Clan Short Pacific Rim Division

Chapter 12

Ewa Beach, Hundser Basement Nest

Saturday, November 6, 5:30 AM HTZ

Drew woke up by Alden's soft voice calling in his sub-vocal. Groggily, Drew wondered, "What's up, Alden?"

"I've got good news," Alden cheerfully relayed. "Raphael Montigua's older brother, Jason, was found alive in the rubble pile that was half of their apartment building. He was dehydrated, unconscious and had a broken wrist, but he's ready to be released from Walter Reed Medical Center."

A little more loudly than intended, Drew cheered, "Excellent!"

Alden giggled, "Yeah, the best part is for Rafe and for Chris Stokley."

Sitting up, Drew scowled, "Why is it good for Chris?"

"Chris and Jay were boyfriends, kind of behind the scenes and closeted, but that's how it was."

"Now they don't have to hide," Drew smiled, and then ordered, "Wake up Conner, Chuck, Ata and Baakir. Have them meet us outside, on the lawns between our homes. I'll wake Corey, Rafe and Chris."

"Consider it done."

Drew patted Corey's butt and whispered, "Cor?" Getting a hum in response, Drew grinned, "Wake up, angel. We've got a quick retrieval to do."

Corey inhaled deeply and sighed, "It's too early."

"This one is worth it," Drew assured. He stood and went to find his clothes.

Playfully giggling into Drew's sub-vocal, Alden teased, "I see you!"

Naked and with morning wood, Drew blushed at first and wanted to hide. He then sadly shook his head and grinned, "Alden, I was part of the team that designed and programmed you."

"Yep, you were," Alden giggled.

Finding his boxer shorts, and the rest of his clothes, Drew smirked, "Need I remind you that our intention is to give you a body?"

"I know, and I'm looking forward to it too," Alden pleasantly answered.

Nodding and starting to dress, Drew grinned, "You probably haven't had the chance or reason since you were activated, so check your system files for bodily responses to stimuli."

While Drew slid into his board shorts, and Corey began giggling, Alden gasped, "You made me ticklish? You made me ticklish almost everywhere! I thought this stuff was up to me!"

Drew sniggered, "A lot is; you can choose skin tone, hair and eye color, apparent age, height, build, how much hair and where, if you're a prepubescent, pubescent or a teen, even if you'd like to be circumcised or uncut, but we are Clan. You and your brothers have already got a bunch of people lining up to teach you lessons. George, Icarus, Jack, Kerry and Stevie, I know you're listening too. All the same stuff can be said of each of you!"

Only half-dressed, from the waist down, Corey guessed the kind of reply Drew might get. Quickly, he hurried away from the nest and covered his mouth with both hands to mute laughter that would wake everyone up.

"That's not fair!" The six AIs bitterly complained.

Drew giggled, "Yes it is. Danny would know best, but Marc, Joey, Reyes and every android I met on Archnania is ticklish somewhere. You think I look cute? Well, guess what? All of you guys will be as human as us and then some. You'll be able to breathe, live and love, like the rest of us."

"I saved you from sixteen hands tickling you at once," Alden reminded.

"And thanks for that, dude," Drew smiled, "but I've never asked for help when I'm alone with Corey and he's tickling me, have I?"

Corey giggled, "There are pluses and minuses, guys. A mass tickle-attack is a bit much, but with a lover, it's never a bad thing."

Drew went over to where Chris, Rafe and Pat were sleeping. He woke Chris first, only because he would remember where he was and be quiet. By the time Chris had the news his boyfriend was alive, Corey was dressed. With Chris and Corey prepared to keep Rafe from screaming in delight, Rafe was gently woke and told to get dressed so he could join the party to retrieve his older brother.

Relieved and out of control, Rafe loudly hollered, "HE'S..." and Chris swiftly covered his young friend's mouth with one hand. Rafe mumbled past Chris' hand; "alive?" Holding index fingers to their mouths, Chris, Corey and Drew nodded and giggled.

Nearby, Pat shifted and stretched, softly yawning, "What's goin' on?"

Chris whispered, "Jay is alive."

Widely smiling, Pat tossed his blanket aside and stood. He went to get his clothes. Noticing the other four grinning at him, Pat softly giggled, "What? He wasn't my brother or boyfriend, but he was my neighbor and friend. I'm going too."

Rafe stood up and hurried over to Pat, almost knocking him over in his haste to give a big hug. After some giggling, during which time Chris started to dress, Pat and Rafe flew into their clothes.

Drew asked, "Alden, is it very cold in Maryland?"

Into Drew's and Corey's sub-vocals, Alden replied, "Don't worry, I'll be putting you inside the hospital's lobby, Drew."

Corey giggled, "I'm surprised you aren't putting us down on a Himalayan Mountain, Alden."

Alden giggled, "The thought had crossed my mind. Then I started talking with Kerry, George, Icarus, and my other brothers. Our research into human boy's chasing each other and tickling proves you're right, Corey; it's not a terrible thing. The best part is, I'm still running the transporters, which means, one moment you might be chasing me, but I'll vanish, reappear behind you and reverse the chase, any time I want!"

Drew widely smiled, "This will be fun!"

Slapping his forehead, Corey giggled, "It opens up too many possibilities."

Anxiously, Chris, Pat and Rafe started up the stairs. Holding hands, Drew and Corey followed. All five went out the kitchen sliding door.

About the same time Corey, Drew and their group were leaving for Bethesda, Maryland, the phone in the Gibbons' master bedroom rang. Catching it before it rang a second time, Rob mumbled, "Gibbons residence."

"Rob, it's Steve," an adult male voice said.

Recognizing the voice of Chief of Police, Steve McGarrett, Rob became more awake, asking, "What's going on, Steve?"

There was a silent pause on the line, then McGarrett sighed, "I can barely explain it. Suffice to say, this is something you absolutely have to see."

Sitting up in bed, Rob wiped sleep from his eyes, yawning, "That doesn't give me much to go on."

McGarrett chuckled, "Not much to go on. You couldn't be more correct if you tried, Rob."

Rob smirked, "You've got my interest now." Pulling over the bed stand pen and pad of paper, Rob asked, "Where are you?" McGarrett gave Rob two addresses in Ewa Beach, the latter being the address that he and his team were currently at. Rob said, "Give me about twenty minutes, Steve. I'll see you soon." McGarrett acknowledged Rob and disconnected the call.

Laura rolled over, sleepily muttering, "Rob?"

"It's nothing, Laura," Rob softly responded. Leaning over, he gave his wife a peck on the cheek, and then assured, "It's off base, but just around the corner. I'll bring my security and be back in an hour or so. Go back to sleep."

"Be safe," she smiled.

Rob stood and shrugged, "I always am, but with a gorilla and a teenaged jiu jitsu expert, I'm pretty sure there won't be any problems." He went to clean up and get dressed, call his security, and then decided to meet them at the CIC, so they could grab cups of coffee before leaving the base.

Upon arrival at Walter Reed Medical Center's reception desk, Drew and Corey showed their ID cards, identified their group and asked where they might find Jason Montigua. Even in Maryland, the two gorillas created a bit of stir and had their photographs taken by several cell phone users. Other than that, no one said a word about them. After a brief search on her computer terminal, the receptionist instructed, "He's in the pediatric wing; outside and across the way, sixth floor, room twenty-two."

Twisting his mouth into a crooked frown, Corey softly complained, "Outside? I don't think so!"

A little boy in the room whined, "I wanna play wit' da monkeys!" Baring a toothy grin, Baakir waved at the boy.

Drew tapped his sub-vocal, ordering Alden to transport them all to the specified location. In a snap, they were in that room. Seeing his brother kicked back on a bed, Rafe hollered, "JAY! YOU'RE ALIVE!" and hurried there, jumping up on the bed before Jay could look up or move.

When his nine-year-old brother landed on him, Jay grunted "Umph!" Drew, Chris, Pat and the security team smiled. Corey helplessly giggled.

Rafe wept, "We thought you were dead in that wreck. I yelled and yelled, but..."

"I'm not dead," Jay clearly assured. Closing his eyes and concentrating on his little brother, Jay felt happy shivers race up and down his spine. Opening his eyes again, he saw the gorillas and blinked, "This concussion must be worse than they said though."

Giggling madly, Corey instructed, "Ata and Baakir, say hello to Rafe's brother."

Ata waved, "Good to meet you, Jason."

Baakir grinned, "Same here, dude."

Groaning, Jay muttered, "I'm dreaming this. Yeah, that must be it."

Chris stepped forward, smiling, "Fraid not, Jay." He leaned over to kiss his boyfriend beside the bandage on his forehead.

Jay sourly complained, "What're ya doin', man?"

Chris smirked, "What I've always wanted to be able to do in public. Rafe knew it. Because we were too in love to notice, it flew right over our heads. I thought I'd lost ya, man. Be glad I'm not pushing Rafe out of the way and taking his place on top of you."

Rafe looked up into his big brother's curious eyes, nodding and giggling, "It's kewl, Jay. Pat's got a boyfriend too." Blushing, Pat nodded and giggled.

"Now's a good time for me to step in," Drew smiled. Approaching the bed with Corey, Drew cheerfully said, "Welcome to Clan Short, Jay. My name is Drew Hundser, and beside me is my hubby, Corey Seaver."

"Hi, Jay," Corey giggled.

Drew smiled, "We're two of the fifteen leaders of Clan Short Pacific Rim Division. Chris, Rafe and Pat decided they wanted to be in the ROH, as far as they could get from Washington as possible, so they spent yesterday and last night at Ewa Beach, Oahu. As soon as we get you out of that bed and dressed in more than a gown, we'd like you to join us there, to be with your bro and your boyfriend."

Rapidly nodding, Rafe giggled, "You'll love it, Jay. All the gorillas and G-Cats are kewl, just like everyone else there."

Jay suspiciously smirked at Drew and Corey. "Married? What're you, about twelve years old? Yeah, and Elvis is in the next bed." Pointing at the empty bed, Jay crowed, "Sing more for us, King."

Alden overheard, and suddenly an Elvis impersonator appeared mid-set, standing on the empty bed, singing, "You ain't nuthin' but a hound dog, cryin' all the time." Then he disappeared again. Everyone in the room giggled or chuckled, except Jay, who only looked more confused and searched for the nurse call button.

Grabbing Jay's hand, Chris sniggered, "It's all really happening. Yesterday, when we realized you and all our parents were gone, me, Pat and Rafe started walking into Virginia, where they had refugee facilities set up. Red Cross sent us to Clan Short. The Clan transported us to Des Moines, Iowa, and from there, we were taken to Ewa Beach." He paused and then teased, "They've got an Olympic sized pool and a diving well, Jay. As soon as you're well enough, your ass is in Speedos, then your ass is mine!"

Turning beet red, Jay loudly laughed, "What is with you?"

Chris shrugged, "A day at a place where I could be me, where kids from four to sixteen decide what they want to do, when to do it and how. More specifically, at the diving well, there were about a dozen guys our age when I showed up there. Only three of 'em had board shorts on, one wore Speedos, and the rest were naked. Not one of them had a problem with the guys who were nude. At first, I had these boardies on that I'm wearing now. After a while, I figured, what the hell, and hung out naked too, just to see if could do it. I went to check on Rafe and Pat. At the big pool, Rafe was naked too. Off to the side, on a bench with his new boyfriend, Pat was wearing Speedos, giggling up a storm and trying to shift his skinny butt away from Ralphie, who in turn kept scooting his butt closer."

"He's such a goof!" Pat giggled, "In the best ways, but Ralphie's really a clown."

Glancing between Chris, Rafe and Pat, Jay sighed then softly asked, "Is this what you guys really want?" The three boys enthusiastically nodded and vocally confirmed their choice, reminding him that any other option wouldn't be near as kewl.

Corey smiled, "Schools are on base, Jay, run by Federation Youth Services. If you show the aptitude, you could find yourself attending Starfleet Academy someday. How does that sound?"

Wide-eyed, Jay glanced around, softly confirming, "No shit?"

"No shit," all the other boys and the two gorillas assured.

Since they were all nodding, smiling and serious, Jay chuckled, "Let's get going then. Rafe, get off me. Guys, turn around or you'll all be getting more than an eyeful of my ass."

Scooting down off the bed, Rafe giggled, "Did you hurt your ass too?"

Jay shouted, "RAFE!"

Landing on his feet, Rafe huffed then asked, "Are you really that dumb? I knew about you and Chris two years ago. Chris just told you that almost all the kids hang naked there in Hawaii. Drew and Corey are married, and have two sons."

"Working on three," Corey giggled.

Shaking his head, Jay grinned, "Just because you got your first pubes doesn't mean you can have kids."

Corey cracked up. Sniggering, Drew nudged his hubby. Getting the message loud and clear, Corey began untying his board shorts and so did Drew. Jay began laughing his ass off. In moments, Corey and Drew pushed their shorts and boxers to the floor. Suddenly, Jay wasn't laughing any more. Before him was a brunette that didn't have a large bush of pubes, but certainly more than Jay had ever noticed on other boys Drew's age, or had himself at that age. Drew also had a respectable sized uncut dick hanging for his age, height and weight. The blond boy, Corey, only a little shorter than his partner and also very well proportioned, had a patch of blond pubes over his uncut and decent sized meat. Corey giggled, "By the way, I'm eleven-and-a half. My birthday is March second, 1993." Jay's jaw dropped, because when he and Chris began kissing and hugging they were eleven and neither had pubic hair.

"HOLY SHIT!" Jay laughed. "You didn't ask for the door to be closed or anything! You're all very serious, aren't you?"

Drew nodded and pulled up his drawers, saying, "Our first son, Geoff, is five. We adopted him last Saturday night. Our second son, Lenny, is seven. We adopted him Wednesday afternoon."

Also pulling his shorts and undies up, Corey smiled, "Leo is the third son, waiting in the basement at home. We just met him yesterday, but everything's looking good for his adoption at some point today."

Sliding to the edge of the bed, Jay pressed the call nurse button. Proving he had learned his lesson, he starting fighting with the tied gown to get it off with his uninjured left hand. Grinning, Chris instructed, "Turn around, stud." When Jay smiled and turned in place, Chris untied the gown, whispering, "I thought I was really screwed, with no boyfriend, no parents, nuthin' except Rafe and Pat to take care of, or care about me. Nothing I saw or dealt with hurt as much as the thought that you were gone. I'm serious about you, Jay. Think about it as long as you need, but please say we'll be permanent."

Grinning as he turned in place again, Jay joked, "It seems I broke my right wrist in the fall somehow. I'll be needing a hand with a lot of stuff for a while." All the boys in the room smiled and most softly giggled. To test what he had been told, and wanting to say what he had repeatedly held back, Jay clearly proclaimed, "I loved you with all my heart the first time we kissed, Chris. That was the summer of 2001. We were eleven. Since then, the world has changed over and over again. Through it all, we stayed together and grew up. The thinking about it was over a long time ago. We just had to hide it. Now we don't need to hide, right?" 

Not caring that Jay was standing naked before him or that they were partially encircled by the others, Chris grabbed Jay and kissed him hard.

Faking a sniffle, Corey giggled, "That was too sweet. I think I'm gonna cry." Conner and Chuck, Drew's and Corey's security, knew their charges too well. All four helplessly cracked up. 

The nurse came to the room. Gasping at the two gorillas blocking her path, she came to an abrupt halt. Baakir tapped Drew's shoulder and gestured to the nurse.

Reading the nurse's name badge, Drew pulled out his identification and showed it to her, saying, "Nurse Torres, I'm Lieutenant Drew Hundser, of Family Clan Short Pacific Rim Division. We're prepared to take custody of Jason Montigua. Please have his discharge paperwork ready for us, including all the charges for his care at this facility. I'll sign the paperwork and pay the bill as soon as Mister Montigua is done swapping spit with his partner and gets dressed."

Rafe looked over at Pat, who bounced his eyebrows, and then they cracked up.

Still attached at the mouth with Jay, Chris recognized growing problems and blindly searched for the curtain around the bed. Sputtering, Corey went to the bedside curtain, which was at least a meter out of Chris' reach, and closed it for them. Corey giggled, "City kids are funny. All cranky and tough, but after a couple of minutes of Clan treatment, they get naked and start making out with their boyfriends."

Conner teased, "What's your excuse, Cor?"

Corey shrugged, giggled and pointed at Drew.

From beyond the curtain where Chris was helping him get dressed, Jay called, "Drew?"


"Since Chris doesn't know, I'm just curious."


