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Love Conquers All

by Flaming Matt

Chapter 32

December 2015

"You don't have to tell me what's wrong, but I still want to help Mitch, we're brothers and I love you." Ben decides to say in a warm and loving tone, as he continues to hold his brother, who to his relief, was beginning to settle down and while he was still worried about him, he knew from not only his own experiences, but his fiancé's as well, that a good cry made you feel better and he was hoping his brother would finally talk to him now.

"I love you too Little Guy." Mitch just about manages to say, after trying his best to pull himself together and while it was a little embarrassing to break down in his little brothers arms, he didn't care and he just appreciated him being there for him.

"What happened though Mitch, because I'm okay and so is Matt and I know Jim died, but I don't think it's that, but I don't know what else could have happened, everyone else we know is okay." Ben then decides to say, as he goes over everything in his mind and while it had been tough on everyone, things were looking up and he couldn't think of anything that would have his brother breaking down like this.

"Simon is in a coma and they don't think he is going to make it." Mitch states in a quiet tone, after deciding to just get it off his chest, before sniffling a couple of times as he feels his little brother puling away from him slightly.

"They found him?" Ben quickly asks in a surprised tone, before realising what his brother had just said. "He might die?" He then quickly asks in a shocked tone, as he sees the look on his brothers face and knew that he wasn't lying and slowly started to understand why his brother was so upset.

"I can't talk about it Ben, I just can't, but he was in a bad way and it was Conner, he had him locked up somewhere and he..." Mitch tries to respond, but quickly pulls his little brother back into a loving embrace and holds him tightly.

"Mitch, it's okay, you don't have to tell me everything, I understand." Ben decides to say in a comforting tone, while doing his best not to cry himself, he may have not liked Simon, especially after what happened to his fiancé and friend, but he was a decent guy and he knew his brother cared about him, even if they weren't as close as they were when they were growing up.

"I've lost everyone Ben, Simon was the last one and he might not even make it past tonight, everyone's gone." Mitch then just about manages to say, before breaking down again and cries on his little brothers shoulder as he feels him tightening his hold on him.

"You still have me and Matt and..." Ben then decides to try and say in a reassuring tone, but quickly trails off as he realises what his brother was actually saying and even though his brother was close to him and his friends, they weren't his real friends. "Oh... well er... You still have us Mitch, but I get it now, I understand." He then says in an understanding tone, his brother had basically lost his childhood friends and as he thinks about his own friends, he could only imagine what he would feel if he lost them all and he could feel himself shudder at the thought.

"Are you okay?" Mitch quickly asks in a worried tone, as he feels his little brother shudder and quickly pulls back enough to see his face and while he had his own issues to deal with, his little brother always came first and he needed to make sure that he was okay, even if he was suffering himself.

"Yeah, I mean er... yeah I'm okay Mitch, but I really get it now, if I lost Wesley, Carter and Jordan, it would be horrible, even if I still had Matt and Tobias and you." Ben responds with a sad smile, as he thinks about what his brother had lost over the past year or so and he started to feel a little ashamed of himself for not thinking about it before and at least trying to talk to him about it, because they were brothers and he should have known how it would make his brother feel.

"It's not just losing them Ben, friends drift apart, some just find new friends, others move away and things like college and work can get in the way, but this isn't like that, I've lost them all and I can never get them back." Mitch then says in a lost and downhearted tone, as he thinks about how things could never be the same again and while he had always thought they might drift apart, he could never have imagined how things had turned out, no one could and he still couldn't quite believe it now.

"But Simon could still be okay, they said that Matt wouldn't survive that first night and he is still here Mitch, he's in there right now and he is laughing and having fun, so Simon could be okay too." Ben quickly states in response, as he looks at his brother and then at the restaurant, just to get his point across and although he didn't know what happened to his brothers friend, he knew what his fiancé had been through and if he made it through that, than he was sure Simon could be okay too.

"I know and I won't give up on him Ben, I'm going to be spending as much time as I can with him, but it's not just him, it's Jim and while we were only friends for a few years, he was a good person and he was murdered and the person who murdered him was my best friend..." Mitch then says in a sad tone, before trailing off for a few moments as he thinks about his former best friend again. "He was my best friend Ben, but look at him now, he's a murderer and a paedophile and if having one friend turning out to be a paedophile wasn't bad enough, there's Andy and fuck knows where he is now and to be honest I don't care..." He then states in a frustrated and slightly angry tone, before trailing off again as he thinks about his former friends and still couldn't quite see how they turned out the way they did, it just didn't seem real.

"It's not the same, well I don't think it is, but if Barry did really help Jarred hurt Peter and Alex, then I guess I kind of know how you feel, because I've known Barry since er... well er... like forever and he was always nice and he even stood up to his dad when he was saying homophobic things, so it's weird and stuff to think he could hurt someone and I think Alex must feel pretty strange about Jarred as well, because they were best friends since before they started school and for him to do what he did, that must be like what you feel like, I think." Ben then decides to say, as he tries relate to what his brother must be going through and while he knew that it wasn't the same thing, he thought it was similar enough to start to understand how he must be feeling.

"It might not be quite the same, but I get your point Ben and I think you understand, well enough anyway and I love you, I love you so much and I know you have Matt now and I have Erica, but you will always be my number one priority Ben, you're everything to me, I mean it." Mitch then decides to say in response, as he tries to pull himself together a little bit and quickly pulls his little brother into his chest and kisses the top of his head.

"I love you too and no matter what, I always will Mitch, you're the best big brother and the best friend in the world and I love you so much." Ben quickly responds in a slightly muffled tone, as he smiles at his brothers words and quickly tightens his own hold on him even more.

"What do you say Little Guy, another five minutes and then head back inside?" Mitch then decides to say in a strained tone, as tears started to run down his face again, he loved his little brother and the fact he had come out here to comfort him, just strengthened the bond between them in his eyes and he really would do anything for him.

