Standard Disclaimer:

This is not a standard Nifty story: there may be sex in this story, but only insofar as it shows up in real life, and I'm goign to try and take a closed-door approach to it. This is not a porno story, it's intended as a serious novel. That said, I still need to provide certain disclaimer's if I'm going to post on Nifty:

You're all probably familiar with the standard drill: this story may contain sexually charged scenes including same-gender pairings, abuse, incest, rape, and more. If reading such is illegal in your area, please do not continue.

I have my own website, and am also hosted at other sites, including and Redemption, and Guardians before it, are not my only stories! If you drop by my website, it tends to be the most comprehensive source of stories for your reading pleasure, but you will occasionally discover stories that haven't reached it -- such as Unexpected Reactions at

Remember, please, that e-mail is an author's only payment -- please do pay! My address is, and I look forward to hearing from you. I respond to all e-mail recieved.

A brake line slashed creates a family emergency. And the creature didn't even have to be seen to manage it.

And from this little family emergency, with a little luck, might just arise despair deep enough to cause a young man to kill himself.

The next morning, Jer stretched through a yawn as his alarm clock announced that it was time to get his lazy butt out of bed. Slipping out from under his covers, he grabbed at his dirty laundry before realizing it wasn't in the usual heap at the bottom of his bed.

Suddenly he realized that he wasn't the one who had removed his clothes. Oh crap! he thought as his cheeks heated up. Did he... had he... Wait, when did Da realize he'd stopped wearing pajamas to bed? Ah crap! His hands reflexively cupped down there as he realized he must have been...

Da had stripped him naked for bed! Oh God, Da hadn't had to undress him for bed in years, this was so embarrassing! Thank god he hadn't... or had he? Jer thought furiously before deciding his dick hadn't gotten hard. Probably. It did that at the most... well, whenever it wasn't convenient his dick would just take that as an excuse to come to life. Jer was gonna have to talk to somebody about it, soon, but he was not looking forward to that conversation. "Oh, Doc, by the way, my dick is getting hard at random times. Just how sick am I, and do you have some pills to fix me?" Jer whispered under his breath, blush growing even worse as he thought about it.

Oh God, no... it was doing it again! Great, just great. Jet stared down at his three inches of flesh and poked at it. "What the hell is wrong with me?" he moaned quietly. It was like he'd just suddenly grown a-

Jer blinked. Bone. Like a bone in his dick. Boner. Boning someone. All those older kids he'd overheard... did they get these things too? Jer thought furiously for a few moments before realizing that if he didn't get out into the shower sometime soon, Da was going to be getting up. And crossing the hallway like this... uck! But Da would notice if he dressed just to take a shower... Jer had been his 'little nudist' for years, and every change in that habit got noticed, Jer was sure of it. Jer quickly darted out of the room and into the restroom just across the hall, hearing his Da's alarm blaring as he did so.

Thankful he'd gotten clear in time, though he probably had plenty more waiting, Jer turned on the water to get the heat right, his hard dick... no, his boner, he grinned, getting in the way constantly. It's flopping was... distracting! As Jer slipped into the shower, he concentrated less on soaping up than on half-overheard conversations about things the big boys had been whispering about. He and Billy had talked about it, trying to put pieces together, but other than guys being silly about girls... like Jer was silly about Mary, Billy was always quick to point out...

As he was washing down there, he noticed a certain similarity between the hand gesture big kids used and how he was holding the washcloth against himself. After a few moments thought he shifted grip. "Oh!" he grunted softly. Washing down there was always fun, but this! His muscles spasmed under the unexpected shock, and the sudden tightening of his grip sent his eyes even wider open. His washcloth dropped to the bottom of the tub as he went limp, barely holding himself up as he blinked in shock.

Grinning, he reached down for his washcloth. He'd really have to tell Billy about this! Though... His hand was halfway back when he diverted it to place the washcloth on the little bar on the side of the tub. It had been fun, but the washcloth was way too rough. As good as it had felt, the roughness was... wrong? He couldn't decide what to call it, but lathering his hands really well with soap, he resumed 'washing' himself. And it felt soooo much better.

His shower was getting a little long but Da wouldn't complain for a while and it felt so good... too good really... Oh my...

Jer lost control of himself as, somewhere deep inside, a line was crossed. His hand couldn't stop moving and he couldn't stop and he didn't want to stop! Jer felt like he was going to pee, but at this point he just didn't care because it was starting to hurt it felt so good it hurt and something was breaking inside him and-

Da slammed on the door and bellowed, loudly, "Jer, hurry up!"

Jer dropped to his knees with a thud and gasped as something happened deep down and it felt so good!

"Jer, you okay?" Da asked.

Jer gasped out a strangled noise, unable to speak as waves of pleasure pounded through him.

"Jer? Jer! Answer me!" Da screamed, yanking at the locked door.

"Fine," Jer gasped, then louder "I'm fine Da!"

Da stopped pounding on the door for a moment, then asked, "Are you sure? It sounded like something was wrong in there!"

