, "Your mommy and daddy." She pointed into thin air at two spots, about a meter before Corey and Drew, saying, "There and there. Your daddy says, he took care of the bad men, got 'em out of the house." She giggled, "Your mommy called you her big, strong, beautiful boy." Flabbergasted, Leo's jaw dropped and he sat back on the couch. 

Dulce paused, looking at nothing that anyone else could see, and then shrugged, "Really? Weird." Returning her attention to Leo, Dulce said, "Your daddy made some of the mess in the house. He had a fit, scared the bad men, and made them pee their pants. He'll never stop watching out for you." After another brief pause, seemingly listening to someone, Dulce frowned, "Your mommy says, they weren't 'upposed to go, it wasn't their time." Shaking her tiny head, Dulce complained, "That's not the way it happens though." A few moments later, she said, "Oh. Lots of people only partly crossed. They has to wait to be called. Since they're here, they'll stay with you."

Leaning forward, Drew gently prompted, "Tell us their names, Dulce."

"Walter Daniel Scott and Nadine Scott."

Excitedly and very loudly, Leo squealed, "They're still here?"

Dulce nodded, "They say they're okay, waiting and watching over you. You've heard 'em, Leo. It wasn't a dream, or 'maginin'. It was them. Your daddy likes Drew and Corey. Your mommy likes Lenny, and called Geoff 'precious'." Giggling heartily, she glanced at Geoff and watched him turn red.

Shivering and shedding tears, Leo softly asked, "Did it hurt?"

Quickly trying to stop giggling, Dulce checked with both of Leo's parents. She then said, "Nope, they didn't feel anything. Your daddy says, it was like the dresser was too heavy. They fell down, but got back up again. Your mommy says it was strange... confusin'. Then they heard you calling and ran to you. You couldn't hear or see 'em though. They figured it out when you did, Leo." Scowling, Dulce shook her head, and then called, "John? I don't get what they're saying."

John shrugged, "I'll try to hear them through you, Dulce. You hug Aster and listen." Dulce embraced her teddy bear. John tried to focus on what Dulce was hearing. He closed his eyes and relaxed with a heavy sigh. After about thirty-seconds, John opened his eyes and smiled, "We didn't realize how completely love conquers all, Leo." Five jaws dropped open on the sofa. Drew, Corey, Leo, Lenny and Geoff weren't hearing John's voice, but the deeper adult male voice of Walter Scott.

Through John, Walter explained, "When I heard the looters coming in the house, I left your mom with you and went downstairs, not knowing what I could do, only that I had to do something. I watched and listened to those men from the stairway landing. They weren't finding anything of value worth taking and said they would go upstairs. That's when my anger and need to protect you took over. All at once, every cupboard opened, all the boxes, cans, plates and glasses flew at the looters, the photos and pictures came off the walls, and the furniture we had moved to block the doors began toppling over." Walter chuckled, "Part of me wishes you had seen it, Leo. Grown men breaking down in tears, screaming like little girls, and two even pissed their pants. I've never laughed so hard. Did you know, when a man pisses himself that what isn't absorbed by his clothes still shoots out like a fire hose? They can't reproduce that in the movies." 

Leo howled laughing, causing his new family to crack up. Still holding onto her teddy bear, Dulce never even giggled.

Walter grinned, "Our next lesson came after you woke and decided to leave the house. I know how much it hurt you, Leo, but we were both very proud that you were smart enough to seek help. Our love, yours for us and ours for you, pulled us like magnets right after you. If we had tried to run with you, we couldn't have kept up, but we didn't need to worry about that either. After you got to the Staples Center, the same thing happened when you were transported to Des Moines. We thought we'd lose you, but we were pulled along again. Everywhere you were, we were there too. It was your mom that prompted Grandma Morrison to concentrate on you for a while. She's a smart cookie, that woman. She proved it by getting you with Corey and Drew. Of course, we were suspicious at first, because they're so young, but that has passed too. Soon after we arrived here, we saw them and their family as your new family. We wholeheartedly approve of this arrangement. You get two father figures who are also your best friends. In Lenny and Geoff, you get two little brothers, and much more than you can imagine. You've grown so much these last few days, Leo. We honestly couldn't be more proud of you."

Facing Corey, Walter smiled, "You did a better job of teaching Leo the facts of life than I could have. I've never been attracted to boys or men, and would've fumbled through the issue. As sensitive as he's always been, we always knew that Leo would very likely become homosexual." 

Turning to Drew, Walter chuckled, "Hearing my voice and knowing I'm here is freaking you out. Stop feeling guilty about last night. Leo's not bothered; neither am I and neither is his mother. Again, you taught what I obviously couldn't have. You are a protective, loving father, Drew, but you are still twelve years old. From the moment you met Leo, you and Corey helped relieve Leo's fears. Every tender moment you spend with Corey, your sons, and every other child in this division, is a lesson. At lunch, we were with Leo and the Seavers. We were there with your family and your parents at dinner. You were right, we would've been friends with all four of your parents; very likely best friends."

Returning his attention to Leo, Walter warmly smiled, "Love conquers all. Who you love is your choice; it always has been and always will be. You've got good role models in this home and in the Clan."

Leo wondered, "What do I do now, dad? I mean, knowing that you and mom are close, why haven't you gone to heaven?"

"That's a good question and a rough one to answer," Walter sighed. "The implication is that the Battle Of Earth wasn't supposed to happen. Many of those who passed that day are like us, waiting near their loved ones. I once read that paradise is a land of many mansions. There's probably some construction going on. All we can do is wait. All you can do is be who you are. Don't try second guessing yourself. Don't be embarrassed thinking, what if my mom and dad are watching. It's simply not in you do to anything that could surprise us. I never wanted a boyfriend, but that does not mean it would bother us if you had one. Those you care about, we'll automatically care for too. There's nothing new under the sun, and we knew that before Friday morning. We also know when to turn away, Leo. Your mom didn't want to witness her baby boy growing up last night. I wanted to be certain it was done in the manner I might've, if I were twelve-years-old and had any clue what I was doing. Not only was it acceptable, it was beautiful and perfect. Again, this afternoon you made us proud by talking with Corey and Drew about it. That's a sure sign you're growing up, son. The only other thing I can suggest is talking to us through Dulce. When we're told it's time for us to move on, would you like to know?"

"Yes!" Leo loudly proclaimed, "Of course!"

"It's your choice," Walter reminded. "Consider the way you said goodbye the first time. Do you really want to say it again?"

Leo scowled, "I don't want to, but I have to. Besides, I want to know that you've made it."

"Good enough," Walter smiled. "Sleep well tonight, Leo. My life was blessed in so many ways, with a beautiful wife and an inspiring son. You've been blessed too, with two sets of loving parents, and now with two little brothers. They'll follow in your footsteps, so show them how to be the best little men they can be."

Pulling Lenny and Geoff closer, Leo beamed, "It's covered, dad."

Drew called his brother, "Mr. Scott?"

"Yes, Drew?"

"Do you approve of what we're planning on doing with your murderers?"

Walter chuckled, "Let me put it this way, Drew. My wife and I have a few choice words for them. We're hoping we aren't called before their executions. Their hell begins the moment they die, with our rage, and then they'll get dragged into the void for eternity. If there's truly justice, those men will feel the fear and pain they inflicted on Leo for all time. One thing we've learned is that we can't be too far from Leo, so bring him along. Every night when he sleeps, we try to leave him and explore Hawaii. About fifty feet away seems to be as far as we can go."

He paused only to ask, "Please get a Vulcan mind healer for Leo?"

Nodding, Drew admitted, "I've been considering it since yesterday morning," and then promised, "Before we go to bed tonight, I'll make the request and make it happen."

Leo frowned, "Why do I need a Vulcan, dad?"

"Because of what you saw in our bedroom," Walter softly answered. He turned to Drew and then Corey, asking, "You understand why?" Leo watched his dad and pop grimly nod. Naturally, Leo was only beginning to recover from the traumas of the early hours of November fifth. He didn't yet realize that what he saw could easily become the focus of many nightmares and sleepless nights. 

Going to Leo and finger combing his long, wavy blond hair, Walter joked, "Hippie."

Familiar with this life-long bed-time routine, Leo giggled, "Punk."

"We love you."

"I love you too," Leo smiled.

Rapidly blinking, John smirked and said in his own voice, "Well, that was different." Geoff and Lenny giggled.

Leo smiled, "I might never look at you the same, Uncle John."

Slouching, John sighed, "Can we drop this 'Uncle' crap? I'm a whole seven months older than you, Leo. I can barely deal with Lenny, Dee, Gage, and Sammy calling me uncle. Let's make a new rule for my nephews. Less than three years younger than me, and you use my first name. More than three years, and you add the Uncle."

Leo giggled, "Kewl, dad," and quickly looked around for reactions. Geoff and Lenny cracked up. Grinning, Drew rolled his eyes, and Corey helplessly giggled.

"Dulce is sleepy," Aster announced. "I am holding her up."

Going to her, John called, "Dulce?"

"It's bed time," Dulce yawned.

John checked, "Treats tomorrow?"

She nodded, "T'morrow."

Leo quickly said, "Thank you, Dulce." The little girl contentedly hummed.

Tapping his comm-badge, John grinned, "Alden, transport Aster and Dulce directly onto her bed."

Alden executed the order, giggling, "I just sent the video to the Vatican. They'll have some adjustments to make, I think." 

Ewa Beach Dormitory #3

Monday, November 8, 2004 8:08 PM HTZ

The first rounds of the night's love making were over. Cuddled up close to Lance, Scott absently fiddled with his lover's dick, nads and pubes, and had been for many minutes. Completely captivated watching Lance get harder and then softer, Scott pleasantly sighed, "Do you have any idea how fantastic you make me feel?" Aware of their sudden and uncontrollable dick fascination, Lance giggled. Fully expecting that response, Scott raved, "Seriously, there are dreams, reality and nightmares; three distinctly separate states, but you've got me living dreams while I'm wide awake."

"I put a spell on you, while we were at the Meadowlands, super-stud," Lance giggled. "It took this long for you to act on it."

Widely grinning, Scott stopped fiddling around, looked up into Lance's eyes and softly chuckled, "Get your story straight, sexy lover-boy; did you start thinking about my dick Friday or late last night?"

Lance giggled, "Well, now that I think of it, I might've guessed this could happen during Friday, when I realized how cute you are. I didn't start wondering about your dick until last night."

Scott brightly beamed, "Acknowledging a guy is cute doesn't make a guy gay. I thought you were cute in the dark, before we ever got to the Meadowlands. All weekend, it was like you were the little brother I never really had. The whole following each other around thing started raising questions; are you a brother, or a lover? Those kinds of ignored, back of my mind questions flooded my thoughts half the night. Messin' around with your dick is only another way to remind you that you're who I want, always by my side."

Lance softly sighed, "Do me a favor?"

"Sure," Scott quickly agreed, "anything."

"Don't do that again; thinking all night about what I might be thinking. I need you awake with me. If you're thinking of me, then wake my ass up and ask."

Scott grinned, "Yeah?"

"Yeah," Lance giggled.

Scott sang, "Why?"

"Two reasons," Lance giggled. "If you had joined me in my bed at any time last night, I would've been shocked, but a kiss would've started everything right then." Scott reached up for a deep, passionate kiss. When they parted, Lance continued.

"While you slept this afternoon, I was bored out of my mind. For the first time, I practiced guitar, but didn't focus on the thing at all. I was thinking about you and us almost the whole time. The only good thing that came out of that hour was learning that I could still play and think of something besides music. I'm committed to you; I was thinking it before you asked, but I was too chicken to ask that, or even if you noticed me watching you last night. All this happened because you had the balls to say what I couldn't or wouldn't. I'm really thrilled out of my mind with everything all day. I just have a little trouble getting ideas out o' my skull and onto my tongue."

"You get ideas out just fine. The fact that I'm in a dream, but wide awake, once again, proves it."

Lance giggled, "Which part do you think was a dream?"

"You're committed to me and thrilled out of your mind?"

"Sorry, it wasn't a dream," Lance giggled. Scott growled. Lance mooed then provocatively giggled, "Super-duper-power-pumpin'-stud." Shifting quickly to hold Lance flat and still, Scott ravenously attacked Lance's left nipple. Writhing, Lance howled laughing and half-heartedly tried to detach Scott's face from his chest.

When the tit was perky, Scott's face popped up. He grinned, "That's the right channel; nice and stiff. Now, keep it that way."

Rubbing his nip and discovering it was sore, Lance hysterically bellowed, "IT'S SWOLLEN! YOU ALMOST DREW MILK, DAMMIT!" Softly chortling, Scott gently kissed and flicked his tongue over Lance's aching nipple.

Two doors down, Chris and Jay were chatting with their new dorm leaders, Erik and Travis. Reviewing preferred brands of lube on the Internet, all four heard Lance from the air conditioning duct. Softly sniggering, they went to the open door and stood beneath the air conditioning vent. Once they had agreed on and rehearsed a rebuttal, all four shouted up, "GO GET HIM, SCOTT! IT WAS ALL LANCE'S FAULT!" and then busted up laughing. In the rooms nearby, the Stoehers and Hirams howled.

