AUTHOR'S NOTE: I apologize for the late posting of part 2 of 2012. See, I was just putting the finishing touches on the story, down in my lab, when this angelic, sexy boy emerged butt-naked out of a portal and abducted me to an alternate dimension where boys rule and men are their playthings - forced to sexually pleasure those boys for hours at a time with whatever skill, resources and grit the men possess.
It took me a week of trying, but I was eventually able to escape and return to our world, whereupon I immediately finished the story and posted it, knowing that you, the readers, were owed that much at least. Boy, am I tired.
Okay, fine, that story is screwy and unbelievable. Not the boy from another world part - that happens all the time, apparently. The part about me escaping. Why would I ever come back to you losers if a planet of boys kidnapped me to be their sexual servant?
The truth is that unforeseen circumstances can and do operate at a high capacity during the holidays and posting the conclusion for December 21st, as was the plan all along, was not possible. Instead, I offer the story's ending to you as a token of the New Year, hoping that as we bid adieu to the Mayapocalypse, we will remember 2012 fondly.
Zed went home. Deke stayed at the silo with Doug and the professor, sleeping in one of the old bunk beds in an emptied store room. He spent most of his time listening to music on his MP3 player.
Doug and the professor worked hard. The two men scanned the incoming data from scientists around the world, creating and testing models on the computer to explain how the universe's fracturing was happening. Eventually those models should suggest a solution, but that would be later.
Neither man mentioned a long term solution for Deke. Where would he live? How would they keep him secret? What about school?
Those things could wait until after the end of the world.
Two days after Deke's arrival, the professor stood behind Doug at the monitor while Doug talked about Planck's Constant and how it fit in their model. The older man rested a firm hand on Doug's shoulder. "Douglas, we need to be doing more about the boy," the professor said.
The touch of the man who had brought him into the world of boylove still thrilled Doug. Rufus Carlsbad radiated a quiet intense sexuality. It was no wonder he was a champion worldwide at capturing boys' hearts and minds - and virginities.
"Sure, professor, what do you think we should do?"
"I thought that you might do more actually."
"Me? You're his grandfather. It seems like we both might-"
"Haven't you noticed?" asked Professor Carlsbad. "He doesn't talk to me."
"Just the bare minimum to get by, but no conversations." The older man shook his head. "I don't understand it."
That night at dinner, Doug said to Deke, "You know, if you're getting bored up here, you can help us in the lab. There's transcription and answering phones and photocopying and all kinds of things."
"No thanks," said Deke with a nervous glance at the professor. "I don't think I'd be comfortable down there."
The next day, Deke missed lunch. He was not in the silo. Doug found him above, sitting on a rock pile, at the edge of the cow pasture near Highway 2.
"Deke, you can't be out here. Someone might see you."
"So? They'll think I'm the other Zeke."
"What if someone mentions it to your mother? She'll know something's up because-"
"She's not my mother," Deke said quietly.
After a moment to think about a good response and failing, Doug said, "You want to talk about it?"
"You've got to talk to someone."
"There's no one. The other me is immature and scatterbrained; the professor- I can't talk to him; and you lied to me!"
"I did not!"
"Not you. The other Doug." Deke scowled. "But you would have done the same thing."
"He had a good reason. He was saving you-"
"And what if you decide there's another good reason to lie to me? Huh?"
Doug said nothing.
"See? I can't trust you."
"You should trust your other self at least. He's not the idiot you take him for. You used to be him after all."
"Well what you are now couldn't come out of nothing. The material for it is in Zed somewhere. He's loyal. He's tenacious. He's smart."
"He's weird, he's goofy and he's creepy," said Zed as he and Doug walked towards the supermarket through the parking lot. "I'm not talking to him, Doug."
"Why are you acting this way? I know you're better than this. When that kid from Nepal was having trouble fitting in, you're the one that got everyone to be friends with him."
"That's different. Plus that guy was cute."
"Yeah, I see your point," said Doug, "Deke is just butt ugly."
"That's my point, Zed," said Doug. "This kid is you-"
"There's already one of me," said Zed. "You coming over for Thanksgiving?"
"I don't know. The professor's trying to figure out something so we don't have to leave your double at the silo for the day."
"See, that guy is nothing but-"
"Zed, I need to ask you something."
"You and the professor, you're okay with each other right? You're not afraid of him or you don't have some secret problem with him do you?"
"What are you talking about?" asked Zed as if Doug were an idiot. "He's my grandpa. He's cool. Everything's okay."
At the supermarket, Zed took a cart of his own and said, "Meet you at Billy's counter after I get the oranges."
Billy had been the deli clerk since Zed was five years old. He had moved away a year earlier, but Zed and Doug had continued to refer to the deli as 'Billy's counter'. And Zeke always bought a bag of oranges for Doug because he knew Doug ate them like candy.
Thanksgiving dinner was held in the silo command center, the professor pleading the urgency of his work as an excuse to make everyone shift their plans. It was actually roomier than Doug expected, once the pool table was shoved in the corner. The guests were the professor's wife, Zed with his mother and father, and his Uncle Bill.
Deke hid out in his room, the door bolted.
