Chapter 35

It was now almost a month after the competition and all was going great. The first few days of school were a jumble of people stopping them every other second to congratulate them, and they barely found time to do their schoolwork. They managed just fine, just as they had always done. The school swim team had also had another meet as well, and of course they all did very well there too. The entire team fed off their team mates performances, and they all did spectacular. Even Ted's team of girls did not too bad, far better than they had ever fared in a competition before in fact, but he had weeded some of the weaker members out, and worked the few good ones left real hard.

Everyone was all doing well, getting lots of loving in, working hard as always in their schoolwork and training, and they even managed to squeeze in a sleepover weekend a couple weeks back. As always, all the boys had a tonne of fun. But just as life always seems to be going so well, sometimes a wrench can be thrown into the mix.

“You have another headache, don't you baby, and don't lie to me, I can see it in your eyes?” JJ asked AJ Thursday morning just after they woke up. It was the third morning in a row.

“Yeah, I do, and it is worse than the others, and I'm starting to get scared, this is how my dad died.”

“Then we're taking the day off school and we're going to take you to the doctors today.”

“I don't even have a doctor. I've never even been to see one in my life.”

“Then you can go and see mine. I'll call him right now and see if he'll take you.”

“Okay, but we'll need to take mom with us.”

“I know, we should go and tell her before she heads to school.”

“Yeah.” AJ sighed, this was the very last thing in the world that he wanted to deal with at all. They headed out to the kitchen to find Max and Alice sitting there sipping on their coffee.

“Mom, I think I better go see a doctor. This is the third day in a row that I have waken up with a headache, and the Tylenol didn't even touch it yesterday. JJ said that his doctor might take me on, but you have to come with me I think.”

“Oh baby, of course we can go, as soon as they open we will call. If he cannot take you, or cannot get you in today, we will call every doctor around, or we can just go to the hospital right now.”

“It's pretty bad, I think maybe we should just go to the hospital mommy.” AJ said, the pounding in his head actually getting worse the more he stood.

“Go get dressed boys, we will leave as soon as we are ready.” Alice said, getting very worried, but trying her best to not show it, because she knew just what AJ was thinking. He was thinking that this was just how my dad died, and I don't want to die yet.

They all went and got dressed, and as soon as they were, the three of them hopped in the car and headed out. Max had to explain to the others what was happening, and they too were very worried. AJ was not one to complain, and in fact they had never heard him say once that he was sick. They ended up staying home with Max, because they were all too worried to go to school, because they too knew how his dad had died.

“How can I help you?” The lady behind the emergency services counter at the hospital asked Alice as she walked up.

“Yes, my son has a very bad headache, third day in a row, and Tylenol yesterday did not help at all, and today the pain is even worse.”

“He appears to be about twelve or so, so I would say that is just puberty setting in, the changes can sometimes cause headaches, just get him some Advil Migraine, and that should do it for him.” The lady said politely.

“Actually, he's almost fourteen, and he's nearly finished puberty, and this is the first time that he has ever had a headache, other than the time he was shot in the head. Also his father died of a major brain tumor, and his major symptom was headaches, so trust me, we will be seeing a doctor today.” Alice said politely.”

“Okay, I can see why you would bring him in then, and I don't blame you. I will need his Care Card then please, and then you can go have a seat, the wait should only be about half an hour or so, unless we have an emergency come in.”

“Thanks, here you go.” Alice said, passing over the requested card.

“Okay, thanks. Does AJ have any drug allergies, is he on any medications, or anything else that we should be aware of?”

“No allergies that we are aware of, but his dad was allergic to penicillin, and I am allergic to codeine, but AJ has never been sick in his life, so other than when he was born and when he was shot, he's never even seen a doctor. He was shot last year in the head, but it was just a minor flesh wound and was out of the hospital in just a couple days fully healed.”

“Okay, thanks. Go ahead and take a seat, we will go ahead and get him in as soon as we can.”

“Thanks.” Alice said to the lady and went to sit with the boys. “Okay guys, she said the wait should only be about half an hour or so, and then we can get in.” Alice said warmly as she sat with the boys.

The three of them just sat there quietly, all in their own thoughts, all scared about what the doctors would find and say, all hoping against hope that it was just a simple headache, but all knowing that the family history did not paint a pretty picture of this scene. It was almost forty five minutes before they were called in, and they were shown into a fairly spacious room, closed off from all those around them. AJ was asked to climb up on the bed and told that the doctor would be right in to see him.

It was ten minutes later before the doctor came in, and as luck would have it, it was the very same doctor that had helped him after he had been shot, and he remembered AJ well.

“Hello again AJ, I hoped that I would never have to see you in my ER again. I see that you are having some pretty serious headaches. Are they centered around the area that you were shot, could it just be something from that do you think?”

“Hello again Doctor, and I hoped I would never have to see you again, no offense of course, but no, these headaches are painful all over, but especially behind my eyes. The pain is so great now that it is affecting my vision, it is pulsing with the pain.” AJ almost cried out.

“Okay, that does sound pretty serious, and absolutely no offense taken, most people would really rather not see me again, at least not here. I also see in your family history that your father passed away from a brain tumor, and the leading symptom started as headaches, so I must say, it is a very good thing indeed that you came here first, and not to a regular doctor.”

“Yeah, we were just going to go to a doctor, but we don't have one, so we figured it would be better to come here, because it is getting pretty bad. AJ never complains about anything.” Alice said.

“Well, I think the very first thing we are going to do is give you the standard physical, which means that you two will have to leave for a few minutes please.”

“No, they can stay, they have seen all I have already anyways, and I'd really rather have them here.” AJ whispered.

“Okay, if you're sure then. I need you to go ahead and get undressed down to your underwear then?”

“I didn't wear any, so I hope naked is okay with you.”

“That's fine, I would have had to take them off eventually anyways I'm sure.”

AJ took a few moments to undress, with the help of his caring boyfriend of course, because moving was starting to hurt AJ now. As soon as AJ was naked, the doctor got started on everything, pretty much just giving AJ the complete work over.

“Okay, so far I see absolutely nothing wrong with you physically, so that means whatever is causing your headaches, is in your head somewhere. What I would like to do now is go ahead and call up and get you a room, at least for over night, to do some observation, and get you some tests. I am going to have a nurse come in and give you an IV and get some pain medications into you, so that you can function a little easier. I am going to be calling in a consult of an oncologist because of your family history, because we do not want to take any chances at all.”

“Thanks Doctor.” AJ said quietly.

The doctor headed out to make all the arrangements, and only minutes after he left, a nurse came in with all the stuff to put an IV into AJ. She had a bag of saline and a bag of something else, they could only assume it was morphine. She worked quickly and painlessly to insert the IV into AJ's wrist, and get everything hooked up. Within only a few minutes AJ appeared to almost calm down, the pain killer had kicked in to numb the pain, so he was more comfortable.