Rolling his eyes and blushing, Lance helplessly cracked up. Scott laughed, rolled over and shouted at the vent, "I got it all figured out now, thanks!" More laughter and remarks drifted through the vent.

Lance softly giggled, "Thank goodness we decided to commit. Our chances of keeping anything secret are slim-to-none with my big mouth." Scott leaned over and traced Lance's lips with his tongue. Warmly smiling, Lance sighed, "Damn, you're gettin' too good."

"I love you," Scott whispered. Brightly smiling, and with happy tears pooling in his eyes, Lance abruptly pulled Scott down. When Lance did and said nothing for a few moments, Scott checked, "It's still freakin' you out too, huh?"

Choking back the need to cry, Lance softly shivered, "You feel it too?"

Slowly nodding, Scott shared, "We went from acquaintances to lovers in less than four days, and in the process, tossed some of what we thought we were out the window. When careful experiments are so incredibly awesome that you're driven to try to replicate the first times, only to discover the second rounds were even better, then it's beyond good; it's perfection. My shock is wearing off; yours will too, I know it. I have to tell you that I love you, Lance. A little flickering match turned into a wildfire this morning. All I had to do was watch some awesome examples of gay couples to know how to react."

"Now we get to constantly prove it to each other," Lance sighed.

"You sound sad, like it's a bad thing."

"It's not bad, but it is scary as hell though. We stood on a stage for the first time today, but that felt more like anxiety, where this is genuine fear."

Scott thought a few moments then smiled, "You told me stuff earlier today that I'm now going to tell you. I don't want either blond; Erik and Chris aren't you. I don't want Jay or Travis, or Prez, or Keith, or Derrick, or Mike, or Sean, or Troy. I don't want Darren DeVault's monster cock, or thirteen inches anywhere near my mouth or ass. You've got all them guys beat."


"To start with, familiar experiences from before we met that make us almost the same. Since we met, we've seen each other sad, scared, worried, happy, excited and crazy thrilled. I've seen none of that from anybody else. Think of it as a challenge; like getting as good on our guitars as Mike, Troy, and KC too, now that I think of it. Yesterday, that was my only goal. I'm not worried about our commitment. You and I have committed before, to learning to play guitar. Since we've done that, we can easily match and surpass that commitment together. Now, my additional new goal is to keep you, wanting to be in our bed, every night, no matter what. I vow to never let you get to the point where you want to sleep in the other bed, or find someone else. Please, make the same promise, Lance?"

"I pledge to never allow you to search for anyone else. All I have is yours. We swapped guitars earlier today. Say you want my Les Paul and it's yours, just say you won't leave me."

Scott cheered, "That was sincerely awesome! Keep your L.P. and memorize what you just said. That was really beautiful. This is all I need, Lance; the straight boy act is out of the way, so we share everything. Tomorrow, I'll be right beside you, not just close by, but attached, hand-in-hand. Now that I think of it, we'll have three basic states, every day; completely attached and making love; partially attached at the hands, and partially unattached, only when there are guitars to hold and play."

Uncertainly, Lance repeated, "Partially unattached?"

Nodding, Scott clarified, "After all we've said and done, we're part of one another, man. I may not be in physical contact, but I'll be right there with you all the time. This is a feeling I'll never be able to forget. It's paradise, plain and simple. There's not a single place I might be where I won't want you there too. I could have New York City greasy spoon diner runs and still want you, just outside the commode door, chattin' up a storm."

Lance softly droned, "Oh my God, that's too true."

Scott chuckled, "I know it is. A conversation will not wait, ever. I've seen your ass, up close. It's mine to worship, or play drums on."

Lance smirked and then giggled, "Roll on top of me, so I can use your cheeks as drums."

Doing as he was told, Scott grinned, "Which song?"

"None," Lance giggled, "I only wanted to hold your butt cheeks." He snuck in a quick grope, causing Scott to lurch. "Oops!" Lance giggled. "I did that, my fault, but I'm not sorry."

Scott grinned, "Exhale and do it again." Feeling Lance's chest rise beneath him, Scott waited until he couldn't feel breath against his face. Diving down, Scott filled Lance's lungs, and then got his lungs refilled by Lance. Firmly, Lance held onto Scott's ass. Twice more they swapped breaths and then broke it off. Dizzily swooning and trying to refocus, they evilly snickered and then went for it again. Scott rolled and pulled Lance along with him. Able to move his arms, Scott really got into the kiss, caressing and occasionally tightly hugging Lance, to convey that everything was completely awesome in their world. Lance couldn't move his arms, so he moved his tongue. With surgical precision, Lance inspected Scott's mouth, teeth and tongue. Breathlessly, they broke the kiss. Scott hung his head over Lance's shoulder. "You and me, together forever," Scott whispered.

"Forever," Lance immediately acknowledged. "It's awesome."

"Whatever you want, tell me and it's yours."

"I've got all I need."

"Seriously," Scott prompted, "What do you want?"

Lance giggled, "Roll us over again?"

Doing so, Scott brightly smiled down, assuring, "Your wish is my command."



Lance begged, "Teach me?" Scott curiously tilted his head. Lance sighed, "All that stuff Troy said before dinner flew right over my head. I know the names of the notes, lots of chords, the pentatonic and blues scale patterns, but not much else."

"Okay, all I know is yours, but remember I only had two years of lessons. This is basic stuff compared to what we'll be learning."

Nodding, Lance grinned, "I want to take that placement test and have it prove I'm a musician, not a basket weaver."

Scott joked, "So that's what you were doing with my pubes before?"

Lance giggled, "Not exactly. I was just running my fingers through your bush. It's really soft, like velvet, where mine are more like wires."

Slowly shaking his head, Scott grinned, "To me, your pubes are softer. Twice we humped away and both got off on it. I'd doubt wire would've made the magic happen." Lance stole a kiss, which Scott returned. 

"Okay," Scott began, "the chromatic scale is all twelve notes from any note to the same named note an octave higher. All the notes are half steps, one fret apart; like the open E string to the E an octave higher at the twelfth fret. Pick any note and play all the notes to the next octave, and that's the chromatic scale."


Scott instructed, "Major scales are always built the same way; in a series of full steps or half steps. From the first note to the second is always a full step; like C to D. From the second note to the third is always a full step; like D to E. From the third note to the fourth is always a half step; like E to F. From the fourth note to the fifth is always a full step; like F to G. From the fifth note to the sixth is always a full step; like G to A. From the sixth note to the seventh is always a full step; like A to B. From the seventh note to the eighth is always a half step; like B to C. That's the whole major scale; two full steps, a half step, three full steps and a half step. Got it?"

Nodding, Lance smiled, "Easy."

"Everything we play every day revolves around the major scale. Like Troy was saying, for each of the seven tones, there's an associated chord, and with the chords are the modes. Again, the formulas are right there in the major scale. If you're in the key of C, then C is the tonic. The major chord is built from the tonic, the third of the scale and the fifth of the scale. It's like playing 'pick a note, skip a note'; pick C, skip D, pick E, skip F, and pick G; so the C major chord is C, E, G."


Nodding, Scott assured, "It really is. So we play that 'pick one, skip one' game through all the tones in the major scale. Starting at D, skip E, pick F, skip G, and pick A to get D, F, A, which is a D minor chord. Major chords are built from the tonic, plus the tone two full steps higher, plus the tone one-and-a-half steps higher. Minor chords are built from the tonic, plus the tone one-and-a-half steps higher, plus the tone two full steps higher. The D major chord is D, F sharp, and A. The D minor chord has the third, F natural, not F sharp. Kewl?"

"Kewl. I should've figured this stuff out."

"If you never played the 'pick a note, skip a note' game, and figured the intervals between the tones, then you couldn't have. Let's move on to the third note of the C major scale. You figure out what the associated chord is."

Lance hummed, and then softly muttered, "Start on E, skip F, and pick G, that's one-and-a-half steps, so it's E minor. Skip the A, and pick the B."

Scott smiled, "Excellent. What's next?"

"F, skip G, pick A, which is two full steps, so it's F major. Skip B, and pick C."

"Perfect!" Scott cheered. "See, you know this stuff, you just never played the game before."

"I'm playing lots of kewl new games with you today," Lance giggled.

"This is just the beginning too," Scott chuckled. "Let's get back to scales and chords, before I wind up crawling around and suckin' you off, for being an excellent student."

"Music or sex?"

"Both, of course!" The two boys sniggered and grabbed two more tender kisses.

Lance recalled, "Okay, the next note is G, so skip A, pick B, which is two full steps, so it's a G major chord. Skip C, and then pick D."

Scott nodded, "Very kewl. Now lets get a little more advanced. Like Troy said, in popular music, we often use the chords built off the tonic, the fourth and the fifth, C, F, G, but that G chord is most often a G dominant seventh. We get the seventh by taking the D, skipping over E and grabbing the F to add to the chord. The notes in a G dominant seventh chord are G, B, D and F. It works perfectly. In every key signature, the dominant seventh chord wants to resolve to the tonic. 

"Check out what we've done building chords, Lance. Once you built the F major chord, you used up all the notes available in a single octave as soon as you put the C on top of the F chord. You had to continue the same major scale pattern another octave to pick the D in the G major chord. I continued further by picking the F to make the G major chord into a G dominant seventh chord. C to the next C is an octave, eight tones. The next D in the second octave is the ninth. The next F in the second octave is the eleventh. The A in the second octave is the thirteenth."

"Oh my God," Lance shivered, "that's it! That's how they get away with all the weird chord names. They just continue counting into the second octave." He wondered, "Do they go into the third octave too?"

"Nope," Scott answered, "because there's no reason to go there. We've now used almost every note available."

Lance suspiciously repeated, "Almost?"

Nodding, Scott smiled, "Check this out. All the intervals have names. C to D is a major second, because it's a full step. Make it a half step, or D flat, and the interval is a minor second. You quickly caught that two full steps makes a major third, to build the major chord. Change from two full steps to a step-and-a-half, and it's a minor third interval, and a minor chord. The octave, the fourth and the fifth of the major scale are called perfect intervals, because way back when monks were developing this stuff, the perfect intervals were most pleasing to God. In rock music, we play fourths and fifths all the time, so God must love to rock-and-roll. We've both seen guitar chords named flat-ninth, or augmented, or diminished. Only the perfect tones, the fourth and fifth can be augmented or diminished. To augment a note, you raise it a half step. To diminish a note, you lower it a half step. It's exactly like making a major interval into a minor interval, only in this case, with the fourth and the fifth intervals, you lower them to make a diminished interval, or raise them to make an augmented interval."

"Damn!" Lance giggled, "You know a lot more than I do."

Scott smiled, "Did, past tense, sexy lover-boy. All I understand, I'll teach you, but remember that I couldn't recall the fingering for a B diminished chord, so Troy had me play the G dominant seventh chord instead. I'll bet you that Troy, and all the members of Platinum Habits, have this stuff completely memorized, so they can build chords on a whim, whenever they need 'em. All the stuff we're still trying to memorize and apply, like chords and intervals, they've got under their fingers already. Judging by the way they sing, everything's in their vocal cords too. That's where we need to be, Lance."

Lance admitted, "I fully agree, but have no idea how to get there."

Scott shared, "I'm sure they'll teach us, but Troy was right when he was being a smart-ass, telling us to use the Internet. We have to be motivated and go find the answers to those questions, just like we answered all the sexual questions today."

"We can do this."


"Set to go."

They got up off the bed and went to power up their laptops. Then they got their acoustic guitars out while the laptops booted up. Scott told Lance, "All that stuff I was explaining is called 'diatonic harmony'. You look that up on your PC, and I'll look up the modes on mine."

"Kewl," Lance replied. A moment later, both were sitting on their desk chairs before their laptop PCs. After his PC had booted and he had Internet Explorer started, Lance called, "Scott?"


"I really love you, man."

Scott's chuckling soon turned into laughter.

Lance giggled, "What?"

"You completely derailed my train of thought!" Scott laughed. "I was typing, and then was wondering, what the fuck am I typing? What was chubby from being on the bed, returned to normal and now is getting chubby again!"

Spinning around in his chair, Lance giggled, "Show me."

Cracking up, Scott turned around. Pointing down at his crotch, Scott sniggered, "From three awesome little words."

"It's how I really feel," Lance giggled. "Knowing that when I say it, it causes a physical reaction too, makes me love you even more." Catching himself dreamily caught in Scott's gaze, Lance smiled, "How tall do you think you might get?"

Scott shrugged, "My dad was five-feet-eleven-inches. My mom had a brother who's six-one. Somewhere around there, just shy of six feet or just over.

"Kewl. My dad was six feet even, but had a nasty beer belly. You keep calling me sexy. I want to stay that way for you."

"I'm not worried about it. I think we both proved that we like what we see. Let's prove we're not basket weavers."

"Right," Lance giggled, "diatonic harmony and modes." He spun his chair around and started searching. Scott also returned his attention to his Macbook and searched for the musical modes. Lance soon said, "The Greek prefix 'dia' means 'through', or 'across', as in diameter or diagonal. Diatonic means through a tonal center or across the notes of a key."

Finding pages of musical modes and selecting the top entry, Scott sighed, "What I don't get is how and why music varies beyond diatonic harmony."

Lance scowled, "I'm not following you," and spun around.

