This story is fictional and may contain descriptions of gay sexuality or acts (b/b and M/b). If this is not to your taste or is illegal where you are situated you should not continue.Some characterisations are based on the ideas and themes of the Pern series of Anne McCaffery. No infringement of her copyrights are intended and no references are made to any of her characters or plots.
HERE BE DRAGONS
“Who are they?” Gerald asked.
“I don’t know,” Maureen sobbed. “But they said you would know who they are.”
Daniel and Will looked at her, and then at Gerald.
“You have an idea?” he asked the boys.
“Yes,” Daniel said. He looked at Will. “We need to go think about this.” Turning back to Gerald and Maureen, he said, “We can feel something, Mr Harp. Don’t worry, Mrs Harp, we can feel that Robbie is OK. We don’t know where he is yet – but we will,” he continued, grimly.
“Daniel,” Maureen said between sobs. “Find my little boy. Will?”
“We will Mum,” Will said, his face white. He reached out to take Daniel’s hand and pulled him to the door. We have work to do, Daniel. Daniel nodded.
As the boys entered the house, Gerald called out.
“Daniel, this morning you called out to Will and I.”
“Do you recall what you called?”
“Um... no, not really. Why?”
“You called ‘Help! Will! Gerald! Help me!’”
“I did?” Daniel looked embarrassed.
“Daniel, it’s alright,” Gerald smiled. “I wanted to say that, well, Gerald is my name, and perhaps you would like to call me that all the time – except at school, of course.”
“I.... I think I would like that,” Daniel said, blushing.
“Perhaps even, you might like to call me ‘Dad’ – you are pretty much my son-in-law now, aren’t you.” He smiled at the boy, the crinkling around his eyes smoothing the worry momentarily. He gave his wife a hug.
“That goes for me too, Daniel,” she said.
“I – I don’t know what to say,” he said looking at them with tears in his eyes.
“Don’t say anything, son. Thanks will do later. Let’s find Robbie first.”
Come on, Daniel, Will pulled on Daniel’s hand. We’ve got work to do.
The boys raced up to Will’s room, Daniel heading for the bed while Will sat at the desk, resting his head on his hands, concentrating hard.
Can you sense him, Will? I think I’m getting a flash now and then.
What direction, Daniel?
To the north, I think. You?
Yes, definitely to the north.
He’s scared, Will.
Yes – well wouldn’t you be?
Oh, yes. Of course. You’d know.
Do you think you can reach him, Will?
I’ll try. Hold my hands. Please, Daniel.
The boys sat in their desk chairs facing each other. Daniel pulled himself close so that their knees were bumping. He reached his hands out and grasped Will’s hands. The feeling between them was electric. Daniel thought that if he didn’t know otherwise, he would have thought sparks jumped between them as they touched. He felt, rather than heard, Will giggle softly.
They did, Daniel – we made sparks fly! Then Daniel felt Will’s mind subside into a quiet, very quiet state as he let his powers seek out the ego that was his little brother. For long minutes they sat perfectly still except for the rise and fall of their chests as they breathed in perfect synchronism. Then they felt it. A little spark – Robbie’s consciousness. Both boys concentrated on that spark, drawing it to them, expanding it, willing it to become aware of them. They felt Robbie give a little start, and then settle into a more relaxed state.
Robbie? Will sent out a thought. Faintly he heard a response.
Yes, Robbie. Don’t say anything out loud. Just think it, OK?
OK. Is Daniel with you?
Yes, he is, Robbie. We both had to concentrate to find you.
Will, I’m scared.
We know you are, little man, but we are going to come and get you.
And we’ll scare the shit out of those guys, Daniel broke in. They heard a muffled giggle in Robbie’s thoughts.
Robbie, Will thought to his brother do you know where you are?
No, they put a hood on my head so I couldn’t see where we were going.
How many men are there?
Four, I think. One of them keeps saying something about you and Daddy. Bad things I think.
Howell, Daniel said to Will, masking the thought from Robbie. Will nodded.
Robbie, how long did it take to get there.
I don’t know Will. It seemed like a really, really long time. But I don’t s’pose it was really. I was crying. One man kept telling me to ‘shut up’.
I can guess who that was, Will, said Daniel on a tight beam.
That guy that stood on your wrist?
Robbie, can you do something for us?
We need to try and find where you are. Can you sing for us?
What do you want me to sing, Daniel?
Anything – Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, Jack and Jill – any nursery rhymes you can remember.
Why do I need to sing, Daniel?
Because that will help us to focus on where you are, Robbie’s brother thought to him. It won’t have to be loud, Robbie. We just need something that tells us that it’s you.
‘K, Will. I’ll start singing now.
No, not yet, Robbie. We need to be closer. We are going to get Dad to drive us in the direction we think you are. You keep thinking of us and we’ll try to talk to you like this. When we get closer we’ll get you to sing.
OK, Will. I feel better now!
Of course you do, brave guy. We’ll be there as soon as we can.
Breaking the hand hold he and Daniel had locked themselves into, Will raced over to the door, shouting as he emerged from his room.
“Dad, Mum, he’s OK. And we think we can find him.”
“Thank God he is alright,” Maureen said.
“Where, Will?” his father asked.
“We aren’t exactly sure yet, but he is somewhere to the north.”
“Less than 10 km, Mr Har.... ah, Gerald,” Daniel interjected.
“How do you know that?” Gerald asked him. Will looked at him with a bemused expression on his face.
“I don’t know. I just do!” Daniel replied.
“Daniel asked Robbie if he would sing when we get closer. Why did you do that?” his friend asked.
“Don’t know – again! But I think – no, I feel – that it will help us identify exactly where they are keeping him.”
“What do we need to do?”
“We need you to drive us Dad,” Will said. “Daniel and I will try to pin-point where he is and then, when we get closer, we’ll get him to sing.”
“Shouldn’t we contact the Police?” Maureen asked. “But they said not to,” she went on.
