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Love Conquers All

by Flaming Matt

Chapter 37

December 2015

"We've also talked to the nurses and doctors and you're okay to be in the room Mitch, well unless they need you to leave, but we know you know how these things work and we trust you, so don't worry and we will try to be back as quickly as we can." Mr Kelly then decides to say, as he sees the uncertain look on the young man's face and while it should have worried him, he actually found it reassuring, because it showed how much he cared for his son and he knew he could trust him to be there as a friend and not as a constable, which had initially worried both himself and his wife.

"Thank you and I promise not to leave him alone, even if I do have to step outside the room, I won't go anywhere else, you have my word." Mitch responds in a sincere tone, before turning back to his friends room and while he may have woken up during the early morning, he still looked exhausted and he couldn't help but remember what Matt had looked like and he had to swallow a lump in his throat at the memory of seeing that.

"Thank you Mitch." Mr Kelly then says with a smile, before giving his son a final look through the window and then taking his wife's arm and walking away from the room and the young man, which was harder than he had thought it would be, even though they would be back in a few hours time, they had thought they had lost their son and now that he was awake, he didn't want to leave and knew his wife felt the same way, but they had to go and the faster they went, the faster they would be back.

"Hey mate." Mitch says in a quiet tone, after taking a few moments to enter the room and sit next to his friend and even though he did want to wake him up, he still kept his voice low and decided to let him wake up by himself, if he didn't respond to his voice.

"Mitch." Simon then says in a quiet and strained tone, as he slowly opens his eyes and looks over to see his friend sitting next to him and as he glances down, he could see him holding his hand as well.

"Yeah, it's me Simon." Mitch quickly responds in a surprised tone, as he was half expecting to have to wait for his friend to wake up and wasn't really expecting him to answer, even if he had hoped he would.

"Is it true, did you get him?" Simon then asks in the same strained tone, as he struggles to speak and struggles even more to keep his eyes open, he was just exhausted and his whole body ached, but he wanted to know if his parents were right and he wanted to hear it from his friend.

"I did and believe me Simon, he has zero chance of getting away with anything that's he's done, he'll be an old man before he will ever get out, if he ever does." Mitch quickly responds in a confident tone and while he was concerned about how tired his friend looked, he knew from dealing with his brother after he had come out of his coma, that it will take a while for him to recover and not to be too worried about tiring him out, if he fell asleep he fell asleep, but until then, it was okay to talk to keep talking with him.

"He pretended to be my friend Mitch, he..." Simon then begins to say, before trailing off in a series of weak coughs. "Mitch I didn't trust him, but he... he... he seemed to want to make amends and it was a trick, a stupid trick." He then manages to say, before this time yawning, but as he tries to stretch, he quickly lets out a painful yelp and winces.

"Hey, hey, take it easy Simon, you're still recovering and just try not to move." Mitch then quickly states in a reassuring tone, as he gives his friends hand a couple of gentle squeezes, to hopefully calm him down and get him to relax a little bit.

"Try not to move? You try yawning in a bed and not moving." Simon then decides to quickly retort, before coughing and wincing painfully, after starting to laugh at his friends expression.

"Let's add no laughing on to the list, right next to not moving, agreed?" Mitch states in response, as he smiles at his friend and while it was hard to see him in pain, the fact he had tried to make a joke, told him enough to relax and also ease his concerns over his friends mental state, because he knew what his brother went through and how it changed him, so he was genuinely worried about what his friends trauma might have done to him.

"I'm tired Mitch and I feel really bad, like really bad, is that normal?" Simon then decides to ask in a worried and slightly scared tone, because while his parents had reassured him and the doctors seemed to be happy with him waking up, it was kind of their job to say that, but he knew his friend and if there was something to worry about, he knew he would tell him or at the very least, not lie to him about it.

"Honestly, I don't really know anything Simon, well not about your recovery or stuff like that, but I know you don't have any external injuries and the fact you're awake is a good sign, but as for what's going on inside you, fuck if I know." Mitch answers with a smile, as he decides to be honest and at the same time, try and reassure his friend with a little humour, because he had talked to his friends parents and even his girlfriend and while there were still some concerns, he was in the best place possible and they expected him to be okay, although the damage to his internal organs will be unknown for a little while.

"Come on Mitch, just tell me the truth, please, I just want to know what's going on." Simon then asks in a serious tone, before coughing weakly and yawning again, although this time, he just about managed to stop himself from moving.

"Okay, but I'm not a doctor Simon, so don't take what I say as fact." Mitch responds with a slight frown, before seeing his friend nodding at him to carry on. "We don't know exactly what he did to you Simon, we need you to tell us that, but I've talked to my bosses and they've agreed to wait until you're feeling better, so it will probably be some time next week before you're interviewed, but what we do know, is that you ran out of food and drink at least three or four days before we found you and when we did, you were already in a coma and your organs were beginning to shut down, so that's why you feel like shit Simon and from what I've been told, it will take a while before they know if there is any permanent damage or not, I think they're worried about your kidneys and liver more than anything, but again, you're awake and in the best place for them to fix you up." He then says in as calm a tone as he could manage, as he tries his best to be clear about what he knew and why his friend was feeling like he was.

"He drugged me with something Mitch, I'm not sure what with or if it matters, but he injected me with something, do the doctors know about that?" Simon then decides to ask, as he does his best to process what he had just been told and while it was worrying, well more than worrying, he wasn't stupid and if he was in real danger, his friend would have told him, although the thought that his liver and kidneys were damaged was unnerving, but he was going to try and stay as positive as possible, even if he did feel worse than he had ever felt in his entire life.

"I don't know Simon, but from my experience with Matt and the tests they did on him, I think it's pretty much procedure for those kind of tests, but I will mention it to the doctors and find out." Mitch answers honestly as he again tries to be as reassuring as possible and while he didn't like seeing his friend like this, he was awake and talking, so he took that as a good sign.

"He told me everything he had done Mitch, he's a monster, I just can't believe he was our friend, it's not the same person we grew up with, even if he was always a prick, he wasn't like he..." Simon then begins to say, before yawning again and trailing off, he just couldn't keep his eyes open any more and despite trying his best, he could feel himself starting to fall asleep.

"It's okay Simon, I'm not going anywhere, so just sleep and rest, we can talk when you wake up, just sleep." Mitch decides to say in a soothing tone, as he sees his friend struggling to stay awake and while he definitely wanted to hear the rest of what his friend was saying, he knew better than to try and keep him awake and as he sees his chest gently rising and falling, he settles back in his seat and watches him sleep.