Turning to face Lance, Scott said, "A lot of songs only use chords taken directly from the major scale. Take a song like 'Can't Get Enough', though. The primary chords are C major, B flat major, F major, and G seventh, with E flat majors tossed in too. Neither E flat or B flat are part of C major."

"They're all part of C minor pentatonic though," Lance reminded.

Raising his eyebrows, Scott cheered, "Of course! So songs are written using variations of all the scales. The C blues scale is C, E flat, F, G flat, G natural, and B flat." He picked up his acoustic and played the C blues scale, and then told Lance, "The blues scale is a six note, or hexatonic scale. The C minor pentatonic is five of those six notes – just no G flat. That's why songs I think are C blues are actually written in E flat; because C minor is the relative minor for E flat major."

"Okay," Lance giggled, "how'd you figure that out?"

Scott answered, "Every major scale has a relative minor scale associated with it. Start playing from the sixth note of the E flat major scale; C, D, E flat, F, G, A flat and B flat is the C natural minor scale. It has the same notes as the E flat major scale."

"You're losing me," Lance frowned.

Rolling his chair across the room, Scott prompted, "Okay. Search for the circle of fifths." Lance opened a new tab and performed the search. Scott instructed, "Pull up the image." When Lance did and the image displayed, Scott said, "C major is at the top center, twelve o'clock position. Directly beneath C major is A minor, the relative minor scale and chord for C major. Going clockwise, there's G major, with one sharp. G is a fifth higher than C. Apply the major scale formula to G and you'll wind up with the F sharp. E minor is the relative minor for G major, because E is the sixth of the scale. D is a fifth higher than G, and applying the formula at D gives you two sharps; C sharp and F sharp. B minor is the relative minor for D major. Keep going clockwise to A major and you'll have three sharps, E major and four sharps, B major and five sharps, and F sharp major with six sharps. Going counter-clockwise from C, you get the circle of fourths and all the flat keys, starting with F major, with only B flat. Then there's B flat major and two flats, E flat major and three flats, and so on. It's all applications of the major scale formula, using the twelve different notes. The sixth note of every major scale is the tonic of that key's relative minor. Twelve notes give you twelve major key signatures, and their relative minor key signatures."

Scowling, Lance sighed, "I'm getting it, just barely."

Nodding, Scott smiled, "I hate to tell you, but you'll probably have to do what I did; prove it by writing it all out and working the formula with your guitar. The simple way is to start with C major, then work out D major, and then E major, F major, G major, A major and B major. That'll give you seven of the twelve keys."

Nodding, Lance smirked, "I'll do that, but first tell me why notes are named the ways they are. C sharp and D flat are the same thing."

"Tonally, yeah they are," Scott corrected.

"Once more, in English," Lance giggled.

Scott smiled, "On a guitar or piano, C sharp and D flat are the same sound. On a guitar fretboard, C sharp and D flat are the same fret and same tone. It's on the same black keys all the way across the keyboard. There can only be one A in a scale. The general rule is that there can only be one of any letter named note in any scale. So if we start on F and work the major scale formula, we'll get G, and then A, and then B flat. The B flat cannot be called A sharp because we already used A natural. 

"Let's use the key of A major, only because we play a lot of guitar music in A major. Starting at A and going up a full step gives us B. From B and up a full step gives us C sharp. Go up a half-step to D. From D go up a full step to E. Going up from E a full step gives us F sharp. From F sharp up a full step gets us G sharp. Take the final half-step and we're back at A again. The C sharp cannot be D flat because we need that D natural. The same applies to F sharp and G sharp; we can't call F sharp a G flat, because we're needing the G sharp. G sharp cannot be A flat because we need A natural; that's the name of our tonic, where we started, and the name of the key signature." Scott checked, "Have I lost you again?"

Shaking his head, Lance admitted, "I understand, but it's new and still sinking in."

Understandingly nodding, Scott smiled, "It's not brand new to me, but I've still only barely scratched the surface of the implications of all this theory. I saw the sheet music for 'Can't Get Enough' at Manny's. I stood there browsing the book, wondering why they put three flats on the key signature, signifying it's in E flat, when I know that I'm playing C blues. You helped me understand that, Lance."

Lance giggled, "Now if I only understood what the relationships are that allowed you to figure it out. It's all brand spankin' new to me."

"Then let's work out the major key signatures and the circle of fifths," Scott suggested. "It's the base for everything; a good review for me and where I had to be about six months into lessons."

Lance incredulously hollered, "Six months?"

Scott nodded and chuckled, "I had to get callouses and my fingers moving, learning the names of the notes as I went. Then I learned the moveable barre chords, major scales, the pentatonic scales, and the blues scales. At the same time, I had CD's playing, to figure out 'Stairway To Heaven', 'Smoke on the Water', and 'Iron Man'. Little by little, I worked more on CD's and songs and less on my lessons, so I quit the lessons. Watching Platinum Habits last night, and playing with KC today, I'm wishing I had kept going."

"I need to catch up to you," Lance huffed. He asked, "What do I need?"

"A guitar, pencil and paper," Scott smiled.

Pulling open the top center drawer of his desk, Lance found a spiral bound notebook. He pulled open the top right side drawer and slid back the cover to get a pencil. He hollered, "Hey Alden, what's the deal with this drawer cover? What a pain in the ass!"

Alden giggled, "The covers on the left and right side top drawers provide extra flat work spaces, since the desktop is partially covered with the laptop computers. Since you're right-handed, you can type on your computer and jot down notes on paper on the top right side drawer."

"Nice!" Scott cheered.

Nodding, Lance giggled, "Sorry I bitched, but it turns out it's a kewl idea."

Alden giggled, "It's no problem, Lance. Now if you really want to hear bitching at its best..." Alden then played the recordings of Keith's and Corey's Windows rants. Lance and Scott cracked up, especially at the end of Corey's rambling, when Drew's voice clearly conveyed how excited he was becoming.

"Okay!" Lance loudly sang. "One more thing, Alden, if it's not too big a deal?"

"I will not take the big deal tangent," Alden repeatedly chanted through giggles.

Lance cracked up. Scott laughed, "Good idea! We'd like to work on music theory now, Alden."

Alden giggled, "What did you need, Lance?"

Rapidly blinking, Lance laughed, "Oh shit! What did I want?" All three helplessly cracked up.

Alden reminded, "It was right after the Windows recordings."

"Yeah," Lance giggled. "I've had too many application crashes and blue screens to deal with Windows. Since our geeks prefer Macs, I'll make the switch. Do I need to ask a Core Rimmer to swap this Windows laptop for a Macbook Pro, like Scott's?"

"I can do that and just notify the Toy Rimmers," Alden assured. Without further ado, the Windows machine on Lance's desk went into shutdown mode. Alden instructed, "When it finishes, close the cover, please? I'll transport it out and replace it."

"Kewl," Scott grinned, "I used Macs at school, the big tower model, so I can get Lance up to speed quick enough."

"Good luck with that," Lance giggled. "This is after we start building scales and chords?"

"Yes, sexy," Scott sniggered. "The best news is that there are keyboard shortcuts that'll become second nature. You can point-and-click to save, but why bother when command-S does it faster? The mouse won't be near as important for most things. By the time school starts next week and you need it, you'll be fully functional."

"I proved that already today," Lance giggled. Alden and Scott began laughing again, so Lance playfully added, "The next lesson is in the key of D, doggie style, I hope." All three cracked up. The Windows laptop shutdown completed. Lance closed the cover and it vanished off the desk a second later. Leaning forward, Scott gestured with an index finger for Lance to lean closer. As soon as Lance was within range, Scott reached a hand out to caress Lance's ear and landed a passionate kiss.

Alden giggled, "The new Macbook Pro is ready whenever you guys are."

Scott and Lance affirmatively hummed into their kiss. Never breaking their lip lock, Lance slowly stood then carefully maneuvered to take a seat on Scott's right thigh.

Alden patiently called for Lance and Scott. "Guys?" Suddenly and quickly, Alden bitterly complained, "Oh no you don't, Stevie! My camera, my encryption for MY Rimmers. Kerry, no! Get out of there! George, there's no way, you perv!" The speaker connection loudly popped.

Oneula Beach Townhouse #2

Monday, November 8, 2004 8:09PM HTZ

Troy and Sean walked up the steps to their town home, with Jason, JD, Kenny and Stan following close behind. Opening the front door, Sean saw Billy on top of Robbie on the sofa. The two startled boys froze mid-hump. Glancing back, Billy blushed and giggled, "Sorry, dad. Sorry, pop."

Sean grinned, "Robbie, is there some reason Billy needs to apologize?"

Turning redder by the second, Robbie giggled, "I sure don't think so."

Pointing at the two love birds, Troy lightheartedly told the four boys entering the townhouse, "This is the purpose of tonight's gathering and discussion. How to get to rolling around, when to go past rolling around, and how to deal with unrolled times." 

Billy almost self-combusted, dropped his face down into the crook of Robbie's neck and helplessly giggled. Holding his boyfriend's head down, Robbie softly sniggered. Jason and JD roared laughing. Sadly shaking his head, Kenny heartily giggled. Covering his blushing face with both hands, Stan squeaked, "Oh no!"

Troy chuckled, "Are you all right, Stan?"

Shrugging, Stan giggled past his hands, "Nothing some time on Doc Wiener's couch won't fix."

"I'm not sure if I'm gay or straight, guys," Kenny softly giggled.

Raising his eyebrows, Jason playfully wondered, "Then what were you holding down Saturday night, Kenny; a gopher?" Blushing, Kenny giggled louder. Jason smiled, "It was kind o' clear what you guys were talking about. Me, Stan and Billy wanted to watch Aladdin though."

"A whole different sort of Genie," JD joked. Jason cracked up. Billy and Robbie evilly snickered.

Noticing that Sean and Troy were carefully watching him, Kenny giggled, "I get it."

When the two teenage fathers turned to him, Stan cackled, "No wonder my dad and pop stayed home to give baths."

Kenny giggled, "You have four little bros, Stan. I only have two. What's my dad's and pop's excuse?"

Sean smiled, "Expect AJ here as soon as your brothers are in bed, Kenny."

Troy told Stan, "Your dad or pop will be here soon too."

Tapping his comm-badge, Sean called, "Sean to Chris."

"Here, Sean," Chris replied.

Sean giggled, "Why aren't you here?" All those in the room heard soft sniggering at the distant end.

Chortling, Chris stammered, "Uh, well, Erik and Trav are here. They're new dorm leaders, so we're helping... shopping online."

"For lube, rubbers, dildos and dongs," Jay sniggered.

Erik giggled, "Not to mention, Lance and Scott have been alone more than an hour, and we haven't heard a sound."

"Personally, I'm scared to death," Travis chuckled. "I really don't want to call for emergency medical care our first night as dorm leaders."

Sean giggled, "Okay, you're off the hook this time. Sean out."

Robbie grinned, "Why worry about dildos when we've got the real things?"

Troy laughed, "You slow down, before I cool you and your boyfriend off in the North Atlantic! We'll get there!"

Billy silently asked Robbie, 'Remember me saying it can hurt your butt?'

Robbie nodded, 'I remember.'

'It's a size thing,' Billy giggled.

'So small dildos and dongs to get used to it,' Robbie smiled. 'That makes sense, and sounds like fun.' He looked up at Sean and Troy, telling them, "We've already talked about it. Billy knows enough and already shared it with me."

"Time out!" Jason called. He gestured to JD, giggling, "He kissed me, hard! I got even with a nice big hickey." Rapidly nodding his head, JD giggled. Robbie helplessly sputtered and cracked up. Jason giggled, "That's all we've done. We haven't even talked about doing anything more. I learned a little about LA, and JD knows a little about St. Joe." Jason gestured to Kenny and Stan, adding, "These two don't have boyfriends. They aren't sure if they like girls or boys."

Sean loudly laughed, "Chill out! We know all this, so you four dudes standing, sit down and take it easy." Jason, JD, Kenny and Stan took seats on the sofa and living room chairs. Sean grinned, "This is why we brought you all together. All you guys can talk freely about whatever you want. Me and Troy are only here to keep you all on track, and answer what questions we need to. AJ will add his experiences, and then Tory or Kaleo will add another voice. All three of them had to be with women, just like I did. Straight men and women make babies, you all know this?" When the boys nodded, Sean asked, "If you need to talk about that, go ahead."

Troy suggested, "Let's get them sodas and snacks, Tiger." Sean nodded, and they walked to the kitchen.

Reaching over and smacking Billy on the ass, Jason giggled, "Get off of Robbie, bro. By the time we're done, we'll all have stiffies. Get over it!"

Billy silently checked with Robbie. When Robbie whispered, "It's kewl," Billy started to push up off his boyfriend.

While they untangled themselves, JD asked, "Stan, how old are you?"

"Eight," Stan softly offered.

JD curiously grinned, "But you didn't hang out with us at the pool?"

Smirking, Stan sighed, "They didn't feed me good at the orphanage, so I'm shorter than I should be. I'm really kewl with all my brothers, so I stayed with them at the playground. Since I'm way shorter and smaller than you dudes... ya know, I used to try at my old school playground, but I'd get knocked down and pushed around. I hope the milkshakes help me."

