Zach was lying in a field by a stream with his eyes closed, just listening to the sounds of nature. He smiled as he heard a bird sing nearby. It was very quiet and peaceful. He felt movement above him and he looked up into the bright blue eyes and smiling face of his favorite person, Trevor. He put his hand up and softly entwined his fingers in Trevor's hair, and pulled his head down. Their lips gently met as they kissed and he closed his eyes again. His arms went around Trevor's neck and pulled him closer. He felt Trevor's weight settle on him, and it felt that it was a perfect fit for his body. He slowly opened his eyes again and started as he found himself in his room and not in the grassy field next to the stream. The only part of the dream that was true was Trevor kissing him. When he jerked a little, Trevor pulled back and looked at him with surprise.
"Whatever dream you were having, it must have been one heck of a dream. Man, when I leaned over you to wake you up, you grabbed me and pulled me down and started kissing me, so I just decided to go with the flow."
"Yeah, it was good, and you were part of it."
"Cool, at least you have your priorities straight. Your mom sent me in here to get you up. She said you were taking a nap."
"Yeah, a good one too. What time is it?"
"Almost five. She said for you to get up. Your dad will be home soon and dinner will be ready in about thirty minutes."
"He's helping your mom with dinner. So come on already."
"Wait, Trev, now that I'm awake and aware of what is going on, can we do that some more?"
"I thought you'd never ask."
They kissed again and as Trevor's weight settled on Zach, Trevor felt him wince. He quickly rose off of Zach.
"S'okay, it only hurts when we kiss."
"I'm getting the hose if you guys don't hurry up."
The boys jumped apart and looked toward the door, where Jared was standing there grinning at them. The boys looked at each other and then back at Jared. They growled, raised their hands, jumped off the bed, and started to run after him. Well, Trevor ran; the best Zach could do was a sort of fast walk. Jared shrieked and ran to the kitchen.
"BOYS! No running in the house."
Jared quickly scampered to hide behind his mother, as the other boys came to a halt. She looked at the grinning boy.
"I had to run, mom; they were going to attack me."
"Oh... .and why would they do that?"
"Oh nothing, I just went to get them like you told me and they chased me."
"Oh really? Nothing else?"
"Well, I did say that I was going to have to turn the hose on them before they got all hot and bothered."
Zach and Trevor's mouth dropped open and they looked at Jared like they could not believe what he had just said. Jared clapped his hands over his mouth and his eyes widened as he realized what he had said.
"Jared! You're dead meat, little brother."
"Oh, shi... shoot. Oh Zach, Trevor, I'm sorry, man. I... didn't mean it. Mom, I was just messin' with them."
Terry turned her head to hide her smile and busied herself with a pot on the stove. She looked up at the two boys, who were blushing so hard that she could practically feel the heat radiating off of them as they glared at Jared. She couldn't hold it in any longer and started laughing. The boys turned their attention to her and looked at her in shock. She took the pot off the burner and sat down at the kitchen table.
"You boys are just too cute. You know that?"
They stared at her in shock. She pulled Jared next to her and motioned for the boys to come over to her. She saw that they looked a little scared and were tensed up, she smiled to reassure them. As they neared her, she reached out and pulled both of them to her and hugged them. She felt them relax. She let them get back up and looked at them, smiling.
"You know!? Wait, what do you mean we?"
"Your dad and I, and Jake and Sandy. We all know about you two."
"How long have you known?"
"We've not 'known' very long, but we have suspected it for a couple of months now."
"I, I... was going to tell you, but I just hadn't found the right time yet."
"Don't worry about it, it's not important. You are our son and we are very proud of you and will always love you, and you too, Trevor. Now Jared, what you just did was wrong. You are going to have to watch what you say. You just outed these two."
Jared was looking pretty sad.
"I... I know, mom, it just kind of slipped out. I guess I was so used to knowing about it that I didn't think. I'm sorry, Zach, Trev. It was an accident, I swear. I'm really sorry. I swear it won't happen again. Please forgive me."
He looked at them with tears in his eyes. Trevor and Zach looked at each other for a few moments and then they grinned. They turned to Jared and moved towards him. He flinched a little as they got close, but they pulled him into a hug, and he relaxed as he returned their hug.
Both of them started tickling him, and in moments they were all squirming on the floor.
"Hey, ha ha, stop... okay, I give... hee hee, sorry... please ha ha, let me go... I'm going to pee my pants... he he... mom, help."
"You got yourself into this."
She let it go on for a few moments.
"Okay boys, that's enough; you're going to knock something over, and then I'm going to start knocking something off. Besides, Zach, you just got out of the hospital."
The boys stopped giggling and got back up, with their arms around each other.
"Now we're even, little brother."
"Okay, okay. I really am sorry, it just kind of slipped out."
"Well, don't let it 'slip' out again."
"I won't. Uh... Mom... uh... I'm gay too."
"What!? How did you... when... uh... how?"
"It was obvious to me. Remember I have known you all your life. I've seen the way you make goo goo eyes at Jeremy."
Jared folded his arms across his chest and got a petulant look on his face.
"I do not make goo goo eyes."
The other boys were laughing as he stood there trying to look mad.
"Don't laugh, you two are just as bad. We've all seen it. A mother always knows."
They simmered down a bit at that remark.
"Anyway, I want you all to know that we are all here for you. We love all of you boys and want what's best. Just remember, be careful out there, in the world outside these walls. In here you're always safe, but out there, it can be little tougher sometimes. There are a lot of people who don't understand, and they would just hate you because you like a boy, not a girl. I don't want to have to visit any of you guys in the hospital again; this last week has been enough for me. Okay? Remember, you have any trouble about this, you can talk to any of us."
"Okay. Thanks, Mom."
"Yeah, thanks, Aunt Terry."
"All right, let's get the table ready, your dad... "
The door opened at that moment.
"Hi, everyone. Dinner smells great."
Tom came into the kitchen and gave Terry a hug and kiss. He turned to the boys.
"Hey, guys, do I get a hug, or are you too old for that?"
Zach and Jared go to their dad and hugged him. He looked at Trevor.
