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Sky awoke to find Kane lying in between him and Cody. He smiled at the embrace and carefully pried himself from the young boy's strong hold. He made his way down to the kitchen to find Harry sitting at the breakfast counter, a cup of coffee in his hands.
"Morning, buddy boy. How'd you sleep?" Harry asked Sky.
"Good. I didn't realise Kane was in the bed 'til this morning." Sky said through a yawn.
"He snuck into your bed after we tucked him in," Harry chuckled, "Did you want a glass of juice or something? We have to wait for Linda to finish showering before breakfast. She wants to make a big breakfast, since it's your first."
Sky blushed. "That's not really necessary. I should tell her not to worry 'bout it."
Harry chuckled more. "Sky, lemme give you some advice. If your mum decides something, don't try to convince her otherwise. It'll only get you in trouble if you're not careful."
"Oh, okay. Well, I guess we're having a big breakfast then, huh?"
"Yup." At that moment, Kane walked into the kitchen, looking as though he had been up for hours already. "Hey, kiddo. How was your sleep?" Harry asked Kane.
"Good." Kane said in a yawn. He then noticed Sky sitting at the breakfast bar. "Hi Sky!" he shouted as he jumped into Sky's lap, nearly knocking Sky off his chair in the process.
"Oof! Hey, 'lil buddy. How are ya today?" Sky asked as he wrapped his arms around the younger boy.
"I'm good. We still gonna 'splore the house?" Kane asked.
"If you wanna. I need to know what's where, don't I?" Sky said with a smile.
"Cool!" Kane shouted then jumped down from Sky's lap to get some orange juice.
Harry chuckled as he finished his cup of coffee, and then stood up from the breakfast bar. "Well guys, I'm gonna go talk to the builders, find out when the apartment will be complete." He said before walking out of the kitchen.
Sky noticed that Kane was looking through the kitchen cupboards. "Hey, 'lil buddy. Mum's gonna be cooking a big breakfast this morning. Won't be long, I'm sure."
"Okay, Sky. I'm gonna have a shower, so that we can 'splore after breakfast." Kane said happily.
"Okay. You go do that, 'lil buddy. You'll still have to wait 'til I've had my shower though." Sky said, ruffling Kane's hair.
"Okay then." Kane said, and then ran back upstairs to have a shower.
Sky chuckled to himself as he watched Kane bounding up the stairs. 'If this is what family is like, then I'm glad I have this family.' He thought to himself with a smile.
Cody, meanwhile, had returned downstairs to find Sky with a distant look and a smile on his face. He walked up behind him to wrap his arms around him and kiss the back of his neck. "Hey, babe. Whatcha thinkin'?" he asked with a small smile.
"Oh, it's nothing. Just thinking of how lucky I am to have you and the family in my life. It seems since my prayer did come true." Sky said in a dreamy voice.
"What prayer, babe?" Cody asked as he kissed the back of Sky's neck again.
"The night before Mum came to see me in hospital, I prayed that God would guide me to where I belong. I think He guided me to you and I thank him for it. You make me complete, Cody."
"You do the same for me, Sky." Cody said, as he nuzzled his face in the back of Sky's neck.
"Morning, boys." Said Linda as she walked into the kitchen.
"Morning, Mum." The boys chorused.
"How'd you sleep, Sky?" Linda asked as she pulled down the pans needed for breakfast.
"Good. I never slept so well before. I think that I could get to like living here very quickly." Sky said with a smile directed toward Cody.
"That's good to hear. I'm sure you'll fit right into the family. Did Kane disturb you last night? We noticed him in your bed and didn't have the heart to wake him up."
"No, I didn't even realise he'd come into the bed 'til I woke up this morning." Sky giggled, as Cody licked the back of his neck.
"Cody, no fooling around at the breakfast bar." Linda said as she rummaged through the drawer for an egg-flip. She found one and turned to face the boys again. "You know the rules."
"Uhh... Mum? The rules haven't been set in this particular area." Cody said with a sly grin.
Linda waved the egg-flip in Cody's face. "Careful, mister, or you'll find yourself sleeping in the guest room. We will set the rules later, when things have settled down. Until then, no public displays of affection. There is still a young, impressionable mind in this house and he must be given the opportunity to discover his own sexuality and identity without influence from you."
Cody slowly backed away from the wildly swinging egg-flip as Linda admonished him. "Yes, Mum." He said sheepishly. Sky was giggling at the scene before him. Linda and Cody began staring at him when his giggles turned into full-blown laughter. Linda continued preparing the breakfast with a smile on her face, while Cody watched as Sky slowly calmed down from his ecstasy. When he had calmed down to just the occasional giggle, Cody asked him, "You okay there, babe?"
"I'm fine. I feel like it's been ages since I've laughed so well. It was nice. Dude, Mum's scary when she does that." Sky said in between giggles and with a smile.
"Cody, could you please come here and watch the bacon. I need to make a call." Linda said, holding the egg-flip out to Cody. He came around the breakfast bar and took the flip. As Linda passed Sky, she suddenly whirled around and pulled Sky onto the floor and began mercilessly tickling him. "So you think I'm scary, do ya? You haven't seen me at my scariest, got it, gigglebox?" Linda said with a smile.