"Okay." Ben responds in a content tone, as he just enjoys being in his brothers arms and while he was comforting him, it didn't stop him feeling better himself, he had been through a lot recently too and it just felt good to be in his brothers arms like this.

"Is he okay?" Lily asks in a concerned tone, after turning back around with the others and being a little surprised to see her boyfriends brother asleep or at least looking like he was.

"Stay there Tobias, we don't want to wake him." Sarah quickly states in a soft and quiet tone, as she gives her son a reassuring smile, before slowly getting up and moving over to her other sleeping son and while she could see that he was breathing, she couldn't help but be a little worried and she could see Erica looking at him in the same way as well.

"It's okay Lily, he does this a lot, he doesn't sleep very well and he's still getting over what happened with his medication, so he's just having a nap." Tobias decides to say in a quiet tone, as he turns to his girlfriend and gives her a reassuring smile and while he was surprised that his brother had fallen asleep, the more he thought about it the less worried he was, because he had said he was tired a little while earlier and a nap would probably do him good.

"Oh okay, as long as he is okay, that's all that matters." Lily quickly responds with a relieved smile, while also being a little surprised by her own words, because she knew she meant them and it made her realise that she did care about her boyfriends family and it made her feel even closer to him as well.

"Is he okay?" Mike then decides to ask and while like the others he thought he was okay, he couldn't quite stop himself from being a little worried as well.

"He looks a little pale, but he is just sleeping." Sarah responds with a smile, before moving back over to her chair and sitting down and while she had thought about sitting next to her son and holding him, she didn't want to risk waking him, he was obviously tired and she was actually hoping that once he woke up, he might feel like singing again, because he had seemed really excited to sing again earlier in the evening and she knew he enjoyed performing here.

"It's probably just the lighting Sarah, he looked fine earlier and you did say that he said that he was feeling tired." Erica decides to say with a reassuring smile and while she was tempted to give him a quick check over, she knew Sarah wouldn't take any risk and if she thought he wasn't well, than she would have said something, so she was happy to leave it at that and maybe just keep an eye on him until he woke up, just in case.

"Oh, Lily, you will like this one, she is really good and she sings really nice songs." Tobias then says, as he glances over to the stage after hearing Keith talking and sees who was standing next to him and he couldn't help but be a little excited, because he knew she was good and also knew that she wouldn't wake his brother up, which was an added bonus as far as he was concerned, his brother needed his rest and if anything, this should help him stay asleep.

"She's really pretty too." Lily responds in a happy tone, as she decides to take her boyfriend concentrating on the karaoke, as a sign that his brother really was okay, because she knew he wouldn't do that unless he was completely sure he was okay.

"We should be quiet now, I don't want to risk Matt waking up and if the woman sings how she normally does, than everyone will be able to hear you talking, okay." Sarah then decides to say, after seeing her son stir a little before settling back down and while her other son and his girlfriend could get away with talking, she wasn't lying about the chances of them being heard over the singing, which see was looking forward to.

"Okay Mum, we promise." Tobias responds with a smile and while he wasn't planning on talking, he understood what she was saying and he really didn't want to get caught talking while someone was singing and knew he girlfriend wouldn't either, so decides to quickly give her a kiss on the cheek, before turning back to the stage just as the young woman starts to sing.

"Alex, if he said that he's spending time with his family, than that is what he is doing." Gordon responds in a calm tone, as he watches his son closely and while he could see that he was upset, he was pleased to see that he wasn't overreacting or getting angry, even if the disappointment was obvious.

"All weekend though?" Alex quickly asks in a frustrated and disappointed tone, as he continues to pace in front of his dad and while he didn't think his boyfriend was lying completely, he was still annoyed and a little angry at how their conversation had gone, especially since it started really well and they had talked for ages before it went awkward.

"He was missing for a week Alex and while I can't speak for his parents, I know that if it was you, I would want to spend as much time with you as possible and it wouldn't just be a few days and then everything magically goes back to normal, so it might take a week or two or even a month, but until his parents get over what happened, they're going to want to spend time with him as much as possible." Gordon responds honestly and while he could tell that it wasn't the answers his son was really after, he could at least tell that it had given him something to think about and he was pleased to see him stop pacing back and forth and sit down opposite him on the sofa.

"He did say he would call me." Alex then says in a calmer tone, as he thinks about his dads words and also what his boyfriend had said and while he did feel a little better, he still sensed that his boyfriend was avoiding him as much as possible and he still wasn't entirely convinced that he was going to be too busy to see him.

"Look, I know this is hard for you Alex and if I had to guess, you're feeling like he is avoiding you, but he's been through a lot and I know we've talked about this before, several times, but the truth is he was reluctant to be your boyfriend before what happened, so as he slowly remembers more and more, because you've told me that he has been remembering more, it's likely he will be remembering those reluctant feelings and those with what Jarred had told him, will be very hard to ignore, but if you give it time, he will remember being your boyfriend Alex and he will remember how happy it made him." Gordon then decides to say and while he had told his son this many times, he knew that he would probably be saying the same thing again a few more times over the coming weeks, but he was his son and he knew how happy Peter made him, so he was determined to reassure and support him, no matter how many times he might have to repeat himself.

"It's just hard Dad, I keep thinking of him as my boyfriend and to me he is, but to him I'm not even his friend right now and everyone keeps telling me to be patient and I know I have to be, but it still doesn't make it better and I still miss him, it's just hard Dad." Alex then quickly says in a sad tone, as he tries to just be honest about how he was feeling and while his dads words did help and he knew it was true, it didn't make him feel any better in his heart, he wanted to be with his boyfriend and he couldn't and no words could fix that.