JD grumbled, "That sucks!"

Robbie nodded, "You're the same age as Kenny and JD. Remember the rules are different here? It's your choice, but it's time to be with dudes your age. We want you here, not taking baths with your little brothers. Obviously, all our parents knew about this facts-of-life talk. You're old enough to be here."

Facing Stan, Kenny softly checked, "Do you want to talk about girls?"

Blushing, Stan giggled, "My dick gets hard most o' the time; for my little brothers, for my dad and pop, and almost every dude between five- and fifteen-years-old. That don't happen when boobies bounce by. My dick says it's dudes I want."

All the other nodding boys softly giggled. Kenny nodded and giggled, "Yeah, but should we only listen to our willies? Last I checked, my brain is a bit higher." More giggling erupted. Blushing, Kenny smiled, "I was there shootin' paper, scissors and rocks for a chance to be with you, Jase. I think I know you well enough to say we're cousins, friends, neighbors and Clan brothers, but that's about it."

"I feel the exact same way," Jason warmly smiled. "It's kewl, bro. You keep your eyes open and some really kewl guy will sweep you off your feet."

JD giggled, "Then you can give him a hickey!"

Allowing himself to stop fighting and freely be who he was with his new Clan brothers, Kenny grinned, "I don't need to talk about girls. We can go right past that, I guess."

Jason asked, "Are you and Leo thinking of hooking up?"

Shaking his head, Kenny answered, "Right now, we're friends, and that's prob'ly where we'll be for a long time. I'm not thinking of a boyfriend. He wants to be with his new family and so do I. I don't think that'll change for a while."

Robbie nodded and smiled, "Very kewl. So that Billy and Jason don't have to say stuff that hurts, I'll say some stuff for them, if everybody's kewl with it?"

Nodding, Jason said, "I already told JD the basics of what our old fosters were like."

Focused on Kenny and Stan, Robbie shared, "Billy and Jase were filmed for kiddie-porn flicks. They had to do sex stuff with each other, and their little brothers, and less often with the adults too. My folks were as worried about it as they were with my bros, Richie and Ronnie, because the same sort o' stuff happened to them, but Billy and I talked to them alone, and then Troy and Sean talked to them too. My folks weren't so worried that they might've told me and Billy, no; it was just the usual old folks stuff - don't jump too fast and wind up arguing or hating each other. My folks and Troy and Sean know that me and Billy have been mind talking most of the day. I checked and so have my bros, so I know that Billy and Jase know that was really messed up. It hurts them more than it hurts me or anyone. Most importantly, they want to feel real caring and love, which they're already getting from real fathers, and from us."

Holding up his Mr. Fuzzy, Billy squeaked, "Dad and pop told us to be home by eight for this talk. An empty house and an empty couch had to be filled." Mr. Fuzzy checked with Robbie, asking, "Ain't that right, Crispy Creme?"

Robbie and the other boys howled laughing. Soon, four more Mr. Fuzzy puppets were squeaking remarks about Robbie's pet name.

In the kitchen and gathering the filled soda glasses on a tray, Troy whispered to Sean, "Part of me wants to give Jay a hug for this Mr. Fuzzy invasion, the other part of me wants to slap him sillier. I prob'ly won't get to do either."

Pulling his Mr. Fuzzy on, Sean quietly giggled, "Hug me, hurt me, hug me, hurt me." Sean's Mr. Fuzzy gave Troy a kiss.

"You're getting Fuzzy kisses later too, Tiger," Troy softly warned, and lifted the tray. Pocketing his Mr. Fuzzy again and softly sniggering, Sean carried another tray that held bowls of assorted cookies, crackers and snacks. Entering the living room, Troy asked, "How's it goin'?"

Billy's Mr. Fuzzy squeaked, "Doin' fine, pop."

"We're gettin' into Fuzzy pet names," Jason's Mr. Fuzzy shared.

Putting the tray down on the coffee table, Troy stepped out of Sean's way, looked up at the ceiling and made the Catholic sign of the cross. Six hands reached for sodas and six Mr. Fuzzies grabbed mouthfuls of snacks. Prayer didn't help at all, so Troy tapped his comm-badge, calling, "Troy to Jay."

The sounds of loud laughter came across Troy's comm-badge, then Jay sniggered, "What's up, Troy?"

"I know you're being a helpful brother," Troy chuckled, "and I know lube and rubbers are important, but grab your boyfriend and your Mr. Fuzzy, then transport over here to see what you've done, you lunatic." Chris, Erik and Travis roared.

Jay chortled, "But Lance and Scott are gettin' busy. We can hear 'em through the air conditioning vent. We'll probably need to give some more encouragement and instructions." Sean and all six boys cracked up.

Troy giggled, "They're thirteen- and fourteen-years-old. Their first times have passed. If they still need instruction and encouragement, they might as well hang it up!" On both sides of the comm-link, everyone howled laughing. Troy laughed, "We've got six boys here, between eight- and twelve-years-old, all wearing Mr. Fuzzy puppets, ready for your continued corruption." Everybody on both sides of the comm-link bellowed laughing.

Erik giggled, "Com'on, Champ. Cartons of lube and rubbers are waiting for distribution to the masses."

"We'll catch you dudes later tonight," Travis chuckled. Moments later, the sound of the door closing could be heard.

Taking Chris' hand and insuring his Mr. Fuzzy was still in his back pocket, Jay chortled, "Alden, we're ready to transport."

A split second later, both barefoot and shirtless teens were standing in the living room with Sean and Troy.

The six boys' Mr. Fuzzies disjointedly greeted, "How's it hangin', Jay?"

"Oh Lord," Chris softly giggled. He released Jay's hand, reached back for Jay's Mr. Fuzzy and handed it over.

Slipping on his Mr. Fuzzy, Jay squeaked, "It's hangin' loose and natural."

Stepping forward, Sean's Mr. Fuzzy squeaked introductions. While that was going on, Troy smiled at Chris. "I know," Chris giggled.

"Pinocle?" Troy offered.

"Uno?" Chris countered.

"Kewl," Troy replied, and led Chris to the dining room table, where they could hear and interact, but remain clear of the insanely Fuzzy ones.

Sean's Mr. Fuzzy asked Jay's Mr. Fuzzy, "When you started liking Chris, what did you do first?"

"I told him," Jay's Mr. Fuzzy squeaked. "Before he left for home, we kissed. It was only a little kiss, but it was awesome. I didn't think he'd let me or like it, but he kissed me back. A rainy afternoon suddenly brightened." He then wondered, "How about you and Troy?"

"We talked for a couple o' hours," Sean's Fuzzy replied. "After lunch we kissed and showed our fuzzy fuzzies."

"Showin' was the next day for us," Jay's Mr. Fuzzy shared with all the Fuzzies in the room. "Chris' fuzzy and my fuzzy weren't even fuzzy yet."

Softly giggling, the six boys nodded their heads and their Mr. Fuzzies.

Concentrating on his card game with Troy, Chris said, "We were eleven. A lot more happened between the time the first Mr. Fuzzy showed up, before we turned thirteen and began getting fuzzy."

Jay's Mr. Fuzzy glanced around and made a crooked face, wondering, "Was that an un-Fuzzy voice from the past? Must be my fuzzimagination." Sean widely smiled at the remark, but the six boys roared laughing.

Sadly shaking his head, Chris leaned over to Troy and softly giggled, "I'm gonna kill him. Unfortunately, he'll love it more than me." Nodding, Troy bounced his eyebrows and snickered.

Sean's Mr. Fuzzy asked, "You got fuzzy about thirteen?"

Jay's Mr. Fuzzy nodded, "When did you get fuzzy?"

"About twelve-and-a-half," Sean's Mr. Fuzzy admitted. He then reminded all the other Mr. Fuzzies, "Drew Hundser turned twelve August thirtieth and he's already pretty fuzzy. Corey's about eleven-and-a-half, and he's getting fuzzier. Fuzzies develop at different fuzzy times, but we'll all get fuzzy sooner or later."

Jay's Mr. Fuzzy shared, "I saw Sean's and Troy's fuzzies in the dorm shower this afternoon. Interestingly, Sean's started getting fuzzy before me, but I'm more fuzzy up by my belly-button and around my thighs than Sean. Just about everywhere, Travis is more fuzzy than I am. By the time we're fully grown, we'll all be fuzzy in almost all the same places. Like some grown men have very fuzzy chests and some aren't as fuzzy. All our fuzzies vary in lots of ways, but they're still fuzzy. There's not much that's kewler than fuzzy fuzzies." All six boys were learning a lot; primarily that the insanity they were only beginning to experience and feel was certain to get worse.

Sean's Mr. Fuzzy asked Robbie's Mr. Fuzzy, "Are you getting fuzzy yet?"

"Just a few fuzzies," Robbie's Mr. Fuzzy giggled.

Having a fuzzy revelation, Jay's Mr. Fuzzy said, "JD's living in the fuzzy dorm. He's seen some fuzzy fuzzies by now."

JD's Mr. Fuzzy nodded, "Some really fuzzy, like Trav; some only a little fuzzy, like Ray, and some like me with no fuzzies."

"The important fuzzy fact is that your fuzzy will get fuzzier as you grow up," Jay patiently explained. He then asked Sean, "Did you and Troy fondle your fuzzies that first time?"

Sean nodded, "Talking and kissing are step one. Showing and touching fuzzies are step two. A lot of time can be spent only on steps one and two. There's no rush to do anything more until you're really sure your boyfriend's fuzzy is the best fuzzy around."

JD raised his Mr. Fuzzy to ask, "Suckin' fuzzies is step three?"

Jay nodded and his Mr. Fuzzy answered, "Oral fuzzy fun is how you show your fuzzy friend that his fuzzy is the finest fuzzy around. Suddenly, feeling fuzzies is so fine, and when he feels your fuzzy it's freakin' fantastic, so you maybe want to kiss his fuzzy, or at least see it up close. Those first times you even think of it, it's like, he pees from that fuzzy! It's gotta taste funky, and it's gonna get bigger and gag me. Then I'll close my mouth and accidentally bite his fuzzy. I must be outta my freakin' fuzzy mind, but I still want to show him that his is the very best fuzzy."

Glancing around at the four giggling boys, all paying close attention and having fun, Sean noticed none of them were blushing. His Mr. Fuzzy nodded, "So you make yourself do it the first fuzzy time. You're real careful, only licking his fuzzy, just to make sure it's not a funky fuzzy. Let me tell you, I've had some of the funkiest smelling fuzzies in the ROH, but none tasted as gross as they smelled. Any dude that showers and cleans his fuzzy will have a yummy smelling fuzzy, but the fuzzy still tastes like fuzzy flesh. Now you can concentrate only on showing your special friend's fuzzy how awesome it is. Oral fuzzy fun doesn't mean you have to take all his fuzzy into your mouth. Anything you can do with your mouth is oral, and it's still fun fuzzy times for both of your fuzzies, so lick and kiss his fuzzy as much as you want. It's your fuzzy fun time, so really prove how much you love his fuzzy."

Raising his Mr. Fuzzy hand, Kenny asked, "What exactly makes one guy's fuzzy better than any other guy's fuzzy? We've seen lots of limp fuzzies at the pools and they're all about the same. You older guys have longer and thicker fuzzier fuzzies, but our fuzzies don't look that much different."

"It's really not his fuzzy that matters," Sean explained. "You're right, there aren't too many differences between fuzzies. When your still at step one, talking, hugging and kissing, that's when you decide, hey this guy is really awesome, no matter how fuzzy his fuzzy is. He has some truly fantastic fuzzy ideas, and he likes my fuzzy foolishness, which makes both of you feel really special and unique. Since everybody is special and unique, it's a matter of fuzzy feelings deep in your heart and mind. When you can't sleep without thinking of him, you'll start to understand how it feels to be in love. You'll wake in the middle of the night remembering stuff about him. That's why steps one and two are so important; those steps take you from fuzzy friends to fuzzy lovers."

"I was very lucky," Jay admitted. "My best friend put up with my fuzzy foolishness. I always felt I had to warn Chris that if we showed how close our fuzzies really were, we'd get mocked, or maybe we might get into fights to protect our favorite fuzzy. Then we're hurting each other as much as we're making ourselves feel good. Here, in the Clan, we don't have those worries anymore. Now we can be exactly like straight guys and girls; we can show our fuzzy friends how important they are all the time, by holding hands, by kissing and by talking about what we really want most in life, from each other, and from our fuzzies."

Sean's Mr. Fuzzy shared, "One of the things I had to learn was that there isn't a lead fuzzy and follower fuzzy. I would've followed Troy's fuzzy anywhere and been happy to do it. We share everything, not only our fuzzies. We both lead, we both follow, we're both prone to be weak and we're both likely to be strong. All the ways we are everyday around everyone makes us a couple; we understand each other all the time. Something one doesn't understand, the other explains. You get there by telling each other the truth all the time. Sometimes you know stuff you've experienced was wrong, but you don't know how to correct it. That's when you ask the questions, get the answers, and in the process, show a weakness and that you need him strong; you become the follower and let him lead. All that stuff changes all the time every day. One minute you're teaching, the next minute you're learning; an hour later, you're following him, and a little later he's following you. It's not always easy; having fuzzy fun is far easier in comparison. At the end of the day, when you're talking alone with your fuzzy lover, it's time to tell him all the stuff he did that you really liked, and disliked too. That way, you both grow and learn."

