"You see to succeed in this world you have to be honest and truthful Matty, but if you don't learn this now then you're going to struggle in life and I can't let that happen to such a special boy like you, so I'm going to help you Matty, just like I'm helping Jordy and you will really benefit from some special tuition." Mr Jones states and continues to gently rub the boys shoulder and knee, not concerning himself with the boys reaction and knows that there is nothing the boy could do to get away.
Mr Jones is just about to move things to the next stage and to his delight the boy is either too shocked by what is happening or just doesn't understand what is happening and is offering no resistance so starts to move the hand that was on the boys knee upwards, but he suddenly stops in his tracks when there is a soft knock at the door and he has to reluctantly stands up and move away from the now relieved looking boy, who had started to get very scared.
"Come in please." Mr Jones calls out reluctantly and is surprised to see Ben enter the room looking upset and Matt can't help but feel relieved that someone had interrupted what his teacher was doing, but the feeling of relief quickly turns to concern when he notices the look on his friends face.
"Mr Jones er... can I er... can Matt come with me please Sir." Ben asks in the saddest tone he can manage, although he can't help but feel nervous about lying to his teacher and then there was also the feeling of guilt that he is worrying his friend, who was looking at him in concern.
"Yes of course Benjamin, I hope everything is okay, although you know you can trust me and maybe the three of us can talk together about it." Mr Jones suggests, with a mixture of genuine concern for the young boy and frustration as his plans for Matt will have to wait, Matt however cringes at the thought of staying in the same room as his teacher for any longer and although he doesn't quite know what was going to happen, he knew it wasn't right and wanted to get away.
"It's private Sir, can we go now please, I really need to speak to him Sir." Ben responds and this time manages to force a few tears for effect and seeing the boy crying Mr Jones decides to cut his losses with Matt and let the two boys go, knowing he would just have to deal with Matt and Jordan another time.
Okay boys run along and Matthew we will carry on where we left off tomorrow." Mr Jones then states with a smile and while his friend nods in appreciation Matt can't help but hesitate as they walk towards the door and turns back towards his teacher nervously.
"Sir I won't have time tomorrow, but I will be okay and I don't really need any more help." Matt says as confidently as he can and he is just as much surprised by how convincing he was, as his teacher appeared to be.
"I think it's best you both run a long now, the bell will be ringing soon and if you want to talk you better hurry up." Mr Jones forces himself to say and watches as both boys leave his office, once he is sure they are gone his fake smile drops and a look of anger and frustration replaces it and he now knew he had to deal with Matt fast.
The boys hurry away from the classroom and don't stop until they are sure their teacher isn't following them, Matt then looks at his friend in confusion when he suddenly bursts out laughing and can't help but wonder what this is all about.
"Okay Ben, what's going on and why are you laughing?" Matt asks his friend, who is clearly not as upset as he had made out to be.
"Sorry Matt, but this was a rescue mission and I had to pretend to be upset." Ben replies, after finally managing to get his laughter under control.
"A rescue mission?" Matt responds curiously and starts wondering if his friend knew something bad was happening to him in the office.
"Yeah, because some dumb ass told the English teacher that he needed help from his friend with his English work." Ben answers with a big grin on his face and when his friend pouts at him, he can't help but burst out laughing again.
"Shut up, I just panicked and wasn't thinking straight." Matt replies defensively, although he didn't know if he was happy that his friend didn't know what was really happening in the office or disappointed.
"Hey I'm sorry for laughing, but come on Matt the one time you actually try lying and you just well, it's just hilarious." Ben then teases, although this time managing to hold back his laughter and instead playfully punches his friend on the shoulder.
"Okay so it wasn't my finest moment, but how did you know what happened and where I was?" Matt then asks and was genuinely curious how he had known.
"Well you know what they say, if you are going to fail then at least do it right." Ben then says before bursting out in another fits of giggles, but quickly stops thanks to a playful punch to his shoulder from his friend. "Okay I'm sorry I just couldn't resist." He then says apologetically before continuing. "Well when Jordan came out and you didn't come out with him, I made him tell us what happened, we all laughed at first but Jordan told me that I should go help you because you were only trying to look out for him." He adds before pausing, he just wanted to have a quick look around to make sure they were alone although he didn't really know why he was bothering. "It was weird though, we were still joking around but Jordan told me that I had to be as quick as I could and well I'm not one for leaving a damsel in distress and well here we are gorgeous." He then says as he finishes explaining with a cheeky smirk and laughs as his friend is clearly less than impressed by the damsel in distress comment.
"Jordan made you come get me?" Matt then asks in surprise, ignoring the damsel in distress comment for now, sure he and Jordan had a good talk and he got himself in trouble for him, but he was still surprised he would help him and then he wondered if his friend knew something might happen to him and decided he really needed to talk to him as soon as possible.
"He didn't make me do anything Matt, you know I have your back, but yeah he definitely made sure you got out of that room as quickly as possible, it really shocked us all and you should have seen the look Carter gave him, it was kind of cute." Ben responds with a friendly smile.
"What do you mean the look Carter gave him, what happened?" Matt asks curiously, remembering the talk he had with Carter and wondered if it was related.
"This is going to sound weird and stupid, but I'm not lying Matt, you know I wouldn't lie to you." Ben responds before looking his friend in the eye. "Carter just looked at him like he was proud, he had this little sparkle in his eyes and just as I left to I come help you, I noticed that he moved over to sit next to Jordan, it was kind of cute the way Carter was smiling at him." He then explains with a shy smile.
"Oh er... well that is good, I'm happy Carter isn't upset with him any more." Matt replies with a small smile, he really is happy that Carter is not going to hold a grudge, although he doesn't notice the questioning look on his friends face at first.
"Carter was upset with Jordan?" Ben asks genuinely unaware his friend was upset, Matt then coughs in surprise and realises he had just broken his promise to Carter and looks down at the ground feeling guilty.
"Oh shit, I wasn't meant to tell anyone, he is going to be pissed off with me now, he made me promise not to say anything." Matt says while holding his head in his hands, the reaction takes Ben by surprise and while he doesn't really understand what is going on he puts an arm around his friends shoulder.
"Hey look don't sweat it Matt, he won't hear anything from me and no one will ever know, I promise and I have it on good authority I can keep a promise better than a certain dumb ass we both know very well." Ben then says jokingly and is happy to see he has succeeded in reassuring his friend, who is now looking up at him smiling, Matt then surprises his friend by pulling him into a tight embrace and just holds him for a while.
"Cheers Ben you always know what to say to make me feel better, I would say I owe you one but after that little comment about a damsel in distress, you will have to settle for a cuddle." Matt then says before releasing his friend, who he can't help but notice is a little reluctant to end the embrace and can't help smiling to himself for some reason.
"Fair enough, but you will have to be careful because if that is your idea of punishing me I might have to start giving you a hard time more often." Ben responds with a sly smile and although he doesn't understand why, being that close to his friend made him feel happy and safe, it was a strange feeling though and it did scare him a little.
"Creep." Matt retorts jokingly and sticks his tongue out at his friend who then starts to laugh.
Both boys then trade a few more playful jibes before heading outside where they meet up with their other friends and Matt gives Jordan a nod of appreciation as he reaches the group and sits down, after their talk earlier Matt knows that he would appreciate the discreet show of his own appreciation, more than if made a big deal over it and smiles as his friend returns the gesture.
"Well that went well I thought." Ben then declares as he sits next to his friend, close enough that they are practically leaning on each other, but neither of them seem to mind the contact. "To be honest though when you go on a rescue mission to rescue a damsel in distress, you kind of expect to find a hot princess, so I can't help but feel a little disappointed when I got stuck with an ogre." He then states with a cheeky grin, causing all the boys to laugh out loud, Matt however doesn't join in the laughter and instead playfully swats the back of his friends head, which causes the group to laugh again before they all settle down.
