"So are you going to tell me what it was about?"
"What what was about?" Sam asked as the boys walked a lonely road.
"Your dream last night. You called my name you know, that's what woke me up. So I figure that if I was in it then perhaps I should know what it was about."
"I dreamed I fell into a raging river and I was calling you for help."
"Oh." Dan said quietly while remembering that Sam had also called out 'Mom stop!'
"Did I save you?"
"You tried." Sam sighed. He felt terrible lying to Dan but if Dan knew the truth he would ask difficult questions and one would lead to the next and Sam couldn't handle that.
"How about you Dan?"
"How about me what?"
"Aren't you going to tell me how we ended up in bed together?"
Dan was instantly red faced.
"It was your idea, you told me to stay in bed with you." Dan scrambled for a defence.
"Yeah, well I was scared."
"I know." 'How did I end up in the sleeping bag with Sam, after all I started out just sitting on the pillow with him between my legs and my legs were on the outside of the sleeping bag, so if I fell asleep...' Dan's mind wandered but he could find no solution to his query.
"You know we never seem to talk too much about why we're on this journey, what's your story Dan?"
"Huh? Oh not much to say, I could never seem to find a nice girl so I thought this might work."
"Oh. Yeah." Sam said quietly while looking down at his feet.
Beau phoned but Tonya was at summer school. He sat by the phone, waiting. Suddenly it rang.
"Hello?" Beau answered on the first ring.
"Hello Beau, it's Frank, Dan's dad. I just wanted to tell you that I took the computer in and they're looking at it as we speak, it should be done in a day or two."
"Oh, okay cool."
"Just thought I'd tell you. So how's Dan?"
"Oh I don't know, we don't talk."
"Don't you look something up on the internet?"
"Oh right, yeah, let me see here...He's walking fast, 40 to 50 km a day. So my guess is if he's traveling that far that fast then he's probably in great shape."
"Oh that's good, I'm proud of him. Well sorry to bother you Beau."
Beau hung up the phone. "One or two days! What am I going to do now?"
Dan and Sam walked in silence for a long time and it was during this time that Dan did some serious thinking. He'd woken up in bed with Sam, he'd had his arms around him, and he'd even kissed him. 'This is getting out of hand, If I don't control myself then I'm going to scare Sam, what if he starts to hate me? I've got to act normal around him.' Dan continued to think and after about an hour he decided that for the rest of the trip or however long it took to get over Sam he would be relentless in his quest to act 'normal' around him.
That night at the campfire Dan busied himself with his journal, said a few words to Sam and went to bed without even sitting with him. There was no sleeping close that night and thankfully Sam had no nightmares. The following day Dan refrained from calling Sam 'bud' all day and tried not to make too much conversation. He'd come to realize that every time he talked to Sam he said more to him than he wanted to.
It didn't take long however before Dan was tearing himself apart to try to maintain his attitude toward Sam. He could tell that Sam had noticed a change in him and it was obviously making Sam uneasy but it was for the best. Still, Dan couldn't help but look into those eyes and more and more his heart burned for the chance to kiss Sam and it was that more than anything else that bothered Dan. 'If I kiss a boy, then I'm gay.' He thought.
Two days passed and Dan was on the edge of an emotional breakdown.
They made camp on a rocky river bank in the forest. Sam was cleaning up and made tea, the air was cool and Sam passed Dan his tea and sat down next to him and put his arm around him. Dan tensed and quickly pulled away. "I'm kinda warm right now Sam." He said harshly without intending to sound that way. Quickly realizing his mistaken tone he looked over and saw in Sam's eyes the hurt he'd just caused. The laughing eyes that he loved so much were hurt.
Dan put his tea down and slowly got up, never looking away from those eyes. "Oh my God." He said very slowly almost whispering. "I hurt you." Dan turned and ran down the riverbank into the darkness, he stumbled on slippery rocks and bashed his knees. He got up and ran on until finally he couldn't run and the glow of the campfire had been left far far behind. He stumbled behind a bolder and collapsed and cried. He'd hurt Sam. The realization was so terrible that Dan could do nothing other than cry. And as the warm tears ran down his face he heard a voice, "why are you mad at me Dan? What did I do?" The voice wobbled and sniffed back tears of its own.
