Chapter 16

Tyne paced back and forth in the medical bay stopping every now and then to look up at the group of boys before him. Three black haired boys all looking very much alike and one brown haired, slightly older boy, bound to a wheelchair. At least for now the most dangerous was still unconscious on one of the beds. The others were sitting around the unconscious boy's bed watching Tyne pace.

"What the hell am I supposed to do with them?" Tyne mumbled to himself.

Dmitry, who was standing off to Tyne's left, giggled, "Well I think they'd make very nice lawn ornaments."

Tyne glared at Dmitry, "I'm trying to think here Dmitry, that's not helping."

"Fine, I'll put them in MY lawn," replied Dmitry. "They're kinda cute."

Adam looked over at Tyne. "Despite the appeal of Dmitry's idea; I think the first thing is to find out exactly what they know and what their personal feelings are about all of this. Also, we really need to know if they really consider themselves still under 'contract'." Adam paused before adding "Take it one step at a time Bro; you'll miss stuff any other way."

Tyne nodded and sighed, "Right, thanks Adam." Tyne took a few steps toward Tempo, then stopped and cleared his throat, "You're the ringleader of this group so let's start with you. We know that you work for Section 31 and obviously we know that you're a group of assassins. Let's start with your involvement and how you feel about that."

Adam spoke up from behind Tyne. "Bro, don't forget that we still have a few telepaths standing by if you need them."

"Thank you for that reminder Adam," said Tyne.

Tempo looked up at Tyne with a blank stare, "Is that a threat? If I don't tell you you'll get it anyway?...Of course that's a threat." Tempo sighed, "Fine, let's start at the beginning then. My name was originally Artis, back before the project was renamed Metronome. I was named for one of the doctors working on the project but as you can see I didn't turn out quite as perfect as they wanted me to. I was supposed to have super human strength, just like the other fifteen kids were supposed to; but all of them didn't make it through the gene re-sequencing process. I was the only one that survived. Back then they took any kids they could get but after that they realized that the modifications needed to be made at a deeper level and so they made clones, altering DNA as the babies developed. But seeing that I cost them so much research already they decided to keep me around and have me look after their new clones. There, that's why I'm involved. I mean if you had to choose between death and an assignment where you sent other kids off to kill other people what would you pick?"

"Death." Adam responded quickly.

Tempo looked over at Adam, "Yeah, I want you to imagine that you're three years old. Now also imagine that you just watched fifteen other kids bodies tear themselves apart as they rejected the changes and then die. And then a doctor comes and asks you to choose death or that assignment. I don't care how high and mighty you might think you are now but I can bet you'd pick exactly what I picked if you were in that position. I dare you to tell me I'm wrong, it's like saying 'well gee, if I was in the Garden of Eden back when God created the world I would never have eaten the fruit from the tree God asked me not to eat from' it doesn't work that way; you'd make the same choice."

"I would?" Adam replied menacingly. "I'm sure you'd choose to get the crap beat out of you until your body is just one big mass of pain too? Or how's about spending twenty years as nothing more than a parents sex toy? You'd probably like watching your own father beat the crap out of your little brother every night too, wouldn't you? If caring about other people not getting hurt because of the whim of some asshole is being high and mighty then hell yes I am. Look up 'morals' in the dictionary; I'm sure that's the only way that you'll ever see them."

Tempo shook his head, "You don't understand, even if I chose to die then you'd just be talking to someone else sitting exactly where I am. It wouldn't be too hard for them to just find someone else to do my job. You want to know what else? 271 people have died at the hands of the Metronome group, most of them were politicians that pissed someone off. I don't feel any remorse for them because whatever they did to piss of Section 31 was their fault. The only people I cared about after I made that decision where the boys I was in charge of watching. Did they know that they were killing people? At first none of them knew but a few of them figured it out. But what in this world can make you think straight, Adam, if you live your own life driven by nothing but fear? You can sit there and judge me because what, you or people you care for have been through horrible experiences? I can say that I would never want any of what you said to happen to any of the boys I was looking after but I've never been placed in that position so I won't judge those that have. I made a decision based on what I was afraid of and even if I said that I wish I hadn't I know I'd still make that choice."

Adam crossed his arms. "Do you still feel no remorse for those people after considering the fact that the very people you were contracted to kill this time have done nothing to deserve that punishment? Last I heard saving abused children and giving them a chance at life is not something people get MURDERED for. How many other INNOCENT people have you sent these guys out to murder?"

"You know, you're hearing me but you're not listening to me," said Tempo. "I'm guessing that you're a member of Patriarch Short's family, aren't you? Do you think that if I had refused to give out an assignment that it would have never happened? I'm expendable kid, it doesn't matter to them if I live or die, the assignment would have been given out anyway. You speak of innocence like that's something that we have control over determining. It's always someone else that determines that. I'm not responsible for the contract on your family; I didn't decide 'Hey lets kill off a Vulcan Clan today'. All I can tell you about that is you pissed in someone's cornflakes and they tend to go with 'there is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt' as their motto for people they hate."

"I'm hearing you." Adam replied. "I'm hearing you say you were backed into a corner. I'm hearing you say you had no choice. I'm hearing that it was 'just your job'. You know what I'm not hearing? I'm not hearing any remorse for doing what you had to do to survive. I've watched two people I love almost rip their own hearts out after executing someone who was verified by multiple sources to be beyond rehabilitation. You did what you had to do; but that does not mean you had to like it. As good as you guys were reputed to be, I'm sure that a 'something is not right here; could you verify' would at least be acknowledged. If not; then I agree with my brother that all interaction with the Federation will cease immediately and permanently."

"What the hell does the Federation have anything to do with this? Section 31 works on things that the Federation doesn't, Section 31 doesn't report to your Federation, and frankly why would they need to? The Federation denies that Section 31 exists because none of them can find Section 31 to stop them if they wanted to. But how are you to even know that it's even all of Section 31 that has a problem with you and not just one person that you've pissed off? I was told that you were meddling in someone's affairs and making their work harder, not that you were threatening the existence of the Federation," said Tempo. "As to remorse, if I did feel sorry for every person that died by Metronomes hands then I would probably need to be committed. I avoid losing my mind by separating the difference between reading about it and living it. And now I don't have a problem with it anymore. If I read about someone getting killed, no matter how great they were, I feel nothing. If I see them get killed or if I have a closer attachment to them then I'll feel it. But then suddenly the assignment that drops YOUR family in my lap comes across my desk and I'm supposed to feel different about it? What makes you so special that something I've conditioned my mind to do is suddenly going to reverse itself just for this one case? Hate me if you want but you're no different on paper then anyone else is as far as getting assassinated goes."

Adam looked Tempo straight in the eyes. "Hate you? Not possible now that I understand you. You've proven to me that you DO know the difference between what you had to do and what should be done by your responses. As far as your former masters are concerned you are all dead at the moment; it's time for you to decide if you are going to remain loyal to them or start out on a new life where you have some control."

"There's nothing worth remaining loyal to as far as Section 31 goes," Tempo said softly. "I hit the kill switch, they think we're all dead anyway. But the only thing worth being loyal to in the first place would have to be something that you love. Those that you love should always come first. If the others want to stay here with all of you then I will stay with them. Alto, Tenor, and Sharp are my family."

Adam moved closer and placed a hand on Tempo's shoulder. "That is the first thing you have said that I not only agree with but totally live every day. Family IS the most important thing. Just remember that they are used to listening to you; don't be surprised if they follow your choice. Alto has already agreed to start over here. It really needs to be an individual choice though; we don't want anyone to feel like they are forced to stay."

"Wait a minute, what the hell is this? I'm not sure I like this kid," Sharp said to Alto before turning to Adam. "If you want to know something then just ask us, don't interrogate us and bring up bad memories just because you can. If you want to give us a choice of staying here or going somewhere else just as long as we don't go back to Section 31 then great, I'll never go back to them. But I think I'd want to choose whichever place you're not if that's how you're going to treat a moral opinion different from your own."

Adam turned to Sharp. "I'm sorry you feel that way; maybe after this all calms down you can get to know me better. Look at it from my side; you were sent out to kill the person who not only saved my life but also insisted on me becoming his little brother. Somehow I think you can figure out why I'm being so blunt."

"Actually only two of us were ever sent out to kill anyone in your family," replied Sharp. "One didn't know he was going after people and is sitting next to me. And the other got MY knife in his chest for trying to take someone I care about from me. I was never assigned to kill your family. I can certainly understand where you're coming from but on whose authority do you say that only your morals are right? What gives your almighty Clan the ability to tell Tempo that caring more about his own life over the life of people he'll never know at the age of three is wrong? Am I wrong to believe that if you threatened my boyfriend that killing you and everyone in this room to prevent his life from ending is wrong? I'm more then sure that I'll never have to do that but is it wrong that I would do it if I had to and I'd never think twice about it? I can't see that as wrong regardless of what effects it has on the world."

Adam tilted his head. "As far as morals go; I was using my own as a base, not the Clans. I was taught by Uncle Spock that to understand the other persons logic for their actions you need to understand their motives when dealing with humans. If I actually considered you guys as still being a danger to any of my family I would have requested telepathic examination. I had already decided personally that you guys deserved to be given a proper chance to talk without resorting to force. I may have came across as telling Tempo he was wrong; but I was just trying to understand a situation that nobody I know has ever been in and told me about. As far as you killing all of us if you thought your boyfriend was in danger, I think every person in this room would do the same thing. My brother is in danger still; so obviously I'm not in a mood to tell jokes."

"Thanks...I suppose. But if we're all that's left of Metronome then how is your Patriarch still in danger? And you're offering us a new start here but how can we be sure that your Patriarch is going to want us here, we were supposed to kill him and his family," replied Sharp. "If I'm willing to kill someone just so I don't lose one person I love I can't imagine what he'll do to us for half of his family."

Adam nodded. "Fair questions. Until we find out the orders are cancelled, I'm assuming that someone else could be dispatched by Section 31. As far as you guys being accepted by Cory, if Tyne and I tell him it's okay he'll probably want to talk to you but he'll listen to our opinions and take them into account. Cory doesn't hold a grudge and is a lot better than me at putting himself in someone else's shoes. I won't guarantee that he'll be so generous with whoever ordered it though."

"Does that mean we can stay here Sharp? I like it here," whispered Alto.

"Yeah, we'll stay," said Sharp.

"Finally!" said a small voice from the bed between Tempo, Sharp, and Alto. "I thought you guys would never get done, you're giving me a headache."

"Tenor!" replied Alto and Sharp at once.

"How do you feel?" asked Alto.

"Are you okay?" asked Sharp.

"Jeez, one at a time, my head already hurts don't make it worse," moaned Tenor as he started to sit up. Tenor looked around the room taking note of Dmitry and Tyne, then Adam, and then finally Dominic standing over next to Nyo's bed. "Introduce me later, my head is swimming right now."

"Tenor, how's your grip?" Tempo asked carefully.

Tenor rubbed his eyes, "I've got control of everything right now Temp, thanks for asking though." Tenor looked around the room again, "All of you are really cute, means you're all taken though; cute guys always are."

"Oh my God; another Dmitry!" Adam chuckled.

"Please, don't even joke about that!" Dominic said quickly.

"Oh please, no one could ever compare to me," giggled Dmitry. "Oh and Adam, ya know what? You're cute when you're angry."

"Have you been saving that comment DT?" asked Dominic.

"Yep," Dmitry said cheerfully.

Adam shook his head. "Dmitry, you give incorrigible a whole new meaning! Tenor; do you need anything for your head?"

"Yeah a couple CCs of a liquid pain killer would be fantastic," replied Tenor as he rubbed his forehead. "Hey Tempo, I...I'm almost afraid to ask this but...what happened to Bass?"

Tempo sighed, "You really want me to tell you or do you already know?"

"Thanks, that's all I needed to know Temp," replied Tenor as he laid back down and silently began to cry. "I killed him. I didn't want to hear what he was telling me and I...I lost control and...he was right wasn't he? I killed him for telling me the truth about what I am." Tenor carefully pulled himself up into a ball and continued to cry. "I'm so sorry."

"It was probably for the best," Tempo said softly. "He liked what he was doing more then anyone ever should."

Adam moved over next to the bed. "You could possibly have just saved your brother's lives. People who enjoy killing sooner or later will kill even their friends just for the thrill of it. In your own way you did something that a few of us have had to do; judge and punish someone for their innermost psychiatric faults. If you are still having trouble dealing with it when JJ gets back talk with him; he might be able to help you since he's been taught how to place it in a spot in his head where it does not bother him any more."

"I'd like that," whispered Tenor. "No one should die the way that I killed him though. You're Adam right? Do you know what it is that I can do, what I have to control?"

