Saving an Angel

by Jason Finigan

This story is set in an alternate reality, and assumes the technology and capabilities of this reality's 23rd century are present in modern-day society.

Portions of this story contain copyrighted characters from other authors. Fictional organizations, situations, and characters from "Out of the Past" are copyright © by Dark Star and are used with permission. Clan Short is copyright © 2004-2008 CSU Productions; all rights reserved

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. This story may contain scenes which involve sexual situations between young males. If this type of material is offensive to you, or it is not legal for you to be reading this type of material, please do not read any further. This story is copyright © 2007-2008 by Jason Finigan, all rights reserved. Please do not copy this story for distribution or post on any online server without the author's permission. Please send all your comments to:

From the last chapter:

"S... Simon?" I said, stuttering slightly in shock.

"Kyle? Is that really you?" the boy asked me. I couldn't help but stare up at him with both shock, and wonder.

"Uh huh! It is you isn't it, Simon? I mean, I'm not dreaming this?" I asked him, still unable to believe that the one person who I'd missed most of all since my mother died was standing there beside our table.

"Yeah, it's me, little buddy," the boy said, grinning from ear to ear. I couldn't help myself as tears of joy and happiness began to fall from my eyes, I stood up and ran to him, wrapping my arms around him and holding him tight, afraid that if I let go he'd leave again and I'd never see him. I didn't care who could see me, or where we were, as I cried into his chest.

"I missed you so much, Simon," I cried.

"I missed you too, Kyle. I have missed you so much," Simon said, kissing the top my head while the other boy he was with, and Ryan, Greg, and Adam looked on.

Chapter 15

"I never thought I'd see you again, little buddy," Simon told me. "I was so sorry to hear about what happened to your mom. I wish I could have been there for you."

"I wish you were too," I said softly.

"Oh, I'm sorry. My name's Simon," he said, looking up at Ryan, and holding out his hand. "I used to babysit Kyle here a couple years back."

"Hi, Simon," Ryan said, shaking Simon's hand warmly. "Kyle has actually told me a lot about you. You made quite an impression on him, and I think it helped him a bit when he lost his mother. I'd like to thank you for that. I'm Ryan Hunter, Kyle's new foster dad."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Sir," Simon said, smiling at Ryan.

"And these other little ones are Kyle's foster brothers. The older one there sitting beside Kyle is Greg, and the youngest one, who you saw me helping, is Adam."

"Hey guys," Simon said.

"Hey," Greg answered.

"Hi," Adam said. He was no longer crying, but I could tell he was still sad about losing his ice cream cone.

"Ah, and this here is Jason," Ryan said, introducing us to a man who had just walked up to the table with an ice cream cone in his hand. "Jason, I'd like you to meet, Simon. Simon used to babysit Kyle when Kyle was still living with his mother."

"Hi, Simon. It's very nice to meet you." Jason then turned to face the boy who was introduced as Adam, and gave him the ice cream cone he had brought over. "There you go, Adam."

"Thanks, Pop," Adam said happily, holding onto the ice cream as if he was afraid he'd drop it again.

"Pop?" Simon asked, sounding a little confused.

"Yes. Jason is actually my boyfriend, and my boys have taken to calling him that now," Ryan said.

"Oh wow! It's really nice to meet you guys," Simon said. "I'd like you to meet my boyfriend, Terry."

"You have a boyfriend, Simon? I didn't know you were gay," I said, looking in shock at both Simon and Terry.

"Yeah," Simon said, blushing slightly. "I met him a few days ago up at Algonquin Park. And I didn't really think I was gay until Terry and I fell in love with each other. You're okay with that aren't you, Kyle?"

"Uh huh," I said, smiling at him. "I think it's really cool!"

"Well, thank you, Kyle," Simon said, laughing.

"Why don't you sit and join us," Ryan suggested. "We were just having some ice cream before going to look around the mall."

"I'd love to," Simon said. "What do you say, Babe?"

"Sounds like a good idea. It's really warm out there, and an Ice cream sounds like a good idea," Terry replied.

"We'll be right back, okay?" Simon said, waiting until I nodded my head to let him know that we'd wait for him.

"That is so cool," Greg said to me. "Your babysitter has a boyfriend."

"Yep. Do you think we should tell him about you and me though?" I asked him.

"Kyle, that's up to the both of you to decide. I don't think that it'd be a problem though. He seems to be a very nice young man," Ryan said.

"What do you think, Hon?" I asked Greg.

"I guess so. But what if he gets upset or something?" Greg asked.

"We don't have to, if you don't want to," I told him, understanding his fear. I always used to tell Simon everything, and this time was no different. Plus I was really proud to have Greg for my boyfriend.

"No, let's tell him. I love you, and he'd find out sooner or later anyways," Greg reasoned.

"Okay," I said. Pretty soon, Simon and his boyfriend rejoined us, both of them carrying a Blizzard from Dairy Queen. Those were just as good as an ice cream cone, since you could use a spoon to eat the ice cream with, and it was always filled with little chocolate bits from candy bars like Smarties.

"Told you we wouldn't be long," Simon said, taking a seat beside me.

"Uh huh," I said, smiling up at him.

"Gosh, this Blizzard is going to hit the spot," Terry said.

"You said it, Babe."

"Hey, Simon. There's something I need to tell you," I said, suddenly getting nervous about telling him about what I was going to.