“No! Mrs Ha.... um, Maureen,” Daniel blushed slightly, and Maureen reached out a hand to lightly touch his cheek. “No, we shouldn’t tell anyone. They might really harm Robbie if they saw Police coming. Well, the agents mightn’t, but Howell certainly would.”
“Howell!” Gerald snarled. “Is he there?”
“Robbie told us that one of the men kept making nasty comments about you and us, Dad,” Will explained. “We guessed it to be Howell.”
“You can’t ‘hear’ them, Will?” his father asked.
“No – it’s too far away and we don’t know enough about their thoughts to be able to single them out.”
“Single them out?” Maureen asked.
“When we ‘listen’, um... Maureen, what we ‘hear’ is a huge jumble of ‘noise’,” Daniel said, emphasising the words to try to get his meaning to Will’s distraught mother. “I guess we sort of ‘hear’ everyone, but if we know someone well then we can focus on them.”
“Mum, you have no idea just how much ‘noise’ there is out there. We have to block a lot of it off,” Will explained to her.
“Anyway,” Daniel continued, “We don’t want the Police involved – anymore than they do – because then others would find out about us. We’d just have to deal with a whole lot more Howells.”
“He’s right, Maureen,” her husband told her.
“What’s Howell got to do with this?” she asked, suddenly realising that his name had been raised several times.
“I’ll tell you later,” he replied. “It’s been a, shall we say, somewhat eventful day?”
“Dad!” Will expostulated. “I thought you didn’t like understatement?”
“Never mind, Kid! You and Daniel get in the car. We need to get hunting.” He turned to his wife. “Call Jennifer, and get her here as quickly as possible, She will fill you in on this morning.”
“She’s on her way,” Daniel said.
“How? Oh, yes. Of course.” Gerald looked at the boys. “I wonder when we will get used to that?” he mused. “Come on! Move!”
As they started to move to the car, Daniel stopped, looking intently around.
“What is it, Daniel?” Gerald paused as he was about to get into the car.
“Someone is watching us,” Daniel said quietly. Can you feel it, Will?
I can now. Will too looked carefully around. There! he nodded slightly with his head, indicating a car hidden in the shade of trees a hundred metres up the road. “Dad, there’s someone watching us from a car just up the road – under those trees.”
Without making it too obvious, Gerald looked towards where Will was indicating.
“OK, I see. How many are in the car, and are they aware we know?” he asked the boys.
“No,” Daniel replied. “There are two.”
“Can you do something about it?”
“I think so.” He thought. “Gerald, can you open the bonnet please and show me the thing that makes the sparks.”
“Oh, you mean the distributor?” Gerald asked him, popping the bonnet catch.
“Maybe. I don’t know,” Daniel said, looking a little frustrated. “Isn’t there some sort of electronic gizmo that generates and times the sparks?”
“Yes there is. Do you want to see it?”
“Yes, please. Then I will know what I need to zap.” Daniel smiled.
“Zap?” Gerald looked slightly puzzled. “No! I don’t want to know!” he said, with a laugh.
Opening the bonnet he pointed out the coil, distributor and timing computer to Daniel who studied it carefully for a short while.
Do you see it too? he asked Will.
Yes. Will grinned. “Dad, he’s going to zap some sort of transistor in there. Um.... yes, the power rectifier!”
“You can see that too, Will?”
“Not as clearly as Daniel, but he showed me what he was looking for.” Will looked fondly at his mate.
“Will’s better at the technical stuff,” Daniel said by way of explanation. “I’m just a dreamer!” He laughed. “Let’s get in the car so that they can’t see that I’m concentrating.”
The three of them climbed into the car and as Gerald started up and after they fastened their seat belts Daniel reached for Will’s hand, intense concentration showing on his face. Will’s face took on a similar look and beads of sweat stood out on Daniel’s brow. Will squeezed his hand, his mental processes blending in with those Daniel was trying to find. Then, suddenly, the concentration left Daniel and a smile crossed his face, his lips turning up. Will laughed, and then leaned into his friend, planting a solid kiss on those smiling lips.
“You did it?” Gerald asked, starting to reverse out of the driveway.
“Oh, yes! Cooked it,” said a quietly confident Daniel. Will squeezed his hand again.
As they turned and headed towards the car under the trees, Gerald asked.
“If Will is the technical one, why do you think you are better than he is at these sorts of things?”
“Slightly different mind bent, I guess.” Daniel pondered for a moment. “Perhaps it is because he knows and respects technical things that he can’t damage them?”
They were passing the car and as they drove further the boys could ‘hear’ the fury as the driver tried to start the car, without success.
“Wow!” Will exclaimed. “I think he knows more words than you do, Dad!”
“Well he just said ‘the fucking cunt won’t start’”
“Will! There is absolutely no need to repeat those words!” Gerald tried to sound angry, keeping his amusement hidden. The boys giggled.
“To business, you guys,” Gerald said. “Which way, Daniel?”
“Just head roughly north, perhaps a little to the east. Go for 4 or 5 kilometres. We’ll keep ‘listening’”
“OK. Just tell me where to turn.” Gerald drove on, taking a few turns to left and right but generally heading in the direction Daniel suggested. Meanwhile the boys were contacting Robbie.
Yep! We’re on our way.
Dad is driving us.
You haven’t called the Police, have you?
I heard one man – the one that was saying awful things about you – say that if the Police came he would cut my throat before he escaped.
Don’t worry, Robbie. Daniel and I know what to do.
Please come quickly.
We’ll come as quickly as we can. Will looked at Daniel and then said, “Dad, Robbie’s OK but he heard Howell say that if the Police came he would cut Robbie’s throat before he escaped.”
“That bastard,” Gerald swore. “You didn’t hear me say that, boys!” They giggled.
“Keep going in this direction, Gerald,” Daniel said. “His ‘voice’ was stronger than at home.”