"Y-y-yes! St-stop! My chest hurts and I'm gonna pee!" Linda ceased her tickling and let Sky up off the floor, before returning to finish the breakfast.
Sky sat back down on a stool and waited as Cody and Linda worked together to make breakfast. After 5 minutes, Harry walked back into the kitchen with a smile on his face. "What's going on here then?" he asked in an over-played American accent.
"Sky decided he thought I was scary, so I gave him a preview of exactly how scary I can be." Linda said with an evil grin.
"Poor kid." Harry mumbled.
"What was that?" Linda asked with a glance towards Harry.
"Nothing dear." Harry replied in an innocent tone, radiating his innocence so much that you could almost see the halo over his head. Sky and Cody were both chuckling at the scene unfolding before them.
"MUUUUUMMY!!!" a young voice yelled out as Kane appeared in the kitchen.
"Kane, there's no need to yell." Linda said as she smiled at the obvious anticipation the still damp boy was displaying.
"Sorry, Mummy. Is brek'fast nearly ready? Me an' Sky gotta go 'splorin, but Sky's gotta have a shower first and he needs to have brek'fast before his shower and I wanna show Sky 'round." The boy rattled off.
"Slow down, kiddo. Don't forget to breathe. Breakfast will be ready in about 15 minutes, I'm sure you can hold off 'til then, can't you?" Linda chuckled.
"Okay, Mummy. Cody, you gonna come wiv me an' Sky?" Kane asked Cody with a hopeful look on his face.
"Actually, buddy, I'm gonna let you and Sky spend some time together to get to know each other. I need to talk to Mum and Dad about a few things, besides, you gotta show Sky where all the secret hiding spots are so that you and him can hide better when we play Hide and Seek." Cody said with a smile at the bubbling boy.
Kane's face fell when Cody started, but brightened again at the mention of games. "Okay! You'll never be able to find us."
"I know, kiddo. You hide way too well for me." Cody chuckled.
"Hey guys, I've got some news for you. Sky, don't get used to Cody's room. Hang on," he added, seeing Sky's face fall, "because I have just received word from the foreman in charge of building the apartment. It turns out the previous builders were further along in the task than they let on, and they must have intended to try and get more money from us. According to the foreman, the apartment will be finished by the end of the day, and you'll all be able to move up there tomorrow. I gave the stores we went to yesterday a call and they're all going to deliver what we bought tomorrow."
Silence fell in the kitchen, broken only by the sizzling and popping of the pan on the stove, until what Harry said had penetrated the minds of the boys, before they all broke out in huge smiles and jumped up and down, whooping about the news.
Kane ran up to Harry and dived in his arms, "Really, Daddy? We getsta live in the 'partment? Cool!"
"That's right, kiddo. Think of it as a big birthday present." Harry said as he hugged the small boy.
"Hey, 'lil buddy. How's this sound? When we all move up to the apartment, you can have first pick of the rooms. You want the biggest? You can have the biggest." Sky said with a smile directed to the young boy.
Kane looked to Cody, "Is he fibbin' Cody? Do I really getsta pick the big room?" he asked with wide eyes.
"If you want to, kiddo. It don't bother me, cause we'll all still be in the same apartment." Cody said with a smile.
"COOL!" Kane shouted, right into Harry's ear.
Just then, the family's 'butler', Clive entered the kitchen. "Madam Thomas, you have a telephone call." He said with a bow towards Linda.
"Please, Clive. For the last time, call me Linda." Linda said with an exasperated sigh.
"Of course, Ma'am." Clive said with another bow.
Linda rolled her eyes. "Okay. I'll take the call in my office, thank you, Clive."
Sky looked at Cody in shock. "We have a butler?!"
"Well... sorta. I'll explain it to you later. Come on, babe. You can help out with breakfast." Cody finished with a grin.
Sky mumbled something resembling "slave driver" before walking around the breakfast bar to help Cody cooking the bacon,
10 minutes later, the boys had breakfast set out on the table when Linda walked back into the kitchen. "Thanks for that, boys. That was just the office. They needed access to the information on the Safe Haven Act to distribute." She said to the two teens.
"What's the Safe Haven Act, Mum?" Cody asked Linda, a confused look on his face.
"I'll explain that when I get home from work. I just need to go in there for a couple of hours for a meeting. We still have to talk about what's happening with Sky's parents anyway."
"Okay, Mum." Both boys chorused.
"Good. Now let's eat."
Half an hour later, the family had finished breakfast, Cody having fed Sky most of his breakfast, causing giggles throughout the meal. After the dishes had been loaded into the dishwasher by the boys, Sky went upstairs to have his shower, Cody followed Harry in to his office, and Kane ran upstairs to get ready for his exploring with Sky. Linda left the house to head the department meeting at HQ.
In Harry's office, the two were taking advantage of Kane's distraction to put some last minute touches on their plans for Kane's birthday. As they were talking, Harry was performing a remote upgrade on the house's computer systems.
3 hours later, Linda called from her car to tell Harry that she was going to be late home, due to a major accident in the Harbour Tunnel. Harry chuckled at Linda's bad luck, resulting in a sore ear from her yelling. After he hung up, he prepared to reboot the computer and internal communications systems. As he was doing this, the phone rang again. Because he couldn't leave the terminal, Harry had Cody answer the phone.