"I've heard some," Adam replied, "but I'd really like you to tell me for sure."

"I control energy, zero-point energy," Tenor said softly as he wiped his eyes. "It lets me move things if I want them to move but that's not all. I can bring any object to a stationary state, where so little energy exists in the object that it can only move if I want it to move. But with so little energy in the object, if I choose to pull it all out then I can pull the object apart at the molecular level. I can also do the same thing to put things together. I can destroy anything, Adam. I can destroy anything around me, I can control its movement, and if it's a non-living object I can even create it. What makes this bad though is that I struggle sometimes to keep control of this energy when I get too emotional."

Adam gave a small smile. "With a skill like that I can see how emotions could cause problems. Don't be surprised if a few of the little guys pick up on when you need a cuddle to help calm down. If you want to, talk with Xain; he's a Vulcan-Human and might be able to teach you a few tricks that would give you more conscious control of your emotions. I'll make sure that everyone knows not to pull any pranks on you or surprise you until you feel comfortable that you are stable again."

"Thanks. Hey Adam," said Tenor in a small quiet voice. "I heard all of you talking about getting to start a new life. Am I allowed to start over?"

Adam nodded his head. "You wouldn't be here if we didn't want to give you that chance. I want to help all of you get a fresh start if you'll let me."

Tenor grinned, "Can I pick a better name then Tenor this time?"

Adam looked around at all of the Metronome group before looking back at Tenor. "You can pick whatever name you want; in fact all of you can if you want to."

"Cool, I want my name to be Josiah," giggled Tenor as he threw his arms around Adam and hugged him. "Mmmm, you're really taken aren't you? I can feel the energy connection you have to your boyfriend; a very strong connection." Tenor let go of Adam and then sat up again on his bed, "So can I get that pain killer now?"

At this point Tyne decided to speak up, "Yeah, we can get you something. Is there anything you can't have?"

"Don't give him aspirin," replied Tempo. "Bad things happen if you do."

"Yeah we couldn't get everything in the room to stop floating for about three weeks," added Alto.

Adam giggled. "I'm used to that with Eli and Benji around!"

"But have you ever tried to sleep on the stuff that's floating around?" asked Sharp. "It floats but it seems really solid if you get up on it because it won't move unless his mind tells it to."

Tempo nodded, "It also knocks him out for that three weeks too."

"Best nap I ever got," grinned Josiah.

"If that's a nap I'm afraid to ask how long you sleep!" Adam mumbled.

"Actually I only sleep about four hours a night normally," said Josiah. "I'm afraid of losing control if I sleep any longer without being knocked out by some kinda drug."

Adam gave Josiah a concerned look. "That's barely enough dude; I see why though. Have you tried meditation to help relax? I know Jake and Xain do it and they seem to do okay. In fact it's helped Jake a lot."

"I was shown how to do that once but I couldn't get my mind to clear enough for it to be effective," replied Josiah. "Although I was being taught by some scientist guy that had never done it himself."

Josiah grinned, "Thanks Adam, that'd be great. And yeah, that just about sums up the poor guy."

"Aidan," Sharp suddenly interjected.

"What?" Tyne asked in a confused tone. "Aidan?"

"Yeah, I want my name to be Aidan," smiled Sharp. "I like that name."

"Oh okay, I wasn't sure what you were talking about," said Tyne.

Dmitry giggled, "That's a cute name. I'd say it fits you but I think any good name wouldn't be able to do any of the three of you justice. You're all really cute. Oh you're cute too Tempo. You're all just a little too old for me but still very cute"

"And we start round one of the DT blushfest. That's DT starting off with a good, solid, redefinition of the word cute...yet again. If he ever finds a boy he doesn't like, it'll make headlines," said Dominic. "As a general disclaimer, I apologize ahead of time for any embarrassment that my boyfriend causes you."

"Great, I woke up just in time for that," said Nyo from his bed. "So what did I miss?"

"You were asleep the whole time!" exclaimed Tyne.

< Nyo can be a very sound sleeper when his body is healing itself. >

"Is that a Vifer thing?" asked Dominic.

< Yes. >

"Thanks Ark," said Tyne.

"Ohh I'll do introductions for everyone that Nyo hasn't met!" shouted Dmitry as he ran over to Nyo's bed. "The boy on the bed over there is Josiah, the one to his left is Aidan, the one to his right is...Alto do you have a new name or are you sticking with Alto?"

"I've always liked the name Ethan," replied Alto.

"Okay, then that's Ethan," continued Dmitry. "And the cute older boy in the wheelchair is...okay Tempo same question."

"Ummm...I don't know, I didn't really give it any thought," said Tempo.

"Ya always looked like a Seth to me," commented Josiah.

Tempo smiled, "Thanks. Well, there you go Dmitry, Seth."

"Cool," Dmitry went on. "And that's Seth. So can we keep them? We need as many cute boys hanging around as we can get. They're in short supply these days."

Adam giggled. "Dmitry; if you had your way every cute boy in the Universe would be here naked in the Ark compound for your personal display!"

Dominic glared at Adam, "Please don't give him ideas!"

"But he's right Dom," giggled Dmitry. "That being the case, Adam start stripping. You can be the first in the collection. Everyone else, follow his lead."

Adam giggled some more. "Sorry Dmitry; nobody else strips until you get your ultra-cute boyfriend to. I'm surprised that with a boyfriend as cute as him you can even consider the rest of us worthy to look at."

Dmitry grinned as he looked over at his blushing boyfriend, "Yeah I can see your point Adam. But that doesn't mean that all of you aren't cute too. Just not as cute as Dom is. I mean I can't have Dom walking around naked all the time just to make me happy. Besides, all of you might try to take him if he did that."

"Adam, you just took our commentator out," said Nyo. "Who's going to keep score now?"

"I will!" added Dmitry. "Adam 1, Dominic -1, me...God!"

Seth shook his head. "Is it always like this around here?"

Adam nodded. "Yep; in fact it even gets worse!"

"Yeah, I could keep going for hours," giggled Dmitry.

"No please!" Dominic said quickly.

"So Tyne, where's Rusty? I thought you'd have him with you everywhere," said Nyo as he slowly sat up.

"Tyne doesn't want Rusty to get hurt if Josiah was still unstable so he convinced him that he needed to watch over all the littler kids at the 'morph pools," said Dmitry before Tyne could answer.

< At this point I think Rusty is in need of help. Those 'littler kids' have pulled him into the Phasenmorph pool with them. >

"I bet he really put up a fight." Adam commented with a smile. "Why don't you guys go 'help' Rusty; I need to talk to Tyne, Ark and Nyo about something."

"Okay," replied Dmitry as he rushed around the room trying his best to pull everyone else with him.

"Adam! Stop feeding my boyfriend sugar like tasks!" commented Dominic as he was pulled out of the Medical Bay.

"Tell Cyna to help Rusty before they get there Ark," said Tyne with a concerned voice as he watched everyone else leave the room.

< Cyna is too busy laughing. >

"Dominic, you're in charge of watching out for Josiah!" Nyo called to them as they disappeared.

< I will make sure he gets your message Nyo. >

"Thanks Ark," said Nyo.

"So what's up Adam?" asked Tyne.

"First off; I'm sorry for taking over like that. I didn't mean to, it just kinda snowballed." Adam replied seriously.

"That's okay Adam," smiled Tyne. "You actually handled the situation very well, I wasn't sure where I was going. If I didn't want you to keep going I would have stopped you. Seth seemed fine with it at the end, although I don't know if Aidan is. But over all I don't think it could have gone any better then it did and I couldn't have done a better job then you did."

"Don't underestimate yourself." Adam replied. "I think Aidan can see where I stand right now and is willing to wait and see. I'd like to ask some things regarding Seth though."

"Okay, things regarding Seth," said Tyne. "Fire away, you've got our attention."

"Personally I don't think he'll be happy if he's not in charge of something. He's spent too long as a coordinator to suddenly just be a regular kid. Right now CIC is pretty much ran by whoever happens to be senior in the room at the time. I think he'd be perfect to take over that role; he might even be able to organize it."

"You're probably right," said Tyne as he sat down in a nearby chair. "Your CIC is kind of in need of permanent staff. That's fine by me. But what about Cory? Do you want to ask him first or do you just wanna do it and see what he says later?"

"It's fine with me too," added Nyo. "I agree with you; I don't think he'll be able to function too well as a normal kid, he's never done it before. That and you guys need a little organization at your compound; I think you'll find that just a little bit of it is nice every now and then."

Adam smiled. "Tyne; believe it or not you and Nyo approving it would be all Cory needs. My brother values your opinions over anyone else's; if you were to tell him that it is a good idea he'll listen. Besides, if I know him he'll want the skin of whoever ordered it; these guys are just the tools the jerk tried to use."

< It sounds to me like you already have Tyne and Nyo's approval, Adam. As to the 'jerk' I am still trying my best to track him down. So far I have not found anything useful. >

"It sounds like you've got yourself a dispatcher," said Nyo. "Anything else?"

"Yeah." Adam replied. "I didn't want to bring this up with Seth around; but is there any way we can get him out of that wheelchair? With all of the kids running around the Compound, sooner or later that wheelchair is going to affect his morale."

< I had the Medbots run a full diagnostic on him when he arrived but the results are not what I expected. It is not so much that he was just injured and that is why he is in the chair but rather there are missing nerve groups in his legs. The scans show that he was about two and a half years old when they started re-sequencing his genes but it is very clear that they did not really understand what they were doing. There is scar tissue everywhere to start with, both internally as well as externally; although he hides them well. The only scar you can see if he is dressed is the one at the base of his skull that follows his hairline. That is just the first of the damage. The rest of the damage has to do with nerve damage. It is not that there is just one injury but rather that he only has one one-hundredth of the nerves in his legs that he should. The rest of them were killed in the re-sequence and rather then them trying to repair the damage they just stabilized the damage. I have not been able to determine yet if the damage is reversible. >

"Umm...what she said," said Tyne.

< I do not want you to start with the 'she' comments either, Tyne. >

Adam nodded. "I was afraid of that. If it's okay with you guys, can Ark use the AI Division systems to see if there is some way to hybrid current and past technology to help him regain at least partial use of his lower body?"

< I can look into that if you would like me to. I do believe that almost every cycle has come up with its own way to regenerate nerve damage. I shall take all of them into account while seeing if I can find a way to help him. >

"Thanks Ark." Adam replied. "I think it'd be best not to mention anything to Seth unless you find a positive outcome. Since androids generate a type of nerves when they are originally created I figure there might be hope in using a version of that, if the nerves are really human compatible."

< Again I will look into it. Oh and Cory called while all of you were going at it earlier to say that you have his support on decisions. Also Tyne, when Kyle gets back you will need to look him over. He had a 'meltdown', from what Cory said Kyle is fine now but still. >

"Thank you for giving us the message Ark," replied Tyne as he looked over at Adam. "Is there anything else Adam?"

"Other than we need to figure out where Cory's got the bugs hidden I don't think so!" Adam replied with a smile. "Shall we find out how much damage the munchkins have caused?"

"That sounds like a good idea," said Tyne. "Nyo, do you feel up to moving around?"

"Actually, you guys go ahead," said Nyo as he laid back down. "I'm still really tired."

"Alright, sleep well," replied Tyne as he started for the door. "Come on Adam, I've got a boyfriend to save."

"Right behind you bro!" Adam replied. "Nyo; if we figure out which cell Ark's got Stepan locked up in, we'll break him out and send him to you."

Nyo grinned, "Thanks Adam."


Tyne and Adam walked into the Phasenmorph room to find one of the Phasenmorph pools packed with kids. Each one looked like they had at least one Phasenmorph on them purring contently. Some of the older kids were standing off to the side either watching the mayhem or talking.

"Jeez, who let them all get in that pool like that?" said Tyne as he looked around the room. "Where the heck is Rusty?"

"He's in the pool," said Josiah, who was standing off to the side by himself. "The things in those pools are kinda creepy so I didn't join in."

"No problem Josiah." Adam said as he joined him off to the side. "How are you doing?"

Josiah closed his eyes but then quickly opened them again, "There are too many people here. I've never been around this many people before. And Dmitry didn't actually get through introducing everyone before he ran off to save one of those strange creatures when it fell out of the tank. So I didn't really get everyone's name either." Josiah covered his eyes with his hands and sighed, "There's too much energy and if I close my eyes that energy lights up this room like a Christmas tree. Its positive energy but it's blinding and loud too."

Adam quickly looked around and noticed Xain and Jake talking quietly in a corner. "Come on; I think you need to meet someone of more your type. Xain and Jake are over there; I'll bet Xain would enjoy taking you somewhere quiet so just the three of you can talk. Xain can fill you in on a lot of our history while you talk."