"You're supposed to be swimming, not watching me." Ben says with a slight smirk, as he carries on using the punching bag and despite having his back to the pool and his fiancé, the fact that he couldn't hear any splashing, pretty much told him that his fiancé wasn't doing his laps.

"You're not even facing this way." Matt then states in a surprised tone, as he stares at his fiancé and wonders how he knew he was staring at him, because he hadn't made any noise and the way he was hitting the bag, he looked like he was fully concentrating on that and not him.

"I don't need to see you, to know that you aren't swimming Matt, I have ears." Ben quickly retorts in an amused tone, while still carrying on with his routine and while he was about to move on to some kicks and knees, he couldn't resist teasing his fiancé a little bit or at least until he got the hint and started swimming again.

"I'm allowed to have a break." Matt then decides to say in a slightly distracted tone, as he watches his fiancé move around the bad just enough to be able to see his face and couldn't help but pout a little bit when he sees him smirking.

"Well you've been staring at my butt for five minutes, so get back to it, because you still have at least half your lap to do and then we can have a bit of fun." Ben responds with a grin, as he looks at his fiancé pouting and despite being serious, they were just having a bit of fun and as he sees him pushing himself off the side and back to the middle of the pool, he decides to move on to the kicking routine.

"Dumb Ass!" Matt then says with a grin of his own and when he sees his fiancé stopping and giving him a long stare, he decides to give him a cheeky wave, before turning and getting back to doing his remaining thirty laps.

"Are they always like that?" Lily asks in a quiet tone, as she watches her boyfriends brothers getting back to their exercises and while she thought their little exchange was funny and kind of sweet, she was curious about how they talked to each other.

"Only when they're messing around, usually they just cuddle up to each other or act of lovey dovey." Tobias responds with a happy smile, as he watches his brothers for a few more moments, before turning to his girlfriend and blushing slightly, because ever since his talk with his big brother, he couldn't quite look at her without thinking about his knew found knowledge and he could feel himself react slightly, which just caused him to blush even more.

"They're happy though." Lily then says in a slightly distracted tone, as she notices not for the first time, how much her boyfriend was blushing around her and while he had always been a little shy, the past day or two, he seemed to really blush around her and she couldn't quite work out why, because other than that, he wasn't any different to how he normally was.

"Everyone seems a happier now, Carter and Wesley aren't fighting any more and Alex and Peter are spending Friday together." Tobias then says with a slightly shy smile. "I'm really, really happy as well, I like you a lot Lily, you make me happy." He then says from the heart, after plucking up the courage to tell her how he felt and while he had told her the same thing a couple of times now, after his talk with his big brother, things had changed for him and he was discovering new feelings and having new thoughts, which even just a few weeks ago, would have scared and confused him, but now, he felt like he understood them and he knew what he was feeling, was perfectly natural.

"You make me happy too and you make me laugh, but in a good way." Lily quickly responds, before leaning closer and giving her boyfriend a quick peck on the cheek. "I never really wanted a boyfriend Tobias, I mean I thought boys were okay and Ashleigh always liked holding their hands and kissing them, but I don't know, I didn't really think about boys and then I met you and you were cute and shy and you just made me smile." She then says with a sweet smile and when she feels her boyfriend leaning forward and kissing her on the lips, she quickly returns the kiss for a few moments, before feeling him pulling away and quickly blushed shyly.

"I love you." Tobias then says with a genuine smile, before frowning a little bit after seeing his girlfriends expression. "Lily, I mean it, like real love, you make me happy and you make me tingle all over and er... well not naughty tingles, you know, like the ones that make me er... well my willy go hard, but real tingles and er... this sounded better in my head." He then tries to say from the heart, as he struggles to express himself and after finding himself blushing even more, he quickly gives up and just tries to give his girlfriend his cutest smile instead.

"See, you make me smile, I think I love you too, like real love." Lily then decides to say in a soft and honest tone, before slowly leaning her forehead against his. "Is your willy hard?" She then asks in a very quiet tone, as she looks into his eyes and despite where they were and knowing that they couldn't go anywhere, she couldn't resist asking and wanted to have a little fun and knew he would play along, it's one of the things she really liked about him.

"A little bit, but it will go away soon." Tobias responds shyly and while he felt a bit silly and embarrassed, his talk with his big brother was still fresh in his mind and he took his girlfriend asking this kind of question as a good sign and while he knew they had to wait a long time to have actual sex, he was hoping they could do some of the other stuff, he just had to be patient and let his girlfriend decide when she was ready, his big brother had made that even more crystal clear and he wasn't going to ignore what he told him, he trusted and loved him too much to ever doubt him about something this important.

"Your brother is swimming a lot better now, I remember seeing him before and he's going a lot faster now." Lily then says with a sweet smile, after deciding to change the subject and while she found herself feeling more and more curious about her boyfriends body, they were only twelve and she didn't want to do any of that naughty kind of stuff, well not the big stuff that her friend had told her about, she just wasn't ready and she could tell that her boyfriend wouldn't try and do anything like that, not until she was ready, which just made her love him even more.

"Yeah, he's really fit again now, but I don't think he will ever be like the rest of us, his foot and hip will always be like they are, but he doesn't let it stop him and he's happy, so we're all happy too." Tobias responds with a sincere smile, as he looks over to his brother swimming and while he was still a bit slow and slightly kicking with his good foot more than his bad foot, he was getting a lot better and he was genuinely proud of him and he liked the fact that his girlfriend seemed to genuinely care about his brothers as well, which meant a lot to him because his brothers and Matt in particular meant everything to him and they would always come first for him.

"He was never that sporty anyway was he?" Lily then decides to ask and while she didn't know any of them before she met her boyfriend, she didn't get the feeling that Matt was that into sports or that kind of thing and if he wasn't, than while it didn't make what he had been through okay, it at least meant that it hadn't stopped him doing something he loved doing and she thought that was at least something positive to think about.

"Not really, I mean back in England we loved to explore and play and stuff like that, but we weren't into playing sports, well like for teams and stuff, that's the sort of thing Wesley and Jordan do and they're really good at it." Tobias quickly responds with a slightly curious expression, as he turns back to his girlfriend and wonders why she had said what she had just said, not that there was anything wrong with the question, he was just surprised that she wanted to know something like that about his brother.

"Sorry, I'm just curious and I know it doesn't make anything okay, but at least Matt can still do what he likes doing and his dad didn't stop him from being able to do something he loves, you know, if he wanted to be a swimmer or football player and things like that." Lily quickly states in a slightly apologetic tone, as she sees her boyfriends expression and while it wasn't an angry or an upset expression, he did look a little confused and she wanted to make sure that he knew that she wasn't saying anything bad or anything like that.