The group then just eat and talk for the next ten minutes until the bell rings, then when they get up to walk towards class, Jordan signals discreetly to Matt to hold back a little and when the others are a far enough ahead to not be able to hear them, Jordan turns his head to look at his friend.
"You okay?" Jordan asks in a concerned tone and surprises himself at the sincerity in his voice.
"Not really, I know you didn't have to send Ben to come get me, but I'm really glad you did Jordan." Matt answers honestly.
"Glad? Did something happen?" Jordan asks in a serious tone, which sends a small shiver through his friends body, this definitely made Matt think more about what had happened with his teacher and now was convinced Jordan knew something about it.
"I don't really want to talk about it Jordan, nothing really happened I just er... was er... just happy to get out of there, so yeah thanks for sending Ben." Matt answers nervously and was a little unsure of what to say, he had wanted to talk to his friend about this but he didn't think this was the best place for it.
"Oh well okay, as long as you're okay, we should catch the others up before they notice we aren't with them." Jordan then suggests, he could tell his friend was upset, but this definitely wasn't the place to talk about it.
"Jordan the offer still stands you know and I really want to talk without anyone else around, how about Saturday, I have to talk with my dad about something he has been bugging me about all week, but we will have a few hours to meet up afterwards." Matt suggests and hopes his friend agrees to talk.
"We do need to talk and I do want to Matt, but I can't make this weekend, I got well I can't tell you, I'm in enough trouble as it's so please just drop it for now, we will talk soon though I promise." Jordan responds, he really wanted to talk about it sooner, but it just wasn't going to happen and decides to catch up with the others.
The bell rings for the final time for the day and the boys make their way out of the classroom and head straight outside, while Barry, Carter, Jordan and Patrick all head towards the school bus to get home, Ben and Matt stop at the school gates to be picked up by Matt's dad and while they wait for him to arrive Ben turns to his friend.
"So has your dad still been acting weird?" Ben asks casually, Matt had told him all about his dad being more attentive and trying to spend more time with him and the two boys couldn't decide whether it's funny or annoying.
"Kind of, I don't mind too much though, it's nice he wants to spend more time with me, but it still feels weird and makes me wonder why now and if something is wrong." Matt replies honestly, he loved talking with his friend, there was no one else he felt this comfortable around and knew he could tell him anything, it reminded him of being with Tobias, although that thought made him feel a little down as he still missed him.
"Well you did say ages ago you wanted him to spend less time at work and more time with you Matt, like how it was before you moved here, so I think you should just enjoy it and try not to over think things." Ben then says trying to reassure his friend.
"I know and you're right and he still keeps hinting at a camping trip though and I'm just not sure, it just seems a bit weird spending that long alone in a tent with just your dad, I mean even if we were really close to each other, what are we going to do all that time alone." Matt then states, sounding more and more unconvinced about the idea.
"Well do what we talked about yesterday then, if he asks you to go, try and see if I can come as well and see what he says." Ben replies with a hint of hope in his voice, he would love to go camping with his best, but also because he thinks David is really cool and wouldn't mind getting to know him better.
"Yeah I will, but he might just want it to be the two of us, you know to bond and stuff." Matt replies before spotting his dad's car approaching.
"Well the worst that can happen is he says no and I wouldn't mind, it's important to spend time with your family, you never know how long you have with them Matt, so you shouldn't waste what time you have..." Ben starts to reply but trails off as he starts to get upset, which Matt instantly picks up on and puts an arm around his friends shoulder and pulling him in close.
"Sorry Ben, I didn't mean to be insensitive and you know any time you want to talk about... you know... your Mum I'm here for you." Matt states sincerely and he can see his friend is about to reply when his dad pulls up in front of them, David however can't help but be annoyed at how close the two boys are to each other, but quickly manages to force a smile before either boy notices.
"Come on boys, let's get Ben home and Matt your Mum wants us to go pick some things up at the store, so chop to it." David says cheerfully, managing to hide his true feelings as the boys happily climb into the car.
"I thought we were going to the store Dad." Matt asks realising they are heading straight home after dropping his friend off.
"Sorry son I had to tell a little porky, we need to have a little chat and I knew if I didn't get in first you might invited him over and there is no way I can say no to that cute little pout of yours." David responds, although again he manages to hide his true feelings successfully.
"Are we going to talk about the trip you want us to take?" Matt decides to ask, without questioning his dads explanation.
"Let's just wait until we get home Son." David simply answers back and then changes the topic and they make small talk until David pulls into their driveway.
"Afternoon Mum." Matt says as he and his dad walk into the house and notices his mum in the kitchen.
"Afternoon, how was school?" Sarah replies back without looking.
"Same as usual, but it was still okay I guess." Matt answers and is already half way up the stairs to his room to get changed.
"Take a shower and then we can have another talk and maybe go over some homework." David quickly calls out before his son disappears from sight.
"Okay Dad, just give me twenty minutes and I will be right down." Matt shouts back as he walks into his bedroom and shuts the door.
"I hope you had a good day today as well Dear." David then says lovingly to his wife, as he wraps his arms around her from behind.
"Well someone is in a good mood today I see." Sarah responds as she enjoys her husbands arms around her. "It's good to see you and Matt spending time together." She then adds and leans back into her husbands chest.
"I enjoy spending time with him, I forgot just how intelligent he is though, he even humours me by letting me help with his homework, although we both know if anyone is helping anyone it's him." David replies with a chuckle.
"Yeah he really is remarkable, so have you talked any more about the trip away with him?" Sarah asks, whilst smiling at the thought of their son having to explain his homework to her husband.
"Actually once he is ready we are going to have a chat about it and hopefully set a date, I know it sounds selfish and I really like Ben, but I really want it to just be the two of us, although I already know he is going to ask if his friend can come and I can't think of any reason to say no without upsetting him." David states trying to keep upbeat and hide just how much he doesn't want his sons friend to go with them.
"Like I said before David, it might be easier with Ben there, you and Matt have drifted apart and he might not want to spend a whole week alone with you, it's a long time for an eleven year old boy and there is only so much you two can do together, so just try to think of it positively and you might find you have a better time with both boys being there." Sarah answers honesty, trying to sell her husband on the possibility that he may have to take both boys with him and smiles when her husband nods his head in agreement.
When Matt makes his way downstairs and into the living room to find his dad, he smiles as he sees the jug of OJ sitting on the table and his dad waiting patiently for him in his arm chair.
"Where's Mum?" Matt asks, knowing she wasn't upstairs or in the kitchen, as he sits himself down on the sofa and makes himself comfortable.
"She is helping Martha with something, she will be back as soon as she can, but that gives us a bit of alone time to talk about our trip and then we can get on with some homework." David responds casually as he moves slightly to face his son.
"Okay Dad, I haven't been camping for years and can't wait." Matt says as excitedly as he can muster, trying his best to hide his slight apprehension about the trip and potentially having to spend the entire week alone with his dad.
"I'm just sorry it has taken me this long to make time for us to do something together, I know I have been putting work before you too much since we moved here and I really am sorry Son." David says apologetically.
"I know Dad and you don't have to keep apologising, I understand grown ups have to work and stuff and I'm really happy you want to spend time with me again, but well er..." Matt states before trailing off, he still isn't sure how to ask his dad if his friend can come with them, without hurting his dads feelings, David however picks up on what his son is thinking and decides to reluctantly take his wife's advice.
"But you want to ask if Ben can come with us." David then states knowingly and saves his son the trouble of worrying about asking him himself.
"Dad, how did you know?" Matt asks, actually wondering if his dad can read his mind and then starts wondering if he is he doing it now and starts to blush, David knowing how naïve his son can be grins slightly and can see his sons eyes dart around in deep thought.
"Your Mum and I have been discussing the trip and I won't lie Matt, I want this trip to be just me and you so we can get some quality time together." David begins to tell his son, but he can see the look of disappointment spreading across his face. "Your Mum though convinced me that having Ben there with us will be better for both of us and make things a lot easier and natural." He then says and actually smiles when he notices the happy look on his sons face, although he then can't help but feel a little bit of anger at just how close the two boys might actually be.