"Well, you know you can tell me anything, Kyle."

"Greg's my boyfriend," I blurted out. Simon looked at me with his eyes wide, and for a second I thought he was going to get upset with me, making me regret telling him, but then he started to smile, and put down his Blizzard. He then did something I never expected him to do. He gave me a huge hug right there in the middle of the food court.

"I am so happy for you, Kyle!" he said, and I could tell he really was. "Way to go. I bet the two of you are really going to be happy. The two of you look so cute together," Simon said, making both Greg and I blush furiously.

"Thanks," I managed to say.

"Well, this is a cause for celebration," Terry said. "Definitely worth more ice cream!"

"Yeah!" I exclaimed excitedly.

"Okay, but only one more for each of you," Ryan said, smiling at us. "Finish what you have now, and we'll get you some more. Simon and Terry, I'm guessing you guys are going to get another Blizzard?"

"Yes, I think so," Simon said, looking over at Terry who nodded his head in agreement.

"Okay then, they're on me," Ryan said.

"Thanks, Mr. Hunter," Terry said.

"Please, call me Ryan, okay boys?" he said to Simon and Terry. The both of them nodded their heads since at that moment they both had a spoonful of our Blizzards in their mouths.

We ate together in silence for the most part. Simon and I did glance at each other every now and then, I think both of us remembering all the fun we used to have. I couldn't wait to do all that with Simon again, if he wanted to. Now that he had a boyfriend, he might not be able to come see me as much, which made me a little sad, but I was happy for him. Looking at him and Terry, I could see that they were very happy. Just like Jason made Ryan happy, and Greg made me happy. Little Adam was still too young to have a boyfriend or girlfriend, and was just happy to have Greg and me as his brothers.

"So, Ryan," Simon said, speaking up first. "You're these three boys' foster father? How'd you meet each other?" he asked.

"That is a really long story," Ryan sighed. "Basically I met Kyle on the beach. He'd run away from the group home he was at and was living on the streets."

"Oh, Kyle. I'm so sorry. I really wish I'd known, and I could have done something," Simon said sadly to me.

"It's okay, Simon," I told him. "Dad found me first and I'm glad he did. He's treated me like his son since the first day we met. I was scared of him at first, 'cause I thought he was going to take me back to the home, but he showed me that he loved me and cared about me, and made it so I didn't have to go back there."

"Well, I'm really glad he did, Kyle," Simon said.

"Anyways, after I met Kyle, I learned about Greg, Kyle's best friend in the home, and I was able to make an arrangement to let Kyle see him. We had a bit of a disagreement with the director of the home, but since my company donates the majority of the home's funds, I was able to convince the director to let Kyle see Greg. Anna Jacobs, who is the Executive Director of the Halton Children's Aid Society, also came to the home, and I think that helped a great deal as well.

"Kyle led us to the floor he used to live on, and in the hallway was Greg, just getting out of his room. You should have seen the two of them when they first saw each other. It was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen in my life. I knew right then that I had to find some way to let these two stay together. That's when we learned about Adam. Adam was really shy, but had grown very attached to Greg. There wasn't any way I could stand to see any of them taken away from each other, so I told Anna that I wanted to foster Greg and Adam as well. And we've been living together ever since," Ryan finished.

"That is really sweet," Terry said. "You guys are so lucky."

"Uh huh," I replied, agreeing with him. "So what about you and Terry? How did you guys meet and become boyfriends?" I asked Simon.

"We literally ran into each other," Simon said, laughing with Terry.

"What do you mean?" I asked him.

"Well, my parents had dragged me up to Algonquin Park to do some camping. At first I wasn't too thrilled with that idea. The last time we went there I had no fun at all, and was pretty sore from all the walking my parents made me do. Shortly after we got up there, they told me that they wanted things to be different, that they wanted to spend more time with me, which made me really happy. I mean, my parents used to work so much that a lot of the times I was left home alone. So, after they told me that, I was a lot happier, and was just on my way to get some water for my parents when I bumped into Terry. We both ended up on our butts," Simon said.

"Yeah, it was really funny," Terry said, laughing slightly.

"Yep, we ended up visiting each other's campsites, and when I saw how hot it was at Terry's campsite I invited him to sleep in my tent since it was under some trees and wasn't so hot. Terry's whole family ended up moving their tents to our campsite, and Terry slept in my tent that night. That was the night that we came out to each other, and admitted that we had feelings for one another. We've been together since."

"And I couldn't be happier," Terry said, putting his arm around Simon.

"Neither could I, Honey," Simon said.

"That sounds so perfect," Jason said wiping a tear from his eye. "The two of you definitely look as though you belong with each other. How did your families take it?"

"Actually, that's the best part. They were fine with it. My Uncle Tim is gay, and he got married to his husband, five years ago. His name's Darryl," Simon replied.

"And my family surprised me. I didn't know anyone in our family who was gay, but my parents told me that I had an Uncle I never knew about who was gay. It was really cool how okay they were with Simon and me being boyfriends," Terry said.

"Yeah, they were so cool with it that they came down to our house from the park, and are planning on buying the house across the street from us, so we'll always be able to see each other," Simon said.

"My Dad just got a job working for a computer consulting firm here in Burlington, and he didn't want to commute all the way from where we used to live, which was in Kitchener. My Mom is a teacher, and she said she was getting a transfer to a high school in Burlington. I don't think she's been told which school she'll be teaching in though," Terry said.