Just before the turkey was ready, while everyone was watching the football game, Zed came nervously into the room, walked over to his grandmother with a tin of paint and said, "Grandma, I've got the paint you wanted."
"What's that, darling?"
"The paint. Zed said- You said you wanted paint."
"What kind of stupid joke is this, Zeke?," his father asked. "Stop trying to spoil Thanksgiving with your twisted pranks!"
"Sorry, Pop." Head down, the boy took a seat on the couch, dropping the paint can between his feet.
His grandmother took his hand and said, "It's okay darling. I know you didn't mean anything bad." The boy leaned into his grandmother and hugged her.
A minute later, Doug unlocked the bedroom where the real Zed was hiding. The boy was playing a hand-held video game - in his underwear, having given his clothes to Deke when they traded places. Doug said loudly, "Stop with the practical jokes, Zed. You made that poor kid look like a total fool with-"
Zed looked up from his video game and shouted back, "Oh, please! The world is coming to an end and you want to get on my case about a harmless joke?"
"Your world is ending." Doug pointed back down the hall. "His world already ended. That makes a hell of a difference you know."
"No, it doesn't. He's got the same amount of time left as me. We're the same."
"Jesus!" Doug locked the door. "I knew you were behind the curve on this whole empathy thing, but I figured at least with your own self you'd-" Doug sighed. "You hurt him, Zed."
A flicker of regret crossed Zed's face. Doug stared him down. "Fine," said Zed. "I was wrong. I'm sorry."
"Don't tell me sorry. You didn't hurt me."
"Didn't you tell me that anything that hurt me also hurt you?"
"He's not you."
"Isn't he?" asked Zed, smiling.
"God, this is an existential nightmare."
"I don't know what 'existential' is."
"I bet Deke knows," said Doug. "There's one difference between you right there."
"Do you think he's sexy?"
"So I'm not sexy?"
"Well, yeah, he's sexy, but only because he's like you."
Zed tossed the video game aside and faced Doug. "But there's got to be something that-"
"Look, this is not a useful conversation," said Doug, "so I'm done with it."
"See, that's what I was saying. There's some things not worth worrying about. Doug, this is the last Thanksgiving in history."
"If it's so monumental, then why are you spending it playing video games?"
"What I really want is a blowjob," said Zed, picking up the video game again. "But that's not possible, so I'm making do."
Doug looked at his watch, then back at the half-naked boy. "It might be possible."
"Don't tease me."
But Doug was already on the bed with Zed, tugging the boy's briefs down. The boy's slim dick popped up, swaying. The video game fell to the floor. Doug slurped and stroked the thin dick, making Zed wriggle and giggle. The pleasure of giving head to his boy was pure and uncomplicated: The boy was purring with sensation and lust, and Doug felt a deep, erotic pride at giving him those feelings. The intimacy of the act - the trust and shared naughtiness and sense of belonging to each other - immense as it was, took second place for Doug to that simple fact that sucking Zed's dick made the boy happy.
Doug slid his hand under the boy's balls, reaching his fingers back to the wrinkly pucker between the smooth ass cheeks. As he kept up his sucking, Doug caressed the boy's hole. Zed's squirming doubled and he growled his appreciation.
The smoothness of the boy's stomach, thighs and balls invited Doug's touch and he used his free hand to stroke them, as much for the idea of exciting Zed further as for the soft, tactile thrill it brought his fingertips.
The hardness of the little boy dick in his mouth mirrored the hard dick in Doug's dress pants. Each second, the shaft seemed to strain more and more to be stiffer and more pulsating than before. Zed folded his fingers firmly into Doug's hair. It was time. Zed was ready to blow.
Three sharp knocks came from the door.
"Zed?" said Deke softly from outside.
"Fuck!" said Zed.
"Zed," called Deke, "it's been fifteen minutes. Time for us to switch back."
Doug groaned in frustration as he pulled off of Zed's hard, little dick.
"Wait, no!" said Zed. "I'm almost there. Finish me off."
"We can't leave him out there. It'll look weird and somebody'll notice."
"Let him in then. I don't care if he sees."
"Pull up your underwear," said Doug and then he opened the door for Deke. When the second boy entered, Doug told him, "Okay, give him back his clothes." Then he said to Zed, "And no more tricks. Come straight back after fifteen minutes and keep the exchanges regular just like we planned. Maybe if you behave yourself, you can have a reward at the end of the night." Doug made a sucking motion behind Deke's back for Zed to see.
For the rest of the night, Doug could always tell which boy was inhabiting the room just from their demeanor. Deke, with an attentive sadness, listened to every scrap of conversation. Zed watched TV resentfully. At one point Doug quietly said to him, "I promise you, this isn't the last Thanksgiving."
"How can you be sure?"
"Because Deke got here early enough to warn us. We've got a head start."
"If we're depending on Weirdo to save is, it's hopeless," said Zed.
He never did get his reward at the end of the night.
"It's like a brick," said the professor to Deke as Doug watched.
"What?" Deke asked.
"Imagine a brick, like they build things with. Take a hammer, hit it hard enough and the brick cracks and breaks."
"Our experiment was like that hammer. The information transferred to the space-time structure set the universe cracking. The problem is that once a brick cracks, there's no way to undo it."
"So you can't fix the butterfly effect?"