"Thank you so much Dad and Ben is going to be so happy, he really wants to hang around with you Dad, he really looks up to you." Matt states with a big grin, David however is taken aback by the fact that Ben looks up to him, sure he liked the kid but they never really interacted much and David is not really happy about how close he is to his son, but he can't help but feel a little happy by the compliment.
"I just want this trip to bring us closer together and he is your friend, so I should get to know more about him, but Matt you have to promise me that you two won't just ignore me, it's really important to me that we spend time together and I don't want to just spend the trip watching you two play." David then tells his son in a serious and firm tone, he doesn't want to lecture the boy, but if he is going to allow Ben to come with them he had to set some ground rules early on.
"I promise Dad, so when are we going to go, I mean I will have to let him know so he can get ready and then I can work out what homework I have to do before we go." Matt then says, surprising his dad a little, he knew his son always did his homework but had forgotten just how seriously he took school and smiles to himself.
"I was thinking as the term ends in two weeks it would be the perfect time, we can go for four or five days, plus one day before and after for travelling, that way you will have plenty of time to see your other friends and do your school work when we get back before you have to go back to school." David replies and can see the smile spreading across his sons face.
"That sounds great Dad, I can't wait to tell Ben, you're just the best dad ever and I love you so much." Matt declares as he stands up and cuddles his dad, David cuddles his son back smiling in happiness, it had been a long time since he heard his son say those words, well he still used them, but it has been a very long time since he believed his son meant it.
"I love you too, but before we both start to cry I think we should take a crack at some homework don't you?" David then suggests eagerly, although that feeling is short lived when he sees the slightly evil grin on his sons face.
"Oh don't worry it's nothing complicated Dad, it's just some maths, I think I have it covered but I'm sure you can help me out, you know all about algebra and trigonometry right?" Matt teases, he knows his dad hated maths, but since he insisted on helping with his homework, he can't help but have a little fun at his dads expense.
"Er... yeah of course, I did pretty well at school, so why don't you go ahead and start and I will check as you go and correct what you get wrong." David states trying to sound confident, but he is also well aware he is completely useless at maths, Matt just nods knowingly and they spend the next hour going through everything with his dad making the odd useless contribution.
After they are finished, they just sit and talk for a while, David then suggests he phones Ben about the trip and then head of to bed as he still has school tomorrow, so Matt gets up and gives his dad a kiss and a cuddle before pulling his phone out of his pocket and phones his friend, while David sits back and watches a bit of TV and laughs as he watches his son run out of the room and up the stairs as fast as he can.
As soon as Sarah opens the front door, she is greeted by her husband, who quickly wraps his arms around her and kisses her lovingly on the lips.
"Well someone is happy to see me." Sarah says with a smile on her face, as she gazes into her husbands loving eyes.
"Well thanks to my wonderful wife, I have a very happy son who should be asleep by now and a very gorgeous wife who looks like she should be going to bed too." David responds while winking and kisses his wife again before leading her towards the stairs.
"Well I do feel the sudden need to lay down." Sarah replies teasingly as her husband smiles at her.
They make sure that they are careful not to make too much noise when they creep upstairs and past their sons room and quietly open and close their bedroom door and fall into the bed kissing each other.
"Come on Matthew get up, your dad's waiting for you." Sarah says as she enters her sons room, before smiling when she finds him still sleeping, but knowing her husband has to get going soon she decides that a more physical approach is needed, so walks over the the bed and starts to gently shake her sleeping son. "Come on Sleepyhead, time to wake up." She then says and continues to shake him and smiles when his eyes finally start to open.
"Huh er... what, Mum what are you doing?" Matt says still half asleep, not really knowing what's going on and Sarah just smiles at him and steps back from the bed.
"Time to get up and go speak with your Dad, you know he has to pop into work to sort out your trip, so come up get up." Sarah states, before moving over to the door and waiting for her son to get out of his bed.
"Okay, sorry Mum." Matt apologises, he then stretches before pulling his covers away and slowly rolls out of the bed to his feet and turns to face his mum.
"Oh er... sorry, er... I will wait downstairs sorry Matthew." Sarah suddenly says, sounding extremely embarrassed and Matt just looks at her in confusion and wonders why she is blushing.
"It's okay Mum I'm not angry, I should have woke up earlier myself, just tell Dad I will be down in a few minutes." Matt apologises, thinking she must be angry at him for not being awake.
"It's okay take your time Matthew." Sarah quickly says before making an equally quick exit from his room, leaving Matt just standing and staring at the door wondering what happened, his mum rarely ever called him by his full name, unless he was in trouble or about to be in trouble and he again tried to figure out what he did wrong.
"Hey Sweetheart, is sleepyhead awake yet?" David asks as his wife walks into the kitchen and notices that she is blushing.
"Oh er... yeah he is definitely up." Sarah says and almost laughs at her choice of words, causing David to look at her quizzically.
"Why are you blushing?" David then asks, as he wonders what is going on with her.
"Oh er... you really don't want to know trust me." Sarah says as she picks up the cup of coffee that he had made for her.
Although just as she takes her first sip she notices her son walk into the kitchen, still only wearing his little tighty whiteys and spits out the coffee before turning bright red, causing her husband to look at her in confusion and causing her son to look at her with a worried expression.
"Mum are you okay?" Matt asks with his voice full of concern, Sarah however is not quite able to look at her son and David is still looking at her in bemusement, but as soon as he turns to his son he suddenly coughs and almost chokes on his own drink and finally realises why his wife was looking embarrassed, Matt though can only look on in confusion at both his parents, who are now acting weird and decides to just tries to ignore the strange looks.
"Er... Son it's good that you're finally up but..." David begins to say but is interrupted by his wife's laughter as she quickly turns away from her son, trying to compose herself. "Anyway like I was saying it's good to see you awake, but maybe you should just grab yourself an OJ and sit in the living room, because I really have to go soon and need to talk with your Mum, we can talk about the trip later on okay?" He then states as seriously as he can without cracking up, this is definitely not something he thought he would be seeing, well not for at least another year or two anyway.
"Okay I guess, I'm meeting up with Ben later anyway and it's going to be a long and hard day with what we have planned." Matt then says innocently but unintentional causes both his parents to bursts into tears of laughter, but he decides whatever is going on with his parents is nothing to do with him and just shrugs his shoulders and quickly pours himself an OJ and goes into the living room knowing he wasn't going to get any sense from his parents, who were still laughing.
With their son safely out of the way in the living room, Sarah and David both try to get themselves under control and finally manage to look at each other without laughing after a few minutes.
"You think he has any idea?" Sarah asks her husband, trying her best to be serious.
"If he does he is either the worlds best actor or has no modesty what so ever and while he has many talents Sarah, acting isn't one of them and the way he scurries between his room and the bathroom he certainly isn't an exhibitionist, but I think we should tell him though." David replies doing a slightly better of controlling himself than his wife.
"No way are we going to tell him David, you're now going out and he is a boy, so it's your job not mine and he will be probably be embarrassed enough talking about it with you, but if he had to talk to me he would just be mortified." Sarah states and this time she doesn't have to try to sound serious, there is just no way she is having the birds and the bees talk with their son.
"It can wait until later I guess, I just can't believe he has no idea, but then again I can't even remember when I first noticed either." David says, while trying to think back to his youth and confirming to himself that he had no idea when he first noticed, but knows it was a long time after they had started to appear.
"Notice what?" Matt suddenly says and in the process startles both his parents who hadn't noticed him come back into the kitchen, luckily to both their reliefs their son is now somewhat calmed down himself so they don't have to fight any more fits of laughter. "What's going on because you two are being weird, did I do something wrong?" He then asks, clearly getting frustrated as he looks himself over and still not understanding why his parents keep laughing at him, now feeling a little guilty that she and her husband had actually started to upset their son, Sarah tries to do some damage control.