Jay sniggered, "Do you always show off?"

Corey quickly answered, "Never in a million years, Jay. Drew's got older brothers, and has hid from them, and his younger brother. In this situation, you didn't believe a lot of what we were all telling you."

Drew added, "You're Rafe's brother, so that automatically makes you my brother too. At our base, and in the ROH in general, nudity isn't too much of a problem. Since you're my Clan brother as much as any of the other dudes on base, and you would eventually see me naked at some point soon anyway, I shrugged it off and busted your implied dare." He evilly grinned, "Now you owe me, dude."

Corey, Rafe and Patrick began giggling. Jay suspiciously wondered, "What's that mean?"

"It means that you have a few hours to get comfortable at Ewa Beach," Drew smiled. "This afternoon, before dinner, you show off."

"Well," Chris sniggered, "Jay just might have to show off now. These clothes are shot, Drew. They're what he came in wearing; dirty and all ripped up. He didn't have anything on his feet either. His boxers are all that are semi-usable."

Corey tapped his comm-badge, asking, "Alden, can you see Jay?"

"Not behind the curtain," Alden giggled.

Jay softly asked who Alden was, and Chris answered. A moment later, the curtain flew open. Standing in his underwear, Jay said, "Thirty-inch waist and mens' large shirts, loose fitting, if ya can?"

Over the comm-badge, Alden asked, "Turn in place slowly, please, Jay?" Once Jay had turned completely around, Alden said, "Twenty-eight inch waist and men's medium shirts would fit you, Jay."

"Tight clothes are uncomfortable," Jay simply stated. "I'd much rather them fitting loose."

A few moments later, Alden said, "Look on your bed and on the floor beside it, Jay. You're set now."

Chris picked up the Washington Capitols T-shirt and gave it to Jay. "Kewl," Jay chuckled, and slid into the shirt. Holding open the board shorts, Chris went to Jay and leaned forward. Steadying himself on his boyfriend's shoulders, Jay lifted his legs and got into them. Chris tied the drawstring. Glancing around, Jay queried, "This stuff is new?"

"Course," Corey answered.

Jay hummed, "Ya know, I've read about the Clan, and all the kids you guys saved. I just thought, that's a hell of a lot o' money." He sat on the bed to put the pair of sandals on.

Squatting down to help Jay get the sandals on, Chris said, "This is only the beginning. We'll be in a store later, where you'll get everything you need. Yesterday, I got all the stuff I'm wearing and a full week's worth of clothes, plus toiletries, plus an electric razor, baseball caps, belts, a poncho and a suitcase to put it all in."

Drew nodded, "That's the basics anyone needs. If you need something special for school, ask and it's yours. Once you move into the dorm, you'll have your own bed, desk, chair, and a laptop computer. Each dorm room has a television and stereo too."

Rafe gushed, "They're big rooms too, Jay. You and Chris would have space to spare." He paused then giggled, "As if you'll need that much space."

"RAFE!" Chris and Jay loudly laughed.

Giggling his butt off, Rafe hid behind Ata.

Arriving at the address where Chief Of Police Steve McGarret said to meet him, Rob pulled up behind another unmarked police car. He noticed he was parked in front of a nice upper-middle class home in a well maintained neighborhood. With his security, Rob walked toward the open front door, greeting other police officers along the way. Before even stepping inside the house, Rob noticed the spots on the exterior wall where the house number once was. He also noticed the front door knob was missing. In the living room, just beyond the entryway, brown leather covered furniture was present and undamaged, but there were no lamps, end tables or coffee table. The entire entertainment system sat on the floor, but there was no entertainment center. Photos lay on the floor by the walls that had no frames. However, a large seascape painting in a wooden frame still hung on the dining room wall. 

Steve McGarrett came into the room saying, "Have you ever seen a home invasion robbery like this? That TV and sound system has a street value of about two grand, but here it sits."

Slowly shaking his head, Rob wondered, "What else was stolen?"

"A lot," Steve answered, "chrome tables with mirrored tops had been in here," and then waved Rob into the dining room. He pointed up at the ceiling. Rob noticed a hole where a light fixture had probably been, but there weren't any wires left hanging. Noticing Rob's frown, Steve nodded, "There isn't a wire in the house, but no walls are damaged in any room. The china set is another high value item left here in the hutch, but all the silverware, even the everyday, worthless stuff is gone." The two men moved into the kitchen. The floor was still wet, but there were no appliances except a black-faced microwave oven still in the wall. "The oven and fridge and all it's contents were taken. Who the fuck takes a refrigerator in the first place? I won't even ask who takes the fridge and the food. Brass and chrome fixtures throughout the house were taken, but this microwave, for instance, why is it here when the fucking toaster was taken? A four slice toaster, worth maybe twenty-five credits when it was purchased, gone." Pointing up at the ceiling, he said, "This designer fixture was left and it cost the home owners almost five hundred bucks! Street value is at least three hundred."

Rob wondered, "Where are the home owners, Steve?"

"At the dentist."

Rob blinked, "They left to go to the dentist, now, after being robbed?"

Leading the way to the bedrooms and bathrooms, Steve nodded, "Get this, everything was taken between midnight and five this morning. No one heard a sound, not the man, woman or either of the two kids."

"Do they normally wake that early?"

"Not normally, but three of the four woke because of pain in their mouths. The caps over root canals and all the fillings in their teeth were taken too, Rob. Who the fuck does that? Did they come in here wearing protective face masks, release a gas to keep them all asleep and numb, so they could take their dental work? What in the hell is a gold cap worth? It can't be used on anyone else's teeth; it could only be melted down to be sold. Still, that stuff's not twenty-four caret, high grade gold either, it's virtually worthless. Cheap childrens' toys were taken, but good stuff was left behind. Awards and trophies were taken, worthless junk to everybody except to the teenager that won them. Where are all the goddamned mirrors? They took them out of the frames and medicine cabinets first too! Copper plumbing gone, electrical wiring gone, but there's a Tiffany lamp worth almost a grand. It would've taken a team of eight men half a day to accomplish all this, and the place would be completely trashed."

McGarrett paused and sighed, "This is seriously the most twisted home invasion and robbery I've seen in twenty years." Walking away and shaking his head, he muttered, "Eight total frigging lunatics take the junk and leave the most valuable stuff behind. They were smart enough to wear gloves though. No finger prints, no residue of any sort any where. The other house is almost the same."


"They had PVC plumbing. Other than that one difference, it's virtually the same M.O.; take all the shiny crap and leave the good stuff." Rob suddenly had an idea, and thankfully he was walking behind the Chief Of Police, so it wasn't noticed. Steve grumbled, "If you have any clue where to go on this one, please say something, because I am stumped."

Rob shrugged, "Let's check metal recycling companies, pawn shops and junk yards."

Drew's and Corey's party in Maryland were only delayed a few minutes. Since they were too young to have debit cards in the first place, the cashier didn't believe the card could pay the expenses incurred for Jay's treatment. She was surprised when the card cleared the full amount on the first swipe. Signing his name to the receipt, Drew grinned, "I'm a Lieutenant in Starfleet, married to Corey, have three sons, and my own three bedroom townhouse. You'll get used to Clan organizational structure, just like we have."

"Imagine a ten-year-old coming here with his eleven-year-old husband and doing the same things we just did," Corey giggled at the woman. Drew slid the signed receipt to the cashier.

"Age doesn't matter?" the lady confirmed.

Drew shrugged, "It depends on the kid. Our two oldest leaders turn fifteen in late December. We're all between ten- and fourteen-years-old. What's really kewl is seeing the younger kids we rescued only last week helping us with retrieving kids. Our five-year-old son did his bit last night, helping other little guys adjust."

Corey smiled, "Geoff's changed and grown so much in only a week." He smirked at Jay and teased, "It's the bigger, older kids who are the larger challenges."

Chris, Rafe and Pat softly sniggered. Jay smiled, "Next time, think twice about bringing gorillas to get someone out of a hospital." He told Ata and Baakir, "I really thought I was losing my vision and sanity."

Ata grinned, "Keep your vision."

"Sanity is optional," Baakir chortled.

"Alden," Drew giggled, "Walter Reed has had enough of us. Take us to Anahola Bay Beach, Kauai, to watch the sunrise."

"I think you're just in time," Alden replied, and executed the order.

On the sand of the beach, Ata hummed at the security implications, and then suggested, "Please stay together guys."

Conner nodded, "We're good for a while, because it's so early and we're alone."

Chuck agreed, "Do what you'd like here, but stay together. If one of us sees a threat of any sort, we are outta here, whether you're swimming naked or standing."

Certain their security were right, Drew nodded and smiled, "I thought it might be nice, especially for Chris, Jay, Pat and Rafe to see the place where we became Clan."

Having already heard various tales from other kids at Ewa Beach, Rafe squealed, "It happened here?"

"At just about sunrise last Saturday morning," Corey stated, and then pointed over at the area near the dunes where it actually happened, adding, "Right over there."

Facing east with Chris beside him, Jay cracked the widest smile seen thus far and mumbled, "It's beautiful."

"So is our base, Jay," Chris softly assured. "It's not right on the beach, but less than a quarter of a mile from the beach. You can smell the salt air when the wind blows from the South."

Rafe was on the other side of his brother with Pat, also looking east. "It's all brand new, bro," Rafe enthusiastically said. "All the houses, dorms and everything there is only a week old."

Pat asked, "Rafe, now that Jay's here, I guess you and me are roommates soon?"

Nodding, Rafe teased, "We'll have to work something, so you can be with Ralphie."

Playfully shoving his younger friend, Pat giggled, "I know Ralphie and I have been joking a lot, but I don't think it'll be a problem. Really, he wants to wait as much as I do."

"Yeah, right," Jay knowingly chortled. Chris cracked up. Rafe, Corey, Drew, Conner and Chuck began giggling.

Widely smiling and looking around at all of the others, Pat cackled, "What? It's true!"

Jay sniggered, "Having sex for the first time isn't something you can plan, bro. It's something that progresses, a little at a time. First, it's hugs and kisses, then it's showing each other the goods, which leads to jackin' off, and onward to the first careful and scared blow-jobs, wondering if you'll gag on his boner and accidentally bite it off." Corey howled laughing at that point, because everything said was so true. He and Drew had gone through it all in the last year.

At Corey's reaction, Jay sniggered, "Forget scheduling it, Pat. You and this Ralphie kid will know when it's time to do this or that and take the next steps. Sex isn't thought out, not those first times, any how. It's in the eyes, the heart and the body."

Revealing a little more, Chris nodded and reminded Jay, "Don't touch it that way or... ungh... oops, sorry, too late." Remembering his first warnings to Chris, said almost verbatim, Jay cracked up.

Facing Pat, Drew smiled, "What's most important, each of those first times, with every next step, and every time thereafter, is talking to each other about those experiences. Keith told me once that someone you have sex with, but don't talk with, is just a sex-buddy, and not a boyfriend. Sex-buddies can still become boyfriends, and boyfriends can fall apart and away, becoming sex-buddies."

Holding up two fingers, Corey giggled, "It always takes two." Catching Chuck bouncing his blond eyebrows at Conner, and the resulting warm, wide smile cracking Conner's face, Corey loudly laughed, "OMIGOD!"

Watching Corey stagger around, Drew wondered, "What?"

Chuck and Conner knew they were busted, but didn't say a word for almost a minute, while Corey tried to calm down. Conner went to Drew, stood at attention and formally reported, "Sir, last week, when General Adam assigned me to you, and Logan assigned Chuck to Corey, it seems that they knew us better than we knew ourselves. It was not planned, but we have learned that we are falling in love."

"AWESOME!" Drew loudly laughed, and hugged his new friend and protector.

Stuck at attention in Drew's arms, Conner giggled, "I was hoping you'd feel this way."

Baakir asked Ata, "What is it about sunrises and humans?"

Ata shrugged, "And sunsets too. It's like a primal instinct."

Corey ran for Chuck to offer his congratulations. Chuck was a lot like Corey in many ways, however Corey was not genetically enhanced like Chuck. With very little effort, Chuck ran away from Corey, giggling as he led Corey around a big circle on the beach.

Ewa Beach Townhome #6

Saturday, November 6, 2004 6:06AM HST

In the Taylors' townhouse, four brothers were asleep, but busily humping away. On the bottom of the pile, Richie was pushing up against Ralphie, who in turn was grinding down, and on each side of Richie, Robbie and Ronnie were pressing their hips and morning throbbers against his hips. As the center of so much attention, Richie was the first to groggily realize what was going on. He thought about it, and soon realized that these three had helped him more in two days than anyone ever had before. Grinning, Richie decided to instigate the inevitable and sent to all three, 'Yeah, that's feeling so awesome, bros. Do it. I want you to. I really do love each of you so friggin' much, it makes me crazy wondering how I ever lived without you.'

Each of the other three slowly became more aware of what was happening. At Richie's soft sniggering, the other three paused only a few seconds.

Ralphie asked, 'Are you sure, Richie?'

'I've never been more sure of anything before,' Richie replied to all three brothers.

Robbie offered, 'I guess we knew our first times would be together, didn't we?'

'I do now,' Ronnie answered. 'It's right and perfect for us.'

They returned to their morning grind. Ralphie tenderly kissed Richie, then Robbie and then Ronnie. While Ralphie and Robbie kissed, Richie kissed Ronnie. With each cycle around, the kisses became more urgent and the thrusts more powerful until all four held their breaths and stiffened. Turning to jelly, they started giggling.

Becoming hysterical because he was wet on his belly and both sides, Richie laughed, 'Okay, who knew that he could really cum?'

'Not me!' the other three replied.

'Wow!' Ronnie silently cheered. 'I don't know what's more amazing, the feeling of what we just did or the fact we did it together.'

The other three easily assured, 'Both!'

Robbie told his brothers, 'Let's do it again, only this time with me and Ronnie in the center of the cuddle. We didn't get to kiss each other.'

Wickedly grinning, they suspiciously eyed one another, then nodded and scrambled off the bed, and then back on again, into Robbie's suggested position. Without any fear or worry, the process started over again. It took only a little longer, even with telepathic encouragements, but again, all four climaxed together and four new wet spots were made against Robbie. Afterward, the grown up feeling every boy experiences with their first orgasms was quadrupled by their blissful telepathic conversation. 

The only concern shared was that Ronnie was hooking up with Garrett and Ralphie was with Pat. Both Ralphie and Ronnie assured Richie and Robbie that they were working slowly in their relationships. They wanted their first times with their boyfriends to be just as special and automatic as what they had just experienced together. That gave the latter two time to find partners of their own, and in the meantime, they could be there for each other with a shared thought, either in pairs or as a group.

Just waking up in townhome number one, Prez rolled over towards Keith. Without thinking, he ground his morning wood against his hubby's ass. Prepared to yelp because he tightened his butt muscles, Prez was surprised that it didn't hurt very much; if anything it was little more than a tingling reminder that all systems were not yet at one-hundred percent. Groggily, Keith muttered, "Sex-machine," and fell contentedly back to sleep.

Prez whispered, "I love you," then rolled out of bed and went into the master bathroom. He wanted to see how his rear end looked and could do that, with the medicine cabinet mirror opened just enough to reflect into the full-sized mirror on the door. There was a violent need to pee first, after ten hours of sleep. Forcing his bone to point at the toilet, Prez waited for the flood gates to open. Typically, with his bladder bursting, his dick wasn't cooperating. Prez softly muttered, "No, I am not going to play with you. I need to pee, not cum, you stupid single-eyed beast." In response, his dick only lurched, but Prez could feel he was going to leak any second, at last. It started as a trickle and became normal flow. Prez sighed in relief. Closing his eyes, he smirked, "I've told you a million times, if Keith isn't here to play with you, I have no reason to do it."

Finishing the final blasts, Prez shook his chubby and flushed the toilet. Moving over to the vanity sink, he turned on the faucets and tried to catch a glimpse of his wounded butt. It wouldn't work without moving the medicine cabinet mirror, so he finished washing his hands, his face, and drying them, then set the medicine cabinet mirror appropriately. He gasped at the sight of the many popped blisters then mumbled, "Now they can really call me a bubble-butt. I'll tell Keith it's feeling better, but looking like that, he won't believe it." Closing the medicine chest, he walked over to the shower, but decided to soak in the whirlpool tub instead.

Turning the water on to fill the tub, he reasoned, it's early, I have the time and who knows, it might even help a little. If I can simply sit more today than yesterday, Keith will notice that and chill out.