"You too, you're practically family."
Trevor went over to him and joined in the hug.
"Mmmhmm, this is what makes the day a great day. I have this to look forward to every day."
He let them go and they finished helping set the table and got the food on the table. They sat down to dinner, and Terry related to Tom what Jared had just done, outing Trevor and Zach and himself and Jeremy. Tom started chuckling and that caused them to turn red again. He reiterated what Terry had told them about being careful about it outside. The dinner was a fun affair with a lot of joking around. After everything was cleaned up, the boys went into their room to play some video games. They soon decided to watch a DVD, and all of them got up on the bed and sat up against the headboard on Jared's bed. Tom came in a couple of hours later just as the movie was finishing up, and poked his head inside the room.
"Boys, mind if I come in?"
"Of course not, Dad."
"Could you turn off the TV?"
They noticed the serious look on his face and they got a little nervous. Jared grabbed the remote and turned off the TV.
"I... uh wanted to talk to you guys... uh, about... "
"Well you know... uh, you guys are growing up and... uh, you're going to start going through... uh... you know changes. And... "
"Oh, you mean sex?"
"Uh... yeah, what... uh, man, this is hard. You guys haven't... uh... done anything... you know...
All three of the boys suddenly understood what he was trying to say and turned bright red.
"Daaaaad! Well, not exactly. We've fooled around a little, but that's it."
"Well... you know, uh, I had to ask. It's just that I remember what it was like to be your age and I... uh…"
"We've mostly just kissed and hugged."
"Oh... Okay... uh, good, that's good. Well, I guess that's it."
He got up and started to walk out before he turned back and looked at them.
"Uh, talk to me or Jake about, you know, before doing anything... more, you know. If you have any questions, that is, or uh, even if you don't. We're always here for you guys."
"Don't worry, we're okay."
"Okay, uh, you guys get ready for bed. It's getting late."
Tom breathed a sigh of relief. The boys rolled their eyes at his back when he left.
"Jeez©. That was about to get real weird."
"Yeah. I'm tired; let's get ready for bed."
They went to the bathroom to brush their teeth. When they got back to the room, they stripped down to their underwear. Zach and Trevor got in one double bed and Jared got into his. Soon their parents came in to tuck them in. They gave each boy a hug and kiss goodnight. When the door was closed, Jared sat up.
"Uh, guys, do you mind if I get in bed with you; I want to talk to you about something."
"Sure, Jared, come on over."
Jared quickly scrambled over to the other bed. Zach made room for him and they all cuddled up close. There was a faint light from the streetlights outside, showing Jared's worried look.
"What's wrong, bro?"
"I want to tell you about something I saw, and you might not believe me, but I swear it's true."
"Okaaay. So what was it?"
"Well Trevor, remember when we were in the ICU room by ourselves when Zach was in bad shape? We were the only ones there; it was when he woke up, you remember?"
"Yeah, I was so scared that I was going to lose Zach. I... "
"Hush, love. Don't worry, it would take more than a few stupid assholes like those guys from keeping me from you."
Trevor trembled a bit and Zach turned to him and held him for a few moments.
"Yeah I was too. It wouldn't feel right if my brother wasn't around so that we can grow up together. Anyway, you laid your head down on his chest and gently hugged him."
"I was praying that he would be all right."
"Well, I think someone heard you."
"What do you mean?"
"Now this is the strange part. While you were hugging him and asking him to wake up, I had my hand on your back, Trev. My hand started to feel warm and a dim white glow started coming from you, then slowly it covered Zach too; it was never real bright, but it stayed steady for a little bit and then it disappeared when Zach woke up. No one else saw it"
"A white glow? From where?"
"Well, like I said, it started from you, Trevor, and kind of flowed around Zach too. It kept going while you were holding him. Then when Zach moved his hand, opened his eyes and spoke to you, you looked up at him and it just vanished. Trevor, I think you did something to Zach."
"What, what did I do?"
"I think... you, uh healed him."
"Healed him? I can't do something like that. It'd be magic. There's no such thing, not like witches and wizard's magic, spells and Harry Potter stuff. No one can do that."
Zach got a speculative look on his face.
"Wait, wait, wait. Trev, think about it, bud. When you saw me in the restroom, how did I look?"
Trevor got tears in his eyes as he remembered the scene.
"There was blood all over and you were moaning on the ground not moving too much; I thought you were going to die, especially when you started coughing up blood. Then you passed out and I thought that was it."
"Yeah, Trev, I was there too. I thought I'd just lost my brother and I was ready to kill those assholes, then the principal and the security guys got there, which may have saved me from being a murderer."
"So we're agreed that I was in pretty bad shape."
"Yeah, and look at him now. Look close."
Jared flipped over and turned on the bedside lamp. The boys sat up and they both looked at Zach, as he examined himself as well. They looked at his face and where they did the surgery around his eye and the site where the chest tube had been placed. Slowly realization came to them.
"See, just look. Zach had a punctured lung and broken ribs. He had a broken arm, but I bet it probably looks almost healed, if it was x-rayed. Look at his eye, it looks pretty normal and the bruises are pretty faded; they look like it happened a week or two ago, rather than a few days ago. All of the surgery scars look like they happened quite some time ago. Look there on his chest where the chest tube was inside; if you take off the bandage, I'll bet it is almost completely healed. I mean, what else could it be? You never hear of someone who has been that badly hurt, healing up that quickly. I know, I checked while you were in the hospital. As badly as you were hurt, you probably should have still been in there healing up, not home, looking pretty close to normal."
"But how could I do something like that? I don't know how I could."
"I don't know either, but I saw something. I don't know what exactly, but either you helped him heal some or someone or something else did, because he should not be in this great a shape right now without something unusual happening."
"You would think I would know if I did something like that. I mean this is huge, healing people. I mean th... "
Trevor got a speculative look on his face as the implications occurred to him until he said one word.
"Tim? What about h... "
Zach and Trevor looked at each other. Jared was smiling and nodding.
"Yeah... .Tim. I thought about him as well. You remember how he looked when he came back from his chemo that first day we were there. You went over and talked to him, Trevor, remember? You sat with him for a while. When we came the next day, he looked so much better, and how was he when you left the hospital, Zach?"