"Oh, okay, I guess so and he knows that too, although he got upset when he realised that he couldn't play an instrument for as long as he used to, but Mr Morgan gave him some exercises and they've helped a lot and as he gets older, it should get a little better as well." Tobias then decides to say in response, as he takes his girlfriends hand and gives it a gentle squeeze, just to let her know that he understood what she was saying now and was happy to carry on the conversation.

"His hands are damaged as well?" Lily then quickly asks in a surprised tone, as she thinks about what her boyfriend had just said and while she knew some of the stuff that his brother had been through, she couldn't remember anything about his hands or arms being badly hurt and she couldn't help but glance over to him swimming with a sad expression.

"Well not really badly, well his left hand was fractured and broken, but it healed before he left hospital, it's just that some tendons or er... ligaments got er... well Carter or Erica can tell you more about it, but er... yeah, if he plays an instrument or well uses his left hand a lot in one go, it starts to hurt and he has to stop for a little while, but it's not that bad and it will get better, just not completely better." Tobias responds with a reassuring tone, as he realises what his girlfriend meant and that he must have forgotten to tell her about his brothers hand injury.

"He's really brave and he never complains or tries to get people to feel sorry for him, well I guess he does complain and get upset, but not in school or when he is out anywhere." Lily then says, as she again looks over to her boyfriends brother and quickly blushes a little bit, when she notices that his other brother was actually looking over to them and smiling knowingly and while she didn't think he could hear them talking, he must know that they were talking about them and she couldn't help but feel a little embarrassed.

"He's my hero Lily, he's always been my hero and even though I was always stronger and stuff, he just made me feel safe and special and he's my best friend and now my brother and even though my real... family is..." Tobias then begins to say with a smile, which slowly fades as he realises what he was just about to say and despite finding a way to carry on without his family and not let it get to him too much, it was still hard to talk about, especially when it was out of the blue and he could feel his lip trembling slightly.

"It's okay, you don't have to say anything else, I understand." Lily then quickly says with a sad smile, as she moves closer to her boyfriend and pulls him into a comforting cuddle.

"Is he okay?" Ben asks in a concerned tone, after seeing his brother seemingly break down and walking over to where they were sitting. "What happened?" He then asks in the same tone, as he edges a little closer to them, after neither of them responds to his initial question.

"I think so, but is it okay if we go in the pool house for a little bit?" Lily decides to ask in response, as she gives her boyfriends brother a half pleading look, she could feel her boyfriend silently crying against her and while it had come out of nowhere, she knew what losing his family meant to him and the few times he had brought them up, he had always needed a bit of time to compose himself again and knew getting him inside would help him feel better.

"Yeah sure, but what happened Lily?" Ben quickly responds in a more relaxed tone, as he sees that his brother was okay and while seeing him upset wasn't nice, at least he wasn't hurt or anything like that.

"We were just talking and he started talking about his family." Lily answers honestly and while she could feel her boyfriend tense up a little bit, she knew he would be okay and just needed to get it out of his system.

"Okay, just take him inside and there is some apple juice in the fridge, just help yourself when he's feeling better." Ben then says in a sad tone, as he gently rubs his brothers back. "It's going to be okay Tobias, just go with Lily and if you need me or Matt, just give us a shout or ask Lily to get us and we will come straight in." He then says in a comforting tone, as he leans a little closer to his brother and could see how upset he was and just felt so sorry for him, he just couldn't imagine what it must be like for him, despite losing his own mum when he was younger, at least he was able to grieve and understand what happened and could go to her grave when he needed to, but his brother couldn't do either, well not yet anyway, but even with the present he and his fiancé had planned for him, that was still a long way off.

"Okay and I will look after him, I promise." Lily responds with a smile, before slowly getting up and walking towards the pool house with her boyfriend cuddling up to her side.

"Where are they going?" Matt then calls over, after swimming to the side of the pool and seeing his brother and Lily heading towards the pool house, while his fiancé was slowly walking back towards him, with a worried and sad look on his face and couldn't help but worry that something had happened.

"Tobias got upset about his family, it just came up when they were talking I think and it's hard for him Matt, even if he has managed to deal with what happened as much as he can." Ben responds in a sad tone, as he stops in front of the pool and sits down on the edge. "I know it's less than a week away, but do you think we should tell him about his present, it might help him." He then decides to ask in a thoughtful tone, as he glances back towards the pool house and just sees them disappear inside, before looking back at his fiancé and seeing how worried he looked.

"I don't know, was he really upset?" Matt decides to ask in response, as he thinks about his fiancé's question and if it was worth telling their brother, because while he didn't like the idea of him being upset, he hadn't heard him crying or anything like that and even though he had been swimming, he would have heard him if he had been really upset.

"It's hard to say Matt, he was definitely crying, but it was silent crying and we both know what that's like and I don't know, if Lily wasn't with him, then we would definitely be with him, but I think he will be okay." Ben responds in a slightly uncertain tone, as he again glances back at the pool house and wonders if they should go in or not.

"I guess so, but I don't really want to give him his present before Christmas, it's not that long until then anyway and..." Matt then begins to say in an unsure tone, as he glances past his fiancé and looks towards their pool house. "If he isn't okay in a little while, then we will talk about it later Ben, I don't like seeing him like this and if it will help him, than I want to help him." He then says in a sincere tone, as he looks back at his fiancé and while he was still worried about their brother, he couldn't help but smile a little bit, when he sees his penis and balls just about poking out of his shorts.

"Okay, let's give him a chance and see what happens, then we can..." Ben then begins to respond, before trailing off as he sees the look on his fiancé's face and he couldn't help but be confused. "Oh for fuck sake, very funny." He then states in an unimpressed tone, as he follows his fiancé's gaze and sees how his shorts had ridden up enough to expose himself and quickly shakes his head.

"Well push it back in or something, we're outside and we can't mess around while Tobias is upset and especially not with Lily being here." Matt then states with a playful smile, before pushing himself gently back into the water a few metres and while he was still worried about their brother, he knew he couldn't do anything right now and he didn't want to risk working himself up, it had happened before and it just made things worse.

"Where are you going?" Ben then asks in a curious tone, as he adjusts himself and pulls the legs on his shorts down to where they should be and despite being slightly distracted, he couldn't help but wonder why his fiancé had backed away from him like he had.

"I still have like twenty laps to do and then we can have a break and then see how Tobias is, I don't want to wait too long to see him." Matt responds with a half smile, before deciding to just get back to his laps and while he was tempted to just stay and talk with his fiancé, he was getting a little turned on after seeing him exposed like that and he wanted to get those thoughts off his mind as quickly as possible.

