Disclaimer: If you're under age to read stuff about guys having sex or if you find it offensive, your society finds it offensive or illegal then stop reading now! This story is completelly fictional, as are all the characters.

A Different World, part 29

'Coda II - Brother'

Written by Adam

The woman in the hospital bed, who was breast feeding her newborn son, looked about the room and then turned to her husband.

"I hope you don't think I'm crazy when I say that it feels like there's someone else in the room besides us" the woman said.

"No, I feel it too... It's a bit scary, actually... but at the same time I sense it's benign, the presense I mean, whatever it is, it doesn't mean any harm... it seems familiar even, like it's someone we know..." her husband said.

"Alexander seems to notice it too, and he's laughing... yes, you're right, it's someone we know and who knows us... and even our son even though they've never met..." the woman said.

"Oh, we've met... many times, over the millennia..." a voice said in the heads of all those in the room and the woman screamed more out of reflex than shock or terror.

"Did you hear that?" the woman said to her husband who simply nodded.

"Mom? Dad?" the voice said.

"Erik? How can this be? ... I've never believed in ghosts ... until now" the woman said.

"I'm not a ghost... I'm very much alive where I am right now... " Erik said.

"You're in heaven?" the woman said.

"No... yes... and no... it's some other dimension... thingy... a different world where gays and lesbians go after they die in the other world... it's a bit hard to explain like this but I know a way we can talk face to face, but you can't remain standing for that dad, so please sit down" Erik said.

"Er... okay" the man said and then all three in the room lost consciousness.

Per caught Erik gracefully and put him down on the ground slowly so he wouldn't hurt himself and then he sat down on the ground beside him.

"You'd better get on with the business you need to do in there or sit here with me and wait, this may take a while... I don't know what he saw over there, but apparently it was someone he recognized and decided to contact" Per said and after some indecision most sat down except Sergio who walked into the throne room, still carrying young Thomas.

The man and the woman who were Erik's parents looked about themselves. They were in a strange, misty landscape which was dark except for the spot where they were standing which seemed to be lit by an unseen spotlight straight above them. The woman was still carrying Erik's newborn brother and then Erik came into the light and he closed his eyes briefly and suddenly the baby began to grow until he looked about eighteen and naked for a second but suddenly had a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt.

"Erik, did you do that?" the man said.

"Yes, I need to speak with my brother as well" Erik said.

"But why not let him grow up normally? Don't you think it will look strange if a new born suddenly becomes... eighteen years old?" the woman said.

"That would be strange, yes. But he hasn't grown up for real, in the real world... this isn't the real world where we are now, it's sort of a realm of mind and imagination where everything seems perfectly real to the touch and taste and every sense but still it's only in our minds" Erik said.

"Erik, you've been dead... in our world at least... for nine months, why do you contact us now? Or has it only been a few moments over there since Per shot you?" the man said.

"It's been nine months over here too, and I didn't contact you... I hate to say this but I never intended to contact you like this because I didn't want to upset you, I only found you by accident while trying to find out where the soul of a person who recently died here had gone to be reborn and that search led me to this guy here... my brother... wait a second! Since Per shot me? What are you talking about?" Erik said.

"People die there and get reborn here? I'm affraid I don't understand!" the woman said.

"Right, I'll explain how it works with reincarnations and all in this world if you then explain what you mean when you said that Per shot me!" Erik said and when his parents and his brother nodded he explained like he promised.

Sergio kneeled by the corpse of the Queen and looked at the swords sticking out of the chest and noticed there was something odd about them. There was two swords there like before and originally they had been marked 'Erik' and 'Thomas' but the letters on the one that had been marked 'Thomas' had changed to read 'Sergio' instead but now it seemed one of the handles read 'Thomas'. "Has it changed back" Sergio thought and looked at the other handle which did read 'Sergio' and was the one that he had touched and then recieved the powers that his father had had. So, the sword that had been marked 'Thomas' now must then be the one that had been marked 'Erik' before... but Erik hadn't died and the letters had changed after Sergio's father had died... no, they had changed long after that even, he'd seen the letters on all the swords sparkle momentarily just after the Queen had died and had changed on both swords stuck in the Queen... because now, that Erik, Peter and Thomas had done what they were supposed to with the swords, they no longer needed the swords so they had been passed on to the sons of the three princes who would need them when the Queen returned and the new Thomas was Erik's son so Erik's sword now belonged to Thomas and now he noticed that Thomas was reaching for the sword. Sergio's curiosity got the better of him and he moved Thomas closer and let him touch the sword which began to glow...