“Good,” Gerald replied, taking another couple of turns, but getting back to the general direction they wanted to follow.
After a few minutes Daniel said,
“I’m going to ask him to sing now. I don’t think it’s all that far.”
Yes. Start to quietly sing Baa, Baa, Black Sheep now, please.
Daniel and Will both heard the voice in their heads start to sing the nursery rhyme. Daniel leaned forward and gently put his hand on Gerald’s shoulder. Gerald started, as, in his mind, he heard Robbie singing.
“Oh my God!” he gasped. “You really do have some powers. I’m not sure I believe this.”
“Believe it, Dad!” Will said.
“Turn left here, Gerald,” Daniel broke in suddenly, and then take the third turn on your right.”
“OK – do you know where we are going?”
“I think so. It’s almost like I can see a map in my mind.”
“Well, I don’t know how you do that, but just keep doing it son.”
Daniel smiled at the terminology.
“Turn right, Gerald,” Daniel said.
“Are we getting closer?”
“Not yet,” Daniel appeared to be thinking, concentrating on something. “We need to sort of detour here a little, but we'll be back on track after the next turn. It’s the third on your left.”
“His singing is getting louder,” Will said. “Now he’s stopped.” Robbie?
Will, they stopped me singing.
Cry – make them think you are really scared. Then start singing again.
OK. There was even a sob on his mental ‘voice’.
“What’s happening?” Gerald had noticed the break in the boys’ concentration.
“They stopped him singing, Dad. We told him to cry like he was really scared, and then start singing again. He has started.” Will stopped speaking aloud. He put his hand on his father's shoulder and ‘said’ Good guy, Robbie. Way to go!
I'm scared, Will, but I'm trying.
You're doing fine, Robbie. We aren't too far away now.
Gerald had given a little start as he ‘heard’ his youngest son’s ‘voice’. He thought about it as he turned into the next road at the point Daniel had indicated.
“I suppose this is a mixed blessing, guys,” he said.
“What do you mean, Dad?” asked Will.
“Well, without your abilities we would not be able to find Robbie,” he hesitated before continuing. “But, if you hadn’t had them those security guys, and Howell, would not be after you....” his voice trailed away. Daniel gave a bit of a sob.
“Do you think we haven’t thought about that, Gerald?”
“Of course you have son, I didn’t mean to be critical,” Gerald felt some tears form in his eyes. “I know you can’t help this anymore than you can help being gay.”
“It’s not just that, Dad,” Will broke in. “They are both bound together.”
“Well, at about the same time we discovered our abilities, we also discovered just how much we loved each other.”
“What we don’t know, Gerald, is which is the chicken and which is the egg.” Daniel laughed. “Turn right next intersection.”
Will and Daniel could ‘hear’ Robbie’s singing much more strongly. Daniel looked at Will, who nodded. As Gerald swung the car at the intersection he said,
“Next right; second on your left; next left; and then next right. The house is at the end of a cul-de-sac. They don’t know we are coming. Will, will you run interference?”
“Sure,” but Will looked a bit perplexed.
Can you make the phones ring and the lights blink a couple of times, and then go out as though there is a power failure?
Oh, yes, I can do that. Will grinned broadly.
Do it just as we arrive - or better just slightly before so that they don't see us pull up.
Oh, and do a Harry Potter on the street lamps, too.
Yes! Good thinking!
“What are you two planning?” Gerald asked.
“Hang on, Dad,” Will said, “I’m running some interference so they don’t notice our arrival.”
As they turned into the cul-de-sac Gerald noticed the street lights started to go out, one at a time.
“Harry Potter?” he wondered aloud. The boys giggled.
At the end of the cul-de-sac he noticed a house with lights apparently flickering in the rooms. “Interference?” he thought. “Well, they do have the ability to do just that.”
We do, Dad, he heard Will’s ‘voice’ in his mind.
As he pulled the car up some distance back from the house that was now in complete darkness, he turned and looked at the boys.
“What now? What have you got planned?”
“There are three agents and Howell in there with Robbie,” Daniel told him. “We are going to create an illusion and then confusion,” he laughed. “It will be like a cat that thinks it is being attacked on all sides at once.”
“Oh, how can that happen?” Gerald asked.
“A cat?” Daniel replied. “Oh, that’s easy. You just drop a tyre around it when it’s sleeping.”
“You’ve done this?”
“Yes. They shoot straight up in the air and they’re running before they hit the ground.” Daniel laughed out loud.
“Very funny, I suppose?” Gerald didn’t look as though he thought it funny.
“Not for the cat, I guess.” Daniel didn’t sound all that contrite. “But this is going to be!”
They got out of the car and carefully keeping in shadows, made the way to the house, moving to a window on the left side. Faintly through the window they could hear Robbie singing. Gerald gulped back a sob, and Will grabbed his hand and squeezed it. “It’s going to be alright, Dad.”
Robbie? Daniel asked.
Daniel, where are you?
Right outside your window. Are the men with you, or are you all alone?
Can you get up and come to the window?
No, they tied me with something.
Sort of plastic.
What colour is it, Robbie?
Does it have rough ridges on one side and smooth on the other?
Yes. How did you know?
It’s called a cable tie, Robby. Hang on.
Daniel turned to Gerald and whispered, “They’ve tied him to the bed with cable ties. I’m going to break them.”
Will, you keep an ear on those agents. They aren’t in the room with Robbie, but they might come if they hear something.
’S’OK Daniel. They’re busy trying to answer 3 different telephones which always seem to cut off just before they press the receive buttons. Will laughed. One of them keeps showing the phone number of the guys in the car!
Daniel called to Robbie. Robbie, I’m going to break those ties. Don’t say anything, but keep singing.
OK, Daniel, the little boy thought back to him.