"Well I'm done with my routines, so I will time these laps and see how they compare to the last time." Ben then calls out, as he watches his fiancé getting to the other side and quickly pulls his phone out and goes to the stopwatch feature, just as his fiancé starts the first of his remaining laps.

"What happened?" Simon asks in a weak and tired tone, as he slowly opens his eyes and sees his friend sitting next to his bed.

"You pretty much passed out about an hour ago." Mitch answers with a smile, after being half startled by his friend, as he was just starting to nod off himself and quickly had to steady himself.

"An hour? It feels like I just blinked." Simon then says with a slight groan, as he moves a little bit and feels a dull ache almost over his entire body.

"A nurse came in a little while ago and I asked her about how you were feeling and while she couldn't tell me much, so did say that you're probably going to feel pretty crappy for at least a week or two, so er... well, yeah, thought you might need some cheering up." Mitch then states with a small grin, after deciding to try and keep things light and hopefully help his friend accept that he was likely to feel like crap for a while, he knew how Matt had felt after what he had been through and knew that there was no point trying to pretend he was going to feel great straight away, because it just wasn't going to happen that fast.

"Seriously Mitch, I've been beat up and stuff before and hell, remember that time I fell out of that tree and broke a couple of ribs? Well that was like getting a relaxing massage compared to how I feel right now." Simon then says in response, as he looks at his friend and winces a little bit as he moves a little bit to try and get more comfortable.

"Well, they can put you on painkillers, but to be honest, I think you will recover faster without them, I mean if you aren't in agony, I know you say it hurts, but is it really bad, you know, really bad." Mitch then decides to ask in a slightly more concerned tone, as he thinks about his friend and how he must be feeling and even though he knew he would be in some discomfort, he didn't want him to suffer and he was ready to call a nurse in to ask for some pain relief for him.

"Don't worry, it's not an 'I'm dying' kind of pain, but it's not nice and it does hurt, but if they told you that I would get better faster without all that extra pain relief, than I think I will just put up with it, even if it takes a week." Simon responds honestly and while he ached and it was uncomfortable, it wasn't excruciating and he could tolerate it, well for now he could, if it got worse, than he would take the drugs as soon as he could.

"Since when did you become 'Mr Tough Guy' then?" Mitch then asks in a teasing tone, after relaxing after his friends response and even though I kind of thought he might be acting tough, he didn't think he would really lie about needing pain relief and it wasn't exactly something someone could really hide that much.

"About the same time you became a comedian Mitch, but at least I'm doing a good job of my impression." Simon quickly retorts with a big grin, before coughing painfully and holding his arm over his face.

"You were saying?" Mitch then asks in a slightly cautious tone, as he studies his friend and tries to work out if he should call someone in or to just give him a chance to recover a little.

"Aren't you meant to be making me feel better?" Simon then states with a small smirk, as he decides to stop messing around for a little while and hopefully get his friend to do most of the talking, because he was already starting to feel tired again and he knew he had to take it as easy as possible.

"Fair point." Mitch responds with a little shake of the head, before studying his friends face for a few moments. "How about I tell you what I had to do the other day, it should cheer you up a bit." He then decides to say, as he sees how tired his friend was and while he was a little worried about making him laugh, he was sure that this story would be more amusing than laugh out loud funny.

"Either you did something stupid or this is about one of your brothers, but as stupid as you are Mitch, I'm going to guess it has something to do with one of your brothers or all three of them." Simon then states with a small grin and while he was taking a bit of a guess, he didn't think he would be far off and as he sees his friend expression change, he knew he had to be at least close and shifted a little bit to get more comfortable.

"For someone who almost died and only woke up from a coma, you aren't too shabby at this guessing thing." Mitch quickly responds with a grin, as he looks at his friend in surprise and while he didn't exactly get it spot on, he wasn't far off and it was quite impressive.

"What can I say, I'm amazing, now get on with this story and it better be good, because I feel like shit and I don't need any help in falling asleep." Simon then says in a cheeky tone and despite feeling the worst that he had ever felt in his life, he didn't want to be alone and he wanted to talk to someone, even if he was mainly just listening, it was still better than being alone.

"Okay, okay Smart Arse, just enjoy and don't you dare let him know that I told you this." Mitch then states in a half serious tone, as he looks at his friend again and while he wasn't going to make a big deal out of it, he couldn't help but be a little worried, because even in this short time, he had noticed he wasn't quite the same person that he had known his whole life and while it wasn't like he was aggressive or angry, he was definitely acting more confident and cheekier, which were hardly bad changes, but still changes and it made him wonder if was just temporary or if there were more changes to come.

"Oh, now I know it's Tobias, but don't worry, I promise Mitch, I wouldn't do that to you or embarrass him about something that's obviously going to be embarrassing." Simon quickly responds in a slightly strained tone, as he moves slightly again and this time feels a wave of sharp pain.

"I know, but no interrupting." Mitch then says with a slightly concerned expression, as he sees that his friend was in a little bit of pain again and decides to begin talking again, to try and help distract him from how uncomfortable he must be feeling and despite his concern for his friend, as he begins to tell him about the talk he had with his brother, he couldn't help but smile again at the memory.

"Thanks for looking after him Lily, we really appreciate it." Ben states in an appreciative and sincere tone, as he sits next to his brothers girlfriend and looks across to his fiancé and brother playing in the pool together.

"I don't mind, he's my boyfriend and I love him." Lily responds honestly, as she turns to her boyfriends brother with a sincere smile and wonders what he will say in response, because she really did love her boyfriend and she wanted his brothers to be happy for them.

"Matt and I kept our relationship a secret for a long time before we told people, it wasn't because we didn't love each other, but we just wanted to be happy and knew that if everyone knew, they would judge us, not just because we were both boys, but because of our age as well and we didn't want people telling us we're just kids and we don't know what love is or what we're feeling isn't real love, so we kept it to ourselves, well some people knew, but still, we didn't tell others because we knew how we felt and that was enough for us." Ben then says in a thoughtful tone, as he looks at his brothers girlfriend and smiles at her. "Sorry, I just meant that we're happy for you Lily and we're happy for Tobias, I guess I was just trying to tell you that we know you love each other and even though some people might say you're too young, we know the truth and er... well you know." He then adds with a slightly shy smile, when he sees her expression and realises that his little speech, was actually a little confusing and didn't really make much sense, especially in response to what she had actually just said.