About ten minutes later another nurse came in with a gown for AJ to get into, and then had him sit in the wheelchair that she had brought as well, and took the three of them up to his new room for the night. It was a single room, so he would be by himself, and it was a pretty decent size. It was on the fourth floor, and had a pretty good view. The nurse told them that a doctor would be in to see them shortly to start arranging for some tests.

Alice took a few minutes to call home to explain what was happening, because she had figured that there was probably no way that the others went to work or school, and she was right. Obviously they were all worried, especially when they heard that an oncologist had been called in, but they all hoped against hope, once again, that it was just precautionary.

A while later the doctor that had been assigned AJ's case came in and introduced himself, and then explained to them what they were going to be doing. The very first thing that they were going to do was the Cat Scan, because that was likely to explain almost everything that they needed to know, but blood and urine was collected to test as well. Inside half an hour further, they were headed to the imaging department, and AJ was all set up in the large machine.

“Okay AJ, that was about it for now. The oncologist that we called in will be here soon, and he will come to meet you and look over all this data. For now, is there anything that we can get you?”

“I would like some water and some fruit please?” AJ said.

“Of course. You will find a small kitchen just down the hall, feel free to help yourselves to whatever you would like from there, but the food is supposed to be just for patients, but I won't see anything.” He winked, he could tell that JJ was hungry as well.

As soon as the doctor left, JJ hopped up and went and grabbed a pitcher of ice water and a few pieces of assorted fruit, and came back. They all sat and ate and drank quietly, no one really saying anything, because they all knew that if they did, they would start crying. The wait felt stupid long, but in reality it was not even an hour before the oncologist finally came in.

“And you must be AJ. I have gone over all the reports already, and seen your Cat Scan results.” The doctor came in and introduced himself and said.

“And is it a tumor?” AJ asked fearfully.

“Yes, I am afraid that it is. The good news is, however, that it is at this time still very small, and should be operable. The bad news however is that it is in an area that is difficult at best to get to, and the operation has serious risks to it. I am sorry to say that it is only about a fifty percent chance of success.”

“But if we do not do it, then there is a hundred percent chance of death, just like my dad, isn't there?” AJ asked, his lip trembling, and tears threatening to spill, but he was giving it his all not to cry. JJ and Alice could not hold it off though.

“Yes, I am afraid that is the case. We caught this very early, but if it were left to grow, the result would be disastrous, and if your dad died of the same thing, then the very same thing could conceivably happen to you as well. I know that this is very hard to take in, and no one ever wants to hear this, but I do have one good piece of news for you. I have done this very same surgery about a dozen times, and I am very pleased to say that ten of those patients did survive the surgery, and are still alive today.”

“Thanks, and I guess those are pretty good odds. When can we get started on the surgery then?”

“Those are excellent odds when you are dealing with brain cancer, but the bad news I am afraid does not end there. You see, you will also have to go through radiation therapy and or chemo therapy once the surgery is over, to be certain that all traces of the tumor are eradicated. Now I am certain that you are aware of what most people go through during those treatments, it is not pleasant to say the least, but if you survive the surgery, they will hopefully ensure that there are no traces of it left to grow elsewhere.”

“Oh, okay, I sort of expected that anyways, and yes, I am aware of what people go through under that. So when can we do the surgery?”

“Oh yes, sorry about that. I like to get all the bad news out of the way first. I already have you scheduled for tomorrow morning, as bright and early as we can possibly get you in there.”

“Can JJ stay the night with me please, I really need him here with me?” AJ asked, still trying to keep the stiff upper lip.

“I'm sorry, but that is not allowed. Only parents, spouses, and significant others are allowed to stay.” He answered.

“Well JJ is my boyfriend, my other half, so I want him to stay.”

“I see. Well I can see if they will allow it, but I cannot guarantee that they will.”

“Thanks, just try, please?” AJ asked pitifully.

The doctor left then and came back about five minutes later and explained that they could not allow it, that JJ would have to go home for the night, but could come back in the morning to see AJ off to surgery, which was to be at seven.

“Okay, now I am going to give you some sedatives to help you sleep, I want you to get some good sleep from now on, and you are not allowed to eat or drink anything from here on out please.” He added.

“Okay, I'm pretty tired already anyways. I should warn you though that I am a heavy bed wetter, and if I do not have a diaper on, I will make a large mess of the bed.”

“Okay, we can arrange something I am sure. The nurse will probably just do a catheter.”

“I'd really rather they just diaper me, it's what I am used to, and it will be less painful.” AJ said.

“With as much pain medications as we have going into you right now, I doubt that you would feel the slight pain that that causes, however I will tell the nurse, and she will make the call. As for you two, you are going to have to leave now, because I think we're just going to move AJ to a clean room to make sure that there are no extra germs that may cause us problems.”

“AJ, you're going to be just fine, I know you will be.” JJ cried and kissed AJ very softly, very tenderly, shocking the poor doctor.

“AJ, you're going to pull through this, you're too strong to let a bullet kill you, a little tumor is nothing. We will all be here when you wake up, we all love you so much.” Alice said with tears streaking down her face.

“I love you guys so much too, and tell the others I love them too. I will pull through this if I can, but if I can't, please remember to go on with your lives.”

“I know baby, life always goes on, you taught me that. Doctor, do I have your word that you will do everything within your power to get my baby all better, and then some if you have to?”

“One thing that you never have to worry about with me, is that I will never back down, and I promise that if there is anything that can be done, I will do it.” The doctor said.

The doctor left and a nurse came in to give AJ the sedative, and with final good nights and I love yous all around, AJ fell asleep. He would not wake up until after the surgery now. Alice and JJ left only minutes after AJ fell asleep, both giving him one final kiss. The drive home was silent but for the quiet sobs that could be heard from both. In truth there was no way that Alice should have been driving, but she did, and she did manage to get them home.

“So, what is it?” Max asked as they walked in the door, but clearly seeing from their looks that the news was not good.

“He's got a tumor in his brain, and he has to go for surgery tomorrow, but it is only a fifty percent chance that he will make it, but a hundred percent chance of death if they don't do the surgery.” Alice broke down and started crying like a baby right in the front entrance to the house, JJ not far behind. The other three started crying as well. They all ended up in one large pile on the floor, hugging and crying, holding each other tight. They stayed like that for nearly an hour, still in the open doorway of the house.

“I have to go call everyone and tell them.” JJ finally said, wiping the tears from his eyes. It was now after school was out, so everyone would be home. The first people to call was to be his family though.

“Mommy, I have some bad news. AJ has a tumor and they are going to try and remove it tomorrow.” JJ said as soon as his mom picked up the phone and said hello.

“Oh no, JJ, are you all right, how is AJ right now.”

“He's asleep now and on some pretty strong pain killers. The headaches he has been getting the past couple days were caused from it, and his headache this morning was really bad. We went to the hospital, and they had an oncologist come in, and he told us.” JJ said, trying to stay as strong as possible for his baby, but failing quite miserably at the moment.