Daniel cast his mind around and focused on Robbie and what was restraining him to the bed. Identifying four ties – one on each wrist and ankle – he deftly tweaked them and the ties separated and fell off Robbie. Robbie kept singing, his voice not even wavering, maintaining the illusion Daniel had him create. Meanwhile Daniel indicated the window to Will with a slight nod, and Will, exercising his talent, forced the catch to release and slowly opened the window.
Robbie – window, now, Daniel ordered. Robbie leapt to his feet and quickly ran to the window and his father, reaching in, scooped him out through it.
Daniel transferred his attention to the four men in the adjoining room and broadcast to their minds the sound of sirens and a bull-horn, creating the illusion that the house was under attack. But each man thought that the attack was coming from a different direction. As the three with Robbie in his father’s arms, retreated away from the window, Howell rushed into the room and screamed with rage when he realised the little boy was no longer there. Will concentrated on Howell and the man found himself flung violently backwards into the edge of the open door. With a shriek of pain the man collapsed to the floor.
“What did you do, Will?” his father asked him.
“Not much, but I think his ribs may be broken,” Will replied with a determined grin.
The three agents had been racing back and forth trying to get some semblance of reality from the illusion Daniel was creating, failing badly as they shouted orders and countermanded each other. Those outside could hear the confused shouts. Both Daniel and Will suddenly concentrated their energies and the agents found themselves compelled to throw themselves around the room, bumping into each other and the walls and tripping over furniture. The telephones kept up their insane ringing, and, in the minds of the men, the sound of sirens got louder and louder, and the shouting they were hearing of orders over police megaphones got more and more confusing. They pulled out their guns and started firing randomly.
“Better stop that, boys, before they kill each other,” Gerald said.
Will and Daniel removed their controls and the agents stopped firing and their frenetic struggling. In the ensuring silence, Howell could be heard moaning. The agents looked at each other in stunned disbelief. They questioned each other, and Daniel and Will were amused at the thoughts the agents were broadcasting. While the agents were arguing with each other, each insisting that his version of what they thought was an attack was correct, Daniel decided to implant an idea in the mind of one of the agents. He concentrated and observed something that caused him to delve a little deeper.
Will, can you dive into the mind of the agent standing by the window?
Look at that – whatever it is – that seems to float at the edge of his subconscious mind.
What do you mean? Oh, I see.
Daniel led Will into an area in the agent’s mind that seemed foggy and indistinct. In the clear section of his mind they could see his thoughts about the events – the confusion that Daniel had forced upon him. But as they tried to penetrate further into his mind, the thoughts became indistinct, as though it was an area in which conscious thought had been forgotten.
“What are you two doing?” Gerald asked, suspiciously.
“Gerald, we think there may be a way to make them forget. Give us a minute or two. Move closer to the window and listen.”
Gerald moved over the window and taking care not to allow himself to be heard or seen, listened to the agitated conversation between the agents.
“I tell you, they were coming in from the north.”
“No, it was definitely from over there.”
“You’re both wrong, they were coming through the room the boy was in.”
“Can’t be! I definitely heard them over here.”
“Well, where the fuck are they now?”
Will and Daniel giggled at the profanity. Carefully working into the latter agent’s mind, they prodded at the misty area that Daniel had discovered. Daniel worked away at and then endeavoured to stir up the mist, trying to make it envelop the conscious thoughts flying around in the man’s mind. He showed Will what he was trying to achieve and together they succeeded in causing the mist to rise. As it did so, the thoughts in the agent’s mind seem to slow, and then stop. And then his mind seemed to become all mist.
Gerald suddenly started.
“What is it, Dad?” Will asked softly.
“One of the agents has just asked the other two what they are doing in this house.” He waited for a few moments. “The others are asking him what he means. He seems genuinely puzzled.” Will and Daniel smiled and nodded.
“What have you two done?”
“Dad, we think we have found a way to hide their memories – perhaps even erase them.”
“Oh!” Gerald was clearly perturbed.
“Don’t be worried about the ethics, Gerald,” Daniel said. “Think what they were going to do to us – and how they were going to achieve it.”
Gerald nodded. Meanwhile Daniel and Will switched their attention to the other agents and Gerald listened in growing amazement as the conversation from inside changed to one of perplexed puzzlement as to their presence in the house.
“How far are you taking it, boys?” he asked.
“Just back to when Howell first approached him,” Daniel said. “Seems he knew one of the agents and told him about us. Also seems only the three agents here knew what was going on. The two in the car at home don’t know the real facts.”
“OK,” Gerald said. “So what are you doing about Howell?”
“Already done,” Will laughed. “We erased the memories about our abilities, but not about being gay, and now he thinks his attitude to us as gays is why he was sacked.”
“That’s good, lads. That’s clever thinking.” Gerald was clearly pleased with the outcome. “Let’s get home and tell your mothers that everything’s OK.”
“Already done, Dad.” Both boys smiled at Will’s father who was still clutching his youngest son tightly. He looked at Robbie.
“You’ve been a brave boy, son,” he said.
“Not as brave as Will and Daniel, Daddy,” the younger Harp boy said.
“Yes, they have been really, really clever, haven’t they?” Robbie smiled up at his father, and then at Will and Daniel. The two older boys reached out and hugged Gerald and Robbie. “Come on guys, let’s get home.”
The drive home was uneventful, with Daniel guiding Gerald, sitting in the front passenger seat. Will sat in the back, cuddling Robbie. While he was driving, Gerald glanced at Daniel.
“What?” Daniel asked, seeing the glance.
“How did you manage to erase part of their memories, and not all of them?”
“We could have, you know!”
“What? Erased all their memories?”
“Why didn’t you?”
“Would have caused more trouble than it was worth.”
“Imagine the trouble if three agents (plus Howell) turned up with no memories at all – four simultaneous amnesia cases?”
“Ah! Yes! I told you, Daniel. You are turning into a remarkably good analyst.” Daniel smiled. “But, lad, you haven’t answered how you managed to do it. Or is it something you don’t know how to explain?”
“Well, yes and no. Can you imagine the mind being a sort of ball with a sort of fog, or cloud surrounding a core?”