While the tub was filling, Prez went to make sure the door was fully closed, so he wouldn't disturb Keith. On the way back to the tub, he looked at the ceiling and softly called, "Alden? Can you hear me?"

"Just fine, Prez," Alden softly replied. "I've got good noise reduction software. I have a question for you too, as soon as that's convenient."

Prez smiled, "It's kewl now, dude. I'm feeling much better and thought I'd ask for a status report, so I don't have to wait and go to the command center. What's your question?"

"Well," Alden giggled, "it's something I've noticed repeatedly with some of you guys; teens mostly, but some tweens too."

Checking the water temperature, and satisfied he wouldn't fly out of the tub into a wall because it was too cool or too warm, Prez prompted, "Go ahead, Alden." He stepped into the tub and slowly sat then kicked back to soak.

Alden seriously said, "I don't have a body, but when I do have to choose, I'd like to be better informed, so my question revolves around boys urinating with erections. It always seems to take much longer, and a lot of you get impatient about it." Prez began chuckling. Alden giggled, "Some even talk to their dicks, like they listen and understand. It's silly, but if I were to decide to become a pubescent or teen, would I do that too?"

"Very probably," Prez chuckled. "Reyes and all androids still need to leak. I'll assume that if you choose to be eight years of age or older, you'll get erections just like the rest of us."

Alden giggled, "So, why the frustration and dick talk?"

With the tub adequately filled and turning off the water, Prez smiled, "I can only say what I know for certain, because I feel it. When boys get stiffies, there seems to be one portal that basically says, in this state, you can only have an orgasm; no matter how bad I know I have to piss, and that's the problem. Needing to leak bad is uncomfortable and thus the frustration. Maybe you'll be able to control that switch better than human boys do, but then you're missing a normal and fun part of being male too."

"Talking to your penis is normal?" Alden giggled. "Have you named yours like others have?"

Cracking up, Prez slid further down and laughed, "No, I haven't named my dick. Keith calls it his favorite toy, but no, it's not named. Talking to it probably gets to be normal though."

"This is fun?"

"It's not as annoying as it sounds. I know that I'll eventually pee, but talking to it for holding up the show, and keeping me uncomfortable, makes me feel better during the wait."

"It happens to all boys with erections, huh?"

Prez nodded, "As far as I know. Check your biological databases under the male urinary system and reproductive system for more details. I'm not a doctor and can only tell you what it's like."

"Thanks, Prez, I'll do that. Are you ready for your status report?"

Picking up the bar of soap, Prez nodded, "Go for it."

While Prez bathed, Alden reported, "It was a nice quiet night. Around twelve-thirty, we received a series of calls from Des Moines, Hilo, Hawaii police, and from the teenaged boy named Hector, in Los Angeles. Remember Derrick made Hector a Clan Liaison?"

"I remember."

"Hector found two boys that were refugees, but who didn't know about refugee centers, or maybe they chose to not know, they were talking to their dicks at the time."

Prez sniggered, "Alden, do you not want a boy's body?"

"Well, yeah," Alden giggled, "I think so... you know, it'll be kind of weird to talk to a body part that can't talk back, but it's fairly common, about 59.7695 percent of boys do, so..."


"Yes, Prez?"

"Talk to one of the super-geeks; I'm sure they could figure out a way to make yours talk back!" Prez laughed.

Kerry interrupted, "There ya go, bro! That old dormant tech-mode we won't need as androids, you can have and we'll put it in your dick!" 

George offered, "It's really a better idea than becoming a boy in a girl's body. Can you see that? Alden, with boobs, getting cranky a few days every month? He gets annoyed and all the Core Rimmers go poof! Off to Antarctica."

Icarus sniggered, "I can picture it, I can picture it!"

"I've created a monster!" Prez laughed. "The little head is going to take over the world!"

Alden giggled, "This is all well and good, but forget the boy with boobs bit, I'm just trying to decide, do I want to be a smaller eight-ish-year-old, a slightly taller ten- or eleven-year-old, or a much taller teen?"

"No matter which you choose, the part is still an excellent place for a tech-mode," Stevie from AI headquarters offered.

Giggling hysterically, Prez sank in his tub and hoped he wouldn't inhale water and drown.

"Just don't let Jerry build your body; you'll need special underwear!" George sniggered.

"Yeah!" Kerry giggled. "He believes in the 'Three Leg Theory'; with the middle one extendable!"

Rising to the surface again, Prez heard Alden laughing, "No, no, no! I've heard the kids talking. Gay boys and straight girls like looking at really big dicks, but then they wonder what the hell they're going to do with it."

"Guys!" Prez laughed.

All the AIs chorused, "Yes, Prez?"

Prez giggled, "Status report on three rescues, LA, Des Moines, and Hilo, please?"

Five AIs giggled apologies to Prez, promising to return to the topic another time. Alden continued his status report, giving Prez the number of boys rescued, their ages and names. "Derrick, Mike and Reyes were back here by one in the morning. They gave the six kids a chance to eat and chatted at the CIC dining room. They all went home, to the Seiberts', and were in bed by one-forty-five. Through most of the night, everything was quiet, until about five-twenty, when we learned that Raphael Montigua's older brother was alive." He then said that Drew and Corey had gone to Bethesda, Maryland, to retrieve Rafe's older brother, and the group was currently at Anahola Bay. Alden then reported that Rob Gibbons had received a call from his old boss and was off-base.

Prez wondered, "Are we still kewl with the level two kids?"

"Yup, they'll be here tomorrow, around lunch time." Lastly, Alden reported, "The seismic activity that we were so worried about is being closely monitored, but currently all reports are showing the disturbance is nonexistent. We have a... 'report' as to why it started... and stopped..." He paused. Then finished in a rush, "But I'm not so sure I believe it!" 

Prez raised an eyebrow, wondering, "What makes you say that?" 

"Daddy Draco told me." 

"And you don't believe it why?"

"Daddy lies."

Prez huffed in relief then ordered, "Keep me immediately informed of any change in seismic activity, Alden. After all we've been through the last day, needing to evacuate this planet would be another kick in the nads we don't need."

Done with his bath and toweling off, Prez listened to the AIs discussing which age bracket boy that each wanted to become. None of them really had a clue, or were anywhere close to reaching a decision. Prez's laughter and occasional helpful remarks though did prove that Pacific Rim Division was the right place to debate the pros and cons. Finishing his morning routine, Prez thanked Alden and all his brothers for helping to make this a truly memorable morning.

Stepping out of the master bathroom, Prez grimaced at the idea of putting on the shower wrap when he was squeaky clean. Indecisively, Prez glanced at the Terri-cloth wrap and his sleeping husband. Prez had no idea when Keith went to bed, but assumed it was around midnight. Since it wasn't yet seven in the morning, he decided to not put on the wrap and to not wake his hubby with a blow-job. Leaving the room, Prez went downstairs to make some food for his family.

He paused in the living room, turned on a light and the TV, and then set about finding something entertaining to watch. "Religious, no; mindless talk, no; Barney the idiotic purple friggin' dinosaur, nope; news, Battle of Earth, oh, hell no, I know more about it than you do." At last, Prez found something to watch – The Teletubbies. He put the remote control down, softly cheering, "Good morning, Tinky-winkie!"

Behind the scenes, while Prez padded around the kitchen preparing to make breakfast, and giggling about what he was hearing from the television show meant for babies and toddlers, the AIs were passing comments about him while still doing the other tasks needing to be done around the Clan.

"He's my boss," Alden proudly insisted, "and none of you can have him."

"This is coming from the first AI to move into a body with his tech-mode in his pecker," Kerry giggled.

Stevie droned, "Ya gotta admit, Prez is interesting for a human teen."

"You've been working for grandpa Danny too long," George sniggered.

In varying high, squeaky voices, Prez said, "Teletubby bye-bye," and said his farewells to his four morning TV companions. There was a knock at the door. After wiping his hands on a towel, Prez wondered aloud, "Who could this be?" Heading for the door, he called, "Alden, who's at the door?"

Never losing a beat on his play argument with his brothers, Alden answered, "It's Drew, Corey, and the rest of their rescue party."

"Thanks, Alden," Prez said, and then opened the door to wave his unexpected guests inside.

Seeing their big bro nude, Drew and Corey weren't fazed in the least and entered, saying good morning to Prez.

Giggling, Rafe covered his eyes. Leading Rafe inside by the arm, Pat chuckled, "It's less than the robe and shower wrap, Prez."

"I just showered and didn't want to put that crusty thing on," Prez grinned.

Noticing the program on TV, Corey giggled, "Teletubbies again, Prez?" Prez rapidly nodded and sniggered.

Catching Jay gawking at Prez, Chris widely smiled and turned his boyfriend's face toward him. Chris giggled, "Prez, this is Jay Montigua, my soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend, if he isn't more careful."

Offering his hand to Jay, Prez chuckled, "Going from the east coast of America to the ROH takes some getting used to. By the end of the day, Jay will be like everyone else; nudity won't be a problem, unless Darren's naked at the diving well." 

Snapping out of his trance and blushing more intensely than he had in years, Jay shook Prez's outstretched hand, softly chuckling, "Hey, Prez." 

Prez beamed, "Welcome to Pacific Rim Division headquarters, Jay. Please come in."

Giggling, "Thanks, Prez," Chris led Jay into the townhouse. Prez closed the door and turned back into the living room, offering everyone a seat.

Noticing Chris' suspicious glare, Jay pulled his boyfriend close, sniggering, "What? Did I have any forewarning our director was cute, or that he'd be nude? No one said a word. If I even tried to say Prez is fugly, my tongue would jump out of my mouth in protest." Rafe and Pat cracked up.

Widely smiling, Prez said, "One compliment deserves another. I'm seeing and hearing a handsome couple that belongs together, every bit as much as Keith and I."

Sitting down and pulling Corey onto his lap, Drew offered, "We left Walter Reed and went to Anahola Bay, bro. Since we're Clan a week, I thought, what the heck, I haven't seen a sunrise all week."

"We had to leave when our security thought too many other people were around," Corey added. "Your lights were on, so we brought the newbie over to meet you."

Prez repeated, "Lights were on? Plural?" Everyone nodded and Corey pointed upstairs.

Sleepily staggering down the steps, Keith softly called, "Prez?"

Prez went to the staircase landing, saying, "Right here, babe." Keith swung around the middle landing, seemingly on automatic pilot and following his erection wherever it might lead. Prez figured that since Jay had reacted to him naked and limp, Keith's handsome face, cut abs and thick, uncut bone would cause another problem. Prez laughed, "Alden, get our Clan Short robes on me and Keith, before Chris has a hissy fit, and Jay loses his boyfriend." Prez and Keith phased out and back in under a second, wearing their Clan robes. Prez explained, "We've got company, T'hy'la, including a brand new newbie."

Keith shrugged and softly grunted, "Oh." He took the last step into Prez's waiting arms. They kissed then Keith waved at the assembled group in the living room.

Drew giggled, "Jay Montigua, meet my older brother, Keith Hundser, the morning zombie." Corey began giggling and so did Rafe.

Smirking at Drew, Keith reminded, "I got it from mom."

Smiling around the group, Prez said, "I was going to make breakfast, but thankfully I didn't get very far. I could cook for twelve, but it would be piecemeal, and we'd be eating breakfast until lunch."

Nodding, Drew tapped his sub-vocal, asking, "Alden, who's in charge at the CIC kitchen this morning?"

Over the room's ceiling speakers, Alden answered, "Jessica Simpson is there, Drew." He quickly asked, "Shall I patch you through?"

"Please," Drew confirmed.

A few moments later, Alden said, "Go ahead, Drew."

"Hi Jessy, this is Drew Hundser."

Jessica answered, "Good morning, Drew. What can I do for you?"

"I unintentionally messed up Prez's breakfast plans," Drew smiled, and then asked, "Could you get a cart prepared for twelve of us here?"

"I certainly can," Jessica replied. "Tell me what I should include."

Drew checked with Prez. Prez said, "Good morning, Jess."

"Hello, Preston."

"We've got milk, juices, butter and a bunch of condiments here," Prez told her. "All we need are the main course items; pancakes, scrambled eggs, waffles, some potatoes O'Brien if they're already made, sausage patties and links, bacon, mixed fruit salad, and some chocolate milkshakes for our four boys. When you're ready, let Alden know to transport the cart here."

"Give us about ten minutes, please?"

"Take all the time you need, and thanks, Jess. Prez out."

Locking eyes with Prez, Jay wondered, "How long has Prez been your nickname?"

"Over seven years," Prez answered, "since I moved here, Keith, Mike and Derrick have called me 'Prez'."

"You'll meet Mike and Derrick later," Pat assured.

Rafe giggled, "Wait 'til Jay gets a look at Derrick."

Chris nodded and smirked, "Hopefully clothed, at least at first."

Uncertainly glancing around, Jay wondered, "What's the deal with him?"

Rafe giggled, "Blond, like Chris, pretty tall, and definitely high on the cute list."

Keith told Jay, "Derrick's our best friend, our band's drummer and our Clan historian."

Prez grinned, "The most annoying thing about Derrick is his hair; no matter what he does, it always falls right back into place. He doesn't have to do anything to it, it's just always been that way."

"Awesome hazel eyes too," Pat softly muttered. Noticing everyone suddenly smiling at him, Pat blushed and giggled, "Don't tell Ralphie I said that!" Nodding, everyone began chuckling. Blushing intensely, Pat told Jay, "He's already married to Mike anyway, and he's almost three years older than me too."

Rafe innocently said, "All you Core Rimmers are way cute. I was only here part of yesterday and heard lots of kids sayin' nice stuff about you."

Prez smiled, "We're their Clan leaders, so I guess that's to be expected, Rafe."

Jay grinned, "Did I just hear what I thought I heard? What do the kids call our leaders?"

Chris chuckled, "I forgot to mention, they're Core Rimmers and all of us are Rimmers." Jay sputtered then howled laughing, and dropped onto the nearest chair, completely hysterical.

Drew and Corey proudly chorused, "We are the Rimmers!" Twelve- and eleven-year-olds cheering that pushed Jay over the edge. He brought his hands to his face, forgetting completely that there was a cast on his right wrist. Before anyone could warn him, it was too late; Jay had cracked his forehead good. He moaned through his giggles. Everyone checked to make sure Jay was all right. During the subsequent tomfoolery, Prez learned Jay was already diagnosed with a concussion, so he called Doc Andrews and asked him to stop by as soon as he could.

Right after the Doc said he'd be over soon, Jay insisted through his giggles, "I'm fine, Head Rimmer."

"You're going to stay fine too," Prez stated. "A quick scan with a tricorder will make sure your day and ours, stays as drama free as possible."

Glancing around the room, Jay queried, "Drama? What drama?"

"You were unconscious through most of it," Chris told Jay.

Drew began telling Jay about the California orphanage rescues that led to some rioting here and there, around the world. Corey picked up the story of Friday's riots and battles, omitting several details about who did what and where. Keith finished by saying, "We've basically had a week of drama, since we went to the luau on Kauai last Friday, where we met thirty of eighty-six sexually abused orphans. Our Clan has been growing ever since. Your day is going to be slow and easy with a concussion and broken wrist, Jay. Do what the doctors told you to do."

"I've got that covered," Chris promised. He then reminded, "I guess after we get Jay clothes, we'll need a dorm room, so he can lay down and rest when he needs to."

Drew nodded, "It's on the to-do list, right after breakfast. Depending on how Jay feels, if he feels weak, we might show you a dorm room first."

"I really am fine," Jay assured. "I can see everyone, in focus, and I'm hungry too, so I can't be too messed up."

Alden transported the cart of food to the townhouse, putting it down in the corner of the dining room and near the kitchen. He reported, "Breakfast is here, guys. Jessica said, the pitcher of milkshakes on the bottom shelf needs to be refrigerated. Also, Doctor Andrews is on his way. Expect a knock on your door in about fifteen seconds."

Heading to the kitchen, Prez tapped Drew and Corey to help gather plates, silverware and glasses. Keith went to the front door and opened it for the approaching doctor. Pat got up to help get the table set. Rafe remained in the living room with his brother, Chris and Keith.

Walking the path to the townhouse and seeing Keith waiting, Doc Andrews asked, "What happened, Keith?"

Keith smiled, "Nothing major, we hope, Doc. Our newest Rimmer laughed himself silly and clunked his head, with the cast on his wrist. He's already been diagnosed with a concussion, so let's make sure he didn't make matters worse."

Stepping inside, Doc Andrews chuckled, "I'm surprised we don't have more injuries from Rimmer jokes around here."