"You have people to talk to Alex and you have me, so you don't have to go through this alone, so I'm going to say something that even I can't believe I'm going to say." Gordon then begins to say, before stopping for a few moments to let those words sink in. "Alex, when you're in this house and we don't have company, I'm going to allow you to say and do whatever you want, for the next week, so that means swearing, shouting, crying and as long as you don't damage anything important, throw things around, I just ask you to not make enough noise to worry the neighbours." He then adds in a slightly hesitant tone, as he wonders if he was doing the right thing, but he was sure his son would feel better if he let off some steam and while he could use his boxing equipment, he thought this alternative suggestion might help as well.

"What?" Alex quickly asks in a confused tone, as he gives his dad a confused look as well, he had heard what he had said, but it didn't make sense and he wasn't sure what was going on, because his dad didn't let him swear and he definitely didn't tolerate shouting and throwing things around, so he was definitely not expecting him to say something like that.

"I'm not saying go crazy or anything like that Alex, but it's clear to me that you're frustrated and angry and I've seen you training in the garage and while it helps, it's obviously not the kind of release you need, so if shouting and swearing will help, I think it's something that is at least worth a try, even if it doesn't work." Gordon responds as he does his best to explain himself clearly and while it might achieve nothing, he was willing to give it a try and could see that his son was thinking it over in his head, so he took that as a good sign.

"I don't feel like doing that though." Alex then says in a less than convinced tone, as he gives his dad a curious look and while being allowed to do that stuff sounded tempting, he really didn't feel like doing it right now and couldn't help but wonder if his dad was testing him in some weird way.

"Well I don't mean right now Alex, I'm just letting you know that if you feel like you need to vent, then for the next week, you won't get punished, well unless you take it too far or use this opportunity to swear and shout for no reason, because this is to try and help you Alex, not give you an excuse to act anyway you like." Gordon responds with a caring smile and while he felt like he maybe had to set some ground rules for this at some point, right now he just wanted his son to understand what he was actually suggesting and give him a chance to think it over for himself for a day or so.

"Oh er... okay, I get it, but I still don't feel like doing it now, I kind of just want to have a bath and then watch something on TV." Alex then says in an understanding tone, before getting back to his feet and watching as his dad does the same.

"I'm working early tomorrow, so I'm probably going to be asleep before you come back downstairs, so if you do come down to get a snack or a drink, then please clear up after yourself." Gordon decides to say with a warm smile, before moving in front of his son and giving him a loving cuddle. "And keep the volume down if you end up watching one of those action or horror films you like so much." He then quickly adds with a small grin, after letting go of his son and stepping back a little bit.

"I promise and I'm not going to stay up late, I'm pretty tired and I want to be up early anyway." Alex responds with a grin of his own and while he knew his dad was teasing him, he knew better than to totally ignore what he was saying and was determined not to disappoint his dad any more than he had done already in the past few months.

"Get going then, I have a few things to do down here before I head upstairs, so if I don't see you before I go to sleep, I will see you in the morning." Gordon then says with a loving smile, before giving his sons hair a little ruffle and while he knew he hated that, he couldn't resist teasing him a little bit.

"Okay and love you Dad." Alex responds with a slight pout, as he instinctively fixes his hair and although he didn't really have a style and didn't really care what it looked like half the time, he just didn't like people ruffling it and knew that his dad knew that and while he was tempted to have a little fun with some payback, he wanted to have a bath and just be alone for a little while and think about what his dad had said and about his boyfriend.

"I love you too Alex." Gordon responds with a genuine smile and watches proudly as his son turns away from him and walks out of the room and while he had made mistakes and he was sure he would make plenty more in the future, he was proud of the man he was becoming.

One Hour Later

"Huh? What er... where am... oh." Matt just about manages to say in a groggy and slightly startled tone, as he suddenly wakes up and attempts to sit up, only to find himself being held in somebodies arms.

"Hey Sleepyhead, about time you woke up." Ben quickly says in an amused tone, as he decides to hold on to his fiancé and stop him from falling off the chair.

"How long have I been asleep?" Matt then decides to ask in a more aware tone, as he realises who was holding him and where they were and despite feeling a little embarrassed about obviously falling asleep, he could see that apart from his mum and fiancé, everyone else was looking towards the stage where two men were singing together.

"Just over an hour I think." Ben answers with a smile, before leaning down and giving his fiancé a quick kiss on the lips. "We're going to be leaving soon, but I'm going to sing again first." He then decides to say with an even wider smile when he sees his fiancé's expression change from sleepy to excited and couldn't help but love how excited he was for him.

"What are you going to sing?" Matt quickly asks in an excited tone and while he had been initially disappointed to learn that he had slept for so long, he was definitely happy to hear that his fiancé was going to sing and couldn't wait to hear what song he had chosen. "What's that look for?" He then has to ask in a slightly confused tone, as he sees his fiancé's face drop a little and turn a little red.

"I'm just a bit nervous, it's kind of private, but I want Mitch to know how I feel about him and that I'm there for him." Ben responds in a quiet tone, as he feels himself blush a little and while he was definitely going to sing, he was actually starting to get really nervous and knew how personal this song was for him and he had only ever sung it once since his mum had died, so he definitely needed his fiancé's support and strength.

"I will stand with you if you need me to." Matt decides to offer as he gives his fiancé's hand a comforting squeeze and while he hadn't actually said the song, he had a pretty good idea what it was and despite being a little worried about whether his fiancé could hold himself together for the entire song, he wanted to give him confidence and let him know that he believed in him.

"I want you to, but I need to do this on my own Matt." Ben quickly responds in the same quiet tone, he didn't want anyone overhearing them talking, especially his brother and while his fiancé's mum had been looking at them, he was happy to see that she had turned towards the stage and not listening to them talking.

"I believe in you Ben and you can do this, just go for it and if you feel yourself losing it, just let it happen, because no one will make fun of you and Mitch will still understand." Matt then says in a proud tone, while also keeping his voice low after realising that his fiancé didn't want anyone else to know about his song choice.