"Hello, Thomas residence, Cody speak..." Cody began, before he heard the distinct sounds of crying on the other end of the line.
"Cody?! Cody, it's... it's Jason. Please... I can't go on."
"Jason? Jason, what's wrong?" Cody asked, worry filling his voice.
"Cody... please. I can't take it anymore! I just need to tell someone why I'm doing this." Jason said between hysterical sobs.
"Jason, what are you doing?! What can't you take? PLEASE! Talk to me! Don't do anything rash now." Cody said, now on the verge of panicking. He covered the mouthpiece and turned to Harry. "Dad, is the system up yet?"
"Only the household systems. Internal comms aren't working yet. What's wrong, Cody?" Harry asked, noticing the fear on Cody's face.
"It's Jason, and I think that he's going to do something to hurt himself, if not worse." Harry's eyes grew wide.
"You get Sky, NOW! I'll keep Jason on the line." Harry said in an authoritative tone. Cody began to move to the door, until his mind came up with another idea.
"Wait. Can you try to contact Starfleet Central and get a trace on the call and ask for them to be ready to beam him here?" At Harry's hesitant nod, Cody continued, "Computer, what is the current location of Skylan and Kane?"
The computer beeped and came back with a response. "The current location of Skylan and Kane is the east wing dining room."
"Computer, activate 'Clive' program." The computer beeped, before Clive materialised next to the doorway to the office.
"Yes, Master Cody?"
"Clive, I need you to get Sky and Kane and bring them here. Tell Sky it involves Jason and it looks bad. You should find them in the east wing dining room." Clive bowed before dematerialising once more.
Meanwhile, Harry had used his Starfleet comms unit to contact Starfleet Central. "Director Thomas to Starfleet Central."
"Starfleet Central, Ensign Collins. How can I help you, Director?"
"I need you to trace the phone call on my house's landline, then prepare to beam the person on the other end to this location. Inform Youth Services of this action."
"Tracing the call now, Director. Please wait while I contact Transporter Control."
While Harry was waiting, Clive had materialised into the room. Harry watched Cody give Clive his orders with pride, seeing how mature the boy could be in difficult situations.
"Director Thomas. I have the location of the subject. Transporter Control has been notified and are awaiting order to proceed with transport." The ensign said over the comms link a moment later.
"Energise." Harry said simply. Ten seconds later, the form of Jason materialised in the office. It was clear very quickly that he was unconscious. At that moment, Sky burst into the office, looking panicked, followed closely by Kane.
"Oh my God! What's happened to him?" Sky asked.
"I don't know, but I think he's done this to himself." Cody replied, pointing to Jason's wrists, which had been cut and were bleeding badly. "Quick! Dad, get Jason to the kitchen. Sky, call Mum and tell her to get here as fast as possible. Kane, go watch some TV. Computer, activate EMH."
"Please state the nature of the medical emergency." Stated the female holographic doctor.
"We have a sixteen year old male teen who attempted suicide by slashing his wrists. Heavy blood-loss. We need to get him stabilised." Cody rattled off. The hologram immediately set to work, telling Cody to apply pressure to Jason's wrists.
They entered the kitchen to find Sky had cleared room on the counter for them to work as he waited on the phone for Linda. They lay the boy down on the counter, Cody applying the required pressure on the wounds to stop the bleeding.
The EMH turned to Cody and spoke in a clear, authoritive tone. "Cody, please get some clean towels and a bowl of luke-warm water, and then go to the First Aid cabinet and get the coagulation agent. We'll need it to help slow the blood flow." Cody moved quickly to complete the tasks given to him.
Meanwhile, Sky had just been put through to Linda's office. "Director Thomas' office, how can I help you?" Ben, Linda's secretary, said through the line.
"Yeah, could I please speak to Linda? It's Sky, and we have a problem here at home." Sky said in a rush.
"Sky? Hang on, I'll put you through now." Ben said through the line.
A few seconds later, Linda came onto the line. "Sky? What's wrong? Has something happened to one the other boys?" She asked in a panicked tone.
"Cody and Kane are fine, mum, but Jason's here in the kitchen bleeding. He tried to commit suicide by slashing his wrists. Mum, we need you to get here as soon as possible. I think he's been abused at home." Sky said in a rush over the phone.
"Okay Sky, I want you to calm down. Now, is there any physical evident of abuse? Any scars or bruises or cuts?" Linda asked, activating the recording function of her comms unit.
"Umm... yeah. Other than the cuts on his wrists, he's got bruises all over his arms. He also has a really big lump on his head and he's got a swollen lip. I think I can see bruises on his neck, like someone tried choking him." Sky said as best he could though his panic.
"Okay, Sky. Here's what's going to happen. When I hang up the phone, I want you to call Starfleet Security on the office comms unit, link 329. State that there is a Code 9 at the residence and request that Commander Elena Troy proceed to the house for an investigation. I'm going to call the local authorities to co-ordinate with Commander Troy. I'll then beam to the house. I'll be there as soon as I can. Do you think you can handle that?" Linda asked.
"Yeah. Please hurry, Mum. I don't know if he's gonna make it." Sky said, tears welling up in his eyes. "I love you, Mum."
"I love you too Sky. I'll be there soon." Linda said as they both hung up the phone.
"Dad, I need to use the comms unit in the office. Mum says she'll be here soon, and I have to call Security." Sky said as he made his way quickly to the hall.
