09 Coming Together

Spencer moped around most of Saturday morning, and napped around lunch time. When he disappeared that evening, and Marcus and Chris knew where he’d be, so instead of looking for him, they waited until 8:30 and went down to the coffee shop. They sat as far from the band as possible, and kept an eye out for Spencer.

The show started and the band began playing. They were quite good and Marcus and Chris almost forgot why they were there until Dean got up to sing one of his songs with them. On his second song, they saw Dean’s face as he caught sight of something in the audience. Following his gaze, they saw Spencer standing in the far corner near the door, transfixed. For a moment, it looked as if Dean would leave the stage, but he kept on singing.

As soon as he finished, Dean replaced the mike on its stand and made a beeline for the corner where Spencer had been. The band looked surprised but picked up a number they had planned for later and no one really noticed.

“Spencer!” Dean called as he stepped out onto the quiet street. The young soldier was gone, or so it seemed. “SPENCER!”

Spencer stepped out of a nearby alleyway and said, “I’m sorry….”

“You said that already,” Dean replied.

“I was going to stay away tonight,” Spencer said sadly, “but I wanted to hear you.”

“When you left, I didn’t have any way of getting in touch with you,” Dean responded, stepping closer. He stopped when Spencer took an involuntary step back. “What happened last night?” Spencer turned to walk away and Dean closed on him fast, catching him and putting a tentative hand on his shoulder. “Just wait a minute! What did I do wrong?”

“Dean, you don’t need my shit! You’re better off with someone else, someone who can be what you need!” Spencer cried.

“Why don’t you let me decide what I need, lieutenant?” Dean said, raising his voice. Then, he put his palm on Spencer’s cheek and asked, his voice dropping to a near-whisper, “What happened last night?”

“It’s complicated,” Spencer said.

“No shit, Sherlock,” Dean replied.

“When I was a boy, I was raped by someone I liked … and after that, well…. You’re the first man to … touch me like that since,” Spencer disclosed.

“Oh, Spencer,” Dean said softly, stroking his cheek. “I wish you’d just told me last night!”

“I couldn’t … I … seeing that I’d hurt you,” Spencer said, breaking down, “I had to get away!”

Dean smiled. “You scared me, and your grip did kinda hurt, but you’re really good! You didn’t even leave a mark. And there wasn’t any lingering pain.”

“Still,” Spencer said, grabbing the man’s wrist ever-so-tenderly and bringing it closer to his face for examination. “I’m so sorry!”

“Enough! Come back inside! I’m sure your friends are wondering what happened to you, and I’ve got a few more songs,” Dean said.

“My friends?” Spencer asked.

“They’ve been staking the place out waiting for you,” Dean laughed.

Spencer followed him inside and quickly spotted Chris and Marcus, waving at them shyly. “Hey guys! Fancy seeing you here!”

“We were invited, remember?” Marcus asked, smiling.

“Everything okay?” Chris asked.

“Better,” Spencer said, nodding. Then he sat down and they watched as Dean rejoined the band, and they performed a few more numbers. At last, Dean again stepped off the stage and joined Spencer at their table.

“Well, what do you guys think?” he asked, wiping his forehead with a napkin and slumping back in his seat with a smile.

“Brilliant,” Spencer said, smiling.

“Your songs are definitely their best,” Chris added.

“Thanks. Time will tell, but I think they’re pretty solid,” Dean replied. They all sat around chatting for a while, but Chris and Marcus soon excused themselves, leaving the two men alone.

“So, you care to come by my place for a drink before you head home?” Dean asked, putting his hand softly on Spencer’s.

“That’s not a … I shouldn’t … are you sure?” Spencer asked, hesitantly, but Dean nodded confidently. “That would be nice, then,” Spencer replied. The two men went back to Dean’s condo and talked late into the night.

***

On Sunday evening, Chase, William, Alex, and their uncles arrived home from the beach, happy and with refreshed tans. The boys carried their bags upstairs, before flopping down in front of the television.

Before too long, the phone rang. “Hello?” William said.

“Hey,” Matt replied. “What are you guys doing?”

“Just got home from the beach, watching some TV,” William said. “What about you?”

“Just hanging out with Daniel. You guys want to go see a movie?” Matt asked. “I already called Edward and Carl and they are going.”

“Sure,” William said. “We’ll meet you at your place?”

“Alright! See you in a bit,” Matt answered, before hanging up.

William went to ask his uncles if they could watch Alex, who was presently napping, before dragging Chase back out. “We’re going with Matt and the guys to a movie!”

“The guys, huh?” Chase asked with a smile.

“Carl and Edward … and Daniel,” William answered, adding the last in a low tone.

“It’s okay,” Chase said, laughing. “I’m coming around.”

“Good,” William said with a smile. In a few minutes they arrived at Matt’s house and picked up the two boys.

“Carl and Edward are going to meet us at the food court,” Matt said as he slipped into the back seat.

Daniel, as usual, tended to be quiet, while Matt chattered constantly, asking them about the beach and telling them about his weekend. When they got to the mall, they all got their food and were soon joined by Carl and Edward. It was immediately clear to all that the presence of the two openly gay couples made Daniel a little uncomfortable. To the boy’s credit, he stuck it out and didn’t say anything about it.

They watched a rated R movie, despite Daniel’s protests that he wasn’t allowed. Matt grabbed him by the arm and dragged him inside good-naturedly. Throughout the movie, Matt watched the boy cover his eyes when a woman took her shirt off and cringe at a curse word, but Daniel was clearly enjoying the movie otherwise.