"If I do break down and stuff, can you let Mitch come to me, he's going through a lot and I want to be close to him, is that okay?" Ben then decides to ask in a slightly hesitant tone and even though he knew that his fiancé would understand, he still wanted to ask him first, they were engaged now and even if they weren't, they were a team and he wanted to be honest with him.

"You don't even have to ask Ben, but thank you for asking anyway." Matt responds with a loving smile, before meeting his fiancé half way and instinctively pulls him a little closer as they kiss each other tenderly for a few moments.

"They were really good." Lily then says, as everyone turns back around. "Well not good singers, but it was still fun." She then says in a slightly defensive tone, before smiling as her boyfriend gives her a quick kiss on the cheek.

"Yeah, you don't have to be able to sing amazingly to be good at karaoke." Mike decides to say with a smile, as he thinks about how some really good singers never really did entertain anyone and how some people who couldn't sing that well, could sometimes give great performances.

"So does that mean we're going to see you up there next Dad?" Mitch then decides to say in a mocking tone, as he grins at his dad and despite his own mood still being down, he wanted to try his best to enjoy the rest of the evening, especially since his little brother was going to sing in a few minutes time, which he was genuinely looking forward to.

"You sing too Mike?" Lily quickly asks in an amazed tone, she knew her boyfriend couldn't sing, but she though it was just Matt and Ben who could, so she was curious to see how good he was.

"No, just no, no to all the above." Mike quickly responds in a slightly embarrassed tone, before giving his eldest son a less than impressed look and even though he did find it amusing, he knew they would all have a good laugh if he played along with it a little bit.

"Yeah sorry Lily, there is good, okay, not awful, completely awful, please cut my ears off it's so bad and then there is Dad." Mitch quickly decides to state with a big grin, before chuckling at the look on his dads face and knew that he had got him good this time and the sound of the boys and Lily giggling, helped him put the other stuff out off his mind for a little longer.

"Hey!" Mike quickly responds in a mock hurt tone. "You could sugar coat it a little bit, I am your dad Mitch." He then decides to add with a look of betrayal to go with it, which was harder than he thought as he struggled not to grin at the look on Lily's face and while a little mean, he knew she wouldn't be upset with him pretending to be offended by his eldest sons remarks.

"I thought he was sugar coating it." Sarah then quickly decides to add with a grin, which widens when she hears all the boys and Lily laughing and sees her friends face turn a little red and couldn't help but feel a little proud of herself for making him blush.

"You guys are funny." Lily then says in an amused tone, as she finally realises what they were doing and while there were definitely some bad things going on in their lives, she was happy to see that they could still have fun and she really felt accepted as they had obviously involved her in the joking around to make her feel at ease around them.

"So what are you going to sing Ben, is it a good one?" Tobias decides to ask in as casual a tone as he could manage, he had tried to find out earlier, but his brother wouldn't tell anyone and he was hoping now that he was a little distracted, he might let it slip and while it was a little naughty, he just couldn't resist trying.

"If I tell you, you have to sit in the car on your own while I sing it for everyone else." Ben quickly retorts with a grin, which just as quickly widens when he sees the look on his brothers face and while another time his brother might have succeeded in getting him to say which song he was singing, this was too important and he had made sure he kept his guard up a little.

"Ha! That's brilliant, but come on Ben, why the big secret?" Mitch then decides to ask in a curious tone, he was feeling a lot more relaxed now and he was genuinely curious about why his little brother was being so secretive and he was starting to wonder if he had lost another bet with Matt and had to sing something embarrassing, which wouldn't be the first time they had done something like that.

"We will make you sit outside as well Mitch." Matt quickly decides to say in response, before giving his fiancé a quick peck on the cheek and then grinning at their brother.

"Okay, okay, I'll be good." Mitch quickly states in an amused tone and while his little brother could be singing anything, he was now convinced that it was something embarrassing and he couldn't wait to tease him about it afterwards.

"Okay boys, someone else is now going to sing and then it will be Ben's turn, so let's be quiet and listen to see what they're going to sing." Sarah then says in a serious tone and while they could carry on talking, there was no rule against it, she knew the boys hadn't heard this woman sing before and knew they would enjoy it if they were paying attention.

"Okay Mum." Matt responds with a smile, before cuddling up to his fiancé and as he looks over to their brother, his smile widens when he sees Lily cuddle up to him in the same way.

"Peter?" Alex quickly asks in a surprised and slightly confused tone, after picking up his phone and answering it without looking who was calling and couldn't believe his boyfriend was calling him, especially since he couldn't seem to get off the phone to him earlier fast enough.

"Er... hey Alex." Peter responds in an awkward tone, as he completely forgets what he wanted to say and couldn't help but slap himself mentally for making a complete mess of the call before it even really started.

"Are you okay? Did something happen?" Alex then decides to ask in a concerned tone, after assuming that something must have happened for his boyfriend to call him, especially since he sounded weird and if he wanted to talk, then surely he wouldn't sound like that, so something had to have happened.

"Er... what?" Peter quickly responds in a confused tone, as he thinks about his friends response and the conversation so far as a whole, which was definitely about as awkward as he could imagine it could be right now and was starting to regret even calling him in the first place.

"You're being weird Peter, like seriously weird and you called me, so are you okay?" Alex answers as clearly as he could, while at the same time trying to work out if he should be worried or just happy that his boyfriend had called him, because there had to be a reason and he was just praying that it was something good and not something bad, he's had enough of bad and wanted something good for a change.

"I guess I just wanted to make sure you were okay." Peter responds in a slightly more comfortable tone, as he takes a few moments to compose himself and think about why he had actually called his friend in the first place.