“And what did the doctor tell you were the chances, and who is the doctor?”

“He said about fifty percent, but that he has done these surgeries many times, and has had about ten of twelve survive.” JJ said, also telling the doctors name.

“AJ has the best then, he is more stubborn than both you boys are, probably put together, and he's good too. We'll be over as soon as your dad gets here, I will call him right now. When is the surgery set for?”

“Seven am.”

“Okay baby, we'll see you in a bit then.”

“Bye mommy, love you.”

After they hung up, JJ went about the daunting task of calling all their friends and telling them the terrible news, and they all wanted to come over, but JJ had to politely tell them that at this time they should stay home, and that when AJ was out of surgery and better, that he would love for them to come and visit. Everyone of course knew that it might not happen, but they were all hoping greatly. While JJ had been making the phone calls, his parents came in, and JJ sat cuddled in between them as he finished making his calls, knowing that he had to do it, not letting anyone else do it.

“How are you holding up baby?”

“I don't know daddy, I just don't know what I'll do if I lose him, he's my entire life.”

“I know baby, but you do have your family, and we all love you very much too. We have to keep our thoughts happy and pure, and hope that he pulls through this. AJ is a very strong young man, and by the sounds of it, it was caught very early, so that increases his chances. You too are very strong now, mostly because of AJ, he has given you the will to live again. If the worst does happen, you will survive, for him and for you.” Frank said softly.

“That's right JJ, we all have to be strong, because AJ is, and he would want us to be, just like he told us, if the worst should happen, then we are to go on with our lives. Remember that it was him that got me stronger too, we can do this, for AJ.” Alice said and hugged JJ fiercely.

For the rest of the night they all sat around just talking, trying to ease their nerves, but they cried a lot. They hugged a lot, they talked a lot, they cried a lot, they even laughed a lot. Frank and Sarah wanted JJ to come home with them, because they felt that he needed them right now, but JJ said he couldn't, that he wanted to stay there in his room, and asked that Ricky and TJ sleep with him. They went to bed not long after and cried themselves to sleep. Frank and Sarah headed home not long before the boys did so. Max and Alice also went to bed not long after, and they too cried themselves to sleep.

“You boys don't look as if you slept any better than we did.” Alice commented when they all met in the kitchen at five thirty the next morning.

“No, I don't think that any of us really slept, we just tossed and turned all night long, and hugged each other as tight as possible.” TJ said quietly.

“Same here. We should get some breakfast, and then go to the hospital. The doctor said that we could see AJ before they took him in, but I guess it will be behind glass because they don't want any germs on him.” Alice said quietly.

“Okay.” Everyone answered.

As much as they knew they should eat, they all found that one piece of toast was all that they could manage, their appetites just were not there. No one would be able to blame them though. As soon as they were all ready, the boys wearing diapers under their clothes of course, and JJ packing a fully stocked diaper bag, they all headed out to the car and headed to the hospital. The drive was silent again, but this time there were no sobs, they had all almost cried themselves out. They got to the hospital and were shown to the room that AJ was currently staying in, and they could all see him laying there, asleep, looking so peaceful and beautiful. His head was already shaved in the area that would need to be cut open, he had his IV still in his wrist, and he had another tube running down to a urine bag. JJ commented on this, how it was against AJ's wishes, but didn't say anything further. Frank and Sarah met them there about half an hour after they had all arrived, and they sat and waited patiently for the doctor to arrive.

“Good morning everyone, and hello again Sarah, I wasn't expecting you to be here.” The doctor greeted them all when he came in.

“That's my sons boyfriend in there, so I had to be here for him, and for AJ, because he is my other son. I'm glad that AJ has you on his side, I know you are about the best there is in this field.”

“Thanks, I will try and live up to that for all of you. We are going to be taking AJ to the OR soon, and then the surgery is expected to last anywhere from four to six hours. We will try and send people out at times to tell you how things are progressing, but we cannot promise that of course. As soon as the operation is completed, I will come out and talk to you myself, after AJ has been moved to recovery. He will be kept asleep for at least twenty four hours afterwards to help aid in his healing, at that time I would suggest that you all went home for the night.”

“Thanks a lot Doctor.” Alice said quietly.

“Well I need to go see if I can help AJ out, but hopefully I will be out soon to talk to you.”

With that said, he walked off, and that was the last of they saw of him for many hours. About three hours into the operation a nurse came out and told them that everything was going as well as can be expected at this time, and that it was still about another two hours until they were complete. For the rest of the five hours that it took, they all just sat there and talked quietly. The time seemed to just crawl by for them all, and they all wished they could just hear something, but knew that the longer it took, the better, in most cases anyways. Finally though, almost five and a half hours later, a smiling doctor came out.

“I am proud to inform you all that you have one very tough young man in there. He came through the surgery as good as I have ever seen. The tumor was completely removed, and we are not going to have to have him on radiation or chemo therapy. His tumor was completely non cancerous, so that is a very good thing. Do you know if his fathers tumor was cancerous or not, his history does not say, not that it really matters, this tumor would have killed AJ just the same?”

“Oh, that news is so good to hear. I actually have no idea if it was or was not cancerous. We had been divorced already for quite some time, so I never found out. Thank you so much, I don't know how to thank you.” Alice said with happy tears flowing out now.

“How big was the tumor?” Sarah asked.

“About the size of the average cherry, but it was growing, quite rapidly as well I might add, because the symptoms came on quite suddenly.”

“Is there any chance of more coming back?” Alice asked.

“There is that chance yes, however the chances are extremely slim. Now, I do have some bad news for you, but this is general bad news when it comes to brain surgery. AJ is going to be here for at least a few weeks, we have to watch him very closely for any signs of infection or anything like that. He will have some memory loss, but it should be minimal, and will likely only center around this event, but can be greater in some cases. AJ is also likely to suffer some form of temporary disability from this, from speech to motion, but at tis time, it is too soon to tell if this will be the case, or what. The length of time will depend on entirely how quickly his brain heals from the surgery. Also I should warn you, that even though AJ made it through the surgery, does not mean he's quite out of the woods yet, he still has a bit of an uphill battle, but it should be very short. I figure that if he makes it through the next day, then he will be up and running in no time.”

“AJ is a pretty serious swimmer and diver, do you think that this will affect him in any way?” Frank asked.

“Well, it's like I said really. He could suffer from some sort of temporary physical disability while he heals, so he may need some therapy to get back to normal, and with some work, he should be able to continue on with life as if nothing at all happened. The only problem though is time. No one knows exactly how long that that could take. It could be weeks, or it could be months, and in rare cases it can actually take years. The tumor was still fairly small, and even tough it was difficult to get to, we were fortunate to not to have to damage too much to get at it to remove it. If I had to take an educated guess, I would say that the next six months are going to be a little tough on him, but six months is nothing in comparison to what he was facing. Now, I have been known to be wrong in the past, and have had patients jump right in with both feet after only just a couple months, and I dare say I think AJ just might be one of those patients.”