“Yes, I can do that.”
“Inside the fog shrouded core is the subconscious mind. Outside it are the conscious thoughts – sort of bouncing around like electrons around a nucleus.”
“I thought you said you weren’t very technical?”
“Well, I have picked up some chemistry!” He looked shyly at Gerald with a smile on his lips. “Anyway,” he went on “imagine if parts of the fog could be lifted up over some of the conscious thoughts – sort of like absorbing some of the electrons into the nucleus? If we could do that, then those conscious thoughts – which are really memories – would appear to disappear. To be erased.”
“I see. I think!”
“If you’re worried about the ethics then the memories aren’t really erased – they are just submerged into the subconscious, and therefore can’t really be accessed.” Daniel thought for a moment. “I don’t know whether it is permanent, or how easy it might be to restore them. Do you have any idea, Will?”
“No, not really,” replied Will who had been listening carefully as he cuddled Robbie.
Maureen and Jennifer were standing on the front porch when they arrived, anxiously waiting to check that all their offspring were safe and unharmed. Daniel noted that a car was still parked up the road, under the trees, but was empty. He smiled to himself.
Maureen swept Robbie up in her arms, sobbing quietly as she hugged him tightly. Jennifer put her arms about Daniel and Will and hugged them into her.
“What happened?” she asked.
“Inside,” Gerald suggested, “and we’ll tell you all.”
Once inside he went into the kitchen to start some coffee, and poured himself a large scotch.
“Do you folk want a drink?” he called.
“Yes please, Dad, can we have a scotch too, please?” Will called back.
“Not tonight, Will. I think you and Daniel have had enough excitement,” Gerald chuckled.
“Oh! Dad!” chorused both boys.
Gerald laughed out loud.
“Daniel, do you realise that that is the second time tonight you have called me Dad?”
“Oh!” Daniel blushed.
“He’s quite cute when he blushes, isn’t he, Jen?” Gerald grinned broadly at Daniel’s mother.
“Yes, he is,” she said, laughing herself.
Gerald walked over to Daniel, and standing squarely in front of the boy, swept him into a very big and tight hug, pressing his cheek up against Daniel.
“Don’t you ever be embarrassed about calling me Dad, Daniel Green,” he said. “Apart from probably being my son-in-law, this family owes you a debt of gratitude that we can never repay.” As he said it, Daniel felt a tear run down where their cheeks were touching. “Daniel, I am proud that you should want to call me Dad.” Gerald could feel Daniel shudder as a large sob sounded in his chest.
“Gerald, I love Will. But I also love all of you. I hope Mum approves, but I think of all of you as my family.”
“Oh, Daniel, I do too,” Jennifer interjected. “I said it this morning to Howell. If he approaches any of my family, and that includes the Harps, then he will see the inside of a prison.”
“He won’t ever see that, Mum,” Daniel said. “Apart from the fact that Will and I are gay, he has no recollection of what has transpired.” He grinned at his mother, his smile taking on a slightly malevolent aspect. “Neither have any of the security agents.”
“Hmm!” she hummed. “I really think you ought to tell us what happened.”
The boys left it to Gerald to relate what had happened. Maureen, still tightly hugging Robbie, and Jennifer listened with rapt attention to all the details. Maureen looked at Robbie.
“And you really could talk to Will and Daniel?”
“Yes, Mummy. I don’t think I could do what they can, but they could hear what I was thinking.”
“And you sang nursery rhymes because Daniel asked you to?”
“And you weren’t scared?”
“Not after Will and Daniel spoke to me. I was before that. I didn’t like that man that hated Daddy and Will and Daniel.”
“It’s alright, honey,” Maureen said. “You’re safe now.
“I know, Mummy. I’m glad that Will and Daniel could talk to me.”
“Aren’t we all,” Jennifer said, the irony thick in her voice.
“So, will someone tell me what happened?” Maureen sounded frustrated.
“OK, already,” Gerald cried. And proceeded to tell Maureen and Jennifer what had taken place. When he had finished the story, Jennifer, looking at the boys, asked.
“So, everything is completely covered up?”
“Yes,” said Gerald.
“They won’t remember anything?”
“Not according to the boys.”
“Daniel, Will? Is that correct?”
“Yes, Mum,” Daniel answered. “We don’t know how it works, really, or how permanent it is. But we think it is.” He hesitated for a moment. “We think it possible someone could help them recover those particular memories – but if they don’t know about them, why would they want to try to recover them?”
“He’s becoming quite an analyst, Jen,” Gerald laughed.
“He is, isn’t he?” she replied, smiling fondly at her son.
“Mum...!” he whined.
Jennifer ruffled his hair.
“It’s alright, Daniel,” she smiled at him and Will. “I don’t think you two could do much wrong at the moment.”
“Even if we are gay, Mum?”
“Even so,” she said, her smile saddening a little.
“Enough, Jen,” Maureen said. “We don’t need to worry about that. What’s important is that Robbie is home safely, and it is our brave men folk who ensured that for us.”
Daniel looked at her, gratefully, and then at Will.
“Hey,” he said. “We’re hungry. Any chance of something to eat.”
“Oh, of course!” Maureen exclaimed. “Oh, I’m sorry. Of course, you lot must be starving.”
“It’s the mental energy, Mum,” Will said. “I really do feel quite drained. I don’t know how Daniel has stood up to all of this. He really did the donkey work.”
“Rubbish,” said Daniel. “We all had to work hard.”
“Actually, Jen,” Gerald said. “I think he’s right. I feel pretty washed out too.” He looked at the two women and grimaced. “It really was quite stressful.”
“You hungry, Robbie?” his mother asked.
“Yep!” her son replied. “But, just a little.”
Putting him down she ushered Jennifer into the kitchen and the two women set about getting some food ready. Gerald looked at the two boys.
“You guys alright?” he asked.
“Yes, Gerald. Just tired,” Daniel replied.