Closing the door, Keith softly sniggered, "They're killing me. Have you got anything for it?"

"Ear plugs," Doc Andrews chuckled.

Rejoining those in the living room, Prez said, "Hi, Doc."

Concentrating on the tricorder and Jay, Doc Andrews said hello and asked, "Where's the shower wrap, Preston?"

"Upstairs," Prez answered. "I took a bath and didn't want to put it on. Only when we received all our guests did Alden get me and Keith our robes."

Nodding, Doc Andrews sighed, "I'll take a look at yesterday's shower wrap and you can get a fresh one. Now, Preston; before you attempt to sit."

Slouching, Prez huffed, "Okay, but I slept ten hours and feel much, much better." As soon as he finished speaking, Prez phased out and back in again, without his Clan robe and wearing only a new shower wrap. "Thanks, Alden," Prez smiled.

Over the ceiling speakers, Alden giggled, "Any time, boss."

Still setting the table, Drew noticed the doctor fussing over Jay. Drew said, "We'll have Jay's medical records from Walter Reed today, Doc."

"Thanks, Drew," Doc Andrews softly said. More loudly, he looked at the ceiling, and called, "Alden, get me those records now. It's a priority, so put them on my tricorder too."

"On the way," Alden replied.

Doc Andrews asked Jay, "How do you feel?"

Jay nodded, "Okay, considering that I spent half a day in the rubble that was our apartment. Knowing that Rafe and Chris are alive and unharmed made the biggest difference. I'm hungry and I can see in focus." Grinning, he joked, "The two gorillas had me wondering though." Rafe cracked up. Drew and Corey softly sniggered.

Nodding, Doc Andrews stated, "You'll feel drowsy on and off today. Drink plenty of fluids, and have somebody with you when you're resting."

"That's me, Doc," Chris said. "We've been boyfriends two years."

"Three years," Jay corrected. At Chris' curious smirk, Jay shrugged, "Kisses count. I've never kissed anyone else, have I?"

Suspiciously squinting, Chris grinned, "Not that I know of."

"Never even considered it, baby," Jay warmly smiled.

Doc Andrews told Chris, "Watch your boyfriend. Being trapped and dehydrated didn't help his concussion. He does nothing strenuous today. Walking from place to place is all he's allowed to do, until I check him again tomorrow morning. That means no diving and no swimming, only wading. Feeling dizzy occasionally is normal, but actually wobbling or falling is not." Glancing between Chris and Jay, Doc Andrews softly asked, "You're intimate boyfriends?" When both boys blushed and firmly nodded, Doc Andrews said, "Sexual contact is strenuous activity for Jay. Don't go there until after I check again tomorrow and give you my okay."

A little annoyed, but more frustrated, Jay huffed, "I'm fine. What's the big deal?"

"A concussion is like bruising your brain," Doc Andrews calmly informed them. "Your brain sloshed around your skull, Jay. Blood flows into the damaged area, which is why a visible bruise on your body turns varying shades of blue. Aspirin thins your blood, so you can't even have that for any headaches today. If you need pain relief, come see me at the FYS Building, and I'll give you a hypo-spray. If you feel nauseous, that's a bad sign too. Vomiting is very bad. See me for both, nausea and vomiting. Properly cared for, you'll be active and fine tomorrow. Over-do today and you'll still feel poorly tomorrow. This could be over within a day, or a couple of days; that's your choice."

Prez smiled, "Jay, this fashionable shower wrap is my doing. It's all I'm allowed to wear." He released the Velcro, spun around and showed off his blistered butt. Putting the shower wrap back on, Prez turned again and continued, "I have a job to do here that I did very little of yesterday. Our band plays for the kids almost daily, but I can't do that either, until I get the okay to put clothes on. Make your life and all our lives easier, please? Do what you've been told."

Jay grinned, "You talk like my dad used to."

Chris, Pat and Rafe helplessly chuckled. Already starting to eat, Drew paused and sniggered, "Pretty dense. What did we tell you before coming here, Jay?"

"You're my brothers," Jay repeated.

Pointing at Prez and Keith, Corey smiled, "They treated me like a brother long before last Saturday. You ain't seen nothin' yet."

Keith told Jay, Chris, Pat and Rafe, "The summer of 2003, we were all surfing at the beach. Corey tumbled off his board. The way he fell, his belly hit the board and it knocked the wind out of him. With his legs wrapped around Corey and treading water with his arms, Drew kept him above water and yelled for help. Me, Prez, Mike and Derrick were there as fast as we could. We got Corey to shore. Mouth-to-mouth, Prez gave Corey a quick puff of air into his lungs. It was scary enough, but thank goodness none of our parents were around. Corey wouldn't be allowed to go surfing again, then Drew wouldn't go, and what you see now might be very different."

Facing Prez, Doc Andrews asked, "What made you try mouth-to-mouth?"

Prez shrugged, "I've had the wind knocked out of me. Corey was gasping for breath, so I figured it was a diaphragm spasm. A quick, small puff was all he needed."

Smiling, Doc Andrews nodded, "Excellent," and then wondered, "Your old shower wrap is upstairs?"

Prez nodded, "On the back of a chair in the master bedroom. Help yourself; ya can't miss it."

"I'll check that and get out of your way," Doc Andrews said, and then started up the steps.

Keith prompted, "Let's eat, dudes."

Prez led the way, with Chris, Jay, Rafe and Keith trailing. Soon, they were seated at the table, with Corey, Drew and Pat, serving themselves. Doc Andrews came back down stairs. He said, "You're looking good, Preston. I'll see your bubble-butt in my office about five this afternoon." Giggling and sniggering broke loose at the table.

Nodding, Prez chuckled, "I'll see you later, Doc. Thanks for coming."

"Don't tell the A.M.A that I made a house-call," Doc Andrew grinned, and turned to leave the townhouse.

Right after Doc Andrews left, those at the table heard someone galloping downstairs. Jumping the last three steps, Richie landed in the living room. Standing in his Spiderman briefs, Richie delightfully squealed, "Ev'rybody's here for breakfast?"

Prez chuckled, "Com'ere, Richie. Let's get that belly filled, and I can introduce you to someone."

Richie hurried to his Poppa. Lifting Richie and sitting the boy on his lap, Prez smiled, "Richie Grunert, this new dude is Jay Montigua. Jay is Rafe's big brother and Chris' boyfriend."

"Sweet!" Richie giggled and waved.

Jay smiled, "Hi Richie."

Lifting a small forkful of pancakes for Richie, Prez said, "Richie is our youngest son, Jay."

Keith asked Richie, "Are all your brothers still asleep?"

Shaking his head while chewing the pancake in his mouth, Richie mumbled, "Gage is awake too." He swallowed and giggled, "He stretches and yawns, lookin' around like he's lost, like you, daddy."

Quickly lifting his napkin to his face, Drew cracked up. The others at the table softly sniggered.

Confirming that Gage was moving, an upstairs toilet flushed. Soon, they heard another pair of feet on the stairs. Before even coming into view of those at the table, Gage cheered, "I smell food!"

Wearing blue boxer briefs, Gage came off the steps into the living room, saw the table surrounded, and smiled, "Wow! I didn't expect a morning party."

Keith smiled and reminded, "The first of two parties."

Nodding and approaching the table, Gage asked, "This afternoon, right, dad?"

Keith nodded, "As soon as we can get everybody together." Keith introduced Gage to Jay then prompted his son to get some breakfast. Nodding, Gage got a plate then went to the cart where all the food was. Rafe slyly watched Gage's every movement, but no one noticed.

Prez softly offered, "I was thinking that we could have the party at our new beach house on Kaho'olawe. What do you guys think?"

Keith nodded, "That's a good idea. We can check the place out."

Drew suggested, "Ya know, me and Corey, and John and Stephen are already friends with our security. The four of us can stay here most of the day, and you older dudes can get to know your security. AJ and Jerry can meet and get to know their security."

Prez thoughtfully hummed, and then offered, "That's not a bad idea, but you four still need a break too. You can stay here for a while, but try to get at least a few hours away."

"We will," Corey assured, and then stipulated, "but you two, and Mike and Derrick need to make your security your friends. We found out this morning that Conner and Chuck are becoming a couple, just from time spent together, and with me and Drew."

"That makes all of us safer," Drew explained. "They have personal reasons to protect us and each other now."

Keith told Prez, "If there's not much happening, we could stay the night there. Alden said that the place is as big as a single family house here. There's plenty of space for all of us."

"Not a bad idea," Prez smiled. "We'll go with that intention. Any business interruptions, we'll deal with and get right back to the party."

Loud giggling was heard from upstairs. Then Dee cackled, "You are too, Sammy!"

"Am not!" Sammy playfully insisted. Then there was some scrambling and more laughter upstairs.

Corey, Drew, Gage and Richie began giggling. Keith smiled, "That's our other two sons, Jay. Dee's ten, but looks more like he's eight, from past abuse. Sammy's nine, but actually looks a little older. Even for a ten-year-old, he's got some muscle definition you wouldn't normally see on a boy that age."

"He likes gymnastic stuff and swimming," Gage explained. "It shows on him. Wish it showed on me too."

"Another year or two, Gage," Keith warmly smiled.

Drew nodded, "Sammy kind of reminds me of Corey. I think he's hitting his growth spurt already."

Sitting at a counter stool, Gage softly sniggered, "I know what's goin' on, if you want to know?" Richie giggled louder.

Prez chuckled, "I'm sure we have a very good idea, Gage. It's not nice to blab secrets."

Still smiling, Gage shrugged, "It's not really a secret, but that's kewl, pop."

The pitter-patter of bigger feet and more giggling wafted downstairs. Obviously, Dee and Sammy were making their morning pit-stop in the bathroom. "Well?" Dee giggled.

"I'm tryin'!" Sammy sniggered.

Everyone in the dining room widely smiled and softly chortled.

Dee giggled, "I'll be done and downstairs eating, and you'll still be standing here!"

Sammy cackled, "You're not helping!"

Alden politely said, "Excuse me, but it's happening again, Prez."

"I know, Alden," Prez chuckled.

Alden wondered, "Is there a safe age when this doesn't happen?"

"Yeah, infancy," Prez smiled. Noticing wide smiles and curious eyes around the table, Prez grinned, "A carry over from an earlier conversation with Alden and his brothers."

Alden shared, "Actually, it started with Drew earlier this morning, Prez."

Drew giggled, "Alden, are you still down that path? You can be any kind of male android you want."

Alden giggled, "So I can be eleven with huge muscles and a wiener that hangs to my knees?"

Everyone at the table suddenly stopped eating, grabbed their napkins and cracked up. "That would certainly be unique!" Corey uncontrollably laughed.

"Not highly recommended though, Alden," Keith chuckled.

Alden whined, "Why not?"

"Concussions whenever you get a stiffy for one," Jay laughed.

Alden gasped, "That could happen?"

"Not precisely the same as Jay or other humans," Drew smiled, "but you might knock yourself unconscious."

Corey giggled at the ceiling, "Guys, you see all of us every time we're naked. You see us limp and erect. Decide how much you'd like between your legs based upon all that criteria. Consider it statistically, based upon all the evidence available to you. You can choose your sexuality too, so monitor what the girls are saying, so you can make the decisions."

"Don't confuse the issue, Corey," Alden sighed. "We're having a rough enough time deciding apparent age and all the stuff associated with it."

"Why does Reyes keep repeating 'Don't ask Jerry,' over and over?" Kerry giggled.

"Strange," Stevie muttered, "a minute ago, I presented the question anyway. Jerry, Paul, Ryan, Marc, Danny and KC haven't stopped laughing. Even Joey is giggling out of control."

Alden announced, "Incoming call for you, Prez."

"Who is it, Alden?"

"Danny Page."

Prez smiled, "Go ahead and connect him, Alden."

"What have you Rimmers done?" Danny breathlessly wheezed. The sounds of others laughing around him could be heard. "You've got every AI in the Clan obsessed!"

Drew quickly interjected, "Danny, it's Drew. It's my fault, dude. Alden teased me, and I teased him back. Really, the AIs are just trying to make body decisions. We made them male personalities, so I guess it's kind of understandable that they're getting a little carried away."

At least seven voices incredulously cackled, "A little carried away?"

Danny howled laughing, "Not one of them said anything about something little, Drew. It sounds to me like if they get their way, Joey's unit will be considered small."

"That'll make the rest of us teens tiny by comparison!" KC breathlessly sputtered.

Slamming his fists against a table or something, Marc loudly laughed, "Is everyone in Hawaii horse hung, or what?"

Corey laughed, "Come visit and see for yourselves; we're average or maybe a little more than average. Just let the AIs figure it out, guys."

"I'll order five harnesses, just in case," Danny gasped.

"Danny, this is Prez. Corey's got a good idea. We're going to have a party a little later on Kaho'olawe. Have your crew join us there for a few hours."

Everyone at AI Division cackled, "Kaho-a-whatsie?"

KC roared, "That's a Hawaiian key-word for someplace shaped like a very large pecker?"

Prez laughed, "Just join us there. We could all use a break from yesterday's crap."

"More like a break from nano-nuts with penis envy!" Danny barely managed to reply.

"Who're you calling nano-nuts?" Stevie asked. "Remember, I've seen you nude, Grandpa!"

"We'll see you later, Prez." Danny evilly said, "First, I'm going to reprogram our AI, so he believes he's a female ferret. Danny out."

Once the call finished, Alden carefully asked, "Are you guys angry?"

Everyone around the table loudly assured that none of them were the least bit angry. Prez calmly said, "You're only about four days old, Alden. You may be the best of the best this world has ever seen, but you've only had those days to process what you've been witnessing."

"The choices you make you'll have to live with guys," Drew smiled. "Discuss it amongst yourselves and with us." He sniggered, "It might be better to leave AI Division out of the discussions for a few days though."

The boys at the Seiberts' house were starting to wake up. Anna and Carl already knew that the kids had been invited for breakfast at the Gibbons' home. Anna had offered to help Laura with the meal for their very large family. Since Laura happily accepted, Anna was already there and assisting in the kitchen. Back home from his early morning shiny theft calls, Rob sat with Carl at the kitchen table, sharing what had happened and how to properly deal with it. All the kids from three families were waking and gathering in the living room to watch television while breakfast was prepared.

In the Hundsers' basement nest, kids there were waking up. The McPhearson brothers, Albert and Charles were the first two to wake. When they got up and got dressed, the Steib quadruplets, Kelly, Lawrence, Matthew and Nicholas woke up. Soon, Geoff, Lenny, Leo, Jimmy, Scott Deaver, Tanner and Toby Stoeher, were also awake. After making the required bathroom trips, all thirteen of them went to play video games in the opposite side of the basement, which eventually woke Raymond Varga, Chauncey and Fred Eckhart, Scott Shetley, Lance Kinchen, Craig and Phillip Nash, the Ramos brothers, and the three Hunnicutt brothers, Shaun, Michael and Kenneth. The latter three heard AJ and Jerry softly talking and cuddled around them. It was obvious the boys still felt strongly about each other. Remaining in the nest under the covers, Ray, Chauncey, Fred, Scott, Craig, Phil, AJ and Jerry were waiting for their morning conditions to subside, but that wasn't allowed for more than another minute or two.

Hearing the voices of the older boys, Corey's and Drew's sons led a miniature tickle attack on the nest. The Hunnicutts had AJ and Jerry well under control, so Geoff pointed the McPhearsons to Ray. Lenny sent the Steib quadruplets to motivate Craig and Phil. Tanner and Toby were assigned to tickle Scott by Leo. Not completely satisfied with the morning mayhem as it was, Geoff, Lenny and Leo jumped in on Lance, Chauncey and Fred. Barking out missed tickle spots, Rikko patrolled the perimeter.

Jim and Jen Hundser were considering what to feed their brood when they heard laughter from the basement and shuffling feet up on the second level. Already awake and hitting the bathrooms upstairs, Bruce, Carmella, Dewi, Frankie, Kokaku, and Renee could also hear a little of the muffled basement chaos. Alone with Stephen and cuddling in their bed, John sent to his brothers, sisters and son, 'We've got newbies in the nest. Tell mom and dad to hold off breakfast, so you can help those little kids wake the older, big kids.'

Standing at toilets in one bathroom, Bruce and Frankie evilly snickered, and in the other bathroom, Dewi and Kokaku loudly laughed. As soon as Carmella finished her business, she and Renee were the first to run down to the kitchen. By the time the girls explained their assigned task to Jim and Jen, the four boys were galloping down to the ground floor.