"Well nothing Matthew it's just us being silly, it isn't anything you have done and you don't need to get worked up." Sarah says trying to reassure her son, but when David lets out a little snort she realises her choice of words and can't help letting out her own and can see that she had just made things worse by the look of frustration on her sons face.
"Humph... I'm going to go take a shower and get changed, you two are just doing this on purpose to annoy me." Matt says almost angrily and both David and Sarah can't help but feel guilty over their behaviour as they watch their son walk away with his head down.
"Well I think that rules us out of parents of the year." David says, trying half heartedly to lighten the mood, but neither he or his wife are laughing now.
"We really should of dealt with that better, did you see the look in his eyes." Sarah says after her son is safely out of earshot.
"I would do the talk right now Sarah, but you know I'm already running late for work and it will ruin the trip away, if I don't go in Sarah and I know we agreed I should be the one to talk to him about puberty and sex, but maybe you should just have a quick word with him before he leaves, nothing about that sort of stuff but just reassure him a little bit." David suggests after realising that they have really upset their son and should know better.
"I will try to cheer him up, but I'm still ashamed of how we acted." Sarah responds, she is still upset with herself and the way her son had walked away with his head down had hit her hard.
As his Dad is leaving the house to head into work and his mum is busy cleaning in the kitchen, Matt emerges from the shower and dries himself off before heading to his room, where he gets changed quickly into some casual clothes and decides to phone Ben up and talk about his parents and how they laughed at him.
"Hello?" Ben says as he answers the phone.
"Hey it's me." Matt replies back.
"Oh hey, you okay?" Ben asks with a smile on his face, although he was busy with some homework but is glad of the distraction.
"Not really, can we talk for a bit please, I really need to talk with someone." Matt responds and Ben can tell his friend is upset about something and quickly closes his school book.
"You know you can talk to me about anything, what's wrong did something happen?" Ben asks with genuine concern in his voice.
"Well it's my parents they were acting weird and laughing at me for no reason." Matt states in a serious tone, leaving Ben confused as he isn't quite sure how to react, on the one hand it sounds like nothing, but his friends tone was serious and he knew Matt too well to know something bad must have happened for him to call him like this.
"What do you mean acting weird and laughing at you, were you doing something?" Ben replies trying to get to the bottom of what happened, anyone else he might have had a little fun and teased them, but Matt was different and all he wanted to do was help him and he knew he would do the same for him if it was the other way around.
"Well it started when Mum woke me up, I got out of bed and she suddenly went all strange and blushed and then when I went downstairs she spit her..." Matt begins to explain but before he can finish his friend interrupts him.
"Whoa slow down Matt." Ben says, he could barely keep up with his friends explanation and knew he wouldn't be able to help him if he couldn't even hear what he was saying.
"Oh sorry." Matt responds meekly.
"No problem, okay so any way, she blushed when you got out of bed, you weren't you know er... like you were wearing something weren't you?" Ben asks awkwardly, thinking he knows what happened but not quite sure enough to ask directly.
"What do you mean wearing something?" Matt asks, before realising what his friend means and blushes, despite being alone in his room and on the phone. "Oh er... I see, well no it was nothing like that I had my tighty whiteys on, so I don't see why that would make her blush because I walk around in them all the time and neither of them have ever laughed at me before." He then says, leaving Ben with no clue what could have happened.
"Well I got no idea." Ben admits honestly, but before his friend can say anything he suddenly has an idea. "Okay er... did they say anything or did they just laugh?" He then asks, hoping it will help him figure out what happened.
"Well the first time it was Dad, he said something like it's good to finally see me up and they both laughed, then they told me to get a drink and I just said it was a good idea as you and me have a long and hard day planned and they both started laughing again, then they laughed again when Mum said I shouldn't get worked up over it and it was just horrible Ben, why would they laugh at me, what's wrong with me am I ugly?" Matt answers clearly getting upset and Ben can hear his friend trying to hide the fact that he is crying, however Ben has to stop himself from laughing after working out what might have happened.
"Er...well I think I might know why they were being weird, but I need to know what you were wearing when you went downstairs." Ben states after composing himself, he knows if he laughed it would be incredibly cruel and really hurt his friend, who he knew was already crying and he would hate himself if he hurt him like that.
"I was still wearing my tighty whiteys, like I normally do unless it's school or we have visitors." Matt answers truthfully, although he was more than a little confused by the question and couldn't see how it mattered what he was wearing.
"Oh man, Matt you had a boner didn't you?." Ben then asks, while trying his not to laugh, he could just imagine his friend walking round with a boner and started blushing as he actually starts to imagine what he would look like, but quickly pushes those confusing thoughts away as his friends voice gets his attention again.
"Huh, what's a boner Ben?" Matt asks in a confused tone and really had no idea what his friend was on about.
"Er... you know it's like a stiffy or a hard on Matt, come on you know what I'm on about." Ben replies and is a little stunned that his friend doesn't know what a boner is, but figures maybe they just called it something else in England.
"What are you talking about Ben, I don't understand what's a stiffy or a hard-on?" Matt again asks, while honestly having no idea what his friend is talking about, Ben this time however almost laughs but manages to cover it up with a cough, because as funny as he is finding the conversation right now, he knows he needs a friend right now and laughing at him would just upset him even more.
"Seriously you don't know, we er... we shouldn't really talk over the phone about this, my dad is home and Mitch will be here for a few more hours, best to go to the park instead Matt and it shouldn't be to busy and there will be somewhere we can talk in private." Ben suggests smiling at just how naïve his friend seems to be, then again if he didn't have Mitch he wouldn't even know these things he thought to himself, because his dad has never attempted to talk to him about it to him, so it probably isn't that uncommon and they are only eleven after all.
"The park sounds good, I still don't understand what you're talking about though or why my parents were laughing at me." Matt replies and was still confused by the whole thing, but he is definitely relieved that he is going to find out what it's all about and was so happy he phoned his friend, he just knew if anyone could help him it was Ben.
"Okay let's meet at the park in like thirty minutes and I will explain everything I know and Matt you're so going to be so mortified when I tell you what a boner is and that your parents saw it." Ben then says whilst grinning widely and thinking about the look on his friends face when he realizes what happened, he knew it was cruel to tease him, but he just couldn't help himself and he knew he didn't need to worry about him getting upset any more, well not until later anyway and then he knew he would have to calm his friend down again.
"Oh okay I guess, is it really that bad though?" Matt asks nervously, he really has no idea what happened and he has checked himself several times and can't see anything different about himself, but the fact his friend just said he will be mortified has him checking himself over again just to see if he missed something.
"Yeah kind of, but you will laugh about it afterwards, but hey I got to get a shower and get changed so I better get a move on, see you in at the park okay." Ben replies trying to get off the phone as fast as possible, as he was struggling to stop himself from laughing and while he knows it's mean and he shouldn't, it was just so funny and he can't help himself.
"Well okay, I have a few things to do I guess, bye Ben and thank you so much." Matt replies before both boys hang up, Matt though is still confused by what happened, but he is feeling a lot more happy knowing that he is going to finally understand what happened and decides to tidy his room up a little before heading downstairs to tell his mum where he is going.
After he is done tidying his room, Matt finally decides it's time to face his mum, he is still a little upset with her and is still worried she will laugh at him again, so he slowly opens his door and makes his way downstairs and coughs quietly to get his mums attention, even though he doesn't want to speak to her, he knows he can't just leave the house without telling her where he was going.
"Hello Sweetheart, are you okay?" Sarah asks after being startled by her sons sudden appearance.
"I'm going to the park to meet Ben and just wanted to let you know." Matt answers, while trying his not to look at his mum, just because he has to tell her he is going out, it doesn't mean he has to have a conversation with her he thought to himself.
"Alright Sweetheart, I really am sorry about earlier, I promise you that it was just me and your Dad being silly, please don't think it was your fault and we are both really sorry." Sarah then says, trying to apologise and reassure him.
"I got to go, bye Mum." Matt just says almost coldly, before walking out of the house without even looking at his mum.