"Wha...whatever you think is best," replied Josiah. "I think I might need more pain killer if I stay here."

Adam took Josiah's hand and led him over to the two boys. "Josiah; this is Xain and Jake. Xain; Josiah is having some bad side effects from all these people in here. Would you mind having Ark show you guys someplace quiet? I think that you might be able to help Josiah with some of his problems."

Xain nodded. "I find the clamor of the rest of our family disturbing at times myself. Ark; could you please direct us to a suitable location for serious discussion?"

< The training room is dark and quiet if you would like to use it. If you would rather a room then the room you slept in last night will serve your purpose as well. >

Josiah lowered his hand from his eyes and with them still closed he looked back and forth from Xain to Jake. Then he reached out and felt the air between them, "Cool! You've got the coolest energy connection I've ever seen. It's like a purple color, a dark purple. I've only seen purple on a few people but never this dark and this strong before."

Xain raised his eyebrows. "Fascinating. I am curious about your ability to visualize the electrical fields generated by biological entities. I believe the training room will be sufficient Ark. We shall notify you if assistance is necessary Adam."

"Thanks Xain." Adam replied. "Enjoy the quiet Josiah; I'll make sure your brothers know where you are and why."

Meanwhile Tyne made his way over to the Phasenmorph pool. "Rusty?" called Tyne as he looked around.

"Keep yelling cutie; I'll follow your voice out of here!" Rusty replied. "I'm lost in the center here somewhere!"

"You're too easy to find in there with your hair!" Tyne called back as he grinned and reached into the pool, offering his hand to the red head.

Rusty giggled as he climbed out and wrapped himself around Tyne. "Missed you cutie; how did it go?"

"Ahh! Wet! Cold!" complained Tyne as he hugged Rusty back. "Coooolllld! But yeah, it went pretty well. I'll have to introduce you to the new guys later. Right now one of them is off with Xain hopefully learning some better controllll...Ccold!"

"Hmmm; I think I need to get these clothes off of you if they are making you cold!" Rusty giggled just before kissing the tip of Tyne's nose. "Or if you really want I can think of other ways to make you as hot as you look!"

"Jeez you two, keep that kinda stuff to the bedroom," Cyna commented from one of the nearby consoles where his image was floating. "Then I can watch."

Tyne blushed a deep red, "You two are too much."

"Better yet; we'll go in the IIM and you can join in Cyna!" Rusty replied with a giggle.

"Ohmygod!" shouted Tyne as he buried his face in Rusty's wet shirt. "I should've left you in the pool!"

"Nice one Rusty!" called Dmitry from the other side of the 'morph pool. "Might wanna stop there though!"

Adam walked up to the group. "What did I miss? Tyne, are you okay; you look like you're about to self-combust!"

"I AM!" replied Tyne as he picked Rusty up, hoisted him over his shoulder, and started for the door. "I'm going to get warmed up and get some dry clothes."

"You realize you've got a Rusty on your shoulder?" asked Dmitry with a giggle.

"I do," said Tyne. "If you need us call in about an hour."

"Oh; gonna grab a quickie?" Aaron called from the back of the pool.

Tyne reached the door, turned around, and smiled, "Ark, send smartass...I mean Aaron to the surface for about ten seconds."

< As you wish Seer. > replied Ark as Aaron suddenly vanished.

"Dude; that gives 'chill' a whole new meaning!" Adam giggled as he looked around for the rest of the new guys.

A few seconds later Aaron reappeared, and the look on his face made Dmitry giggle.

Dominic leaned over next to Aaron, "Don't mess with the boss, he plays with bigger pools."

Adam shook his head. "You asked for it Airboy." He then went over to where Seth was watching the antics of the rest of the group. "What you think? This group nuts enough for you?"

"They seem to be enjoying themselves," replied Seth as he continued to watch. "Everyone seems nice, I'm not really sure what to call nuts though. I noticed that you took Josiah off with two other boys, is he okay?"

"He will be now." Adam replied seriously. "All of these guys bouncing around was getting to him; he's having a nice quiet conversation with Xain and Jake now. I kinda hope Xain can give him some tips that will help with his control."

"That's cool," said Seth. "Josiah's a really great kid, when he's feeling well he always seems to see the brighter side of things. Although all these couples should look out, he finds the energy that binds them fantastic so he might get too close at times if he's not paying attention."

Adam giggled. "Actually he's the one that might need to watch out; some of these guys will give him a show just for the fun of seeing his face!"

"He'd probably like that," grinned Seth. "I think he's lonely sometimes because of the way that he looks at Ethan and Aidan. I think he thinks he's undesirable because of his instability, who wants a boyfriend that could kill them if he gets upset, but he hides those feelings pretty well; doesn't dwell on them if he can help it I think. He's one of my favorite people in the world though, he's not as crazy as Dmitry over there but he's not as serious as I am. He used to piss Bass off with how he acts in the morning."

Adam nodded. "We've got another brother that dealt with that in a similar way; he thought nobody would want a boyfriend that ages at one-fourth the normal rate. He's happily in a relationship with someone who understands his differences and is willing to live with them. Josiah's gonna find someone like that; I promise."

"I'd rather he just be happy," replied Seth. "I know that would make him happy to have someone like that but I know that if he accidentally killed someone that he loved, like a boyfriend, because he loses control, he'd probably kill himself. As it is right now he would go through about six bed mats a month because he turned them to dust in his sleep, and he doesn't sleep that much because he's afraid of that happening on a larger scale. Don't get me wrong, half of me wants him to find someone but the rest of me doesn't want to lose him if that happens."

Adam nodded. "Maybe Xain will be able to help him; I really hope so anyways. One thing Josiah hasn't considered is if you really love someone your body is aware of them being next to you no matter how deep you are sleeping. I know in my case if JJ gets up to take a leak I'm wide awake until he comes back; the loss of contact with him wakes me instantly."

Seth grinned, "Sounds like JJ's a pretty good guy. And maybe you're right, I suppose I should try and stick to a positive outlook."

Just then Ethan walked over and joined Seth and Adam. "Hey Adam, is this group always this crazy," Ethan asked as he hinted to the kids around and in the Phasenmorph pool.

Adam giggled. "Naw; right now they're calm. Crazy is when we get a soccer game going!"

"Soccer?" Ethan said with confusion.

"Yeah, it's that game where they kick a ball around and try to get it in a net at one of the ends of the field," said a voice from the empty space next to Ethan.

Seth smiled, "Hi Aidan. No one else can see you, you know."

Aidan suddenly appeared in the space next to Ethan with a big grin on his face, "I know, and I've been using that to scare the shit out of people for about the last twenty minutes. I've been promised a trip to the pool for it, whatever that means."

"It means you've been accepted as family." Adam replied with a grin. "Look around you; these are your new brothers. That reminds me Seth; I've got an idea if you are interested."

"That's a lot of family," said Ethan as he looked around the room. "I can see it becoming a game, who can find Aidan."

"You can't play then Ethan because you know how to cheat." Seth chuckled. "So, Adam, what's this idea then?"

Adam slowly responded, not sure how he would be received. "After finding out what you used to do, I had an idea. If you say yes, Cory has already approved it. Right now at Headquarters whoever is senior in the room ends up running CIC even if they're really not qualified to do it. Would you be interested in taking over the running of CIC? No matter what you or your brothers decide to do, all of you will have a place to call 'home' in the Compound."

"I assume then that your CIC is similar to what I use to call home as far as work goes," replied Seth. "Do you really get enough activity in your CIC to need full time staff?"

Adam chuckled. "Does the fact that last I heard we have two other divisions tell you anything? Of course, knowing Cory it could be three or four by now. Last I heard there were seven planetary systems that we are primary emergency contacts for the youth of those systems. Add to that the follow up we do on any event which hints at a kid possibly being in danger, even if we don't act on it ..."

"Okay well then with that much activity I guess the better question would be why don't you already have full time staff?" said Seth. "I'll be more then happy to accept the position but it sounds like you might need more staff if you really have that much happening."

"Some of the guys do have full-time positions; but overall coordination falls under whoever happens to be there." Adam turn and pointed to Tommy, who was busy tickling Ricky. "My little brother Tommy, he's the one tickling the rugrat, is Communications Officer for example."

"Well that's definitely a good start then," replied Seth.

Aidan watched Tommy tickling Ricky for a few seconds. "That looks like fun," said Aidan as he grabbed Ethan and began tickling him.

"Hey that's not fair!" cried Ethan as he went down. "Seth! Help!"

Seth ignored Ethan, "So he handles Communications, that will take that part of the work, I suppose I can pick up the rest of the slack then."

Adam pointed to Justy, who was giving Matty a piggy-back ride. "Justy over there pretty much tries to handle all of the internal Intelligence stuff. Right now I think he takes on too much; but I bet you can work out a fairer division of work so that he's not always overloaded. One thing you don't have to worry about is Security; JJ and I split that during the day and we have on-call rotation between all of our junior Security team at night. All you'll need to do is say something needs handled; we'll take it from there and make sure the best people for the job get sent out."

Aidan looked up from where he was attacking his boyfriend, "You make it sound like you're trying to sell Seth the job. Just look at the smile on his face though, you've already sold him the job. He's a workaholic so I don't think you could give him too much to do."

Ethan took this opportunity to strike back, quickly getting Aidan on his back, pinning him to the floor, "Ha!"

Aidan giggled, "Well if you wanted to be on top all ya had to do was ask."

Ethan rolled his eyes and proceeded to get revenge by tickling Aidan to the point of tears.

Seth chuckled at their antics, "Yeah what he said, I'll take the job Adam. Once I get in and see how you have everything set up at CIC I'll let you know if I need any extra help. How's that sound?"

"Works for me; welcome to the team!" Adam replied with a grin. "Oh, Ethan; don't make Aidan pee! Ark is very picky about wet floors!"

< Yes, and your boyfriend's liquid waste product would be worse then water. So please refrain from causing him to wet himself. >

"Ahh you guys are no fun," said Aidan when Ethan stopped tickling him. "That's my favorite part!"

"I refuse to comment!" Adam giggled. "I'm not gonna incriminate someone who is not here!"

"You guys need to keep that kinda stuff to your bed mats," giggled Josiah as he walked up to the group with Xain and Jake tagging along behind him. "So what did I miss?"

"Wild midair sex!" Adam giggled. "No, seriously, Seth just accepted a position at Clan Headquarters. He's going to be in charge of CIC."

"Damn! We missed the sex! At this rate I'll never get laid!" grinned Josiah. "Congratz on the job though Seth, I know you'll do awesome."

Adam turned to Josiah with a concerned look. "You feeling any better now bro?"

"I'm doing better then I was, thanks for asking," said Josiah. "Xain showed me a few cool tricks to keep my emotional control in check. I'll just need to practice them a little more. You should've seen the look on Jake's face, though, when he asked me what I could do and I decided to show him by making him float a little. I didn't know that look was possible on a human face. As far as this room still being too loud after Xain helping me, well it's better but I think I'll stay over here with you guys for a little bit and just talk to whoever you're talking to; I don't wanna take any risks until I've had more time to go over what Xain taught me."

"I'm glad to hear that." Adam replied. "I know you look a lot more relaxed."

"He's relaxed, but I almost made a puddle in the Training Room!" Jake chuckled.

Xain gave Jake a raised eyebrow. "I was not aware that unexpected situations could trigger a loss of bladder muscle control. We will have to investigate this further."

"Not you too!" Adam chuckled.

Xain placed a hand on Josiah's shoulder. "You must forgive my brother Adam; he is still at that age in humans where fascination with bodily functions prevails. Jake and I need to return to our discussion; if you believe you need additional assistance you are welcome to join us at any time."

"Thanks Xain," replied Josiah. "So, Adam, I got a question for ya; it refers to those strange things in those pools of water. Why do all the kids like them? They're kinda creepy looking."

"They purr." Adam replied. "The little ones think its fun making the fuzzymores purr; they kinda vibrate all over."

< Say it slowly after me Adam. Phase-en-morph. >

Adam giggled. "You sure you're not female Ark? You whine like one sometimes!"

< Adam, do you know the term 'respect your elders'? Practice that or THIS elder will have you defrosting defense arrays on the your underwear. >

"That sounds kinda kinky Ark but if that's what does it for ya," grinned Josiah. "Have fun Adam."

Gavin wandered over as Ark replied. "Bro; you better lay off Ark; I really don't think JJ would like his favorite popsicle frozen. What's the deal; all these cute new boys here and you haven't introduced me to any of them? I'm beginning to agree with Ark's idea."

Josiah closed his eyes, looked at Gavin, and grinned, "You're a silvery gold color pattern! You've got a very pretty pattern!"