Hearing and then seeing an additional six young kids coming down the steps, two of which were little girls, Craig managed to hysterically cackle, "Oh, damn! There's more!" 

Phil giggled, "They come out of the woodwork here!"

AJ and Jerry lost it and cracked up laughing.

Busy giving Chauncey what for, Geoff giggled, "Daddy says us little kids outnumber you big kids."

Lenny laughed, "We're in charge, and don't you forget it!"

Leo howled laughing.

Still laying in bed alone with John, Stephen giggled, "You are so bad, hon."

John nodded and grinned, "Those kids that lost their families yesterday will learn today, their lives have rebooted, memories will be cleared and the insanity has begun."

Stephen smiled, "You're helping them recover, without actually doing it yourself."

"I only do what needs to be done, baby. The little kids need to feel like they're helping. Between those two things and afterward, the rest is mostly automatic. It makes identifying who needs Doc Wiener's help easier too."

On the nightstand, John's comm-badge beeped. Reaching for it, John said, "Hello?" 

"Good morning sweetie," Grandma Morrison's cheerful voice replied. "It's time to rise and shine!"

"Hi Grandma," John grinned. He seriously wondered if he might get an unlisted number for his comm-badge.

"Why don't you and your cute husband grab Frankie and then bring your parents over to Des Moines for breakfast?" Grandma suggested, her tone hinting that there wasn't another option. "I've already helped you out, they've been working way too hard, so I have some of my friends helping to fill in while they are taking a break."

Knowing better than to argue, John smiled, "The whole family is awake, Grandma. If it's okay, we'll bring more than Frankie; we'll bring my other brothers and sisters too?"

Grandma hummed then answered, "Yes, do that. There are far fewer remaining refugees here."

"Good," John replied. "Give us a couple of minutes to get everything and everyone ready. We'll be there soon. John out."

Dramatically frowning, Stephen whispered, "No play time?"

Pulling Stephen down to kiss that frown away, John also pulled Stephen into his mind. They completed a half-hour of playtime and snuggling in just under three seconds. Completely satisfied, they bounded out of bed to get dressed. Inspecting the statue of Joel and seeing his friend apparently reclining, John sent messages to his parents and mother-in-law, so they could get ready to leave. Stephen called Bond to get some security prepared. Knowing that there would be plenty of security already at Wells Fargo Arena, two gorillas and two enhanced human teens would be sufficient for this trip. John's gorilla, Lucky, and Barry, Jim's teenaged security, and Tanya Casey, Jen's teenaged security, were told to get ready for the morning excursion to Des Moines. 

While in the bathroom and brushing his teeth with Stephen at his side, John told AJ and Jerry what was going on. The remaining Core Rimmers and dorm leaders were filled in by John's telepathic messages. He then told his brothers, sisters and son to wrap it up and get ready to go on a little trip. Geoff and Lenny were told where Drew and Corey were, so they could take Leo over to Prez's and Keith's townhouse. The tickling had all but completely stopped anyway. Every big kid had little kids cuddling with them.

Jerry smiled, "Now that we're all wide awake, it's time to get breakfast. Once we're finished there, all you newbies can see the dorms later too. If you're ready, you can move in."

Leo asked, "Me too?"

Shaking his head, Lenny smiled, "You're with me and Geoff, bro. We're gonna go see dad and pop and Uncle Prez, and get you adopted, so you're really our big bro."

With that said, everybody knew the plan. Little kids got up off the big kids. Bruce, Carmella, Dewi, Frankie, Kokaku, and Renee went upstairs, followed by Geoff, Lenny and Leo. The bigger, older guys got up and started to get dressed.

While they were putting clothes on, Travis asked Scott Shetley, "Do ya want to be roommates?"

Scott sighed, "I'm sorry, Travis, but Lance already asked. We're both guitar players and like our music loud, so we're going to share a room."

Glancing between fourteen-year-old Scott, and thirteen-year-old Lance, Travis asked, "Are you dudes becoming a couple?"

Checking with one another, Lance and Scott uncertainly shrugged. Lance shyly offered, "I've never had any opportunities with anyone."

Scott explained, "Neither of us have ever gone there before. We're not sure if we will or not either. I guess we'll see what happens." 

Lance asked Travis, "Are you gay?"

Travis sighed, "I haven't had any luck on either side of the fence. I'm not really sure, but I guess I'm more open to the possibility of a boyfriend, especially here and now."

Scott warmly smiled, "It's kewl, man. The way things have worked out, me and Lance can make our decisions and you can too."

Unable to help overhearing, since they were all on the same side of the basement, AJ and Jerry locked eyes and slowly nodded, knowing that there was simply something about Clan life that allowed every kid to find themselves.

Lance called over, "Hey, Jerry, can you help Trav, ya know, so he finds the right roomie?"

Jerry smiled, "I can only point out some dudes that Travis might like. Ultimately, it's up to Travis."

Travis chuckled, "I don't think I need a matchmaker. I've simply never been lucky enough to have a relationship last long enough to get off the ground." The Steib quadruplets giggled. Travis smirked, "What's so funny?"

Kelly shrugged, "It's this place."

"And you older guys," Nicholas smiled.

Matthew giggled, "It's early in the day, but are you talking about breakfast?"

Lawrence rapidly nodded, "Bet you find a roommate by the end of the day, Trav."

By eight o'clock Saturday morning, the Ewa Beach base was bustling with normal morning activities. Kids in the dorms were going to lavatories or heading to the CIC for breakfast. Doc Wiener was making his rounds, checking on his various patients by observation. Only when necessary, would he make arrangements to speak to kids in the privacy of his office. The daytime employees were getting their jobs started. After working seven days in a row, Steven Mier and Madeline Hupp were taking their first day off, now that they had additional housekeepers hired and on-site. 

Liki and Keanu were jogging around the base perimeter. Not only were they getting exercise, but they were airing out their feelings and thoughts, still trying to decide where their relationship was going long term. That discussion was only temporarily side-tracked by the shocking appearance of two squirrels scampering across their path, squeaking, "Excuse us!" Native Hawaiian's, both boys were surprised and wondered how North American mainland creatures had arrived on Oahu. They had seen Timmy Short around base the prior Monday, but they weren't aware of Timmy's particular skills with animals.

Geoff, Lenny and Leo arrived at their Uncles' townhouse. None of them had been set up with access to the house, so Lenny knocked on the door. Inside, almost everyone was cleaning up after breakfast. Richie ran to the door and opened it. Seeing his two cousins and a new boy, Richie giggled greetings and let them inside, hollering, "Unca Drew! Unca Corey!"

Sitting on the sofa with Jay, Chris watched his boyfriend widely smile. Breakfast was plenty bizarre and Chris knew that the fun was only beginning.

Lenny introduced Leo to Richie, and then said, "Your dad needs to make Leo our new big bro, Richie."

"Awesome!" Richie giggled, "A new cousin is what we want." He then screamed, "Poppa, get your tricoder and do an adopt'oning."

Jay cracked up laughing at Richie's enthusiasm and the mispronunciations. Giggling, Richie ran to the couch and pounced Jay. In seconds, Richie was laying across Chris' and Jay's laps and getting tickled.

In the kitchen loading the dishwasher, Keith softly sniggered, "You have your orders, baby."

Nodding, Prez smiled, "As if we didn't hear who was at the door or what they wanted."

"They must've heard Richie inside all four of the big houses, the dorms and the CIC," Corey softly giggled.

In the dining room and putting stuff back on the cart to be returned to the CIC, Dee, Gage and Sammy began giggling. They were the sons of the Head Rimmers, but Richie seemed to be more suited to a role as a Mouth Rimmer.

Drew told Prez, "I know you only saw Leo last night, bro, but he's already been asked, accepted and made himself a big brother for Geoff and Lenny." Prez nodded and started for the living room. Drew and Corey followed.

Keith softly told his other three boys, "Right after the adoption and welcoming Leo into the family, get Richie and go take your showers. We're going to start our party as soon as possible."

"Okay, dad," Dee, Gage and Sammy chorused.

Gathering his sons, Keith led them to the living room.

Prez called Alden for his tricorder. Drew, Corey, Geoff and Lenny surrounded Leo. With his tricorder in hand, Prez smiled, "Leo, I think you're setting a new Rimmer record for getting adopted the fastest. I saw your introduction on TV from Des Moines. Drew told me that it was pretty much in the bag before you went to bed last night."

Leo nodded and giggled, "It was that easy, Prez."

Prez teased, "In another minute, that'll be Uncle Prez, nephew."

Leo giggled. On either side of Leo, Geoff and Lenny spontaneously wrapped their arms around their new big brother and smiled up at him. Drew and Corey each rested a hand on Leo's shoulders. Watching this from a camera in the room, Alden snapped a still photo for the family and recorded the proceedings.

Prez asked, "Leo Daniel Scott, do you want Corey Seaver and Drew Hundser as your fathers?"

Leo nodded, "Yes."

"Do you want Geoffrey Eckel and Lenny Cuttler as your little brothers?"

"Definitely," Leo smiled, and hugged both boys that were glued to his sides.

"Drew Hundser and Corey Seaver, do you want Leo as your son?"

Drew and Corey smiled at each other, nodded once then replied in unison, "Yeah, very much, Prez."

Looking down, Prez grinned, "Geoff and Lenny, do you want Leo as your big brother and do you promise to listen to him?"

Geoff quickly nodded, "Okay, Unca Prez."

Lenny giggled, "Yeah, and most of the time too."

Everyone in the room cracked up. Prez laughed, "Good enough, Lenny. It's done. Witnessing this adoption were Keith Hundser, Dee Vanderwood, Richie Grunert, Gage Lundberg, Sammy Bay, Pat O'Hara, Rafe Montigua, Jay Montigua and Chris Stokley." Prez turned off the tricorder and everyone welcomed the newest member of the Hundser-Seaver family with applause and hugs.

Alden giggled, "Look on the end table, guys." Nearest to the end table, Pat picked up a stack of framed photos and started handing them out. There was a copy for Drew, Corey, Geoff, Lenny, Leo and all the members of Prez's and Keith's family. Alden said, "There's a Quicktime video of the happy event on each of your computers too. I've seen a lot of adoptions, but this one showed the happiest family group yet."

Drew looked up and smiled, "Remember that, Alden. Happiness isn't going to be in your pants, it's going to be in your heart."

Six thoughtfully humming AIs were heard over the speakers.

Alden teased his brothers, evilly snickering, "Muahahaha! The Rimmers are all mine!"

The speaker connection closed with an audible pop. Everyone in the room grinned at each other. Jay softly sniggered, "They're so confused."

Corey giggled, "Let's go to the CIC, Jay. You need clothes and our boys need their milkshakes. If Derrick, Mike and Reyes aren't ready with their group yet, we might have to start without them, so you can relax as soon as possible."

Pat smiled, "Been there, done that. I'm going to go see if Ralphie is awake."

Rafe said, "See ya later, Pat. We'll talk about getting our dorm room, so when it's time for that, we're ready."

"Kewl, Rafe."

Everyone said goodbye to Pat as he walked to the door. Once Pat had left, Richie, Gage, Dee and Sammy hurried upstairs.

Chris checked with Jay, to be sure he was feeling okay and ready. Jay leaned forward, causing Chris to back up. Jay stole a kiss that Chris obviously wasn't expecting. Leaning back, Jay grinned, "That was for the kiss at the hospital. What do you think of that?"

Chris giggled, "You're feeling better."

Intently searching every feature of Chris' face, Jay nodded and gently assured, "About everything." Feeling a shiver race down his spine, Chris shook it off and peacefully sighed. At last, there would be no more hiding, no more arguing about what was appropriate behavior and where, all to keep their love safe from harassment. At their new home, nobody would say much about public displays of affection, except occasional teasing.

Drew tapped Keith on the arm then promised, "We'll be at Kaho'olawe after that, bro."

Keith nodded, "We'll gather our security and get the place set up, as soon as our boys are ready to leave."

Prez reminded, "We'll make a quick stop at the store too, just so I can meet the newbies picked up overnight."

Squinting suspiciously, Keith grinned, "The key word is quickly, Prez."

"Very quickly, I promise," Prez chuckled.

Drew waved Chris, Jay and Rafe off the couch. Everyone said, "Later," to Prez and Keith then left for the CIC. On the way, Jay commented on the dorm building they passed. He noticed that a lot of the windows were opened.

Drew shrugged, "There aren't security concerns here, Jay. Between our base security and the AIs, everything's covered. Our weather is too nice most of the time to keep windows completely closed."

Pointing to his left, Jay wondered, "Who lives in those condos?"

"All the adult employees," Corey answered, and rambled, "chefs, housekeepers, lawn care, doctors, nurses, like that."

"Eventually teachers too," Drew added. "We're a self-contained community. Every kid here feels safe, no matter what their pasts were."

Chris softly said, "I'll tell you more about that later."

The combined Gibbons-Seibert breakfast was almost done. Mike was called aside by his dad. Derrick reminded Mike that they had six newbies to take through the store. Gathering the new kids, Reyes led them outside. Mike assured Derrick he would be at the basement store to help, and then Derrick went outside. He and Reyes transported to the CIC, to let Kaleo and other Core Rimmers know what they were planning.

Mike followed his father into the office wondering, "What's up, dad?"

"I had a very strange call this morning," Rob told his son, and then quickly asked, "Where are the Scooby Gang this morning?"

Mike shrugged, "I have no idea. They were in the room with our sons and the six newbies when we got home before two this morning. We let them go and do their own things, dad."

Rob hummed, and then told Mike of the two homes that were burglarized over night. Listening to the story, Mike practically had to bite his tongue off to keep from grinning or laughing out loud. Rob pointedly asked, "Tell me you don't know anything about this?"

Acting completely stupefied, Mike softly assured, "I've seen what the ferrets collect, and it's mostly stuff they find. They know oysters make pearls too, so that's probably the most valuable things they gather. The Scoobies take junk, like hubcaps and tire wheels, dad. I can guarantee it wasn't my ferrets." He then started out of the office for the front door.

Following his son, Rob loudly said, "The fillings and caps on their teeth were stolen, Michael!"

Knowing his face couldn't be seen, Mike opened the door, shrugging and grinning, "It wasn't my kids." Closing the door behind him, he silently ordered, "Take me to Derrick now," and disappeared.

Rob Gibbons reopened the door to find his son had vanished. Closing the door again, he called, "Alden, where did you send my son?"

"To the basement store, where Derrick is, with Reyes and the new kids," Alden innocently answered.

Rob asked, "Did you transport the Scoobie Gang anywhere off base last night?"

"No Sir," Alden fibbed. It was actually four in the morning.

While their sons were bathing and showering, Keith asked Prez, "What happened during breakfast baby; I felt something worried you."

Prez sighed, "Since I'm feeling better, John shared information about Inoyra and Relud Glith. I'm going to have to contact Admiral Morrow about this."

Keith gasped, excitedly wondering, "Morrow? Why?"

"It's a long sordid story," Prez began. "Betazed is just beginning diplomatic contact with the Federation, but someone in that group of Betazoids can't be trusted. Last night, John, Inoyra and Relud had a telepathic conversation. Someone tried to abduct the Betazoid twins for a slave trade. Although they escaped, they were telepathically messed with. To make matters worse, they're certain that their parents were murdered. This isn't a job for John's Intel team. It's not a job for a Clan Division either. It's in the Federation's hands to discover who tried to abduct the twins, and who killed their parents. All I can do is contact Morrow with the information we have, photos of the twins, and let the Federation investigate the Betzoid diplomatic team." With that, Prez walked upstairs to his computer, where he would send his message encrypted to Admiral Morrow and Cory Short.

Drew, Corey, their three sons, Chris, Jay and Rafe went into the CIC dining room, where most of the Clan was gathered and having breakfast. AJ, Jerry, Kaleo, Tory, Troy and Sean could easily be seen, because they were seated at the first rows of tables around many of the youngest kids. Geoff, Lenny and Leo went directly to the kitchen chow line for milkshakes.

Drew rapidly blinked. There were a lot of people missing from the dining room, yet it somehow seemed more packed with kids than it had at dinnertime the previous evening.

Kaleo loudly called, "What's goin' on, guys? John sent a broadcast about going to Des Moines again?"

Walking over to where Kaleo was, with Drew, Chris, Jay and Rafe following, Corey giggled, "It's nothing, Kaleo. Grandma Morrison just wanted to give the Hundsers a break, so she invited them to breakfast, or brunch, figuring the five hour time difference." 