“Bloody exhausted, actually,” Will said.
“No need for that language, Will,” Gerald said with a tired smile. “Perhaps a drink is in order for a couple of heroes.”
“Dad, we aren’t heroes,” Will expostulated.
“Depends on where you’re standing,” Gerald replied. He walked over to the liquor cabinet and pulled down a couple of glasses. Putting a little scotch in each, with a dash of water, he handed them to the boys.
“Let’s not make a habit of this, but tonight, I think you have earned this,” he said. “Come on, drink up.”
Will lifted his glass and took a gulp – and spluttered as the whisky hit his throat. Daniel chuckled and took a more genteel sip – only to splutter as Will had done. Will laughed at the expression on his face! Gerald laughed at the two boys and said,
“Good whisky needs to be properly enjoyed – you don’t just slurp it down like you guys do with sodas. And this is the best!”
“Why, Dad? What makes it the best?”
“Just the way it tastes.”
“Yuk!” Will said.
“Not quite yuk!” Daniel said. “But I guess this is what they mean by an acquired taste, is it?”
“Yes, it is,” he said. But once you acquire it, you will never forget it.”
The women emerged from the kitchen bearing food. Maureen looked askance at the glasses the boys were holding, raising her eyebrows. Jennifer merely smiled.
“Daniel’s father liked The Famous Grouse,” she said. “It was his favourite tipple.”
“Well,” said Gerald, “I thought may be this was the time for a small celebration.” He looked around, suddenly startled. “Where’s Genny?”
“Oh,” Maureen said. “She’s with her friend Katharine. She was there when I got the call about Robbie. I thought it might be better if she stay the night.”
“Yes, you’re quite right.” Gerald sighed. “At least that is one worry we didn’t have.”
They settled in at the table, everyone picking half-heartedly at the food. It wasn’t that they weren’t hungry, but the stress of the evening’s activity had drained everyone. After eating a reasonable meal, Will looked at Daniel and raised his eyebrows. Daniel nodded at him. They turned to the adults.
“May we be excused, please?” Will asked.
“Of course,” his mother nodded.
The boys got up and each hugged his mother and gave her a kiss, and then Will turned to hug Jennifer, while Daniel hugged Maureen, who gave him an extra strong hug, and kissed him on his cheek.
“Thank you, Daniel, for my son.” Daniel smiled sadly at her.
“Perhaps it is really our fault, Maureen,” he said quietly. “If we hadn’t found these special powers none of this would have happened.”
“Daniel!” Gerald said, sharply. “We discussed this earlier. It.... is.... not.... your fault!” he said deliberately and with emphasis.
“No, it’s not, Daniel,” Maureen confirmed. “Please, please. Don’t ever think that.”
Jennifer looked at them a little strangely.
“Where are your manners?”
“How did I just hear you address Maureen?”
“Oh, Jen,” Gerald interrupted. “We gave him permission to call us by our first names earlier – when all this crap blew up.”
“Oh!” she didn’t seem exactly mollified. “Well, if you gave your permission, I suppose that’s OK.”
“It’s more than OK, Jen,” he said. “In fact, didn’t you notice? In the heat of the moment, he even called me Dad!”
Daniel blushed, his mother turning a slightly amused look in his direction.
“Oh, yes! I guess that’s really not altogether surprising.” She gave a short laugh. “I suppose he is really more like a son-in-law, isn’t he?”
The three adults laughed. She turned to Will.
“Well, Will. I suppose you’d better call me Jen, or Jennifer, too.”
“Thank you,” Will said, with a shy smile.
“Or, of course,” she continued, “You can always call me Mum, too. I don’t suppose your mother will mind?”
“Not at all,” Maureen replied.
Gerald looked at the boys.
“Up you go, guys. You’re dog tired. No school tomorrow, OK?”
“OK, Dad,” both boys said simultaneously.
“In fact,” Gerald continued, “Everybody can stay home tomorrow – we are going to have another look at the house Jen found.”
“That’s great Dad,” Wills said tiredly. He turned to Daniel. “Come on, mate. Bed for us.” Daniel nodded weakly himself, and both boys wished everyone good night and wearily made their way up the stairs to Will’s room.
As the boys trudged up the stairs Daniel looked at Will.
Are we up for something tonight? he asked. He exercised his mind a little and Will felt a phantom hand curl around his buttock.
I really don’t feel all that up to it, Daniel, he thought back to his mate.
Didn’t last night, either, Daniel grumped!
“Oh, diddums,” Will said aloud as he led the way into his bedroom “is it sad it didn’t get any?”
“Will, you fink,” Daniel retorted “don’t you feel something at all?”
Yes, but I’m not quite as washed out as you must be. You need your beauty sleep. He mentally stroked Daniel’s brow, Daniel sighing softly as he did.
“You going to shower, Daniel?” Will asked his mate.
“I don’t think I could, Will.” Daniel did sound exhausted.
“Well, then, let me do the honours tonight.” Will giggled softly. “Do you need to pee?”
“Uh, what? Oh, yes, probably.”
“And you need to clean your teeth,” Will smiled at him. “Come on, then, let me help.”
He reached over to his friend, taking his arm and gently swinging him towards the bathroom door, pushed him into the room. Daniel sighed, and stood tiredly looking at his own image in the mirror.
Do I really look as bad as that, Will? he asked.
Pretty fuzzy, Daniel, Will replied.
Will pushed Daniel towards the toilet.
“Go, pee!” he said. Daniel just stood there, not moving. Will gently probed his mind, marveling at the sponginess he felt in Daniel’s thoughts. “This is what we felt in those men’s minds,” he thought.
It is, Daniel said. And my mind is probably sort of cotton-wooly, like yours was last night.
“I didn’t know that,” Will responded.
“That’s what I felt last night, in your mind, Will.”
“OK. Well, enough – pee!”