"You'll have to excuse him," said Seth. "That's his way of saying hi. I'm Seth by the way. That's Ethan on your left, Aidan WAS right beside him and probably still is. And the one that called you silvery gold is Josiah."

"That's okay." Gavin replied with a blush. "Josiah, if you're saying I'm cute you should look at yourself; you make me look 'downright dog ugly' as Tommy would say."

"Well thanks," giggled Josiah. "I suppose I'd have to open my eyes to see the rest of you." Josiah opened his eyes and smiled, "You're just as cute as your energy pattern. I want you to do me a favor though, take your right pointer finger and quickly jab it out to your right."

Gavin did as Josiah asked with a puzzled look on his face.

"Hey!" cried a voice as Gavin's finger hit something solid. Aidan appeared with a frown on his face, "Oh come on Josiah, I was just gonna tickle him a little!"

"Ah, there's Aidan," said Seth. "So now you've met Aidan too. You never mentioned your name though, or should we call you what Josiah called you? Silvery gold?"

Gavin giggled. "Sorry; I'm Gavin. If my little brother here gets to be too much of a dork let me know; it's fun watching him do a belly-flop from fifty feet above the center of a pool!"

Adam playfully punched Gavin's side. "Cut the 'little brother' stuff! You're only three months older than me!" He then turned to the rest of the group. "Seriously; my brother here is still getting used to not only having a family again but also to being here on Terra. I'm really glad Mom adopted him though; he's a kewl brother and a great guy ... oh, and he's single too!"

Gavin smiled. "Thanks Adam; I wasn't sure how I was going to open the subject of me being from Rigel VII. You're kewl too, even though you're spoiled rotten by JJ according to Mom."

"Oh come on Adam, anyone that can see energy knows he's single," Josiah said with a lopsided grin. "I've been to Rigel VII I think, about a year ago. There are some beautiful patterns there, never got to see what they actually looked like. After a while you get use to seeing places that way though. That explains why you're pattern is so much more beautiful then these guys with their yellowish green."

"Hey!" said Ethan. "What's wrong with green?"

"Here, I'll show you," replied Josiah as he grabbed Aidan and stood him next to Gavin. Then he dragged Ethan over to where he was standing. "Now close your eyes and look at them. Isn't Gavin's pattern prettier?"

Ethan closed his eyes for a few seconds and then opened them again, "I refuse to answer that on the grounds that one of the examples is my boyfriend."

"Good answer!" Adam giggled.

Just then Stepan came into the Phasenmorph room carrying his tool kit and looking very tired. He looked around the room a little and then headed over to the console that was next to where Adam and the others were standing.

"Hi," said Stepan as he set down his tools and pulled open the panel under the consoles controls. "I'm just here to fix something. You guys can keep talking."

Adam took one look at Stepan. "Ark; Stepan is dead on his feet and is going to start making mistakes if you keep pushing him. How many repairs do you have left that require immediate attention?"

< Seventy-eight. But I promise this is the last one he will be working on for about twelve hours. >

"You said that three repairs ago," moaned Stepan. "How the hell did Nyo keep up with you?"

< Nyo did not have to deal with a complete system standby. Like I said, just two more repairs and you'll be done. >

"Wait! You just said this was the last one!" protested Stepan.

< Well the other one has to do with the Phasenmorphs, the bios for the pool all of those children are sitting in is starting to go off balance. Too much oil from their bodies. >

Stepan sat up and put his tools back into their box, "That's it, I'm done. Have Dmitry or Dominic do it."

< Alright, I'll have Dominic take care of the Phasenmorphs then. But what about the console you were just working on? >

"I'll do it later," replied Stepan as he got up, leaving his tool box where it was.

Adam got a serious look on his face. "Cyna; are you listening?"

"Yes and no," replied Cyna from a console a few feet away. "You've got about half my attention. Do you need me Adam?"

"He wants you to tell Ark to stop overworking Stepan," Dominic said in passing as he crossed the room to check on the 'morph pool settings.

"Ark back off or I'll sick Nyo on you for making his boyfriend look and feel like hell," said Cyna.

< But what about the work that needs to be done? >

"It will get done when it gets done," replied Cyna. "I guarantee that you'll be okay if a few systems aren't fixed immediately. I know because I helped build you, just reroute around the problems for now."

< Very well. We will pick up here in sixteen hours Stepan. Is that good enough Cyna? >

"No, you can wait longer then that. I'm in your system, I know better," said Cyna. "Stepan, take a day off. Take care of yourself and your boyfriend."

"Umm, thanks," said Stepan.

"Anything else Adam?" said Cyna. "I'm kinda busy watching something."

"Thanks Cyna." Adam replied. "One more thing; remind those two to take a shower when they are done!" he added with a giggle.

Cyna grinned, "I don't think I'll have to."

"I'm going to go get something to eat and then check on Nyo," said Stepan. "Thanks for the help."

"Any time Stepan;" Adam replied as he gave him a quick hug. "Instead of just checking on Nyo why don't you keep him company; both of you could use a long cuddle. One of us will check in later to see if you guys need anything."

~~~About an hour later~~~

Stepan carefully walked into the Medical Bay carrying a tray of soup and sandwiches. Stepan smiled when he saw that Nyo was still asleep. He slowly made his way over to Nyo's bed and then set the tray down on the stand next to the bed. Then, very carefully, Stepan leaned over Nyo and gently kissed him on the lips.

Nyo took a deep breath as he slowly opened his eyes, "Hey Step."

Stepan grinned, "How are you feeling?"

"You woke me up with a kiss, I feel great!" replied Nyo. "I'm kinda hungry though."

"Good," said Stepan as he started to get the silverware ready. "I brought you tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches."

"Aww, thanks Step!" said Nyo as he pressed the button to make the bed sit him up. "Did you bring enough for both of us?"

"Yep, I thought I'd eat with you," smiled Stepan as he moved the bed stand so that the both of them could use it. "So seriously, how are you feeling?"

"Hmm, my boyfriend wakes me with a kiss, brings me dinner, and my wound finally completely closed up about an hour ago. Yeah I think I'm doing better then okay, I think I'm doing fantastic," said Nyo as he took a bite of grilled cheese. "Wow, this is good!"

"I'm glad you like it," grinned Stepan. "I had Ark do me a few favors since it's been working me to death. Made it get the cheese from France and the tomatoes for the soup from Italy."

Nyo looked shocked, "You made this soup yourself?"

"I know how to cook," said Stepan as he ate a spoon full of soup. "I think it turned out pretty good."

"It taste great, I just didn't know you knew how to; or let alone make tomato soup from scratch," replied Nyo.

"I'm just full of surprises," giggled Stepan. "I had to have Cyna tell me how to make grilled cheese sandwiches though; I didn't know how to make those."

"So how are the new kids fitting in?" asked Nyo as he continued eating.

"I could tell you if I knew," replied Stepan. "But the most I've seen of them was the few minutes I was fixing one of the consoles in the Phasenmorph room before I told Ark I was done and wasn't going to work on anything else."

"Wait, Ark's had you working all day?" said Nyo. "ARK!"

< Yes Nyo. >

Nyo cleared his throat, "I thought we agreed that you weren't going to work my boyfriend to death. He looks pretty worn out to me and its not MY fault."

< I am sorry but there is just a very large amount of work to be done. Stepan is the only technician that I have been given at this time and there are still systems that need work done on them. >

"Then ask Tyne to do something," replied Nyo. "He use to work with the crafters, he was married to one, he should have some idea what he's doing."

< I will ask him then just as soon as he is finished making rabbits look bad. >

"Why don't you give everyone a break today Ark," said Stepan. "The work will get done, it's not like we have anything better to do. But just let us have today."

Nyo grinned, "Yeah, what he said."

< Very well, today only. And Nyo, I also promise to try and keep from overworking your partner. >

~~~Later that night~~~

Josiah couldn't get comfortable in the bed that he had been assigned and kept tossing and turning.

Josiah sighed, "I only need to sleep for like four hours and so they give me a glorified marshmallow to sleep on." He shifted around a little more and sighed again before slowly sitting up. Josiah then threw back the covers and made an attempt to get off of the bed. "Good God, I can't get off this thing!" Josiah tried again and was finally able to get up. After putting on his pants Josiah left his room and started making his way threw the hallways of the Living Quarters section. About a minute later he found himself in the hallway outside of the Living Quarters. Josiah remembered this as the hallway that led to the Shuttle and Tech construction areas.

"Hey Ark?" said Josiah as he started to walk down the hallway.

< Yes Josiah. >

"Is it okay if I go sit in one of the construction rooms?" asked Josiah.

< You may use the Shuttle Construction Area if you would like. >

Josiah headed over to the Shuttle Areas door, "Thanks Ark."

As Josiah entered the construction room he looked around to find mostly scrap metal towards the area he entered at while off in the distance of the large room he could see several strange looking shuttle crafts of some kind. Josiah walked up to one of the piles of scrap metal and then sat down in front of it. Slowly Josiah lifted his hands and the metal began to move without making any sound. Josiah began to make the metal dance, with parts of it turning to dust just to be added in other places as metal again.

Gavin quietly followed Josiah into the room. He watched quietly for a few minutes before softly saying "Josiah?"

Josiah looked back over his shoulder and smiled, "Hey Gavin, I hope I didn't wake you or anything. I just couldn't sleep on that bed they gave me so I wandered in here."

"Can I sit with you?" Gavin asked shyly.

"Sure," grinned Josiah as he patted the space next to him with his left hand while continuing to shape the metal with his right. "Come on over. So what's keeping you up?"

"You are!" Gavin giggled as he sat down and placed an arm on Josiah's shoulder. "I kinda worry about you; I know how it feels to be tossed into a strange place."

"That's one I haven't heard before," replied Josiah as he tilted his head causing the metal to move in a way that when the dust fell over it, it sounded like rain. "I'm not really sure if this place is strange and crazy or calm and familiar. I can't really call this place strange when I'm kinda strange myself. I've never had someone worry about me before though, other then Seth but he's more like a big brother or father, so thanks. But why would you be worried about me though?"

"Because I like you." Gavin stated assuredly.

Josiah's eyes got really big as he gasped and let some of the dust he was controlling start to fall. Josiah quickly regained his composure and pulled the dust back up, "I...I'm sorry I...I'm sure you don't mean that how I'm thinking it. You mean like a brother, right? You can't mean it any other way. I mean, you're a cute guy and the cute guys either always taken or have their eye on another cute, normal person."

"I'm not taken; and compared to my brothers you are completely normal." Gavin replied as he pulled himself closer. "You definitely qualify as cute though."

"I don't know about cute, I'm just a copy. Besides how could I compare to you, you're..." Josiah grinned a little but then let the smile fade, "Gavin, you see what I'm doing to this metal here. I can change this metal by taking its energy away and putting it back. I can charge it enough that it explodes or I can drain it enough that it becomes nothing but dust so fine that it almost can't be seen. I can keep things from moving or move them so fast they almost fly apart. I can even make things into anything else that was similar to its original nature. But I only have so much control, I'm dangerous. You can't like me, what if I end up hurting you?" Josiah reached out towards the dust and pulled a small group of it to his hand. Just inches before it made it to Josiah's hand he moved his fingers a little and the dust stopped and began to pull together. Slowly it began to take shape and after a few more seconds Josiah reached out and grabbed it. He let it finish forming in his hand and then he handed what now looked like a perfect rose, made of what looked like gold, to Gavin. "I don't want to hurt you but I can think of you just as perfect as this rose is now. One hundred percent gold and pure as can be. You're very special Gavin, I can see it in your energy and in your energy pattern; I can feel it in your soul. I don't deserve someone like you."

Gavin reached over and turned Josiah's face towards his. "You don't deserve to make yourself lonely all of your life. Your personality is all you, and it is part of what makes you cuter than your brothers to me. You are not the only one around here that can be deadly; yours is just a different type. One thing I've learned since I came to Earth is that when you have a special skill and really care about someone that your brain becomes aware of where they are even when you are asleep. From what I understand the only one of your brothers that you have ever hurt pushed you to the point that he deserved what he got. You have more control than you think; I'll bet that part of your control issue comes from not releasing the energy that builds up inside of you."

"Maybe, but what if you're wrong," replied Josiah softly. "I don't think I could live with myself if I hurt you. I mean there's a chance that you could be right too but it's a risk I don't know if I can take; and I won't ask you to take that risk either. I don't want to wake up some morning and find that I killed you in the night and I was sleeping on what was left. I'd probably kill myself over that. Some people are just meant to be alone...I think I might be one of them."