Sarah feels another stab of guilt as she watches her son walk out of the house and she wanted to go after him, but knew it was pointless and would have to wait for him to forgive her again and just hoped it didn't take as long as the last time he was angry at her after they had moved away from England and just decides to quickly clean up in the kitchen and go next door to talk with Martha and see what she has to say about what happened.
Ben finally finishes getting dressed after only taking a quick shower and still had over twenty minutes to get to the park, but fifteen minutes later he had only just decided on what to wear, he had almost gone through his entire wardrobe before finding something he thought Matt would like, although he had no idea why it was important what his friend thought he looked like, but he just couldn't help it and it was too confusing to try and figure it out.
"Where are you off to Benny boy." Mitch asks startling his little brother, who had just ran down the stairs and almost ran straight into his brother.
"Aww come on Mitch, just let me go I'm just heading to the park to meet Matt." Ben replies as his brother picks him up and spins him around, he loved his brother more than anything but he could be a little annoying at times and this was starting to be one of them.
"Having a nice romantic walk in the park huh, well I wouldn't want to get in the way of that now would I." Mitch replies as he puts his now dizzy looking little brother down, he loves his little brother more than anything else and as far as he was concerned Ben was the most important person in the world to him and there wasn't anything he wouldn't do for him, although that didn't stop him having a little fun at his expense.
"Oh shut up shit head it isn't like that, we are just going to talk and play for a bit." Ben retorts back defensively, he and Mitch had always been close enough to make fun of each other, but recently he has just been really confused about his friend and any time his brother teased him about him, he just couldn't help but overreact and was already feeling frustrated at his brother for getting in his way.
"Right just going to talk, must be important if you are getting all worked up Benny boy, what's so important anyway?" Mitch asks, while still messing with his little brother, although he was actually a little intrigued because of his reaction, he had noticed recently that whenever he teased his little brother about Matt, he would get this cute look of anger mixed with something else he couldn't quite put his finger on and he couldn't help but find it amusing.
"It's private, come on Mitch stop giving me a hard time, I'm already going to be late so please get out of my way." Ben then says, pleading with his brother to just let him go, he knows his brother is just messing around and wouldn't actually do anything to upset him, but sometimes he gets a little carried away.
"Well okay you win, but be careful and don't go anywhere alone okay, I'm going to be meeting up with Conner, Andy and Simon later in the park so I will check on you later." Mitch tells his little brother in a serious tone, he knows he is over protective but he is only doing it for Ben's safety and tries his best to not over step the mark, although he is sure is little brother would be less than impressed if he found out he actually follows him sometimes, just to make sure nothing happens to him.
"You don't have to check up on me, it's only the park and I will be with Matt." Ben answers back, he appreciates his brother and how he looks after him, he just wishes he would back of sometimes and knows his brother follows him sometimes to check up on him and while it's kind of weird he can't help but feel lucky having such a caring brother.
"Well get going then, I would ask you what you are going to to talk about, but short of torture you aren't going to tell me are you?" Mitch then says just on the off chance his little brother might tell him, but knows it's not likely to happen.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you shit head." Ben replies teasingly, knowing his brother is fishing for information and can't resist messing around with him.
"Okay you little prick, now run along before I decide to kick your ass for your attitude." Mitch's says in mock seriousness, he loves their banter and wouldn't have it any other way and the fact his little brother has that feisty side to him fills Mitch with pride, although he will always look out for him and it's nice to know that his little brother can look after himself.
Without saying a word Ben sticks his tongue out, then kicks his brother in the shin and runs past him and out of the front door, where he sprints down the road without even looking back to see if he is being chased and Mitch just holds his shin and watches at his little brother running away, he does consider giving chase but instead just laughs and smiles when he realises that his little brother was showing him he could look after himself, rather than just being an annoying little brother and that made him relax, although his shin did now sting.
Matt is sitting on a bench just outside the park waiting for his friend to turn up, although he isn't in a hurry he can't help but feel a bit worried that he is already five minutes late and is about to pull his phone out and call him when notices a little figure sprinting towards him and smiles as he realises it's his friend and can't help but laugh as he almost trips over, but somehow saves himself without out even slowing down and after a few seconds he finally comes to a stop and places his hands on his knees before looking up grinning.
"Running a little late I see." Matt states with a small grin.
"I just like to make an entrance." Ben replies back, after quickly catching his breath.
"So what happened, you live closer than I do and I know it doesn't take you that long to get ready." Matt asks, as they both start heading towards somewhere a bit more quiet so they can talk more seriously.
"Mitch was being an ass, it's okay though you know how we are together and it was kind of funny." Ben replies with a sparkle in his eyes and thinks about telling him about kicking his brother in the shin, but just figures he wouldn't believe him and couldn't be bothered trying to convince him.
"I wish I had a brother, Mitch is awesome." Matt then states, he genuinely likes Mitch and despite the age difference his friends brother has always been good to him, even when Ben wasn't at home he would sit and talk with him until he turned up and it made him feel special.
"I know and I wouldn't trade him for anyone else and he likes you and that makes me love him even more." Ben says sincerely, he loves how Mitch treats his friend and love him even more for it.
The boys continue to make small talk until they finally find somewhere secluded enough to have their serious talk, while at the same time still in view of other people in the park, neither of them are stupid and although he thinks his brother can be over protective, Ben knows that if his brother tells him something he should listen to him.
"So what's a boner then?" Matt suddenly asks, deciding to just get straight to the point and catches his friend by surprise.
"Wow, I guess we are done with the small talk then." Ben replies trying to stall the conversation while he tries to figure out to tell his friend.
"Oh sorry, it's just I need to know Ben, I have been trying to figure it out myself but I can't see anything different about myself when I checked in the shower and in my room." Matt confesses and is clearly frustrated.
"I have to be honest, I did laugh a bit when you said you didn't know what a boner was, I just couldn't help it." Ben says deciding to get the fact he laughed out of the way, so it didn't come up later and get him in trouble. "And I only know because Mitch explained everything to me last year, I guess I just assumed your dad would have told you about this stuff." He then admits honestly, knowing that they didn't have secrets between each other and knowing his friend wouldn't be angry at him.
"I knew it, I knew that I heard you laughing." Matt states, he had not been completely sure until his friend just confirmed it and although it was a little mean, he wasn't angry or upset. "It doesn't matter though, so come on you are just confusing me even more, just tell me what a boner is please?" He then asks and Ben can tell his friend is getting frustrated.
"It's when your penis gets hard Matt." Ben states, putting it as bluntly as he can, but almost face palms by the look of confusion that appears across his friends face.
"Your penis gets hard? Like how, what do you mean?" Matt asks completely confused by his friends answer.
"Oh come on Matt, you must have noticed you penis go hard, it isn't exactly something you can miss." Ben replies a little more harshly than he had intended, but it was just a shock to see just how naïve his friend really is and wonders what his parents have been doing and then starts to actually feel bad for his friend and instead started to get angry at his parents for laughing at their son instead of helping him understand, which he thought was really mean.
"Why would it go hard and how?" Matt asks, as millions of questions seem to be popping into his head, it was as if someone has opened a door in his mind and he needed answers.
"Mitch told me it's called puberty, every boy goes through it apparently." Ben starts to explain and pauses just to see if his friend understands before continuing. "He said our bodies change and we start to become men instead of boys, you know like grow hair in weird places and we get bigger." He then says as he tries to remember what his brother had told him, although now that he was trying to explain it, it occurred to him that he had actually forgotten most of it already and could only just remember the basics.
The boys continue for a while as Ben tries his best to answer all his friends questions and eventually to his relief, his friend is beginning to understand, but when he suddenly gasps in horror, Ben almost jumps up and starts to look around trying to see what was wrong.
"What's wrong is someone coming?" Ben asks nervously, whilst still looking around, but there isn't anyone else anywhere near them, well other than a group of boys who look a little familiar but they are too far away to be worried about.