"Okay, Sky. Your mum told you how to do it?" Harry asked quickly, trying to help Cody.
"Yeah." Was Sky's simple response.
Sky quickly made his way into the office, where he ran up to the desk and logged onto the comms unit using Cody's unsecured login.
He quickly entered the commands for the unit and waited as the unit connected to Security Central.
"Security Central. Ensign T'nak speaking. How can I help you?" a Vulcan officer asked.
"My name is Skylan Lampis. I am calling from the residence of Director Linda Thomas of Oceanic Youth Services. We have a Code 9 at this residence, and request that Commander Elena Troy beam to this location for a full investigation." Sky said in his most professional voice.
"May I enquire as to the reason for such an action? And the reasoning behind a young child such as you calling Starfleet? " the Vulcan asked of Sky.
"There is a teenager in our kitchen right now because he tried to kill himself. There is also evidence to suggest that he has been previously abused. As for my age, I am the son of the Directors of both Starfleet Youth Services and Starfleet IT, and have used this communications unit at the behest of my mother. So unless you want to find yourself on the wrong end of a disciplinary committee, I suggest you contact Commander Troy immediately." Sky watched as the Vulcan raised his eyes, before signing off of the unit.
As he was walking back to the kitchen, he stopped by the lounge room to check on Kane, only to find the young boy crying uncontrollably. He quickly rushed over to the sobbing boy and wrapped his arms around him. "Shhh 'lil buddy. What's wrong?" he asked Kane quietly.
"I dunno, Sky. I was kina scared when I saw that oth'r boy, but... but, I came int' the lounge room like Cody tol' me. An' a few min'tes after I started watchin' th' TV, I jus' started cryin'. Is that other boy gonna be okay, Sky?" the young boy asked between sobs, looking up at Sky through teary eyes.
"I dunno, lil' buddy. But why don't you say a prayer for him, so that he knows that you care for him?" Sky said as he tightened his grip on the smaller boy.
"What should I say?" the boy asked in a quiet voice.
"Just say whatever is in your heart and the right people will hear you." Sky said.
"Okay." Both boys closed their eyes, and Kane clasped his hands tightly together. "Dear Lord, please help the boy in pain to get better and find happiness so that he won't hurt no more, and please make sure that the bad people who hurt him get better so that they don't hurt no-one no more."
Both boys then finished the prayer together: "Our Father, who art in Heaven; Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory forever; Amen."
Sky looked down at Kane and spoke softly, "You're a very special little boy, you know?" He then gave him a tight hug and a kiss on top of his head, before moving off to the kitchen, where he noticed Jason's pale complexion had become worse. "Oh my God, what's happened? Is he okay?" he asked in panic.
"Unfortunately, he is losing blood too quickly. I'm afraid there may be nothing we can do. The coagulant hasn't had any effect. It's as if he has no will to live." The EMH stated.
Sky quickly rushed over to the counter on which Jason's body was laying, tears in his eyes. "Don't you die on me, Jason. I only just met you and I can already tell you're too special for this world to lose. I promise we'll get the jerks responsible for this pain." He said as he stroked Jason's soft blond curls, clumped together in places by blood. Cody saw this and smiled at the sight, knowing that Sky was helping in the only way he could at the moment: emotional support.
Just then, a bright golden light filled the room, accompanied by the sounds of singing. All the conscious occupants of the room turned to see a young man standing in the doorway to the kitchen.
As Sky looked upon the young man, he couldn't help but feel that he had seen him somewhere before. The man noticed this and smiled, then nodded to Sky, releasing the suppressed memory of their dreamtime meeting. This brought a smile to Sky's face.
"Saint Mikey." Sky said, before his face fell, "Are you here to take Jason to Heaven?" he asked as his eyes began to tear up again.
"No, young Sky. I am here because of young Kane's prayer. When you had him say a prayer for Jason, it meant that I could come and help him better, because there was another reason for him to live. Thanks to you and Kane, Jason will be fine."
With that, Mikey stepped over to the counter and placed his hands upon Jason's wrists. Mikey hands seemed to glow before their eyes, and when the glow was gone and Mikey removed his hands, there was no sign of the deep slashes on Jason's wrists. "There, I've healed his mortal wounds. He should be fine now. Watch." That said, Mikey bent down and placed a soft kiss on Jason's forehead, causing a glow come travel throughout Jason's pale body. When the glow receded, Jason's complexion had returned to a much more normal colour.
All the occupants of the room watched in fascination as Jason's eyes fluttered open. It took him a minute for his eyes to focus on anything in the room, before he looked up at Mikey and groggily asked, "Who are you dude? And how did I get here?"
"Shhh... child. Sleep for now. All your questions can be answered when you awaken." Mikey placed his palm against Jason's forehead and the group watched as Jason's eyes slowly closed.
Just then, a sniffle could be heard from the doorway to the kitchen, followed by a small voice; "Is he gonna be okay, Daddy?"
The group turned to see Kane standing in the doorway, his eyes red and puffy, and a Starfleet Security officer standing next to him.
"He's gonna be fine, Baby Boy. Who's that with you?" Harry asked the young boy.
"This is 'Lena. She's from Mummy's work." Kane said with a small smile after hearing that Jason would be fine. "Who's dat?" he enquired, pointing to Mikey.