“Yeah, I bet you're right. AJ is so damned strong, both in body and mind, that I bet he doesn't even let this bother him, hell taking a bullet to the head didn't affect him any.” Alice laughed.

“I certainly hope so, and I do want him to come and see me regularly for the next few months to a year, at least once a month. I'm just really glad that it was not cancerous, because that would have meant anywhere from six to eighteen months of near torture for him, and then there would even still be no guarantee that he would have survived, because cancer does come back, sad but true. Well I would suggest that you all go home now and come back tomorrow at about this time, because we are going to keep AJ asleep until then anyways, and there is nothing more that you can do here. I will also be here when he wakes up.”

“Thank you so much Doctor, for everything.” Alice said, and then hugged the doctor before he had a chance to do anything about it.

“You're all very welcome.” He said and then headed out.

The rest of them all headed out as well, and because they had next to no breakfast, had entirely skipped lunch, they were all more than a little hungry, so stopped for some lunch. They talked happily for the first time in a couple days. They all knew that AJ was still not out of the woods yet, but that he was well on the way, and if he survived the surgery, then this would be nothing to him at all, so they all felt that he would be fine. They all headed home shortly after, and then JJ went about calling everyone, once he knew that they would all be home from school, to tell them all the good news. Everyone was very happy that AJ had pulled through the hardest part already, and that all he had was just a small hill to climb now.

That night Ricky and TJ slept with JJ in his bed again, but this time they all slept peacefully, all cuddled up together. Everyone else also slept much better as well, all very happy to hear that AJ would more than likely pull through.

The next afternoon they all headed to the hospital about half an hour before they were scheduled to let AJ wake up. They met the doctor there, he had just arrived himself.

“Hello everyone, I was just going to go in and remove the medications that were keeping AJ asleep. He's back in a private room now, so you're all welcome to come in with me, and he should wake up in about half an hour. He will be very groggy because of all the rest of the medications that he will be on, and he will probably fall asleep again pretty soon after. I really don't think I need to tell you this, but you're all very lucky to have him still with you, the last twenty four hours were critical, but he came through it just fine.”

“We know, and once again, we thank you very much.” Alice said.

The doctor removed the one bag from the IV stand, and then they all sat and waited with baited breath, watching AJ to see him come too. It was a little more than thirty minutes before he started to come awake. It was a further ten minutes before he was able to clear the fog from his brain and actually see and hear everyone in the room.

“Hello baby, it is so good to see you awake.” JJ said softly, taking AJ's hand.

“Obviously I made it, it's so good to see you all.” AJ croaked out, sounding very groggy.

“Yes, you made it baby. The tumor was non cancerous, so you're going to be just fine now. The next few months might be rough, but we'll go through that when you're more awake.” Alice smiled warmly.

“Oh thank god.” AJ gasped. “Does that mean I won't have to go through radiation and chemo therapy?”

“Yes, that is correct AJ, you will not have to suffer that, and I am very happy to say that I got all the tumor out, and you should not have to suffer that again.” The Doctor said.

“Thanks Doctor. Could I get something to drink, and I'm really tired?”

“Yes of course. You may drink as much as you want, but you are hooked up to an IV, so you won't have to drink, but it would be best. As for sleep, if you are tired, by all means, go to sleep. Now that you have waken up, you are about as far out of the woods as you can be.”


TJ had already run out to the small kitchen, and was back, almost before the doctor finished speaking, with a pitcher of ice water. He very lovingly filled a cup with water, put a straw in it, and then held it up for his big brother to drink from.

“Thanks TJ.” AJ croaked out, and before too long, he was fast asleep again.

“Well everyone, I have to go see to other patients now, but I will keep in touch. I will be keeping AJ here for at least one week, but possibly two, and he will probably sleep a good portion of the next one to two days. I do not expect for him to wake up again today at all, so you can probably all head home. I will instruct the nurses to call immediately if he does wake up though, okay.”

“Thanks again Doctor, for everything.” JJ said this time, and once again, before he could dodge it, JJ hugged him tightly.

“You're welcome.” He said and turned and walked away.

AJ was held in the hospital for a little over two weeks, and he was getting better by the day. He slept for the first two days almost solid, but someone was always there during the days for when he woke up, usually either JJ or Alice, but the others were always there too. On the fifth day after the surgery, AJ's medications were slowly reduced, so he was not so sleepy all the time, so by the eighth day he was alert most of the time. His speech was as perfect as ever, and what mobility they could all see, looked to be normal as well, but again, only time would tell. All AJ's friends came in and visited him as often as they could possibly make it. He was told by Jase that when they had heard that he might have cancer, that nearly half the students, all the swim team, and all the staff at the school, had vowed to shave their heads in support, but were all thankful that they did not have to do that. Finally though, AJ was allowed to go home. He had not really been up to walk around much, just back and forth to the bathroom, and he seemed a little unsteady, but nothing major.

“I don't seem to be able to really walk all that well, almost like my legs aren't listening to me!” AJ said in consternation as he was walking from the car to the house.

“Remember what the doctor said, that is normal, and you should get back to normal pretty quickly, but it could take up to six months or so. So don't worry baby, you'll be just fine.” JJ said, holding AJ steady as he walked.

“I know, but what if he's wrong and I never do walk properly again?”

“Hey, no thinking like that. Positive thoughts remember, but I doubt seriously that that will be the case. The doctor seemed to know what he was talking about.” JJ said soothingly.

“I know, I just can't help but think, what if. What if I don't walk properly again, what will that mean for swimming and diving. I mean I wouldn't care if it weren't for that, but I have trained so hard, and I really want to go all the way.”

“And you will. You will get all the control back, just like you used to have, but it could take some time.” Alice said this time.

“I hope you're all right. I would like to go for a swim and sit in the hot tub and sauna for a while though.”

“Okay, let's all go and go out and swim and relax together. I don't think any of us have been out there the entire time you were in the hospital, it just didn't feel right.” Alice said.

“You guys didn't even do your practice while I was gone. I thought I told you that life had to go on, no matter what!”

“No, no one really felt too much like it to tell you the truth, but don't worry, we'll be fine.” JJ said with a kiss to AJ's nose.

They all headed out to the pool, the girls already stripped about halfway there, the rest at least waited until they were in the pool house. Once they were all cleaned up, they all hopped in the pool.

“So how is it AJ baby?” JJ asked once they reached the shallow end, because AJ just went right to the deep end and jumped in before anyone could say anything.

“Not too bad really. I can still swim almost normally, but I can tell my legs aren't doing exactly what I'm telling them to. At least I will still be able to practice swimming for the most part, but I might not be quite as fast for a while.” AJ said with a shrug when he stood up.

“Just keep using them as much as possible, and eventually your brain and your legs will catch up together. The more you use them, the faster it is likely to be. Now, like your doctor told you though, try not to get too frustrated at this, because it is normal, and it will ease up, but it might get hard on you at times.” Sarah said consolingly.