Dan gasped and sighed. He thought he couldn't speak but instead everything came out in a torrent and there was nothing he could do to ebb the flow of words.
"Damn it Sam, don't you understand? I'm not mad at you. You know why?" Dan was standing, facing Sam, he could only see the outline of his face in the light of a half moon. " It's because I can't be mad at you Sam. That's the problem, no matter how hard I try I can't get mad at you!" Dan's voice was rising higher.
"I...I...don't understand." Sam's voice was by comparison, feeble.
"Sam." Dan whispered wearily then collapsed back to his knees. "It's because I love you Sam, I love everything about you, I love your eyes, your face, that funny sound you make while sleeping, the way you walk, you even smell good. Damn it Sam, you're Beautiful. And... and I love you." Dan's voice dropped to a whisper. "There I said it, now go. Leave me alone." Dan curled up into a ball, flopped onto his side and continued crying. There was very little light and he cried harder knowing that Sam had run back to camp unsure of what to do with himself. But then suddenly the one thing Dan had never counted on occurred; he felt a warm hand on his forehead, Dan turned his head to look up and Sam kissed him, the softest most loving kiss of his life and he froze.
"Don't cry Dan, I love you too." Sam whispered.
"Your...your...not serious." Dan tried to speak but his voice was screechy and hardly functional.
Sam nodded slowly and smiled softly, he moved the hand that was on Dan's forehead and ran his fingers though Dan's hair. "Please don't cry" Sam whispered and kissed Dan on the forehead. "Come on." Sam stood up and gave Dan his hand. Dan stumbled along with Sam back to the fire, his legs were shaking so hard he wasn't sure that he would make it. Before he knew it he was sitting on the ground next to the fire in the arms of Sam.
"Don't cry, don't cry. I love you." Sam whispered.
"Why? Why do you love me? What's to love?" Dan croaked.
"What's not to love, you're amazing Dan, you really are. And you're gentle and kind and you're always there for me. Dan, you don't know what beautiful is until you've looked in the mirror."
"But...but..." Dan sighed. "So you mean, all this time you've liked me too?"
"Why didn't you tell me? I would have been understanding."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"I just did."
"And I'm here for you." Sam smiled.
"Oh." Dan squeaked in a funny high pitch way and started crying again. Sam said nothing, he just held him.
Almost 15 minutes passed and not one word was spoken. Finally Sam got up and moved around Dan to check his knees, there was a little dried blood and some dirt so Sam got the water pan and a cloth. He started working on the wound. Dan was motionless and silent.
"You know, it's funny." Dan said suddenly.
"What is?" Sam looked up and saw another tear slowly rolling down Dan's check, sparkling in the firelight.
"When I was in Junior High school, we were running around calling each other fags before we even knew the meaning of the word. By High school we all knew and still we did it, still I did it." Dan looked into Sam's brown eyes. Sam broke eye contact, he looked at the ground suddenly remembering some of his own experiences in school.
"Sam, we have lots to talk about, but for now, I'm so confused and exhausted. Can we just go to bed? I need to sleep on this."
"Sure." Sam nodded. Dan's knees were only a little bruised and he had a few small cuts, he'd be fine.
Dan slid into his sleeping bag and lay on his back with his mind racing. "Sam?"
"Mind if I join you?"
Dan squeezed into Sam's sleeping bag again and wrapped his arms around Sam and joyfully felt Sam do the same. And they lay; eyes open only an inch apart. Dan felt his whole body against Sam's even though he was wearing pyjamas he could feel everything and somehow he felt indescribably full. Then Dan closed his eyes. "Before I fall asleep Sam, there's one thing I really want to do."
Dan opened his eyes and did the one thing he'd dreamed about for what felt like forever, he kissed Sam.
"I love you Dan." Sam whispered.
"I love you too Bud."
Beau was in a state of constant worry, he still hadn't thought of a new way to avoid showing Dan's mom the website while at the same time the computer still hadn't returned from the shop.
Beau had just gotten home from a delightful walk in the park with Tonya. Never had he met a beautiful girl with as much brains and good humour. She was smart, friendly, funny, beautiful and everyday Beau found out many more things that he had in common with her. As his mind drifted off pondering over the time he'd just spent with Tonya he got a call.