"Oh, well er... I'm okay I guess." Alex then says in a slightly surprised tone, as he thinks about what his friend had just said actually meant, because while he was worried a few moments ago, he was now smiling a little bit and took this as a good sign.

"Oh, well good, I just thought you sounded a little weird earlier." Peter then says in a relieved tone, although there was also a little bit of awkwardness as well, because he genuinely had no idea what to say now and found himself wondering why he had called him in the first place, since it seemed like he had made a mistake in thinking he upset his friend.

"Well I guess I thought you were trying to avoid me a little bit." Alex then decides to says, after thinking about his boyfriends words and also what his dad had told him earlier and despite being a little worried he might upset him, he wanted to try and find out whether he was right or not, while he had the chance.

"What? Why would you think that?" Peter quickly asks in response, as he wonders if his friend had read his mind or something, because while he hadn't set out to make him feel like he was avoiding him when they spoke earlier, he was uncomfortable at the time and had wanted to end the call, which is why he was calling now to find out whether he had actually upset him.

"Come on Peter, you definitely didn't really want to talk to me and I know you've been through a lot, but come on, you can't be spending the entire weekend with your parents and not get away for even a couple of hours." Alex decides to answer honestly after taking a few moments to think about how to respond and while he was still a little worried about upsetting him and making him hang up, he just wanted to be honest and if it made things even more awkward between them, then he would just have to accept that, because he didn't want to carry on feeling like he had been doing ever since his boyfriend came back.

"But I really can't come out Alex, my parents invited my grandparents and aunties and uncles round for the whole weekend and I doubt I will even get a minute to myself, let alone get a chance to get away from them for an hour or two." Peter quickly responds honestly and while he felt like his friend was being a little unfair, he did have a point and he also knew it was hard for him, but it was hard for himself as well and he was really struggling to see how it could get any better, but he was willing to try and it was why he had decided to call him like this in the first place.

"Oh... well why didn't you just say that earlier you dumb ass, instead of being all weird and awkward when I asked why we couldn't see each other." Alex then says in a mixture of amusement and relief, as he thinks about what his boyfriend had just said and how if he had just told him about his family coming down to start with, he wouldn't have had to worry and feel rejected, but at the same time, it made him smile, because this was typical Peter for him and he just loved everything about him, even when he was being an idiot.

"Because I was... I don't know, it's just still weird Alex, because I just... look I want to try and be friends Alex, but it's still weird to think that we did gay stuff together, I mean I don't even remember doing any sex stuff, like anything and yet according to everyone else, I have a boyfriend and according to our friends, I've done sex stuff and not only sex stuff, but gay sex stuff and it's weird Alex, it's so weird and I know it must be weird for you too and I just get all shy and weird when I see or talk to you, I can't help it." Peter responds honestly again and while that wasn't everything he felt, it was as honest as he wanted to be and he genuinely wanted to try and be friends, so he didn't want to upset his friend by telling him what else he felt, because he knew it would hurt him.

"We can just be friends for a while Peter, I won't try to kiss you or anything like that, I mean I might want to, but I won't." Alex then decides to say, as he tries to weigh up his options. "We were friends before we ever even held hands Peter and we had fun together without all the boyfriend stuff." He then adds in a sincere tone and while he would find it hard, he was willing to do whatever it took to get his boyfriend back and if that meant just being friends for a while, than he would do that for as long as it took.

"But I keep upsetting you, I can't even talk to you on the phone without doing something that hurts you." Peter responds in a frustrated tone, as he thinks about every conversation they had had together since he had left the shed and turned up at the hospital and even when his friend tried to hide it, he could still see how it hurt him and it just made it harder for him as well, because he just felt guilty, which made him resent his friend a little bit and it wasn't getting any easier as time went by.

"Well maybe we both need to stop thinking about things too much, everyone keeps telling us to just be friends and hang out like we used to, so maybe they have a point, let's just be friends and not think about anything else." Alex decides to say in a sincere tone and while he would struggle to not think of him as his boyfriend, if it meant they could be around each other, than that was good enough for him, well for a while anyway, because he knew they loved each other and he just needed a chance to get his boyfriend to remember that.

"Ben and Matt told me to try that as well, so er... okay, but I really can't do anything this weekend and my parents have sort of hinted that we might be going to my grandparents for Christmas, so er... maybe we could do something in between, but er... well I have loads of new games, I think my parents went a bit crazy, so maybe you could come over one day next week and we could play some of them?" Peter decides to ask in response, as he does his best to not sound awkward or weird this time and while he was feeling both of those things, he wanted to give their friendship a chance and knew at the very least, they would have fun playing the new games that he now had.

"That would be great, I miss beating you at your own games." Alex quickly responds enthusiastically and even manages to be a little brave and tease his boyfriend a little bit and while it could backfire, he was hoping it would give him some indication of what his boyfriend was thinking and hopefully he wouldn't take it the wrong way.

"Maybe, I haven't even played most of them, my parents seriously went over the top, because I have new clothes and other stuff as well, it's ridiculous Alex, seriously." Peter then says in an amused tone and although he knew why his parents were doing it, he was definitely feeling a little spoilt and wondered if he could donate some of it to charity or an orphanage maybe, but that was something that could wait.

"At least they care Peter, but you could try and tell them to calm down a little bit." Alex quickly responds as he does his best to not get too overexcited about his boyfriends reaction to his teasing and while he would have preferred him to laugh or say something back, he could tell that at the very least he found it a little funny and was happy to carry on talking for as long as possible.

"Maybe, but er... well I got to go now Alex, I mean apart from sounding like an idiot at first, I'm glad I called, but I really have to go now, my mum is calling me and er... well I'm..." Peter then begins to say, as he tries to let his friend know that he really had to go, but as he hears his friends voice, he couldn't help but feel bad and knew he was going to get upset.