Sky went to answer the question, but Mikey beat him to the punch. "Hello, Little One. My name's Mikey. I was sent here to help the hurting boy thanks to you." He said with a smile.
"Really? But I din' call for nobody named Mikey." Kane said in shock.
"No, but when you said a prayer for the hurting boy to get help, I was sent down to do my job, which is to protect children such as yourselves. Thanks to your brother here and yourself, Jason, the boy who was hurt, will be fine. You should be proud of yourself Kane."
"Wow! You know my name?" Kane asked, his eyes widening even further.
"Yes, Kane. I also know a lot about you. For example, I know that even though you love your mum and dad, you are saddened that you can't meet your birth mother. I also know that you have a very special gift. I won't tell you what it is, but there is a group of boys that you'll meet soon, and one of those boys has the same gift as you. His name is Tyler " Mikey said softly, pulling the young boy into an angelic embrace.
Kane smiled into the hug. "Thank you Saint Mikey. I feel sleepy for some reason, I might take a nap."
"That's fine, Kiddo. But why don't we move Jason to the guest room, then you can nap with him. That way, if he wakes up, you can come get someone to check on him, and he won't be scared." Harry said as he moved to pick Jason up from the counter.
"O'tay. Can I cuddle up to him?" Kane asked as they walked towards the guest room.
"I guess so. But if he feels uncomfortable when he wakes up, then don't force him to stay cuddled up, okay?" Harry said.
Kane nodded, then the group watched as he closed his eyes and fell into the even breathing pattern of sleep. The group then moved to the office, before taking seats.
"Sorry about the situation, Elena. My name's Harry. I'm Linda's husband. The young man with the brown hair is my birth-son Cody, and the blond is Sky, our newest boy." Harry said as he extended his hand.
"It's nice to meet you, Harry. Linda's told me all about her family. She loves you all very much. Sky, I was the officer that took care of your parents. You are very lucky. Your new mum loves you as much as the rest of her family." Sky smiled gratefully at Elena, before snuggling further into Cody's embrace. "I was called in by Sky - who is getting a reputation at Security Central already - because of Jason, yes?"
Sky answered Elena's question. "That's right. I called Mum and she said to call you in to begin an investigation. When I called Security Central, the Ensign that answered the call treated me as though my opinion was invalid. Due to the nature of the situation, I felt that it would be best to get my point across without diversion. Please pass on my apologies to Ensign T'Nak for my rudeness, Commander"
"That's fine, Sky. And please, call me Elena." she said with a smile. "In regards to Jason, we will begin an immediate investigation into the reason why he felt he should take his own life. From what Linda told me, I don't need to question Jason himself, as she will obtain his testimony herself. If the Act needs to be invoked for him, we have a few options. Firstly, he can choose to live independently, with a dwelling and substantial payments provided by Youth Services. You and Linda will still be regarded as his legal consultants, and will need to be there for him should he need you. Secondly, we can place him with you in your care and custody. You would be considered his legal guardians and have all parental rights to him and so forth."
Elena's serious look deepened as she continued, "The final option is that the Act be used to remove him from his parent's custody and have all parental rights removed and place him into a Federation Care Home to be adopted by a family of his choice. Federation Care Homes are much more successful than their Government counterparts, but there is still the fact he is nearly of legal age that may dissuade prospective parents from adopting him." She paused for a moment to allow this to sink in, before asking, "So which course of action would you like to take here?"
Harry thought for a few minutes before responding. "I think that depends on Jason. We can fit a few more kids in the house, and if Linda is okay with it, he's more than welcome to stay here. He needs a loving family to get over what he's clearly been through."
"Okay, so we'll wait 'til Linda returns and put it to her and if she's okay with it we'll discuss it with Jason." Elena said with a smile, before turning to Sky. "So young man, are you enjoying it here?" she asked the blond boy.
"Very much so, yes. I have a family that love me and Cody and I are happy together." Sky said with a smile.
"That's good. Your case is the reason I am now the Head of Security and Investigations for Youth Services Oceania."
"Wow. So you're like the big boss of detectives are you?" Sky asked with wide eyes.
Elena chuckled. "No, just the primary investigator for your mum's department. When we get a few more people in my new department, then I'll be the boss of them."
"Okay... cool." Sky and Cody both replied, elliciting chuckles from Harry, Elena and Mikey and giggles from the two boys.
At that moment, the group heard Kiara barking excitedly from the entrance hall. A few seconds later, Linda walked into the office with a serious expression on her face. "Ah, Elena. Thanks for responding to the call. How's Jason?" she asked the group.
"He's fine. Saint Mikey here stopped the bleeding completely. Jason's sleeping now to overcome the stress of the situation and Kane's napping with him." Harry said as he stepped behind Linda and began to rub her shoulders.
"SAINT Mikey? Who's that?" Linda asked with an incredulous look on her face.
"Sorry, dear. I should introduce you to him. Saint Mikey, meet my lovely wife, Linda. Linda, this is Saint Mikey, Protector of Gay and Abandoned Children. He's the heavenly version of you and Teri." Harry said with a smile.
"I'm pleased to make your acquantance, Saint Mikey. I must thank you for saving Jason. I'm sure his death would have devastated both Sky and Cody, not to mention traumatised Kane." Linda said with a sad smile on her face.