"Oh no, oh no, my parents saw my boner Ben, they saw it and they laughed at me and made fun of me, mine must be broken or be ugly." Matt explains, he was close to tears as he begins to think something must be wrong with him and Ben now realising what is happening feels more anger towards his friends parents for laughing at him, they are meant to help and all they did was make their son feel like something was wrong with him.
"Matt listen to me, I wouldn't lie to you and will always be there for you okay." Ben starts to say, as he moves in front of his friend and holds his face in his hands so they are looking into each others eyes. "So trust me when I say there is nothing wrong with you, you are perfect in every way. all the girls look at you because you're so cute and they are right because you're really cute Matt, so don't let your parents upset you, they were just being stupid and they should know better." He then says from the heart and not quite realising he just admitted to his friend that he thought he was cute, Matt however did notice and couldn't help but smile shyly and blush.
"I know and I feel the same way about you, but they laughed at me Ben, they saw it and laughed and you will laugh too because it must be broken and ugly." Matt responds in a sad tone, although he was also happy that his friend thought he was cute, he hasn't felt like this around someone since Tobias and he still didn't understand what it meant or why it felt so good.
"Shut up Matt, you aren't ugly and you were wearing your underwear so they never actually saw it did they." Ben points out in a stern tone. "I'm telling you they were probably just embarrassed and shocked, they shouldn't have laughed and made fun of you though, that was mean and you should tell them off for doing that." He then says as he keeps a firm hold of his friends face.
"You really are the best you know that and I'm so glad you are my friend." Matt then says sincerely and finally manages to smile, Ben also smiles as he watches his friends face change from sad to happy, he then blushes a little as he realises he has a little problem of his own.
"Okay don't laugh or anything, but I really got to take a pee and I don't think I can make it to the toilets." Ben suddenly announces, as he takes his hands of his now amused looking friend.
"Oh man you really can be a dumb ass, didn't you go before you came out?" Matt asks mockingly, they hadn't been in the park that long and surely his friend would have gone before he went out.
"Well obviously not you moron, what am I going to do though?" Ben responds, sticking out his tongue to show what he thought of being called a dumb ass, before getting serious again as he really is worried about peeing himself.
"Well just go over there in the bushes and I will keep watch, it's not like we haven't done it before, just don't go to far in and stay where I can still see you." Matt instructs his friend, who was now doing a weird sort of hopping dance, he knows that nothing is likely to happen, but like his friends brother always tells them, why take the risk and there isn't anyone else other than the group of boys around, but they aren't close enough to see his friend taking a pee.
"You're just a dirty pervert ho wants to watch me pee." Ben replies jokingly, as he makes his way over to the bushes smiling.
"You wish, just hurry up I'm going to stand a bit further up so I can keep a better look out." Matt then says as his friend goes just far enough to not be seen by any passers by and decides to walk a little bit further out into the open, but suddenly feels himself being pulled to the other side of the tree as a hand wraps around his mouth.
"So what do we have here than boys." Conner, a sixteen year old boy says mockingly to his two friends, Simon and And and although they share the same surname, Andy and Conner weren't related.
"Looks like a little girl to me Conner." Snorts Andy, who has a firm hold of the boy from behind and his hand over his mouth to keep him from screaming out for help.
"Looks like a little English fairy boy to me guys." Conner says grinning. "So what are you doing out here all alone then, where is your usual group of loser friends?" He then asks, not realising that his friends little brother is in the bushes taking a pee.
"Shut up and let me go or you will be sorry." Matt tries to shout, but Andy's hand over his mouth reduces it to a almost inaudible mumble, but the older boys understand enough of it and just laugh at him even more.
"The little girl is trying to act so tough, let's so how much of a girl you are." Conner sneers, causing the little boys face to go white in fear, he knows he is in trouble and is starting to panic as he wonders what they are going to do to him.
"Come on Conner, I think we scared him enough let's just go and get a drink." Simon suddenly says, he really isn't keen on this sort of thing, but knows if Conner wants to do something he will do as he is told.
"Simon shut up and start stripping him, the little English prick deserves it and we have nothing better to do." Conner orders, causing Simon to just sigh as he turns to the now struggling boy, who realises what they are going to do and panics and Andy can't help but be surprised by the boys strength and stumbles before falling to the ground, Simon however just sighs again as he kneels down and starts to pull at the boys clothing and there is nothing Matt can do as he is being held firmly by Andy as Simon strips him, Conner is just about to join in when he suddenly feels someone almost push him over.
"Get the fuck off him you pricks." Ben suddenly shouts as he turns to see the two older boys, who already have his friends top and trousers off and he can hear his friend sobbing, but before he can say anything else he is suddenly thrown backwards by Conner and lands on his back.
"Get the fuck out of here Ben, this is nothing to do with you." Conner sneers, although behind his bravado he is actually starting to get nervous, he knew Mitch would kill him if he hurt his little brother and wanted him as far away from this as possible.
"Fuck you Conner, my brother will kick your ass when I tell him what you're doing." Ben answers back confidently as he gets to his feet.
"Like he would give a fuck about that little pussy and he isn't here anyway so get lost or you will be next." Conner says mocking the boy and moves between him and his friend and blocking his path, but he only just manages to hide the fear he is actually starting to feel as the reality of Mitch finding out about this hits him, but he isn't going to stop now.
"Let him go now or you will be sorry." Ben warns again, but he can see Adam and Simon pulling his friends underwear off, he then feels something he has never felt before and launches himself at Conner, punching and kicking at him as hard as he can and although initially caught off guard Conner quickly gets the little boy under control and pushes him back and just as Ben comes at him again he raises his hand to punch the boy in the head, when he suddenly is yanked backwards and a blinding pain erupts from his nose as he falls on to his back in a daze.
"What the fuck do you think you are doing Conner." A snarling Mitch shouts out.
Conner is about to get up and launch himself at whoever punched him, but instead cowers back onto his back when he sees his friend, staring at him with a furious expression, Conner was by no means a coward and could handle himself in a fight but against Mitch he knows he has no chance and against a pissed off angry Mitch, well that would just be suicide.
"Mitch quick make them stop." Ben suddenly shouts out pleading to his brother, as he realises his friends underwear is now around his ankles and Andy and Simon are still trying to strip him fully, Mitch suddenly snaps his attention from Conner to his little brother and then to the three boys on the ground behind them.
"Andy, Simon get the fuck off him now or you will both be eating out of a straw for the next few months and fuck off over there and wait." Mitch sneers at them before turning back to his friend who is now standing up looking very nervous, he then looks back over to Andy and Simon who are now off the boy and walking to where he had pointed too. "What the fuck are you doing Conner." Mitch then asks, sounding every bit as angry as he looks as he turns to his friend again.
"Mitch kick his ass, did you see what they did?" Ben interrupts, he wants his brother to hurt the older boys for what they had done.
"Ben I'm going to sort this out, but you need to go over to Matt and help him, just get him dressed and get him out of here, Dad won't be home for hours so you can go there or you can take him straight to his house." Mitch tells his little brother calmly, he then places a hand on his little brothers shoulders but before he can say anything his little brother beats him to it.
"But Mitch look what they did, they can't get away with it, please Mitch." Ben pleads, he knows deep down that unless Mitch had no other choice, he rarely ever got violent and he desperately wanted the three older boys to pay.
"Ben go help your friend, I will deal with these guys okay, now get moving." Mitch instructs him and this time Ben knows he needs to listen, Mitch then turns back to his friend with a cold stare.
Ben then quickly makes his way over to help his friend, who is now in the foetal position crying and shivering with his underwear still around his ankles, so he quickly wraps his arms around him to comfort him.
"Look we were just messing around, I swear Mitch, we were just having a laugh." Conner pleads nervously, despite trying to sound calm and believable.
"Messing around, you call that messing around, you just stripped an eleven year old kid naked, in the middle of the day in a public park Conner, that is not messing around, that is sexually assaulting a child and if you weren't my friend, you would be sitting in the back of a cop car right now." Mitch states in disgust, he and his friends had been through a lot and have been friends since he can remember, but right now he was fighting the urge to hurt them, maybe even kill them for what they were doing.