"With all the good stuff and the bad stuff out of the way, now you can remind him that you still think he's got the finest fuzzy around," Jay's Mr. Fuzzy grinned, and then quickly looked over Jay's shoulder into the dining room at Chris and Troy. Sean's Mr. Fuzzy looked over Sean's shoulder. The Mr. Fuzzies of all six boys also looked into the dining room.

After too many moments of silence, Chris and Troy looked into the living room. Seeing all eight Mr. Fuzzies looking his way, Chris sniggered, "We're listening and lovin' what we're hearing."

Tapping his sub-vocal, Troy giggled, "Alden, get us two more Mr. Fuzzies, please. God forbid we should add our real voices to this fuzzy conversation."

Transporting the two puppets onto the table, Alden giggled, "Having voice synthesis units might help, I guess. That's my fuzzy bonus when I get a fuzzy body for fuzzy fun."

Billy's Mr. Fuzzy rose into the air and he softly giggled, "I think we all understand most of steps one and two, all the talking, and only a little bit of fuzzy fun, but there's another scary part of step three that we need to talk about."

In his normal voice, Sean smiled, "We know, Billy."

JD's Mr. Fuzzy grinned, "What I don't get is why Chris and Troy are sitting way over there and not playing Mr. Fuzzy with us. Everybody knows Jay has to be with Chris and that Sean wants to be with Troy. As kewl as Jay and Sean are being, it's just not right, cos they're not a couple."

Turning around, Jay and Sean softly sniggered. Dropping his cards on the table and standing up, Chris chuckled, "There is a reason, JD. After three years of Mr. Fuzzy, when Jay gets into a fuzzy mode, I get too hot and horny to talk intelligently about much of anything." All the boys cracked up. Chris slipped his Mr. Fuzzy puppet on and started from the dining room into the living room. After gathering up the cards on the table, Troy got up, put his Mr. Fuzzy on and followed Chris.

Troy cleared his throat, raised his Mr. Fuzzy and the pitch of his voice, squeaking, "I'm no different than Chris. I could jam a baseball bat up my butt and pound my fuzzy pud raw with a cinderblock, and still be fully ready for fuzzy bedtime fun with Sean." Everyone howled laughing. The doorbell rang. Troy giggled, "Saved by the bell, thank God!" and went to answer the door.

Standing at the door was AJ. Uncontrollably, Troy roared laughing so hard that he stumbled back against the entryway closet doors. Stepping inside, wearing a full body-sized Mr. Fuzzy suit that went down to his knees, AJ playfully squeaked, "Alden said there's a lot of sex talk in this house, but no action." While everyone else roared laughing, AJ helplessly giggled, "I'm here to turn up the heat."

"OH GOD!" Kenny howled, "Why oh why is it my dad?"

"Better yours than mine," Stan giggled.

AJ giggled, "Kaleo and Tory are discussing which is coming over wearing a body fuzzy."

"No!" Stan squealed, and covered his face before breaking into giggles.

The other five boys sitting in the room held up their Mr. Fuzzies and sang, "Yes, Stan."

Going back over to Troy and kneeling before him, AJ giggled, "Where are we in this conversation?"

Kenny roared, "Yep, right about there, dad. And I'm telling pop too."

"That's alright," AJ giggled. Starting to stand, he squeaked, "I'll kneel for Jerry's fuzzy, every chance I get."

Closing the door, Troy sniggered, "Tell me you're wearing something under that, AJ. I'm really having a rough time lookin' in your Fuzzy mouth to make eye contact."

AJ chuckled, "Puts a whole new perspective on Fuzzy Mouth Rimmers, don't it?" Sean, Troy, Jay and Chris cracked up. Reaching up and way back, AJ began pulling his body-sized Mr. Fuzzy up and off. It was soon apparent that AJ had boardies on, and his Mr. Fuzzy hand puppet was in his back pocket. Softly chortling, Troy gave AJ help getting the costume off. Warm enough in the Fuzzy suit, AJ had left his shirt off and at home.

Looking up at Sean, Billy giggled, "Pop's pullin' on AJ's fuzzy, dad." The other boys cracked up.

"We're very close, but not that close," Sean sniggered.

At last, AJ stood up and finger combed his hair, asking, "All the fundamental fuzzy friendship and close relationship stuff has been covered?" The six giggling boys or their Mr. Fuzzies agreed. "Kewl," AJ began, and pulled his Mr. Fuzzy puppet out and onto his left hand. He squeaked, "I'm ready."

"Your Fuzzy Final Jeopardy topic is oral sex," Troy playfully announced.

Nodding, AJ's Mr. Fuzzy told the boys, "You know you're in love when you can't stop thinking about your boyfriend. I mean, everything about him occupies every spare moment; it's the sound of his voice, the color of his eyes, the cute smirk that forms when you tell a really bad joke, or the way his hair looks all mushed up in the morning, or the brilliant stuff he says to four- and six-year-old boys who are wondering where their big brother is. During the years Jerry and I were separated, I never stopped thinking about him, and he never stopped thinking about me. It's for the million things your boyfriend is that you make love in any manner. For all that Jerry is to me, kissing, hugging and jacking off just isn't near enough."

"Even the word boyfriend suddenly doesn't cut it," Jay's Mr. Fuzzy offered.

"Partner is only a little better," Chris' Mr. Fuzzy added.

Sean's Mr. Fuzzy nodded, "Lover is only another part."

Troy revealed, "Even husband seems to limit the real fact that he's all of that, plus more, and yours alone. The Vulcan word T'hy'la is the closest to describing what he really is."

"Think of it, guys," Jay prompted, "you love and trust someone so much that you're not only willing to kneel before him, you very much want to."

"And when he kneels for you, it's still the same sort of love and trust," Chris emphasized.

Nodding, Troy explained, "That's your entire world there on his knees. He's clearly showing you what he's willing to do for you. When I'm on the receiving end like that, my main goal is to make sure Sean knows how much I appreciate it, before he's even seen or touched my fuzzy."

"Run your fingers through his hair and tell him exactly what you're thinking and feeling," Sean added. "Assuming you've talked enough through steps one and two, it's no problem for you to say really warm, fuzzy and romantic stuff, and for him to hear it."

AJ stated, "Making love is two people worshiping each other, amongst many other things. You don't rush those times. We're awake sixteen hours a day, and so little time is spent making love that you have to do what you need to do the best way you can. We spent four hours in school today. I haven't spent four hours alone with Jerry today. Of course, I want to though."

Sean grinned, "All us Core Rimmers spent about half-an-hour in a meeting after school today. All summed up together, I think me and Troy have had about that much time alone."

"That's half of a sixteenth, a single thirty-second part of the day, dudes," AJ quickly calculated.

Chris nodded, "Even on completely free days, like Jay and I have had since Saturday, I'm guessing no more than two hours were spent making love. Maybe another two hours were spent completely alone, to just talk and be together. That makes four hours, so a quarter of the day, for the most important person in my life. It's just not enough time."

"You feel it too," Troy shared. "All day long, there he is, sitting or standing right next to you. He wants to be there as much as you want him there, but man, what you wouldn't give to stop time and say the hell with it all for fifteen more minutes, only so that you can show him and tell him that he's the pinnacle of all your successes."

In his normal voice, AJ told the boys, "All the street names for oral sex are just so wrong. Why the heck it's called a blow-job is beyond me. Yep, I'm licking, kissing and softly breathing on his wet flesh, but that's not all I'm doing. Yeah, I'm suckin' him too, but if you do only that then the party's over too quick."

Jay explained, "There are means to all ends. Orgasm is the end; it's not the means or purpose at all. The purpose is to show each other how much you enjoy every minute of everyday, thanks to him." Glancing at the four younger boys, Jay grinned, "You guys can have orgasm after orgasm; barely recovering from one and working toward another, and only shake and shiver." He turned to Billy and Robbie, asking, "Are either of you actually puttin' out yet?"

Robbie's Mr. Fuzzy nodded and giggled, "A little."

Sean asked, "Does it scare you, Billy?"

"A little, yeah," Billy's Mr. Fuzzy reluctantly giggled.

"Excellent," Troy softly smiled. "That praise was for telling the truth, Billy."

Chris nodded agreement and gently said, "It's normal to be a little scared. First, you're wondering what it'll taste like. The only way I can explain it is like mixing sweet spit with maybe salty tears or sweat. It's not horrible, and it's not great either, but it is acceptable and won't make you puke."

Sean nodded, "Yeah, that works pretty well. I was going to compare it to licking a little blood off a paper cut, but even that has a more bitter, metallic flavor. Get used to it by tasting a little off your hand or licking some off his belly."

AJ seriously offered, "The only other concern is we all shoot differently. Just like there are billions of unique fuzzies in the world, some dudes dribble a load, while others can shoot a few feet. It all feels the same, I'm sure, but from my experience, most men shoot about a foot, maybe a little more or little less. Once again, this boils down to communication. Tell each other how you feel about it. Ask for a warning. If you're willing to give it that first real try, then you have the warning to either change your mind last second, or go for it. If it's your first time goin' for it, block the head of his fuzzy with your tongue, so you're not worried about the gag reflex."

Kenny asked, "Is it normal to want to try this stuff, dad?"

"Absolutely normal," AJ assured. "So is being afraid of the first times. Everything new is scary the first time; hugs, kisses, and just telling the truth are all huge steps. You know your pop and I were separated for two years. Before those two years, we had no hair and had dry orgasms, just like you, but that's not the case anymore. Even with all our orphanage experiences, being together was new. Sixty-nine is the name of the position for when two dudes are face-to-fuzzy. That was our first time, and we did all the stuff already talked about, even though we had been with a hundred or more other men. The big difference was that sex wasn't a quick chore anymore. My best friend in the world was back, as sweet as ever, more handsome than ever, and in my arms. As awesome as I felt, Jerry felt every bit as awesome; for every happy tear I shed, he shed at least as many."

Another knock on the door interrupted the group. Sean answered the door and let Kaleo in, grinning, "No full-sized Mr. Fuzzy suit, bro?"

"It's been done, I heard," Kaleo smiled. Bounding out of the chair, Stan gave his dad a hug. Holding his eldest son tightly, Kaleo gently checked, "You're okay?"

Nodding, Stan giggled, "I'm glad you're here and not wearing a Mr. Fuzzy suit. It's been really kewl."

Absently finger combing Stan's hair, Kaleo glanced around, wondering, "Where are we at?"

Almost simultaneously, everyone answered, "Oral sex."

Troy offered, "AJ and Sean were sharing their real experiences and past knowledge. You can add to that, or me, Chris and Jay can share our experiences."

Billy asked, "Why repeat stuff, pop?"

Troy was about to answer when Kaleo grinned, "If you need to ask, then I need to share too." Adoringly, Stan smiled up at his new dad. Glancing around the other young boys in the room, Kaleo huffed, "AJ, Jerry, Sean, Tory and I had the same sort of experiences with men and women, but we're different people and those experiences were different too. Chris, Jay and Troy didn't have to deal with the same stuff, but I'm sure everything they've said is what me or Tory would've said." Looking down at Stan, Kaleo assured, "If that wasn't the case, we wouldn't have allowed you to be here, Stan. Really loving someone is the same concept all around; only the individuals forming the couple make it slightly different."

Nodding and stepping back, Stan smiled, "I'm kewl, dad."

"Have a seat," Kaleo softly instructed. Stan returned to his chair. Kaleo joined the group of teenagers, and then smirked, "Pedophile adults want sex with kids. That's all they care about. They don't give a damn about the kid. They're the most inconsiderate things pretending to be human. It wasn't fun for me, or AJ or Sean. Do the deed and get it done quickly was the rule. I never even asked for names. That sure ain't what I'm doing with my husband, best friend, life partner and T'hy'la. I don't need to ask any of these dudes how they make love to know they're just like me and Tory. Quick is only for when it absolutely has to be quick, because we're burning up and we've snuck away, and have to get back to work, or school, or our sons. That's not the way we prefer it at all. It's way more fun to have the time to really enjoy sex and go through all the steps."

Robbie's Mr. Fuzzy giggled, "Testosterone again. What we're just starting to feel, teenagers get flooded with."

"Exactly," all six teens chorused. Proudly smiling, Troy flashed Robbie a thumb-up gesture. That simple sign of acceptance caused Billy to beam and snuggle closer to Robbie.

Jay smiled, "What's really great are you four younger guys, already knowing where your sexual interests are. Since only one of you are close to puberty, there's only a tiny bit of testosterone coursing through your veins. Chris and I started getting really close at eleven, before either of us reached puberty, when kissing and hugging were the ways of showing how much we cared. Testosterone and puberty pushed us to steps two, three and four. Just to be a little more clear, maybe some of the older men will talk about the four steps like baseball; first base, second, third and home plate. It's all the same, guys."