"It's fine Peter, I'm just happy you even called and I even though you're a complete weirdo, I still think you're funny and I'm really looking forward to beating you at all your new games." Alex quickly states in an amused tone, after deciding to give his boyfriend a break and stop him from getting himself worked up, because he could hear how awkward he sounded and he didn't want to go back to either of them feeling like that, not after actually making some progress, even if it was small, it was a start.

"You can try, but I'm going to beat you worse..." Peter quickly retorts, before just as quickly trailing off as he hears his friend chuckling and knew how lame his comeback sounded. "Shut up!" He then states with a grin, he could hear his friend still chuckling and quickly did the same as he thought about how lame his response was again and knew it wasn't just a one off, he had always been rubbish at this sort of thing and knew his friend thought it was funny, which he was surprised to realise, made him feel a little happy inside.

"You should get going now Peter, just let me know what day you want me to come around, because I can't make Tuesday or Friday, I have to do some stuff and I have to do it." Alex then decides to say in a slightly hesitant tone, as he thinks about what he had to do and while he didn't have to hide it from his friend, he just hoped he didn't ask why, he just didn't want to risk the progress they had made in the past ten minutes.

"I will call you tomorrow or the next day, but er... well er... if we er... well we are so I guess er..." Peter then begins to try and respond, before again finding himself being interrupted and while he was a little worried when his friend interrupted him before, he was definitely relieved this time, because he was starting to mumble and stumble over his words and he felt like a bit of an idiot.

"Wow, if Tobias could hear you now, he might think he had some competition." Alex quickly states in an amused tone, as he decides to be a little braver and tease his friend. "But seriously Peter, just say what you want to say, because we're friends and you don't have to be nervous, you can tell me anything." He then adds, after hearing his boyfriend giggling and decided to take another chance and see if he could get him to relax a little bit more.

"I just wanted to er... well I want it to be a whole day, like you come to mine early and we can play some games and then maybe go somewhere like the park and then we can go back to mine for more games and maybe you can stay for dinner and then more games and then er... well then you can go home, but I er... well is that okay?" Peter responds in a slightly nervous and unsure tone, because while he genuinely wanted to do all of that, he was still a little nervous that his friend would get the wrong idea and as his friend doesn't respond for a few moments, he quickly starts to get more nervous and wonders if he had made a mistake or not.

"Yeah, I mean yeah that sounds good Peter, I mean I don't know how late I can stay because my dad won't let me walk home in the dark and he's working late at work most of the week, so if it's one of those days, I will be staying at Matt and Ben's, so I don't want to turn up too late round theirs." Alex eventually responds in a slightly disappointed tone, as he takes a few moments to think over his options and he knew a sleepover was out off the question and even if his boyfriend had suggested it, he would refuse, he may be okay with being just friends for a while, but there was no way he could sleep in the same room as him and not do something he would probably regret.

"Well er... well, I guess it should be okay, we've been eating at like five or six all week and it won't be dark until like eight and I will ask my mum or dad to drive you home or to Matt and Ben's." Peter then says in a slightly surprised tone, before remembering being told about his friend sometimes staying over at their friends house and as he thought about it, he remembered how he even had his own room and even a key, which kind of surprised him again, because he actually remembered talking to his friend about it before Jarred had done what he had done to them and couldn't help but smile, because it was a happy memory and it was the first real memory that he had had of them actually being real friends.

"That will be great and thanks Peter, I really can't wait, just let me know as soon as you can, because I can tell my dad and also Matt and Ben, if I'm staying at theirs." Alex then says with a grin, as he realises that this was really going to happen and while it would be just as friends and he was going to make sure it was just as friends, it was a big step forward and he couldn't feel himself getting a little hard and despite the fact they were talking over the phone, he still couldn't help but blush a little bit.

"I will, I promise, but I really need to go now, my mum just used my full name and she only uses that when I'm about to get grounded for a very long time, so er... by Alex and I er... well bye." Peter responds with a small smile and while he still couldn't even begin to imagine being gay and having a boyfriend, he had to admit, that when his friend sounded happy, it gave him a warm feeling inside and while it confused him, he found himself not completely ignoring that feeling this time.

"Well get going then you idiot and just to help you out, bye." Alex then quickly states in an amused tone, before just as quickly hanging up on his boyfriend and while it was a little mean, he also had something else on his mind and quickly pushes his briefs down and slowly rubs himself, as he thinks about his boyfriend and his body.

"Well er... hey everyone again." Ben states in a slightly nervous tone, as he looks around the restaurant and sees everyone clapping and cheering towards him. "This is a special song to me and I've never sung this in front of anyone before, not even my fiancé, well maybe once, but he was in a coma, so that doesn't count, so er... well er..." He then starts to say in a more confident tone, before quickly trailing off as he starts to get nervous again.

"Is he going to be okay?" Sarah quickly asks in a concerned tone, he had been through a lot recently and the way he had trailed off was a little worrying and she could see the same worry on his dads face as well.

"I'm not sure, maybe we should..." Mike begins to respond in a worried tone, before looking across in surprise as he finds himself being interrupted.

"He will be okay, he's strong and we just need to smile and let him do it." Matt states in a firm tone, before standing up and cheering and clapping his hands loudly, just as his fiancé looks over to him and instantly knew that he would be okay, he had seen that look on his face enough times to know what it meant and he knew he was going to be amazing.

"This song means everything to me and that's why I'm singing it to someone very special to me and maybe I haven't shown it enough recently, but that's going to change and well this is for you Mitch, you're my big brother and I love you so much." Ben then states in a confident and focused tone, as he looks from his fiancé to his now surprised brother and quickly smiles at him, before adjusting the mic stand again.

"He's singing for..." Mitch then begins to say in a quiet and stunned tone, before finding himself being quickly cut off.

"Sshh Mitch and just listen." Matt states quietly, as he gives his brother a serious look, before turning back to his fiancé, just as he starts to sing.