"So your... friend... over there died and when you didn't find him among the children on that island you looked into this world and found he was your brother?" Erik's mom said.

"Yes, and I understand that you named him Alexander?" Erik said.

"Yes we did. You always seemed so interested in that historical person, Alexander the Great from ancient greece so we named him that to remember you by... I hope you don't object?" Erik's mom said.

"No, it's perfect. I understand your need to have a new baby after I died and now that you've named him to remember me I know it's not to replace me... and Alexander is exactly right for other reasons too" Erik said and looked at his brother.

"I like it. Somehow I feel like I'm connected, closely to that historical figure you mentioned like I've been him in an earlier life or something" Alexander said.

"That's because you were him for two thousand... and several hundred years, I don't know exactly and I was one of his soldiers that he seduced once during a campaign" Erik said.

"Really? And he told you this?" Erik's and Alexander's dad said disbelieving.

"Yes, and I knew he was telling the truth, from reading his mind and regaining those memories" Erik said.

"Read his mind?" Erik's dad said still disbelieving.

"I've gained telepathic powers in this world. Without them we wouldn't be able to see each other and talk like we're doing now" Erik said.

"Oh, is that so?" Erik's dad said.

"Dad, why don't you believe him? If it wasn't telepathy from his side, what else would it be?" Alexander said.

"Stay out of this!" their dad said.

"Don't talk to my brother like that! ... wait, Per is trying to get in too, it seems important!" Erik said and then Per appeared walking into the circle of light which expanded a bit to make room for him.

"Erik, you must wake over here, your son touched your sword and then started to glow and flew across the room and hit the wall... Sergio healed him but he's unconscious!" Per said.

"Son? Sergio healed him? SWORD?" Erik's mom said.

"I'll explain in a second..." Erik said.

"Hello, nice to meet you again Mr. and Mrs Johansson. And who's this handsome young man? Looks like he could be your brother, Erik" Per said and shook Erik's mother's hand and stretched his hand out to Erik's father who didn't take it.

"You murdered my son! How can you still pretend to be his friend and be this friendly to us?" Erik's dad said and grabbed Per by the shoulders and shook him.

"DAD! He didn't shoot me! Why do you keep saying that Per did it?!" Erik said and stepped in between.

"I seem to remember you... " Alexander said to Per.

"Dad, calm down! Per, meet Alexander, my brother. Alexander, meet Per, my boyfriend" Erik said.

"Per was killed about a week after you in the Quarry and where killed your old friend Hans and when the forencics people examined the gun it turned out to be the same gun that was used to kill you so the police reached the conclusion that it was Per who killed both you and Hans after having seen the two of you kissing in a street corner" Erik's father said.

"No, that wasn't the way it happened at all! Hans shot me, I know because he was standing only a couple of meters in front of me and we talked like friends until he suddenly brought out the gun and shot me" Erik said.

"Ofcourse! I never considered that that would be what everyone would believe! Hans threw the gun away just after shooting Erik in front of my eyes! I was just outside the door of my house. Then I picked up the gun at first to use to commit suicide with but Thomas and Peter talked me out of it with the help of Erik talking to me from the world we're in, and then, later i used the gun to avenge Erik's death... Hans was the one who shot both of me and Erik after having seen the two of us kissing on that street corner... remember I called earlier to tell Erik to be careful, Mrs Johansson?" Per said and she nodded.

"Then you won't like the fact that your father is calling you a hero and martyr for 'sending those faggots to hell', I guess?" Erik's father said.

"Er, no... but if the police made those conclusions you say they did I'm not surprised, it sounds just like my father to say something stupid and bigotted like that" Per said.

"We'll set the record straight, pardon the pun, with the police and your father later, but for now, you said Thomas was unconscious?" Erik said.

"Yes, he looks like he's trying to project himself into someone's mind" Per said

Seemingly on cue the infant Thomas appeared in the circle of light between all of them and then looked up at Alexander and seemed to get an idea. In an instant Thomas grew up to look eighteen just like Alexander and then looked at Erik and seemed to make a telepathic request of him.

"Er, certainly" Erik said.

"Thank you, dad" Thomas said.

"What?" Erik's dad said.

"I asked dad to give me the ability to speak and his vocabulary just like he did to Erik and... my uncle... Alexander here" Thomas said.