But still Daniel just stood, looking blankly at the toilet. I am so weary, Will, he said in Will’s thoughts. Will snorted gently.
OK. He chuckled quietly. I’ll help you.
Will walked up behind Daniel and reaching around him carefully undid his belt, popped the top button on his pants, and gently pulled his zipper down. He slid Daniel’s trousers over his hips and let them fall to the floor. Steadying Daniel he touched his left leg and Daniel stepped out of the trousers, moving slightly ahead and lifting his right foot out of the pile. Moving closer behind him, Will pushed the clothes aside with his foot and gently urged Daniel closer to the toilet bowl. Reaching around his mate, Will reached down and lifted the lid and seat and then, without straightening raised his right hand to Daniel’s briefs, feeling for the opening. He gently inserted his fingers and wiggled them around under Daniel’s penis, pulling it out through the opening. He straightened, still keeping his fingers on the appendage, and peering around Daniel’s shoulder and pointed it into the bowl.
OK, go for it, he prompted the tired boy. Daniel heaved a sigh and relaxed his control. Will felt the stream of urine start to flow through his friend’s penis and watched carefully to ensure that the stream was directed properly into the toilet. When the stream subsided and, eventually stopped, he gave the penis a couple of flicks. Daniel giggled.
One more time and it’s masturbation, he said.
“You wish,” Will retorted with a grin. He tucked the penis back inside the briefs and, straightening up, pushed Daniel gently in the direction of the basin. “Teeth!” he commanded. Daniel leaned back into him.
“Can you do that for me too?” he asked.
“Nope – that you have to do yourself,” Daniel retorted, laughing.
“Oh. OK. I guess it’s going to be dragon breath in the morning, then,” Daniel whispered.
Will gave another laugh and, reaching around Daniel, picked up the tube of toothpaste and Daniel’s toothbrush. He squeezed the paste onto the brush and, pushing it into Daniel’s mouth, grasped his right hand and directed it to the handle of the brush.
“Go for it, Daniel,” he said “I’m going to get undressed. He left Daniel and walked back into the bedroom. Daniel tiredly stirred the brush around in his mouth for a while and, spitting out the white mess, rinsed his mouth out and carefully walked back into the bedroom. Will was sitting on the side of the bed and as Daniel came through the door, held out his arms to him. Daniel walked over and stopped in front of Will who stood up and, reaching for the bottom of Daniel’s shirt, grasped it and lifted it over his mate’s head. Daniel raised his arms sufficiently to allow it to slip over his head. Tossing the shirt into a corner, Will sat back down on the bed and reaching forward took hold of the waist band of Daniel’s briefs and gently slid them down the boy’s body. Emulating Will’s actions from the previous evening, Daniel steadied himself with his hands on Will’s shoulders as he stepped out of the briefs. Remembering the previous evening, Will leaned forward and gently kissed Daniel’s soft penis as it hung in front of him. Daniel gave a soft moan as Will’s tongue slipped across his glans, but then Will stood and taking Daniel gently by the shoulders, swung him around and eased him into the bed. Daniel sighed again and moved himself across the bed, his eyes closed.
Will returned to the bathroom to take care of his own needs and quickly returned to the bedroom. He stripped off his own clothes and slipped into the bed beside Daniel. Gently probing his friend’s mind he could see that Daniel had slipped into a deep sleep. Will sensed the exhaustion in Daniel’s mind, realising as he did so that he wasn’t exactly on top of the world himself. He too sighed deeply and, turning on to his side, snuggled into Daniel. As he drifted into sleep he felt some mental tendrils from Daniel’s mind reach into his own and smiled as he recognised the love carried by those gentle touches from the sleeping boy.
The next morning dawned fine and clear. Will woke around 7 am and feeling around was startled to find the rest of the bed empty. He sat up and rubbed his eyes, mentally casting out to find where Daniel was. A gentle laugh roused him, and looking around, he saw Daniel sitting by the desk, watching his lover intently.
Did you shield your thoughts from me? Will asked.
Didn’t want to wake you. Daniel smiled.
Wish you wouldn’t do that.
Because, it is so lonely when I can’t sense you.
I know, I feel the same way. Daniel looked at Will. I do love you so much, Will.
“I love you too, Daniel,” Will whispered.
“No school today!” Daniel laughed. “Mum says we can go look at the house today. But we don’t have to get up for ages.” He giggled, again. “Any idea what we might do until then?”
Oh, yes! Come back to bed. Will stretched, lasciviously, winking at Daniel. Daniel stood up, as naked as he had slept and Will noticed his prominent erection. Are you glad I’m awake? he asked, grinning broadly. He gave a startled groan as an invisible hand stroked across his penis, accelerating its stiffening.
Daniel crawled into bed along side Will, lying on his right side and, reaching over with his left hand, pulled Will towards him. Will hugged Daniel with his right arm, and as the two boys snuggled into each other, they could each feel the other’s erect penis poking them. Both boys sighed, simultaneously, and their lips met as their heads came together.
Some time later, feeling the stickiness between them start to cool, Daniel suggested it might be time for a shower. As he got out of bed, Will held on to his hand, lingeringly, his fingers slowly slipping through Daniel’s. As Daniel stood up, Will felt phantom fingers resume their pressure on his hand. He smiled up at Daniel.
“It’s rather wonderful that we can still feel each other, even though we are not physically close,” he said to his mate.
“Better than just being a thought away, isn’t it?” Daniel asked.
When they went down to have breakfast they found a very excited little boy telling his sister all about the adventures of the previous evening. Genny sat at the table with wide eyes, listening in horror to Robbie’s tale. She looked around as Will and Daniel entered the room.
“Did all that really happen?” she asked.
“Sure did,” Will replied.
“Genny?” Daniel called softly. She looked at him and he opened his mind to her, showing a rapid account of the events. She gasped.
“It really did happen, then! How awful.”
“It happened, Genny,” Will said, sadly. “I wish it hadn’t.”