Doug said, "According to you, they had found a way on your side. What we need is for you to remember every single scrap of information about what they did. We need to decide if they really had a machine they thought would work or..."
"Or if it was another lie you told me?"
"That was not me. I never lied to you."
"Did they actually build something?" the professor asked. "I find it hard to believe they'd fake going that far to convince you."
"Of course they built something!" said Deke. "How else do you think I got here?"
"The same machine sent you here?" asked the professor. "The same one they were going to use to cure the damage?"
"Yes. They built it right here in the silo. It didn't need a lot of power. Everything it did was suggestive. Signals into spacetime to trigger effects, like a catalyst in a reaction."
"Well if it was working why didn't they fix things?"
Doug interrupted, "They didn't know what signal to send. Or where to send it. And I doubt they could risk trial and error. After all, just testing the signal path created the whole mess to begin with."
"Well, they figured out how to send you here."
"Yeah," said Deke. "Our Doug found out how from another Doug."
"Wait, a third me!?" asked Doug.
"Yes. From another parallel universe."
"How many of me are there?"
"Infinite, the way I understand it."
"So this third me, how did...?"
"He used his machine to send over a DVD. It was all he could manage before his world got broken apart, but it showed how to make the machine, and the settings for inter-dimensional breaching. It gave us a head start so that we'd be able to do more with it. In the end, my Doug was able to send over something bigger - me."
"So why did you not come with a DVD?" asked the professor.
"Yeah," said Doug. "All your 'me' gave us was a sheet of paper."
"And a music player," Deke said despondently. Then light dawned in his eyes. "Oh my God, the music player. Doug borrowed it Saturday morning before he sent me over. He was telling me something about it before he put me in the machine, but then the power went out from a Fracture and everything was a mess and he was panicking and he never finished telling me."
"Plug that thing into my computer," said Doug. "Let's look at the hard drive."
They worked on the machine for three weeks, using the records in the music player. They uploaded the plans to the rest of the world too, telling them only that a Doug from a dying universe had sent it.
That first weekend, the professor had to leave for the university, to run tests on some specialized equipment there.
Zed visited, as usual. On Friday night, after some games of pool, and a pizza, Doug went to work in the lab instead of taking Zed to bed as he usually would. Not long after, Zed came to him there.
"What's wrong?" Doug asked.
"Nothing. I just wanted to watch you work."
"No, you didn't."
"I wanted that blowjob you owe me." Zed tickled Doug's shoulder with a finger.
"Deke is home," said Doug, turning back to his desk.
"So, he might hear us. Or walk in on us."
"So, lock the door, genius."
"Look, Zed, ever since he found us at Thanksg-"
"Don't call me 'Zed'! My name is 'Zeke'. Okay? It's always been 'Zeke' and nothing's changing that, especially not some freak from another universe."
"Calm down," said Doug.
"Oh, fuck off." The boy slammed the door and left for the night.
That week, the Fractures started. In one incident, cars driving through a tunnel in Switzerland emerged through a rift in Japan, forty feet above the ocean. Hundreds died. The end of the world was no longer a secret.
Suicides, riots and robberies spiked briefly, as the press conferences and news reports delivered the news of the Fracturing, but most people took it with calm. The same situation that had developed in Deke's world soon took hold. Restrictions on air travel, schools shutting down, less long distance communication.
The professor forced Doug to take Deke shopping.
"He's showing signs of depression," the professor had said. "I'm not surprised. He's been isolated. No contact with family, friends or even strangers. Just me and you. And the whole time he's been grieving for a whole planet."
At the supermarket, Deke took a cart of his own. He said, "Meet you at Billy's counter after I get the oranges," then he walked off.
The words struck Doug like a knife in the skull.
'Meet you at Billy's counter after I get the oranges.' The exact words Zed always said when they got to the supermarket.
This was not some boy who looked like Zeke. This was Zeke, body and soul. It made no sense for Doug to think in terms of 'his' Zeke and the 'other' Zeke.
They were both his.
Doug stood there for a long moment thinking. So long that Deke was soon back, drinking from a carton of apple soy drink, the way he always did after getting the oranges.
"You forget what you wanted?" Deke asked.
"No. Just realizing that maybe I want more than I first thought."
"Okay." Deke shrugged his slim shoulders in that 'whatever you say, old man' way that he had perfected over his years of dealing with Doug and wandered off to the cookie aisle.
After gathering their supplies, Deke started his usual banter with Mrs. Cranton at the checkout. He teased her about her love life and she teased him back about all the girls who were lying in wait to ambush him through his teenage years and the terrible things they would do to his heart.
"You seem like you had fun," Doug said once they were in the car.
"Yeah. It doesn't feel real being out here and seeing all these places and things that I know are gone. Like I'm in a dream. But I know it's all real and...that makes me happy. That over here Mrs. Cranton and Billy and you are alive and okay." Deke reached over with a hand and stroked the top of Doug's thigh, smiling.
All Doug could think was how much he wanted to kiss Deke. The boy seemed to read this in his face and quickly backed away, slumping into his seat and staring at his knees, eyes wet with the tears he was holding back.
'Back to being depressed,' Doug thought to himself.
"I don't understand," said Zed. "Are you saying you want to be with him instead? With Deke?"