"Hey, Terry, wouldn't it be funny if we went to the same school that your mother was teaching it?" Simon asked him.

"Oh man! I never thought of that," Terry said, laughing.

"Terry, you said that your father was recently hired by a computer firm here in Burlington?" Ryan asked.


"You don't happen to know which one do you?"

"Um, I'm not sure, but I think it was called Hunter Computer Consulting," Terry replied, after a second of thinking.

"Well, it is a small world after all," Ryan said.

"What do you mean?" Terry asked.

"That just happens to be the firm that I own," Ryan replied.

"Oh wow! I didn't know that. That is so cool. My parents are here with Simon's parents. We were all supposed to meet here in the food court at about one this afternoon for lunch. Maybe you could join us," Terry suggested.

"Yeah, then you could meet our Uncles too, and Terry's sister," Simon said.

"I think we'd like that," Ryan said, looking at all of us. I know for sure I would love to see Simon's family again, and I definitely wanted to meet Terry's as well. "Now, are we ready for that second ice cream?" he asked, to which everyone nodded their heads.

"Yes please," Adam said, causing us all to look over at him. I couldn't help myself as I burst out laughing. Greg was right with me, and so were Simon, and Terry. There was Adam, sitting happily in his chair, his ice cream cone was gone, but he had chocolate all over his face and hands. It was so cute!

"What?" Adam asked, confused as to why people were laughing at him.

"Come on, Adam," Ryan said, getting up from his chair. "Let's get you to the bathroom so we can clean up some of that chocolate."

"Huh?" Adam said, still confused.

"Honey, I think you're wearing half your ice cream on your face," Jason said, smiling at Adam.

"Oh," Adam said, suddenly getting at what people were laughing at, and he too began to giggle slightly.

"The chocolate monster," Simon said, giving Adam a small poke to his ribs which made him giggle some more. Ryan and Adam left together to the bathrooms, while Jason led the rest of us back over to Dairy Queen where he ordered ice creams for Greg, Adam and me, and a couple more Blizzards for Simon and Terry. We each helped carry everything back to the table, where Ryan and Adam were waiting for us, having just returned from the bathrooms. Each of us sat there eating our ice creams, and talking. Greg and I were talking to Simon and Terry, learning all we could about each other. Simon and I especially wanted to catch up on things, and talk about the things we used to do together, like building sand castles on the beach.

Pretty soon we had all finished our ice cream, and it was time to go our separate ways. I was a little sad at that because I didn't want to see Simon leave.

"Don't worry, Kyle," Ryan said. "We'll be seeing them again at lunch time," he assured me.

"Okay," I said, and went to give Simon a hug. I didn't want to let him go, but eventually I did. I then gave Terry a hug as well, before they left to go do some shopping of their own. Ryan had me put our garbage into the garbage bin next to us, and then we started to walk out of the food court.

"So where do you boys want to go look first?" Ryan asked us.

"Dad, can we go to EB Games to look at some games and stuff?" I asked.

"Is that what the rest of you would like to do?" Ryan asked Greg and Adam.

"Yeah," they both said excitedly.

"Alright, then that's where we'll go," Ryan said, and together we made our way to the store which was on the far end of the mall.

"Hey, Dad," I said.

"Yes, Son, what is it?"

"Um, well, do you think Simon could come over some time?" I asked him.

"I don't see why not. Though you don't really need a babysitter any more, not with Uncle Darren looking after you when Jason and I are at work," Ryan told me.

"I know, it's just that he and I used to do all sorts of fun things together, and I'd love to have him over so we can do some more," I said.

"What did you guys like to do the most?" Ryan asked me.

"During the summer we used to go to the beach all the time. Even though my Mom wouldn't let me swim in the water, she did let me get my feet wet, and Simon and I used to build sand castles together. Sometimes we made sand angels."

"Sand angels?" Greg asked.

"Yeah, you know, it's like making snow angels on the ground in the winter, only instead of snow, we'd be making them in the sand," I explained.

"Oh, okay. I get you now," Greg said.

"Well, we're getting together with them for lunch with the rest of our family, I could ask them to come over and we could have a big supper together one day, how would that sound?" Ryan suggested.

"Cool, Dad!" I exclaimed, obviously excited. "You're the best!"

"I just want you to be happy, Son," Ryan said.

"I am, Dad. I've got Greg and Adam for my brothers, and Greg's also my boyfriend. And I have you and Jason as my Dads. I've never been so happy before," I replied.

At that moment, Ryan's cell phone began to ring. I loved the music his phone made when someone called him. It was a song called, 'You Raise Me Up', and it was my favorite. I think that's why he had it on his phone. I memorized all the words to it, and every time I hear it playing, I sing along.

"Ryan speaking," Ryan answered into the phone.

"Hi, Ryan, I hope I'm not disturbing you, right now." It was Anna Jacobs on the other end.

"No, not at all, Anna. The boys and I are just doing some shopping at the Mapleview Mall. What's up?" Ryan asked.

"Well, I was able to make arrangements for Adam and Tommy to see each other today. I took certain liberties, which I'm hoping you won't mind since it's the only way I could make this work."

"No, not at all, Anna. What do we need to do?"

"Tommy's foster parents would like to have dinner with you and your family tonight. Since your home is the only one large enough for everyone to be comfortable in, I thought it would be best to have the dinner there. If you're not able to see them tonight, I can call them back to make other arrangements," Anna said.