"It's okay, I sort of got it." Lily quickly responds with an amused smile. "I think people are right sometimes though, I mean with kids being in love, because most don't really know what it means and I didn't know either, not until I really got to know Tobias and saw the real him, you know, when he's vulnerable, because I thought something like that would er... well I don't know, seeing someone crying or getting upset like that, that's likely really big and kind of scary, I just thought maybe it would make me not want to be his girlfriend and I know it's stupid, but we are just kids Ben and I've never had to deal with anything like that and didn't think I ever would, but as soon as I saw him for the first time like that, I just felt something and it wasn't anything like it being funny or pathetic, it was something good and it was like I saw him and he was sweet and nice and I just wanted to make it better, you know?" She then says from the heart and while she didn't know where that came from or why she just said it, she meant every word and as she sees her brothers boyfriend smiling, she couldn't help but blush a little bit, because she knew straight away, that he knew what she meant and understood what she was saying.

"I know and that's why we didn't come in the pool house Lily, we trust you with Tobias, you've seen him at his most vulnerable and you're still with him and I know how hard it is to be around someone with problems Lily, it's not easy, it's not even close to being easy, but I guess that just proves the point, if you can see all that and experience that and still want to be around that person, than isn't that what love is? Isn't that the whole point? To see someone at their worst or at their lowest and still want them, because that's what I feel around Matt, no matter how many freak outs he has or how many times he breaks down, he's still the same person I fell in love with, he's still my Matt and I still want to spend every second of every day with him, because he's my world and as cheesy as this is going to sound, he's my everything Lily, he's a part of me." Ben then says with a soft smile, as he glances over at his fiancé and then back at his brothers girlfriend with a tear running down his cheek.

"I hope Tobias and I end up like you two, I mean I love him and he loves me, but we've only just started feeling this stuff and there's so much I don't really understand, well except that I love him, but you and Matt, anyone can see that you two belong together, I know a lot of the girls at school talk about you two and even Wesley and Carter, but when they talk about you and Matt, they all say they want to love someone like that or have someone love them like that, even some of the older girls say it Ben and they're like fifteen and sixteen years old." Lily then says with a sweet smile and while his words had actually made her feel quite emotional, she wanted to keep the conversation going, because while they had talked before, it was nothing like this and she felt like they were bonding and sharing something special.

"Can I tell you a secret?" Ben then decides to ask in a slightly hesitant tone, as he wonders whether he should tell her this or not, because it was a little weird and he knew that if he worded it wrong, it could come out the wrong way and he really didn't want to make a mess of it, they were sharing a moment and while he had liked her before, their conversation had eased a few of his concerns and he did genuinely feel a lot closer to her now, so he definitely didn't want to say something to ruin that.

"If you want to, I promise not to tell anyone." Lily responds in a slightly unsure and surprised tone, as she looks at her boyfriends brother curiously and while she had no idea what he was going to say, she had a feeling it was something personal and if it was, than she knew that he was putting a lot of trust in her and that meant a lot to her.

"There's been times where I wasn't sure if I could handle being with Matt, not that I ever really believed it, but when he had just woken up from his coma and when he has had really bad freak outs and actually got a bit violent, I've wondered if it would be easier and better to not be with him and I always feel ashamed of myself when I feel that way, but it's normal, I've talked with Mitch a lot and he always listens to me and lets me say what I need to say, because it is hard dealing with someone like Matt, especially me, because I'm just a kid Lily, sure I'm mature sometimes, but I'm still only twelve and I don't always understand things, especially some of the stuff Matt has done, but it helps so much to talk to someone, so er... well if you ever need to talk to someone about Tobias, you can talk to me, I know what it's like and er... I want you to have someone to talk to, well if you need someone." Ben states in a serious tone, as he decides to try and explain how he feels sometimes and hopefully in some way, let her know that she doesn't have to pretend it's easy and okay, because he knew it wasn't and while his brothers issues weren't the same as his fiancé's, it didn't mean it wasn't hard, so he wanted her to know she could talk to him and not have to hide it.

"I er... well, I don't really..." Lily then begins to try and respond in a slightly overwhelmed tone, after taking a few moments to try and process what her boyfriends brother had just said, because it was both surprising and slightly confusing, because she wasn't expecting this at all and wasn't quite sure how to respond and just trails off.

"Sorry, I guess that was a lot of stuff, but I just wanted you to know that if you ever feel like you can't handle being around Tobias, well er... you know because of his issues, well it's okay and you can talk to me and I know he's my brother, but like I just said, it's hard to be the supportive one Lily and I know you can probably talk to someone else, but I just wanted to you to know that I'm here too and I won't judge you or make you feel bad, so er... well er... if you do need to talk, I'm here for you." Ben then decides to say in a sincere tone, as he blushes a little bit, because in his head, it seemed quite simple to explain, but actually putting it into words, was a lot harder than he had anticipated and he really hoped he hadn't made a complete mess of it.

"Thank you." Lily then says in a soft tone, before taking a quick glance over to her boyfriend and then looking back at his brother and slowly reaches out with her arms and pulls him in for a warm cuddle. "I don't know if I will have those thoughts, but I guess you're right and thank you, everyone needs someone to talk to about things." She then says in a quiet tone, as she really thinks about what he had offered her and while she hadn't really had any of those kinds of thoughts, she wasn't that naïve and knew that it could happen and to have someone who actually knew what those thoughts felt like, to talk to was pretty amazing and she really did appreciate it.

"Just don't tell Matt or Tobias about anything I just said Lily, even though Matt will understand and probably knows already, I don't want to risk upsetting him, he's been through enough and even though I get those thoughts sometimes, he is my life Lily, he's the reason I'm happy and life without him, well I don't want a life without him, so even though I have those thoughts, they're just thoughts and I mean it Lily, if you ever need to talk about something like that, I'm here, I promise." Ben then says from the heart and while he had made a mess of it, he could tell that she understood his intentions and the fact she had cuddled him, let him know that he made the right choice.

"Everything okay?" Matt asks in a slightly curious tone, as he limps over to his fiancé and his brothers girlfriend, just after they have pulled away from each other and while neither looked upset, he wasn't quite why they were hugging.

"Yeah, how about you, are you tired?" Ben quickly asks in response, as he gives his fiancé a worried look and despite knowing he was being over the top, he knew there must be a reason he wasn't playing around in the pool any more.

"A little bit, but Tobias isn't even close to be tired, so I guess it's your turn Lily." Matt responds with a smile, after giving his fiancé a long look, before deciding not to go into their usual conversation when he worries about him being tired and instead focus on their brother and his girlfriend.