"Stop that right now!" Gavin stated. "NOBODY is meant to be alone! You haven't heard the Clan history yet; I have. One thing that stands out is that ALL of us have been brought together for a reason; and as we join together we give each other the strength to overcome our past. I've seen one of the guys having a terrible nightmare; the minute his partner came in and cuddled with him the nightmare ended and he slept peacefully. In fact; every time they get separated he has nightmares unless his little brother takes his partner's place. You know him; it's Adam. As I was getting up, Tyler was heading over to calm him down from another nightmare. The only reason Tyler can do it is that he is an Empath; otherwise Adam would be suffering until JJ gets back. If you're so damn worried about killing me in your sleep then maybe we need to call in someone who can tell you if it happens."

Josiah pulled away a little and closed his eyes, "Please, you don't have to yell at me for me to get your point. There's a difference, though, in overcoming something and what I'm talking about. You think that by being with me you'll calm me or help me keep control? That's probably true, I don't doubt that. But what about what it costs me to keep that control? I've never not been in some kinda pain because I have to force myself to keep control. When I sit here and destroy this metal or just move it around, I'm releasing tension; I don't need control to use my gift, I need control to keep from using it. I don't doubt that you can help me keep control but what if I become so comfortable with you that I forget to control myself? I don't know, I'm starting to not make sense to even me now. I'm just afraid I guess."

Gavin gently guided Josiah to sit on his lap, then put his arms around him. "I'm sorry for being rough. With the skill you have I'd be scared if you wasn't scared. The difference is you won't be controlling it alone; we'll be controlling it together." Gavin reached over and picked up the gold rose he had laid down to be able to hold Josiah. "Do you see this rose? You told me what it means to you; what I see is an offering from someone who I think is very sweet who just gave me the perfect example of his true heart. You are like a rose; you are beautiful. While there are thorns, they are easily avoided by being aware of them and taking precautions to make sure they don't hurt you. Relax and show me what you can do in the arms of someone that loves you Angel."

Josiah gripped Gavin tightly and silently began to cry. As he did the rest of the dust that was floating, with what was left of the metal, began to take on a shape as the rest of the metal was turned to dust to join it. The dust came to rest on the floor in front of Gavin as it took form. It slowly started to change color and pack together and as Josiah did his best to tighten his hold on Gavin the newly formed metal began to take on the shape of a heart made up of two different metals. Half of the heart looked to be silver while the other half was clearly gold, just like the rose. The two metals were carefully intertwined and even looked to be braided where the two metals met. When it finished shaping it gently slid closer to Gavin. Josiah wiped his eyes a little and smiled, "I think that turned out well, I've never done work that detailed before." Josiah tried to tighten his grip on Gavin even more, "If...if you love me can I love you back? Can I keep you?"

Gavin squeezed back. "If I get my way you'll never leave me. I already love you; I'd be honored if you would love me back."

"I can already feel the energy bond that you're bonding with me," whispered Josiah as he closed his eyes. "I can't help but love you back. Would...would it be too early to ask if you'd be my boyfriend?"

Gavin smiled and kissed Josiah's neck. "I accept; I wanted to ask you the second I met you but I was afraid you'd say no."

"Without you getting it through my thick head that I was really allowed to I probably would've said no," replied Josiah as he looked up into Gavin's eyes. "Can I kiss you?"

Gavin answered by leaning forward and brushing his lips against Josiah's. "I love you." he whispered before continuing with the kiss.

Suddenly Josiah, Gavin, and everything else in the room began to float as Josiah broke the kiss just long enough to reply, "I love you too."

~~~Early the next morning~~~

Tyne lay cuddled up next to Rusty as he slept slowly tracing patterns on Rusty's stomach with his index finger. Every now and then he would stop tracing to listen to Rusty's heart and feel Rusty breathing. After a few seconds he would start tracing again. A few minutes later Tyne looked up at Rusty, who looked to still be asleep, and smiled before he leaned up and kissed him.

"You're perfect," Tyne whispered softly as he laid his head back down on Rusty's chest and resumed his tracing. "You're nothing like Cyna and I'm really glad you're not, I love you just the way you are. I didn't think I'd ever be able to love someone like I did Cyna, and I don't think I ever will. But you have your own place in my heart, a place I don't think even Cyna could have filled."

Tyne looked back up at Rusty and found that he was smiling down at him, "So what woke you, my talking about you or my tracing?"

Rusty grinned, "I was already awake."

< Tyne, I really do hate to interrupt but if you could find the time Josiah and Gavin will need to report to you. >

Tyne laid his head back on Rusty's chest and sighed, "About what?"

< About an hour ago they were asked to help Cory rearrange a few things in the hotel rooms Cory and his party are staying in. They were the only ones awake so I offered Josiah's help and Cory accepted it. >

"Does Cory know who, exactly, Josiah is or was?" asked Tyne as he began to play with one of Rusty's nipples getting a giggle from Rusty.

< He found out just after Josiah got there, but with Gavin there to reassure Cory everything was fine. >

"Why would Gavin stand up for Josiah?" said Tyne. "I mean I know that Gavin was being nice to Josiah earlier but Josiah still would have been assigned to kill his family."

< Gavin is Josiah's boyfriend now. >

"Really?" Tyne said in a shocked voice.

< Yes, really. And they will be at your door in about ten seconds. >

Tyne sat up and almost jumped out of the bed, "What!"

< They just need to make their report, there is no need for you to even get out of bed. >

Rusty giggled, "Just relax babe, lay back down; you don't have to be up for them to report to you."

"Shouldn't I at least get dressed?" Tyne said in a worried tone.

Rusty lifted the covers and looked Tyne over, "No, I like what I see too much for you to get dressed."

Suddenly there came a knock at the door.

"Just a second!" Tyne called.

Rusty chuckled, "Come in!"

Tyne almost yelped as Josiah and Gavin came into the room and he rushed to get himself and Rusty completely covered.

Gavin giggled at the sight in front of him. "Awww mannnn ..... you didn't tell us they had blankets Ark!"

< That is not something that normally comes up in conversation. >

Josiah grinned as he tilted his head, "I can fix that problem if ya want Gavin." The bed sheet suddenly started to lift up off the bed.

"Hey! I thought you were here to make a report not see me naked!" cried Tyne.

"But it's so 'hard' to make a report to someone under covers!" Gavin giggled.

"No 'hard' is what I had before you were here," replied Tyne. "So Ark mentioned that you guys went to visit Cory. What did they need exactly?"

"They wanted the room restructured," said Josiah. "They didn't want the windows for some reason."

"Yeah; Cory's collected a couple more cute guys. They're not near as cute as Josiah, but still they're not bad." Gavin added.

Josiah gave Gavin a wicked grin before he continued, "One of them they picked up when he saved Kyle from getting attacked. The other I'm pretty sure they rescued from Kyle's ex-father. I believe they said he is Kyle's half brother."

"I think that Timmy's decided the little guy is going to be his little brother; he's definitely treating him like it." Gavin added.

"From what I've heard about Cory it sounds like he's back to what he does best then," said Tyne. "I bet they'll bring back at least one more on top of those two. But you said that Kyle was attacked? Do we know who attacked him?"

"I think he was attacked by a vampire," answered Josiah. "I think he's been killed for attacking Kyle though so we don't have to clean anything up for that."

"Vampire...Ark is that what I think it is," Tyne said darkly.

< A vampire and a Moroi are the same thing. >

"Are you sure he's dead then," Tyne said to Josiah.

Josiah nodded, "Unless they can somehow reattach their head then yeah I'm pretty sure."

Gavin nodded. "Yeah, one of the new guys is called Brant; he's the one who saved Kyle. I heard he beat the living crap out of Kyle's old father too when they caught him abusing little Paul."

Rusty smiled. "Since Kyle refuses to talk about his old father, I'll bet he deserved every bruise he got. What happened to him after they got his attention?"

"They didn't really give us that much info about it and we didn't really ask. When they get back I'm sure Cory can fill you in" replied Josiah. "I was just there to rearrange the room...and make a teddy bear."

"Teddy bear?????" Rusty and Tyne echoed in confusion.

"Yeah for Paul, Duh," giggled Josiah. "I mean the kid didn't have anything to really cuddle and Timmy suggested it so I made him a teddy bear. I think he really liked it."

Rusty saw the look on Tyne's face and added "It's a stuffed cute version of a bear that kids cuddle with. Kinda like a smaller version of you, except you are lots cuter and really lots more fun to cuddle!"

Tyne blushed, "Is there anything else you guys need to tell us? If not we have something to be doing."

"Yeah; Rusty's ticklish behind his knees!" Gavin stated as he grabbed Josiah's hand and ran towards the door.

"So THAT'S where you're ticklish at!" cried Tyne as he attacked Rusty's legs.

"I'll get you!" Rusty screamed as the door closed behind the two giggling departing boys.

As soon as the door was closed, Tyne gave Rusty an evil grin and almost instantly switched his attention from Rusty's legs to what was between Rusty's legs instead.

~~~That Evening~~~

"Ark where are Tyne and Rusty?" asked Nyo as he waited in the Tech Construction Area for Cory and the others arrival. "They could decide to come back at any minute and he wanted to be here to brief Cory on what's been going on and now he's late."

Stepan smiled, "They'll be here Nyo, is it really that important that they're here to greet Cory? We don't even know when Cory and the others are getting here; it might be another hour not any minute."

"I guess not," replied Nyo as he started to pace. "But I'm not even supposed to be doing any work yet and here I am doing..."

"Babe, stop pacing and sit down," said Stepan. "You volunteered to come down here, remember? Tyne didn't ask you to. Besides, again what does it matter."

< I agree with Stepan, stop stressing yourself about something that does not matter. >

"Well it's just that with assassins having been after Cory, me getting stabbed, and us still not having a location for whoever it was that had them go after Cory and his family in the first place," said Nyo as he started to pace faster. "I'm just worried that he won't get back safely!"

Stepan got up from where he was sitting, walked over to Nyo, grabbed him and then led him over to his chair, "Sit down!" Stepan pushed Nyo down into his chair and then promptly sat in his lap, "Stop worrying! They'll be arriving any time tonight, we weren't given an exact time, which is probably why Tyne and Rusty aren't waiting down here like we are."

< I have notified Tyne and Rusty that Cory and his Party will be arriving in a few minutes. They had me place someone into our teleportation buffer to be dealt with later. Cory is just preparing one of their new 'additions', Brant, about how Tyne will probably react. >

"Probably react?" said Stepan in a confused tone.

< Cory is bring back a Moroi with him. >

"Oh God!" replied Nyo as he tried to get up. "Tyne's going to flip!"

Stepan just continued to hold Nyo down by not getting off his lap, "Stay put and stop worrying! We'll worry about it when they get here."

< Incoming. >

Suddenly Cory and his group appeared in the middle of the Ark Compound's Tech Construction Area. Stepan slid off of Nyo's lap and helped him to his feet and as soon as he was standing Nyo took off for Cory.

"Cory! Your safe!" shouted Nyo as he skidded to a stop in front of Cory. "Cory, if Tyne knows who you've brought with you he's not going to be happy!"

Cory nodded. "Yeah; Ark warned me. I'm not abandoning Brant though; he saved Kyle's life, literally. Besides; I think that Tyne might appreciate the fact that Brant refuses to kill no matter how bad the person deserves it. I think the only exceptions to that might be Kyle's attacker and the Moroi that killed Brant's husband."

"Why would I appreciate someone not killing someone that deserves it?" asked Tyne as he and Rusty came into the Tech Construction Area. Tyne walked over to the group and smiled, "Did your trip go well Cory? The rest of your clan has been driving Ark nuts while you were gone. You should've seen the look on Dominic's face when..." Tyne paused for a seconded and started to look around the room with narrowed eyes. "Something's not right here."

Cory looked Tyne straight in the eyes. "Kyle was almost killed. A vampire saved his life; that vampire is Brant and he is here with us. Just before we came back Ark told me that vampires and Moroi are one and the same." Cory paused briefly. "Please at least listen to Brant's history before you pass judgment on him. For me."

Tyne suddenly got a very cold, dark look on his face, "I thought I smelt evil." Tyne quickly looked around the group and froze when he saw Brant. "Ark, Claudo Cella! Enabele locicdiowain," called Tyne as he began to back away from the group, making sure he was standing between Brant and where Rusty stood.

< The room has been secured. Compound lockdown enabled. Logic override enabled, awaiting orders. >

"I do not grant mercy to murderous monsters, whether they deserve it or not," added Tyne as he positioned himself to prepare for an attack. "I won't lose anyone else to these lying bastards. Don't believe them, don't trust them."

Kyle looked at Tyne then at Brant. "Open your mind to him Brant." Kyle ordered before turning to Tyne. "Seer; the contents of Brant's mind will give you the true facts with no deception. Only then can you truly determine if he is as his ancestors were."