"Way better, like way, way better, and he was going to be leaving the hospital soon, like he was cured or something. What did you do, Trev?"
"I don't know. I just sat there and I held his hand and we talked about how he was and what it was like being sick like that. He was feeling pretty bad and said he didn't think he was going to last much longer. I told him he had to fight hard and not to give up. He said he would. Maybe that was it; he changed his attitude and helped get himself better. I've heard that if you're sick, it helps to have a good attitude, it helps you heal. Maybe he just was depressed and it made everything worse."
"Maybe... and maybe he had a little help. I thought he looked like death warmed over, myself. But after you talked to him and held his hand, he starting getting better. I'll bet you he is not sick now. We should go visit him tomorrow."
"You know, we could test this."
"You know, see if you can really heal someone."
"I don't like the sound of this."
"Don't worry. I've got an idea. I'll scratch my hand with a pin and you try to heal it. The worse that can happen is that my hand will hurt for a little bit. What do you say?"
"I don't know. This seems kind of weird."
"Don't worry; I've had plenty of scratches. It will hardly hurt."
"Well, if you're sure, I'll try it, but remember, this is your idea, not mine."
Jared got off the bed and went to his dresser. He looked in one of the drawers until he located what he was looking for and came back to the bed. He showed them the pin, and he took it and scratched it across the back of his hand, wincing a little as the blood welled up. He then put the pin on the bedside table and held his hand out to Trevor. Trevor took his hand and held it in both of his hands. He closed his eyes and concentrated harder and harder, screwing up his face as he did. He did this for a little bit and then relaxed. Jared looked at his hand and saw no glow, and when Trevor let his hand go, there was no change, and he was puzzled.
"I could have sworn that something would happen. I don't know what went wrong."
"Well, maybe it wasn't really me."
"No, it had to be. I saw you glow and make Zach glow. So it had to be you, but... wait a minute. Maybe it was only because Zach was so hurt... and maybe because Tim was real sick. Maybe Trevor can only help people like that. People that are real badly hurt or sick.
"Okay, maybe if what you say is true, but how can we test that? Wait around until we see someone hurt badly in a wreck? I can't just walk up to the hospital and tell them I can heal people. They'd lock me away. Especially if I tried and nothing happened. No, I think we need to hold off on that until we're sure."
"Okay, well, I know that there has to be a way. I think you have some special power, Trevor, and I think it's a good power."
"You know, Jared, maybe, but uh... there's something I want to show you as well. Everyone hold hands."
The boys moved around until they faced each other sitting with their legs crossed and they held each other's hands, completing a circle.
;"Yeah, bro, I hear you."
;"Trev? Can you hear us both?"
;"Yeah, I can hear you."
Jared looked at Trevor in disbelief and then at Zach.
;"Relax, Bro, I have occasionally heard Trevor in my head. When they were beating me up, I yelled for him in my mind, and he heard me and came running."
;"Wow, Trev, you're the first person ever able to do this with us. This is awesome."
;"Yeah... uh, Jake knows too. I stayed overnight at Jake's right after you were hurt, Zach, and I felt kind of lonely that night and I was missing my dad, so I asked if I could sleep with him, like I used to with my dad. When we woke up in the morning, we starting talking and after a while, Jake pointed out to me that we weren't saying anything out loud. I was shocked. We talked about it some more, out loud this time, and he said that I should keep that a bit a secret. Maybe we should keep this healing thing, if it is real, a secret as well."
;"Maybe, but maybe you should just try it more; you never know, maybe practice makes perfect."
;"I'll think about it. Let's get some sleep, I'm getting tired."
;"What's two, Jared?"
;"You can heal; okay, probably you can heal, and you can talk with us and others mind to mind."
Trevor hit Jared with a pillow and then started yawning. That seemed to open the floodgates and they all started yawning. They quickly settled down and cuddled up and went to sleep.
It was Saturday morning and the boys had a baseball game that day. They got up and dressed in their uniforms. Zach put on his uniform shirt but not the pants, since he wouldn't be playing today, because of his injuries. They had breakfast and watched some cartoons for a little while before it was time to get going so they could make it to the park in time to play. Before they left, they went to the bedroom to get their equipment bags. Trevor had his cup and was about to put it in his jock strap when Zach came up to him and took the cup out of his hand, and smiled.
"Let me. I want to make sure that everything is properly protected. I wouldn't want anything to happen to anything important."
"Okay, just be careful. Don't play around in there, otherwise it won't fit inside."
Zach grinned as Trevor pulled out the front of his pants and underwear. Zach gently, with his good hand, slipped the cup inside. He made sure everything was properly situated inside the cup. Once he took his hand out, he reached down and helped Trevor adjust the cup so that it sat as comfortably as possible. They both smiled and moved in for a kiss before they left the room. When they got out into the living room, they saw Tom and Jared carrying a cooler outside; there was another smaller cooler just inside the door, and Trevor and Zach grabbed that and carried it out to the Suburban. They loaded them in the back and then Jared and Trevor went back inside for their bags. Terry followed them out and they got into the truck. Zach and Trevor happily held hands on the ride to the baseball field. When they arrived, Zach gave Trevor a kiss before they got out.
"Kick some butt today."
"For you, anything. You know I'm pitching today."
"Really, coach is letting you pitch?"
"Yep, you know I've been working on it and today I get to pitch."
"Cool, take it to them, Tigger."
They got out and saw Jake and Sandy pull up in Jake's jeep, as Tom was opening the back of the truck to get the coolers. He looked over as Jake and Sandy got out of the Jeep, and waved to them and turned back to the coolers. Jake waved back as he waited for Sandy to come around the Jeep and he took her hand. They walked up, and Sandy was smiling with a real twinkle in her eyes. When they got close, Jake put his arm around Sandy's shoulder; both of them were smiling.
"Hi, guys. You ready to play today?"
"Yeah, we're ready."
"So did you two have a nice time last night?"
"You could say that, Terry. I'd say we had a great time."