Sean explained, "Testosterone is a hormone created in our testicles, or balls, nads or nuts. It starts building up in our blood basically from birth, but in really small amounts until puberty. About the same time puberty starts, suddenly white colored fluid starts leakin' from your dick when you have an orgasm. There's sperm in there, which is what fertilizes a girl's egg and makes babies. Since we're gay, preferring other guys over girls, we can't make babies. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I admit, each of you guys are the best things that ever happened to us. Sure, we didn't create you, but that really has nothing to do with how awesome we feel as fathers."

Robbie nodded, "My mom and dad adopted me, but they're my real mom and dad. Who made me don't matter at all. All three of my brothers, and Carrol and Trevor are feeling the same way. You all know that I could easily tell if my dad or mom were faking anything. I know for certain that they're not faking; they've each discovered something about my other five brothers that make each important."

"Now it's dads talking to older sons to help you transition from boys to young men," AJ offered. "With our younger sons, we're still being fathers, just in different ways." Focusing on Kenny, AJ smiled, "Shaun gets carried around because he's four and needs a lot of that kind of security. Me and Jerry play catch or games with Mike, to give him the same kind of security in a different way. For you guys, this talk is exactly the same thing. In two years, we'll have this chat with Mike. Two years after that, it's Shaun's turn. There is nothing any of you could tell us about your relationships and sex life that would shock us."

Chris nodded, "As we've been saying, each step is really special, and each was so kewl in so many ways, but looking back on our three years together, we can see how the attachment progressed. Step four is the final and best stage, because that's when we're really bonded and coupled."

Holding two fingers up, Troy shared, "The whole time through the steps, you're getting closer to switching from two individuals to one couple." With his two fingers crossed, Troy explained, "Testosterone is screaming at each of you, get to that step, now! Sean, AJ, Kaleo, Billy and Jason know that you just can't go for it, slide your fuzzy in and pump like mad. That isn't the right way."

Mostly concentrating on Kenny, AJ explained, "When all the sexual abuse started, about five years ago, me and Jerry were about your age. Even our prepubescent little bones hurt our butts. Pedophile adult men made us scream in agony, and those fuck-wads didn't care at all. This entire conversation has been about caring. During each and every step, you're feeling that compassion just a little more, so you move from hugs and kisses to masturbation, which older folks call petting, and then to oral sex, and lastly to anal sex, or intercourse. Here's where the time caring about each other matters most. Do not let the testosterone drive you so far, and so fast, that you don't take the time to prepare your boyfriend for anal coupling. Honestly, with girls, the same preparation is still necessary. I know that from the girls at our orphanage, and from the women I was with. If it's not the very best it can be for both of you, well then it's just fucking; then you're no better than the real scum of the Earth that hurt us."

Kaleo smiled, "You might be thinking, it's dirty and smelly down there." All six boys nodded and softly giggled. Kaleo nodded, "Again, caring and compassion rules more than testosterone. We all shower at least once a day, so if you're intending on going for anal sex, care about each other and take another shower. You've got to prepare that little orifice that's used to expelling to be ready for accepting penetration and insertion. All of us have felt rectal thermometers being inserted in our butts. Your pinkies are about four or five times bigger, so start really carefully with your fingers. Watch his facial expressions and communicate; ask him how what you're doing feels, and if he wants to switch around, or stop completely. If he wants to stop, and I'm sure most of you will eventually have that happen, prove you still love him with kisses, masturbation and oral sex. You can easily try again another time, but you can't easily un-do the hurt and loss of trust."

"I can tell by the look on your faces that this seems complicated and really weird," Sean chuckled. "It's not weird at all. I do it for Troy and he does it for me. It's called intimacy, guys. Every step builds an intimate partnership."

Robbie's Mr. Fuzzy asked, "If we've both agreed and decided to try, why would we want to stop?"

"I'll take this one," Kaleo grinned. He pulled Sean and AJ close, then explained, "Right after we were rescued, all of us were suddenly being fed more than we had ever been offered before. That night and for the next day, we were so damn constipated, taking a shit was like giving birth." All six boys began loudly giggling again.

AJ chuckled, "And on the third day, the dam burst. Gay intercourse when your constipated isn't very easy. Of course, when you've got diarrhea, your butt is too sore. You might think it's okay to give it a whirl, and then discover it's not so okay after all."

"The heart is willing, and the fuzzy is very ready, but the flesh is weak," Sean sniggered. "Since we're dudes in love, it's easy to say, okay, instead of bottoming, how about I top? If that's not an option, oral sex is perfectly fine too."

Seeing the boys nodding, Chris shared, "When you're with someone most of everyday, you have intimate knowledge. We do the preparations each and every time; not so much because we need to or have to, it's just part of foreplay."

AJ grinned, "Yup, all the talking, kissing, hugging, touching and oral sex that got you to anal sex becomes part of foreplay. Once you hit puberty and become teenagers, it's amazing how revved up you can get from a simple hug and kiss."

Jay, Chris, Troy and Sean checked with one another, then loudly cheered, "Fahgedaboudit!" The six boys cracked up.

Kaleo giggled, "Testosterone is a blessing and a curse. In the store yesterday with seventy-one new dudes, Tory gave me a really quick hug and a kiss on the neck then kept going to help one of the kids. I was like, 'Hey! Now that I've got a chubby, get your pretty blond butt back over here!'" Again, the boys cracked up and the other teenage fathers softly chortled. Kaleo giggled, "Tory knew it too."

Troy chuckled, "You've all heard the phrase 'givin' it up'. By the time you get to step three and oral sex, you start to realize exactly what that means. Each of you will give what you've got to your boyfriend and lover. He doesn't need to take anything, although occasionally playing 'hard to get' is fun too."

Jay nodded and evilly grinned, "More than occasionally. Chasing is fun, but so is being chased. Maybe some guys routinely do the leader-follower and stronger-weaker acts, but I've known Chris since first grade, so how can I treat him as anything other than the guy that has my heart? This morning, I was being goofy and Chris called me on my shit and attacked me. This afternoon, as soon as I had a Mr. Fuzzy, I chased Chris all the way to Oneula Beach."

Billy asked, "So, is being boyfriends serious or fun?"

"It's both those states and every other emotion that one of you might feel," Troy answered. "It's all the best times and the worst times shared. The best times become twice as good. The worst times become half as bad. Sharing makes all the difference in the world."

Chris smiled, "A good example was before dinner this afternoon. Most of us in the room had no clue how badly Sean was messed with. When Sean was about to say something about it, Troy stopped Sean from saying it, and reliving the bad memories. Troy took the burden off Sean, said what needed to be said, and then Sean thanked Troy. Sean capped off his appreciation by swapping places, so that he was Troy's backrest and could wrap both arms around his lover. That showed everyone that they are an intimate couple, always ready to be whatever their partner needs."

JD wondered, "What about arguments and fights?"

Jay shrugged, "Arguments happen because of any type of misunderstanding. My primary goal in Washington, D.C., was to keep Chris and our relationship safe from homophobic jack-offs. Talk about stressful times. Way too often I was turning down hugs, kisses and hand holding that I very much wanted, as much as Chris, but to keep us safer, there I am opening my mouth and inserting my foot. Being a man has nothing to do with boyfriends, or pubes, or puttin' out sperm. Being a man is admitting when you've fucked up, and then learning from it." Displaying his Mr. Fuzzy puppet, Jay squeaked, "This is my alternate self, the one I show my lover when I've been so impossibly stupid that I've hurt him. When I'm too ripped up inside to adequately explain myself and apologize, Mr. Fuzzy helps, at least a little bit. Now that we're here and Clan, Mr. Fuzzy hopes things change." Six giggling boys and four smiling Core Rimmers caused Jay's Mr. Fuzzy to squeak "What? I'm serious."

Stan pointed at Chris, giggling, "We know. So does Chris!"

Turning to Chris, Jay's eyes popped wide open. Jay's Mr. Fuzzy puppet displayed a goofy Fuzzy smirk to the rest of the room, but Jay never lost eye contact with Chris. The six younger boys cracked up. Sliding in close to Jay, Chris completely ignored the giggles and sniggering. He planted a series of tender kisses around Jay's cheeks and lips.

Slowly shaking his head, Troy patted Jay and Chris on the shoulders, chuckling, "Thanks for your valuable help tonight, guys; you were awesome. Alden, before this discussion becomes demonstrations, transport Chris and Jay to their dorm room." The moment Chris and Jay vanished, the entire room erupted in loud laughter.

Walking over to where Kenny was hysterically sliding out of his chair, AJ giggled, "Let's go home. Me and your pop will answer any other questions you might have." Kenny barely nodded a reply.

Kaleo checked, "What do you say, Stan? Is there more to say here, or should we go home and add your pop, for a more private conversation?"

Shrugging, Stan grinned, "This was way more fun than I thought. I figure I've got two major things to do. First, I need to grow taller. While I'm working on that, I need to learn how to find a boyfriend."

Jason giggled, "Sometimes they find you, Stan, in really embarrassing ways." He then turned to JD, bounced his eyebrows and chomped his jaw closed. Giggling, JD roughly pulled Jason over and across his lap, playfully chomping his jaw near Jason's chest and belly.

Robbie wickedly grinned, 'Fuzzy Mr. Billy's gonna get to my creamy filling?'

Laughing and nodding, Billy went for a kiss, pushing Robbie back down and flat onto the couch until he got what he wanted.

Troy and Sean hugged AJ, Kenny, Stan and Kaleo goodnight. Soon, Sean and Troy showed their guests out. Grinning at their eldest sons obliviously playing with their boyfriends, Sean and Troy decided to clean up the living room of glasses and emptied snack bowls. When they returned, not much had changed, but the boys at least noticed them there. Troy grinned, "Your brothers are sleeping at their boyfriends' homes tonight. Where you decide to sleep tonight is entirely up to the four of you."

"We're going to our room," Sean smiled. "I had better hear a lot of talking and giggling tonight." Sean reminded, "Just because I knew far more than I should've doesn't mean I pushed Troy into anything."

"The truth is, I pushed Sean towards each and every step," Troy admitted.

Nodding, Billy smiled, "We'll work it the same way, following our boyfriends' lead."

Jason checked with JD, "Do you think you can play by them rules?" 

"I'll manage," JD answered. Feeling his face flushing, JD paused. "Omigod!" JD giggled. "We're being told to stay up late and mess around!"

"Tell me where else that could happen," Robbie sniggered.

Ewa Beach Townhouse #1

Monday, November 8, 2004 8:22PM HTZ

Prez and Keith had just chased down Jimmy and Richie. Witnessing this silliness, Dee, Gage and Jonah sat in the living room. The television was on, but the chase was more interesting. Each teenager carried a laughing and squirming rug-rat upstairs and into the master bathroom. Bath water was run and the two little tikes were stripped. They climbed into the tub and asked for the toy boats that Richie had accumulated since being rescued. Prez went to get the boats from Richie's bedroom. 

Returning with the toys for the boys, Prez's comm-badge chirped, and Doc Andrews called, "Preston, can I see you in my office, please?"

Handing over the boats, Prez tapped his comm-badge and smiled, "We just got Richie and Jimmy in the tub, Doc. I thought you were done with me?"

Doc Andrews explained, "Doctor Howard and I noticed something during dinner that I'd like to double check. It won't take more than a few minutes."

Sitting on the edge of the tub with a soapy washcloth ready, Keith asked, "Is there something wrong, Doc? Do I need to be there too?"

"You've been here with your husband for every other visit," Doc Andrews chuckled, "but the answer is, there's nothing to be concerned about. Finish bath time and then meet us here, Keith."

Prez shrugged, leaned over the tub, kissed Richie and then Jimmy, saying, "Just in case I'm not back before you fall asleep." Richie and Jimmy said good night to Prez. Standing up again, he told Keith, "I'll meet you there, T'hy'la."

Nodding, Keith grinned, "In about ten minutes, baby." Turning to Richie and Jimmy, Keith sniggered, "It's time to teach boyfriends how to help each other bathe."

Richie cackled, "We can fig're that out, daddy!" and reached over for Jimmy's dick. Both little boys cracked up.

Keith sniggered, "That's only a starting and ending point. Everything else needs to be washed too."

Evilly chuckling, Prez tapped his sub-vocal, calling, "Alden, take me to Doc Andrews' location, bud." Having heard what the two doctors were talking about, Alden simply executed the order. Arriving at the exam room where Doctors Andrews and Howard were waiting, Prez smirked, "I hope this is important. I'm missing out on five-year-old boyfriends first bath together."

Remaining in his chair, Doc Andrews waved Prez closer, smiling, "It's important enough for doctors to wonder what the hell is going on." He then looked down at Prez's legs and touched a couple of areas where small red hairs were already sprouting, explaining, "I shouldn't be seeing this for another ten or more days, Preston."

Prez blinked, "Really? Keith noticed them this morning. Higher up, on my thighs, I've got a few hairs sprouting there too. We figured it was normal, considering the advanced technology from the hospital early Friday morning, and the bio-beds here."

Slowly shaking her head, Doc Howard said, "That speeds up healing enough to keep Starfleet officers and noncommissioned personal doing their jobs. When there's a finite number of people on a Starship, every man down due to injuries affects the ships' operational readiness." 

Doc Andrews then scowled, "Skin burns such as yours have damaged the hair follicles. During dinner, Doctor Howard noticed you had patches of hair on your legs and brought it to my attention. Now we have to determine what's going on. Strip and get on a bio-bed, Preston."