"Hello Beau, this is Mr. McKinnon, I just got the computer back from the shop and I think you and I need to have a talk. I'd like to do this before Janet gets home so could you please meet me at my house as soon as possible?"
"Yes sir." Beau's heart was beating so fast that those were all the words he could force out.
Dan's dreams were fitful and confusing. When he woke it was early morning and he was instantly comforted by the boy in his arms.
"Hello." Sam said grinning when Dan opened his eyes.
"Hi." Dan smiled back.
"Yes a lot."
"You know, I wasn't lying last night, I really do love you Dan."
"I love you too but I'm scared, how do I know I really love you? What if this is just two lonely boys forced together?"
Sam looked nervous. "What do you feel?" He asked.
"I feel like I could lay here forever, I want to kiss you and hold you. I never want to be away from you, and I've never felt like this before."
"I know exactly how you feel."
"Sam?" Dan asked urgently. "Does this make me gay...are we...are you gay? What does this mean?"
Sam looked surprised for a moment then his expression changed to one of thoughtfulness and he took a moment to find just the right words. "I can't tell you whether your gay or not, that's for you to decide. I am gay by any definition I've ever heard but I don't think of myself as gay, I am Sam. Gay is just a box people like to pack other people into, people who don't belong in the straight box. The important part is, I am Sam and I love you. I don't care what category other people fit us or me or you into. Does that make sense?"
"Yeah." Dan smiled momentarily then his mind conjured up a new problem, "what are we going to do, you know, later, when we get home? What kind of life are we going to have?"
"I don't know, later is later don't worry now...as long as we're together it'll be great I'm sure." Sam reached up and touched Dan's cheek then pushed his fingers through Dan's hair. "You're really beautiful." He sighed.
Dan's mind raced and his heart melted. 'Beautiful is a word reserved for girls but also for flowers and sunsets and things that are better to look at than amazing. Sam called me beautiful.J' "Nah, I can't be beautiful I'm just me. You are beautiful, you have these dark eyes that just take my breath away, and soft hair and the cutest nose and and..."
Sam leaned in the inch separating them and kissed Dan but this was different, Dan felt adventurous and as soon as their lips met he pushed his tongue forward touching Sam's lips and pushing into his mouth. Sam did the same. It was bliss that lasted forever but filled only a moment.
"You even taste good." Dan gasped when they broke for a breath.
"So do you." Sam sighed.
Dan slid his arm up Sam's back to his neck and paused when he hit the small disk transmitter stuck there, the spell was broken.
"We need to get up and get going, there's a lot of land to cover."
It was 10:00 Am; Dan and Sam were walking a path near the riverbank.
"Have you always liked boys?" Dan asked.
"Since I was around 13 or 14, yes. I never liked girls, they make good friends sometimes but that's about it. You?"
"I never thought about it, I just assumed I was straight. But now I look back, I never saw a girl who was more than just okay looking, but I had seen many really hot boys. I never thought about it."
"What will my family say when I tell them about you?" Dan wondered out loud.
"Don't worry, we'll deal with that together." Sam sighed and tried to sound reassuring but couldn't manage anything convincing.
Dan sighed too but with the reality that now he was no longer alone. "Sam?"
Dan's jaw dropped and his lungs seemed to paralyse, as did his feet. "Sweetheart." He repeated the word at hardly a whisper. Sam stopped walking and turned to watch Dan.
Dan looked at Sam, his head turned slightly to the side and his mouth still open. Slowly he opened his arms and Sam stepped into them. "I love you." Dan whispered.
There was a pause then,
"Me too, me too. Now what were you going to ask?"
"Can I hold your hand while we walk?"
"You didn't have to ask." Sam said as he took Dan's hand.
"The repairman finished with the computer and told me what was wrong." Mr. McKinnon explained. "He said that system files had been deleted but not by a virus, they were deleted by the user. Seeing as how it worked that morning when I left for work and Janet didn't use it until you got here, I can only assume that you deleted those files. So I want to know exactly why you deleted them and I want to know exactly what my son is really doing right now."
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