"Okay." Lily responds with a smile, before getting up and taking a few steps towards the pool and her boyfriend, who she could see was looking over at them with a big smile. "And thanks Ben." She then decides to say, after turning back to give her boyfriends brother an appreciative smile and then carrying on towards the pool.

"Is there any point in asking what you two were talking about?" Matt decides to ask with a knowing smile, as he sits down next to his fiancé and looks at him curiously.

"Nope, but it's nothing bad, I promise." Ben responds with a warm smile and while he really didn't think his fiancé would react badly to anything that he had said, it wasn't worth the risk and it wasn't like he needed to know or that knowing would change anything and knew he would respect that, they may not have many secrets, but they had always agreed to respect the fact that when it came to other people, they wouldn't try and make the other betray their friends confidences.

"Okay and well er... okay." Matt then says with a slightly disappointed look, before hearing their brother laugh loudly and quickly looks over to them. "I am pretty tired though, you don't mind if I just sleep for a little while do you?" He then decides to ask in a tired tone, before letting out a yawn, he had pushed himself a lot already today and after doing so many laps and then playing in the pool for as long as he did, he was pretty beat and he could feel his eyes getting heavier.

"As long as you move over here and let me hold you, I don't mind." Ben quickly responds with a cheeky smile and while he wouldn't have minded just talking with his fiancé for a little while, he was more than happy to hold him while he slept and just watch their brother and his girlfriend playing in the pool.

"Okay, but if you wake me up by getting a boner and poking me with it, we're not having sex again for a week." Matt then decides to quickly retort with a grin, as he gets up from his chair and waits for his fiancé to adjust the chair he was sitting on, so that he could snuggle up against him and sleep.

"Just sit down and get comfortable Dumb Ass." Ben responds with a shake of the head and a slightly amused grin, as he shifts enough for his fiancé to sit next to him and then snuggle against him and while he was tempted to have a little bit of banter, he could tell that he was tired and decided to just let him sleep and get some rest, even if he did really want to say something to get his own back on him.

"Love you Ben." Matt then says with a happy smile, before letting out a long yawn and slowly closing his eyes, as he stops trying to fight against his tiredness.

"Love you too Matt." Ben responds in a quiet and soft tone, before kissing the top of his fiancé's head and then settling down to watch his brother play with his girlfriend in the pool.

The Next Day

"Seriously Carter, it's just a couple of hairs." Wesley states with a slightly bemused smile, as he looks down his body and watches as his boyfriend continues to explore his pubes, which he thought was more than a little bit of an exaggeration, given that in his opinion a few stray hairs didn't really count as pubes, well not really anyway.

"Oh right, because when I start getting pubes, you're going to be all cool and laid back about it." Carter quickly retorts without looking up, as he continues to inspect his boyfriends groin and then his balls, just to see if he could find any more.

"I'll be more cool about it than you're being right now and I swear, if you pull another one out, I'm going tie you to the bed all night with the all the bullets on you." Wesley responds in a playful tone and while he was actually being serious, they were just having a bit of fun and he was actually half expecting his boyfriend to pull another one out, just to see if he would follow through with his threat and when he watches him turn his head to look at him, he could tell from his eyes, that he wasn't fair off from being right.

"But seriously Wesley, it is a big deal and it's just... well I don't know, it's like we're really growing up and I know getting a few hairs doesn't mean we're men or anything like that, but for me, when I get some, it's like I won't be a kid any more and not in a bad way, but it's like 'Hey, I'm growing up and taking the next step in my life' and it's exciting and a little scary too." Carter then says in a thoughtful tone, as he thinks about the changes they're all going through and while he wasn't looking forward to some of the stuff that puberty brings with it, there were definitely some things that he was looking forward to.

"Okay, fair point and I'm excited too Carter and I kind of told Mitch about my pubes as well and he was proud of me, which felt kind of nice." Wesley decides to say in response and while he probably could have acted a lot more excited that he had probably shown, he was going through a lot of other stuff and now that things were settling down, he could see his boyfriends point and the more he thought about it, the more he realised what a big deal this was for him.

"I bet you let him see them, didn't you?" Carter decides to ask in a playful tone, as he slowly crawls up the bed and lies next to his boyfriend on his side.

"Yeah and honestly, I was feeling vulnerable and I was a little worried he would just make a joke out of it and while he did sort of do that, it was in a good way and he was really proud of me, I just wish it was Jim though, because it's things like this, that I should be sharing with him and while I love Mitch and he is like a brother, Jim was my real brother and I really miss him Carter." Wesley answers with a sad smile, before sniffling and rubbing his eyes with the back of his hand, he missed his brother so much and even though he was just about at the stage where he could talk about him without totally breaking down or getting angry, it still upset him and as he feels his boyfriend snuggling up to him, he pulls him in a little closer.

"I miss him too, I mean he was a bit of a dick and I'm pretty sure Jordan is going to turn out exactly like him, well apart from being gay and stuff, but he was a good big brother and he did love you Wesley, he may have taken a while to show it, but he did and he was proud of you." Carter then says with a gentle smile, as he decides to just go with the conversation and be honest about his boyfriends brother, because he wasn't perfect, but he was still a good big brother and he missed him too.

"I love you Beautiful." Wesley then says in a soft tone, as he lets his boyfriend comfort him and while he was still feeling emotional about his brother, his boyfriends words had helped a lot and he really didn't know how he would have coped with all that had happened, if he hadn't been by his side and he couldn't imagine him not being in his life.

"I love you too, even when you're a moron." Carter responds in a loving tone, as he gets a little more comfortable and just holds his boyfriend as they fall into a peaceful silence in each others arms.

"So he's definitely doing okay?" Mike asks in a curious tone, as he sits across from his eldest son and thinks over what he had told them so far, because he knew how all this had affected him and what it would have done for him if his friend hadn't woken up, so to hear that he had and was doing okay, was a big relief for him and he could see it on his eldest sons face as well.

"Well I wouldn't say he was doing okay, he's in a lot of pain, but it's more of an uncomfortable pain, rather than being in agony, if that makes sense." Mitch responds with a relieved smile and while his friend wasn't out of the woods just yet, he was awake and from what he had been told by his friends parents, he was already showing signs of recovering from what he had been through, although the doctors were still worried about his liver and kidneys, they didn't appear to be life threatening, well that's what he took from the conversation.

"Matt's experienced that kind of pain, so I understand, but from what you and Erica have told us before, it's a surprise that he seems to be doing so well." Sarah then decides to say, as she thinks about the young man's friend and while she didn't want to upset him or bring his mood down, she was genuinely surprised by how positive the news seemed to be and again, while it wasn't a bad thing, it was still surprising.

