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Sky and the Thomas family walked into the Pizza Hut. Sky was surprised to find Dr. Campbell, Luisa and Sarah sitting there waiting for them.
"What's going on? Why are you guys here?" he asked in shock.
"We were invited, and I for one would not miss an opportunity for pizza." Dr. Campbell replied with a smile.
"Oh, OK." Sky said with a timid smile. "I was surprised to see you is all."
"Well, what say we go pay for the All-You-Can-Eat, and start enjoying the food?" Harry said.
Soon, everyone had their food. Cody and Sky had the most food piled up on their plates. Even Kane had more pizza on his plate than the adults. The conversation over dinner was light, with three or four conversations held at the same time. Luisa and Sarah commented on Sky's clothing, to which Sky told them that Linda had bought them for him.
"You look very nice in them, Sky. You'll break a lot of hearts, I'm sure." Luisa said with a smile on her face.
Sky blushed and smiled a shy smile as he said, "I'm in love already."
Luisa and Sarah both looked at Sky in shock. "Really? Who's the lucky girl?" Sarah asked in surprise. Sky's blush deepened as he looked down at his plate.
"Cody." He said simply. After a minute had passed, he looked up to find Luisa and Sarah looking at him, both with tears in their eyes. For a second, he was fearful of a negative reaction, however, his fears were dispelled when the women got up and came around to his side of the table and wrapped him in a tight hug.
"You're a very lucky boy, Sky. As I'm sure you'll come to see." Luisa said with a wink. Sky was confused, but didn't think anything more of it.
So it was that dinner was soon finished, and desserts were gathered from the buffet, and laid out on the table. The boys, of course, all had the largest desserts. Before anyone could begin eating, however, Linda stood and asked for everyone's attention.
"I'd like to first of all thank Dr. Campbell, Sarah and Luisa for joining us tonight, as well as Skylan, for whom this dinner was arranged. Now, before we all eat, I have a few announcements to make." When the group had settled down completely, Linda continued. "As we all know, Skylan has spent the last three weeks in the hospital, recovering from injuries caused to him by who it turns out were his parents." Linda was interrupted by a scream emanating from Skylan. She quickly walked up to the boy, and wrapped her arms around him, then led him back to the head of the table, whispering in his ear, "Don't worry, Baby Boy. It gets better I promise you."
She gave Sky another five minutes to calm down before pulling him close to finish her announcement. "It's OK, Baby Boy. Get ready to be happy." She looked around at her group, who, along with many other patrons of the restaurant, were looking at Sky with concern and compassion. "Well, time to make a happy boy. It is my extreme pleasure to announce that as of 9:45AM today, Skylan Lampis is a Ward of the Federation, placed in the care of Harry and I. In other words, Skylan, you now live with Harry and me. How does that sound to you?" Linda looked at Sky, who still had tears in his eyes.
It took a moment for the announcement to sink in, but when it did, Sky looked to Linda with wide eyes. "Are you serious? I'm gonna live with you?!"
"Well, technically, you're now independent, you're just under our roof. You can, however call Harry and I 'Mum' and 'Dad', if you want, and you can also change your name to 'Thomas'. I know I speak for our whole family when I say that I'm happy to have you in the family."
Sky hugged Linda as tightly as he could, then made the rounds of the table, hugging the rest of his new family. He saved Cody for last, and gave him the biggest hug and then kissed him softly on the lips. When the kiss was broken, both boys found the majority of the patrons in the restaurant looking at them.
One elderly gentleman near the group's table stood and raised his glass to the group. "Congratulations, young man. I think I speak on behalf of everyone here when I wish you both happiness and luck in the future.' At this, everyone in the restaurant raised their glasses. Cody and Sky both blushed even harder as they sat back down at the table. The group of adults all congratulated Sky on his fortune.
Soon, the restaurant was filled with chatter once more, and Linda decided to continue with her announcement. "Boys, I still haven't finished the announcements." When she saw all three of the boys' heads looking at her, she continued, "OK. Now Sky, when you are checked out of the hospital tomorrow, we're all going shopping. We need to get you some new clothes, furniture and other things for your new room. Cody, you're to help Sky shop tomorrow, as this will all be in your room, too." Linda then gave the two boys time to let the news sink in. When it did, she wasn't disappointed.
"Oh my God!!! We're gonna be in the SAME ROOM???!!!" Sky asked, a bit too loudly, as the rest of the patrons started chuckling at his excitement.