“I know, and I promise to remember that, but you know how us moody pubertal teens can be.” AJ grinned.

“Oh god, don't I know it.” Sarah laughed.

“Hey, what was that supposed to mean?” JJ asked all insulted.

“You have no idea how often I wanted to kill you between the ages of eleven to fourteen. You were sometimes so damned moody. And then of course that is when you also started getting all bitter at school and trying to cover up for it in other ways. I wish I could say that it was over, but now I have four girls that will all too soon be there as well, and boys are usually easier in that aspect. Joy oh joy.” Sarah said.

“Oh, well then, I guess I'm lucky to still be alive then huh?” JJ grinned.

“You have no idea. I had to hold her back some nights.” Frank grinned.

“I'm sorta glad I never went through that with AJ, but then again, I really wasn't here for him much, so he had to do a lot of the growing up on his own.” Alice said.

“I don't think I went through that, but I probably wouldn't have noticed anyways, even if I had have.” AJ smiled.

“I didn't, that's for sure, because this is all news to me.” JJ said.

“I know my mom wanted to kill me a few times, because she told me so. Especially the first time I left what she called a boy mess in the bathroom, man, she nearly freaked out on me. How was I supposed to know I had sprayed that high up the shower wall.” Ricky giggled.

“I have no idea why she would have wanted to kill you for that, I just told JJ to clean up his own damn messes.”

“Yeah, but you don't think it's gross, vile, disgusting, unpure, unholy, or any other such thing.” Ricky said seriously.

“Good point.”

“It's funny how some parents think like that, like they are the only ones that it feels good for, like they believe that boys releasing a good load of cum doesn't feel good to them, or just plain sexual relief. Man, my parents sure beat it into our heads not to play with ourselves, that it was against gods law or some such bullshit. Oh well, that's the past.” Frank said bitterly.

“Yeah, so anyways, do you really think that the more I exercise and work my legs, the faster it will be to get my full use back again?” AJ asked.

“It's really hard to say, but given the fact that the only damage is to your brain right now, and not to your legs, then it certainly cannot hurt. I would say though that in almost any case it would probably help though.” Sarah answered.

“So you're saying I'm brain damaged?” AJ grinned.

“Well, yeah, you are in fact brain damaged right now. I figured you would have picked that up in the part where the doctor told you they split open your head, took a tablespoon and dug through that tiny brain of yours, and scooped out a cherry size piece of shit that didn't belong.” Sarah explain it to AJ like he were three years old, everyone of course laughed.

“Okay, just making sure, no need to explain it like I am mentally deficient or something.” AJ sighed, but broke out into a smile. He had feared that they would never be able to joke and laugh like this again, but he also knew the others were just as happy.

“So are you going to feel up to going back to school on Monday?” Alice asked. It was currently Saturday.

“I think so yeah, I want to get back to normal as soon as possible. I have already missed so damned much, and I am so sick to death of just laying around. I just wish the doctor hadn't decided to keep me for those extra few days to run even more tests. I mean I understand why he did it, it was just maddening.” AJ answered.

“I really don't think you have to worry too terribly much about missing school. I am more than willing to bet, that were you to miss the rest of the year, that the principal would send you to grade eleven anyways. We are already so far ahead that we are going to be able to leave school this year up to a month and a half early, which is coming up soon. All we have to do is finish the last few things, then take our finals, and then we're finished.” JJ said seriously.

“Oh really, and when exactly were you boys planning on telling us this?” Sarah and Alice asked the exact same thing, at the exact same time, it was sorta eerie.

“We actually only found out right before AJ went to the hospital, our teacher told us that we couldn't start the grade eleven stuff, so we would have to just leave school early, and come back for the finals. So sorry, but we sort of forgot all about it.” JJ shrugged.

“Okay, you're forgiven this one time, but never again, or I will turn you over my knee and paddle that cute baby bum of yours.” Sarah said, wagging a scolding finger at her son, who was now considerably larger than she was.

“Thanks mom.” JJ giggled.

“That's so cool, you guys will be out of school, like a month and a half early, that would be so awesome.” Ricky said.

“I'm almost ready to start on the next grade level stuff in class as well, so I could leave early too if I wanted to, that way I don't end up way too far ahead of the rest of my grade.” TJ said proudly.

“Really, that's very good for you too then.” Max said happily.

“Yeah, but I don't know if I will or not, without Ricky being out as well, I would just be bored all the time.”

“What about Tony, Garth, and Kevin?” AJ asked.

“They're doing good, but are not quite as far ahead as I am, although Simon is, and he hates it. He's going to take off early again this year as well. At least this time he has friends.”

“Oh, okay then.”

“I am not nearly so far ahead as you guys all are, but if I were to work really hard for the next month, I just might be able to pull it off as well, and be off at the same time as you guys are, or maybe just a little after. I mean I never have any homework, I do almost anything I get in my free period, so I have lots of time after school. Plus it's not like I wouldn't have tonnes of excellent help when and if I needed it. So yeah, I think I might just try for it and do some after school work as well.” Ricky said, making up his mind.

“You don't have to do that for me, it will mean a lot of extra work.” TJ offered.

“Yeah, it might be, but it will be worth it to have all of us off for an extra month, won't it. I am ahead already anyways, just not quite as far as you guys are.”

“How far ahead are you?” JJ asked.

“Well there are what, two months left of school right, I figure that I am about a month ahead, maybe a little less. You guys have probably half a month left right, so if I do extra work after school, and a little on weekends, then I should be able to catch up to you guys.”

“Oh, well that's not too bad at all then. One or two hours, three nights a week, and on weekends, and you'd still have a life.” AJ said.

“Yeah, that's all I was thinking as well. Wouldn't want to have no life at all, that would really suck, because I cannot go back to that again.”

“Me neither!” All the boys said together.

“Well, I guess you boys have everything settled there then.” Frank said with approval, and everyone agreed.

“Come on, let's swim, I'm sick of just standing here, I need to get moving again!” AJ said, desperate to move again, because he had not been able to for so long, and it felt good, even if he could not yet move properly.

They had all been just standing in the shallow end while talking. The girls were off to the side playing, but being carefully watched by their parents of course. Everyone, except Sarah, started swimming around, enjoying the freedoms of the water, enjoying the release the minor exercise gave to them, and AJ especially loving the freedom to move again. They all swam and played for a good couple hours, just having fun.

“Well guys, as much fun and free as this has been, I am getting a bit tired already, so I am going to go and sit in the hot tub for a while and relax.” AJ said.

“I'll join you.” JJ said warmly, and the rest stayed in the pool for a while to let the boys talk.

“So how are you feeling now?” JJ asked warmly.

“Tired, but happy. It will take a bit of time to work back up to what I was able to do I think, but it feels good to workout. Of course I am so happy to be able to come home and be with everyone again, especially you. You have no idea how scared I was of dying and leaving all of you here alone. I was so scared that you would break down and just die yourself, and I was scared that my mom would do something stupid as well, and of course I really wanted to be here for her wedding. At least my mom now has Max and TJ, but you I was really worried about.”