"Kyle, do you have any idea how dangerous a Moroi is? Do you have any idea what they eat?!" shouted Tyne. "I've seen one Moroi take out fifty men by itself in under a minute; another I saw not only feed on a mother but on her three year old AND unborn child. They're over-powered monsters that only care about their own well being and what happens to just them. They care nothing for what happens to the rest of the world, so long as they aren't bothered and can continue to kill one innocent person after another to keep themselves alive. I've seen it time and time again, they're all the same. It's their fault that humanity has suffered so much. At one point I thought that we could bring them back from their own wickedness, I had hope that not all of them were monsters but I stopped caring about their well being when they took everything from me! Screw forgiveness, screw understanding, all they ever gave my people was more death and loss. I'd kill every last one of them if given the chance. And I don't see how reading his mind is going to make that any better. You can't tell me that you really believe that he wouldn't feed on you if he needed to, that he wouldn't kill you if he got desperate enough."

"Yes I can." Kyle replied. "In fact not only did he need to feed so bad that he was collapsing after he saved me, even when he did feed on my ex-father he refused to kill him. I had to kill that trash myself. In fact, since the day he was turned the only people that Brant has killed without someone doing the actual killing after him are the Moroi that killed his husband."

Tyne moved back a little further and kept his eyes locked on Brant, "I don't believe that, Moroi aren't capable of keeping their conscious. They lose that when they choose to join the Moroi ranks."

< That is not entirely true Tyne, according to our records a Jacyb Shifs and Cris Moroi were both very well know for their compassion and... >

"I didn't ask for your opinion, Archive," Tyne interjected. "Keep quiet."

< Command accepted. >

"How do you know he isn't lying to you?" Tyne said as he quickly glanced at Kyle and then looked back at Brant again. "How do you know he isn't using you?"

"Do you doubt my abilities Seer?" Kyle answered flatly.

"Do you doubt any decision that I may make to keep this compound safe Nitor," replied Tyne. "You never answered my question and if it's based on your own reading of his mind then I have my doubts because of what your mind looked like before you left. It's not safe for you to be reading anyone yet."

Kyle tilted his head. "If I had any suspicion of danger he would be dead, not standing here. My opinion is based on my own readings using just the present part of my mind backed up by independent follow-up readings which Brant allowed Jamie and Jacob to perform; in addition to observation of his actions not only while starving himself but also after a feeding. While I do not doubt your description of the Moroi in your previous cycle is accurate, the Moroi of this cycle are disposed of for such reckless behavior according to the Scriptures which are available for viewing. As a matter of fact, they have hunters whose only purpose is to take out any Moroi which gets out of control. With measures like that in place; the species as a whole is going to tend towards a more peaceful average as a whole due to the violent ones not surviving to pass on their attributes. Brant has exhibited that he does not follow the tendencies of the race as a whole even giving the less warlike state of the species; at the time he saved me from being killed by a vampire which was violating their own rules he was preparing to kill himself after avenging the death of the man that he shared such a strong love with that he bears a permanent mark on his wrist that signifies to all who recognize it that he is bonded. If you judge the present by the past we might as well destroy the Earth right now; since things from Humanities past make the future hopeless."

Tyne still looked angry but stood up straight, giving up his attack position. He studied Brant for a few more minutes letting his distress show on his face, "Fine, I'll leave it up to the Council whether he can stay or not when we address the assassins in the same meeting. I hate being wrong Kyle, and I don't like having Founder ideals throw back at my face. But I can't say that you're wrong. The Ark exists to keep record of the past so that we can learn from it not repeat its recorded mistakes. Until the Council can meet I'll...I'll try not to judge him. But let me ask you this, did he choose to become a Moroi or did he have no choice?"

Kyle nodded. "That is fair enough. While I know the answer, would you accept it from Brant's mouth instead? That mark on his wrist has real bearing on his answer. While I know the textbook definition of what that mark around his wrist means from absorbing the knowledge from Sean, I believe he can give more insight into it. If you want, I can tell you if what he has said is true or false after he is done."

"I didn't ask him, I asked you," replied Tyne as he looked Kyle in the eyes. "But if you'd rather he tell me then I can live with that." Tyne looked at over at Brant again, "Narro Moroi, y waiyll let iour expilayn iourryself."

Brant looked between Kyle and Tyne in confusion. "Ummmmmmm .... could somebody please translate that? I think I heard the word 'explain' in there but I've got no idea what else I was just asked."

Tyne sighed, "Right, I forget that no one speaks my language anymore. I said speak Moroi, I will let you explain yourself."

"Thank you Sir." Brant replied with respect. "My answer is going to be a long one, there is a lot of background that is needed to show you why I was turned. Kyle has pointed out the mark on my wrist; I think if I explain that first the rest will make more sense. Please hear me out; I'm not sure what those that were my ancestors in your time were like, but from the comments you've made it sounds like every single one of them would be killed off today. That mark is from what is called a 'bond bracelet'. I have no idea how it works, but I've been told that it almost always fails. I think Sean knows more about it than I do, but pretty much if both people involved when a vampire turns a person are absolutely in never-ending love with each other the bracelet melts into both of their skins. From what Greg told me, even if there is the slightest hint of unfaithfulness or coercion it won't melt." Brant paused to gain strength then continued. "Now for my history, which will answer your question. My mother was a bitch and my father was a bastard. I ran away nine months ago to get away from the constant beatings and being told I was a worthless piece of crap. I was on the street for about a month when this guy picked me up and took me to his place. We had just pulled into his garage when this guy I later found out was Greg attacked him and fed on him. After he was done feeding, Greg told me what the guy was planning on doing to me; he was going to rape me until I bled to death just like he had done to three other kids that month. Greg brought me back to his place and let me hang around with him. I guess I had been there for about a month when I realized that I was beginning to actually love Greg. Every time it even looked like I was thinking about asking him to let me spend the rest of his life with him he quite simply shot me down and refused to even consider it. About a month before he turned me, our love became physical; after a couple of weeks of that he sat down with me one night and let me express what he meant to me and how I really needed to be with him. Greg explained that he would only hunt those people who were a menace to society; humans who made it a goal to ruin other peoples lives or to endanger or abuse kids. Once we were both sure that I really understood what I was asking for Greg agreed to turn me. Even then he warned me that I would be considered an outcast in most vampire circles; anyone younger than at least their mid-twenties is considered not to have spent enough time living their lives as a normal human to be prepared for judging others and selecting victims who deserve their fate. After I was turned we found out that I have no ability to kill when I fed; Greg went with me finally when I fed and broke the neck of my victim once I was done. Between my first and second feedings some raiders hit our place; Greg woke up and was stabbed in the heart trying to protect our stuff. I was able to keep him alive long enough to say goodbye and send him off on a sun quest; that means he sat outside and let the sun kill him. I promised him that I would not try to join him unless I had taken care of the trash that ruined our lives. I hunted down the raiders that killed him and left every single one of them so broken down that they were not able to move inside when morning came. The promise I made was fulfilled the night before last. When I saw Kyle being attacked I didn't even think about it; I stepped in to protect a kid from someone who was violating written vampire law by attacking a group of people and unwritten vampire law by attacking a child." Brant took a quick breath. "I did it for love; the only reason I did not go into the sun is that Cory asked me to give him until my next feeding in about a month for him to prove to me that I can do more in memory of Greg staying semi-alive like I am now than I would do by joining my love in the sun."

Tyne looked down at the ground for a moment, deep in thought. After a few minutes he looked back up at Brant to find that he had silently started to cry. Tyne sighed, "I still don't agree with you asking to be turned. That's like asking to be damned. But love doesn't ask for what's right in the world or what it will cost you. Neither does losing the one you loved. I suppose I have no room to criticize you for what you've done though. I'm a Founder, as such I'm forbidden to kill, it says so in Founder Law. But I killed the Moroi that killed my Cyna; I damned myself in the eyes of my people because of how I felt for him. Love doesn't care what the rules are. I have no right to judge you for that reason or I'd have to judge myself. The Council forgave me for what I did. As such your Council hearing is postponed indefinitely or until reason is given for it to go forward. You have as much right to be here as I do." Tyne looked back down at the ground again, "Welcome to the Founder Archive, Brant."

"Thank you Sir." Brant replied softly. "Would it be okay to ask you sometime if I'm not sure about some things I was told were different now that I'm what I am?"

"Ark, consto de locicdiowain," Tyne said softly.

< Lockdown disengaged. Overwrite disengaged. Returning to normal operations. >

"Brant, you don't have to call me Sir," said Tyne. "And you're allowed to ask me anything you'd like. If I'm in a good mood then I'll be more then willing to answer you. If I'm in a bad mood I'll tell you to just ask Ark."

"Thanks ... Tyne. I think most of my questions can wait until later. The only thing I'm wondering right now is where is that trash that raped Jordy and was about to sell him to a kid porn ring? He was transported out before us."

< I have him in my teleport buffer. >

You could tell by the look on Tyne's face that he didn't want to hear that, "Stepan, I see you haven't got Ark back on its self cleaning cycle yet. Allow me to help you with that. Ark, begin routine teleport buffer flush, type nine."

"Type nine?" Cory asked in confusion.

"There are different types of buffer cleaning," replied Tyne. "Type nine is purge, the only one that you can never recover the information from once it's been done."

Cory nodded. "I think Cyna and I need to sit down so I can learn this stuff. Ark; the Seer has ordered a Type Nine transport buffer flush; what is the status please?"

< I am pending a buffer purge. I am just waiting for the final word. >

Cory looked over at Jordy. At Jordy's nod of assent, Cory spoke. "Ark, type nine transport buffer purge confirmed. Begin purge."

< Very well, the buffer has been purged. >

Tyne looked over at Jordy and then back to Cory, "Has he been checked out for internal injuries?"

"Not yet; we got him on our way out of the hotel." Cory replied. "He needs checked out and my new youngest son Paul needs some restorative surgery done on him since he went through the same things Kyle did from the same man."

Tyne nodded, "Nyo could you make sure they get to the Medical Bay and that they get sorted out there?"

"Sure Tyne," replied Nyo.

"I...I need to think," said Tyne. "I'll be in the Council Chambers if anyone needs me."

"If you need to talk just call for me." Cory replied. "We'll try to let you get your thoughts together in peace though."

"Thanks. Kyle, one more thing," Tyne said as he started for the door. "Cyna will have to teach you anything else you need help with as far as Founder training goes. The only rule I set for you was to never disobey something I tell you in regards to temporary restrictions because it has to do with your own safety. I told you before you left not to read anyone until I was sure your mind was more settled and stable. You could have gotten yourself killed from reading Brant, especially because he's a Moroi. Their minds are much more advanced then a human mind can ever hope to be. You broke that one rule, so if you won't worry about your own safety and refuse to listen to warnings then I refuse to teach you anything else."

Kyle nodded. "That is your decision; I'll have to live with it. I would rather be limited in my skills than to be standing here with one or more of my family missing. I violated your orders in an emergency to ensure my family would be safe; if no allowance can be made for that then I will learn what I can from Cyna if he will teach me."

"I can't make allowances if it risks your own safety," replied Tyne. "But I know Cyna will teach you. You're of his bloodline, he's proud of you, and I know he'll want to if I won't."

"I understand." Kyle replied. "In this case I would have rather been dead than watch one of my brothers being killed. I probably would have sensed the attack, but I was following your rules to the letter. I bet I probably would have hurt or killed myself if Mikey hadn't had to straighten out my head after I had a meltdown earlier that day."

As Tyne left the room Cyna suddenly appeared next to Kyle in holographic form, "Damn kid, you've got balls! The last guy that stood up to him like you just did ended up losing his position and being reassigned to waste management." Cyna laid a hand on Kyle's shoulder, "You did good. And even if Tyne's mad about you disobeying him, you did the right thing. Let him think, he'll come around. I know he'd rather teach you because I can't use my Founder skills anymore."

Kyle gave Cyna a small smile. "Thanks for the support Cyna. I'll get with you if I have any control issues. Tyne seems to think that my life is more valuable than my family; if that is what it means to have Founder skills I just won't use them ... ever."

Cyna sighed, "It's not that he values you more then the others it just comes from his fallen beliefs about killing people. Founder aren't supposed to kill, ever. Tyne isn't looking at it from your point of view, because I know he would probably throw his own life away to save someone else, he's looking at it from his own point of view. He sees that you were putting yourself in danger he sees that as you weren't worried about your life. That's the life of someone that he cares about. Just give him time to realize he was looking at it wrong, I'm sure he didn't mean to upset you."