"Yeah, Da," Jer tried for a more normal tone of voice, but could tell his tone was all wrong. Even as red as his cheeks suddenly were, he still felt so good from what had happened. "I just... I slipped in the tub, nothing big!"

"Are you sure, Jer? When I tried to ask you didn't answer... me..." Da trailed off and Jer just knew he was going to start making guesses he didn't want Da making.

"It's nothing Da, I just fell bad trying to... well, I didn't want to hit there, and I twisted and ah, knocked the breath out of myself," Jer hastily lied. God, Da couldn't help but see through that one! What was he thinking?

Strangely enough, Da sounded amused as he shouted back, "Ok, so long as your fine Son. Could you hurry up and save some hot water for the rest of the world, though?"

"Uh, sure Da!" Jer shouted back before grabbing the washrag and quickly resuming his shower, carefully avoiding his dick. He was out of the shower before he realized that it had actually gone soft after what had happened, either because of his embarrassment or because of what he'd done.

If he actually had a cure for the stupid thing popping up at all hours... That was worth everything that had happened and was probably going to happen!

Jer grinned as he thought about the events of last night. If Billy's... what had Da called it... ah, yeah, if his 'tent' had been caused by a boner, then he would be really happy to learn about this!

Wrapping his towel around himself, Jer walked back to his room and found some clothes for the day before heading downstairs. Da already had breakfast sizzling on the stove, and it sure smelled good. "Egg mess?" Jer asked hopefully.

"Yup!" Da replied with a grin as he added the diced bacon he'd fried earlier and poured the eggs into the mix that was sizzling on the skillet. "Perfect timing on your part," Da grinned. "You left me some water, right?"

Jer blinked. Da was teasing him about wasting water? Thanks to his days in the Navy, Da had always come down, hard, on taking 'too long' in the shower. So there was really only one possible reason-

"I trust you had a good time playing in the rain?" Da asked, a small smirk still on his lips as he tossed shredded cheese on top of the nearly finished eggs.

Is there a mark on my head or something? Is everybody gonna know? Jer wondered for a second before shoving that thought down. Not an idea he wanted to contemplate, no sirree!

"Ah," Jer temporized, "um, sorry I took so long."

"Oh, it's okay Jer," Da assured him. "I 'slipped' a few times in the shower myself when I was your... age." The brief pause was accompanied by a look Jer just couldn't interpret, and Da turned back to the stove and started clattering. Jer didn't know why things had changed, but now Da was angry again. Sitting at the table, which had been set already, Jer tried to figure out what was going on. Da knew, and was amused, now he was angry, and the only difference was... was...

Jer didn't have a clue, even as Da brought the skillet to the table started dishing the two of them up. Jer shoveled the mess into his mouth as fast as he could chew, mind working furiously as his body fed itself. He loved egg mess -- bacon, onions, bell peppers all fried "together" then mixed in with well-beaten eggs and topped with cheese, yum! And, of course, if you wanted to add anything else, like the celery and mushrooms he was tasting today, you just make sure to adjust the cooking order and time so everything is finished right as you add the eggs, which cooked really quick.

Da didn't speak either, lost in thought. Jer snuck quick glances at Da as he tried to figure it out. He was a smart boy, and knew it. So what was he missing? He felt like it was obvious and right in front of him as Da just kept silent, staring into the distance. "Jer," Da said as they finished their meals.

"Yes Da?" Jer replied cautiously.

Da swallowed convulsively as he shook his head, "I... There are things we need to talk about. Soon," Da told him, voice uncertain, almost lost. "Last night, when I... you were so tired, I went ahead and put you to bed."

"Yeah, I noticed," Jer blushed as he stared down into his plate.

"I wasn't really looking, but I noticed some things," Da edged into the conversation.

"Why did you... I mean, when did you... I do sleep like that, but..." Jer stammered.

Da blinked, and laughed nervously. "Oh, that? Son, I've known you've been sleeping naked pretty much since the day you started it, you little nudist you. You did it the first time about a week after you convinced me to stop dressing you for bed, and you did it more and more often, especially during the summers. These days, about the only time you dress for bed is when Billy is staying the night, if then!"

Jer blushed even harder. "You knew?"

Da laughed and shook his head, "Yes, I did Jer. From day one!"

"But... how? I'm always under the covers!" Jer protested.

"The Daddy knows," Da said melodramatically, (mis)-quoting some old movie Jer kept meaning to look up. Something about a shadow knowing what evil is in men's hearts. For some reason Da always loved that line. "Truthfully, I almost always check in on you at night, and when it's hot out you usually kick the covers off. When it's winter... you need to learn not to get your clothes caught in your dresser drawers when you close them son. Or leave your pajamas on the floor if you don't want me to know you aren't wearing them. And toss them in the wash once in a while. And while I may laze around in bed for as long as I can get away with, the speed with which you get into the restroom after getting out of bed is usually too quick to strip, even for someone with as much practice as you have!"

"But, you never said a word!" Jer protested.