“While I admit that it would have killed me a bit inside to have you leave me, I am happy to say that I don't think I would have died. You have made me a lot stronger than I ever was, I just don't think you know it. You are a lot stronger now too of course, but honestly, I think I gained far more from our relationship than you ever will, not that I'm complaining of course, because I love it, and I love you so much. As for your mom, she would have died a bit inside as well, because no parent ever wants to lose their child, but she would have lived on. We were all so worried for you though, no one wanted for you to die of course, and it would have hurt so bad. I really don't ever want to go through that again, at least not for many many years. You do know that as soon as we finish school, I will be getting married to you right?” JJ said with happy tears.

“Yes, I know you will be, and I will say yes too. I am happy to hear though that you would have survived, even without me. I too do not ever want to go through that either, not for more years than I can count.” AJ smiled warmly, but with tears in his eyes as well, and reached in for a soft kiss. They had not talked of their fears while AJ had been in the hospital, it was the wrong place to do it, but now they both did, and they felt better.

“You know what I really need right now baby?” JJ asked softly.

“Yeah, because I need it too. I so want you to take me to our room and make love to each other until we pass out. I haven't had an orgasm since I started getting sick.”

“Me neither, and you know what else baby?”


“It's close enough to bedtime, but I'm not tired, do you want to go to bed with me?”


“Hey guys, we're getting tired, we're going to just go in and head to bed.” JJ called out.

“Oh, okay boys, goodnight and love you.” Sarah called out.

“Goodnight, love you.” Everyone else called out as well.

“I bet we don't even hear a peep from their room, and I am more than willing to bet they don't go to sleep for at least two hours.” Sarah smiled warmly after the boys finished their shower and had headed into the house.

“Yeah.” Everyone else agreed.

The boys made it to their room, holding hands the entire way there. JJ led AJ to the bed, and they laid down and just kissed. They kissed softly and deeply for over half an hour. They had been able to kiss every day of course, but not for very long. Their hands moved softly and slowly over each others bodies as well while they kissed, but surprisingly enough, neither boy was even hard. This was not about sex right now, it was about love, and they were making the most pure of love right now. So soft, so gentle they were, for so long.

AJ eventually started easing his fingers into JJ's long awaited hole, and started working to prepare him, so JJ did the same to AJ. For another ten minutes they kissed as they slowly prepared their lovers for entrance. By the time they felt that their bums were ready, their erections were also ready. JJ rolled to his back, offering himself first, and AJ took the offer, and slowly slipped inside his boyfriend.

Again, just as everything else had been so far this evening, it was soft and gentle. AJ slipped in and started slowly making love to his beautiful baby. Even though both boys were charged up with more than a couple weeks worth of hot boy cream, they lasted a surprising amount of time, although it did not last nearly long enough in their minds. As soon as AJ started shooting, JJ also started, and they just continued right on through it. AJ never once stopped his slow sensuous movements inside JJ, he just kept right on slowly thrusting. He managed to hold on for an amazing three further orgasms, before he had no choice but to stop, he was cramping up severely now.

AJ had collapsed down on top of JJ for the entire ten minutes it took for him to come down, and when he did, he crawled down JJ's cum smeared front side, licking up the mess as he went. Once JJ was all cleaned up, AJ crawled up beside JJ, and laid down on his back, presenting his front side for a nice tongue bath, something that JJ was all too happy to give. He spent more than a few glorious minutes licking up all the exquisite mess from AJ, finally reaching his lips, and they kissed more.

As they were kissing though, JJ was working himself inside his baby, just as slow and soft as AJ had been. And same as the rest of the night had been so far, there had been no talking, there were next to no sounds at all, just the odd soft sigh, or the sound of two loving boys almost purring. They were unable to last all that long, only a further three orgasms, before they did actually pass out. JJ had collapsed on top of AJ, but did so on a bit of an angle, so they ended up rolling slightly to their sides, so it was thankfully a little more comfortable. They were still naked, they were not covered up, and they were both covered in copious amounts of cum.

As amazing as the lovemaking was, the post orgasmic bliss sleep was even better. It was so good in fact that both boys had to have peed two to three times a piece on each other, because they never once moved, and they not once woke up at all.


TJ and Ricky went to bed not too long after AJ and JJ had, and after Frank, Sarah, and the girls had headed home, and they too made love for quite a while. The only difference was, they made some noise, did not last quite so long, and just barely managed to get themselves diapered up before they too passed out.


“Oh ick, I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would not want to wear diapers, and actually wake up like this.” AJ said as soon as he woke up, both he and JJ waking at almost the same time, so JJ heard what AJ had said.

“Tell me about it. This feels gross, and it's so cold, not to mention it stinks something fierce. Come on baby, let's get this bedding in the wash and get us in the shower.” JJ said with a kiss.

“Good idea. My god, it's already after nine. The others will have been up for a while already.”

“Probably not. While you were in the hospital, no one else had any release at all, and no one slept hardly any at all either, so they would have stayed up late getting the release they needed, and then passed out totally. I wouldn't even be surprised if we were the first ones up.” JJ giggled.

“Oh yeah, good point. Come on, let's get out of this horrible wet bed.” AJ said and crawled out.

AJ was still very shaky at first when he stood up, and JJ had to hold him steady, but AJ ignored it, and went about pulling all the blankets and mattress protector off the bed. They headed out, right to the laundry area next to the bathroom, and unceremoniously dumped the entire load right into the washer with a good helping of soap. They headed to the shower next and washed each other lovingly, head to toe, and everything in between. It came as no surprise to either that they were virtually unable to become hard during their shower, since they had worn themselves out so wonderfully the night before.

“Oh wow, we are the first ones up.” AJ laughed when they finally made it to the kitchen.

“We should get a good filling breakfast started, because if the others are half as hungry as we are, then our lives could be in danger.” JJ laughed as well.

“Good point.” AJ said and they got started on making their near famous breakfast scramble. They made a lot more than they normally would for the six of them, but they knew that everyone would be good and hungry. The smells must have drawn the four of them out of their beds, because about half way through the cooking, four bleary eyed people came waddling out of their rooms, but for different reasons. TJ and Ricky were so wet it would not be a surprise if their sheets made it out dry, and Max and Alice appeared a little more pink in the posterior area than normal. Max and Alice both grabbed a cup of coffee before even saying a word, and then gingerly sat in their chairs at the table.

“You two look as if you probably need to change your sheets, and you two look as if you got a little rough with each other last night. And you all look even more tired than we feel.” AJ chuckled.

“Yeah, well at least we remembered to get diapered. Our sheets are in front of the washer.” TJ yawned out.

“Yeah, we sorta passed out.” JJ grinned.

“And we just had some good clean fun.” Max chuckled.

“Clean, not bloody likely.” JJ laughed.

“And why on earth did you two not just change your diapers?” AJ asked.