Beginning to remove his shirt, Prez muttered, "It's not from the medicated tubs or anything else?"

"Hair growth on burned flesh after only three days is unheard of," Doc Andrews assured. He then tapped his comm-badge and called, "Doctor Andrews to Doctor Barnes."

Prez tossed his shirt on a counter, asking, "We need Antonio here too?" He started untying the drawstring on his board shorts.

"It's two-thirty in the damn morning," Antonio sleepily whined across Doc Andrews' comm-badge.

Helplessly grinning at the sound of a young boy cussing at the disturbance, Doc Andrews replied, "I'm very sorry, Antonio, but we have a Clan Director here who is already regrowing hair burned off early Friday morning."

"Already?" Antonio excitedly squealed. The shuffling sounds of sheets could be heard. Then Antonio bitched, "I swear, these Core Rimmers just like seeing me in my underwear. If this keeps up, I'm going to have Quint relocate the Hawaiian Islands to the Caribbean, so I can get a full night's rest." 

Laying his shorts and underwear on the counter, Prez chuckled, "You've got some really cute undies, 'Tonio. Thanks to you, Richie asked for a bunch of similar underpants." He then padded naked to the nearest bio-bed and hopped up onto it.

"The kid has taste," Antonio giggled. He then ordered, "George, transport me to Hawaii." Immediately upon arrival, Antonio's little hands flew to his eyes. "ACK!" Antonio screamed, "BRIGHT LIGHTS!" and he began running around the room, sounding very much like a Mogwai from Gremlins. Once both of the doctors as well as the patient were holding their sides, George had pity on Antonio and teleported a pair of vampire-grade dark glasses into his right hand.

Once he had the glasses on and saw both adults holding their sides, Antonio did a very good impression of Mutley, grumbling nonsense under his breath as he stalked over to Prez.

"Are these yours for real?" Antonio asked, and he grabbed about five or ten pubic hairs on Prez and pulled quickly.


"Quiet, I'm trying to sleep," Antonio shot back with a grin. "You yell again, and I'm gonna decide I need some hair from an inch or two lower as well." 

Glaring at the midget middle-aged doctor, Prez did a much better impersonation of Mutley.

Placing the hairs on the scanning tray, Antonio giggled then quickly brought up some screens that neither of the other doctors knew existed. After a few minutes of close inspection, Antonio looked around. Noticing that Doc Andrews was looking over his shoulder, Antonio reached over and acquired a sample of arm hair.

Doc Andrews flinched and screamed, "BRAT! Is this a consultation or the damned Spanish Inquisition?" Covering her mouth, Doc Howard made a hasty exit from the room. The only visible hair on her would come off her head, and if that happened, Antonio would never see age 10 or 37. Rubbing his arm, Doc Andrews went to stand on the far side of the bio-bed that Prez was laying on. Keith transported into the room. Before Keith could ask any questions or greet anyone, Antonio grabbed a fistful of his leg hair.

"WHAT THE FUCK?" Keith hollered, and jogged over to the bio-bed, on the other side of Prez, and beside Doc Andrews.

Ignoring the comments, Antonio called, "Alden! Stop playing with your floppy drive and call your cousin, Cam. See if Professor Maggrine can pick a time slot to come down and look at this."

Alden giggled, "Cam's getting Professor Maggrine, and I have no floppy drives, they're all hard."

Having just left Drew's townhouse and feeling some of the pain Prez and Keith just experienced, John transported into the room, giggling, "What's going on?"

Antonio giggled, "Alden's surfing the IBM catalogue again and has his drives all hard, and I'm tracing something really funky with Prez, and it looks like Keith too. You mind if I cut a little of your hair off to add into the test mixture? Doc Andrews already provided a reference sample."

Warning moos, and softly muttered expletives flowed from Keith and Doc Andrews. "YOU SONOFABITCH!" Prez yelled, trying not to giggle. "Couldn't you have just cut some of MINE off as well?"

Antonio looked at him seriously, then said, "No."

"Why not?"

"Because," the tiny doctor giggled, then looked at John, who had already pulled out some of his hair for Antonio. "Thank you."

"You're welcome," John giggled, and then went into learning mode, asking, "None of the Starfleet Medical tech could've caused Prez's hair growth?"

"It's not only hair growth," Doc Andrews interrupted. "The blisters that were on Prez's buttocks Saturday night are completely healed in two days. There's only minor discoloration from the new skin growth."

"Actually, I just think Keith needs to wash him better," Antonio commented. He offered, "Cookie, John?" and a bag appeared next to him on the desk.

"Always," John cheered, and helped himself. Around his partially chewed cookie, John muttered, "It could be radiation from his PADD; too many games of Pissed Off Chickens."

"Opposite effect; good thought though," Antonio nodded. "I called in help from Archnania. The root balls on the samples I got from them are unusual. You'd think they'd know that if I asked first, they'd tense up and I wouldn't get good roots! You guys who got empathy are different though, your body doesn't react the same, so you got me some roots with your samples, even though I'm pretty sure I don't need them." 

"Would my N-Gen genes matter in the samples?" John wondered. Antonio turned and looked up, rapidly blinking. "Phenomenally cosmic roots," John giggled, and offered Antonio a cookie.

As he took the cookie, Antonio considered John's suggestion. "Hey Alden; call up Sammy and get me a sample of his hair. Tell Vish that I said he's got my permission to help."

"You're in luck," Alden replied. "Vish just had an evil moment and got your samples as I called them. Here they are. Now I'm gonna watch Sammy chasing his pussy."

Keith and Prez roared laughing. Softly chortling, Doc Andrews carefully approached Antonio and John to see what they were doing, besides eating cookies and being silly.

Just as the wary doctor joined them, Professor Maggrine appeared. "Antonio! May I say the new ornamentation on your face suits you well!"

"Hey, Professor; I'm seeing some weird stuff here. Do you wanna give it a shot?"

Laying on the bed and blocking Keith's hands from playing with his exposed dick, Prez giggled, "Can I get dressed?"

"Ask Keith; he seems to think your joystick needs adjustment!" Antonio giggled.

"What is this obsession that you Alpha Prime beings have with clothing?" The Professor asked in wonder.

Scrunching his face, John whined, "I've heard them making whoopie, but really don't want to witness it."

Refusing to turn back toward the bio-bed where Prez lay, Doc Andrews chuckled, "Get dressed, Preston."

Antonio giggled, "Dang it, I was hoping I'd learn a couple of tricks to try with Byron!"

Sliding off the bio-bed and away from Keith, Prez giggled, "We'll play with our fuzzies later, T'hy'la." He quickly crossed the room and began getting dressed, not realizing Keith had stealthily followed, and was leaning over to check out his butt.

"Amazing," Keith grinned, "there's barely a sign you were ever burned, Prez."

John whispered to Antonio. Wide-eyed, Antonio gasped, "Hand stands, huh?"

Nodding, John giggled, "I tried it with Stephen, using telekinesis to hold him steady."

Antonio gave John a thumbs-up, then turned towards Doc Andrews and the Professor. "Doc, could you please tell Doctor Howard that we need her back in here? It's time to put on our thinking caps." Tapping his comm-badge, Doc Andrews told Doctor Howard it was safe to return and that her input would be appreciated.

Once Doctor Howard had stepped into the room, Antonio began his thoughts. "Even with the bio-bed's assistance, Prez should still be in the inflammation phase with predominant macrophages. Due to the extent of his injuries, at this point I would expect to see the first stages of contraction, while reconstruction of the hair follicles would be in early stages in perimeter areas and nonexistent in primary injury areas. When I looked at the roots of Prez's pubic hairs, I found a slightly higher level than normal of type I collagen, with no evidence of type III collagen at the levels indicated by the term since his injury. This confirms the visual indications that epithelialization has completed with the contraction phase completing in an extremely fast time period, thereby eliminating scarring. Visual indications that apoptosis has completed and returned to normal levels are confirmed by the bio-bed scan. In addition, the expected tensile strength of up to eighty percent in the injured region is shown to be exceeded by bio-bed scans, which place the healed regions within two percent tensile strength of surrounding tissue. What is interesting is that there seems to be a microbial hitchhiker on the white blood cells; one that is shared by John and Keith, though in lesser quantities judging by their hair follicles. This microbe does not show up in the Federation or Vulcan databases, yet I was actually able to watch it as it seemed to be trying to assist in repair to the damage caused when extracting them from the epidermal layer."

Keith and Prez turned to one another, rapidly blinked, and then chorused, "What's that mean?"

Rolling his eyes and entire head, John smirked, "It means all three of us have microbes that help us heal. As soon as 'Tonio yanked out your pubes, microbes raced to the area to heal and begin the process of regrowing your pubes. It's a safe assumption that the same is happening to Keith's leg hair, and on the back of my scalp."

"I agree, John." Antonio said with a nod. "These microbes seem to be a genetic mutation which simulates a super-myofibroblast when the host is injured.

Deep in thought, Doc Howard muttered, "The question is, why is it happening? Keith and John are brothers, but Preston is not blood relation, so it's not genetic."

"Do you need some milk to go with those glazed eyes?" Antonio asked Prez and Keith.

Prez smirked, "If it's not genetic, what's left?"

"Environmental considerations," three doctors, one professor and John answered.

"May I inspect this microbe to see if it might be in our databases?" the Professor asked.

"Sure," Antonio replied as he turned to the console. "An interesting point; the microbe appears to be independent of the host's cellular structure. One of the follicles from Keith touched one from Doctor Andrews, and immediately about half of the surface microbes migrated to the foreign hair."

Doc Andrews said, "All the hair follicles are still alive. I wonder what they'd do to an older, dead follicle?"

Already heading out of the room, Doc Howard said, "Let me get my hair brush and test that." In a minute, Doctor Howard returned with her hair brush, and pulled a handful of hair off it then put it on the test sample tray. 

By this time, Prez was fully dressed and standing with Keith near the doctors, watching the proceedings. For many seconds the group watched the monitor and readings displayed. Antonio was beginning to believe nothing would happen, but then the microbial migration began, ignoring the older, dead follicles and moving to those that were still alive.

The Professor tilted his head in thought, then stated, "These microbes seem familiar; I really need to call in an expert to make sure."

"Go for it," Antonio responded.

"Georgie, are you listening?" the Professor asked.

"How many times do I have to ask you NOT to call me that?" whined the Headquarter's AI.

Neither Prez nor Keith felt like swimming in the North Atlantic, but helplessly sniggered at Georgie. Only Grandma Morrison could get away with calling the HQ AI "Georgie".

"I'll stop when you reach maturity in a few billion years," the Professor laughed. "Are the Dimensional Twins available, or are they busy trying to reproduce? I need to see them and Kermit, preferably with some of his favorite water."

Obviously pouting, George replied, "They just beat me at three dimensional chess, for the fourth time in a row. Stand by, they're on their way; whether they like it or not."

A few seconds later, two almost-thirteen-year-old boys with curly long blond hair appeared, wearing... each other. Accompanying them was a strawberry blond who looked barely thirteen, wearing a loincloth and carrying a bowl of water with something that looked vaguely like a frog.

Two doctors and the professor grinned, but Antonio, John, Keith and Prez howled laughing and began applauding. The two blonds blushed and tried to hide their faces.

"Don't worry bros, Cam says he's already plotting revenge on George," The only dressed member of the trio commented. "Hey everyone, I'm Cameron. My brother squeezing his brother's butt is Karl; the squeezee is Tracy. Just as soon as their erections finish shrinking, they'll say hi to y'all."

"I'm really gonna have to talk to your Grandpa Marc about the defects in your modesty circuit, Cameron," Tracy commented with a grin. "This better be good, Antonio. Remember, I know where you're ticklish at."

Antonio pointed at the Professor, giggling, "Blame HIM!"

"Okay, we'll blame him and punish you," Karl laughed.

"Here guys, you're making my Director feel inadequate!" Alden giggled as two Speedos with little elephant trunks attached to the front appeared on the nearest table.

"ALDEN!" Keith and Prez shouted.

John sniggered, "Neither Tracy or Karl can match Darren's beastly bits."

Nodding, Keith grinned, "Since Darren doesn't cause anyone to feel inadequate, we're fine."

Prez warned, "But you won't be fine, Alden. All I have to do is ask Kerry, George, Icarus and Stevie, and the diving well will be filled with ice cubes for your dunks."

"Can you say, major shrinkage?" Keith evilly snickered.

"My twin bro says he can arrange for Alden's body to have an innie!" Cameron giggled.

Alden squealed, "YIKES!" and tried a semi-sincere apology.

Tracy and Karl giggled, otherwise occupied in making sure the proper body parts were in the hollow elephant trunks on their new swimwear. Once dressed, Tracy walked over to the bio-bed. "Let's make this official. I'm Tracy Butler, Director of the Ft. Lauderdale Intel Division. My partner and husband is Karl Butler, the cute blond with the wiggling elephant trunk over there. Our brother is Cameron Butler, head of AI Investigative Services."

Shaking hands with Tracy, Karl and Cameron, Prez introduced himself, Keith as his husband and assistant director, and John as his brother-in-law and the Pacific Rim Division's Intel Director.

"I've heard about you, John. You're the only Clan member who got an entire hotel up!" Tracy giggled.