Kaleo nodded, "I met her briefly last night, while she was being shown around base."

Looking around the six Core Rimmers nearby, Drew introduced Jay then said, "We need to take him to the store, dudes. Are you guys good to cover for us while we're busy?"

Troy answered, "We're going to take Jonathan Dupre to Northeast Division. He's got a great-aunt, his grandfather's sister, living there. We'll give him a comm-badge, so he can return when he wants."

"We'll only be gone fifteen or twenty minutes," Sean added.

Kaleo and Tory quickly assured they were kewl. Tory asked, "Is Prez still thinking of a Core Rimmer retreat today?"

Corey nodded, "It's in the works, bro."

Noticing the worried expressions on the faces of the Hunnicutt boys, Jerry asked, "Can we bring our boys?"

Patting Jerry on the back, Drew smiled, "Course ya can, bro. We're all bringing our sons too. We'll just take turns coming back here, if we need to deal with any other business."

Corey asked, "Would one of you let Lieutenant Vorik know what's going on? We'll all be available if needed, just off base." Tory nodded and stood. Without a word said, he went directly to the Command Center. Corey loudly giggled, "You're too easy, Tory."

Spinning around, Tory paused long enough to laugh, "You have no idea, but Kaleo does." At least half the kids in the dining room cracked up.

Sadly shaking his head, Kaleo sniggered, "It's a good thing we'll be alone on Kaho'olawe."

Still giggling, Drew tapped his sub-vocal, calling, "Alden, take us to the basement store, and include Tory, Kaleo, Troy, Sean, Jerry and AJ in the previous body type conversation."

"Good idea!" Alden giggled, and then executed the order.

Still unaccustomed to being transported, Jay looked around the store. Derrick and Reyes transported in with their six rescued kids. Jay chuckled, "This isn't a store, it's a warehouse!"

Derrick grinned, "Two-hundred and seventy-five kids as of this morning."

Corey cracked up. Drew smiled, "You saw all the kids in the dining room. Somehow, even with a bunch of us scattered around this morning, it seemed just as full as it was for dinner last night."

Mike transported into the store. Tapping Derrick on the shoulder, Reyes shyly reminded, "Including me, two-hundred-seventy-six, dad."

Hugging his eldest son, Derrick chuckled, "I stand corrected."

"Or fall over from logic wars with androids and AIs," Mike softly sniggered.

"Alden," Drew hollered, "tell me you didn't include Mike and Derrick in our earlier conversation."

"Okay," Alden giggled over the loudspeakers, "I didn't, but I did, and so did Kerry, George, Jack, Icarus and Stevie. We're getting valuable input from all the kids up in the dining room too. All we asked about was preferred eye, hair and skin color, but we're getting a lot more."

Des Moines, Iowa

Saturday November 6, 2004 1:23PM CST

John, Stephen, Frankie, Kathleen Marr, Jim and Jen Hundser, all the Hundser kids, and the four security personnel arrived at the Wells Fargo Arena. At the sight of the large indoor amphitheater that still had hundreds of people waiting to be processed, Jen turned to John gasping, "You were here yesterday?"

John nodded, "Yep, and stop worrying so much, mom. There were a couple of butt-heads we had to deal with, but mostly, everything was kewl. People were nice, considering they were worn out from all the Battle of Earth stuff."

"I was here," Lucky reminded Jen. "John and Stephen had all their security right beside them the entire time. Everywhere they were, we were too." Stephen told the adults about the Porkie incident.

Their conversation was interrupted by Grandma pulling up in a four-wheel ATV pulling a passenger train. The "thumpa-thump-thump-thumpa" of the ATV's engine quickly gave away the fact it was nowhere near stock.

"Hop on, the food's about ready!" Grandma yelled over the thump of her ride. "Dewi and Kokaku, you two cuties can ride up here with me."

Jim picked up Kokaku and Jen picked up Dewi. In moments the two boys were snuggled in front of Grandma. Giggling hysterically, John and Stephen pulled Kathleen into the next set of seats. Gorillas, security, the remaining kids and lastly, Jen and Jim piled in.

"Johnny, sweetie, I have no problems lifting the wheels off of the ground, so you won't need to assist me." Grandma stated in her most grandmotherly tone.

Watching his parents' eyes spin because Grandma called him 'Johnny', and got away with it, John laughed, "Grandma, I only levitated two people and one guy in a wheelchair yesterday!"

"And you did a very good job." Grandma replied. "Would you be so kind as to make sure the rest of your family stay in their seats? I'm sure they have never rode in a Des Moines tram before."

Nodding, John giggled, "Boys, hold on, and girls, close your eyes. I'll take care of the rest."

Grandma hit the horn button on the ATV, and gunned the engine as a series of air horns on the forks began blasting 'Dixie'. Amazingly, the crowds watching parted, giving her clear space to proceed; her driving had already become legend within the arena. With the front wheels spinning a good six inches off of the ground, the tram took off, heading towards the ramp leading to the upper level.

Carmella and Renee screamed. Jen Hundser covered her eyes with both hands. Jim Hundser cracked up and all the boys, including Stephen and John, loudly squealed with delight.

Steering using the individual rear brakes, Grandma headed up the ramp, and in no time the tram was flying through the tram lane in the sky-walk. As they entered the Iowa Events Center, Grandma took a hard right, putting the tram cars on two wheels as they made the corner. Just shortly after they returned to rolling on all fours again, Grandma blasted through a set of open doors and brought the tram to a stop in a private dining room.

Approaching the tram, Logan grinned, "You're getting better Grandma; nobody puked this time!"

"It's not my fault some people can't handle a little adrenalin rush," Grandma replied.

Throwing his arms around Stephen, John roared laughing. Dewi and Kokaku wanted to stay with Grandma and go for a longer ride. Giggling hysterically, Bruce wobbled off the tram and fell down. Jim helped his son up and then helped his wife off the tram.

Wearily, Jen smirked, "You're really not helping my Valium addiction, Grandma."

"Give me a week and all y'all won't need it." Grandma stated factually.

Julio came over, and after inspecting the front tires of the ATV, stood up grinning, "Grandma, could you at least wear the print off of the tread on the front tires before we have to replace the rears?"

"That is why they invented tire rotation," Grandma replied. "You worry about your family, I'll worry about maintenance."

"Yes, Grandma," Julio replied with a smile; obviously enjoying the banter. "I hope the ride helped your appetites; Lucas, Logan and Mini took a kitchen break from the madness and helped Marcie with brunch."

"And Lucas didn't even blow anything up doing it!" Logan giggled. "He'll get over it, though."

"I'm sure I can find a way to improve his mood." Grandma stated with a twinkle in her eyes. "Jennifer, would you be a dear and settle the rest of your family? Logan, please disconnect the tram and hop on the back. These two angels need a proper ride; I believe a guided tour of the sky-walk system is in order." Jennifer's heart was still in her throat, so she could barely reply with a nod.

Dewi and Kokaku cheered their acceptance of the plan. Logan quickly undid the hitch and hopped on the seat behind Grandma. "HIT IT!" Logan yelled as soon as he had his hand on one of the handholds. With a blast of the horns, they were off, the rear tires screeching in protest.

"One of these days, she may grow up!" Julio giggled, as he watched the ATV go through the doorway. "Welcome to Des Moines!"

"We might even consider trying normal one of these days," Jesse grinned as he came over and slipped under Julio's arm. "I hear it's boring though, so probably not this week."

"If you don't mind, just follow us and we can get comfortable while Grandma is terrorizing the Skywalk system," Julio added. "Mom and Dad should have everything ready to go, and it's more comfortable at the table."

"Not to mention safer," Jesse mumbled under his breath.

The group followed Julio to the table. Mick looked over at the two adults with a knowing smile. "Don't worry," Mick assured the Rimmer adults. "Despite recent events, things are a lot saner than they appear. Have a seat and relax."

John looked around the table. Julio and Jesse's family were there, as well as Mick's and Janice's group. Marcie and Robin sat together. Eddie was with Robin while Johnny was occupied by getting Fisher a bowl of berries. There were a few faces that John didn't recognize, so he telepathically asked Robin, 'Who are the newbies, bro?'

'Which newbies are these?' Robin innocently giggled, and started thinking of names, beginning alphabetically, so John would have to dig to find the correct handles.

John widely grinned, 'Fine, keep your secrets. There's more than one way to name a kid.' The only kid who wasn't drinking or eating at the time was a teenaged boy. Levitating the dirty-blond-haired boy with hypnotic hazel eyes, and earning the boy's loud laughter, John introduced him to his parents, sisters, Bruce, Stephen and Frankie. "Grandma's been collecting kids, specifically for us to bring home. This dude here is Erik Kendricks, he's fourteen."

Erik waved from his seated position a meter above his chair, giggling, "Nice to meet you."

Lowering Erik and moving on to levitate the next kid, John smiled, "Everybody, this is Stuart Sutliff, but call him Stu." After a short pause, John giggled, "Stu's twelve, and wants me to lift him higher. May all your dreams come true, dude." John sent Stuart floating up to the ceiling, where he waved down at everyone and giggled.

Before his dad broke concentration on Stuart, Frankie sent, 'Don't make this next kid float.'

Barely shaking his head, Stephen added, 'He's very shy and a little scared, hon.'

Lowering Stu, John asked his husband and son, 'Do you have his name?'

'I think he's hiding that too, dad,' Frankie sent.

Stephen tilted his head, trying to focus on the boy without staring at him. Drawing a blank on the boy's name, but feeling quakes of fear, as he had Monday night, Stephen got up and walked around the table to the small boy. Before Stephen arrived, Frankie strongly assured the boy, 'It's okay now, really.'

Barely above a whisper, the boy whimpered, "I'm Wade Houseman." Breaking down in tears, he softly sobbed, "I'm five."

Stephen's slight build didn't prevent him from lifting the five-year-old. The suffering from the boy that Stephen felt he didn't understand, but Kathleen Marr read it clearly and it brought tears to her eyes. Stephen was soon helped by John, who took the little one in his arms. Frankie arrived and rubbed Wade's back. Without explanation, John walked away from the table with Wade. Gently reassuring Wade, Stephen and Frankie never left John's side.

Wiping her eyes at the tenderness witnessed, Kathleen softly asked, "What just happened?"

Jen smiled, "It's the new John, the new Stephen and the new Frankie, doing what the three of them combined can do."

"They're a special group, and they're helping a very special little boy," Lucas whispered, his voice rough from the latest events.

Looking down the table at Lucas, Jen warmly smiled, "Rest your voice, Lucas. You can talk to us telepathically."

John took Wade and his family into the men's room. With a thought from John, the baby changing table dropped. Sitting the boy down on the table, John sent, 'Please tell us what's wrong?'

Wade vigorously shook his head. Stephen prompted, "We'll listen and make it better?"

Frankie locked eyes with Wade, sending, 'Can you hear me and my daddy?' Wade shrugged, but his eyes told the truth, that he could hear telepathically. Frankie offered, 'My daddy and poppa help kids. They helped me, just Wednesday. Do you know how I found them?' This time, Wade shrugged but then nodded. 'Tell only me, please,' Frankie pleaded, and then assured, 'It's really okay.'

Confused as to what he should do, Wade leaned over and lay down on the changing table. Like a much younger boy might, he brought a fist to his mouth and sucked his thumb. John had been patiently waiting for Frankie's intervention to make a difference. Realizing that he had no other choice, John looked deep into Wade's mind.

Experiencing events from Wade's perspective, John heard a woman screaming in agony and a man yelling at Wade to stop. A younger Wade, about two-years-old, wanted cake. The woman, obviously Wade's mother, had said no. Wade had a tantrum and pushed his frustration to his unsuspecting mother. The father slapped Wade across the face, hard enough to free his wife and give Wade a bloody nose. In another vision, John heard the mother explaining to Wade why he shouldn't talk telepathically to other kids. It was apparently soon after Wade had started school. Wade didn't understand why he shouldn't do things that were completely natural to him. Thursday night, there had been another bad scene at the Houseman residence where Wade simply wished his parents would go away and leave him alone. Now Wade felt like his parents' deaths were his fault. Those memories were the strongest, but Wade had others that were just as bad, so he had come to believe that using his gift was always wrong.

John telepathically shared what he had learned with Stephen and Frankie. Stephen nodded, but Frankie turned red. Neither John nor Stephen had ever seen Frankie angry and were too surprised to even consider saying a word. Frankie stormed out of the bathroom.

John sighed then returned his attention to Wade. He smiled, "I know you heard me when my lips weren't moving, Wade. It was me making the other boys float at the table." He then proved it by levitating Stephen. Wade was watching, but still sucking his thumb. John teased the boy, "I can do lots more than that." Water faucets on all the sinks in the room suddenly turned on. Wade's eyes widened. John told Wade, "I can make people feel good stuff too."

"John!" Stephen hysterically cackled. "Omigod! Stop tickling me!" Hovering about a meter off the floor, Stephen laughed hysterically, twisting and leaping from tickles by unseen hands. 

Wade stopped sucking his thumb and giggled. Just to give the boy a brief example, John telepathically tickled him. Lurching on the changing table, Wade brushed invisible hands away from his belly. Sitting up, Wade giggled as Stephen knelt and then fell to his side, curling into a fetal position and breathlessly laughing, unable to stop, and still a meter off the floor.

John stopped tickling Stephen and lowered him to the tiled mens' room floor. He held his arms open for Wade. Wiggling to the edge of the table, Wade held his arms open. Frankie returned to the bathroom with Lucas. John lifted Wade, firmly saying, "I'll help you learn when it's good and when it's bad, and I promise, I will never hurt you like your mommy and daddy did."

'Where in the hell is Pablito when I need the little asshole,' Lucas sent to John and Stephen. 'I'd love to shove as much C-5 up their asses as I can fit, then see what happens when it all goes off at once... five or six hundred times.'

Still on the floor and only beginning to catch his breath, Stephen giggled, "Be nice, Lucas. John, when we get home..."

"I know, baby," John widely grinned.

'I was being nice. Would you like to hear my REAL plans?' Lucas sent back with an evil grin.

"I'll take a rain check," Stephen muttered.

John told the imp on his hip, "Wade, this is Lucas. He's really good at helping guys like us. Just relax and you won't feel a thing."

Lucas looked at Wade with an unusual understanding in his eyes. His voice was rough as he said, "Hey little guy, you think you can handle seeing something that is kinda scary at first, but turns out really good?"

Checking with John, Wade heard a soft assurance, 'I'm not letting go of you.' 

Wade asked Lucas, "Like how scary?"

"You'll get to see why I can't talk right, an' why mind stuff is good stuff." Lucas reassured him. "I'll make sure that you don't see the really scary stuff."

Tightening his grip on John, Wade nodded, "Okay," and then John nodded once at Lucas. Stephen stood close by, just in case.

Lucas nodded back, and then began his story. He showed enough of his pre-UNIT life to get the point across about how him and his twin used it to keep from causing Spence more pain. He then went into a light version of the beginnings of his transformation, including the loss of his voice. After that, he showed a couple of missions where mind tools saved lives, and then he showed the reunion with Spence and how telepathy possibly saved his big brother's life. 'If this stuff is bad, why has it saved so many lives?' Lucas asked.

Wade shrugged, and then whimpered, "Why did mommy and daddy say it's bad?"

"They didn't understand, and were worried for you," John explained, although he only partially believed the last part. If Wade's father was still alive, John would gladly implant thoughts that caused the man to believe maggots and worms were eating him alive from the inside.

Glancing around, Wade checked, "Mommies and daddies don't know stuff?"

Frankie nodded, "Sometimes even grown-ups get scared and do dumb stuff."

Stepping up and rubbing Wade's back, Stephen asked, "Are you hungry?"

Blushing, Wade nodded then hid his face on John's shoulder, giggling, "I gotta whiz too, daddy."

Hearing that, Frankie roared laughing at his dad's and pop's stunned expressions. He had seen those same shocked looks only three days earlier when he fumbled his first English words.

Gathering Frankie and leading him to the door, Lucas giggled, "Grandma had a feeling."

Stepping out of the mens' room, Frankie confirmed, "This means I've got a little brother, don't it?"

"It's all done except the paper work," Lucas answered.

Returning to the table, where the kids were eating and the adults had cups of coffee, Frankie smiled, "Wade's better now. He'll be out with Daddy and Poppa in a minute." Sitting on his chair, Frankie excitedly gushed, "I've got a little brother!"