“Because breakfast smelled too good, and we're too lazy too this morning.” TJ answered truthfully.

“Well breakfast will be at least ten minutes anyways, so go and get changed, and bring two out for us too please. We're not training today anyways, and I sorta missed my diapers over the past few weeks. The nurses said they preferred catheters, and did not care that I hated it, it hurt like bloody hell. They were just being lazy. I told them I could change myself, but no, they didn't care.”

“Well you have to admit diapers would be a lot more work for them normally, but catheters really are not good for you anyways. So why on earth did they bother putting one in you every night once you were better?” Max asked.

“Because they said that that was the preferred method to deal with my night time issue. I told them I hated it, and it freaking hurt too, but I really had no choice in the matter.”

“Well I think you should write a letter about that, not being listened to at all, and being forced to use a catheter against your will.” Alice commented.

“Yeah, I was already planning on it.” AJ said.

TJ was back a moment later with the wipes and four new diapers, and then they all got cleaned up and changed right on the kitchen floor.

“Ah, much better.” AJ sighed, and then promptly wet it.

“Need a change?” Alice asked with a giggle.

“No thanks.” AJ smiled.

A short time later the six of them all sat down to eat, and the only sound that could be heard, was the sound of six hungry people eating. After breakfast they all helped to clean up, and then they all went to the living room, and curled up together and just watched a couple movies. The only thing to disturb them was the phone, and it was perfectly timed, just as their second movie was ending. AJ was closest, so he answered.

“Hi AJ, it's Tony. I didn't want to call last night when it happened, but the publisher brought my first edition book last night, as well as a case of books to give out to my friends. Can Tom and I come over for a bit?”

“That's great Tony, sure, come right on over.” AJ said happily.

“Cool, we'll be there as quick as we can be.”

“See you in a few then.” AJ said to dead air, because Tony had hung up in his excitement about halfway through his final comment.

AJ took a few seconds to explain the conversation to the others, and they too were all happy. They sat and waited the not even five minutes for the excited knock on the door, and the entrance of their friends.

“Just a little excited are you?” AJ asked as Tony almost bolted into the room.

“Yeah. I gave my mommy and daddy their copies last night as soon as the publisher left, they are copies two and three, Tom gets four, and you get five, and the rest of you get the others. Now I want to book the hardest trip my parents will ever have to take in their lives. I found the orphanage, and I have their original writings for them to destroy, and I want to take them there to burn it, I think they need to go back to put it all behind them. It will be very hard on all of us, but Tom is going to come with us for the extra moral support.” Tony said happily.

“Yes, I think it's time for them as well. They have healed so much already, but that will hopefully help to expel that last remaining bit of hatred and anger buried deep within them.” AJ said hopefully.

“I'd love for all of you to come, but my parents are not ready to learn that you all know as well, possibly never will be, so I doubt that I will ever tell them.”

“No, that is something that really should stay between you all as family, especially the trip.” Alice said.

“When were you going to do the trip?” AJ asked.

“As soon as we are out of school.” Tony answered.

“That's good. How long will you be staying there for?” JJ asked.

“I was planning for one week. I wanted to have them do a sightseeing of their country, the beautiful part of the country they never truly got to see. After we get back, I also plan to have them home for another week to baby them heavily, because I think they'll be needing it.”

“That's a very good idea.” TJ said.

“Me too, I think it will help considerably.” AJ said warmly.

“Thanks guys. It means so much to me that I can come here and sound off my ideas to you.”

“No problem, any time.” AJ and JJ said together.

“Well, we should be going, we left the babies playing in the living room.” Tony said happily and took off.

“How is it that Tony has not told his parents that he has told all of us, yet they did not question him about taking his book to friends?” Max asked suddenly after the boys had left.

“Oh they know all right, and he probably knows they know it too, but they are leaving it all up to him. They know that his friends have helped him a lot since he started helping them, they had to know he was getting his stress relief from somewhere, and not just Tom.” AJ said.

“Oh, I see.”

“They maybe don't know just how many that is yet, but when they see how many books he has passed out, they will know. Of course he doesn't have as many books as he has told people, but they don't need to know that.” AJ grinned.

“Why do you think they would know that he was getting stress relief from somewhere though?” Alice asked curiously.

“Because what they have piled on Tony is huge, and they know that they have had a hard time dealing with it, so how could their own child, yet he has held up very well. I am sure that they have cried a lot together, and that has probably helped, but not enough for Tony. I think they know that. You see Tony talks to us a huge amount about his parents, not all the time around you guys, because you are not always home, but to us a lot. So we are able to be his stress relief. We are separated enough from the actual event that it does not hurt us as much, and while we do give some advice, all we mostly offer is a strong set of shoulders to cry on.” AJ answered.

“I guess that makes sense, and I'm proud that you boys are here to help out.” Alice said warmly.

“We're always happy to help a friend in need.” AJ shrugged, it really was not a big deal.

“So what should we do today then boys?” Alice asked after they finished eating lunch a while later.

“Well there is a crap load of yard work that needs to be done, so I say we do that first. After that though, I think it should be movies and or games for the rest of the day.” AJ offered.

“We'll come and help you boys with the yard work then, but you'll have to tell us what to do and when.” Max offered.

“No need really, with the four of us doing it, it only takes us a couple hours now, even with me being sorta gimped right now probably won't even slow us down too much.”

“I know, but we never help with the yard at all, and to be honest, no one has done any sort of work recently, and I for one am starting to feel it.” Max smiled.

“It's up to you guys if you want to join us.” JJ smiled warmly. He knew, as did everyone else, that they both just wanted to be as close to AJ right now as possible, to make sure he was okay.

They all headed to their rooms to quickly get dressed. Once they were all dressed and ready to get to work, they all met in the backyard to collect the yard tools that they would need, and headed up front to get started.

“You know, I wanted to put a pond in last year after we did JJ's parents place, but we were too busy, but this year, I am putting in a pond.” AJ said once they were all finished the front yard, and were starting to collect their tools.

“You know we'll all help, plus a few extra if we ask for it.” TJ said happily.

“Thanks. I think we could use a few extra hands, but not too many. Tom, Tony, Garth, and Kevin would probably be all we would need, and we might be able to get it all done in a weekend.”

“Why not just call a sleepover work weekend, telling everyone that it is a pond building party, have like twenty strapping young lads here and helping, I bet it's done in one day!” Alice chuckled.

“Might not be such a bad idea. We could probably arrange it for this weekend even, if we really wanted to. Hell, why not, it would probably be a blast. I'll have to get a crap load extra tools though.” AJ smiled.

“I have a shit load of that type of thing, I'm sure I can bring a few things home to lend to the cause.” Max offered.

“Good point, and it would save having to buy extra tools that would not really ever get used again. Plus we could borrow the stuff Sarah bought last year for their yard. She bought two wheelbarrows and all the required hand tools, so with what you can add, we would probably have more than enough.”