"No, I didn't. Fact is, you like being naked for some reason beyond me. I don't- No, I know why it's beyond me," Da started staring into the distance, and with shock Jer realized there were tears forming in his eyes as he continued absent-mindedly. "It's why... it's why your mother and I always agreed she would be... this conversation... God I miss Cheryl, oh Cheryl..." Da blinked away his tears and shook his head. "I'm sorry Son, I can't... I won't... I mustn't..." Da's voice failed him and he just shook his head. "Take your pick or all of the above, talking about that is simply beyond my ability. I can't do it. I won't even try. And quite frankly, it's not a burden you should have to bear."

"Da, what is it?" Jer asked.

"No," Da told him softly. "That's my final word on that subject. We will not discuss it. Will not," Da growled. "Just be aware I have some history that... makes this difficult. Please, bear with me if I... if I have prob-" Da shook his head as his voice failed again. "God, I didn't realize this would be so fucking hard!" he swore angrily.

"Da, if it's this hard maybe we shouldn't talk about this, or leave it for some other time," Jer asked, glad he'd found a reprieve. As shaken as his Da was, this conversation couldn't possibly continue, giving him time to... Something. No clue how he'd use it, but Jer was going to avoid this somehow!

"No!" Da stated flatly. "I've already waited too long, as your shower incident this morning proves," he said angrily. "I should have done this long since, and the evidence of that isn't just the shower, it was what I saw last night!"

"Oh God," Jer blushed, "what did you see? I didn't... I thought it didn't..."

Da frowned, "Jer, I don't know what you're thinking, but it was nothing... untoward. I just noticed that you're growing hair."

Jer blinked. Growing hair? "What's the big deal about that? I'm always growing hair!" Jer grabbed a lock of his black hair in his fingers and yanked on it in demonstration.

"Not on your head, silly!" Da laughed. "Though now that you mentioned it, you need a haircut! Anyway... God, I can't believe I'm actually telling my little nudist this, but open up your fly and take a look at your crotch sometime. A good look."

Not a chance in hell of Jer doing that right then, not with his dick growing again. God, apparently the shower thing wasn't a cure. Except... Da would notice that he hadn't taken the opportunity-

"And no, I don't mean you can do it here at the table!" Da snapped light heartedly, apparently taking the look on Jer's face to mean Jer was considering just that. Which, in a sense, he was, so Jer kept his mouth shut on that subject. "You're growing what's called pubic hair, Son!"

"Pubic hair?" Jer asked, nonplussed. Then remembered some of the other kids talking about... "That any relation to pubes?"

Da laughed. "Yeah, a very close relation! God, I haven't heard them called 'pubes' since... high school!"

"So it just means I'm getting to be a big boy, about ready to start shooting?" Jer asked, eagerly. Every year on his birthday, he asked Da to teach him how to shoot some of the guns in the safe, and every year he got told 'later, when you're a big boy'.

"Ah," Da spluttered for a moment. "Yes, Jer, it means you are about ready to start shooting." Da took a drink of his coffee to try and compose himself.

"Cool! When you going to start teaching me?" Jer asked.

Da spewed his coffee over half the table before he got control of himself. Thankfully, the two of them had managed to finish cleaning their plates during the discussion, so while there was quite a mess, it wasn't a complete disaster. "What?!" Da shrieked after he got his lungs clear.

"Well, you've always told me you'd teach me to shoot when I got to be a big boy! And you just said I was getting ready to shoot!" Jer pointed out with the complete certainty of an unshakable logic chain. Da just spluttered some more.

"Jer, not that kind of shooting!" he finally managed to get out, in a desperate effort to placate his increasingly angry son.

"Huh?" Jer grunted, receding to merely 'annoyed'.

Da shook his head and tried to compose himself. "Okay, I think we need to start from the beginning, Son, but..." Da looked up at the clock. "We don't have enough time to have the entire discussion right here and now, and somehow I don't think I want to leave it half-finished!"

"Wouldn't you be doing that anyway if you sent me to school?" Jer pointed out. Then blinked as he realized his desire to tweak his Da's nose might just prolong this increasingly unpleasant conversation. Hair in his crotch? Ick!

"Yeah, but better to send you with the surface barely scratched than half-way through what promises to be a very, very long discussion," Da explained. "I'm going to go ahead and dig through some stuff I stuck in the basement, should be of use..." he started muttering to himself before shaking his head and looking at Jer. "Go get ready for school Son, I have work to do. And come straight home afterwords!"

"Alright Da," Jer agreed. "I'll come right home." Jer very carefully kept his fingers crossed behind his back as he spoke.

"Jer," Da pointed out angrily, "there is a mirror behind you."


"So?" Jer asked in an effort to avoid trouble.

"So I could see you cross your fingers," Da pointed out. "And crossing your fingers is a very, very old game."

"Yeah, but I didn't cross my toes!" Jer pointed out, suddenly glad he'd forgotten to.

"Jer..." Da growled.

Showing his uncrossed fingers off, Jer repeated, "Okay, I'll come straight home after school!"