Sandy casually brought her left hand up and held Jake's hand that was draped across her shoulders. Something caught Terry's eye, and she focused on the hand and her eyes opened wide. She looked at Sandy and Sandy nodded. She let out a happy scream, which made Tom jump.
"I don't believe it. Do you mean it? He did?"
Sandy nodded and Jake got a big grin. Tom turned around at the scream, and saw Terry drop the bag she was carrying and ran over to Jake and Sandy, to hug them both. He was confused. Trevor and Zach were just getting out of the truck after they had kissed when they heard the scream and came around the back of the truck and looked at the scene.
"What are you screaming about, Terry? You scared the shit out of me!"
Terry moved to the side of Jake and Sandy, she took Sandy's hand and held it out towards Tom. There was a glint of reflected light on her left hand, and he saw a nice sized diamond ring on her left hand. Tom's eyes went wide and he grinned at Jake.
"You dog, you finally did it."
"Yep, I figured it was about time."
Trevor was looking back and forth between Tom and Jake with a confused look.
"What? What's going on? You finally did what?"
Jake looked at Trevor with so much love and smiled at him. He beckoned Trevor over to him. When he got there, he put his arm around Trevor and faced the rest of the group and cleared his throat.
"May I have everyone's attention for a moment? After a lot of soul searching and trying to decide if it was worth it."
Jake got punched in the side; he looked at Sandy with a hurt look.
"Just get on with it."
"Okay, I would like to present to all of you, the future Mrs. MacLaren."
He reached for her left hand and showed the diamond engagement ring on her finger. Trevor looked with wonder at the ring and then at Jake and his mom. Then he whooped for joy, which caused several nearby families to turn around. He jumped up into Jake's arms and wrapped his arms around his neck and his legs around his waist. Jake quickly put his free arm under Trevor's butt, to support him. Trevor hugged him tightly.
"Trevor... son... can't breathe... need air."
Trevor loosened his hold and leaned back a little so that he could look Jake in the face. He smiled through the tears of joy running down his face. His mom put her arms around both Jake and Trevor, and Trevor moved one of his arms around his mom as they came together in a family hug. Around them the twins were jumping around and pumping fists.
Tom and Terry had their arms around each other with tears in their eyes as well. Trevor, Jake and Sandy leaned their heads together, looking in each other's eyes. Jake noticed that Trevor's eyes seem to glow bright blue. He figured it must be the sun on his boy's tear filled eyes. Under Trevor's shirt where he was wearing his necklace from Sean, he felt a warmth in the middle of his chest, but he ignored it as part of what he felt right now. Tom and Terry were hugging, but Zach and Jared stopped suddenly jumping around as they noticed a faint glow surrounding the new family for a few seconds before it faded away. They looked at each other and grinned before they continued to jump around. The new MacLaren family pulled apart and Jake let Trevor down to the ground, but kept his arm around his shoulder as they turned to face Tom and his family. The boys and their parents came forward and hugs were traded all around; tears flowed. Zach hugged Trevor and whispered in his ear.
"You got your wish, love. I am so happy for you. I love you so much."
He pulled back and looked in Trevor's face and they touched foreheads and smiled at each other. Jake nudged Sandy and motioned towards the two boys. She smiled and put her hand on Zach's back and gave it a gentle rub. The boys looked up at Jake and Sandy and smiled down on them and Sandy nodded her approval. Zach moved to them and hugged them both.
"Thanks for accepting us."
"There was never a doubt. I am glad that you two have found each other. Besides, you make a cute couple."
They moved back and Zach stood beside Trevor.
"Tom, of course, I'd like you to be my best man?"
"And Terry, would you be my maid of honor?"
"As if you needed to ask."
They were interrupted by Jeremy and Lucas coming up to them.
"Hey guys... uh, why is everyone crying?"
"Jeremy, Jake asked my mom to marry him. He's going to be my dad."
"That is awesome, Trevor."
"Yeah, it is."
"Okay, guys, let's get this stuff out of the truck and get over to the field so that you can warm up before the game."
The boys wiped their eyes and grabbed their gear bags, while the adults grabbed the coolers with the drinks for the team and carried them over to the field. Trevor was practically vibrating with energy, he was so jazzed. They met up with the team and everyone crowded around them to greet Zach and they wanted to sign his cast and ask how he was doing. It took a few minutes before the coach could get the team settled down so that they could get warmed up. Trevor helped Jeremy get his catcher's gear on, so that Trevor could warm up. Trevor did some warm up throws and then really started to throw the ball in there. The first one, a fastball, smacked hard into Jeremy's glove so hard that it caused Jeremy to wince and shake his hand.
"Ow, damn, Trevor, that really hurt. You really burned that in."
"I can't help it, I am so stoked right now. The other team is done and they don't even know it. I can't lose today."
"Well, okay, but can ya tone it down a little right now; just get warmed up. Keep it up and I'm going to be out before we even start."
"'Kay, bud, I'll try to settle down, but it's going to be hard."
"Just do your best."
They continued to warm up. Soon enough it was time to for them to start the game. They were playing their friend Gary's team today. Jared had taken his position at shortstop and Lucas started in left field; Jeremy of course was behind the plate. Their team, the Dodgers, were the home team today and by the end of the first inning, it was apparent that Trevor was almost un-hittable; his fastballs were flying in with so much speed, that everyone just couldn't get the timing. His curves were breaking quickly, which caused constant misses. He threw his share of balls, but any fair hits were on the ground and an easy play for the team to make an out. Between the innings Jeremy was sitting near one of the ice chests. He stuck his hand in the ice water, after an inning in which Trevor had thrown a lot of fast balls that he had caught in the palm of his glove rather than the pocket. During the game Trevor helped win with a triple in the fifth inning that brought Jeremy and another teammate home. There was excitement in the stands as the crowd watched Trevor dominate the other team with his pitching. At the top of the sixth inning Gary got up and finally got the timing right to hit a line drive. Lucas ran back and nabbed it right at the fence. Gary dropped his bat in disbelief and then waved toward Trevor with a smile. The game ended with a score of 2-0. Trevor had just pitched a no hitter, almost a perfect game. His teammates crowded around him and congratulated him. The teams lined up and congratulated Trevor and his teammates for their win. When Gary got to him, they bumped fists and Gary smiled at him.