"Okay so it went a little to far, but he will get over it." Conner then says, almost in a whisper.
"Get over it? Conner you are a prick you know that and how do you explain what you were doing to Ben?" Mitch then asks as he motions for Conner to follow him towards Andy and Simon who are standing a little further down the park on a bench.
"I didn't touch him Mitch, he was being an idiot and should have just stayed out of it." Conner says before suddenly falling to the ground backwards holding his left eye and both Andy and Simon walk nervously over but do nothing to help their friend and just stand their looking worried and hoping it isn't their turn next.
"First of all you touched him plenty when you shoved him to the ground, second of all the only reason you didn't knock his head of his shoulders was because I stopped you, so let me make this crystal clear and Andy, Simon this applies to you both as well, If any of you do something like this again I will call the police myself, the only reason I'm not doing that now is because we are friends and how much you mean to me, do you understand?" Mitch states firmly, looking at all three of his friends including Conner, who has managed to stand up and is now sporting a swollen eye as well as what appears to be a broken nose.
"Yeah Mitch we get it." All three reply almost in unison.
"Also just to be crystal clear, if any of you ever touches my little brother again or threaten him in anyway then our friendship will not help you in the slightest." Mitch warns them coldly before turning to his friend. "Conner if you think you're in pain now you haven't felt anything if you ever touch Ben again, so this goes especially to you, because the only reason you are not dead for what you just did, is because we are friends and I stopped you before you actually hit him." He tells him and there is no mistaking the fear in his friends eyes.
"Sorry Mitch we understand." They all say meekly.
"One more thing, Matt is off limits from now on as well and you're going to be lucky if he doesn't report this, so if I were you I would think about finding a way to make it up to him fast, this goes for my brothers other friends as well, you know who he hangs around with so leave them alone, I should just walk away from you guys right now, but I'm not a prick so let's get going before I change my mind." Mitch informs them and this time doesn't wait for a reply and just starts walking out of the park knowing they will follow and again resisting the urge to beat the hell out of them right now, but he had was just waiting to get them alone and although that meant leaving his little brother, he knew it was the right decision and knew his little brother will be alright.
Ben just watches as his brother punches Conner and smiles, he wanted him to do much more, but knew that Mitch wouldn't do it unless he needed to and felt a little frustrated when he watched the older boys walk away, although he had to admit that it was funny to see the three older boys looking so afraid of his brother and as they disappear from sight he goes back to comforting his friend, who is obviously not okay, although he had managed to move his clothes around the other side of the tree and half drag him around it as well, just so they couldn't be seen by anyone walking by.
"Matt it's okay they are gone now, but we need to get you dressed okay." Ben tries to say as soothingly as he can, but tears are already falling down his own face as his friend continues to sob and not move. "Matt I know you can hear me so I'm going to get you dressed okay, it's just me okay you can trust me." He then says as he moves over to the pile of clothing and sorts it out.
Ben then slowly tries to pull his friends underwear up, but finds it difficult so he has to gently roll his friend so that he is almost on his back and unintentionally exposing his friend in the process, he tries ignoring the sight as best he can and successfully manages to pull the underwear up and cover everything back up, before noticing his friend has stopped crying and is just laying still looking up at the sky with a blank expression and although he is still worried about his friend he has no other choice but to continue dressing him as gently as he can, but doesn't want to take too long just in case someone walks by and eventually after struggling with his trainers, Ben sits back on his heels happy with the job he has done, although the moment of happiness is short lived when he looks at his friends face so decides to at least get him sitting up, so he grabs a hold his friends hands and pulls him upright before quickly pulling him into a cuddle so he doesn't fall back down.
"Matt please say something, you're scaring me and I don't know what to do, please just let me know you're okay." Ben says in a warm tone, while trying his best to stay strong and not break down and after a few moments he feels his friend move a little and pulling back slightly from the embrace.
"Thank you." Is all Matt manages to say, before leaning back into his friends arms, much to Ben's relief and just starts to rub his friends back gently.
"I know this isn't going to be easy, but I need to get up and get you home, we can go to my house if you want though." Ben tells his friend in a warm and caring tone.
"I just want to go home." Matt whispers and Ben pulls back slightly and gently kisses him on the forehead before standing up, he then pulls his friend up to his feet and both boys stand facing each other for a few moments.
"I'm just going to clean you up a bit and then we can go home, we will stay close to the bushes so no one can sees us." Ben instructs his friend, he knows from his experience with his brother, that he needs to be confident and firm if he wants to help his friend, because that is what Mitch would do and he wanted to make him proud.
"Okay." Matt responds meekly as he looks down to the ground, Ben knows that is about as much as his friend is going to say and pulls out a clean tissue from his pocket, he then gently lifts his friends face back up and starts to wipe away the tears, when he is finally happy with his work he takes hold of his friends hand and begins to walk home and despite what has happened he can't help but feel those strange and confusing feelings as he walks hand in hand with his friend.
Ben keeps his promise and they stick to the edge of the park, where they manage to avoid getting too close to anyone else and along the way Ben keeps reassuring his friend despite not getting many replies, he doesn't mind though as he knows his friend will be okay and that he just needed to get him home and to his bed so he can sleep, but when they finally make it to his friends house Ben suddenly notices him pull back a little and realises he is shaking.
"It's okay, you're home now Matt and everything is going to be okay." Ben tells his friend reassuringly and gently strokes his hand with his free hand.
"I don't want to see my mum, I just want to go to my room." Matt responds with sadness in his voice, he didn't want to talk to her before, but now he just can't face her at all after being attacked and starts to cry again.
"Hey come on Matt, don't cry please." Ben says as he wipes the tears from his friends eyes again. "Look how about this, I will talk with your mum to distract her and you can go straight up to your room and sleep, I can talk to her about what happened as well." He then adds, trying to keep his confident and firm tone from before to reassure his friend.
"No you can't tell her Ben, you can't please." Matt suddenly says pleadingly and Ben can see the fear and embarrassment on his friends face.
"Matt I have too, but trust me, I won't tell her everything just enough so she won't bother you and hassle you with questions, is that alright?" Ben responds and sighs in relief as he feels his friend relax.
"Please don't tell her what they did to me." Matt pleads before wiping tears from his eyes with his free hand.
"You can trust me, come on though let's get inside and remember just go straight to your room and get some sleep." Ben instructs his friend, he then walks to his friends front door, still holding his hand and opens it they both quickly close the door behind them and release each others hand reluctantly, Matt sighs in relief when he hears his mum call out from the kitchen and knowing he won't have to see her.
"Is that you Matt?" Sarah calls out, but taking his chance Matt quickly heads to the stairs so he can get to his room as quickly as possible, he then looks back to mouth the words 'thank you' to his friend before disappearing out of sight and into his room.
"Hey Mrs Summers." Ben says as he goes into the kitchen, slightly surprising his friends mum in the process, who was expecting to see her son and not his friend.
"Oh hello Ben." Sarah responds as she recovers from the surprise. "Where's Matt?" She then asks, as she finishes putting away a few glasses.
"He was really tired and went to sleep, we need to talk though Mrs Summers and it's really important." Ben answers a little timidly, he had never talked to an adult like this before and is trying to prepare himself for what he wants to say.
"Ben call me Sarah please and of course we can talk, I'm always here for you if you have a problem." Sarah tells the young boy, thinking he just needs some advice about something and not suspecting that she is about to get a lecture from an eleven year old boy.
"It's not about me Sarah, It's about what you and David did to Matt and I'm annoyed at you, because of how upset he was." Ben states firmly in a serious tone, which surprises Sarah completely, she wasn't expecting this at all and is momentarily speechless.
"I don't mean to be rude Ben, but I don't think it has anything to do with you, with what happened earlier." Sarah says in a mixture of embarrassment and annoyance, it was nice that the young boy was looking out for his friend, but he shouldn't be talking to her like this at his age.