"You can thank both Sky and Kane for my being here. Sky had Kane say a prayer which meant I was called in to help. It was a great act of kindness from both the boys that will not go unrewarded. I can assure you that good things will be coming to the two of them for their kindness." Mikey said a warm smile to Sky, who was blushing furiously.
"Linda, I've just been going over the options you face over Jason. I need to ask how you would like to proceed." Elena said in a semi-professional tone.
"Well I think it would be for the best that we allow Jason to make a decision for himself. No matter what he chooses, we'll support him 100%." Linda said.
"I'll proceed with the invistigation until such time as Jason is able to make a decision. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be going to Jason's house to talk to his parents." With that, Elena bade farewell to the group and left.
Linda moved towards the office door as she spoke; "I have some work to do, so can I ask you to knock before coming in, just in case I'm talking to someone important? It's one of the base rules, Sky; if Harry or I are in our offices doing work, always knock, just in case."
Sky nodded as he responded. "Okay, Mum. I think I might go check on Jason after we've finished here anyways."
"I'm very proud of your mature attitude today, Sky." Linda said with a fond smile for her newest son.
"Thank you. You have no idea how good that makes me feel." Sky responded with misty eyes. With that, Linda left the office, closing the door behind her.
Mikey smiled down at Cody and Sky, "Boys, I realise that things may seem overwhelming at the moment, especially you Sky, but just remember that you have the love and support of many people. Our Father looks kindly upon those who help others, even complete strangers. Soon, your reward for your kindness will become apparent. Also remember that should you ever need me, all you need do is say a prayer and I will hear you."
Both boys smiled up and Mikey. "Thank you, Saint Mikey. Because of you, I now have the best family in the world, and a cute boyfriend too." Both boys then giggled when Sky turned and kissed Cody on the cheek.
"Well I need to go now. There's a bunch of boys I need to check up on." Mikey chuckled. "I'm sure we'll be seeing more of each other very soon." After a quick hug with the boys, Mikey shook Harry's hand before fading out of view.
"Well boys, what are you gonna do now?" Harry asked Sky and Cody.
"I think I might go have a rest. I'm feeling really tired for some reason." Sky said through a slight yawn.
"I think I'll join him. First I'm gonna check on Kane and Jason though." That said, both boys left the office.
Meanwhile, in Linda's office, Linda was seated at her desk, doing her 'work', which was planning for Kane's birthday party. As she ran over her list of requirements for the event, her mind drifted back to the previous day, and a confusing conversation she'd had with the teenaged Patriarch Short.
Cody and Sky had just gone to bed, and Harry was in the process of helping Kane get ready for bed himself. Linda walked into her office and sat down at her desk. She accessed her communications units and entered the sequence to connect to the Short Compound.
After a minute, the call was answered by a boy who looked to Linda to be about 12. Linda was shocked at the professional demeanour the boy demonstrated.
"Good morning, Short Compound. Communications Officer Thomas Short speaking. How may we help you?"
Linda recovered quickly from her shock and responded formally. "This is Director Linda Thomas of Youth Services Oceania. May I please speak to Mrs. Short?"
Thomas then replied. "Please hold and I'll get her for you." He obviously forgot to mute the unit, as the next thing Linda heard caused another shock for her. "Mawwww! There's a lady on th' comms for ya!"
A few minutes passed, then Linda saw Thomas move away from the screen, to be replaced with the face of Teri. Linda watched as Teri's eyes went wide as she realised that the unit wasn't muted.
"My apologies, Linda. Usually, Tommy is good at muting the unit when calling someone. I think he was just too busy organising a few things for Cory. What can I do for you?" She asked with a smile.
"Well, I was actually wondering if Dr. Richardson was still available to help Sky? It's Kane, my youngest's birthday on Sunday, and I thought that would be the perfect chance for him and Sky to discuss what has happened to him." Linda said, "Of course, you and your family are more than welcome to come along as well."
"Well I hope you realise what you are pitting yourself against here. I would be glad to come to the party. Just hang on and I'll check Dan's schedule for you." After a few moments of silence, Teri returned into view of the screen, "According to this, Dan will be available to see Sky at any time this week. I'll be sure to let him know what's happening. As a matter of fact, I have a few surprises for Sky myself." she finished with a smile.
"Weel I look forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve. The party will probably be an all-day event. Simply come when you are ready." Linda said with a smile.
"I will probably be there fairly early, but I can't say whether or not Cory and the Clan will be able to make it. Right now many of them have been off-planet at a Federation conference on child safety. From the comms chatter I've been hearing today, the boys have run into a few problems and will be staying in South Carolina for a little while."
Linda was shocked. "You're fine with the boys being away from you for so long?" she asked in disbelief.
"Of course. The boys have proven themselves to be able to behave in a mature way. Sean and Cory are also considered adults in the eyes of the Federation, so I believe that they will be fine. Add to that the fact that Cory is the Patriarch of a sub-Clan of the most influential house of Vulcan, and I think you'll find people tend to take the boys quite seriously." Teri said with confidence.
"Wow. I hope I get to see them in action sometime." Linda said in awe.
"I'll put money on your witnessing their actions at some stage." Teri said with a smile.
"Well, how can I go about contacting Cory?"