Kyle looked up at Cyna with tears in his eyes. "I can't. If it wasn't for Cory I would have killed myself when I first got to the home. Tyne abandoned me; if that is what this junk does I'm not gonna use it. I don't wanna lose any more of my family now that I really have one."

Cyna knelt down and tried to wipe a tear off of Kyle's cheek, "Kyle, Tyne's not abandoning you. If he was doing that, well first of all I'd find a way to smack him, but he wouldn't have said anything to you at all. What he is trying to show you is that there are consequences to not following rules. It's something that we all need to learn and this is his way of trying to show you that. He's not abandoning you at all. Besides, if it wasn't for how you handled yourself a few minutes ago he probably would've killed Brant because of how he feels. But Tyne isn't abandoning you, he's just confused. What he wants, feels, thinks, and knows are all conflicting with him at the same time and it's clouding his mind. Heck, I can even see in his face that he's not using his skills to look ahead like he use to do, because I know he would have wanted to avoid hurting you. That means though that he can't clear his mind and he's in some state of disarray."

Kyle started to reply, but was stopped by Brant as he joined them. "Kyle;" Brant said softly. "What you have is something like a vampire extra. I know when it comes to extras, if you don't use it the extra can come back and hurt you. I saw Tyne's face and it hurt; him hearing about my life brought up a bunch of bad memories for him. Give him a chance to sort it out before you go giving everything up. I can see why he reacted the way he did; he cares a lot about you and wants to protect you. Once he gets a chance to clear his head from the hurt he's feeling from his memories, he'll probably get with you and discuss it with you."

Kyle nodded. "Okay I guess. I still don't wanna choose between my family and my skills. If he don't understand that then I ain't gonna use it no more."

"Who said anything about you having to choose?" Cyna whispered. "Kyle, Tyne knows that family will come first. He killed fourteen people for me, he broke our laws and faced being thrown out of our community for me. I can't see him making you choose between your family and your skills. Especially when your skills can help you save your family, or in his case get revenge for what was done to family. And plus, you're my family, literally; I will make sure you learn what you need to know. Part of that I don't have to teach you though, you already have putting others before yourself handled pretty well."

Kyle hung his head. "I guess so. Cory an' JJ are the only guys who ever stopped to really care about me before. I've screwed it up with Tyne; he'll never trust me again."

"If he didn't trust you, Kyle, then why would he care about what you just had to say?" said Cyna. "Tyne listening to people when he's in a bad mood doesn't happen unless he trusts your opinion. I mean, yeah you were the only one that stood up to him but he didn't tell you to shut up like he pretty much did to Ark. But Kyle I want you to look around this room and tell me if you see anyone in here that doesn't care about you. Even if they've never had the chance to tell you in words don't they tell you by wanting to be with you all the time; don't they tell you every time they hug you or choose to include you in whatever they're doing? More then just two people care about you Kyle even if they don't have as much time as Cory and JJ did to show you."

At the mention of Cory, Kyle looked around. "I guess you're right Cyna. Where'd Cory go?"

Cyna looked over to where Cory had been standing, "I think he went after Tyne but I'm not sure. I'd check for sure but I'm not quite as omnipresent as Ark is yet."

"You really need to work on that then!" Brant giggled.


Cory carefully entered the Council Chambers but then stopped suddenly to find the room filled from the ceiling to the floor with what looked like storm clouds. Every few seconds the clouds would flash as lightning struck from one cloud to another or with the floor. Cory couldn't see even a foot in front of himself.

"Tyne? Are you okay bro?" Cory asked softly; his concern evident in his tone.

"Who are you looking for?" said a small boy who was standing just inside the door. He looked to be about eight years old and actually looked like a younger Tyne. The boy smiled at Cory, "Is there something I can help you with?"

Cory smiled back. "I'm Cory. I am looking for Tyne; I want to make sure he's okay."

"Hi Cory, well my name is Tyne but I don't think you're looking for me," giggled the boy. "You probably want one of the other three. Do you want me to take you to them?"

"Sure; I'd appreciate that." Cory replied. 'This can't be good.' he thought to himself.

The little boy grinned, grabbed Cory's hand, and then pulled him deeper into the clouds. "Don't worry about the lightning," said the boy. "It can't hurt you. Just don't make Mean Tyne angry though, I don't know if me and Better Tyne can stop him if you do." A few seconds later the sound of two people shouting at each other could be heard and as little Tyne pulled Cory deeper suddenly two older looking Tyne's came into view. One was dressed all in white while the other was not only dressed in black but appeared to be covered in blood.

"Murder is not right under any situation!" shouted the one in White.

"That's Better Tyne," little Tyne whispered to Cory. "The other one is Mean Tyne."

"Love was involved, love is always involved!" Mean Tyne shouted back. "It's worth preserving at any cost, even if that cost is someone else's life!"

"Excuse me!" little Tyne interjected causing both Better and Mean Tyne to stop arguing and look at him with an angry look. The boy just grinned, "Thanks, this is Cory and he's looking for one of us. He's not looking for me so it's got to be one of you or the other one."

Better Tyne looked at Cory, "Is there something that you need Cory?"

"I just need to make sure the Tyne I know is okay." Cory responded carefully, mindful of the warning he was given. "I know he had some bad memories brought up and I need to know if he needs any help."

"Your concern is noted but a Founder does not need help sorting out his own memories and problems," said Better Tyne.

Mean Tyne sneered, "How do you know we don't need his help you, emotionless ass. I guess expecting you to show anything for his 'concern' is asking too much. What if we do need his help, what if not asking for help gets us killed?"

"Better us then someone else," replied Better Tyne. "If it is for the greater good then that works just fine for me."

"You fool! Stop with your whole better then you attitude and look around! If we die then that causes pain to others!" shouted Mean Tyne. "We have others that care about us too you know!"

"Hmm, they aren't the ones you're looking for are they?" little Tyne asked Cory.

"I don't think so." Cory replied. "These guys seem like a part of him; but not the main Tyne I know."

"Come on," said little Tyne as he led Cory even deeper into the clouds. "I'm not sure if I'll be able to find him or not, he's kinda lost." Little Tyne stopped for a second and looked around, "I think he should be right around here but I don't hear him. Let's go a little further." Little Tyne lead on and as he did the clouds started to get darker and darker; suddenly thunder sounded through the room and little Tyne screamed and clung to Cory. "Keep me safe!" cried the boy.

"It's just the thunder, there's nothing to be afraid of," said a voice a few feet in front of them.

"Conscious Tyne, is that you?" the boy asked in a quivering voice.

The clouds thinned a little to reveal another Tyne sitting in one of the council chairs silently crying to himself, "Yeah I'm here..."

"This is Cory, he says he wanted to come check on you," little Tyne said quietly.

Tyne wiped his eyes and looked up at Cory, "Hi Cory."

"Hey there Bro." Cory said as he pulled a nearby chair next to the one the older of the two Tynes was sitting in. Cory sat down and pulled little Tyne onto his lap before continuing. "Are you okay? It looked like you heard some things that reminded you of your past; I've had a lot of trouble with that myself in the last few months so it made me really worried about you."

"I...I'm not sure if I'm okay or not. Cory, do you ever worry that you've made the wrong decisions sometimes?" asked Tyne as he looked back down at the floor. The clouds started to thicken up again and it began raining on the floor.

Cory placed a hand on Tyne's shoulder. "Every day I do, bro. If you don't look back on your decisions you'll never see if you make a mistake. I let Kyle kill his ex-father; right now I still don't know if I did the right thing by not taking care of it myself. I don't know if he was stable enough to take it; but I knew he needed the closure of making sure what was done to him would never happen again. Was I right?"

"Death is a necessary end for some but who are we to make that decision," replied Tyne. "Every one of us have things we fear or things we would act upon. I'm not saying that you were right or wrong but I was going to kill Brant because of what he is, and somewhere deep inside I still do want to kill him because he choose to become what he is. But who am I to say whether he should live or die? Just because the Moroi I knew were hateful, horrible monsters doesn't mean that he is. And then there's my own conscious, what have I done. How was what I was going to do any different from what was done to me? To kill out of hate or fear but to ignore the most important thing of all, love. I'm in no fit state to be judging anyone if I can't remember my own reasons for breaking the rules in the first place."

Cory thought for a second. "You didn't do it though; you listened long enough to assess the situation. I think you are still trying to sort out which rules you grew up with apply today. I'm gonna guess those two other Tynes I met were the part of you that decides right and wrong. From what I saw they were pretty evenly balanced; that's a really good thing from what I was taught by Dan. Maybe you should try just letting them argue in the background and listen to this little guy on my lap for right now. Mom keeps telling me that I need to just be a kid unless I really need to think like an adult; from what I know you've had it pretty rough so maybe it'd help you too."

"The little guy on your lap has no sense of control though," said Tyne. "All three of them make up parts of my soul. Sitting on your lap is my playfulness and ability to be fun and spontaneous. Just don't handle him too much, Rusty might get jealous. But without my sense of what you called 'right' then I can't make any kind of important decision. The kid on your lap can't make important decisions, he doesn't understand them. The 'wrong' as you called him is more like my emotions and what they cost me, he also has all my guilt because it's my emotions that have caused the guilt. I can't ignore any of them, I need all of them. But I feel like I'm missing part of myself and I don't know why; I've never had this problem before."

Cory gave little Tyne a squeeze as he replied. "I don't know if you felt that, but I'm sure this little guy did. You didn't say anything about Love wandering around here; if you are letting 'wrong' hold him hostage then you're gonna feel empty. This little guy here needs to have Love with him to stay healthy; between him and Love you can handle everyday situations, saving the tough stuff for the other two."

"The other one doesn't have Love, he just understands it," said Tyne as he reached into his pocket and pulled out what looked to be a chocolate heart. "I keep love for myself, Rusty deserves to have it, not the guilty over emotional part of me. But I'm not sure what to do with it anymore. I don't see how this will help me but if you say so." Tyne handed the heart to the kid on Cory's lap.

"What do I do with it?" asked little Tyne.

Cory smiled. "You need to keep it close to you, sharing it with those you think deserve it. Share the feelings you get with the love with this Tyne and it will make both of you feel better."

"I'm good at sharing, I think I can do that" grinned little Tyne. "So, how can we get back into his head?"

Tyne rustled the kid's hair, "I'll take care of that little guy. Just don't lose what I gave you."

"Yes sir," little Tyne said cheerfully.

Suddenly all the clouds and the little boy disappeared leaving only Tyne and Cory in the room. Tyne looked over at Cory and gave him a weak smile, "Thanks."

"You're welcome Bro; any time you need to talk I'm here for you." Cory replied.

"I hope I could do the same for you if I ever needed to," said Tyne. "Hey did you ever get Jordy to the medical bay?"

"Yeah; Sean took him." Cory replied. "He took Paul too; I hope the Medbots can help him get rid of some of the scars that have to be inside there. I was going to suggest Kyle going; but right now I don't think he can handle it emotionally."

Tyne looked at Cory with concern, "Why what's wrong with him?"

Cory replied carefully. "Part of it is the memories that resurfaced after seeing Paul going through the same abuse he suffered."

"What exactly did they go though?" asked Tyne. "I really didn't ask before you left but I assumed it was serious if you were all going to another part of the world just to take care of one man."

"Forced bestiality." Cory whispered as he tried to keep control of his own feelings on the subject.

Tyne looked confused, "I'm not familiar with what that implies. That term didn't exist in my time. Ark do I have a word for that?"

< The Founders do not have a word for bestiality because it did not exist as a practice in either cycle 0 or the earlier part of cycle 1. I could give you a definition but I do not think Cory would really like that from the tone of his voice. I can, however, load the information in the IIM for you to look at. >

"Can you at least tell me what it involves?" Tyne asked softly.

< Animals. >

Tyne still looked confused but only for a second as it dawned on him what it meant, "Oh my God. Why would a human do something like that? Why would someone force a child to do that!?"

"I don't know." Cory replied softly. "I don't even think Jamie and Jacob can tell us; the way they suddenly stepped away from that trash I don't think they read all of him. About the only person who might have an idea what that bastard was thinking would be Brant. He's not telling what he saw, but he did say that the trash deserved to die even though he could not do it himself no matter how hard he tried or how hungry he was."

"Then Brant has something that I don't have anymore, but please tell me that you finished off that bastard or made sure he was dead at least. This world doesn't need any more scum like that in it," said Tyne. "If that's why Kyle's not doing well then that's understandable."

"Kyle finished him off himself." Cory replied, his voice starting to return.

"You let Kyle kill him? That's a heavy burden to have to carry on his conscious," Tyne said in a worried voice. "He's only eight; he shouldn't have to do something that...horrible. Is he okay, did someone make sure it's not pulling him down mentally?"