"No, that's quite alright, Anna. But I do have a question. Was dinner tonight at our place really your idea or did my Uncle have some say in that?" Ryan asked, chuckling lightly.

"Okay, he may have dropped a few hints," Anna laughed.

"I don't doubt it," Ryan said, laughing with her. "Dinner tonight is fine with us, Anna. What time did you want to have dinner at?"

"I told Tommy's foster parents six o'clock," Anna said.

"Not a problem. Did my uncle say whether he needed me to pick up anything for him for dinner?" Ryan asked her.

"Now that you mention it, he did mention something about needing some haddock, some Caesar salad, croûtons, and bacon bits. He also said he need some potatoes, some carrots, brocoli, and mild cheddar cheese."

"Jeez, you remembered all that?"

"No," Anna said, laughing. "I had to write it all down."

"So I guess he's planning another big one is he? Okay, once we've finished here, I'll head on over to Fortinos to pick up all that stuff. And I'll pick up some stuff for the kids as well. Knowing them, they might not enjoy the fish as much as we would."

"You're probably right about that, Ryan," Anna said.

"Oh, by the way, we ran in to Kyle's old babysitter, and we're going to have lunch with them later on. You should have seen the look on Kyle's face."

"I have a pretty good idea what it looked like. I'm glad that Kyle was able to see someone from before he had to go to the home. You think he and his babysitter would be able to keep in touch?"

"Maybe. I'll find out during lunch today. But I think that won't be a problem," Ryan said.

"Okay then, I'll let you go to enjoy yourself with your family, and I'll see you later on tonight. We should be there around five or so," Anna told him.

"That'll be fine, Anna. Bye for now."

"Bye," Anna said, before hanging up.

"Was that Miss Jacobs, Dad?" I asked him.

"Yep. I've got some good news for you, Adam," Ryan said.

"What's that, Dad?" Adam asked.

"It looks like you'll be having dinner tonight with your brother. They're coming over at six tonight to see you."

"They are?" Adam asked, excitedly.

"Uh huh," Ryan said. "When we're finished here, we need to do some grocery shopping for your Uncle and then we will get to see your brother, and his foster parents."

"Thank you, Daddy!" Adam cried. Ryan bent down to pick him up, and held onto Adam as he cried. "I've missed him so much."

"I know you have, little buddy," Ryan said. "Do you think you would like to get Tommy something while we're here?"

"Yeah!" Adam agreed, then he began to look a little sad. "But, Dad. I don't have any money to buy him anything."

"Don't worry, Munchkin. I'll pick it up for you," Ryan said.

"Thank you, Daddy. I love you," Adam said, hugging Ryan some more.

"You're very welcome, Son. I love you too," Ryan said before letting Adam back down.

Walking into EB Games was like walking into paradise. Well, almost. Every wall was lined with games. Everything for the Wii, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and the computer a person could ever wish for was right here. That's when I saw it, and ran to it as fast as I could.

"Dad, you're not going to believe this!" I said, looking over my shoulder to where Ryan and my brothers were still standing by the entrance.

"What did you find, Son?" Ryan asked me.

"Mario Kart for the Wii!" I exclaimed, holding up the empty box for him to see.

"I didn't know they had the game for the Wii already," Ryan said. That's when a sales associate came around the counter to where we were standing.

"Is there something I can help you with?" The associate asked us.

"Actually, yes, do you have any copies of this game in stock?" Ryan asked.

"No, unfortunately," the associate said, which made all the excitement I felt leave me in a rush. I wanted so much to play the new version of that game on my Wii. "The game hasn't been released yet, and won't be available for another couple months."

"Why the display then?" Ryan asked.

"It's to let people know that they can pre-order the game. Actually we just started it the other day, so there haven't been too many people to ask for it yet," the associate told us.

"Dad, can we?" I asked him. He knew how much I liked that game, and he could see in my eyes how disappointed I was that I couldn't get it today.

"Of course, Son," Ryan said. "Do you need a deposit?" he asked the associate.

"No, you don't need to, however, putting money down would ensure that it won't be sold when you come to pick it up."

"How much will it be?" Ryan asked.

"It'll be on sale for fifty-nine dollars, and ninety-nine cents; plus tax of course."

"Okay, well, I'll pre-order three copies then, and I'll pay the full balance now," Ryan said.

"Three?" I asked him.

"Yep, one for each of you," Ryan said.

"Oh wow, thank you, Dad," Greg said.

"What?" Adam asked, confused as to what was going on.

"Dad's getting each of us a copy of the new Mario Kart game!" Greg said.

"Really?" Adam asked, looking at Ryan with wonder.

"Really," Ryan said, smiling down at him.

"Thanks, Dad!" he said, giving Ryan another big hug.

Once Ryan had finished paying for the three games, we left the store. "So where to next? Greg?"

"Dad, did you say this mall had a hobby shop in it?" Greg asked.

"Yes I did, it's just right over there," Ryan said, pointing to a store that looked like it had a whole bunch of stuffed animals in it.

"What did you want to look at over there?" I asked him.

"Well, I wanted to see if they had any model rockets. I loved flying those with my friends," he replied.

"They are a lot of fun," Ryan said. "I used to fly some myself."

"You, Dad?" I asked, bewildered.