"When my friend is in tears and thinking there is something wrong with the way he looks, because his parents laughed and made fun of him for no reason, then I think I have a right to say something." Ben responds firmly with a lot more conviction than he thought he had and again Sarah is stunned by the boys tone and despite her initial annoyance, she can't help but back down and accept that he has a point.
"Well okay I get your point and I'm sorry Ben, but I still don't think you have gone about this in the right way young man." Sarah concedes, but lectures the boy in an attempt to take control of the conversation.
"Yeah because laughing and mocking your son because he has a boner and doesn't realise, is the right way to deal with something right?" Ben answers back quickly and confidently, not caring if he if he is being rude, he knows that she is trying to get him to back down and he isn't going to let this go until he finishes.
"Okay Ben you made your point, now calm down a little bit if you want me to take you seriously." Sarah responds, as she gives up trying to get him to back down and accepts that she probably deserves this for her behaviour earlier. "I'm really impressed with how much you care for my son Ben and to be honest with you, I feel awful about what happened so why don't we sit down and I will get you a drink." She then suggests, knowing he won't let this drop, she can at least make sure it doesn't turn into an argument.
While Ben takes a seat feeling happy with himself, Sarah pours herself a glass of water and an OJ for him, she then takes a seat opposite him and hands over his drink.
"How could you do that to him though Sarah, you should have heard him when he phoned me, he sounded so upset and thought he was ugly and broken because of you two." Ben then says, getting straight to the point and tries to keep his voice as calm as possible, he knows if he gets too emotional she won't listen to him.
"I can't really explain it Ben, at first I was just embarrassed by what I saw, you boys are only eleven years old, I wasn't expecting this to happen for at least another year or two." Sarah starts to say before stopping, she really wasn't comfortable talking about this sort of thing and thought it should be her husband not her. "We handled it badly, really badly, but me and David have talked and we will explain everything to him tomorrow and apologise for the way we acted." She then adds, hoping to end the conversation as quickly as possible.
"Well you definitely need to talk with him about that kind of stuff, although I already told him the basics and explained to him what you two were laughing at." Ben states with a hint of pride in his voice, he takes a sip of his drink and watches his friends mum for her reply.
"How do you know about that stuff?" Sarah asks, she was shocked that the boy already knows about sex and wonders how he found out.
"Mitch told me, I don't understand it all though, he just told me to go to him when I have any more questions when I was older." Ben answers honestly, it was an embarrassing talk but he was glad his brother explained things. "So I told Matt the basics, I didn't want to tell him, but the way he was talking about it being his fault and how he must be broken worried me." He then says with a bit of sadness in his voice, as he remembers the look on his friends face.
"Oh well okay." Sarah says not quite sure how to respond, hearing how her son thought there was something wrong with him, because of what she and her husband had done made her feeling even worse about herself.
"Is that all you can say?" Ben then asks in surprise, he was taken aback by the reaction and starts getting angry again.
"Sorry Ben, this is just such a mess and I'm so angry at myself, maybe I should go upstairs and talk with him." Sarah says with a sad expression, Ben though suddenly stands up when he realises she might actually go upstairs.
"I guess I understand and sorry about being so rude, but you really can't go see him right now, just let him sleep and speak with him tomorrow Sarah." Ben states in a slightly panicked tone, he can't let her go upstairs and just hopes she listens to him.
"Something is going isn't it, tell me now Ben or I will go up and ask him." Sarah instructs the boy firmly, she knows something else is wrong and needed to find out.
"I will tell you if you promise not to wake him up." Ben responds, although he has no intention of telling her the whole story, but he knows he has to tell her something.
"I promise, just tell me what happened." Sarah replies, she just wants the truth and will deal with it afterwards.
"Something happened at the park." Ben starts to explain but Sarah interrupts him before he can finish.
"The park? what happened Ben?" Sarah asks, before realising he was in the middle of actually explaining it to him.
"We were talking about you know what happened and I managed to get him to calm down and understand what happened." Ben starts explaining again before pausing, as he tries to word the next part in the right way. "But I needed to er... well I needed to use the toilet but it was too far away, so I had to use the bushes and he went a bit further out to keep watch, you know so no one would see me, well while he was looking out, some older boys just grabbed him and they really frightened him." He then explains, being careful not to mention the more embarrassing parts for his friends sake.
"Did you know who they were and what did they do?" Sarah asks, trying to stay calm but she can feel the anger building inside her.
"I didn't realise what had happened until I was finished in the bush, when I got to them they were holding him down and shouting at him, I tried to stop them and one of them went to hit me, but he didn't get the chance." Ben explains, again being very careful not to reveal too much.
"What do you mean he didn't get the chance, what happened Ben?" Sarah asks in confusion, her anger is still rising but she is keeping it under control.
"Well my brother Mitch came out of nowhere and beat him up, the other older boys and the one who tried to hit me quickly ran away." Ben answers with a proud look on his face, he loved talking about how great his brother was. "Mitch then told me to look after Matt and he went after them and told me he would sort them out." He then says ending his version of the story and hoping he did a good enough job to stop her suspecting something else happened.
"Is Mitch okay, he shouldn't have gone after them on his own." Sarah asks genuinely worried about the older boy, although she is still concerned for her son, she doesn't want to appear ungrateful if Mitch had intervened and got hurt protecting her son.
"Yeah he is fine, he didn't find them and doesn't know who they were, he just said they weren't from around here because he would have seen them before, but he is going to find out though and they will get what they deserve." Ben responds, surprising himself with how believable his story is and tries to hide his smile.
"Well tell him to be careful when you see him, so are you sure Matt is okay, they didn't hurt him did they?" Sarah asks turning her attention back to her son.
"He was pretty scared Mrs Sum... er... sorry Sarah, I think he will be okay he's just had a pretty long day and needs to sleep, I promise you that he isn't hurt and he told me he will tell you everything tomorrow so just please don't wake him up today, he is still a little upset with you two from this morning." Ben responds, pleading with his friends mum to not go see him.
"Okay Honey and thank you so much for looking after him." Sarah then says and her anger disappears as she calms down in relief. "I really couldn't wish for a better friend for my son then you Ben and you really surprised me today, you're well on your way to being a man already, just maybe try not to grow up to fast though." She then says, ruffling the boys hair, although he was maybe a bit rude, she couldn't fault his intentions and was just so happy he was there for her son.
"Thanks and I promise, I'm not in that much of a hurry to get as old as you." Ben says cheekily and sticks his tongue out to prove his point.
"You little sod." Sarah says with a playful grin, she really enjoyed his company, but thought he should be heading home. "I think you should get yourself home before it gets too late though Ben, but you have been amazing today and I won't forget it Ben, now go on get going and I will wait for David to get home and explain everything to him." She then tells him with a warm and friendly.
"It's no problem, I would do anything for Matt, he is just the best and I love him so much Sarah." Ben responds with a genuine smile as he starts to walk to the door, Sarah however blushes a little at the boys choice of words, but keeps quiet as he obviously hadn't realised what he had just admitted and didn't want to embarrass him.
"I'm sure he feels the same way about you as well Ben." Sarah tells him with a sly smile as she opens the door for him, she then gives him a kiss on the cheek and then the top of the head for good measure and watches him walk away, well being Ben it was more skipping than walking and it never failed to make her smile to see him so happy.
When she shuts the front door, she considers going to speak with her son but decides against it just as she comes to the bottom of the stairs, so instead she turns to the kitchen and starts preparing something to eat for when her husband gets home and after an hour David walks in and smiles as he is embraced by his wife, she then lets go and tells him to sit in the kitchen as she finishes cooking and plates the food up, before sitting down with her him and during the meal they discuss everything that had happened and how they should just let their son sleep and come to them in his own time, David agrees while taking hold of his wife's hand as they talk about ways to make up for their behaviour, eventually after finishing eating and cleaning up they continue to talk until they decide it's time to sleep themselves.
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