Jim softly chuckled, "Congratulations, Frankie." Jennifer's soft giggling soon became loud laughter. In the space of a week, all her sons had adopted kids. Including Wade, she already had nine grandchildren.

Finishing in the bathroom, Wade had just used a big boy's urinal for the very first time, thanks to John levitating him. At the next urinal over, Stephen relieved himself also, and silently forewarned John that payback for the tickling would be swift and repetitive. Of course, Stephen didn't have much telepathic control and Wade overheard his new Poppa's playful threat. Wade giggled and sent, 'You liked it, Poppa.' John roared laughing.

Stephen smirked, "I'll get to tickle Daddy the old fashioned way."

'He can't wait too,' Wade giggled.

Inside the bathroom, it was obvious that Grandma was returning on her ATV; the sound of the engine caused the light fixtures to shake. Once Stephen and Wade had finished washing and drying their hands, John gathered his husband and new son, guiding them out of the men's room.

They came out just in time to see her pull up, with Logan seated on the handlebars and Dewi and Kokaku standing on the seat in front of Grandma, both wearing new black tee-shirts stating in large orange letters: 'Grandma's Little Biker: Lead, follow, or get the **** out of the way!' Behind Grandma, hanging on for dear life, was a set of twin strawberry-blond eleven-year-olds, a fourteen-year-old, who was obviously their big brother, and a fourth, younger blond boy, clearly a relative of the other three. Sitting at the rear of the tram, his T-shirt had the same words emblazoned, only on the back. Behind the ATV was a trailer, covered with a tarp bearing a large Harley-Davidson logo.

As the ATV came to a stop, Logan hopped off of the handlebars and ran back to the trailer. The three boys wearing black tee-shirts joined him as fast as their legs could carry them. The twins and their older brother, however, staggered off of the back and dropped to their knees, repeatedly kissing the floor. Grandma just shook her head at the three newcomers, commenting, "No sense of adventure. You three need a good surf lesson or three. James, could you be a good son and help your new nephews to their feet and explain that their lives were not in danger?"

Obediently nodding, because he really had little choice in the matter, Jim stood and went to the three boys on their knees. The teenager could likely pull Jim onto the floor, so he helped the younger twins up. "Welcome to Clan Short Pacific Rim Division," Jim grinned, and then whispered, "Surfing is easier, I promise."

The twins introduced themselves and their older brother. One said, "I'm Kade Macadam Oldcambus."

The other twin said, "Pleased to meet you, Uncle Jim. I'm Karey Macauley, and that's our big brother Kassidy Malcom."

"My pleasure," Jim smiled, introduced himself, and then prompted the three boys to "Have a seat and order yourselves brunch."

"Thanks," the threesome cheered, and started for the table.

"FINE!" The fourth younger boy hollered, "Don't bother to introduce me, we're only family." He paused then whispered, "Brats!" Jim chuckled, and the boy looked up, giggling, "Taron Reyce Otter's my name, Uncle Jim. Can I have a room away from those three?"

Nodding, Jim chuckled, "Everybody chooses their own room and roommate. Join us for brunch, Taron."

"Can I get the present Grandma got me first?" Taron asked, a pout forming on his face.

"Certainly," Jim quickly said, and then asked, "Do you need help?"

"They might," Grandma stated with a gleam in her eyes. "Taron, remember what I told you?"

"Yes, Grandma!" Taron replied, his grin evil enough to make the Pope run for cover.

Following Taron to the trailer, Jim was surprised when a Vulcan boy of about twelve hopped out, brushed himself off and adjusted his Vulcan robe. Beneath the robe, the boy seemed to be wearing casual youth clothing. Jim greeted the boy. "T'nar pak sorat y'rani."

"T'nar jaral," the boy replied. "Shal Vaziik, kan t'Varuun."

Jim smiled and completed the introduction. "Shal James, kan t'Kenneth."

Nodding once, Vaziik confirmed, "I am to address you as Uncle Jim?"

"Please do," Jim said, and explained, "all the children at our base do. It would be fitting for you to proceed as the others, agreed?"

"Agreed," Vaziik flatly stated.

As Jim was talking, Logan and the boys managed to get the last of the ties off of the front of the tarp. With Jim's help, they pulled it back, revealing two mini-trikes, two mid-sized trikes, and one full sized trike with a tee-shirt on the seat. Jim's eyes fell on the shirt, and he read out loud "My Mom wears the leathers in our family!"

"Put your tee shirt on, Son," Grandma instructed.

Picking up the shirt, Jim smiled, "I was just about to go to the men's room to switch shirts... MOM!"

"Hurry up then, your trike will be waiting for you," Grandma smiled. "Boys, do you remember how Mr. Chuck told you to unload them?"

The boys chorused "Yes, Grandma!" as they reached down in unison to place their trikes in neutral.

Jim went to change shirts. Vaziik remained at the trailer with the boys and helped the youngest unload their trikes. Noticing Jen's worried expression, Julio explained, "It's how the little kids get around our neighborhood and base."

"It'll be safe for the kids, once Grandma gives them lessons," Jesse added.

Jen smiled, "That relieves one fear. My only other concern is for the dozen or more other boys that won't have trikes."

"We can't have that!" Grandma loudly said. She reached into a pocket, pulled out a business card and handed it to Jen, smiling, "Just tell them how many and of which sizes and mention my name."

Julio giggled as he turned to Jen. "Yeah, just tell them Grandma sent you; I swear she wasn't in Des Moines more than an hour before the entire staff of the dealership were at the front gate asking for her. Considering most of them were in bed at the time she decided to move, I think that's pretty good. I heard her call the owner of the Naples dealership to tell him she was moving before we left there, but never expected to see that response!"

At last, almost an hour after they arrived, everyone was seated around the joined tables. At one end of tables sat the adults; Marcie, Mick, Janice, Grandma, Kathleen, Jen and Jim. At the other end were all the kids, chattering away, getting to know one another and telling the newbies where they would be living later that day. Bond and Lucky only snacked on bananas and guarded the entrance to the private room. 

During the meal, all of the new refugee kids had opportunities to explain what had happened to them and their care-givers. Vaziik explained that he and his father had come to work for a trade consortium. Vaziik's father, Varuun, was misidentified as a Romulan and shot. The Starfleet cadet that had shot Varuun immediately recognized his mistake and tried to save the man by transporting Varuun and Vaziik directly to Starfleet Medical. Most importantly, Vaziik was with his father when he passed. Learning that he would be cared for by a Vulcan Clan and that Lieutenant Vorik was stationed at Ewa Beach seemed to provide Variik a measure of satisfaction. The meal ended and the larger group of Rimmers took their leave of the Des Moines group to return to Ewa Beach.

Ewa Beach

Saturday November 6, 2004 8:52AM HTZ

A few minutes before nine in the morning, the United States Federal Judge and his wife arrived at the Iroquois Avenue gate. Once their car was parked, they were escorted to condominium 'C', where Colin Powell was waiting. News teams that had arrived overnight and earlier that Saturday morning began arriving too. The same FYS Building first floor conference room used for the King's speech was set up with American Flags and a Presidential Seal on the podium for the scheduled ten o'clock Inauguration Ceremony. This time, Troy made the announcement regarding more news reports and instructing all the kids to remain south of the CIC.

In the basement store, all of the newbies were getting along very well. Prez and Keith briefly joined the group. At a convenient point where he wasn't helping any of the newbies, Mike let Prez know that his order was carried out by the Scoobies. Mike and Prez transported out of the store and into the Shiny Vault. Mike's ferret kids weren't there, but there was a refrigerator and piles of new shiny trinkets gathered. Prez and Mike transported back to the CIC basement store. Mike went right back to work assisting the kids. Prez and Keith returned to the CIC dining room and their sons, to prepare for the afternoon party at Kaho'olawe.

The seven newbies accepted help from the Core Rimmers, their sons, and each other. Only Leo didn't fully participate and hung back, away from the majority of shoppers who were choosing underwear, socks, sneakers and sandals. The boys moved quickly through the store, but always helped each other choose clothes that looked good. As had become very standard in Ewa Beach, the boys changing rooms were unused; every one of the boys changed whatever clothing right where they stood. Nine-year-old Leo kept his distance and did a lot of blushing. Corey and Drew noticed. The prior night at the store, Leo simply did as the other boys were doing, which made his blushing understandable. Not having their new son nearby was simply odd to Corey and Drew.

At a time when he was able, Corey pulled Leo off to the side to whisper, "What's wrong, Leo?" The boy shrugged, turned even redder and grinned. Prompting his new son, Corey giggled, "You can tell me." Leo grinned wider and shook his head. Pulling Leo close and hugging him, Corey asked, "Do you really think of me as your father?"

Leo softly but firmly said, "Yeah, pop, I really do."

Never releasing the boy, Corey smiled, "Good, because me and Drew are thinking of you as our son, when you could easily be our friend. What makes our family so totally awesome to me is that Drew just turned twelve, I'm eleven, you're nine, Lenny is seven and Geoff is five. We're all on the same page so much, it's very kewl, don't you think?" When Leo nodded and hugged Corey tighter for a moment, Corey asked, "So why were you blushing?"

Leo shivered and tried his best to explain, "I don't know, pop. I didn't have brothers. I don't know much of anything about stuff... growing up stuff. My folks never told me nothin'. I've got no older cousins. Seeing all you guys, not just you and dad, but Derrick, Mike, and even Geoff and Lenny, just dealing with all these really cute guys, changing shirts, changing shorts, changing jeans... taking measurements. I don't know how to do that, without being embarrassed and blushing. I feel like I'm being really bad and dumb, doin' stuff that's just wrong, ya know?"

"I know," Corey quickly confirmed, "believe me, I know. It's something we get used to with time. And I'd like to start teaching you right now, if you want?"

"Is now kewl?" Leo worried. "We don't have to now, but I want to, and I don't want to, ya know?"

"Now is very kewl," Corey assured. Before releasing Leo, Corey softly asked, "Is there a boy over there that you really like?"

Leo giggled. After a few moments of giggling, he softly admitted, "All of 'em," and leaned onto Corey, unable to stop giggling. 

Corey giggled along with his new son. "There's seven, one for every day of the week," Corey giggled. Leo cracked up and flushed redder. Corey planted a kiss on the side of Leo's head and sniggered, "I was there too. At one point, not too many years ago, I looked at Keith, Prez, Drew and John with that same kind of awe and amazement."



Not knowing how to say that he wanted to learn more, Leo prompted, "So, umm... what happened?"

Taking Leo's hand, Corey remained with his son, and kept a fair distance away from the shoppers, so he could explain his own experiences, and then puberty and growing up without being overheard. While the others gathered necessities, Corey used each boy in the store as an example, starting with Geoff, Lenny, eight-year-old Jimmy Matos and working through all the others, including Drew, and the three teenagers. Corey easily admitted that he was attracted to all three Hundser boys, in addition to Derrick, Mike and Prez, assuring Leo it was completely natural and normal. When Leo had the whole story, the newbies were beyond needing to change clothes. They were only trying on ponchos and light jackets, gathering toiletries and various accessories, like wallets for the I.D. cards they would soon be getting. Corey stayed with Leo, and squeezed his son's hand every time something happened worth noting, like the eleven-year-olds grabbing deodorants, and the teenagers choosing razors and shaving cream.

The last thing Corey told Leo was "We'll be spending at least part of the day with only Core Rimmers and their sons. Treat them like family, Leo. You'll see soon enough, kids are gonna like you, simply because you're a likable dude. You're so much like me, Drew, Geoff and Lenny, it's almost like you were made for us. All five of us enjoy good times, all five of us are generally pretty quiet, because we're all paying attention to what's around us. By tomorrow, when we get back here to the main base, you'll already have a set of friends to hang around with, so it won't seem like too much too fast."

Leo blushed, "Thanks, Pop. You really are a father, ya know? It's way easier talkin' to you than it would be with an older man, I mean."

Corey smiled, "Spend some one-on-one time with Drew. A lot of what I know, I learned from him, Keith, Prez, Mike and Derrick."

Unbeknownst to Leo and Corey or anyone else, Jimmy Matos thought Leo was about the kewlest and cutest boy he'd ever seen anywhere. It was Leo's blushing that really sparked Jimmy's interest. Obviously, Leo was shy and embarrassed, and Jimmy was equally surprised with his own feelings, so he said nothing about it to anyone.

In a little over an hour-and-a-half, everyone was done in the store. They transported out and directly to dormitory three, so Chris and Jay could choose their room and Jay could rest after a busy couple of hours. The four Core Rimmers showed them the huge lavatory, the spacious mob shower, and the next available dorm room, number thirty-one-ten; which meant the third dorm, first floor, and room ten. Seeing the vast, awesome room that Chris and Jay were moving into, the Hiram twins told Derrick, Mike and Reyes that they were also ready to move in. Derrick opened the next door for them. The twin Hawaiian boys giggled and hugged, then bolted inside, getting stuck in the doorway with their new luggage. Everyone around cracked up. Soon, the twins were excitedly settling into their new room, number thirty-one-twelve, right beside Chris' and Jay's room.

Knowing that some of the others who were rescued the previous day were talking about moving in, Drew called over the P.A. system for the Nash brothers, the Ramos brothers, Travis, Scott Shetley, Ray, Lance, Patrick, and the Stoeher twins to join them at dormitory three's first floor. They all knew why they were being called and hurried across the compound. Some of the California orphans that had moved into dorm three also came running to welcome home the newest arrivals, just as Prez and the Core Rimmers had welcomed them only two days earlier.

Patrick arrived with Ralphie. Pointing at the room across the hall from his brother and Chris, Rafe smiled, "Let's move in, Pat."

Pat grinned, "Are you ready?"

Pointing into Chris' and Jay's room, where they were seen unpacking, Rafe giggled, "The room across is the hall is the one I want. How about you?"

Pat checked with Ralphie. Getting a nod and then a quick kiss from Ralphie was all Patrick needed. Pat sighed, "We need our luggage and stuff."

Tapping his sub-vocal, Mike called, "Alden, do the honors, please?"

The two suitcases appeared on the beds in the room. "There ya go, guys," Alden replied. Ralphie, Pat and Rafe went into room thirty-one-eleven.

Arriving next were some of the California orphanage boys. Mike Busse, Terry Parkinson, Ryan Caswell, David Lydon, Don Lien and Jacob Bartholomew all came running, welcoming the new guys that were settling in, and then opened their dorm room doors. Soon, music was blasting loudly into the hall from Mike's and Terry's room. Ryan Caswell went into the common room and turned on the big television mounted on the wall.

The Nash brothers, the Ramos brothers, the Stoeher twins, and Ray, Scott and Lance were next to arrive. The Stoeher twins took the room across from the Hiram twins, number thirty-one-thirteen. Scott and Lance took the last room in that hallway, room number thirty-one-fourteen. Their luggage and guitars were transported into the room.

Drew and Corey led their boys, the Nash brothers and the remaining newbies through the common room toward the next hall. At the immense space of the common room, Phil started giggling his ass off. Completely astonished, Craig yelled, "Drew!"

Wide-eyed, Drew jumped, spun around and hollered, "WHAT?" Surprised at Craig and Drew, who were silently grinning at each other, Corey, their sons and the others nearby the common room helplessly giggled. Calmly, Derrick, Mike and Reyes walked into the shared room. Others came out of their rooms to see what the shouting was about and gathered in the hallway near the common room.

Craig chuckled, "Dude, this is too much."

Drew tilted his head, asking, "Is it?" Phil had laughed himself dizzy and dropped onto the nearest couch.

Smiling widely, Craig swung his arms around, pointing and rambling, "This room is huge! A sixty inch TV, a Bose sound system, a piano, a guitar, an easel and painting supplies, four big sofas, three smaller sofas, and two, four, six, eight, TEN chairs! Thirty of us could be in this room at once and still have space! It's as big as my old house was, maybe bigger!"

Smiling, but very serious, Drew said, "And there are going to be fifty boys in two hallways on this floor. Some of those boys were orphans, from orphanages where they weren't fed or treated right at all. You and your brother lost your parents during the riots in LA. Nothing the Clan provides can make up for everything all you guys went through. The least we can do is make your lives as comfortable as we possibly can, give you good food, teach you how to be whatever it is you want to be, so when you move on, you'll have all the best opportunities."