"I'm positive it's not affecting him that way." Cory replied. "I shouldn't say this since what is said in a psychiatric group is supposed to stay there. I think you need to know it though to understand Kyle and why it needed to be him finishing off the jerk. While Kyle and I were still in the group home, the guy who became his current Dad was our psychiatrist. We had what was called 'group sessions' with Kyle and me since we got along so well. Kyle's ex-father not only abuse him the way I told you; he also rejected Kyle as a son and a human being. Kyle needed to close that out so that he can finally start to recover from being terrified of rejection."

"I...I suppose that makes sense," Tyne said carefully. "But if it's not affecting him then why would he be emotionally unable to handle being checked over?"

"You are the only person he will let do it." Cory said, his voice beginning to soften again. "He refuses to let anyone else try. With the exception of the one time he put our lives ahead of his own because he really considered the rest of us in danger, he has and still is following your orders to the letter. If I heard what I think I heard when I was coming to make sure you were okay I think he might have took your decision the wrong way. After what I just saw I understand it a lot better than I did when you said it; but with the other things that are bugging him right now I'm not sure he's thinking clearly enough to figure it out."

"But I'm not you Cory," Tyne said in thought. "I can understand him trusting me with his abilities but why would he trust me with his own stability and thoughts? I'm happy that he's still following what I told him but I don't know if I'm stable enough to check his stability. I didn't mean for him to take what I told him the wrong way though, I was just showing him that I meant what I said to him about consequences. He's more dangerous then he realizes if he's not careful but I'd be an idiot to not continue to teach him, he has more potential then he knows and I don't want him to hurt himself. I didn't mean for him to take what I told him the wrong way."

Cory nodded. "I think I know his thoughts on only trusting you in his head. Out of all of the people that are here right now, there are two of us he would die to protect without even considering it. That is me and JJ; he has told us both hundreds of times that the only reason he didn't kill himself after getting put in the group home is because we accepted him unconditionally. When it comes to the inside of his head, you basically did the same thing; you accepted him for what he was and not some kind of freak like he thought he was turning into. Kyle tries really hard to look out for everyone, but he has absolute loyalty to the people who make it a point to look out for him."

Tyne thought to himself for a moment before replying, "You said he took what I said the wrong way, how exactly did he take it? He doesn't need any more emotional stress then he already has, I mean if he loses the control that I helped him set up or if he tries to pull into himself then he might get lost in his own mind. Kind of the way that I was a few minutes ago but without the ability to stop it himself. My being lost was self induced to help me try and make sense of my own thoughts, his wouldn't be. I haven't taught him to control self induced projections yet."

Cory paused. "I can't say for sure, but if I remember that tone right he thinks you turned your back on him. Cyna's talking to him now so I'm pretty sure that thought won't get a chance to stick in his head."

"Cyna's probably congratulating the kid on standing up to me," grinned Tyne. "He knows what to look for though and would get me if there was a problem that he couldn't handle. I should probably go talk to Kyle though."

"Do you think you're back in control enough now to handle however he responds to seeing you?" Cory asked seriously. "I have no idea what he could feel; it could be anything from collapsing in your arms crying to blasting you with anger. I've been hit with both from him after something from his past set him off back at the group home; you need to be ready for anything from him right now."

"I can take either of those just fine, I think" replied Tyne. "I'm more worried about if he'll be alright or not. I can keep myself together if I need to and then deal with it later like I did by coming here."

Cory nodded. "Listen to little Tyne; you might have forgot some of the things he still understands about being Kyle's age. If you do need to come back here I'd like to be here to try to help again if you'll let me. I'll be right by your side if you need me; I can handle supporting you and Kyle at the same time with no problem."

"But you don't have to, Cory," said Tyne. "That's taking on a lot for just you. Besides, that's what I have Rusty for. I'll let you fill in for him if I ever need you to but between Rusty and Cyna I'm pretty well taken care of I think."

Cory smiled. "That's part of spreading the love; I'll back them up if I think they could use some help. You are family now Tyne; that means you really do have all of us to help you if you need it."

Tyne got up from his chair and offered Cory his hand, "Thanks Cory. Now let's get back to the others, I really don't want to put off talking to Kyle any longer then I have to."

"Lets go." Cory replied.


Cory and Tyne found Kyle and the others that had just returned in the medical bay. They were scattered all over the place as the Medbots rushed around to take care of Paul and Jordy.

A Medbot rushed up to Tyne as they entered, "Sir, we are glad that you are here. We have a problem, while the boy named Paul just needs a little tissue reforming and repairing, the boy named Jordan is in far worse condition. We are surprised that he was still walking and conscious to be honest."

"What do you mean?" asked Tyne.

"Well the internal damage done to the boy is very serious," said the Medbot. "Several organs will need replacing, for which we are creating the organs now, but with the amount of damage done and with the amount of blood he's losing we do not know if he will make it unless his body is able to heal itself faster. At this point, even after we replace the failing organs, we are only giving him a 2% chance at making it. We have a suggestion that will increase his chance to 98% but we need approval from either yourself or Nyo in order to proceed."

Cory quickly glanced at Tyne then across the room at Jordy. "Whatever will save him bro."

Tyne sighed, "I'm assuming you mean making him Vifer, am I right Medbot."

"Yes sir," replied the Medbot.

"You have my permission," said Tyne. "If he's angry about it afterward then he can bitch at me about it."

"Very good sir, we will start now then," said the Medbot as he rushed off to three other Medbots that were waiting for him near Jordy's bed.

"I hope he'll forgive us for that," said Tyne as he watched the Medbots put Jordy under and begin working.

Brant walked over and joined them just as Tyne made his comment. "Is Jordy going to be okay? He used to help me a lot; I owe him and gotta take care of him now since his family's gone."

"You want the short or the long version?" asked Tyne.

Brant's shoulders slumped. "The long version I guess."

"Right, some how I thought you'd ask for that one," replied Tyne. "Jordy has a lot of internal damage. Damage that requires a few organs being replaced. But the Medbots were not sure that his body would be able to heal fast enough after the surgery to replace them; so they wanted to make him a Vifer. Your next question will probably be what the heck is a Vifer so I'll cover that too. A Vifer is a subspecies, like what you are, and like yours has a few good things that go with it. The first of these is what he needs right now, his body will heal ten times faster then it normally would. One of the other major changes is he'll have a really long life. But by making him a Vifer he'll be able to heal fast enough that he'll be just fine."

"How long of a life?" Brant asked.

"He'll age about one year every five thousand years," said Tyne.

"Great." Brant groaned. "Talk about a gift with a curse. Nobody knows how great life is until they can't participate because they are now so different that they'd be killed if the rest of the world found out about them. He's gonna be stuck hiding like me now."

Tyne frowned, "Are you speaking for him then? Should we just let him die instead? Yeah I'll admit that it comes at a cost but seeing that he only has a two percent chance at making it without this I can't see any other option. If we have other options then please, point them out to our Medbots. You know, those robots that have a larger medical database then the world or universe has probably ever seen as their information pool. Besides, there are good things to living a long time."

Brant shook his head. "No, sorry, I was speaking for me really. If that's what it takes to save him I'm all for it; I've just seen too much already of what a super long life can do to someone. That's the number one reason for Vampires to go on a Sun Quest; their thirst for knowledge dries up because they would go insane if they tried to learn anything more."

"I'm not sure if Vifer ever have the problem or not," said Tyne. "You'd have to ask Nyo or Ark. Nyo is over fifty thousand years old though so he might have a better perspective then Ark on living that long."

Brant nodded. "Thanks; I'll do that. Maybe one of them can give me some suggestions. I'm not gonna go on a Quest as long as Jordy's alive; he's all that is left of my best friend's family and I'm not gonna abandon him."

"Actually, if you'd like maybe after the Medbots are finished you can help take care of him," suggested Tyne. "I'm sure they wouldn't mind you helping them as you know him better then they possibly could."

"Sweet; thanks." Brant said with a small smile. Brant then pointed off to the side where Kyle was slumped in a corner. "Do you guys think you can cheer up Kyle? He's pretty down right now and I'm afraid to check his head to see what's really wrong. He says it's nothing to do with your conversation earlier, but I'm not really sure since he won't tell anyone what the problem really is."

"Actually Kyle's exactly who I need to talk to, so we'll see what we can do," Tyne replied. "Will you excuse us?"

"Sure, good luck." Brant replied as he turned to check on Jordy.

Tyne and Cory headed over to where Kyle was sitting. When they got there Tyne did his best to sit down next to Kyle without disturbing him.

"Hey Kyle, what's up?" said Tyne.

"Nuthin'." Kyle replied without raising his head.

Cory sat on Kyle's other side. "C'mon lil' bro; don't let yourself get ate up. You need to talk to someone."

Kyle quickly glanced at them both then put his head back down. "Nuh uhh. I'm not gonna hurt the rest of you with my problems. Ty had to leave 'cuz it was hurtin' him; I ain't gonna hurt anyone else."

"But if you don't deal with the problem how is it ever going to get any better?" said Tyne. "And worse, you said Tyler had to leave because it was hurting him? If you don't try and fix the problem how is he ever supposed to be around you anymore? Let me at least ask this, does the problem have to do with me or something I said?"

"Kinda." Kyle replied. "Maybe my old father was right; I'm a no-good brat who can't get anything right."

Tyne sighed, "Kyle I know that you know that's not true. Now you'll have to forgive me if I say this and it sounds blunt but that's generally how I go about addressing issues that are feeling related. Feelings are one of those things I haven't figured out because there are feelings that I spent most of my life living without. Guilt is one of them, as is pain. Until I lost someone close to me I'd never felt pain, and until I killed for the first time I'd never really truly felt guilt. Depression kinda went with those too. But let me put this to you straight, you're a good person. You're always looking out for the others, always making sure that their needs are met. You're always kind to everyone, even those you don't know. And you care deeply about what happens to each of your friends and brothers, you love them. But what else does this give you? It gives you the ability to be left wide open for the harsh comments that sometimes come with life. Everyone in this world sees everything differently; everyone in this world gets hurt by what's said in a different way. Just because I reprimanded you for something you did out of love for others doesn't mean that you were wrong to do it or that you can't do anything right. All it means is that you broke a rule that was set for you and there are consequences to that. Just because I'm reprimanding you doesn't mean that I don't care about you either, it's because I care that I do reprimand you. Even though you did what you did to help and save others, what I was worried about was your own well being and your lack of looking out for your own life. I'm not saying what you did was wrong, because it wasn't but I want you to see that I care about what happens to you and that I set certain rules for you for a reason. If what you did would have killed you do you have any idea how that would have made me feel? I would probably have held myself responsible because I'm teaching you to use more of your powers. If you had died how do you think your brothers, your friends, and your boyfriend would have felt to lose you? I know they probably would have seen it as an honorable thing that you gave your life to save someone else's but the cost to them would have still been great. They care about and love you, all of them do. You fill a place in their hearts that no one else can ever fill and to lose you would leave such a hole. Kyle, don't take what I said to you as a failure because it's not, just take it as a warning that you need to be more careful in how you throw around your own life; others care what you do with it even if you're not being careful with it."

Cory immediately picked up the dialogue. "Lil' bro, I just saw an example of what your mind is really capable of if it is even half as powerful as Tyne's is. It scared me bro; after seeing what can happen I really understand why Tyne told you not to use your skill yet. Your heart is in the right place, but your mind is going to need some training before it is safe for you to protect us without hurting yourself or one of us. I love you too much to lose you; even if you are protecting me. As far as what your old father used to say, I still stand by what I've always told you; you are not a no-good brat, and you definitely do things right almost all of the time. Everyone makes a mistake every once in a while, even me or Tyne, but you just need to learn from the mistake and get back to life."

"Yeah I'll show you how to use what I scared Cory with later," said Tyne. "But Kyle remember that above all else we love you, and we'd never want any harm to come to you. You have more worth to us then you'll ever be able to imagine and you can't tell us you don't, we get to make that decision. Your job is to just be loved and learn, but be loved is the only expectation I'll ever have of you and that's one that you'll always fulfill in my life whether you want to be loved by me or not."

Kyle looked up at Tyne. "I thought you hated me 'cuz I screwed up."

"I was upset that you didn't think about your own life but that's it," replied Tyne. "I don't think I could ever hate you Kyle, you mean too much to me for me to hate you."

Kyle stared at Tyne for a minute before wordlessly climbing onto Tyne's lap and burying his face in Tyne's shoulder as he broke into tears.

Cory saw the look on Tyne's face and whispered "Just hold him bro; your arms will heal him more than your mind could ever do."

Tyne wrapped his arms around Kyle. "I love you Kyle, it'll be okay," Tyne whispered softly as he kissed the top of Kyle's head.