"No!" said Doug. "But I need to be honest with you. I have feelings for this boy because he's you and everything I like about you, everything I feel for you, it goes for him too."
It was the second weekend after Thanksgiving. Doug was eating oranges in the kitchen with Zed, who was working through a plate of Twinkies. The professor had asked Deke along to a parcel delivery warehouse, to pick up some pre-fabricated parts for the machine.
"So, what are you saying? What do you want?"
"I don't know what I want," said Doug. "That's the whole problem. I want to be with you. I want to keep you happy. But I want him to be happy too and I think he really misses being with me."
"But he is different from me," Zed said. "He knows more stuff and like, he's better at pool."
"He spent more time in the silo, with the pool table and the professor, so he changed a little, that's all. You're not the same person as you were last year. You've changed a whole lot too since we first...well, you know."
"So you want my permission to fuck him?"
"God, no." Doug took a breath. "Look, I haven't always told you the truth about what I felt and what I wanted and what I was worried about. I sometimes felt you couldn't handle it. But I'm starting to think that was wrong. Suppose you found out six months from now that I was having these feelings all along and never told you? You'd feel a lot worse then."
"There's not going to be 'a six months from now'," Zed said, walking away from his unfinished Twinkie.
"No! You can't go," screamed Deke.
"It's only a short trip," said the professor.
"It's not safe."
It was the third weekend after Thanksgiving. Doug, the professor and the two Zekes were in the lab for a lunch break when the professor had told them about a Washington conference with the president to create a plan for using the various machines nearing completion around the world.
"I don't see why you're so upset, Deke," the professor said. "I've gone to Washington dozens of times. And this is important. You know, the odds of getting into an accident-"
"Odds don't matter. Only reality matters."
Doug looked up from his tablet. "That doesn't even make logical sense."
"Shut up!" Deke left the lab.
"Zed," said the professor, "go see if you can calm him down."
"What? Why me? You guys made him mad."
Doug said, "The people who made him mad aren't going to have much luck calming him down, are they?"
About fifteen minutes later, Doug went looking for the boys. The kitchen was empty. Deke's room was empty. He found them in his own room. Zed was holding Deke to his chest. The lights were off and they were both crying quietly.
He sat on the other side of Deke and hugged both boys, grateful for the feel of their warm bodies. He desperately wanted to ask what was wrong, but sensed that not talking was the right move. He kissed Deke's hair softly. The blonde strands glowed in the faint light from the doorway.
After about five minutes, they heard the professor calling for them, but they held together in their embrace.
"What's all this about?" The professor asked quietly from the door.
"Grandpa," said Zed quietly. "Deke says that if you go to Washington, you'll die."
"He can't know th-"
"He says that over where he's from, that's what happened. There was a Fracture and you got caught in it and died."
"But, Deke, the Fractures aren't the same. We never got a wave in Seattle like you guys did. The worlds are breaking differently, the way two identical windows would break differently. It doesn't-"
"Grandpa?" said Zed softly. "Could you just not go to Washington?"
"Sure," said the professor, smiling. He sat next to Zed. "The president can go fuck himself."
"Grief is a funny thing," said the professor, pouring a shot of whiskey for himself. Doug had already downed two. The boys were asleep, sharing Deke's bed.
"What do you mean?" asked Doug, working on his third drink.
"I died a week before everyone else over there and because of that my loss struck Deke harder. He didn't avoid his parents at Thanksgiving the way he's been avoiding me because their deaths were more abstract.
"And look at Zed," the professor added. "When he thought I had died the same way as everyone else over there, he didn't get upset over me. He's known his parents died over there too, and he's still not upset about them. But me dying separately, in an accident, made him hurt so bad that for the first time he had something he could feel in common with his duplicate."
"He was very mature tonight," said Doug. "Zed, I mean. I was impressed. You suppose it's Deke's influence rubbing off?"
"Maybe. Or maybe it's just that we all grow up eventually. A fact that we who love boys are more painfully aware of than most."
Doug laughed. Then he looked at the professor for the first time in years without keeping his emotions from his face. "I think the boys feel that pain too."
"My poor Douglas," said the professor, pouring another drink. "You miss the sex?"
"And all the things that went with it," said Doug. "The closeness, the sense of belonging. I still remember the last time we were together. Just a blowjob. I think my butt was too hairy for you by then."
"Yes, but you still had purty lips."
They both laughed.
So," asked Doug, "you look at me now and what? Nothing?"
"I still see my boy. I still love you, Douglas. It hurts me too that we can't go back to what we were for each other. But it's not the same. That's just the way of the world for our kind."
"In my head, I know that, but...Zeke's my first boy. It's hard for me to think that all these intense feelings and compulsions I feel will just evaporate in a few years."
"Everything ends eventually," said the professor. "As we've learned these last few weeks. Maybe if we're lucky what we feel gets reborn in another time with another lover. And then it ends again and returns again, like..."
"Some kind of torture?"
The professor chuckled. "I was going to say 'cosmic pendulum', but I think you're closer to the truth."
The men clinked their glasses and drank again.
The top of Mount Everest disappeared at 9:32 a.m. local time on the twentieth of December. The scientific estimates world-wide gave noon of the twenty-first (North Dakota time) as the last moments of the universe.