"Sure. I wasn't always a grown-up you know," he said, laughing lightly.

"Well, I knew that," I said, rolling my eyes at him. "I just didn't think you flew rockets or anything like that."

"Son, I used to do more than just fly rockets. I used to build every type of model there was; cars, planes, boats. But my all-time favorite were the model starships."

"Really?" I asked him.

"Yep," he replied. "In fact, when we get home, I'll bring up the model I have of the USS Enterprise."

"Oh, cool. I wanted to get one of those models, but my parents said it was too much money," Greg said.

"That's because your parents were too busy drinking and doing drugs," I told him.

"Yeah. They never had any money for me. Every time my Dad went out to go shopping, he and Mom used to always go into their room and close the door. When they came back out, they smelled really bad and the room was all smokey," Greg said.

"Well, let's see what they have in there, shall we?" Ryan suggested, and we all went into the store, where Greg immediately went to the model section.

I couldn't believe the selection they had in there. The store itself looked to be separated into two parts. On the one side of the store they kept all the stuffed animals, and toys that parents would buy for their kids. On the other side of the store is where the hobbies section was. There were more than just models in this part, there were also puzzles, and games, and electronic train sets, and even a whole section just for painting.

Greg was skimming passed all the models, going through the cars, then the planes, then the boats, until he came upon what looked to me like starship modeler's heaven. There was a huge box, with a picture of the USS Enterprise on it, just like the one that was on the game we had on the computer at home. The game was something, but the model kit, that was entirely different. It was something that you could actually touch. I don't know why I never really got into building models. Probably because my Mom didn't have all that much money, so she bought for me whatever she could. This was actually the first time I'd ever stepped foot in this store, so I didn't even know all this stuff even existed before.

The Enterprise model that Greg was looking at right now was the one with the registry number 'NCC-1701-A'. I knew there was an older version, but I liked this one better. It just seemed to me to look more cool. Besides the Enterprise, I could see that there were also models for the Klingon Bird of Prey, as well as the USS Reliant. They were all so cool. But like Greg, it was the Enterprise that really caught my eye.

Ryan saw what we were looking at, and he got that look in his eye that told me he was planning something. Whatever it was that he was planning, I had a feeling that he'd have two really happy boys on his hands.

"You like boys?" he asked us.

"Uh huh," we said together, still looking at the model.

Ryan waved over an associate, and whispered something in her ear. She smiled and nodded her head, and before Greg or I could say anything, she took the model out of our hands, and brought it up to the desk.

"Dad, what's she doing?" Greg asked her. He was clearly upset, as if his most prized possession had been taken from him, and he would never see it again.

"Shhh, trust me, Son," Ryan said with a mischievous smile on his face.

"I bet you he's getting it for you," I whispered into Greg's ear.

"You think?" Greg whispered back.

"Uh huh. I've seen that smile on his face before. But something tells me he's not done yet," I said. Little did I know how right I was. In the mean time, Ryan had steered Adam away from the models, as he was getting pretty bored looking at them with us. He was definitely not into models like Greg was, or like I was becoming.

Still looking at the model that was sitting on the counter, Greg followed Ryan and Adam over to the toy section of the store. I went with them, right to the part of the store that had all the stuffed animals. Some of them were really small, but others were huge, even bigger than Adam was. I didn't think they made stuffed animals that big, but here they were. Adam was fascinated with this rather large teddy bear. It was almost as big as he was, but it looked to be really soft. I remember I used to have a teddy bear when I was younger, but like everything else that was in my old home when it burned down, it got destroyed.

And now, here was little Adam, about to pick up his first teddy bear, and I couldn't be more happy for him. A teddy bear was just what Adam needed in case he couldn't cuddle with one of us. And it'd also give him some security to be sleeping with it which might let Greg and I have more nights alone together. Up till now, we really hadn't had the chance to be alone, and I so much wanted to cuddle with him, just the two of us. It didn't matter if it was in his bed or my bed. Just to feel him next to me was what I wanted more than anything.

"You like that one, Son?" Ryan asked him, pointing to the bear that Adam was looking at.

"Uh huh. It looks so soft."

"Here, why don't you find out," Ryan said, and pulled down the bear from the shelf, and handing it to Adam. Adam immediately wrapped his arms around the teddy bear, just as if he'd always done all his life. It really was a big bear, but seeing Adam holding onto it, I could tell it was the perfect one for him. I just didn't know how Adam was going to carry the bear through the mall with him, especially since he could barely see above the top of the bear's head.

Greg could see how Adam was getting attached to the bear, and he began to smile. I think he was thinking the same as I was, about us getting to spend more time alone together, but I also think he was smiling because he could see how happy Adam was. Greg really was the big brother to Adam, and I was really proud of him for that.

"Can I keep him, Daddy?" Adam asked, looking up at Ryan with what is commonly referred to as the 'puppy dog look'.

"Yes you can, Son," Ryan said, looking at Adam with pure joy in his eyes. I could tell that making us happy was the one thing that Ryan wanted to do as often as he could. And I don't mean by buying us stuff. I mean, just being with us, and doing things with us like we were doing now. Every time we went out somewhere and were together, we were all happy. It's as if nothing could ruin the day for us, and that's just the way I like it.

"Are we done here?" Ryan asked, looking at the three of us.