"Well, I might be and his parents might be putting a more positive spin on things I guess, his kidneys and liver are still a concern, but you will have to ask Erica or a doctor about that kind of thing and I might be imagining it or being a bit paranoid, but he's a little different since he woke up." Mitch then says in a calm tone, as he looks around the room and then back towards his dad and Sarah, who he could see were still concerned about his friend, which he thought was nice of them, as neither really knew him that well.

"What do you mean by different?" Mike decides to ask in a curious tone, as he thinks about his eldest sons words and while he didn't make it sound like anything bad, he picked up on the hint of worry in his tone and on his face and knew that he wouldn't have said it unless there was a reason.

"Honestly, from the time I spent with him, I'm not even sure it's a bad thing really, but it's a bit weird, because I've known him for so long and he's always been a bit timid and reserved, but as I spent most of the day with him yesterday, he was definitely a lot more confident and outspoken, which again, is hardly a bad thing and to be fair, he's on some pretty decent painkillers and stuff, so it could just be those, but still, it was a bit weird to experience." Mitch quickly explains as clearly as he could, because like he had just said, it wasn't exactly a negative change, but it did worry him slightly, because if his personality had changed, than that could just be the tip of the iceberg and maybe he had seen too many films or TV shows, but it did genuinely concern him a little bit.

"Have you talked to his parents about this and have they noticed themselves?" Sarah then decides to ask in a curious tone and while it didn't sound like something to worry about, she knew from her own experiences with her son, that even little changes could make big differences and could definitely understand why the young man appeared to be worried about his friend, it was only natural.

"I think they more focused on their son being awake and recovering Sarah, I mean they've definitely noticed as well, but because it seems like a good change, because it is, it's not like he is cocky or egotistical or anything like that now, so I can see why they wouldn't be worried, but I don't know and it's probably just the medication he is on, but we know what happened with Matt and I just worry." Mitch responds honestly and while he knew he was probably just worrying about nothing, he's seen Matt lashing out in anger and sometimes being downright scary, so he knew it was possible that his friend could show more changes in his personality and he didn't want to be unprepared for that possibility.

"I think the best thing you can do and his parents as well, is just keep an eye on him Mitch, but he's been awake for over a day now and hasn't shown any other changes, so maybe the medication just lowered his inhibitions a little bit, it's not that unusual, you boys have shown me enough videos from YouTube with people just leaving the doctors or dentists and still being a little drugged up making fools of themselves, so maybe it is just that." Mike then decides to say, as he once again finds himself thinking over his eldest sons words and trying to think of the best way to respond, because he wanted to avoid trying to patronise him, while at the same time trying to reassure him and he knew there was a thin line between those, so he was trying to choose his words carefully.

"I agree with your dad, because I'm sure he would have shown other changes in his personality by now and even though we didn't realise the problems with Matt straight away, I don't think Simon went through the same thing as Matt did and I'm not saying that in a dismissive way Mitch, but Simon is a lot older and while what he experienced was horrific, you told us that he was drugged with some kind of sedative for most of what happened and while starving and not having any drink for as long as he did must have been a horrible experience and probably worse than I can imagine, Matt was aware of what was happening, David made sure he was aware and I think that difference, is why Matt has his problems and why I don't think you need to worry about your friend, well not about him becoming violent or a completely different person." Sarah then decides to say in a slightly hesitant tone, as she tries to be as clear as she could and not try to play down what the young man's friend had been through, because it must have been terrifying and to be in a situation where you're slowly dying and not being able to do anything about it, she couldn't imagine what that felt like and wasn't going to pretend that she did.

"I guess you're right, both of you and I did actually talk to him about what happened a little bit and even though it must have been terrifying at the time, he said he wasn't really aware of it all, but I didn't want to push that kind of conversation with him, not yet anyway." Mitch then says in a slightly awkward tone, as he thinks about what he had just heard and while he could have taken it the wrong way, this wasn't some kind of competition to see whose experience was worse and he actually thought she had made a good point and it was something he hadn't really considered before and while he was still worried about his friend, he did find his concerns easing slightly, although he was definitely going to keep an eye on him, just in case.

"I know you just said you talked to him about it a little bit and I don't want to change the subject Son, but did he say anything about Peter and Alex and what happened?" Mike then decides to ask in a hesitant tone, as he lets his curiosity get the better of him and while he knew this could wait and he didn't want to come across as dismissive of what they were talking about, he was genuinely curious about whether the events of that night, actually matched up with what they now all thought happened or if they were wrong.

"Honestly? I'm not sure if I'm even allowed to talk about it, but I can't see the harm and to be honest, he didn't say much Dad and I didn't want to push him or put any words into his mouth, but from what he did say, I think the boys were right about him delivering to the house and given the takeaway to Barry, instead of to the door, because while he didn't say that exactly, he did say Barry's name and definitely spoke to him, but other than that, we're just going to have to wait until he recovers a little bit more and gives an official statement." Mitch states in response, after a few moments and while he was surprised by his dads question, he knew this would come up eventually and even though he wasn't quite done talking about his concerns for his friend, he knew they didn't have all day and he didn't want to still be talking about this when his brothers came home.

"Does Simon waking up, change anything for Conner, Jarred and Barry?" Sarah then decides to ask, as she thinks about the three boys and whether Simon waking up will affect their cases or if any statement he does give, will be used another time or if that's even how it works.

"Honestly, I'm not sure, they were going to go ahead with everything already and I guess with him waking up and being as coherent as he is, they will use any statement he does give, but whether it really affects anything, I'm not sure because Conner is pretty much looking at spending most of his life locked away, so for him, I guess it would just add years to his sentence, for Jarred, well again, he's pretty much admitted to everything and I can't see anything Simon says, doing anything to add to those charges." Mitch answers honestly and while he couldn't give exact answers, he couldn't see things playing out any differently and was confident that he was right.

"And Barry?" Mike then asks in a curious tone, after quickly realising that his eldest son hadn't mentioned him and couldn't help but wonder if that was intentional or not and if he knew something he didn't think they would like.

"That's more complicated Dad, his role is still... well with Simon's statement and what he could potentially tell us, it would leave no doubt that Barry was not only there, but played an active role and while Peter has already given a statement about what happened, he is still suffering from some memory issues, so there is always some doubt around what he says and the defence would use that, but with Simon's statement supporting Peter's, it's likely to come down to whether Barry was coerced or threatened in some way or if he was a willing participant and that's about all I can say about him, the case is still being built and there are a lot of things that still need to be decided." Mitch again answers honestly and probably a little more openly than he should have been, because he was still a part of the investigation and he knew he had to be careful about compromising the case.