The machine in the silo was ready to go at three that morning. It was an early breakfast for Deke, Zed, Doug and the professor and then they descended to the lab.
The machine was a six-meter sphere, with a glass top and bottom and curved steel pylons at the sides sides connected by more glass. Four small tanks of pressurized air were attached to the pylons at their thickest points.
"You're going to be the pilot, Deke," said the professor.
"Why me? I don't even know how it works."
"You don't need to know the technical aspects. You'll be like that chimpanzee in space. All you have to do is push the right buttons at the right time."
"Why don't you push the buttons?" said Deke mockingly. "You're probably as smart as a chimp."
"Because you, my dear grandson, are not of this world."
"What's that got to do with it?" asked Zed, coming up from behind to inspect the sphere. "I actually want to pilot the machine. Send me if Deke doesn't want to go."
The professor said, "Remember how I said the cracking of the universe was like breaking a brick?"
"Yeah," said Deke. "You can't put it back together again."
"Well, thats not strictly speaking true. You could crush the whole thing to pieces and make a whole new brick from the bits."
"But it won't be the same brick," said Zed. "Even if you make it look identical, inside it's not."
"If you had a way to guide each molecule, to guide each bond that is created, you could recreate an identical brick."
"You'd need a supercomputer more powerful than every single one on Earth put together," said Zed.
"Not if we don't have to do the calculations. Doug and I have found a way to make the underlying universal spacetime structure duplicate the condition it was in at a previous time, before the Fracturing started. The best part is that the data is sitting there in the history of the bits and pieces ready to be accessed, so we don't have to calculate anything."
"Like restoring your computer system from a backup you saved before it got messed up?"
Both men smiled. "Well said. Exactly right."
"But won't that affect our existence?" asked Deke.
"Not you. Only the things in this universe."
Zed exclaimed, "So I'm going to get wiped out?"
"No. You won't notice anything. If this works, only the underlying structure of spacetime gets reloaded, the information underneath it all that tells it what to do. Spacetime itself will stay as it is, in that moment."
"If it works," said Zed.
"The thing is," said Doug, stroking Deke's hair, "Every part of spacetime that is marked as part of our universe will go static. Something from outside needs to get it moving again."
"Me?" asked Deke.
"Remember how I said your body and Zed's would have some kind of marker to quantify which universe each of you was from?"
"Well, your Doug found those markers. It was in his research. Think of them as frequencies for the different bits and pieces of reality. We found a way to manipulate the frequencies to make it seem like things are from different universes. As far as this sphere knows now, it's part of the universe you came from, Deke. When the rest of our universe goes static, this thing and the transmitter inside will keep going."
"So why me?" asked Deke.
"As a back up mostly. We don't know if the automated systems will work. We have no idea what order things will happen in for instance. You might find time seeming to run in reverse and all kinds of other exotic things might happen. There are so many unknown factors. In case the computers don't work, you need to send the start signal."
"But, Grandpa, you could use your frequency change process on yourself and you can go along."
"The process involves some serious radiation that I would not survive."
"So I'm the only one that can do this?"
"Don't worry, Deke," said Doug. "You won't be alone. I'll be coming along. I'll show you everything and how it works. I'll probably be out of action with the rest of the universe when it blinks out of time, but by then you'll be all set."
"Can I come?" asked Zed.
"No. This isn't a field trip."
"You can stay here and help me run the monitoring sensors," said the professor. "When they come back we'll need to know for sure that what we did worked."
Doug took Zed into his arms. "Baby, I love you. Always." He kissed the boy like it was the last time he ever would, taking in each line and slippery surface of Zed's lips. Doug was aware of Deke watching them, but for the first time, he felt no guilt. There were no more secrets. The boys were not competitors. They were partners.
Once the good-byes were over, Deke and Doug walked into the sphere and closed the glass door.
"No seatbelts or anything?" asked Deke. They sat cross-legged on the floor, facing each other. A tablet computer lay between them, counting down in large glowing numbers. Outside, the professor waved and typed into his keyboard.
There was no whirring or buzzing to show that the power was on. No lights flickered. Things just started to fade. At first it was like the color was washed out of the world outside the sphere. Then after a minute, it was almost like a photograph being replaced by a blackboard sketch.
"Why's this happening?" asked Deke.
"I think it's just us being unmoored from reality."
"It's like a black hole in reverse then. Everything outside goes black because all that light can't reach us anymore."
"But then how will our signals get back to the real world?"
"The sphere is designed to be visible across dimensions in every spectrum," said Doug. "That's the whole point of the transmitter."
The man and boy hugged each other, side by side, as the world outside the windows of their bubble dropped into nothing. They began to float upward.
"Relax. We just got cut loose from gravity. Remember, nothing from out there will affect us here."
The timer on the tablet reached zero and Doug swam awkwardly over to the wall. He pressed his face to the glass, but could garner no sensation of depth or scale to the darkness outside. It was just nothingness.
"So what's next?" asked Deke, his brown eyes large and alert.
Doug pointed at the tablet. "This thing is controlling the system. It's already broadcasting."
"And how will we know if it works?"