"I guess so," Greg said. Still a little upset that he wasn't able to hold that model one more time. We went to the counter, Adam hugging his teddy bear tightly in front of him. How he was able to see where he was going, I didn't know, but somehow he managed.

"Okay, Son, you need to put the bear on the counter so I can pay for it," Ryan said.

"It's too high, Dad," Adam said, struggling to push the bear up onto the counter. Greg rushed over to him, and helped him lift it up. The person who was manning the counter smiled at Adam, and scanned the bar code that was on a small tag on one of the bear's ears.

Ryan was about to hand her his credit card, when he suddenly stopped.

"What's wrong, Dad?" I asked him.

"I forgot something," he said to me, and then turning back to the lady at the counter he said, "Could you?"

She left momentarily, and when she came back, she carried with her not one, but two models of the Enterprise, each one had a little note attached to them. She scanned each one, then Ryan handed us each a model. Greg's and my eyes were wide with shock. There was no way I could know that he was going to get us each the same model kit. Greg's eyes were beginning to fill up with tears, and he looked up at Ryan. He was trying to say something, but no words were coming out of his mouth. Ryan didn't need to hear what Greg wanted to say though, and he squatted down. Greg immediately flew into Ryan's open arms, and even though tears were flowing from his eyes, I could see that he was smiling. Greg was looking at me, and I could see the joy he felt in his eyes.

"Thank you, Dad," he said, letting go of Ryan.

"You're welcome, Son," Ryan replied.

"Thanks, Dad. I didn't think you'd get us both that model," I told him.

"With how excited you boys were to be playing that game, and taking turns running the Enterprise, I had to."

"I don't know how to put it together though," I said.

"Don't worry, Kyle," Greg said. "I'll help you with it."

"Thanks, Greg. I love you."

"I love you too," Greg said.

"Okay, we'll need some paints for those, and some brushes, and some glue." Ryan said.

"I know just the ones. I've built a starship model before, so I know exactly what colours you'll need," Jason said. "Just give me one more minute and I'll be right back."

We watched as Jason went over to the paint area and started to gather up different colours of paint. By the time he was done, he had two handfuls of little paint bottles. He put them on the counter, and then went back to get some paint brushes. The glue was actually stored behind the counter, and the lady behind the counter took out two bottles of that for us, placing them with the paints and brushes that Jason had gathered.

"There we go," Jason said. "That should do it."

"Thank you. Honey," Ryan said.

"There's nothing worse than getting a kit home and realizing that you need a certain colour before you can even glue it together," Jason replied, smiling at Ryan.

"Tell me about it," he laughed. "I've done that on several occasions."

"Is that everything then?" the lady behind the counter asked. When Ryan told her it was, she began to scan everything into her computer. Once everything was scanned, she read out the total to Ryan, and he handed her his credit card. Ryan then signed the receipt, and the lady put the paints, brushes, and glue into a bag for us. She then put the models into two large bags, handing one to Greg, and one to me.

"Thank you for everything," Ryan said making sure we had everything with us.

"You're very welcome, and enjoy those models boys," she said to us.

"We will, thank you," I said to her.

Leaving the store, Ryan led us back towards the food court from where we had come. But instead of stopping at the food court, like I thought we were going to, he kept on going.

"Where are we going now, Dad?"

"Well, it's almost time for lunch, and I thought we'd go to the movie store and pick out some movies, and I think someone wants to pick something out for his big brother," Ryan said, looking down at Adam who was struggling with his teddy bear.

"You mean Tommy?" Adam asked, looking up at Ryan.

"Yep. Do you have any ideas as to what kind of movie he'd like, Adam?" Ryan asked.

"He likes the Harry Potter movies, but I don't know if he has them or not," Adam said.

"Well how about we get them for him, and if he already has them, he can bring it back and pick something else?"

"Sure, okay," Adam said, stopping for a second to readjust his hold on the teddy bear.

"You need some help with that, Adam?" Jason asked him.

"Uh huh," Adam said. "He's really big."

"Yep. How about I hold him for you until we get into the car," he suggested.

"Okay, but will you hold my hand?" he asked Jason.

"You bet, little buddy," he said. Adam handed Jason the bear, which even for him was a little cumbersome to carry, but he managed. Jason then took Adam's hand in his, and we continued through the mall to the movie store.

Pretty soon we entered the store. It was an HMV, and it had a huge selection of movies in it. Not just movies, though, but also CDs. Ryan led us over to the children's section, and located the Harry Potter movies. He was in luck since they had a box set which had all the movies for one price. Tucking that under his arm, he then walked us up and down the isle. There were a few DVDs that caught my eye, but I didn't stop to look at them. Greg was a little less restrained, and picked up a few before putting them back where he got them from. Ryan noticed this and stopped to look at us.

"What's wrong boys?" he asked.

"Well," I said, looking over at Greg and then at the bags we carried. "It's just that you already bought us so much."

"Kyle, remember what I said about me getting you guys things?"

"Yeah," I said, remembering.

"Good, because I meant every word of it. Today is a special day for all of us. You and Greg have become boyfriends, you met your babysitter from when you were younger, and Adam is going to get to see his older brother again. This isn't what we'll be doing all the time, but on special occasions, I don't mind taking you boys out and doing things for you like this."

"You mean if we wanted to go to the movies, you'd take us?" Greg asked.

"Sure, if that's what you wanted."

"Yeah," I said enthusiastically. "That new Harry Potter movie came out, and I haven't seen it yet."

