By ACFan
Portions contributed by Slash

Copyright 2003 by ACFan

Dedicated to the memory of Justin Case 1956-2003

We will all miss you Justin, but your kind words and support will never be forgotten. 04/13/2003

Authors note: I wish to express my extreme gratitude to slash for his numerous contributions to this story -- they added the final touches to make this all come together. Also thanks to Art, BillW, and Jay for their assistance in editing, proofreading, and generally helping me out of a rut occasionally.Thanks to "Z", Karla, and the rest of the Library members for your support when I started this.
A HUGE thanks to Comicality for his support of all of us aspiring writers!

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Send comments and suggestions (flames ignored) to:AC Fan

Part I:The Gathering
Chapter Four

Sean woke up with his face just inches from Cory's face. "Ewww ... Morning breath!" he thought to himself. He had to stifle a giggle as he slowly snuck out of the bed and shuffled to the bathroom to empty his bladder. As he finished he thought to himself "great -- looks like he's gonna sleep for a bit more, that will give me a chance to take care of something real quick." He looked over at Cory sleeping on the bed in the early dawn light, and felt as if his heart would burst from love and pride -- his Cory was on his way back. Sean quietly went to the study and fired up the computer, after making sure the speakers were off so nobody was disturbed.

Sean went to the closet while the computer was booting and got out his old laptop, then connected it to the hub. After both machines were running, he used the laptop to unlock the file he had hidden deep in the main computer, then mapped that file to a drive letter so he could access it. In no time he found what he was looking for, and after 15 minutes of formatting it so it looked just right, he printed it out and put it in a frame he had laid up a while back. "I really hope he likes this," he thought. "I've waited so long to give it to him". With that thought a single tear ran down his cheek, he wiped it away and wrapped up the frame in some tissue paper. He then closed out the file and put the laptop away -- even though the passwords required were unguessable, he did not want to take any chances of someone figuring out how he kept his most private writings and journals hidden.

He then logged into the Shack and checked out the posts, he had a hard time suppressing a laugh when he saw the latest in the war between acfan and the Duck. "I really wish I could meet acfan," he thought. "He sounds like such a cool guy!" He then posted an update to everyone on the happenings of the last 2 days; he figured it was only fair after all the support they had given him over the last year. When he heard his mom moving around -- he sat up with a start. "Shit! I better hurry up and get back to the bedroom before Cory wakes up so I can get this hidden where I want it!" he thought.

He shut down the browser, and then cleaned the cache before shutting down. (Old habits die hard) He managed to sneak back into the room without waking Cory and hid the package in Cory's underwear drawer. Sean didn't relax until he was back in the bed with Cory, and then received a pleasant shock when as soon as he was settled in Cory rolled over in his sleep and snuggled tightly to him. The feeling of the one person he loved, more than anyone else in the world, laying so close to him relaxed Sean, and he immediately drifted back to sleep.

About 10:30 Sean awakened with a start -- to find Cory straddling him tickling him under the armpits! In between fits of laughter, Sean managed to get out "Cory... Unless ... you want ... your ... butt ... pressure ... washed ... you ... better ... get ... off ... me ... NOW!" Cory took one look at Sean, then with a huge grin jumped off of the bed and ran to the bathroom. Sean was right on his heels, and the two boys proceeded to try to fill the toilet with the contents of their bladders. As they finished, Sean commented: "We better get some clothes on -- I'm gonna grab some clean stuff outta my room, I'll meet you in yours in a few minutes."

"Ok, bro -- I'm betting Mom is wondering where we are at anyways" Cory replied. "Damn, it feels weird calling her Mom after the last year!"

Sean just smiled. "It may feel weird, but it's almost the best thing I've heard in a long time -- besides, for you feeling weird should be normal -- since you ARE weird!"

Cory slapped Sean's butt. "I may be weird -- but only because I've been hanging around YOU and it's rubbed off on me!"

They giggled and hugged, then separated to their rooms to grab some clothes.

Sean had just finished deciding what he was going to wear when he heard a sound behind him. He turned around to find Cory standing there holding the package he had wrapped earlier, still wrapped up, with a smile on his face and tears of joy running down his cheeks.

"I found this in my drawer, it says 'To the number one person in my life from Sean'." Cory said in a low voice.

Sean walked over to his bed, and motioned Cory to sit next to him. "Come on over bro -- why don't you open it?"

Cory sat down, and then proceeded to carefully unwrap the package, making sure he was able to save the wrapping paper. Once he had the paper folded up to save, he looked at what was contained in the picture frame. "Oh my God..." Cory reached over and pulled Sean into a bear hug, the looked back at the contents of his hands.

The background was a semi-transparent picture of both of them when they were 10 -- standing in the back yard with their arms over each others shoulders, wearing matching Speedos. They both had huge grins on their faces. Superimposed over the top of the picture was a poem:

I sit here, Dream and wonder,

I look into your eyes and fade away.

You tempt me, you lure me,

Your innocence will let me dream today.

Your eyes, they look in beauty,

They send the sense of lovingness.

And they forbid me to look away.

Those eyes, they make me slowly drift away.

Today, is the day,

I'll never turn my back and walk away.

I'll tell you, I love you,

I'll take my chance, in a twist of faith today.

If only, you'll be mine,

I'll be with you, until the end of time.

Sean Short May 12, 2002

Sean looked at Cory: "Flip it over bud, please?"

Cory got a puzzled look on his face, and then flipped it over. On the back was hand-written:

For Cory with all my love, August 2002.

I have waited for the day I could give this to you,

You will forever be a part of my heart and soul.


Cory carefully laid it off to the side, and then looked over to Sean. When he saw the worry in Sean's eyes, he wrapped himself around him. "Thank you Sean -- I will treasure that forever -- I love you, it's the best thing you have ever given me."

After holding each other for a while, they got up to finish getting ready. "Sean?" asked Cory

"Yeah, Bro?"

"Would you mind if I took this to breakfast and showed Mom? It's so beautiful I need to show it off."

Sean blushed. "Sure Cory -- thanks for the compliment."

The boys re-enacted the pose from the picture, and went to the kitchen with arms over each others shoulders.