When it was over, Daniel cautioned Matt not to say anything about the movie in front of his parents. “Don’t worry, dude! I won’t tell on you, not even by accident.” Daniel nodded and sighed with relief, which would have made everyone laugh if it wasn’t so sincere.

Afterwards, they all hung out at Matt’s house until Daniel had to head home. He gave himself just enough time to get home before curfew however. When he was gone, Carl said, “So tomorrow we’re heading out to my family’s cabin with Marcus and Chris for a week of training.”

“Is that what they’re calling it these days?” Matt asked with a snort.

“Get your mind out of the gutter,” Carl laughed.

“But there’ll be enough time for that too,” Edward smiled, making Matt really laugh as Carl blushed.

“So you’re going to learn some of that Druid hocus pocus?” Matt teased.

“I suppose,” Carl said with a shrug. “I don’t really know what to expect.”

“It’ll be awesome,” Chase reassured him with a smile. “What are you going to do all week, Edward? The training will be pretty intense!”

“I’m taking my computer and some books, and I plan on making myself available for some pretty intense cuddling,” he winked, raising the pink back to Carl’s cheeks.

“EWWW!” Matt laughed.

“Get your mind out of the gutter! You never seem to mind a good cuddle, boyo,” Edward retorted with another wink, making even Matt blush a little.

Matt shrugged and said, “What EVER!”

Edward sat down on the bed next to him and wrapped an arm around Matt and said, “Now don’t be like that, Matty,” making the boy blush even brighter and all his friends laugh. Matt let the boy’s hand rest on his waist and made no move to get away, however.

Once he composed himself, Matt smirked and said, “Why don’t you join us, Chase, and the three of us’ll show these two ‘superstuds’ how it’s done?”

Chase laughed and started to get up, but William grabbed his wrist and said, “In your twisted dreams, ‘straight-boy’,” pulling Chase down into his lap.

Matt smiled and said, “I guess I’ll just have to get by with this one then….”

Carl raised his eyebrows and said, “If you’re really ready to come over, maybe you’d like a REAL man to break you in?” Matt’s eyes widened and Carl laughed. “I didn’t think so, so just remember that’s MY boyfriend you’re talking about,” he added with a wink.

“And on that note, we’ve got some last minute packing to do,” Edward said, giving Matt a quick peck on the cheek and grabbing Carl’s hand.

“Have fun, guys,” Chase said. “We’d better go too!” He gave Matt a hug and added, “Why don’t you come over some time and spend the night? It’s easier with you know who….”

“You just want me to change diapers and look pretty,” Matt said.

“Hell, yeah we do,” William teased. “See yah later!”

When Chase and William arrived home, Xavier was holding a sleeping Alex and leaning on Aiden. “Hey, guys. Sorry, I didn’t expect to be so late,” William said.

“It’s really okay,” Xavier said. “We don’t mind. We’ve really enjoyed having you boys and Alex around!”

Aiden nodded and after looking to Xavier for confirmation, he added, “It’s actually got us thinking….”

“Really!” Chase very nearly squealed. “That’s great!”

“You guys will make great parents,” William said, agreeing. “What are you thinking about?”

“No concrete plans yet,” Aiden added calmly. “Just a plan to plan….”

“Well, that’s great,” Chase added again. “We’ll have babies coming out the wazoo!”

“Is that where you think babies come from, Chase?” Xavier teased.

***

The man sat down next to his window and put the binoculars down. “Do you really think it’s him?” the woman asked grimly.

“It’s one of them. It’s still all rumors, what happened in the winter and spring, but the action was centered on this group of boys,” the man replied.

“Is it true,” she asked, “that one of them actually went inside the Holy of Holies?”

“That’s what Q said. He overheard Samuel whispering about it at a meeting of the Kabbalists just a month ago!” he reported.

“How could they keep this a secret?” she asked amazement in her voice.

“You know the Abominations! They are powerful and have very closed circles! The wizards are always the weak link because they’re so human,” he said with a hint of disgust.

“What are we going to do when we identify the one, Philip?” the woman asked.

“We’ve always know it would come to this, Constance,” he said darkly. “We’ll do what must be done to serve God!” Then the man reached for his gun and cleaning kit, watching the window down the street with intensity. “Have you identified all the boys who met tonight?”

“Yes,” she said, and listed their names.

“Well, until we have a better picture, it could be almost any one of them,” he said. “Do we have people on all of them?”

“We should have by tomorrow,” she replied.

“Good. Call him and report in,” the man said.

She dialed the number, a throw-away cell phone that was replaced every few days, held by a most secretive man. “Yes?” he answered the call.

“Abraxos, it’s Constance…. I have a status report.”

“Go ahead,” he said simply and impatiently.

“Tonight, the boy’s local friends gathered, and we’ve identified the ones who showed up,” she reported.

“Where did they meet?” he asked.

“At the boy Matt’s house,” she answered. “Daniel was there, of course.”

“Yes, he and Matt seem quite close,” the man said.

“And then Chase Abernathy and William Jennings, Edward Boyle and Carl MacKenna,” she added.

“Hmmm,” the man said thoughtfully at the last.

“What is it, sir?” she asked.

“Nothing that concerns you,” he said. “Nothing that concerns you at all…. Expect orders soon. And Constance?”

“Yes, sir?” she said, appropriately humbled.

“Good work!” As he hung up, her heart soared at the praise from her master.