"Good," Da said. "I'm going to hold you too that. Now, scat!"

Jer took the order for the opportunity it was, and ran. He still had a good half-hour before he had to leave... "Shit!" Jer swore softly before shouting downstairs, "Da, we left my bike at school yesterday!"

"Bus comes by in fifteen minutes!" Da shouted back.

Jer stepped down off the bus and glanced around for Billy. He couldn't see him anywhere, but that really didn't mean much of anything at this point, he could be just about anywhere if he'd had to take the bus too. On the other hand, Billy wasn't the only person he should be keeping an eye out for, he realized as Mary grabbed his arm and started dragging him towards class.

"Sorry Mary, but I gotta go to the office, I'm suspended," he apologized.

"What?" she complained. They'd known each other for years, being friends despite the 'boys are icky' and 'girls are nasty' rules that should have kept them far, far apart.

"I got in that fight, yesterday," Jer explained.

"Yeah, but you were helping Alfie!" she pouted.

Jer liked the look of her lips when she pouted, and missed her next question. "Sorry, what?" he asked. Then realized that he had a growing problem, again dammit. Hopefully his jeans would hide it!

"I asked," Mary repeated angrily, "why they suspended you for helping Alfie out!"

"School rules are-" Jer began. "Alfie?" he asked incredulously.

"He's my cousin, he spends a fair bit of time over at my house," she explained.

"Okay, so you know him," Jer laughed. "Anyway," he continued a little more soberly, "school rules require any students involved in a fight to be suspended. So... I get to spend the next three days in Purgatory."

"Bleh!" Mary made a face. They'd all had to spend time in Purgatory now and again, and no one liked it. It had an official name somewhere, but no one used it. A complex of three portables on the edge of school grounds, two of the rooms were used as detention centers, while the third was used to house whatever function the school couldn't find space for elsewhere. The three portables stank, were always either way to cold or way to hot, and the lighting in them was nothing to write home about either. Add in the normally close conditions when students were crammed in there for a function, and you had a recipe for a place one step short of Hell -- hence the name Purgatory One, Two, and Three.

"Well, I've got it lightly -- three days compared to Dommy's two weeks!" Jer pointed out.

"Three days?" Mary moaned. "Oh, but you're a hero, you should be rewarded not... not... tossed in the gulag!"

"Well, it's not exactly my choice," Jer pointed out.

"I'm going to talk to my parents about this!" Mary decided.

"Ah, Mary, there's really no need-" Jer began. Her parents were... strange. Lawyers. And Jer had heard enough jokes from Da to know that they were, by definition, evil. And if that weren't bad enough, they were UCLA lawyers, so they were really evil!

"You were helping Alfie out! They should be giving you a medal, not suspending you!" Mary complained. "You are a hero..." she said thoughtfully and then grinned. "My hero!" she proclaimed, and leaned in and kissed him.

Jer blinked, grinning. She'd kissed him! His first kiss! Bemusedly he watched her walk away, a matching grin on her face, as he touched his lips gently. She'd kissed him!

"And what are you standing around here for?" Mr. Thompson asked angrily. "I was expecting to find you in my office, not standing around in the parking lot!"

Jer shook his head and glanced over his shoulder. "What?"

"Jeremy, I don't like having you suspended any more than you do," the principal said angrily, "but this kind of behavior is not acceptable."

"Behavior?" Jer asked, confused.

"Jeremy, playing games..." the principal trailed off. "You really don't know, do you?"

"Know what?" Jer glanced around, noticing that the crowds had all vanished in the few moments since Mary had kissed him. Wait, where had Mary gone? She shouldn't have been able to get that far in the few moments he'd been... been...

"Jer, the bell rang two minutes ago," Mr. Thompson said. "Are you feeling alright?"

"Ah, yeah," Jer stammered. "I guess I just... I guess... Well, I got lost in thought!"

"Lost in thought, huh?" the principal asked, then looked Jer over. "Must be some pretty weighty thoughts!"

"Yeah, sorry about that Sir," Jer apologized, hoping his jeans really did hide his condition. "I'll get myself to the office now."

"No need, I'll just walk you over myself," Mr. Thompson said. "We'll... discuss matters on the way."

"Alright Sir," Jer sighed. "Wait, what about Billy?"

"Billy isn't going to be in until later, he has a doctors appointment," Principal Thompson explained.

"Is it that time of month again?" Jer asked. "I thought it was next week!"

The principal shrugged as he grabbed Jer's shoulder and started guiding him. Yup, Jer sighed, we're going to Purgatory.

"Oh, some good news," the principle suddenly remembered to tell Jer. "The school board finally got off their butts and voted to do something about Osiris Wing."

"Osiris Wing?" Jer asked.

"I believe most people call it Purgatory," the principal admitted. "A designation that I, alas, am not allowed to use, however accurate it might happen to be. Might happen to be, understand?"

Jer shrugged his shoulders, "Whatever," he answered. "But what are they doing?"

"Well," Mr. Thompson grinned down at Jer, "For the short term the buildings are closed off, and when we need the extra space we borrow it from the middle school."