"And you're Erik's son? No, wait, why am I asking this? I can see that you are, you've got his eyes, and mouth and a few other things... I'm Sven, your grandfather and this is your grandmother, Linda" Erik's father said.

"How do you do?" Thomas said and stretched out a hand to Sven.

"Don't be so formal, give me a hug instead!" Sven said and did get a hug from both Thomas and Erik and then Linda and Alexander joined in.

"How sweet! What a family reunion! I think I'm gonna cry!" Per said, looking on.

"What are you standing there for? I understand you and Erik are going to marry so that makes you family too, so join in!" Sven said and Per did.

"I wish my parents could be like this, and not such an ashole as my father!" Per said.

"From now on you should consider me your father... at least I'll be father in law and that's close enough for me" Sven said.

"I only wish I could be there at the wedding" Linda said.

"Me too, bro'!" Alexander said.

"You'll join us in my world one day uncle, though unfortunatly you'll miss the wedding..." Thomas said.

"Your name is Thomas? But isn't your friend, that helped and supported Per before, named Thomas? Won't it be confusing with two Thomases?" Linda said.

"No, because I'm that Thomas too... the Thomas you are thinking of got killed recently and I was reborn as my friend's son... feels a bit weird, but not as weird as Peter must feel who got reborn as his own son" Thomas said.

"Peter? The Australian boy? I've understood the bit about people being reborn and so on, but how come so many has died so recently over there, 'cause I understand that you were born almost at the same time as Alexander" Sven said.

"A few minutes before him, actually... there's been a great battle over there, where Erik, Thomas and Peter overthrew an evil tyrant who'd been ruling that world on and off for about three thousand years and all of them got mortally wounded and only Erik made it" Thomas said.

"I was wounded pretty badly too" Per said.

"You say Erik was mortally wounded? But there isn't a scratch on him!" Sven said.

"Erik isn't the only one who's recieved magical powers, all three of them got different magical powers and then their sons have inherited the swords and will recieve the same powers when they touch those swords and apparently the parents keep the powers they've recieved if they've remained alive. Thomas... that is, the Thomas I was in my last life had the power to manipulate matter in different ways and among those ways he manipulated living tissue in ways so he could heal wounds and that power was passed on to Thomas' son Sergio. While the Thomas I am now have recieved my father's powers of telepathy and Peter will recieve his fathers and his own powers of levitation and telekinesis. In any case, Sergio saved the lives of both Erik and Per and one more by healing their wounds, but he got the power to late to save Peter" Thomas said.

"Why didn't he save his own father, though ofcourse you wouldn't be here, sorry. But still, why?" Linda said.

"Well, for one thing it happend before Sergio touched the sword and recieved the powers. Thomas would have been able to heal himself if it hadn't been for the fact that it happened so fast and in a way that death was instantaneous" Thomas said.

"Er, there's a lot of nurses and doctors in that hospital room now... they've found the three of you unconscious, and ofcourse they're worried...so I'd better let you wake up" Erik said.

"Wait! Thomas said that Alexander would be joining you in the other world... so Alexander is gay too?" Sven said.

"Yes, I am, dad... and I think I've gotten used to being called Alex so I think I may preferr that!" Alex said.

"But we need to talk more, I suspect I won't be able to talk like this to Alex for a long time" Sven said.

"We can meet like this a few more times if you like, and I'll take care of my brother and help him through the difficult bits of growing up and being gay" Erik said.

"I'll be there too, uncle" Thomas said.

"But you need to wake up in that hospital room now! See you again, mom, dad and brother" Erik said.

"One more thing, would you like a sibling to grow up with?" Sven said to Alex.

"I don't know, maybe" Alex said while they were fading.

"I always wanted a brother or sister to grow up with... I do have a brother now, but we didn't grow up together, if I were him I wouldn't mind having a sibling there" Erik said.

"It's up to you and mom" Alex said and then they woke up in the hospital room and Alex was an infant again. He still could speak, though not very well on account of not having any teeth yet but he also avoided it while other people than his mom and dad were within earshot.

Erik, Per and Thomas woke up. And the first thing Thomas saw was Sergio leaning over him and looking with wonder at him while still looking worried. Thomas held up his hands in front of his eyes and they still were the hands of an eighteen year old. He sat up and looked down on his body and saw that it was the same as it had been in that other world, except there he'd imagined clothes onto himself similar to those that Erik had put onto Alex but here he was but naked except for a few rags around his hip.