“It's settled then, we get the entire freaking group together next weekend for a pond building party. So I guess that means a trip to the garden center tomorrow after school then huh baby?” JJ said happily.

“Sure, and I'm sure my baby brother and his baby boyfriend would love to join us for the trip.” AJ smiled.

“Hell yeah.” They both answered.

“Great.” AJ and JJ said together.

“Well we should go do the backyard now, but after we finish there why not just head to the garden center instead of having to have everything delivered?” Max asked.

“I guess that would work too, not like we have anything really pressing, and we can pick up a couple new movies while we're out as well for movie night tonight.” AJ shrugged.

They headed to the back yard and got started on the work back there, all working together just like they had on the front yard, and getting it all finished in record time. They got everything all cleaned up quickly, and the shed locked back up.

“You boys should either go take those diapers off, or go grab a much needed change, because you are seriously showing now.” Max chuckled.

“Just a change I think. Until we got this wet, you would have been hard pressed to even see that we were wearing at all.” JJ said.

“True.” Alice and Max said together.

They all headed back in the house, they all washed themselves up quickly, grabbed a change, diapers and or clothes, and then met out front at Max's truck, and headed out to AJ's favorite garden center.

“Max, can I get you to swing by the medical supply store first?” AJ asked just as they were pulling out of the drive.

“Sure, what for kiddo?”

“I was thinking that a cane might help me keep my balance a little better for the next little while, that way I don't go and fall flat on my face like I almost did earlier. Had it not been for the rake I was using at the time, I probably would have, and I would really rather that not happen, it would probably be sorta painful.”

“That might not be such a bad idea. I know of a different place though that carries canes and things with more character than your standard issue cane. They're more expensive, but they look nice.”

“Okay, I don't care about the cost, as long as it doesn't look hideous, so head there then please?” AJ smiled.

They headed to a place that carried an assortment of different decorative style things, the store was called Function and Fashion, so they carried only things that had a use, but looked nice. They all went into the store, and Max led them to the section where the canes were kept.

“Hey Max, long time no see bud, how goes it?” The man who obviously ran the store asked as he came out the back room and saw them.

“Oh, there you are Lorne, I'm really good, and you?”

“Great, business is booming. So you looking for a nice cane today, didn't go and injure yourself at work again did you?”

“Oh no, not me this time. AJ here has a bit of a medical issue right now that's making him a little unsteady on his feet, so he felt a cane might not be such a bad idea for a little while.”

“I see. Well AJ, what were you looking for then?”

“Oh I don't know, something nice, not flashy, but not boring either.” AJ answered while looking at all the options on display.

“What about this one?” TJ asked, cracking up laughing while pulling out a shiny black stick with a scull on the top to hold, and a silver claw on the bottom.

“Um, no, definitely not that.” AJ said in shock, and everyone laughed.

“Yeah, not exactly popular among the more normal crowd, but the goths love it. Let's see, you'll definitely need a shorter one, just barely five feet tall, good solid build though, not too flashy, but nice. Here you go, I think this one will be just your style.” Lorne said and pulled out a really nice one. It was nicely polished cherry wood, medium thickness, simple gold foot with a rubber piece set in it for stability, and had a simple gold handle.

“This one is nice.”

“Yeah, the handle is solid brass and gold plated, so that it is strong and durable, but really nice. This one costs a hundred even, and because most of my stuff here is for medical purposes, there are no taxes, and you get to write it off against your medical if you have it.”

“Great, I'll take it then. Just wish we did have medical to bill it to.” AJ grinned.

“I'll buy it and put it under my name, then I will write it off myself.” Max said.

“Okay, I can work with that, and it won't even be the first cane you've bought, hell not even the second one. He's the only person I know that can break a cane without breaking himself.” Lorne laughed.

“Hey, it wasn't my fault I didn't see that one fall as I climbed in the truck, and then drove over it.” Max laughed as he passed over his card.

“Yeah, it was totally beyond repair. Well here you guys go, thanks for stopping by, and have a good day.”

“Thanks, you too.” Everyone said.

AJ took his new cane and started walking with it, and he was pleased to find that it did help to keep him a little more stable, not so afraid of falling now.

The drive to the garden center was short, so they headed right there and headed into that store to look around. Everyone was encouraged to grab a flat deck cart, even AJ took one and laid his cane over the handle, and they took off. Their first stop was to be the pond accessories department. AJ chose the very best pump that they had, and then the very best multi stage filtration system. They grabbed probably way more pond liner than they needed, and the glue to put it all together. Next they saw a really cute statue of a boy peeing that would hook up to the pump, and JJ grabbed that. Next came all the hoses and fittings that they would need, as well as a light that was submersible that would attach to a water sprayer that AJ also added.

Next they headed to the plant section, and they chose a whole bunch of different plants to put into the brand new garden area. Mostly they were shade loving ferns, but they chose a number of other plants as well, but none of them flowering. Finally they headed out to put in the rather large order of all the extra rock that they would need. The entire new garden would be all stone, and the plants would be planted in between them.

During their tour of the garden center they had picked out a number of other things as well, but for the most part, that was it. When they went to pay the bill, AJ knew that there was no way that he had enough money to cover the entire near two thousand dollars of stuff he had, but JJ said that he would pay half of it. They both had more than enough for that. Once it was all paid for, they headed out to start loading everything into the bed of the truck to take home, and the new rock was to be delivered in two to three days, but it was going to be dumped in the driveway.

On their way home, they stopped at the video store and rented two good looking movies, and then headed home for the night. AJ and JJ decided to go ahead and call all their friends and run the weekend by them, and TJ said that he would do the same.

“Hey guys, Nate and Simon had already had a sleepover planned for next weekend with a friend of ours from school, and his new boyfriend, mind if we invite those two as well, Simon says that they would love to as well, he's certain?” TJ asked.

“Sure.” AJ and JJ called out at the same time.

Simon was given the good news, and Simon said that he would call Nate and the other two and tell them the change of plans. Everyone else was called, and they all thought it a great idea, and this way they could all have some fun as well, because they too were all certain that it could be done in the one day, and still have plenty of time left over to play as well. Training was not to be an issue, because Jim had already told the boys that he was not planning on starting back up until the following week anyways.

“Everything is all set now then, so next weekend it is going to be stupid busy here. We're so gonna need to go grocery shopping.” JJ said.

“TJ and I will get that this time guys.” Ricky said.

“Okay.” JJ and AJ said together, and Alice and Max just stayed out of it, they knew that this was the boys' game now. They would have bought the groceries themselves, even though it would have been minimum six hundred dollars to feed the twenty five plus people that would be coming next weekend, but the boys beat them to it.

It was getting close enough to dinner time now, and with skipping lunch, they were all getting hungry, so they went and made dinner, and then sat in front of the TV and ate while watching the first of their two movies for the night. After the second movie ended, the boys all said tat they were going to head to bed, and other than some kissing and cuddling, and a quick helping hand, they went right to sleep.