"Cool!" Jer exclaimed. The middle school next door had just been built a year ago, and everyone wanted to go over and check it out. Not that 'little kids' got the chance very often.

"In the long term, the portables are getting pulled out, and they voted in a budget to replace them with proper, permanent buildings," Mr. Thompson added.

"No more Purgatory?" Jer asked.

"No more Purgatory," the principle agreed.

"Woo-hoo!" Jer cheered as the principle walked him up to the gate dividing the two schools. Locked to prevent students from crossing through, it was a dismal failure because the fence was just too easily climbed. Jer didn't know why the schools bothered to keep it locked, but they did. Today the chain had already been undone in anticipation of their trip, and the principal opened the gate with a simple shove.

"By the way, Jer," the principal commented. "Did you by any chance see the PDA I heard about?"

"PDA?" Jer asked.

"Yes, a public display of affection," Mr. Thompson explained. "Some teachers were complaining that two kids actually kissed in full public view. They were most upset about having two 'little children' kissing in the parking lot."

"Oh, that," Jer grinned and slowed down, getting lost in thought again. "That was fun," he commented dreamily.

"Jer, Earth to Jer!" Mr. Thompson shook Jer by the shoulder to get his attention. "I'm not going to ask names, but please do remind the individuals involved that my job requires me to apply the rules, even when they happen to be absurd. And PDAs are completely prohibited on campus, at least between students."

"What?" Jer complained as they approached a building. A tall man was waiting outside it, glaring at the two of them. "So when Mary kissed me it was against the rules?"

Mr. Thompson froze mid-stride. "Jer, for all that you are one of the brightest students in the school," he muttered angrily.

"Ah, so you're the one who was kissing in the parking lot!" the tall man commented. "What's that good for, another day or two of suspension?" he asked nastily.

"Mr. Underwood," Mr. Thompson replied dryly. "I wasn't aware you were... in charge of my facility."

"I'm not, of course," Mr. Underwood replied, "but I can still gauge for myself what an appropriate punishment is. Even if we disagree."

"Perhaps," Mr. Thompson replied. "Thankfully, you don't have a say in the matter. In any matter involving my children."

"Not quite true," Mr. Underwood replied. Jer felt Mr. Thompson's hand tighten on his shoulder.

"The children of my school, I mean," Mr. Thompson replied coldly.

"Ah, in that case quite true, I thought-" Mr. Underwood replied.

"Enough," Mr. Thompson interrupted angrily. "This is neither the time, the place, or the right witness for such a discussion."

"True enough," Mr. Underwood replied after a moment. Jer, abruptly, decided he did not like Mr. Underwood. Not at all. Even if this entire conversation was over his head. "Come with me, boy, I'll show you to the detention center. The thankfully temporary center."

"I think I'll show Jer the way, I need to talk to Mrs. Sedgewick about something anyway," Mr. Thompson held tight to Jer's shoulder to keep him from moving.

"I'll be glad to take a message," Mr. Underwood replied, "and I was forced to change the room we were going to use for this... in-school detention."

"Then I guess it's a good thing you're here to show me the new way, isn't it?" Mr. Thompson replied dryly.

"Indeed," Mr. Underwood replied.

Jer followed sedately, suddenly not looking forward to using school to escape the conversation at home. Not at all.

Billy was bored. They run him through a bazillion different tests, same as every time he came in for his regular checkup, and just like very other time they were completely, mind-numbingly boring. And it didn't help that, when they did the brain scan parts, they'd started adding in new instructions. Instructions he didn't like one bit. And the whispered comments that came of that suggested that somebody's screen was showing things he was not ready to talk about. One of the technicians stormed out angrily, or at least that's what it sounded like. "Guys?" he asked. He was close to done here, but he'd been stuck in the machine for almost an hour and didn't want to wait to ask them about what was going on.

"One moment, William," one of the technicians said. The noisy machine continued for a few moments before coming to a close. "Alright, finished that set. Is it something important?"

"Well, I know this thing is supposed to map how I think or something," Billy started.

"Yeah, in a very rough way you could call it that," the technician agreed. "But I don't think that's what you're working yourself up to, is it?"

"Well, no..." Billy licked his lips as he tried to figure up how to talk about this.

"Medical privilege does not apply to minors," the technician informed him, "but while we are required to inform your parents of all relevant medical information, what I just saw isn't medical information. The guy who just left the room didn't like that, but I just sat on him for you."

Billy almost couldn't believe his ears. "You mean... you..."

"Yes, I... we... saw it. No, we won't tell anyone. And, William," the technician hesitated.

"Call me Billy, mister," Billy decided abruptly.

"Alright, Billy. Listen, I remember... when I was your age, I didn't have to go through one of these machines myself, but I was constantly afraid that, well... One moment, I'm going to turn off the audio recorders for this conversation. Do I have your consent?"

"Huh?" Billy asked.