"You just started growing up suddenly! Man, you're quicker than me, it took me nine months before I understood I could do that!... you don't understand do you?" Sergio said.

"Yes, dad gave me the same understanding of language and ability to speak that he gave you" Thomas said.

"Yes, good, but would the two of you be kind enough to ungrow to a more believable age, please? It freaks me out a bit seeing my newborn son looking the same age as me" Erik said coming into the room.

"Get us some clothes that will fit, us at that age, dad" Thomas said.

"Well fortunatly your father was wise enough to telepathically ask for more than one set of clothes for Sergio, understanding that he would need to change clothes from time to time and those who brought the clothes have arrived now, and I'll gladly let you have... you can share the clothes fifty fifty for the time being" Rebecca said bringing the clothes to Thomas and Sergio.

Per walked over to the balcony where some men had been putting ropes around Alfred's body and was preparing for a couple of dragons to lift him away. Per stroke Alfred on the head just as it was lifted up with the rest of him. Meanwhile both Thomas and Sergio had grown younger to somwhere around the ages ten to twelve years old and where putting on trousers with ropes for belts like the ones their fathers use to wear and also white shirts at the right size for the boys. Thomas walked over to Per as he stood looking after Alfred.

"It's alright, he was reborn on the island and is now in a crib right next to the one of... the boy who was his boyfriend in a previous life" Thomas said.

"Yes, I sense that too, he's very happy about it too" Erik said, putting an arm around Thomas.

"And I'm very happy too, know that Thomas is my own age and no longer related to me so that we can be boyfriends again.

"Michael and Peter seems very fond of each other too... by the way, where is Peter?" Per said when he noticed that Peter's mother wasn't holding him.

"I left him to Sergio to look after... but he doesn't seem to have done that" Eve said.

"Er, sorry, I got preocupied with Thomas!" Sergio said, looking a bit ashamed for neglecting to do what he'd been asked to.

"We'll you can't really be blamed as you're only nine months old. But where's Peter now?" Eve said.

Both Erik and Thomas closed their eyes and tried to find him telepathically.

"Over there in the corner!" Erik and Thomas said in chorus and rushed over there.

When they came round Michael's head and saw what was happening they stopped dead and stared. There, on the corpse of the grown up Peter his son and also the same person was climbing on the former Peter's chest and then the infant reached up and closed the corpses eyes. The baby Peter stood there looking sadly at his previous body and then turned around and looked at Erik and then at Thomas.

"He wants you to..." Erik began.

"... pick him up, yes I know, I can read minds too remember?" Thomas said as he went over and picked up the baby Peter from the dead one.

"No, I don't remember, it's a bit new to me that my newborn son can walk and talk and look like a nine year old and can read minds as well as I can, I'll need to get used to that a bit more before I can remember it" Erik said.

"Okay, I guess that's understandable... hey, there's Peter's sword on the floor and he's reaching for it" Thomas said and bent down towards it.

"Don't let him touch it!" Erik said.

"Why not? Sergio and I already have and it didn't hurt us... so why should he be... left behind?" Thomas said.

"Er... I don't know... what do you say, Eve?" Erik said and turned to Peter's mother.

"I think Thomas has a point there. Let him touch the sword and we'll all be here and make sure nothing happens to him" Eve said.

"Well, the first time he flew to the ceiling of the library and..." Erik said.

"I was there and saw it, and remember... and you're sure the same things has happened to the boys as they happened when you touched the swords yourselves?" Eve said.

"Yes, apparently they do" Erik said.

"In that case, let him touch the sword and then when he drops like he did in the library someone hade better be there to catch him... and you'll be closest, Thomas. Do you feel up to it?" Eve said and Thomas nodded.

Thomas put Peter down on the ground next to the sword and Peter reached out and touched the handle. The sword began to glow and soon Peter was glowing along with it and then Peter glided up into the air and hovered and spun around just under the ceiling for a whil before he dropped. Thomas held out his arms to catch Peter but then Peter stopped falling and hovered just above his arms for a bit for he levitated up a bit and then started growing until he looked as old as Thomas and Sergio. Then he lowered himself to the ground and looked at Erik, lifting an eyebrow.

"Dad, he want's you to..." Thomas said.

"Yes, I understand... but you have my powers, don't you? Have a go at it!" Erik said.