"From last reports I've heard, the boys are currently in subspace, and are unable to be contacted by anyone. Once they've dropped out of subspace, I'll have the boys here tell Cory to call you when they land. You could probably expect a call in the next day or so."
"Okay, thanks for that. Also, while I've got you on the line, official reports from my liaisons indicate that approximately 80% of all institutions dealing with children have been notified of the existence of the Safe Haven Act. We approximate that within two months, all institutions will have at least one non-Federation pay rolled Safe Haven liaison."
"Great work, Linda. I expected no less from a woman of your experience. Well I have to run now, I have a routine check-up to perform on Camp Little Eagle - don't worry, I'll explain all that when I visit for the party. Oh by the way, what sort of things is Kane into? Just for a general idea on a gift." Teri said with a smile.
"Well to be honest, I wasn't expecting you to bring a gift. He's showing an interest in the sciences at the moment. Things like chemistry and electronics. I'm hoping if we nurture his talent, he can continue with it in later life and perhaps make a career of it, but of course, you know boys these days. Next week, he'll have probably found something else he likes." Linda finished with a chuckle.
Teri laughed. "Boys will be boys. I'll see what we can do. I'll let you get back to it. I'm sure you must be tired."
"That I am. I'll talk to you later, Teri. Thomas out."
"Good night, Linda. Short out." With that the screen went blank and Linda decided to turn in for the night. After a quick goodnight to Kane and Harry, she retreated to the comfort of her bed.
It was only about 5 hours later when she was softly awoken by Clive. "Madam, you have a call waiting in your office. A Patriarch Short. Priority One Official Business."
Linda looked at the clock and was surprised at the short amount of time it had taken Cory to call her back. She quietly got up and pulled her dressing gown on, before going downstairs to her office. She sat at her desk and logged into her comms unit. Once logged on, she activated the viewscreen to find Cory sitting at the other end, an apologetic smile on his face.
"My apologies, Director Thomas, for this late call, but it has been a madhouse around here lately, and this was the first opportunity I had to call you. To be truthful with you, I had completely forgotten about the time difference until your hologram mentioned awakening you." At this, Cory blushed.
"Not a problem, Patriarch Short. I was simply surprised at the expediency with which you called me back. I hope all is well for you there?" she asked with a gentle smile.
"It is all well now. We had an emergency involving an android that had to be resolved. Thankfully, we were able to locate the original designer and now he is doing well. I was informed that you had something which you wanted to ask me?" Cory stated in a professional manner. This shocked Linda, who remembered Cory from their previous conversation as a carefree teenaged boy, to see the same boy displaying proficient use of Vulcan mannerisms.
"I'm pleased to hear that. And yes, I was wondering if you might be able to come to Australia for young Kane's birthday. It's his 6th birthday, and your mum and Dr. Richardson will be coming for the party and so that Dr. Richardson can sit down with Sky and talk about some of his troubles."
Suddenly, Linda heard a loud commotion on the other end of the line. Cory smiled. "Sorry about that, Mrs. Thomas. The rest of the boys here heard the word party, and naturally began asking when we were going. I would be glad to come along to the party. I would also like to have a talk to Sky, since I have first-hand experience in memory loss. I would advise you to have a good catering company take care of the food, since the group I'll be bringing with me will be quite large."
"Well I expected as much. It so happens I have a couple of ships' cooks catering the party, so I'm sure there'll be plenty to eat." Linda chuckled. "And enough of this Mrs. Thomas business. Please feel free to call me Linda."
"Very well, Linda." Cory smiled. "And please call me Cory. I don't like using my title except in official business."
"Very well. Well the party will be an all-day sort of thing, and you and the rest of the boys would be more than welcome to stay, but I'm afraid there aren't many beds remaining in the house."
"That should be fine. Do you have plenty of spare blankets and pillows?" Cory asked with a smile.
Linda was a little confused by the question. "Yes, but as I said, there are no beds to put them on."
"No beds needed, you'll see." Cory stated with a sly grin.
"Okay then. Feel free to come on over when you're ready. Now if you'll excuse me, SOME people need their sleep." Linda laughed at the embarassed look Cory was giving. "It's really okay, Cory. I'm glad we were able to organise this. Kane doesn't have too many friends at school, so I'm glad your group is coming."
"Just wait till you meet my youngest. You won't be glad after that." Cory giggled.
Linda assumed he meant the youngest of the Clan. "Okay then, Cory. Well I have to go now. I'll see you in a couple of days, if not before. Thomas out."
"Enjoy your sleep, Linda. Short out." After the screen had gone blank once more, Linda logged off the comms unit and made her way back to bed, sleeping soundly for the rest of the night.
Linda was pulled out of her musings by a knock on the door. "Come in."
Kane walked into the office, hair mussed up from sleep. "Hi, Mummy." he said through a small yawn.
"Hey, Baby Boy. How was your nap?" Linda asked with a smile for her youngest.
"Good. Jason was nice t' cuddle up to." Kane smiled.
"That's good. I hear you got to meet Elena. What did you think of her?" Linda asked.
"She's nice. Does she work for you, Mummy?"
"Not yet, Baby Boy. She will soon though, if I have my way. Where are Cody and Sky?"
"They's sleepin'. They looked happy cuddled up, so I din't wanna wake 'em."