“So, what will happen?” she asked.
“Nothing much, now,” Daniel put in. “I think we have probably solved this particular problem.”
“By erasing their memories?” Genny asked.
“Sort of,” he replied “because we didn’t really erase them – we just sort of hid them.” He stopped and thought before continuing. “I guess it might be possible for someone to uncover them, but hopefully that won’t occur soon – if ever.” He thought again. “No, I suppose what worries me is that sooner or later someone else is going to find out and the whole mess will start over again.”
“You mean someone might kidnap Robbie again?” she asked. A look of horror flitted across her face. “Or me!”
“Hope it won’t come to that, sis,” Will said.
At that moment, Gerald walked into the room.
“Time to go look at the house kids,” he said, cheerfully. “What’s the problem? You lot look like you’ve all got the bot!”
“Dad!” Genny exclaimed. “We’re just worried that something else awful might happen.”
“Let’s not worry about that,” Gerald said, giving her a hug. “I always reckon that there’s no point in building a bridge until you know there is a river you have to cross.”
She looked at him, giving him a crooked sort of smile, then hugged into his shoulder.
“Thanks, Dad. I love you.”
“I love you too, kiddo!” Gerald said, smiling at them all. “All of you!”
He ushered them out the door to the car, putting Robbie and Genny in the back. He looked at Daniel and Will.
“You guys go with Jen, OK?” He pointed over to Daniel’s mother’s car. The boys hurried over, Daniel leaning in through the driver’s window to give his mother a kiss.
“Good morning, you two,” she smiled. “In the back.”
“No shotgun?” Daniel asked with a grin.
“Not unless you want to be in the back by yourself,” she laughed at him.
“Oh, Mum!” he whined, but smiling at Will and grasping his hand as they climbed in. Will just grinned back at him.
The drive took about 20 minutes.
The house Jennifer had found was set in undulating bush land with a view towards a distant mountain range. A little bit of snow was just visible on the highest ridges. It was long and low, with a verandah on the sunny side overlooking a pool and, on the far side, a meadow that sloped down to a stream that disappeared into the bush. They could hear birds singing in the trees and in the distance the lowing of some cows. It was peaceful, and in the bright morning sunshine, appeared like a little piece of heaven. The three adults wandered into the gardens surrounding the house while the four kids went inside to explore. They were investigating the bedrooms, having ventured into a large room which had double door access onto the verandah and looked out onto the pool. As they stood in the room, Jennifer appeared in the doorway.
“Do you like it?” she asked.
“Mum, it’s wonderful,” Daniel replied.
Will nodded at her.
“We thought maybe that this room would be for you two,” she said. Daniel and Will broke out into broad grins.
“You mean that?” Will asked.
“Oh yes. Definitely,” she said.
She looked at Robbie and Genny.
“How about we go look at the rooms we thought you might like,” she said, holding out her hands to them. They skipped over to her and took hold of her hands and she led them through the door.
Will and Daniel looked around. They saw the door to a bathroom, and walking over to it, opened it onto a large en suite with a good sized wet-area shower.
Just what we wanted, Will, Daniel thought.
Oh, yes! Marvelous.
Daniel leaned over, putting his hand on his friend’s shoulder.
I think you and I will be able to get each other really, really clean in here, Daniel said.
Well, I know one part of you I will be able to get really, really clean, Will giggled.
“C’mon,” Daniel said, grabbing Will’s hand and hurrying to the double doors onto the verandah “let’s go look at the garden.”
Some time later, when all the preliminary exploration had been undertaken, the adults gathered the children together.
“What do you think?” Jennifer asked. “Is this the place for us?”
The kids nodded their approval, Robbie jumping up and down enthusiastically, while Genny walked over to Jennifer and hugged her.
“Thank you for finding it for us,” she said. “I’ll be able to have my friends out, and we can go for walks in the bush. It’s wonderful!”
Jennifer looked at Will and Daniel, and then at Gerald and Maureen.
“What do you two guys think?” she asked the boys. “You look a bit pensive.”
“Not really pensive Mum,” Daniel replied “just relieved, I guess.”
“Oh? What about?” Maureen interjected.
“It’s the noise, Mum,” Will replied.
“Noise? But it is very quiet here,” Gerald said.
“Yes. That’s the point,” Daniel said to him. “You have no idea how quiet.”
“What do you mean, honey?” Jennifer asked her son.
“All we can hear is you four and ourselves,” Will answered.
Light dawned on the faces of the adults.
“Ah!” Gerald sighed “I think I understand. Sorry!”
“Why sorry?” Daniel asked.
“We just never fully understood what it must be like for you two, being able to ‘hear’ everyone around you.” He stopped and thought. “Just how much control do you have to exercise?”
“Quite a lot, Dad,” Will said “and it is tiring to shut out the worst of it.”
“I can imagine,” Gerald commented. “Well? Do we buy?”
“For us, yes, please,” Will said, looking at Daniel who nodded his agreement.
“Yes! Yes! Yes!” Robbie said, dancing around his father and mother.
“Me, too,” Genny put in, smiling at Daniel’s mother.
“That’s settled then,” she said. “Tomorrow, Gerald and I make an offer.”
Copyright© 2004 ilb3000.
If you wish to reproduce part or all of this story please contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org for permission. All credits should be retained in any reproduction.
From time to time I have been contacted by readers who tell me they are enjoying this tale. Not many, but enough to make it worthwhile continuing. In the midst of a busy life, it is not easy to draft and the edit works like this, and I offer my apologies to those who would wish that instalments could appear more quickly. I am afraid it is just not possible. I am grateful for the positive comments I have received.
I offer my sincere thanks to my good friend Tom who has undertaken the task of editing these chapters for me. It is a largely thankless task because an editor needs to offer advice on mudane topics such as grammar and spelling, and to ensure that the story flows without obvious flaws, but cannot seek to change the story in any way. I am grateful for the care and effort he puts in to the task.