John blushed and giggled, "My hubby's partially responsible. We'll go and meet him when we're done here."

"Kewl!" Tracy replied. "It's great to meet you, Prez and Keith. You guys have a rep almost as strong as Seth and JJ do. It's common knowledge in Orlando that you guys make Chuck Norris look like a common man!"

Floating about a meter off the floor, John smirked, "It's getting deep in here. Just because they crashed the worldwide financial system?"

Prez chuckled, "ZCC caused that. All we did was uncover their dirty laundry."

"And we left some of the State's government in place," Keith sniggered. "It's more than Joel managed here!"

"So modest in their greatness!" Tracy sniggered.

John flew to the ceiling, pulling Antonio and his sack of cookies along with him, and they hovered there.

"Remind me to get escape hatches put in the ceiling for situations like this," Antonio quipped as he retrieved cookies for him and John.

Prez and Keith took advantage of the floating, and started tickling Antonio's and John's feet.

"Hey Cam! Stop trying to decode frog and let me borrow your shoulders! I see ribs wanting tickles!" Tracy giggled.

"On my way, bro!" Cameron stated as he quickly came over and crouched down for Tracy to take a seat on his shoulders. A few seconds later, they joined in the fun of tickling the floating mini smart-alecs.

At the high-pitched squeals and laughter, Prez sniggered, "I only wish their voices had changed."

"I wish they had leg hair to yank out," Keith evilly snickered.

"That's because we're still perfect, unlike you old goofballs!" Antonio stuttered between giggles.

"Tracy, could you PLEASE stop trying to stick your elephant trunk in my data port?" Cameron giggled.

"Stop moving your head, and it might stop poking you!" Tracy replied.

"Hey!" Prez laughed, "I think Tracy and Cameron wanna be remotely detached Rimmers!"

"I don't think rimming is on Trace and Karl's schedule until next week!" Cameron giggled.

"HEY! See if we let you play with us when we get home!" Tracy blushed as he half-slapped Cameron's head.

"I wanna see!" Karl giggled from over with the doctors. "Hey guys, poke the floating clowns until they deflate and drop to the floor, then get over here."

John cackled, "Serious doctor stuff time!" and started drifting down with Antonio. 

"Did you know that serial doctoring is a crime in seventeen universes?" Antonio giggled as they landed.

"Only seventeen?" John grinned, "Backwards, must be."

Doc Andrews just shook his head, the realization that Antonio's antics had their patient laughing and playing around instead of sitting there worrying. He now understood why Antonio was so popular a doctor to visit; his unconventional bedside manner placed kids at ease, no matter what the situation. 'A lesson they never taught us in Med School,' he chuckled to himself.

Once Tracy had climbed off of Cameron, Antonio glanced over at him, quipping, "That's one friendly elephant! I gotta get a pair of those for Byron!"

"I'll make sure he has a pair." Tracy giggled, "And some for you too." He then rejoined Karl. "You got anything, Hot Stuff?"

"Yeah, while you were trying to interface with Cam, Kermit helped us figure out what was going on."

Tracy giggled, "Kewl. After we're done, you and I need to sit down with Prez, John, and Keith. They had an idea I think might be pretty kewl, on an interdivisional basis."

Eager to get an answer about the healing and hair growth, Prez, Keith and John gathered around the doctors, the professor and Karl.

Doctor Andrews took the lead. "It appears these organisms, according to our resident biologist frog-type companion, are a match to a base microbe which is present in the waters of his home planet. This particular microbe tends to attack things which damage its environment, or creatures living in same, assisting the natural defenses of the attacked in recovering quickly."

"Archnanian microbes?" Keith uncertainly muttered.

The professor reminded, "You bathed in it, swam in it, and drank it."

Prez blinked, and then grinned, "I could swear I just you heard you admit that a frog diagnosed me, not the three doctors, two computer geeks, Archnanian Professor, android, or N-Gen also in this room?"

"Hey, I helped by translating!" Karl giggled.

"Since I'll live, and everything's status quo, in a Clan Short style, I think I'll go home," Prez sniggered. 

Keith told John, "Take our guests over to the CIC dining room. I'll bet they still have some pizza. We left Dee watching over Richie and Jimmy."

John nodded and grinned, "Go be daddies. If I need a command decision for anything Intel related, I'll let you know, Prez." He then called, "Hey, Alden, get elephant trunk Speedos for me, 'Tonio and Cameron too."

"What about me?" Doc Andrews chuckled.

"You're too old," John, Antonio, Cameron, Karl and Tracy chanted. Doctor Howard cracked up and wandered out of the room.

The requested Speedos were delivered and donned. Sniggering, Prez and Keith followed Doctor Howard, and were followed by the elephant pack. Professor Maggrine returned to Archnania, leaving Doc Andrews behind to clean up the exam room.

Waikiki Beach

Monday, November 8, 2004 9:50PM HTZ

Since finishing their meals and leaving The Ocean House restaurant, Paul, Reyes and Ryan strolled the Waikiki shoreline. Nearest to them were Manny and Clay, but they were about fifty meters behind the threesome. Slightly further away, nearer to the street and off the beach were Reyes' gorilla, Kahdi, and tiger-hybrid, Casim. For almost an hour, they walked and talked. Occasionally, other couples and small groups walked by them, but they only politely acknowledged one another with eye contact, nods or soft greetings. With each and every similar event, Paul's grip on Reyes' hand got tighter, clearly relaying Paul's distrust and stress. Reyes never said a word about it, cheerfully continuing the conversation as if nothing had happened.

Completely comfortable on his home turf, Reyes intended to prove the ROH was much more accepting and relaxed than South Carolina. Waikiki Beach had changed dramatically during the twenty-three years Reyes was in an orphanage, but it was still the same tourist destination. It was a beautiful starlit autumn night. The moon was only a sliver in the sky, giving the boys the illusion that there were many more stars. Waves lapping at the beach created a relaxing soundtrack.

Knowing his boyfriends were on Eastern Time, Reyes asked, "Are either of you tired?"

Paul shrugged, "Not very. I'm having a really good time."

Ryan giggled, "Ready to take us to your love nest now, Reyes?"

"No," Reyes laughed, "not until you two are tired. Kaho'olawe proved that I won't have a chance between both of you unless we're all ready to call it a night."

Paul evilly grinned, "After an awesome day like this, you're certain to be recovering from tonight well into tomorrow."

Nodding, Ryan giggled, "You planned all this, you empathically driven romancer!"

"Most of the day was normal Pacific Rim Division life," Reyes grinned. He then joked, "I repeatedly tried this maneuver for years and always failed. For once, my evil dinner and beach plans have panned out," pushing all three to giggles. Slowing his pace, Reyes suggested, "Let's sit. Then we can decide on a third trip down the beach, or if it's time to go home." 

They stopped walking and released their hands. Holding his right palm out to the two teams of security, Reyes signaled they were staying for a while. Facing the ocean, Ryan sat down in the sand, followed by Reyes and lastly Paul. The lights from hotels and stars sparkled off the water of the Pacific Ocean.

Ryan leaned over onto Reyes' shoulder and then closed his eyes. Contentedly, Ryan purred, "We should've known, bro."

"Known what?" Paul wondered.

Ryan sighed, "With a first name like 'Reyes', we could've guessed he'd be our bright ray of light, dragging us out of the doldrums and back into the real world."

Rolling his eyes, Paul smirked, "Oh jeez!" Expecting that response, Ryan softly sniggered.

Reyes incredulously giggled, "But I'm the romancer? I don't think so! The obvious truth is that you're both seducers."

"There's one major difference," Paul shared. When Reyes turned to him, Paul admitted, "It used to be for survival and a major effort. You're honestly a pleasure to be around."

Never lifting his head off Reyes' shoulder, Ryan added, "The whole AI Division agrees with us, Reyes. I talked with our mom. Paul talked with our dad. Jerry never shuts up and says that Danny, KC and Marc also know it. Joey obviously thinks you're awesome."

"Willy doesn't pounce just anyone," Paul grinned. "He's never pounced me once."

Ryan softly sang, "You're holding back again, bro."

"It was all very nice to hear though," Reyes smiled, and reached behind both brothers to pull them closer.

Paul softly asked, "Now that we're together, what are you thinking, Reyes?"

After thoughtfully humming, Reyes answered, "I had hoped that I wasn't asking for too much. From the moment we met, I couldn't focus on one of you without including the other. It made part of me think weird thoughts, like wondering why I couldn't try for only one brother. At first, I thought it was orphanage memories. When I realized it wasn't that, I asked myself, is it your histories on the street? That had nothing to do with it either. All day today has been the proof to the simple answer that I just want to be with you, a part of both and turning two into three. Where have I been all day? Between you, playing the middle part and loving every moment. Maybe I'm a glutton, starved for real affection? The rest has been you two."

Ryan wondered, "How do you mean?"

Reyes shrugged, "Both my hands are taken. When one brother is in front of me, the other is behind me. As much as I've loved it, it really isn't very fair. Someday, when we're all comfortable enough, there will be Ryan sandwiches, and there will be Paul sandwiches. The only part of that I can foresee taking a little extra time, is with Paul, walking down any beach or street with both his hands taken."

"It's true," Paul sighed.

Reyes smiled, "I'm not the least bit worried about it, Paul. It's something that will take time and practice. We'll try it in the safest places first, on Ewa Beach and on Sullivan's Island. Only after you're used to it there will we try it other places, like maybe Kaho'olawe. I love who you are as much as how you are, so overcoming the past is only a tiny task. There is a much larger problem that's mine."

Ryan impatiently huffed, "That's not so large a problem either, Reyes. After all you've said and done for a week, I can't see you treating sex like the unpleasant chore it used to be for you."

"It will be different," Paul firmly assured. "If you ever get the feeling that something we're doing is too much like the orphanage, just say something and we'll stop. I've made love to Ryan and he's made love to me. Even when it was a show for some pervert or perverts, it was very much the same, only quicker."

Ryan asked, "How many other guys could know all that we've done and not think we're pervs?"

"None," Paul quickly answered.

"You didn't even blink," Ryan recalled.

"All three of us were sad when we discussed this," Paul added. "You were sad for what we went through, and we were sad for what you went through. Although I'm not very good at showing it, I really do want to keep that in the past."

"Our future is going to be so much fun," Ryan smiled.

"And easy," Paul and Reyes playfully sang. Ryan cracked up and fell back into the sand, completely hysterical.

"RYAN!" Kahdi shouted. "WATCH OUT!"

Unbeknownst to the three boyfriends sitting in the sand, four men had been running toward them. Kahdi and Casim had seen the men and took the precaution of moving closer to their charges, but still weren't close enough to intervene. Hearing Reyes' gorilla yelling, Clay and Manny reached for their batons and handguns. Before any of the threesome could react, the first man stepped directly on Ryan's chest and then kicked Reyes onto Paul. The second man kicked Ryan in the side and shoved Reyes onto Paul, softly growling, "Fucking faggots." The third and fourth men each took opportunistic shots at Ryan, Reyes and Paul. Reaching out, Paul managed to grab the fourth man's leg, sending him flailing down and onto the man directly before him. Manny aimed a silenced nine-millimeter handgun and shot the first man right between the eyes. Clay fired his silenced weapon on the second man and hit him in the upper left quadrant of his chest. In a street fighter's rage, Paul jumped on the fourth man and began pounding the living hell out of him, landing blow after blow to the head. Casim, Reyes' tiger-hybrid, pounced on the third man with extended claws, ripping past clothing and deep into his flesh. Kahdi went to Paul and the fourth man.

Reyes first reaction was to check on Ryan. Finding him unconscious, Reyes yelled, "Alden, get me a tricorder!" Off to Reyes' side, Casim and Clay were restraining the third man. Kahdi pulled Paul off the fourth man and Manny dropped to the sand, intending to restrain him for prosecution. A split second later, Manny fell, with Paul on his back and cursing up a storm, landing more face and head shots on the fourth man.

Picking up Paul again, and getting a heck of a struggle for his effort, Kahdi repeatedly said, "I'm on your side, Paul! Your brother is hurt!" It took many repeats for Paul to even realize who he was struggling with or what he was being told.

Hovering over Ryan and scanning him, Reyes checked and rechecked for broken bones. Finding none, Reyes only thought, 'You may believe your human, Ryan, but your android bones saved you from surgery and weeks of pain.'

More calmly, Reyes called, "Alden, notify Doc Andrews that he's needed. We'll be in his office in a minute." He then checked with Casim; "Correct me if I'm wrong, but the penalty for assaulting a Clan Short leader, or wards of Clan Short, under sexually bigoted pretenses is death."

Casim nodded, "That's correct, Reyes."

"Take out the trash," Reyes ordered. "They called us faggots."

With that, Casim's claws cut through the third man's flesh and muscle into his heart. Directly in the dying man's face, Casim sneered, "Bye-bye, homophobic low-life. Have fun fanning the flames of hell."

Looking around and finding Paul in a rage induced daze, nonsensically shouting profanities, Reyes huffed, "Casim, Clay and Manny, you guys meet us at the FYS Building when you're finished. Alden, transport Ryan onto a bio-bed at Ewa Beach, with me, Paul and Kahdi in the same room."