"First, we'll know if it does anything at all because the effects will hit me too. If it works, as in healing the Fractures, we can't know until we get back."
And that's when their clothes faded out.
"What was that?" asked Deke, covering up his crotch with his hands.
"That was proof that the signal is making things happen. I take it you were wearing Zed's clothes?"
"C'mon, we don't have long." Doug showed him a new program on the tablet. "If this computer stops working, you'll have to go to the hardwired control in each pylon and match them with the new frequency readings on the displays to trigger the signal that will get the universe moving again."
"Okay," said Deke. He reached up to a display screen, running his fingers over it. Doug let slip a naughty thought about how smoothly and delicately the boy's naked ass curved.
Deke asked, "Couldn't you just have hardwired the computer to the controls? Some USB cable and a splitter-"
"Long cables mean more potential for electrical disruption. The professor seems to think that you'll be less affected by everything."
"Man, why is this part so complicated?" Deke asked.
"Because my dimension isn't going to have the same frequency with the new 'software' we give it. We can't predict the new frequency, but once we analyze it, we know how to target our restart signal."
"So we're actualy creating a new universe?"
"Kind of. It's more like-"Doug felt a cramp in his stomach, like the onset of diarrhea. "Ughn."
"What is it?"
"I don't feel too good."
Deke reached over to steady Doug. The man roared in pain as Deke's fingers penetrated his flesh like it was play dough.
"Don't touch me! I'm falling out of synch with the bubble. Just do wh..."
The world disappeared into blackness for Doug: the glass, the tablet he had been holding and finally the terrified, screaming face of Deke, who was reaching for him and grasping nothing.
Floating in emptiness was terrifying and boring at the same time. Until Doug realized he was out of air and then it was just the most terrifying experience of his life.
He clamped his hands over his face to keep what little air he had in. His lungs burned and his throat hurt. His ears were ringing. Then buzzing. Then the noise sounded like faraway screaming.
Someone was calling his name. A thin, strained voice, like someone yelling from the other side of an ocean.
Zeke. Zeke was shouting his name.
"Zeke," he wheezed, letting out his remaining breath. He gasped and inhaled. Sweet, cool air hit his lungs. He continued breathing in huge pants.
A hand was on his shoulder.
There was a barely discernible shape before Doug in the darkness.
"Zeke, what happened?"
"You were gone. I was alone and...and I hit the controls like I was supposed to and then nothing happened and I've been here all alone and then-"
"How long was I gone?" asked Doug, realizing that the universal restart had taken place and he was now unfrozen.
"I don't know. Weeks."
"We only have ten hours of air. You probably just couldn't tell time with the sensory deprivation is all."
"The tablet disappeared after you," said Deke. "And the whole bubble started to fade out. I couldn't move. It was like my knees and elbows were exploding."
"The electricity in your body wasn't flowing properly," Doug told him, rubbing his back.
"My eyes were burning and my whole brain hurt just to think."
"And you still managed to send the signal before the bubble was all gone?"
"Yeah. And then I was just floating here not knowing where you were and what was going on and everything was dark."
"You were brave, Deke. Like a lion. I'm proud of you."
"It felt like I was alone forever," cried Deke, hugging Doug. Both of them were still nude. "Don't leave me again, Doug. Please!"
"I won't. It's over now."
"Then why is everything still dark?"
"Maybe there was a problem with the signal. Too much power or not enough or we sent it to the wrong universe. I don't know."
The boy pressed his face into Doug's chest, his blond hair glinting faintly.
"It's been getting brighter," said Doug, trying to offer some hope. "There's light somewhere. And we can breathe and talk, so there's air. I think the bubble's still around us. I've felt something squishy under my feet a couple of times, like it's fading back in."
"So everything's coming back?" asked Deke. "It worked?"
The boy was warm and smooth in Doug's arms. Doug held him closer as they drifted in the red-tinged dark. Doug kissed his hair. His nose. His lips.
Doug wanted to reassure him, but he had already lied once to this boy in another world and he could not betray his trust again. "It's a possibility that everything is healed somewhere and the bubble could just be off on its own, drifting or something. But, in all honesty, we should have been back by now if things worked the right way."
Their universe was gone. The only real thing they had was each other and the air they breathed. Doug laughed at the thought.
"What's so funny?" Deke asked.
"I was thinking of that old song: 'All I need is the air that I breathe and to love you.'"
"Why, what a sweet sentiment, Doug," said Deke with mock sincerity, "Thank you."
"It's the name of the song, you little prick."
They laughed, but after a short while they just floated in the dark, silent.
Doug considered their plight. It felt right to be with Deke in this final twilight. Like a chance to meet the death of the universe the right way. They were the last two people in the universe and Doug could think of no reason to hold back. This was the end of everything. He pulled Deke close and whispered in his ear, "I need to love you."
The boy nodded his head and kissed Doug.
Streaks of red and purple nebulae colored the dark space around them, seemingly light years away. In the glow, Doug admired the smooth curve of Deke's jaw and the soft gloss of his eyes.
They smiled the wry smiles of condemned men, and touched foreheads.
"I love you, Zeke."
"I love you."