"I hate to say it, but you were awesome, Trevor. You were burning it in so fast, we just couldn't get the timing right. I couldn't believe Lucas caught that hit."
"Well, today the odds were against you guys. There was no way that we were going to lose today."
"Why is that?"
"Jake, you know, my neighbor? He asked my mom to marry him. He's going to be my dad."
"That's so cool. Well, congratulations, bud. See ya at school."
The team got all their gear out of the dugout and met the families of the team. Several of the family members congratulated Trevor for his pitching performance. Everyone said goodbye and they left the park. Trevor and Zach walked over to Jake's jeep with their arms around each other's shoulders, followed by Jake and Sandy. When they got there, Trevor threw his bag in the backseat and got in, while Jake and Sandy got in the front. Zach leaned in after he looked around him and gave Trevor a quick kiss. Jake looked in the rear view mirror and saw the affection between the two boys.
"Bye, Zach, see ya tomorrow?"
"Yeah. See ya."
"What's going on tomorrow?"
"Oh, sorry J... dad, we wanted to go visit Tim, you know at the hospital and see how he's doing?"
"I guess that can be arranged. Zach, tell your dad that I will come and pick you up tomorrow and we can go visit Tim."
"'Kay, thanks, Uncle Jake. See you guys tomorrow."
Zach closed the door and hurried over to his parents' truck. They waved to each other as they left.
"So when is the wedding?"
"We're thinking June, after school is out"
"Cool. I can't wait."
"We still have to arrange everything, but I agree it's going to be cool."
That night before going to sleep, Trevor sat up in his bed and bowed his head.
"Thank you God. I feel great today. You have made me the happiest person in the world. I have a great new family. Tell my Dad, that I'll never forget him and thank him for sending us to Jake."
Far away in Montana, Sean MacLaren smiled and looked over to his wife as they sat on the back deck and looked out over the prairie in the moonlight as it shined off the large patches of snow stretching out of sight. She smiled back at him as they reached out and held hands.
"Today is a good day."
"Yes, Sean, it is. It is a great day."
Somewhere in Northern California a phone rang. A tall strong-looking dark-haired man walked over and picked up the phone.
"Hello, Kevin speaking."
"Hey Kevin, it's Jim; does Mr. Stanhope have a few minutes?"
"I will check; what is this about?"
"I think I've found someone he might be interested in."
"Okay, give me a moment; I will see if he is free"
The phone was put down and Jim could hear the footsteps recede. After a short time a different set of footsteps could be heard as they returned and the sound of the phone being picked up was heard.
"Hello James, this is Ian."
"Hi, Mr. Stanhope, like I told Kevin, I found a new boy; I think he fits your requirements."
"Have you now? Describe him."
"Okay he is 12, a little over five feet tall, about 100 pounds. Brown hair and light brown eyes. He may be just on the edge of puberty. He fits the description in the email you sent me."
"Sounds interesting. What is the story on him?"
"It's just him and his mother' the father left long ago, before he was born, and is not in the picture. I've got her wrapped around my finger. In the next couple of months I think I can wrap it all up out here. When I'm ready I'll take care of the mother. When she's out of the way, I'll give him a little something to calm him down and check him out. If he meets your requirements, I can turn him over for the finder's fee that you have discussed. If he doesn't meet them and is as good as I think, we'll get him in the movies. Keep him high, get a few movies out of him, and then we can get rid of him."
"Sounds intriguing. Send some pictures and his name, of course"
"Of course. You've got it, Mr. Stanhope. I'll get it to you as soon as I can."
"Very well, good work. Oh, and James, please try not to damage the boy. And as for the drugs, other than when you, as you say, 'try him out', nothing else if at all possible. If he is the one, then he will need to be clean."
"Uh, Yes, sir."
"That will be all, James."
"Yes sir, thank you, sir."
Ian hung up the phone and walked across the study to where Kevin was sitting, drinking a cup of coffee. Ian picked his cup up and leaned against the fireplace. Ian appeared to be a man in his 50's's, with long salt and pepper hair, dark brown eyes, slim, about 5'10, 160 pounds. He was dressed in expensive casual clothes that fit in with the surroundings, a richly appointed large sitting room. Kevin was more muscular: In his mid forties, about six feet, around 190 pounds, well built, with black hair cut short and brown eyes. He was also dressed well. Kevin said nothing, waiting for Ian. Ian had been staring off into space for a few minutes. He came back to himself and looked at Kevin.
"James may have found us a candidate. The boy matches what I have been looking for. He says that he can have everything wrapped up in a month or two. He is going to 'try' the boy out."
"You did tell him to control himself. The last one was too fucked up in the head to be of much use."
"I have waited for a couple of years, I can wait a couple of more months, especially if he can become a companion. If not, we'll make some money off him and put him with the others. He is the best candidate so far, so I am optimistic. I've been looking for a companion for William for some time, and this boy's description fits what I have been looking for. He has his Dark Angel, now if we can find a Companion, well, let's just say a father always wants what's best for their son."
(chuckles) "I hope it works for you, sir."
"If it does, then the fun will really begin."
Kevin matched the smile on Ian's face as he nodded in agreement.
Trevor woke up and remembered everything that had happened the day before. He jumped out of bed with a smile on his face and quickly got ready for the day. He got into the kitchen and fixed some cereal. He started the coffee pot. After he ate, he sat down in the living room and watched cartoons until his mom woke up. About eight his mom came out of her room, dressed in some jeans and a blouse. She gave Trevor a kiss on the head as she walked by. He smiled at her.
"Good morning, my darling boy. How did you sleep?"
"Great. Yesterday was one of the best days in a long time."
"Yes it was."
"So, Mom. How did he propose?"
Sandy smiled and sat down next to him. She put his arm around him and looked into his smiling face.