"These sessions are recorded, full audio and visual, so the hospital can prove there was no impropriety. Given the nature of the conversation we are rapidly veering into, I think you'd feel more comfortable if the audio was turned off -- they'll still have visual to show nothing happened, but they won't be able to hear us."

"What?!" Billy screeched. "Are my parents listening in?!"

The technician laughed. "No, it doesn't work like that Billy. No one is actually listening, they just record the sessions to a database, and if someone decides to claim a mistake was made, or some kind of sexual abuse occurred, the evidence to prove, or disprove, it is available."

"Oh. Um... yeah, turn it off, please!" Billy agreed.

"Alright, then. I am legally required to inform you that I am shutting down audio recording. Any future of accusations of sexual impropriety, specifically verbal impropriety, are hereby rendered null and void. This conversation can be considered confidential, but there are no guarantees no one will walk in on us despite my having locked the door. While the room is soundproofed, the hospital provides no guarantees that no one is listening in through electronic or other means. Any information exchanged cannot be considered valid medical advice as I am a technician, not a doctor. Ending audio recording in three, two, one... we're clear. Don't worry about all that, it's just a required legal disclaimer I'm required to give before I can turn off the audio."

"Just like the disclaimer you have to give before you turn on the machine?" Billy asked.

"Yeah, I imagine you've heard a lot of those, as often as you're in here," the technician commented. "Feel free to call me Thomas, Billy."

"Alright Thomas," Billy answered.

"Now, Billy, I know this is gonna be a hard conversation, but... unless I think you're going to hurt someone, and I mean really think it, I'm going to keep whatever happens between us," Thomas explained. "The machine you're in is designed to trace neural activity, and while our primary interest is following neural impulse streams to check for weak spots, or changes in the overall pattern that indicate degradation, it also acts as a functional MRI. Which is to say, I can see which parts of your brain are active."

"So you know that I... that..." Billy felt tears welling up and refused to let them.

"Billy, there is nothing wrong with what I saw," Thomas told him. "Yes, there is damage to the neural pathways, don't get me wrong on that, but what your brain was actually doing... ignore the damage your condition has caused, and there is nothing wrong with you."

"But I... I..." Billy couldn't stop them and the tears started falling. "Please, don't tell my father, he'll be... he'll..."

"To hell with the rules," the Thomas swore. Suddenly the bench Billy was sitting on started ejecting from the machine, and the Thomas was there, removing the braces that held him in place. He picked Billy up and held him, and Billy just sobbed into his shirt. "Listen, kid, I know it's scary, but there is nothing wrong with you. Hell, you might not even be... When I was your age, I worried about it, a lot. And I mean a lot. But... at your age, things change. You've got years ahead of you still to change. And even if you don't, even if... Well, I don't know who this 'Jer' fellow is, but he sounds like a pretty lucky guy to have a friend like you. And if you're lucky, maybe, just maybe he feels the same."

Billy just sat there, soaking up the warmth for a few moments. "So I might... like girls?"

The Thomas laughed. "Yes, Billy, I was fifteen before I really started 'noticing' girls. Some guys are early, some guys are late. Some guys sex drives kick in early, while they start noticing girls late. It's 'normal', however it happens. At least as normal as normal gets for a teenager. And believe me, 'normal' covers a fucking huge bit of ground when it comes to teens, and puberty."

"How long?" Billy asked.

"Billy, I know what you want me to give you, and I can't," Thomas told him. He pushed Billy far enough away that they could look in each other's eyes. "It will happen when, and if, it decides to happen. It might be today, tomorrow, next year, or even never. Just take each day on it's own. And, seriously, talk to your friend. If he's a real friend, the worst that can happen is he's not interested. And even if he isn't interested in you that way, it's always possible, well... Sometimes kids play around. And that's fun too. And if he is interested, and just doesn't know it..." Thomas stared into the distance a few moments before shaking his head. "But if he isn't interested, don't push it -- that would be wrong. Just, tell him, and accept what happens from there."

"Thank you, Thomas," Billy said eventually. "I... I don't know what I'm going to do, but..."

"I know exactly what you're going to do, Billy," Thomas told him. "You're going to lie back down and let me finish this test. I've got one more set to do, takes all of about five minutes, and then I'm going to send you back to your parents, who will take you to the next of the many, many tests we're conducting today. Whether you have a conversation with them about this is up to you, but I'd recommend it. I seriously doubt they're going to have that big a problem with it, especially given how young you are, and it might save some serious trouble down the line. This isn't the dark ages, if they give you any hassle about it just tell a teacher or a doctor, or a cop, and the government will come down on them like a ton of bricks. And if you call me in," Thomas tweaked Billy's nose, "I'll personally kick them in the ass for you. How does that sound?"

"That's... great. Really... Thank you. Just, thank you." Billy said as he was laid back on the bench. He hated this, but he 'had' to do it every month, just to make sure that gene thing wasn't hurting him. He didn't understand the details, but the tests told the doctors how fast they needed to increase the dosage on his pills, and getting the dosage wrong was very, very bad.