"You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged

Oh I realize
Its hard to take courage

In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all."

"Oh wow!" Erica couldn't help but say in a quiet tone, as she suddenly remembers where she had last heard this song and quickly gives her boyfriend a sad smile, as he turns to her and she could see that he was thinking back to when they had overheard his little brother singing this to Matt when he is was in his coma.

"And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small."

"I know." Mitch responds in an emotional tone, as he struggles to hold back tears, he knew what this song meant for his little brother, because it meant the same thing to him and knowing why he was singing this, just melted his heart and as he felt tears falling down his face, he looks back at his little brother singing directly at him and smiled sadly towards him.

"But I see your true colors
Shining through

I see your true colors
And that's why I love you

So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors

True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

Show me a smile then
Don't be unhappy."

As he watches his fiancé singing his heart out, Matt couldn't help but look at everyone else and despite the sadness of the song and the tears in their eyes, he could also see the smiles and as he looked around the restaurant, he couldn't help but smile at how everyone else was just watching his fiancé in awe and what made it even better, was the fact people were being quiet and he could tell that they respected his fiancé and he couldn't be more proud of him, than he was right now.

"Can't remember
When I last saw you laughing

If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear

You call me up
Because you know I'll be there

And I'll see your true colors
Shining through

I see your true colors
And that's why I love you

So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors."

"He's crying." Lily quickly whispers into her boyfriends ear, she was enjoying his performance and she knew everyone else was, but she was a little worried about him crying and she was starting to wonder if someone so go up there and cuddle him, because she wanted to and she thought the others would want to as well.

"True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

(When I last saw you laughing)."

"It's okay, Matt cries sometimes, it just means that he means what he's saying." Tobias just about manages to respond to his girlfriends obvious concern, but his brother singing like this was getting to him and he could feel more tears rolling down his face as he listened to him singing and quickly gives his girlfriend a quick tender kiss on the cheek, before cuddling her a little tighter in his arms.

"If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear

You call me up
Because you know I'll be there

And I'll see your true colors
Shining through

I see your true colors
And that's why I love you."

"You need to go to him as soon as he finishes singing Mitch, he's barely holding on and he's doing this for you." Matt decides to say to his brother in a worried tone, he was going to wait until his fiancé finished, but it was obvious how much he was struggling to keep singing and while he thought their brother might go to him, he also thought that maybe they would all expect him to go, but he remembered what his fiancé wanted and he wasn't going to let him down.

"So don't be afraid to let them show

Your true colors."

"But shouldn't..." Mitch quickly starts to respond in a surprised tone, before being even more surprised as he feels his brothers finger pressing against his lips and he can only look at him in confusion.

"True colors

True colors
Shining through."

"Go now, just go Mitch, please." Matt quickly states in a quiet tone, before pulling his finger away from his brother and giving him a serious and expectant look, before relaxing a little bit, as he watches him standing up and slowly walking over to the stage.

"I see your true colors
And that's why I love you

So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors

True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow."

"I love you so much Ben, thank you." Mitch whispers into his little brothers ear, as he quickly cuddles him lovingly and while he was unsure about being the one to go to him, the moment he feels him returning the embrace and crying into his chest, he realised why Matt did what he did and that he knew what he was doing when he told him to come up here.

"Well, I think we should give the brave young man a round of applause and let him know just what we thought about that performance." Keith then says, as he walks over to the stage and looks around at the stunned audience, who he knew were a little unsure how to react. "That was very special Ben, but maybe you should go back to your family and be with them." He then suggests in a quiet tone, as he leans down to the two brothers and catches Mitch's eye.

"Thank you and thanks for letting him sing." Mitch responds in an emotional tone, as he lifts his little brother and feels him putting his legs around his waist and while he was struggling to contain his own emotions, he was the older brother and after giving the man an appreciative smile, he turns and walks back towards their family with tears rolling down his face.

"I know some of you will want to go and talk to the young man to congratulate him, but I think it will be respectful to give him time to compose himself and I think we should have a fifteen minute break, because I don't think anyone will want to follow that performance, so please enjoy your food and drink and we will start in fifteen minutes time." Keith then says with a smile, he had heard a few versions of that son and most are okay, but that was definitely up their near the top of his list and with the obvious meaning of the performance, it definitely got to him a little bit and he wanted a few minutes alone himself.

Two Hours Later

"It's been a while since we slept in here." Matt states in a soft tone, as he looks around their home in the house and while they had slept in their brothers room a few times recently, it's definitely been a while since they had been in their actual room in the house and not their pool house.

"You don't mind, do you?" Ben quickly asks in a slightly vulnerable tone, as he looks at his fiancé in concern, the last thing he wanted was to upset him, especially after what happened the last time they had a fight.

"No way, I love our pool house and bed, but I know why you want to sleep here Ben and I want you to be okay and I guess we should sleep in here more than we actually have done." Matt responds with a reassuring smile, before limping over to his fiancé and giving him a loving cuddle.

"I just want to be close to him, even if we aren't in the same bedroom, I still want to be near him." Ben then decides to say, as he enjoys the comforting embrace and while he wanted to be with his brother, he wasn't exactly going to complain about being with his fiancé.

"Why don't you ask if you can sleep with him tonight? He is still downstairs and you know he will say yes." Matt then decides to suggest in a serious tone, after thinking about how his fiancé was feeling and what their brother had been through and while he didn't really want to sleep alone, it would just be for one night and it wasn't like it would be the first time they hadn't slept together.

"But what about you?" Ben quickly asks in response and while he knew he hadn't dismissed his fiancé's idea outright, he didn't want him sleeping on his own, especially after everything that had happened recently and he knew their other brothers girlfriend was sleeping over and they had both agreed to not get in the way of that, even if they were a little worried about what might happen.