They kissed, lips tender and giving, tongues twirling with deliberation. A year of sex had made an excellent lover out of the boy and he understood the give and take of lovemaking. He traded with Doug, taking the time to give pleasure and to recieve it and to enjoy each role.
While Deke hugged him about the neck, Doug slid his hands down the smooth flanks of the boy, his fingers teasing the sparse fine boy hairs that covered them, raising goose bumps.
The boy lifted his leg as Doug cupped his butt. Deke's slim thigh slid against Doug's hip and the man reach under to support and caress all at once.
There was still no gravity and the lovers slowly spun in the air. There were faint stars in the sky now and the constellations rotated about them as they drank each other in.
Doug licked down the boy's chest to his nipples and his navel and then his cute, hard, boy dick. The man slurped and flicked at it with his tongue. The boy swung himself about as they drifted and took Doug's stiff cock into his mouth. The action of Deke's tongue on his head made Doug smile and gasp all at once. He let the boy work on him, wetting him and causing him to leak fluid from the tip.
Doug returned to sucking Deke's smooth cocklet, taking occasional detours to slip his tongue up the boy's back passage. He got further with each session of butt licking, his spit and insistence opening up the way.
This was intimacy and trust. He thought back to when he became Zeke's godfather, never dreaming that their bond would go so far beyond the merely pastoral responsibilities of that job. He remembered that first night of love, the professor having set them up with verbal prods and the keys to a hotel room in Bermuda.
Water fights and mud fights and sword fights and real fights. Dinners by candle light and dinners by pizza box. Tickles, backrubs, backslaps and wet willies. If this was indeed the end of history, for them and for the world, then they had at least made it a history of love and fulfillment.
The pleasure was peaking in Doug's cock head as Deke continued to slide his lips up and down on it. This was too soon. Doug pushed him off gently, levering the boy by the waist and shoulder and pulling his slim back into Doug's front for an embrace of kissing and light touches and murmured compliments.
Once his cock was no longer threatening premature climax, Doug became more ardent, playfully biting his lion cub's ear and being tickled and bitten back on the lips. There was no up and down, no 'on top of' and no underneath, no way for the cub to play at dominance like his brothers in the wild.
It was fitting. What did size or age matter when there was no world to judge them against? The man and the boy were equals now.
Deke was grinding his ass back against Doug's crotch as the man tweaked his nipples and ran his teeth along the young neck. Still no words. Just growls and breathing.
Doug turned the boy around, pulling the slender legs around his waist. His snorted breaths tumbled Deke's hair as the boy nibbled his neck. Doug's cock was at the cleavage of the firm boy butt, as stiff as a moon rocket. With no walls or floor, Doug used the boy's shoulders to pull himself forward (upward? downward?). The head of his cock slid through the valley of the boy's ass, the sensation of them parting along the skin sending a chill of anticipation all the way back to explode in Doug's brain. He pressed the head to the boy's pucker. Entry to the boy was straightforward after all the times he had breached that gap before, but the sensations were like coming home.
The stars in the distance were ablaze now, in every direction, and cool, white light bathed Doug and his boy lover.
Each thrust by Doug was practiced and efficient, fast enough to excite the nerves endings of both him and the boy without throwing them out of rhythm or upsetting their close touching. Hands continued sliding into secret sweet spots and stroking along bare skin. Lips and tongues tasted sweat and heat and spit.
The light was yellow now. The large arc of a sun was manifesting itself nearby like a returning ghost.
As the lovers floated in open space, they held each other ever closer, even as the man slid more and more energetically into Deke's passage. The feel of warm, slippery pressure there was bringing him to a boil. Doug's breathing faltered into a disorganized mess. He continued to fuck the boy. Deke continued to fuck back, head bent backward, his eyes glazed, his hair radiant in the wild sun light.
With growling lust, Deke stiffened under the sensations of climax. For the first time ever, the boy's cock spurted. The droplets scattered in the freefall of space, floating away in waves with each pump of Deke's adolescent cream. The sight propelled Doug's mind to escape velocity and the man groaned and shuddered as he hammered himself into the boy's wet, soft insides, letting loose with a rippling sensation of pleasure all up and down his shaft. Spurt after spurt he shot out into the boy's tight, warm ass.
In the distance the moon hung bright and full. Not just any moon. The moon. The one from Earth.
As the last spasms of orgasm shook through Doug, he felt more than ever like he was home, in his place of destiny.
The two lovers stayed locked together, admiring the moon, sun and stars as they circled around them. There was a long moment of contentment for Doug, holding his dear golden boy near, savoring the feel of him under his fingertips and the boys breathing against his neck.
If the world wanted to end now, that was fine by Doug.
Their clothes slowly materialized in the air beside them. The chalk-drawing outlines of the lab could be seen through the glass.
"Time to get decent," said Doug. "I think we made it back." He withdrew carefully, savoring the last rush of pleasure in his sensitive cock tip.
"Too bad," said Deke as they got dressed. "I kind of liked being lost in space with you."
"Me too, Deke. Me too. If it wasn't-"
"Arggh," said Deke.
"What is it?"
"This shirt stung me."
"Insect?" asked Doug.
"No, I think they aren't fully materialized yet, like when you were fading out and I touched you."
"No, that hurt because I was the one that was semi-real and- Oh my God! Deke, don't move."