Jer unlocked his bike, glad that no one had thought to mess with it overnight. He would have expected Dommy, at the very least, to have caused trouble, but he hadn't seen him all day. Maybe if he was really lucky, Mr. Thompson had managed to get Dommy really tossed into Mary's 'the gulag'. That would be worth quite a bit of the pain and suffering Jer was now getting to go through. Jer had his helmet on and bike unlocked before he noticed he was being watched.

Standing at the corner near the bike rack was Dommy, glaring at Jer. Silent. Still. Unnerved, Jer slowly backed his bike, twisting it around so it was facing away from Dommy. Still, he didn't move, perhaps because Jer had been careful to keep from turning his back on him. "It isn't over," Dommy warned as Jer turned, threw a leg over his bike and peddled like hell. "This is far from over!" Dommy shouted as Jer fled. Foolish he might sometimes be, but something was wrong with that situation, and it left him with goosebumps all over.

Jer knew, he just knew, trouble was on the horizon. "Shit," he swore under his breath. "Just what I need, more Dummy trouble!"

Peddling as hard as he was, it didn't take him very long to get home. Which was unfortunate, he realized as he opened the door, because he'd wanted to avoid the upcoming confrontation. "Da?" he called out.

"Hey Jer!" Da called back from his study. "You're back a little earlier than I expected! Come in here a moment, would ya?"

Jer trudged back to the study, and poked his head in. "Yeah?"

"Mr. Thompson called me again today," Da told him dryly. "Had quite a bit to say, in fact, about a certain act this morning."

"Oh, ah..." Jer stared and the ground and tried to think of something to say.

"Well, I think I know what I need to. I trust you don't plan to move past first base anytime soon?"

"First base? Er... no...?" Jer stammered.

"Oh good. I'm not ready for grandchildren just yet," Da answered. "Mind you, I'm really looking forward to them, but I think its just a little early for you to go providing them."

"Oh God, Daaaaaaaa!" Jer moaned.

"Oh, and Mary is definitely a nice girl if she really did come up and kiss you as a reward for the other day," Da pointed out, turning back to his work to adjust something "She was the one, right? The principle wasn't kind enough to share that info, but given your past behavior when her name comes up, and how often it does come up, I figure-"

"Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" Jer begged. Da turned to face his son again, grinning fit to split his face.

"Just remember, son, if you need condoms feel free to ask -- I'd rather you ask and got condoms than try and hide it and end up-"

Jer ran to his room, screaming out at the top of his lungs, "No thanks Da!" Slamming the door, he prayed for a few moments of peace as he sat down at his desk. Moving aside the books resting on it...

Books? Jer had all his books in his school bag! And...

"'Whats Going on Down There?', 'It's Perfectly Normal', and..." Jer threw the pile of books at the door. "Daaaaaaaaaa!" he screamed in anger. The great guffaws of laughter coming from outside the door confirmed his suspicions. "You are so dead!"

"Do some reading while you wait Jer, I really do need to finish up some of what I was doing. The client called and needs it sooner than expected," Da ordered as he tromped back downstairs.

Sighing, Jer picked the books back up and started flipping through the pile. One in particular grabbed his eye. It was an older hardcover, with the paper sleeves missing and the gilt lettering long since faded into invisibility. Opening it at random, his eyes shot wide open at the picture on the page.

A close up shot of a boner. A big boner, looking at the scale provided. Like, seven inches! And twice as thick as Jer's! Holy crap! Flipping through some of the other pages, he saw other pictures of all sorts, ranging from little pebble-balls for little kids to these great big monsters from a guy who had to be an adult. Then he hit the mother load.

First half of the book was boys; second half was girls. Breasts first, then shots of their crotches. Jer was in shock, no way Da handed him this! Quickly flipping to the beginning, Jer paged through the table of contents, unable to make out a lot of the big words. Finally he found a dedication page which didn't tell him much, but then the foreword explained a lot, and nothing.

It wasn't a sex ed book, it was an old medical textbook! The pictures weren't there to explain to a little kid what was going on, they were for doctor's to learn from and compare stuff too! But... why the hell did Da give it to him?

"Hell, as long as he gave it to me..." Jer muttered and flipped through the pages again, quickly searching out the pictures. Especially the girl ones. He had a hard time on a lot of those pages, some of them had gotten something in them and were not only stiff but wouldn't separate. But oh, what a treasure trove for a curious twelve year-old!

Da knocked on the door and poked his head in. "Hey Jer, I'm done!" Jer slapped the book shut reflexively, drawing Da's attention to it. "Hey, what book are... you... Crap!" Jer waited for the hammer to fall. "How exactly did you get hold of that book?" Da asked angrily.

"It was with the rest of them," Jer answered quickly.

"It was... with the..." Da shook his head. "I could have sworn... Alright, I guess I don't have much of a choice but to believe you."

"Where did it come from?" Jer asked curiously.

Da sighed. "My father gave it to me when I had certain... When I needed..." Licked his lips and pondered a moment. "I had questions I needed answered. Some reassurance about things."

"What-" Jer began.