"You're not making fun of me, are you?" Thomas said.

"If I were, you'd sense that... and I can sense that your powers are as strong and well developed as mine" Erik said and Thomas knew that this was so.

Thomas turned to Peter and concentrated.

"Thanks! Now, could you do something for Michael?" Peter said.

"You want them to teach him how to grow up and speak, don't you?" Per said.

"If you and Agneta don't object" Peter said.

"Okay, with me I guess" Agneta said.

"Well it does seem a bit unfair that they can look the same age and have each others while your boyfriend is still stuck in an infants body so... go ahead... besides then I don't have to bother changing diapers and so on" Per said.

"It was that prospect that terrified you the most about having a child, wasn't it?" Erik said.

"I guess I'll never be able to keep any secrets from you... ever" Per said and hugged Erik.

"Well, let's see if we can't get Michael to grow up a bit?" Sergio said and turned and saw a nine year old boy stand in front of a stunned Agneta.

"Thank you, but I've worked it out for myself. I've grown up quick before in previous lives and also I still have some of the magic powers I had as a dragon" Michael said and then Peter ran over and hugged him.

"Thomas, where are you going?" Erik said.

"Out on the balcony, there aren't anywhere else this door leads to" Thomas said stepping out onto the balcony and then stood by the headless corpse of his former self.

"Okay, but why?" Erik said.

"I still feel connected to this body here in a way, which I believe Peter did to his former body" Thomas said and knelt by the corpse.

Thomas then stood up and looked around the balcony for a second before he took up a slightly different posture, legs slightly wider apart and mimed thrusting sword straight in front of him and then he moved his hand in front of his throat. He did all of this with a look on his face as though he was trying to remember something.

"Thomas, I don't like this... while you stop it!" Erik said.

"Just a moment dad" Thomas said, looking about him again trying to figure out where he would have to be to have seen the thing he'd seen from the angle he'd seen it and then he turned around and looked into the corner of the balcony just outside the door.

"No, not a moment! Now!" Erik said.

"There it is! Well, I'm done now!" Thomas said and walked over to the point where the head of his former self was and picked it up.

"Thomas!" Erik said.

"Let him be, it's important to him... and kinda to me too, as it's my father's body" Sergio said.

"Why?" Erik said.

"You'd feel the same way to about your own corpse, I think. You'd want it to look well, wouldn't you? And if your head had been severed you'd want to put it together with the body so it would look as whole as posible as I'm doing now" Thomas said, putting the head down by the shoulders and closing the eyes.

"You're right. Sorry, I yelled at you. We'll give them a nice funeral tomorrow" Erik said as he ruffled his sons hair.

"Thanks dad" Thomas said.

"I'm sure my dad would have apreciated that" Sergio said.

"Yes, I do apreciate it" Thomas said.

"See!" Sergio said.

"Dinner's ready... damn, I'll never get used to people growing older and younger as they please here! All four of you?" Hans said as he came in and saw Sergio, Peter, Thomas and Michael.

"Five!" Michele said, looking nine years old too.

"I felt a bit sorry for my sister" Thomas said.

"You did right, son" Erik said.

"Your Majesty... sorry, I'm supposed to call you Erik..." Hans said.

"Yes?" Erik said.

"I've heard that that German boy that Andrew made me believe I was, is still alive and running Andrew's inn for him since he went to the island... " Hans said.

"And you want to go over there to have a talk with him? Go ahead, but take someone with you. Valodja and Jason take a few more men and go with Hans" Erik said.

"Yes sir! You weren't thinking of going there alone, were you?" Valodja said as he walked alongside Hans out.

"No, that wouldn't be wise. I suspect he's as trustworthy as Andrew was so I was going to ask you to come with me" Hans said as he left the room with Valodja and Jason.

"To the dining room then and eat!" Erik said.

"Sounds good, I'm starving" Sergio said.

"Yes let's go!" Erik said.

"So why are we still standing here?" Thomas said.

"I'm hoping someone here knows where that damned dining room is!" Erik exclaimed.

This is not the end of 'A Different World'! There will be one more chapter/part to make it an even thiry and this part will largelly center on Hans going to that inn among one or two other things and also making way for the sequel I intend to start writing as soon as I've decided on a title. I'm still interested in feedback and suggestions. Is there some story thread that you would like me to explore further or turn into a spin off? ... Write me at my_evil_twin47@yahoo.com and I will try to write the next part as soon as possible..