The boy was turning into a phantom, the wall of the sphere visible through his translucent face. Doug reached for him.
"No! Don't," said Deke in a faraway voice. "You'll hurt me."
"I'm sorry, Doug! I don't know why-."
"Deke! Fight it. Fight it!"
But the boy was gone, his clothes falling to the ground as gravity took hold.
Unit 13 was there the next day to pack everything away, a squad of tank-like men with intense eyes.
Doug and Zed tried to stay out of the way in Doug's room.
"Do you think he's okay?" asked Zed after what seemed like hours of silence.
"Deke? Yeah. The sphere went with him, so he's probably safe."
"But you don't know?"
Doug tried not to think about his few moments outside of reality - the gasping for air and the sheer isolation and darkness.
Doug spread his hands in surrender. "I can't lie to you, sweetie. I don't know anything for sure."
"You think it's possible we fixed his world too with what we did and he got pulled back there?"
"It's as possible as anything else."
"You're not doing a good job if giving me hope here," said Zed.
"You can take it. You're a big boy now. You can cum and everything."
"That wasn't me."
More silence. Then Zed spoke. "I saw everything, you know."
"What do you mean?"
"When the world disappeared for you guys in the sphere, you were still transmitting. We could still see and hear everything. We could even see what you were seeing through the other side of the bubble, like when all the stars appeared. Sometimes I would go right up to the glass and watch you from three feet away."
"So you saw us when we..."
"Yeah," said Zed.
"And you're not mad?"
"No. I was right next to you. I could tell what you both were feeling. I could see that in your mind you weren't with another boy. You were with me."
"Yeah," said Doug, his voice sad.
"And it was beautiful."
Doug chuckled at that. Zed held him and did not let go until a soldier knocked at the door.
'Big' Mike O'Bannon, the head of Unit 13, was in Deke's room.
"So what's this?" he asked.
"Doesn't look like you had many guests."
"Just the professor's grandson from time to time."
"Really? I was under the impression he slept with you."
Big Mike said, "I suppose this is for keeping up appearances then, like when the boy's grandmother is over? So no one cottons to the fact that you're screwing his brains out?"
Doug was really terrified now.
"Relax," said Big Mike. "Your life isn't my business. I'm just ascertaining facts." Big Mike's eyes looked into Doug like radar. "Now, I'm taking into custody every one of these machines that got built. They're too dangerous to let you eggheads have, but I need to know what happened to the data you used to build it. You said a hard drive was sent over here from another version of you?"
"A music player, yes."
"It disappeared the same time as the sphere. Everything from that dimension is gone." That much was true. Doug didn't have to fear triggering Big Mike's lie-detector eyes.
"Good," said the soldier.
"We have copies, though."
"No, you don't. I just destroyed all your hard drives."
Just then, Zed walked in. Big Mike ruffled the boy's hair playfully and Doug could swear he saw an anaconda shift position in the crotch of the man's combat fatigues.
"You're a lucky man," said Big Mike, turning to walk away.
"So it's all over?" asked Doug. "The crisis?"
"Yes. No signs of Fractures anywhere, new or old. We never even bothered to turn on the other machines." Big Mike shook his head. "The world was never going to end, you know."
"No? You didn't think the Fractures were dangerous?"
"It's prophecy. Look, a lot of people were all up on that Mayan apocalypse bullshit, saying this was it. But anyone who's studied it for real knows that the Mayans were expecting a rebirth, not a death."
Doug smiled. "And now we've got a new universe with new structure and everything. Guess they were right."
In another universe, it is midnight at the beginning of the twenty-first day of December, 2012. A slim, naked boy walks down a corridor, then through a bedroom door. He is blond and clutches something in his hand.
The man at the desk inside is not that surprised to see him. Or surprised that he is naked.
"It's not a good time, Zeke. Today's the last-"
"Shut up and listen, okay?" says the boy. "I'm not the Zeke you know. I'm an inter-dimensional alternate version and I'm here to save your world from the Fracturing you created."
"Zeke, this is one of the worst practical jokes you've ever pulled. I know you're stressed, but-"
Shock spreads across the man's face as another Zeke walks through the door.
"Who the hell is this?" asks that universe's Zed.
"I'm an inter-dimensional alternate version of you and I'm here to save your world from the Fracturing that dumbass here created."
Zed doesn't seem surprised. He says, "So you're on a cosmic mission like the doctor on that old show, 'Quantum Leap'?"
Deke says, "That's actually a lot like what I've been doing the last few days, yes. I've saved five universes so far."
"And I suppose you got here in that big glass bubble I saw in the lab? The one covered from top to bottom in cum stains?"
Deke's heroic bravado all deflated. "Um, yes."
"Cool," says Zed. "I'm in. You seem like a fun guy."
Smiling, Deke holds out the music player in his hand to Doug #7 and says, "You need to see this."
As we celebrate the new year, I raise my glass to all those worlds across the multiverse whose end came in 2012.
And for those of you reading this across the many dimensions, whose lives continue even after the 21st of December, 2012, I ask you to raise your glass to a specal boy in his bubble of glass and steel who has made 2013 possible.
Comments welcome. Even if you're reading this in an archive years from now, I'd love to hear what you think.