"Not... not now, Jer," Da shook his head. "Anyway, seeing as how you've probably already flipped through most of it, I guess the damage is done." Da walked into the room and sat on Jer's bed. Shifting, he moved back until he was sitting cross-legged with his back against the wall in an impromptu chair. "Alright, some ground rules. For the purposes of this conversation, the normal rules and limits of social conversation are lifted. Ask about anything that's pertinent to the topic at hand, and I'll be honest and answer it. Questions that are excessively prying will be ignored, but you won't get in trouble unless you persist in them. I'll try to predict your questions, but feel free to ask them, this isn't a classroom where the teacher has a lesson plan he needs to stick to. Questions?"

"Um, English please?" Jer asked.

Da sighed and shook his head. "You can ask anything you want and you won't get in trouble. I'll answer it unless you're deliberately moving away from the topic at hand or if it's really, really private and not something that forwards your education on the topic."

"Oh, okay," Jer answered. "So... um, this is about this morning, right?"

"Yeah, it is," Da said. "I did some quick research, and I'm supposed to try and make this conversation as comfortable as possible for both of us. Not doing a great job, am I?"

"No, not really," Jer agreed.

"Well, that's part of the reason I told you you wouldn't get in trouble for asking anything. Some of it I might not answer, but you won't get in trouble," Da told him. "Now, as far as what we need to talk about, part of it is what my father called 'the birds and the bees', but I think I need to go a little farther than he did..."

The conversation quickly degraded from there as Jer started blushing like hell. Talking to his father about this stuff was beyond embarrassing. And then he started moving away from Jer's body and onto girls. Then the stuff he could do with his body, ranging from his own hand, to all four bases and what they refer to. With rough details on how to reciprocate.

Then Da was no longer satisfied with Jer answering spot questions and insisting Jer ask some of his own, Da made Jer explain everything back to him.

Partway through the 'puberty' talk Jer got a brilliant idea to get Da back for teasing him when he got home. "So, Da, you said I wouldn't get trouble if I asked questions, right?"

"Yes, Jer," Da answered. "So, what devilish thought has entered your mind?"

"Well, I was just thinking, you've given all this stuff to me about my body growing and rough time lines, but it just doesn't seem so very real without an example..." Jer drifted towards his target.

"Oh Lord, what have I set myself in store for," Da moaned. "Ask."

"Well, I was just wondering about some of these 'landmarks' you've mentioned to me," Jer grinned. "I mean, you said you sperm production usually began around 13 or so..." Jer trailed off.

"Well, yes, though it can take longer," Da temporized, "and you're probably going to insist on me telling you when I started?" Jer grinned in response. "Alright then, and I might as well tell you why father gave me that book while I'm at it."

"I didn't start 'shooting' until relatively late, a little into fifteen," Da admitted. "That was actually just one of many delayed developments, unlike you I was very much a late bloomer. I didn't get hair, or start to grow, until shortly before I turned fifteen. Then I turned 'on' and ran through the development pretty much lightning fast."

"As far as why my father gave me the book... I needed some reassurance on certain points. I was rather insecure because of my being a late bloomer. Especially since I saw other guys in the shower so often, and knew they were getting a lot bigger than I was in every single way."

Jer blinked. "Wow, you were... um, that must have sucked."

"You have no idea," Da admitted. "You've probably already heard the line, but I was telling people that 'it isn't how big it is, it's how you use it' almost every single day."

"So how big is it?" Jer asked before realizing what he'd said. "Um, er... never mind, please!"

"I said you wouldn't get in trouble for asking reasonable questions. Anyway, I've gotten up to 7 inches, which is actually larger than is normal, though not by much," Da grinned at Jer's uncomfortable reaction. "Hey, you asked!"

"Da, there are some things a boy is just better off not knowing about his father, even if in a momentary brain fart he forgets that!" Jer pointed out. "Next thing you know you'll be telling me about the first time you had sex, and I really don't-" Jer paused, noticing that Da's face had lost all expression. "Is something wrong Da?"

"That..." Da said flatly through a clenched jaw. "That is not up for discussion."

"Okay, that's good," Jer said. "But... is something wrong?"

Da was saved from having to answer when the phone started ringing. "I'll get it!" Da said quickly. Jer followed him downstairs, concerned about Da's reaction.

"Hello, Young residence," Da answered the phone with forced cheer. "Wow, slow down... yeah, he's here... I'm going to put you on speaker Elly."

Da pressed the button and put down the headset. "Jeremy, Jer, you there?" Mrs. Williams asked, desperation in her voice.

"We're here, Elly," Da told her.

"Listen, I don't... we need you down here, soon. Actually, right away. Jer, Billy needs your help and I figured at least an outline of what was going on would be of some help." Mrs. Williams was desperate, and Jer could just hear how upset she was.

"What's going on, is Billy alright?" Jer asked.

"Jer, I... We screwed up, and the two of you are probably the only people Billy is going to trust. He's hysterical, grabbed a scalpel from somewhere and is threatening to cut his throat, and I just... I... please!"