"That's very thoughtful of you, Kane. However, I'm gonna ask you to wake them up for me while I wake up Jason, 'cause I'm gonna need all you boys' help getting dinner ready."
"Okay, Mummy. What's for dinner?"
"I'm thinking we'll have Spaghetti Bolognese, how's that sound?"
Linda never got an answer, as Kane had bolted out of her office towards the stairs, yelling at the top of his lungs; "YAY! Sky! Cody! Wake up. We gotta help Mummy make basketti!"
Linda chuckled as she made her up out of her office, locking the door behind her, then walked upstairs to the guest room. In the room, she saw Jason lying uncovered on the bed, a guarded look on his sleeping face. Linda's heart went out to the young man before, reminding her of why she was in her line of work.
She silently approached the bed, before sitting at the edge and gently brushing the fringe from Jason's face. "Jason. Come on, honey. It's time to wake up now."
She watched as Jason softly moaned, as his eyes slowly opened, deep brown pools full of emotion, the most prominent being great sadness.
"Hey, buddy. How you feeling?" Linda asked.
"Like I was hit by a car. Where am I? I'm not in hospital, am I?" Jason began to panic.
"No, you're not in hospital. You're at my house. You were beamed here after you called Cody. You had all the boys worried, you know? Harry and I were worried too."
"I'm sorry." Jason began to sob. "I didn't think anyone would care if I just killed myself. I know for sure my parents wouldn't have cared." he finished bitterly.
"Well just remember that there are many people here who DO care. Just from what I've heard so far, I think it would be best for you to stay here until the investigations my Security Officer is conducting are complete. Now, enough of this sad business. What would you say to Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner?" Linda finished with a warm smile.
Jason sat shocked for a moment, before launching forward and hugging Linda tightly. "Thank you. You don't even know me, and yet you're letting me intrude on you."
"Nonsense. You're not intruding. Besides, the boys all like you, even Kane, so you must be a kind person. It is no bother for you to stay here. Now come on. You want dinner tonight; you have to help make it."
Jason giggled. "Okay, Mrs. Thomas. I just need to go to the bathroom."
"Enough with the Mrs. Thomas business, Mrs. Thomas is my mother-in-law. You can call me Linda while you're here, okay?"
"Okay." Jason said as he walked into the bathroom. Linda left the room and made her way downstairs, passing Cody and Sky's room, where she heard the sound of Kane laughing, as Cody and Sky tickled him as payback for waking them. Linda continued on with a smile.
A few minutes after she arrived in the kitchen, Cody, Sky and Kane all came barging in laughing.
"Okay you monsters. Cody, can you get all the usual ingredients for Spaghetti Bolognese? Kane, can you pull the pots and pans we'll need out? Sky, can I get you to set the table and watch Cody, so you can help prepare it all next time?" Linda asked, as Jason walked into the kitchen, only to be engulfed in a hug from the other three boys.
"Don't you EVER do that to us again, you hear me?" Sky reprimanded.
Jason bowed his head. "Sorry, guys. I guess I didn't think of how you'd be affected. I just couldn't take it anymore."
"Okay guys. Let's leave it for now and get back to dinner. Jason, are you able to do up a salad?" Linda asked.
"I guess so. Never really tried."
"Well the stuff for the salad is all in the fridge. Now let's get to it, guys."
Soon, the kitchen was filled with the sounds of laughter and cooking, as the group all helped each other with the meal.
Within half an hour, the group had prepared a feast of Spaghetti Bolognese, tossed salad, and Linda had prepared her special home-made garlic bread. The family all sat down to dinner and Kane said grace before they began. This was an uncommon occurrence, but the family all realised that today they all had something to be thankful for.
At one stage in the meal, the conversation turned to Kane's birthday. Linda had to hide a smile when Kane asked if he could have a party. "We'll see, Baby Boy. It depends on what happens tomorrow." At this, Kane's face fell slightly.
"Hey, kiddo. Don't forget you still have to pick what room you want tomorrow, too. You can even pick the biggest room if you wanted." Sky said, causing Kane's face to light up again. For the rest of the meal, the conversation remained on the lighter topics.
After dinner was finished and the dishes were loaded up in the dishwasher, the family relaxed in the family room, watching a movie. Soon, Kane had fallen asleep against Linda and Harry, who bade goodnight to Cody, Sky and Jason, before taking Kane to his room and turning in themselves.
Shortly thereafter, the boys turned the lights out went up to their beds. Cody and Sky hugged Jason goodnight as they passed the spare room where Jason was staying, then moved on to their room, where they kissed each other good night before falling asleep in each others arms.
For the first night in a long time, Jason slept a dreamless sleep, happy in the knowledge that he was loved and would be cared for. As his eyes closed, a smile spread out on his face.
Finally, chapter 6 is done! This was a lot harder than the previous chapter, mostly because of a personal problem popping up halfway through the writing of the chapter. For those who offered their support though this trying period in my life, I'd like to thank you and I dedicate this chapter to you all.
For the background behind the events of the following chapters, please read "Memories: Parts 1 and 2" by ACFan, found at his site, www.cornercafe.us, and "Sentenced To Life" by Jeff P, found on his site, www.jeffsfort.us.
Once again, feedback and criticism is welcomed, just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time,
Boi From Aus