"We had just finished dinner at L'Opera in downtown Long Beach, and he said he'd be right back and started to get out of the chair. Then he said, "Oops, dropped it" and he got down on his knees and looked under the table for a few moments. I was watching him, trying not to laugh at how silly he looked. I had just turned away to take a drink of my water and he took my hand. I looked around and he was down on one knee, holding an open ring box, with the ring. He had this goofy grin on his face and said, "Would you do me the great honor of joining our families into one?" How could I say no, so I nodded and he took the ring out of the box and put it on my finger. The waiter came out with champagne and the people nearby clapped. We had a few glasses and talked a bit more. We decided to have the marriage in June."
"That sounds cool. I wish I could have been there."
"Yes, that would have been very nice. So what are your plans today?"
"We are planning to go visit Tim at the hospital and see how he's doing."
"Oh yes, I remember, Jake is going to take you right?"
"That's what he said."
"Why don't you find out what time and let me know? Terry and I were planning on getting together to do some shopping."
"Okay, I'll go over there and find out."
Trevor got up and left the house for Jake's. He went across the street and knocked on the door and started to open it, but it was locked. He took his Jake keys out and saw the red light was on. He checked his watch for the time and saw that it was nine thirty. Jake had probably gone to the park with Dee. So Trevor took a seat on the porch to wait; he was pretty sure that Jake would be back soon. Within fifteen minutes Jake and Dee came up the sidewalk. Trevor got up when he saw him and waved. Dee jumped around a bit when he saw Trevor, so Jake unsnapped the leash and let Dee run to Trevor. They horsed around in the front yard for a few moments until Jake caught up with them. Trevor got up and went over to Jake to give him a hug.
"I really like it when you say that."
"Well, I really like to say it."
"I came over to ask when we were going to go visit Tim at the hospital. My mom wanted to know, because she and Aunt Terry are going shopping."
"I could see that coming. They probably want to go look at wedding dresses or something. I think that if we leave at ten o' clock, that would work out for me. I can go get cleaned up and then we'll pick up the twins, or is it just Zach, hmmm?"
"Naw, both of them want to go."
"Sounds good; let your mom know."
"Okay, I'll be back."
Trevor ran back across the street and let his mom know the time. She thanked him and got on the phone. Trevor ran back across the street and into Jake's house. He could hear the shower running and he went to the bathroom door and knocked.
"Dad, I'm back!"
"Okay, I'll be out in a few minutes."
Trevor sat down in the living room and turned on the TV; Dee lay down at his feet. Ten minutes later Jake came back out to the living room, buttoning up his shirt.
"Will you put Dee out back?'
"Sure. C'mon, Dee."
Dee followed him to the sliding glass door and went outside. Jake and Trevor headed outside and got in the jeep. It didn't take too long to get to the Brownings'. They got out and before they got to the door it opened, Zach stood there.
"Hi, Uncle Jake, Trev. C'mon in. Jared will be ready in a few moments."
Tom was sitting in the living room drinking some coffee. He waved as they entered.
"Hey, Jake and nephew Trevor."
"Hi, Uncle Tom."
"The boys told me you were going to visit that kid who was Zach's roommate?"
"Yeah, they wanted to see how he is doing, so I said I'd take 'em. Where's Terry?"
"Oh, she got a call from Sandy, and as soon as she was off the phone, she was gone. Said something about shopping. I assume it has something to do with the wedding?"
"I guess. This is probably how it's going to be until the wedding."
"Yep, get used to it."
Jared came out within a couple of minutes.
"All right, boys, ready to go?"
"See ya, Tom."
Tom waved as they left. Trevor and Zach got in the back seat, letting Jared claim shotgun. They held hands and leaned against each other and enjoyed the closeness. When they got to the hospital, they stopped to get their visitor stickers at the front desk, and made their way up to Tim's room. As they neared the room, they heard some laughter coming from inside the room. They looked in, and sitting in front of one of the entertainment consoles was Tim and his older brother Brad, playing a game and looking like they were having a great time. It took a few moments before Tim saw them at the door. He quickly put the controller down and ran over to them. He went to Trevor and without warning put his arms around the older boy and hugged him. Trevor was surprised but returned the hug. Tim looked up at him.
"Hi, Trevor. It's great to see you."
"You too, Tim."
Trevor looked down at him and smiled.
"I mean, Tim, it is really great to see you."
Tim let go and stood back. They could not believe the change in him. He stood straight, his skin color was good, his brown eyes were bright and shining with health. He had no IV's anywhere that they could see. Other than his mostly bald head, you would not even know that he had been sick.
"Trevor, you won't believe it. I'm cured. The doctor says I'm in remission. He told me that I can go home tomorrow. It woulda been today, but he has to wait for some test results but I get to go home. Isn't that great? And I have you to thank."
The boy wrapped his arms around Trevor once again as the other boys came into the room, followed by Jake. Tim's brother was standing on the fringe looking nervous. As the other boys crowded around, they gave Trevor a knowing look and smiled as they patted Tim on the back. He let Trevor go and accepted the back slaps and congratulations of the other boys.
"Oh, guys, this is my brother Brad. Brad, this is Trevor, he's the one I told you about, and over there with the cast is Zach, and, oh... you guys are twins. I'm sorry I didn't meet you before."
"I'm Jared, Zach's brother."
"Yeah, my little brother."
"I'll show you little, Zach."
The boys laughed as Brad came forward and they bumped fists in greeting. Brad looked at Trevor.
"Thanks for whatever you said to Tim. I hated seeing him like that, and he said you talked to him about not giving up. Soon after that he started getting better."
"Thanks, Brad. I just told him that he had to fight and that a good attitude helps you get better."
;"And maybe a little help."
Trevor glanced at Zach, who was smiling at him.
"I guess, plus good timing. The doctor thinks that they just got the right combination of chemo drugs too, and they just sorta kicked in. Anyway, thanks for visiting him and for giving him the games."
"I was glad to do it."
They were interrupted by Tim's parents and his little sister as they came in. Tim made the introductions and Jake sat down with John and Beth, while the kids took turns playing or watching the others play Armored Core on the Playstation console. After an hour or so Tim's nurse brought his lunch in, and Jake gathered the boys together and they said goodbye. The boys hung back a little when they got downstairs while Jake paid for parking.