"Me neither," Greg said.

"Well, how about we do that next weekend. Just the five of us," Ryan suggested.

"Cool!" we all said at the same time.

"Okay, then. That's what we'll do. But I'd still like for you boys to pick out a movie that you'd like to see."

"There was one I wanted," I said hesitantly.

"Which one was that, Kyle?" Ryan asked me.

"Um, it was called, 'The Golden Compass'."

"I've heard of that one, it's supposed to be pretty good," Ryan said.


"So go ahead, and grab a copy," he said.

"Okay," and I went over to the display and picked up a copy, bringing it back to Ryan.

"What about you, Greg?" Ryan asked.

"Can I get 'The Waterhorse'? It's about the Loch Ness Monster," Greg asked.

"Go ahead, Son," Ryan said, and watched as Greg went to another display, and brought back a copy of the movie he wanted.

"And you, Adam?" Ryan asked.

"I want to see both the movies that Greg and Kyle picked up," he said.

"Then I guess we're done," Ryan said, and led us to the counter so that he could pay for the movies.

"Hold on," he said, rushing over to another display, and bringing back a CD.

"What's that you have there, Dad?" I asked him.

"It's the new CD from my favorite group. I have them all except this one," Ryan replied. He put it on the counter with the movies, and waited for the guy behind the counter to scan them all in. Once everything was paid for, we left the store, and made our way back to the food court.

"I'm hungry," Adam said.

"We all are, Adam. That's because it's lunch time, and that means it's time to meet Simon and Terry's families," Ryan said. That simple fact brought a smile to my face, and made me walk a little faster.

I think we made it back to the food court in record time, which was probably due to me being so excited to be seeing Simon and his family, and wanting to get there as fast as possible. Simon and Terry were already there, sitting in almost the same spot we were in before. The food court was a little busier, but they had saved three other tables for everyone to sit around. With Simon and Terry, I could see several adults sitting at the tables with them, as well as two young girls. It was almost as if they were having one big party right there in the middle of the food court. Simon was the first to see us coming, and he got up off his chair to meet us.

"Hey, Kyle," he said, gathering me up into a hug. I really missed his hugs, and even with the bag with the model in it in my hand, I was able to return his hug.

"Hi, Simon," I said.

"Hey, Greg, Adam," Simon said, hugging each of them in turn. Adam had to let go of Jason's hand to hug Simon, but grabbed a hold of it again once he and Simon had separated.

"Nice to see you again, Simon," Ryan said, shaking his hand.

"Likewise," Simon said simply.

"Hey guys," Terry said, giving each of us a hug. I was a little surprised that Terry would hug us like he was, but it felt just as nice as when Simon did it.

"So, I guess some introductions are in order," an older man said, standing up from where he was sitting. "My name is Craig Campbell, and I am Simon's father," he said, shaking both Ryan's and Jason's hands.

"I'm Ryan Hunter, and this is my boyfriend, Jason Pierce," Ryan said.

"Yes, Simon did say something about Kyle's new father having a boyfriend. It's really nice to meet you. This is my wife, Anna," Craig said, and Anna stood up to shake Ryan's and Jason's hands as well. "And these are Simon's Uncles, Tim, and Darryl."

"Very nice to meet you, Ryan. And I have to say, you have a really handsome boyfriend," Tim said, shaking Ryan's hand. I looked over at Jason and could tell he was blushing slightly at the compliment.

"Down, Babe," Darryl said, tapping the back of Tim's head with the palm of his hand. "Yeesh. What am I going to do with you?" he wondered aloud.

"Love me?" Tim suggested.

"You know it," Darryl said, and gave Tim a quick kiss right there in the food court.

"Oh wow!" I exclaimed. "Are you two boyfriends?" I asked them.

"And which one are you, little one?" Tim asked me.

"I'm Kyle, that's my Dad and Pop over there," I said, pointing to Ryan and Jason.

"Well, Kyle, it's really nice to meet you. And no, Darryl's not my boyfriend. He's my husband. We got married five years ago."

"Oh cool! You're the Uncles that Simon was telling us about."

"Yep, that would be us," Darryl said, laughing.

"Talking about us again are you, Simon?" Tim asked, looking back at Simon.

"Yep, but only good things, Uncle," Simon replied.

"Smart man," Tim said, to which everyone except us kids laughed.

"Next we have David Long, and his wife Kathy," Craig said, indicating the other man and woman sitting beside each other. "And that is their daughter, Emily," he said, pointing to one of the girls who were sitting at a table with another woman. The two girls looked like they were doing some colouring in a book. "You already know their son, Terry."

"Nice to meet you all," Jason said.

"Oh, I think we've already met once before," David said.

"Really?" Jason asked.

"Yes, didn't you used to work at Future Shop here in Burlington?"

"Up until recently, yes," Jason said. "I'm sorry I can't remember you, I'm really terrible with faces," he admitted.

"You do pretty well with mine," Ryan said.

"That's because I wake up next to you every morning now," Jason said, which made me giggle.

"Beside David, is his brother and Terry's and Emily's uncle, Dale. Finally we have Pam McKendrick, and her daughter Sam," Craig said, finishing with the introductions.

"Very nice to meet you all," Ryan said.

"If you need to say something to Sam, make sure she can see your face when you speak."

"Why's that, Simon?" I asked him.