"I see and thank you Mitch, I know you have to be careful with what you tell us and we appreciate your honesty." Mike then says with a proud smile and while he wasn't sure how he felt about the Barry situation, he knew he had to leave the conversation as it was, his eldest son was already risking a lot and it's one of the reasons they made sure that all the boys were out of the house, because it would only take one slip up, to potentially cause some serious issues and none of them wanted to risk that happening.

"How are you though Mitch, you've been dealing with a lot, so if there is anything we can do or if you just need someone to listen, then we're here and you can talk to us." Sarah then decides to say, as she gives the young man a warm and caring smile, it was easy for them to forget that while he was an adult now, he was still a young man and the past few years had been hard on him as well, even if he did appear to deal with it better than everyone else and she wanted to make sure he knew that he could talk to them and while they had the house to themselves, she felt like it was a good chance for him to do that now.

"She's right Mitch and you know what you're like sometimes, so come on, the boys won't be back for a while and it's not often we get a chance to just talk like this, so make the most of it Mitch." Mike then decides to add, as he gives his friend an appreciative smile, before giving his eldest son an expectant look, just to let him know that he was serious and that he shouldn't bottle anything up, they all knew what his youngest son had gone through and no one wanted that to happen again.

"Okay, okay, but I am fine, but I guess I should get some things off my chest, it's been a tough month." Mitch eventually responds in a slightly shy tone, as he decides to just go with it and open up a little bit, because while he had talked to his girlfriend and his little brother recently, he was still feeling a little off and his dad was right about how often they get a chance to talk like this with just the three of them and he wanted to make the most of it as well and quickly begins to open up about some of the things that have been bothering him recently.

"So how did it go?" Gordon asks in a casual tone, as he watches his son sitting down and although he already knew that it went well, he wanted to give his son a chance to either confirm what his soon to be ex wife had told him or contradict her version of events.

"Did she call already?" Alex quickly asks in response and while he had had an okay tone, he did get a little annoyed that his mum kept calling his dad about how it went before he even got home.

"She did, but I want to hear how it went from you Alex and while I appreciate her telling me, it's your feelings that matter to me, so how did it go?" Gordon responds with a sincere smile and while he found himself being a little amused at his sons expression, he could tell that it must have really went well, because his son was smiling too and that could only be a good sign.

"It was good, it's still weird, but she didn't try too hard this time, but still weird." Alex responds honestly and while he was probably underselling it a little bit, he still couldn't quite get over what she did to his friend and he was starting to consider whether he still wanted her to be in his life.

"Good but weird, well that's cleared that up Alex." Gordon decides to say in an amused tone and while it didn't quite match up with his soon to be ex wife, it was better than the last few times they had spent time together and he was happy for his son.

"Dad..." Alex then begins to say, but quickly trails off as he looks at his dad nervously and while they had talked about what his options were before, he still hadn't made up his mind and wasn't sure if he should wait until he had or talk to him about it now.

"Alex, you can say anything to me, all I want is for you to be happy and I'm guessing this is about your mother, so just be honest and I will support you in anyway that I can." Gordon decides to say in a measured tone and while he knew he could be wrong, he was pretty sure he knew what his son wanted to talk about, even if he wasn't so sure whether it was going to be positive or negative.

"I love her Dad, she's my mum and it's been okay being around her and having dinner and stuff..." Alex begins to respond, but quickly trails off as he tries to use the right words to describe how he felt, this was a big decision and he didn't want to say it wrong and make his dad to be disappointed with him.

"But?" Gordon quickly asks, as he decides to take an educated guess at where his son was going with this and while he was a little disappointed with what he was apparently going to say, it wasn't because he didn't think it was the right thing to do, he was just a believer in a child having both parents and while his soon to be ex wife was hardly fit to be a mother, even he had to admit that she had made enough of an effort to change, to still be a part of their sons life.

"She hurt my friend and she actually pretended to be his mum to do it Dad, that's evil and I know she eventually changed after she found out that I'm gay, but before she did change, she also hit me and tried to kick me out of the house and really threatened to hurt me Dad, she actually threatened to hurt me and when I think of what she did to Matt and some of the other things she has probably done, I just don't... I don't... Dad I don't want to see her any more." Alex answers in a quiet tone, as he thinks about how he felt about his mum and while he still wasn't completely sure, it was on his mind and he wanted to see his dads reaction and go from there.

"Like I have said before Alex, my only concern is your happiness and if you don't want to see your mother any more, than you don't have to, but you need to think about that decision and when you do make your mind up, you need to be crystal clear about what your decided, do you understand what that means?" Gordon decides to ask in response and while his sons words weren't exactly what he had hoped for, he was also aware that he hadn't actually said he didn't want to see her again, just that when he thinks about what she had done, he didn't want to see her and there was a big difference between the two and he wanted to make sure when he made the decision, that he knew what that decision really meant.

"I know and I know you also said that even if I chose not to see her, I could change my mind one day, but it's still hard to know what to do Dad and I don't want to make her sad or angry, but it's my choice, not hers and I promise to think about it properly Dad, I know it's important." Alex responds honestly, before looking over to the clock and while it wasn't exactly late, he had a big day tomorrow and he didn't want to stay up too late.

"You're a good boy Alex and you know how proud I am of you, so whatever your decision is, I'm on your side, remember that." Gordon then says with a smile, before deciding to surprise his son with a cuddle. "Why don't you head upstairs Alex, I'm going to clear away some things down here and watch something before going to sleep." He then decides to suggest in a warm tone, after noticing him looking at the clock again and suddenly remembered what his son was doing tomorrow and while he would have liked to talk about this some more, he knew how important tomorrow could be and he wanted to let him know that it was okay to go up to his room.

"Are you sure?" Alex quickly asks in response and while he definitely wanted to get washed up and get an early night, he also didn't want to disappoint his dad and leave before their talk was over, even if it wasn't exactly the easiest thing to have to discuss.

"Goodnight Alex." Gordon responds with a smile, before deciding to give him a kiss on the forehead and then step back with a proud smile.

"Goodnight Dad, I love you." Alex then says with a shy smile, he was still trying to get used to his dad being more affectionate these days, not that he wasn't before, but he definitely appreciated that he was stepping up a little bit and giving him just what he needed, even if it was actually a little embarrassing at the same time, it still meant a lot to him and it definitely left him with no doubts about how much his dad loved him.

"I love you too Alex, now get going." Gordon responds with a look of pride, before smiling to himself and sitting down after watching his son leave the room with a little spring in his step.

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