"So what do you think now?"
"Okay, I admit, it is pretty cool to see him in the condition that he is in. Maybe you're right, Jared. Maybe I did help. I just don't know how to do it whenever I want. Maybe I'll get better as I get older."
"I guess that could be right. I guess we'll see what happens. Anyway that was cool."
They followed Jake after he paid and headed to the jeep. Trevor and Zach once again sat in the back seat. They stopped at Wendy's for lunch and then Jake took them back to their house and they all got out. Jake visited with Tom, and the boys went to the twins' room. Once there, Zach turned around as soon as Trevor came into the room, pushed the door closed with his foot and put his arms around Trevor and kissed him. Their mouths opened slightly and their tongues tentatively touched a few times.
"You guys really look hot doing that. I wish Jeremy were here."
The two boys pulled apart and looked at Jared sheepishly.
"Sorry, Jared, kinda forgot."
"'S'okay, but we better get back out there. Jake might want to get going."
"Yeah, let's go."
Zach claimed one more kiss as Jared opened the door. Jake and Trevor said goodbye and headed home. Jake joined Trevor and his mom for dinner that evening. It was another nice family evening.
The next day was Monday and Zach's first day back to school after the attack. Trevor met up with Jeremy on the way to school, and as they locked up their bikes they heard a honk and saw Tom's Suburban pull up to drop the twins off. The twins waved as their dad drove off. Lucas pulled up as the twins crossed over to the bike racks. The five friends went inside. Lucas headed off to his homeroom and the other four went to theirs. Zach was greeted by several people as he entered the school; everyone wanted to know how he was. Some of the other boys congratulated Trevor on his victory on Saturday. Every class that Zach went to, he was surrounded by girls who wanted to sign his cast. By the third class he started to roll his eyes at Trevor as they surrounded him. By lunch time, Zach's cast was completely covered and he showed it to the others and pointed at the things written on the cast. He had to turn his arm back and forth as he pointed them out.
"... and see here, I got three phone numbers. Let's see Megan, Amber, and... Susan."
"So bud, are you going to call any of them?"
"Yeah, right. You know that's not going to happen."
He looked around quickly and he leaned closer to Trevor and lowered his voice.
"With you around, they don't stand a chance anyway."
Trevor grinned as Zach leaned back. They finished lunch and headed off to class. During the last class of the day, there was an announcement that said that there would be an assembly during homeroom period the next day.
The gym was filled with students the next morning for the assembly. There was the continuous sound of people talking, shifting around and laughing as people got in and sat down. Mr. Boyce, the principal, stepped up to the microphone.
"Good morning, students, if I could have everyone's attention please?"
The room quieted down with the help of the teachers that sat with their classes.
"Thank you. Good morning, students! Thank you for giving me your attention. I am here to talk to you all about something very serious. This school and in fact this school district takes a very dim view on bullying or harassing of students by anyone. That means for any reason, I don't care what color you are, what religion you are, what beliefs you have, or even your, uh, sexual orientation." Nervous laughter echoed around the gym. "There is zero tolerance for anyone who attacks a student either physically or verbally, none! With that, I have a person here today who wishes to say something."
Mr. Boyce stepped back from the microphone to the sounds of curious voices. From a nearby door escorted by Mr. Johnson came Jerry Stevens, one of the attackers. He was dressed in a light blue knit pullover shirt and khaki pants. The room fell silent as he slowly walked to the microphone. He glanced nervously around the room, but mostly kept his head down. Up in the seats, Zach unconsciously sought out Trevor's hand and held it; Trevor put one arm around Zach and they leaned into each other. Jared put his arm around Zach's shoulder from the opposite side. He gently squeezed Zach's shoulder. Jeremy sat behind him and placed his hand on Zach's back; he was letting Zach know that he was there as well. There was some movement in the seats nearby. The boys looked up and saw Gary and Luke make their way towards Zach. Each of those boys' teachers started to say something but Zach's homeroom teacher, Mr. Keyser got their attention and shook his head, and they nodded in understanding. Their movement had drawn the eye of everyone in the room as the two boys quietly made their way to Zach's side. For some reason this caused the entire gym to go silent. Down on the gym floor, Jerry looked up at the movement and watched silently as the two boys made their way to Zach's side. Students nearby to them made room for them as they came up behind Zach and put their hands on his back. He smiled at them with gratitude. All of the boys had tears in their eyes as they looked at each other. Zach's chin quivered a little, but Trevor turned his head towards him and brought his lips near to Zach's ear and whispered something to him. Zach leaned his head against Trevor's and nodded. Several students nearby, especially the girls, had tears in their eyes as well as they looked on the scene of Zach and his friends. Down on the floor, Jerry wiped his eyes as he stepped up to the microphone.
"He... hello. My name is Jerry Stevens. Some of you know me, most of you probably don't. I used to go to ninth grade here at Mayfair. I can't any longer, because of my actions last week. Me and Mike Grant, Adam Messner, Bill Shoemaker, and Dave Rankin attacked Zachary Browning in one of the restrooms here after school. He was badly hurt and had to have surgery to fix the damage that we did to him. I didn't hit him or anything myself, but I guarded the door, to keep him from getting out or anyone getting in. The other three held Zach while Dave hit him several times. Then they all took turns hitting and kicking him."
He paused for a few moments, and looked down.
"Zach tried to fight them off, but they overpowered him and when he was down on the ground they continued to kick him and hit him. I was standing near the door and was turning to it, when suddenly it flew open and it hit me in the head and I was slammed against the wall, knocking me out. I don't remember anything after that, until the sheriffs were arresting me."
Jerry looked up to where Zach and his friends were sitting.
"It was Dave's idea. He wanted to get back at Zach and his friends because they stuck up for and tried to protect Lucas Heath. He had told us to watch all of them, and if we saw any of them alone, we were supposed to let him know. Also a few weeks ago he told us to keep ski masks nearby so that we could have them ready in case we got a chance, and we would use them to hide our identity."
He paused and took some deep breaths.