"Yes, boys, but that's not all. Kane, you'll also be shopping tomorrow. You're going to pick out new furniture and anything else you want, OK, Baby Boy?" Kane, Sky and Cody all looked to Linda in confusion. Seeing this, Linda smiled. "Oops. I forgot the last part of the surprise. Cody and Kane, you know about part of this. Sky, our house was recently going through some renovations, to make room for us to rent out, before Harry and I were promoted in Starfleet. Since we achieved the promotions, we didn't see the need to finish the renovations."
Linda saw the confused look on Sky's face and the growing hope on her other boys' faces. "The renovations were the building of a 3-bedroom apartment, fully self-contained. As part of your living with us, and since you and Cody are a couple now, we decided to let you boys have the apartment for yourselves. You will have free reign there and will have all the snacks and drinks you want in the kitchenette. The only condition is that you keep the apartment clean. Kane, since the apartment has 3 bedrooms, we decided that you could also move up there, if you want. How does that sound boys?" At this, all three boys jumped out of their chairs, and wrapped Linda in a tight hug, then did the same for Harry.
The rest of their group smiled at the boys and watched the new family in front of them begin a life filled with love and caring. After the boys had settled down again, Linda decided to finish off the announcements.
"OK, the next announcement may be a bit hard for Sky to hear, so Cody, I want you to give Sky a hug now." She waited until the boys were hugging tightly before kneeling down before the two of them and speaking quietly, "Sky, honey. Your parents are in jail, awaiting trial. We found them and brought them in for questioning. Sky, your parents were the ones who beat you, because they found out you were gay." Linda then pulled both boys into a hug, as both had started crying silent tears.
Linda looked into Sky's eyes as she spoke softly, "It's OK, honey. They can't hurt you any more. I want to sit down and talk to you tomorrow, after we go shopping, and I want you to see a counsellor in the next few days, OK?" Sky looked into her eyes, and saw the love and care that shone through them and knew he was safe.
He slowly nodded his head, before he pressed his face into Linda's shoulder and whispered, "Thank you," repeatedly.
Soon after, the group noticed that Sky was looking as though he would fall asleep. At this point they all decided that it was time for the dinner to come to an end. Harry picked up the bill, and then the entire group returned to the hospital, where Dr. Campbell and the nurses left to check on their patients before going home for the night. Before they left, they each hugged Sky and told said they'd see him the next day.
After the doctor and nurses had left, Sky and 'his' family spent some time together, Cody snuggled up to Sky in the hospital bed. When it was time for the rest of the family to leave, neither Sky nor Cody wanted to be separated. It was only the promise of an early start to the day tomorrow, and the fact that they would not be separated much longer, that had the boys agreeing to the separation. After a quick, loving kiss, Cody and the family left the hospital. Sky laid back down on his bed and closed his eyes, thinking of how his life had turned around.
He soon fell asleep. In the middle of the night, however, he had a nightmare ...
Sky found himself in a strange house. From the photos and trinkets throughout the house, he could tell it was Harry and Linda's house. He walked around, not seeing anyone, until he hears a noise coming from the kitchen.
Somehow, Sky knew where the kitchen was within the house, so he headed towards that part of the house.
When he reached the kitchen, Sky saw a scene that horrified him beyond belief. Laying on the floor, covered in blood and eyes glazed over, was Cody, along with the rest of Sky's new family.
Standing over Sky's new family was Sky's biological father, knife in hand. As Sky's eyes filled with tears, his old father threw the knife away from him, and Sky became hopeful. That is, until his father pulled out a handgun and aimed at Sky's head. As Sky stood there in shock, a warped smile crept onto his father's face.
Sky took a deep breath, just as his father pulled the trigger of the gun ...
Sky sat up in his hospital bed, screaming and with tears streaming down his face. Soon enough, Luisa ran into the room, and seeing the state that Sky was in, she rushed to his bed and wrapped her arms around the sobbing boy. "Shhh ... Baby Boy. Come now, what's got you all upset then?"
Sky's sobs continued for the next 10 minutes, while Luisa comforted the boy, rocking him back and forth and whispering soothing words in his ear. When he had calmed down enough to talk, he explained the nightmare to Luisa, whose eyes became teary as she listened to this boy who had dreamed of the death of his new family just hours after getting it.
"They were dead Luisa. All of them. Including my sweet Cody." The boy sobbed into Luisa's chest.
"Shhh. Come now, Baby Boy. It was just a nightmare. It wasn't true. Nothing's gonna happen that'll take your family away from you, especially that asshole who is you old father. You're safe, Baby Boy. You're safe." Luisa cooed into Sky's ear.
Soon, Sky's sobs had faded and his breathing became steady and deep, meaning the boy had gone back to sleep. Luisa carefully laid the sleeping boy back on his pillow and gently kissed him on the forehead. "Sleep well, tortured soul," she said, before leaving the room.