Corey called, "Mike and Dave, com'ere a minute, bros." Mike Busse and Dave Lydon stepped into the room. Wrapping his arms around their shoulders, Corey introduced them to Craig and Phil, and then explained, "These two came from one of the better California orphanages we were at Wednesday night. You know, the ones that everyone bitched about around the world all day Thursday, that probably led to the battles and riots around the world. Mike is fourteen, about an inch or two taller than Drew, but nowhere near as tall as Prez, Keith, Derrick, Mike, or you, Craig. All because the care-givers at his orphanage didn't give a rat's ass if he ate enough. It's about the same with Dave, thirteen-years-old and as tall as Drew, but about ten pounds lighter. Drinking Doc McCoy's milkshakes, I give it about six months and I'm gonna be looking way up into Mike's and Dave's eyes, as I should be."

Looking around at all the boys gathered in and near the common room, Derrick sighed, "None of you deserved anything that happened to you. We can't fix everything. We sure can't bring lost loved ones back and make everything perfect. All we can do is try to provide you with what you need and what will make you happy, now and in the future. These are things, easily replaceable. Lives aren't quite so easy to replace."

Craig muttered, "But how... what could I do to repay this?"

Mike shrugged, "Your best, bro. Do your best here for yourself, for your brother, and all your Clan brothers and sisters. When you move on as an adult, and see some kid walking the street, help him yourself or give us a call. Give that kid what you had, a chance for something better."

Moved beyond words, boys started clapping their hands. Shaking his head, Drew smiled, "No, not for me, or for Corey, or for any of us Core Rimmers. Applaud for Platinum Habits, not for simply telling you what is reality."

The clapping hands slowly stopped. Derrick huffed, "If anything, we should be applauding you dudes." Wrapping his arm around his eldest son, he explained, "Reyes is my son, an android that repeatedly got zapped with an incompatible unit that screwed up his memories. He's better, but twenty-three years of life is a jumbled mess." Pausing to point at Pat, Rafe and Ralphie in the doorway, Derrick continued, "Ralphie went his whole life having never met his three brothers. He's here now, with them, quadruplets reunited. Rafe thought his big brother was dead last night. Today, Jay is here, with his boyfriend, and they're right across the hall from Pat and Rafe." Slowly glancing around the others in the room, Derrick offered, "That's what you all need to do; applaud each other for every achievement you make. It doesn't matter if your gay or straight or curious or bi. When you see someone has made a breakthrough, pat him on the back, give him or her a hug, show each other that you care, just like my folks and brothers did for me."

Corey pointed out Victor Singh, Don Lien and Jacob Bartholomew, the three youngest boys, saying, "Those little dudes need you bigger and older dudes. They'll need you to help with homework, to reach what they can't reach, to show them how to play soccer and be a good sport, and when they reach puberty, teach them all that means too. Don't make fun of their first pubes, like some kids have and might do. Instead, pat 'em on the back, for no other reason but to say, 'very kewl dude, you're becoming a man, now you have these choices ahead of you'. All you older guys can do that stuff easily. You little dudes are probably wondering, 'well, what can we do?' Two things; treat your brothers and sisters nicely, and when you can help somebody, then go do it – don't even think twice about it, help the new kid that's scared or misses his parents. Is someone crying and hurting? If they are, then be there to listen and help make it better. I've got five- and seven-year-old sons, two six-year-old brothers and two that are seven-years-old. Let me say that there's nothing kewler than an unexpected hug from any of them."

Drew nodded, "Corey and I grew up together. He's held onto me when I was wrecked and I've done it for him. Keith's been there for me and I've been available for John. I've seen Geoff holding Lenny, and then Lenny holding Geoff. In the store, we all saw Corey with Leo. I'll find out later exactly what that was about, but I could tell that Leo needed dad time and got it."

Glancing around, Mike asked, "Do you think I never cried, got upset or angry? Do you think Derrick never did those things either?"

"You'd be wrong if you think so," Derrick softly assured. "I'm a kid who lost his big brother when I was too young to remember him. Imagine my folks crying about that, and me crying because they were. I had Mike, Keith and Prez right there; one, two or all three of 'em making my life just a little easier. Prez lost both his parents in a plane crash two years ago. We were there when Prez needed us. That's all it takes, just caring, a little or a lot, it all helps, and somehow having people to lean on helps you both become stronger."

"This is your home," Mike firmly repeated. He then smiled, "I hear music playing down the hall. I see everybody's stopped what they were doing to listen to us. This is a welcome home party, so go help each other, now. Go learn about one another and become brothers."

The majority of boys returned to their rooms, many of them feeling like they could do the things suggested. Derrick tapped Craig and prompted, "Let's get you and your bro into a room."

Following Derrick into the next hall, Craig sincerely offered, "Thanks, so much, for everything." When everything turned to shit the prior day, Craig had no clue what he was going to do, or how he would feed himself and Phil. In a day, all his concerns and worries were only shadows of a nightmare.

Shaking his head, Derrick opened the first room, smiling, "This is what we're here for, Craig. We don't provide the buildings or the food. We give you brother time, that's all, just like you're Phil's big brother. The rest are things from Federation Youth Services and The United Federation of Planets. We can replace things. None of you can be replaced." Nodding, Craig stepped inside his new room and looked around.

Holding an arm out, Mike stopped Phil before he could follow his brother into the room, asking, "What's your job, dude?"

Pointing at his brother, Phil answered, "Take care of Craig, help who I can, however I can, and be somebody, and then pass it along to the next kid that needs it."

Drew, Corey, Derrick, Mike and Reyes applauded, loudly cheering, "Beautiful!" Blushing fiercely, Phil went into room number thirty-one-fifteen, with his brother. Their luggage was transported in and the two brothers started unpacking.

Next in the hall were Chauncey and Fred Eckhart and their puppy, Rikko. Corey, Derrick, Drew, Mike and Reyes looked down at the pup and thoughtfully hummed. Rikko wagged his tail in a big circle, watching all the boys that were looking down at him. Rikko barked "WHAT?" Leaning back against the wall and grabbing his belly, Fred cracked up.

Chauncey giggled, "Yeah, what Rikko said, what's wrong?" Sliding down the wall and landing on his butt, Fred roared laughing. The other six boys still waiting in the hall, Nate, Sal, Rickie, Travis, Tony and Ray softly sniggered.

Mike huffed then chuckled, "Alden, we prob'ly need to add a pet department to our store, dude."

"I've already got it covered, Mike," Alden giggled.

Drew opened the door and everyone peeked in the room, except Fred, who simply could not stop laughing. Inside the room on the beds were Fred's and Chauncey's luggage. Off to one side, they spied two steel dog dishes, a doggie bed, a big bag of Puppy Chow, a few dog toys, a collar and a leash, a poop-scooper, and a roll of plastic bags to deposit scooped poop in trash cans outdoors. Rikko trotted into the room, sniffed the various toys, grabbed a hard rubber bone and took it to his new bed, where he lay down and started gnawing.

Helplessly giggling, Corey checked with Chauncey, "Kewl, bro?"

Chauncey nodded and sniggered, "Very. Thanks, guys." He offered a hand to his breathless and hysterical android brother still on the floor.

Fred wheezed, "I can't believe it. All yesterday... and last night, you handled everything great, until now. The dog threw you a curve!" Travis sputtered but couldn't hold it back and cracked up.

Taking his brother's hands, Chauncey giggled, "Do you want to swim in the North Atlantic today?" He dragged Fred into the room.

Everyone turned to Reyes. "All right," Reyes grinned, "I'll take Fred to AI Division HQ, the first chance I get, but I honestly don't see that changing very much. It's been sixteen years since Vision closed it's doors, and Fred could use some upgrades, but remember, that won't change his sense of humor a bit."

Turning to the last six in the hallway, Derrick smiled, "Next?"

Ray and Tony held up their hands. Mike went to open the next door, for room thirty-one-eighteen. Derrick scowled, "Do you two know each other?"

Tony explained, "We've been talking a little since we got here. Really, all we know is that we're both from LA. We were in the same school district, but at different schools."

Nodding, Ray added, "You dudes have set the ground rules. We're brothers, starting now."

Tony grinned, "As far as the whole gay-straight-other thing goes, we're both undecided, so it should be kewl."

Derrick nodded and smiled, "If something changes, let one of us know, so we can correct whatever, kewl?"

Tony chuckled, "Don't worry, big D. There's enough stuff goin' on here. This room is pretty much where we'll chill and crash."

"As soon as I'm unpacked, I'm back outside again," Ray agreed. Tony walked into the room with Ray following and dragging his suitcase along.

Drew opened the door to room thirty-one-nineteen, faced the Ramos brothers, and smiled, "Welcome home, bros."

Nate peeked in the room, and then asked, "Can we get another bed sometime? Sal and Rickie might be kewl in one bed for a while..." Seeing Drew and Corey nodding, Nate stopped mid-sentence.

Reyes called, "Alden, get full sized bunk beds, and an extra desk, chair and computer too." The bed on the right side of the room vanished and was replaced with the bunk beds, desk, chair and laptop computer requested.

Sal giggled, "You dudes make stuff too simple. It's perfect. Thank you."

Racing past his two older brothers, eight-year-old Rickie giggled, "I got the top bunk!"

"Like hell!" Sal hollered, and entered the room, reminding, "You fall out of your bed all'a time!" Rickie denied it and Sal countered, emphasized with a shove, and the wrestling began.

Glancing at each of the Core Rimmers, Nate grinned, "Seems I've heard stuff like this before."

Corey giggled, "Ask Alden for safety rails on the top bunk, Nate."

Nodding, Nate smiled, "I will, after I squash both of 'em." Entering the room and passing through some invisible amplification field, Nate yelled, "QUI-I-I-ET!" Sal and Rickie stopped mid-wrestle and looked up at their big bro. Nate calmly closed the door.

Corey smiled up at Travis; "Looks like you're either on your own for a while, or back in the nest tonight."

Travis shrugged, "My aunt and uncle worked, so I was on my own a lot anyway. Besides, I'm not really alone, am I?"

Heading to the next room, Mike grinned, "The day's not over, dude. We get plenty of kids fast enough. You won't be alone more than a night or two. Roy Angulo, over at dorm one, was in the same boat earlier in the week. Monday night he spent alone, Tuesday night he met his roommate, Pete Dano." He opened the door and Alden transported Travis' suitcase onto a bed.

Travis stepped inside and looked around. He spun around, smiling, "It's nice, but what are we allowed to do, so that it becomes mine, ya know?"

"You can buy posters, music CD's and pretty much whatever you want," Corey offered.

Drew said, "All you newbies will have your I.D. cards and debit cards in a couple o' days. You'll get a weekly allowance and can work odd jobs around base to add to that."

Walking back out of the room, Travis said, "I'm not gonna waste daylight unpacking now. After lunch, I'll get my stuff put away, maybe set up one of the laptops, and chill with the other dudes." He closed his door, wondering, "What's the deal with these odd jobs?"

"It's all on our Clan's web site," Drew explained. "Check under the Mouth Rimmers' section. For older dudes like you, there's a bunch of stuff you could do, in the kitchen, at the auditorium, just about anything you want to do."

Corey added, "We set up odd jobs in two-hours shifts. Yeah, you might like to do more, but your main job is to be a student and a kid, with a bit more know-how than the youngest kids."

As the group started back down the hall, toward the common room, Derrick said, "We have Clan preferred vendors, where you can get whatever you want at discounted prices. Your room is yours, for now, and eventually yours and your roomie's. Whatever makes you dudes comfortable, go ahead and get."

"Just remember two things," Mike suggested, "first, Christmas is coming, so leave big stuff off to the side. Also, whatever you need for school will be provided. If you decide to learn guitar, we'll get you one. If you decide to learn mechanics and need tools, we'll provide that. Your money is yours, for those other personal things that we generally don't need to provide everybody."

Passing rooms down the longer hall, Derrick started figuring out how many were in this dorm, and then shared, "Including you, there are forty kids in this dorm. There are only six rooms left to fill." Mike hummed. Drew and Corey sighed.

Travis wondered, "What's wrong?"

Derrick shrugged, "Nothing's really wrong, it's just that we need to make decisions. Tomorrow, we're expecting a bunch more kids."

"Ninety-five, to be exact," Drew specified.

Corey told Travis, "We've got other bases and plenty of room, but it wouldn't be kewl to leave those kids without some of us Core Rimmers around."

"We don't know how many could fit here right now," Derrick explained, "but some kids are going to overflow to the next base. The trick is keeping everybody feeling like they're part of the whole Clan, and our Clan Division, as brothers and sisters, separated yet still together."

Travis smiled, "You dudes really care." Watching the five Core Rimmers turn to him briefly, he chuckled, "You dudes do that. Didn't you hear yourselves in the common room before? Craig was only surprised, as surprised as I am. I've heard about Clan Short and wondered how you deal with so many kids. I expected far different than what I've seen since yesterday."

Reyes prompted, "Such as?"

Travis shrugged, "Smaller dorms, smaller rooms, small beds; just the minimum basics. Instead, I get here and I'm taken into a store and told, get what you need for at least a week, and it's free. Do you have any idea how weird it is to check out stuff, like I might at any other store, but walk away without spending a dime? I got fed restaurant quality food. Then I start looking around. The CIC rec room is the biggest arcade and game room I've ever seen. The rec center is the biggest health and fitness club. There are pools, a soccer field, volleyball courts, and a playground for little kids. I know there's a school here too, but haven't seen it yet. None of this is what I expected."

Stepping outside with the five Core Rimmers, Travis chuckled, "Then there's the kids. I was mingling around the diving well, with kids my own age, some with clothes on, some naked, and they're all very kewl about it. No one asked me why I still had my boardies on. No one said a word when I took them off. I learned some kids here were sexually abused, some were prostitutes, some are run-aways. I asked about you guys, our leadership. The worst thing I heard was, you're busy. I asked about all the adults and I heard, 'they're kewl too'. A couple of times, Kaleo came to me with Tory and started chatting up a storm. Once, he waved his hand over his naked body, Tory's, and then mine, telling me that last week, he was naked so some freaky grown-up could fuck his ass or suck his dick, whenever they wanted some. Now he can wander around nude with other kids; he can talk to adult employees naked, and everybody looks in his eyes, instead of leering at his crotch. This is insane, in the very best ways, but extremely different from what I'm used to."

Mike sniggered, "Don't hold back, Trav, you're just warming up."

Travis laughed then continued, "My parents died when I was eight. I've been living with my aunt and uncle since then. They cared enough to give me a good home with good food, but they weren't parents. I learned the facts of life from school health and biology classes, not from my aunt or uncle. Just a few minutes ago, you told us bigger dudes to be big brothers to the little dudes. My stomach twisted for a few moments, then I thought, yeah, maybe I could sit down and explain the facts of life to a kid; yeah, I could be everything you dudes said I could be."

Drew giggled, "It's how we were raised, Travis. If I've heard my parents singing the song 'Can Do' once, I've heard it a thousand times."

Snapping his fingers, Derrick sang, "I got the horse right here, The name is Paul Revere, And here's a guy that says that the weather's clear. Can do, can do, this guy says the horse can do. If he says the horse can do, can do, can do."

While Derrick sang the part again, Drew snapped his fingers and sang the counterpoint part. "Can do - can do - this guy says the horse can do, If he says the horse can do - can do, can do."

Derrick and Drew continued singing their parts and Mike sang; "For Paul Revere I'll bite, I hear his foot's all right, Of course it all depends if it rained last night. Likes mud, likes mud, this X means the horse likes mud, If that means the horse likes mud, likes mud, Likes mud. I tell you Paul Revere, Now this is no bum steer, It's from a handicapper that's real sincere, Can do, can do, this guy says the horse can do. If he says the horse can do - can do - can do. Paul Revere. I got the horse right here."

Near the pool house, Travis, Reyes and Corey cracked up, and the song fell apart. Corey howled, "I don't have any idea where that song even came from!"

Reyes giggled, "A Broadway play titled 'Guys and Dolls'."

Travis, Mike, Derrick, Drew and Corey stopped walking and turned to Reyes. Derrick and Mike took hold of Reyes' arms. Derrick prompted, "Help us out, Travis. Reyes is going swimming." Nodding and snickering, Travis leaned over and tried to capture Reyes' moving legs.

Liki and Keanu were at the diving well and saw what was happening. They hurried over to help get Reyes off his feet and off the ground. Looking around the group that caught him for his Core Rimmer initiation, Reyes howled laughing. To the applause, cheering and delight of all the other nearby teens and tweens, Reyes was swung three times then sent flailing and flying over the diving well. Hearing the teenage commotion, Jonah, Randy and Dillon got to the diving well just as Reyes was thrown and they cracked up. Reyes hit the water and rose again, only seconds later, coughing and still giggling.