"It's because Sam is deaf and she can't hear you speak. She can read your lips and she understands sign language. Her mother and I as well as Terry's Uncle know how to read sign language too, so if she says something, one of us will let you know what she says, okay?"

"Okay," I replied. I then looked at Emily, who looked back at me. "Hi Sam, I'm Kyle," I said.

"Hi, Kyle. You want to colour with us?" Sam signed to me.

"What did she say, Simon?" I asked him.

"She said hi, and wants to know if you'd like to colour with her."

"Sure, but can my brothers colour too?" I asked her, to which she nodded her head. Greg, Adam, and I then went over to the table where the girls were sitting, followed by Simon, and Terry, and we sat down, each of us picking up a colour and joining in filling the page with colour.

"Simon tells us that you found Kyle living on the streets. He's only ten years old. How did he end up on the streets?" Craig asked Ryan.

"I can't go into details, Craig, but I can tell you that he was hurt in the group home he was placed in, and ran away from there about two months ago," Ryan replied.

"Oh, how awful!" Anna exclaimed. "He's okay now though isn't he?"

"Yes, he's perfectly all right. My doctor gave him a full check up, and made sure that he wasn't permanently hurt. I'm still waiting on one of the tests, but I'm thinking that it'll turn out okay."

"That's really good to hear. Simon was a wreck when he heard the news about Kyle. He cried for several days afterwards," Craig said.

"From what Kyle has told me of Simon, they had a really special friendship," Ryan said.

"Yes, they certainly did. Did you know that Kyle's mother wanted to hire Simon on as a live in nanny?" Craig asked.

"No. You're joking," Ryan said laughing.

"Nope, it's true," Craig said, laughing with him.

"Well, for all he's been through, I think he's adjusted really well. He even had a part to play in getting Jason and I together," Ryan said.

"Really?" Kathy asked, speaking up for the first time.

"Yeah, Ryan told me that he was so out of it that after dropping me off at my apartment one day, that instead of pulling out of the parking lot, they just sat in the car for several minutes."

"Oh, love at first sight, huh?" Kathy asked.

"Something like that. The next day Ryan picked me up for supper, and we had a really nice evening together. I ended up staying the night, and I have to tell you, that was the best night's sleep I'd had in a long time," Jason said.

"Sure, I bet," David said, laughing.

"Whatever," Jason said, laughing along with him.

"So what were you all planning to do today?" Kathy asked Ryan.

"Well, we're just finishing up here. Lunch today will be the last thing we do at this mall, then I have to go grocery shopping so that we have some food for dinner tonight. Actually, Adam is going to get to see his older brother for the first time since they were separated," Ryan said.

"Why were they separated? I thought they kept siblings together when they need a new home?" Craig asked.

"Normally they do, but this time it was just a matter of available space. The family that is fostering Adam's brother could only take one of them in, so that meant Adam had to go to a group home."

"A group home isn't a place for children their age though," Anna said. "What they need is a family that will show them love, and help them through some of the things they've gone through in life."

"That's my thinking as well, and it's a project that I'm seriously considering. My company actually donates a lot of money to that particular group home, and I didn't like how it was being run."

"You own your own company? Which one? I might have heard of it," Craig asked.

"I'm the owner of Hunter Computer Consulting here in Burlington," Ryan replied.

"You are?" David asked.


"I just got hired by your company a short time ago," David explained.

"Actually, I think I heard Terry say something along those lines," Ryan said. "How are you liking it so far? I'm sorry I didn't recognize you, I don't get to the office very often. For obvious reasons," he said, looking at the three of us as we helped Emily and Sam with the colouring book.

"I haven't started yet. I start next Monday actually."

"I'm sure you'll really like working with us. The people who are there are more like family than co-workers," Ryan said.

"Sounds like the kind of working environment I'll like very much," David said.

"Next time I'm in the office, come see me. I like to get to know at least a little about the employees that work with me."

"I'll be sure to do that," David said.

"I do have a question for you though, Ryan," Craig said.

"What is that, Craig?"

"Now that Simon and Kyle have found each other again, what are we going to do to make sure that they can still see each other?"

"That's a good question, Craig. And it's actually one I brought up with Kyle's social worker today. I'd really want to work something out so that they can stay in touch," Ryan said.

"Where abouts do you live?"

"I'm on Lakeshore, just west of Guelph Line," Ryan said.

"Then you're not too far from us. We're just off Ontario Street."

"I know where that is, that's close to downtown isn't it?" Ryan asked.

"Yes it is," Craig said.

"Well, there is one idea I had in mind if you're up to it, and if Simon is willing of course. I'd like your opinion on this as well, David," Ryan said.

"I'm all ears," Craig said.

"Same here," David said, curious as to why Ryan would ask for his opinion.

"What would the two of you say if I asked Simon and Terry to babysit for us some times?" Ryan asked.

"I'd say you'd have some very happy boys on your hands," Craig said.

"Definitely," David added.

Editor's Notes:

It's good to have this story back. It looks like things are going to be moving along in some wonderful ways. I sure hope Tommy is doing well and that somehow he and Adam can be a part of each other's lives and not tear their new families apart. Boy the models really brought back some of my childhood memories. I loved putting together WWI biplanes and battleship models from WWII. So many hours spent trimming the parts, painting and gluing. Then the decals would mess up, grrrr. Well I'm certainly ready for more. Thanks for letting me edit.