"Don't worry about me Ben." Matt responds with a smile, before frowning a little at his fiancé's expression after leaning back from their embrace. "Ben, I'm not a baby and Mitch really needs you, he's basically been attached to you all evening and after what he's been through, I think you should be with him tonight, so go ask him." He then states in a serious tone, before giving him a couple of loving pecks on the lips and smiling.

"But what about Erica, she's sleeping over and his bed isn't big enough for three people, even if I am small and it's not fair to ask her to go home or sleep on her own." Ben responds in a slightly frustrated tone, as he realises that while his fiancé was right, he just couldn't ask Erica to do that and he wasn't going to.

"Well she can sleep in here with me, I don't mind and she's just as much of a sister to me, as Mitch is a brother to me, so it won't be weird." Matt quickly suggests in response and while it might be a little weird, he really did think of Erica as an older sister and he couldn't help but smile at how he had gone from an only child, to having two brothers, a fiancé and now a sister and even though he had lost his dad, in a lot of ways his fiancé's dad while more of an uncle to him, more than made up for that loss in his mind and despite the bad things that had happened to him and those that he loved, he really was happy with his family and life.

"You really won't mind?" Ben quickly asks in a surprised tone and while he was delighted about his fiancé finding a solution the problem, he was still a little surprised and wondered what Erica would think about it.

"Nope and I don't think she will mind, it's not like she hasn't seen me in my underwear or even naked before and she has sat with me while I slept in the hospital, so it won't be that different and we'll be wearing stuff, so it won't be weird." Matt answers honestly and again, while it might be a little weird at first, he really didn't mind and in a way, he thought it might make their bond even stronger, because while he had never told her how much it meant to him when she had watched over him in the hospital, it really did mean something and he genuinely loved her and he hoped she loved him in the same was as well, because she was an amazing person and a good older sister, even if they weren't related.

"Oh man, I can't believe my fiancé is going to sleep with a girl tonight." Ben then decides to say with a big grin and while they were talking about something serious, he just couldn't resist trying to tease his fiancé a little bit and try and get a little reaction out of him.

"Well, if she doesn't snore, than I might have to reconsider who I sleep with in the future." Matt quickly retorts with a smirk, before pushing his fiancé backwards on to their bed and quickly climbs on top of him before he could get up. "But seriously Ben, I will be okay and Mitch really needs you and after singing what you did to him, I think you need to be with him tonight just as much." He then states in a serious tone, after looking into his fiancé's beautiful sparkling green eyes and while he would have enjoyed carrying on with their little teasing, he knew time was getting on and they needed to ask their brother before he and Erica went to bed themselves.

"Okay." Ben responds with an affectionate smile, as he stares up at his fiancé's beautiful green eyes and he couldn't help but wonder if he would ever grow tired of looking into them. "I sang it really well, didn't I." He then decides to say in a slightly vulnerable tone and while he knew he did and had been told by enough people, he just needed to hear it from his fiancé one more time.

"It was beautiful, just like you Ben." Matt responds from the heart, before leaning down and giving his fiancé a series of loving kiss on his eyes and nose. "You have a good voice Ben, but the reason it was so good, was because you meant it and songs always sound better when the person singing it, means it and no one could have sung it any better and I saw the look in Mitch's eyes Ben and he knew exactly what you were doing and why and I'm so proud of you Ben." He then adds with a sincere smile and again gives him a series of kisses for a few moments, before slowly getting up and helping his fiancé back to his feet.

"I love you Matthew Walker and you make me so happy." Ben then says from the heart, before pulling his fiancé into a loving and passionate kiss that lasts for almost five minutes.

"I love you too Benjamin Walker, but we need to go talk to Mitch and Erica before they go to his room." Matt decides to say in a slightly reluctant tone, after enjoying the kiss and wanting to take it further, but there were more important things than doing that kind of stuff right now and he knew his fiancé and their brother needed to be together tonight and while it was tough to ignore his hormones, he just about managed to stay focused.

"Okay, but tomorrow night, we're going to be alone together, no matter what." Ben responds with a naughty grin, before reaching down and giving his fiancé's penis a firm squeeze for a few seconds and then reaching for his hand to lead him downstairs to their brother.

"What's wrong?" Carter asks in a slightly worried tone, as he looks down at his boyfriend, who was sitting crossed legged on the mattress and looking a more than a little upset.

"Nothing." Wesley responds with a sigh, before looking up at his boyfriend and then down at the mattress that he was sitting on.

"Wesley, just tell me, please." Carter then says in a now scared tone, which only gets worse when he starts to get up and his boyfriend looks up at him and holds his hand up for him to stay where he was.

"I think we need to talk." Wesley then says in a reluctant and nervous tone, as he thinks about how he was feeling and how their relationship was developing and he couldn't help but wonder if he was going to make a complete mess of what he wanted to say, he knew he had a habit of doing that and he just had to hope he got it right this time.

"We're talking and you're scaring me Wesley, what's wrong?" Carter quickly asks in response, but as he starts to get up again, he quickly stops after seeing the same look on his boyfriends face and he was definitely worried that after what happened earlier, his boyfriend was going to break up with him or something, because he couldn't think of anything else that would make him act like he was right now.

"I think we need to slow down." Wesley responds with another sigh, although as soon as he looks up, he could see that his boyfriend was confused. "Why can't I ever do this kind of thing right." He then half mumbles to himself, as he sees his boyfriends expression change from confused to scared and he knew he was already making a mess of it and he had only just begun.

"A mess of what? Are you breaking up with me?" Carter then quickly asks in a scared and shocked tone, as he tries to make sense of his boyfriends change in mood, because despite both of them feeling embarrassed and awkward playing games and watching a film with his parents, they had actually had a little fun and he thought once they came back to his room, they could put what happened behind them completely, but now he was scared his boyfriend was just waiting until they were alone to show how he really felt.

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