"A few months ago, Adam Messner was able to injure Lucas by pretending to trip and slam his hand in his locker. Last week as we were getting ready to leave school, Mike Grant, who was walking ten feet in front of us, stopped and then ran back to us and told Dave about seeing Zach all by himself going into the restroom. Mike really didn't like Zach much, because Zach had hit him with a football to stop him from messing around with Lucas back in November. Dave told us to get our masks out of our backpacks. We went to the bathroom and saw that there wasn't anyone really nearby, so we put them on and snuck in. Zach did not hear us until right before Dave slammed him against the urinal."
He paused again and as he looked up towards Zach and there were tears in his eyes.
"Zach, I'm sorry for what we did. When I saw how bad you were getting hurt, I started to get scared and was thinking about getting out of there when the door hit me in the head and knocked me against the wall. I know that you hate all of us and we deserve it, but I wanted to come here today and say that I'm so sorry."
He looked down again and sniffed a couple of times.
"I followed Dave and did what he wanted, because I thought it made me cool to hang with someone like that. I regret everything I did. I have pleaded guilty and have been shown leniency, and they sentenced me to probation for the next two years and have to do 500 hours of community service and will be going to Somerset High. If I do well enough there, I may be allowed to come back here in a couple of years, otherwise I will finish there."
He looked up at Zach and tears could be seen running down his face; his chin quivered as he tried to hold it in.
"I hope that one day you can forgive me. I don't care about the other guys. I should never have hooked up with them."
He looked down, his shoulders slumped and they started to shake as he cried. Mr. Johnson walked over to him and as he neared Jerry, something caused him to look up in the seats. He saw that slowly making their way down from the seats was Zach, surrounded by his friends, his hand firmly held by Trevor. They ignored the looks that they were getting as they made their way down to the floor holding hands. They silently walked up near to Jerry and stopped. They looked at the bigger, older boy who cried before them.
Jerry raised his head and looked at them; he recoiled a bit from the intense look that Trevor was giving him. Zach raised his voice enough that the microphone could pick it up.
"Jerry, I do not hate you. Hate is a powerful feeling and no one should hate anyone. If I hated you, I would be no better than Dave and people like him."
There was a faint look of hope on Jerry's face.
"But Jerry, I can't forgive you. At least not yet, someday I probably will, but not right now"
Zach's chin started to quiver a bit and his voice broke a little as he got louder.
"Did you know that I came close to dying!? You and your 'friends' hurt me so bad that I could have died if my friends hadn't found me and stopped you."
Jerry started to sob as the full impact of his actions hit him. Trevor moved around behind Zach and put his arms around Zach as he held him and leaned his forehead against the back of Zach's head. Zach leaned back against him and calmed down.
"Jerry, I will forgive you someday. You may never hear me say it, but I will forgive you."
Zach then turned and he leaned his forehead against Trevor's as they put their arms around each other; he looked deep in Trevor's eyes and Trevor's bright blue eyes seemed to glow as he looked deep into them.
;"I'm here, love. No one will hurt you like that ever again if I have anything to say about it."
Jerry looked at the two boys as they embraced in wonder, for he swore he could see a faint glow about them, as their friends surrounded them. They released each other and left the gym. All eyes followed them as they left and no one stopped them. Mr. Johnson led Jerry away. In the silence that followed, you could hear the sounds of sniffles from every part of the gym, and several students were wiping their eyes. Mr. Boyce stepped back up to the microphone after wiping his eyes and cleared his throat.
"Thank you, students. Why doesn't everyone take the rest of this period to think on what was discussed here? Don't forget your things from your homerooms before you go to your next class. If any of you would like to talk to any of us, the teachers and other school administrators are available. Thank you for your attention. You are dismissed."
The students and teachers slowly made their way out of the gym. Some went back to their class, others sat with their friends. There were several guys, those that are of the Dave Rankin and his buddies types, who sneered at the boys and quietly talked among themselves about the little crying fags. They pointed out how Zach and Trevor were holding hands and hugging. Some of them made jokes about how they thought the two fags were going to kiss at any minute. When some of them said this, other students who happened to be walking by, looked at them with distaste. Zach and his friends walked over to one of the trees and sat down. Trevor leaned against the tree and Zach leaned back against him, and sat between his legs. Gary looked at them kind of nervous like, and swallowed a couple of times before speaking.
"Uh, guys... I'm sorry and I know it's kind of personal, but are you two guys... together?"
Zach nodded absently and Trevor looked up at Gary with a challenging look. Gary raised his hands in surrender.
"I... uh... don't care, but I just wanted to know. You guys are cool, I like you as my friends, besides I saw what you can do when you get pissed. You too looked like,... uh, so in love in there. It kind of reminded me of when my dad and mom look at each other sometimes."
Trevor relaxed and smiled.
"Like I said, I don't care, but I'll bet a lot of other people have figured it out as well."
Zach looked up at Trevor and smiled, and got a smile in return.
"Well, we're not going to throw it in people's faces, but we're not going to deny it either. We are who we are, we can't change that."
"Oh... ah... cool. Well, if you ever need me, let me know, you know. See ya, I gotta go get my stuff."
"Yeah, I do too. See ya"
"Bye, Gary, Luke. Thanks."
Gary and Luke waved as they left. The friends sat for a few minutes longer. Jeremy had his arm over Jared's shoulders and Zach closed his eyes as he leaned against Trevor, feeling all of the love that he was pouring into him. They got up and went to their homeroom to pick up their packs and go to their next class. For the rest of the day, several people came by and praised them for their friendship when they saw them, including many older students, mostly girls. A couple of the girls looked at Zach and Trevor; they sighed and muttered something. Trevor heard what one said as she walked away.
"Why do the good ones have to be gay?"
That night at home, they all related what had happened at school to their families. Trevor got some extra hugs from Jake and his mom as did Zach and Jared from their parents. At Jeremy's house, his mom hugged him, and then Roger, who was there for dinner, gave the boy a hug. He also ran his hand down Jeremy's back and let one of them rest on Jeremy's butt for a few long moments more than Jeremy liked. This started to make Jeremy uncomfortable and he pulled away and went to his room. Roger hid a leer as he watched the boy leave the room.