Everything Will Turn Out Alright

by Cy-kun

Chapter 26

I love storms. Especially the big ones with thunder and lightning and wind and rain and sometimes, on really good days, even some hail. Curling up in front of an open door with the boy you love, watching a storm rage by, is one of the most romantic things I can think of and as much as I love hot, summer days by the pool, hot, summer nights standing in the middle of a rainstorm are about a million times better.

The problem with storms is that if they show up at the wrong time they stop being romantic and turn into really annoying and ominous foreshadowing.


See? Normally that loud explosion of thunder would get me all excited and maybe even a bit hard but since it's the Friday before the Saturday where I have my big Tell Dad Dinner all it's doing is making me think that there's some sort of higher power out there trying to tell me that this is a very Bad Idea. The pelting rain and the tree bending wind isn't exactly helping things either.

At least it was the end of the day. That had to be some kind of sign, right? Something like, "things will go well until the very end". Sounds good but I don't really expect dinner to last much past "dad I'm gay" so even without the Omen Storm I could have figured that out on my own. Maybe something more like "everything will be going great and you'll be lulled into a false sense of security and then- BAM!-your dad will explode and cover you with rain".

Or maybe I'm just thinking about this way too much.

I shook my head. Where was Vicky anyway? I'd been waiting right outside the doors for like ten minutes now for him to get here. He usually isn't this late. I hope he gets here before my mom shows up or she'll bitch at me (yeah, ME! How unfair is that?) for making her hold up the line and I really don't need bitching today. Someone opened the door next to me and I looked over expectantly. Not Vicky, just some girl running frantically through the rain to get to her parents car.

I smiled to myself. This was another awesome thing about storms. People totally freaking out about getting a little water on themselves. I was the only one waiting outside. Everyone else was huddled inside the doors so they didn't accidentally get splashed with water or something. I always thought it was hilarious how people could be so scared of rain. It's just water people! Not acid. You swim and bathe in it all the time.

And of course, because this is just how my life works, the wind decided that was the perfect moment to suddenly gust in my direction and spray me right in the face with a deluge (that's just so fun to say. Come on, say it with me. Deeeeellluuuuge) of rain. I coughed and sputtered and inhaled enough to qualify for mouth to mouth from a sexy lifeguard if I was in a pool and decided to wait for Vicky inside. Not that my decision had anything to do with the water! I just figured it'd be easier for him to see me.

Yeah. Definitely not an excuse.

I pushed my way back into the building and tried really hard not to interpret every look thrown my way as smug triumph at seeing the rain boy come slinking back into the dry, warm building he scorned. It wasn't easy. I tried getting into a position where I could see through the door to the little pick up/drop off area in front of the school but where I could still be easily seen by anyone showing up late and looking for me but I kinda forgot how tall I'm not and ended up getting swallowed by the crowd.

I sighed. Fuck it. If my mom has to wait 5 minutes too damn bad. I pushed my way through the rest of the people and went to wait along the back wall. There. Now no matter which hallway he comes from Vicky can see me.

I leaned against the wall and tried to wipe the water off my face with my shirt. Turns out the shirt was even wetter than my face. I glared at it, had a short fantasy about setting it on fire, then wiped my face off the best I could with my hands. The front of my hair was soaked and dripping and I brushed it back off my face.

Where the hell was Vicky?


Right there apparently. He was running down the hall from my left with his bulging bookbag bouncing up and down on his back. He waved to get my attention and almost lost his balance. He righted himself quickly as he stopped in front of me. He blushed and looked to the side embarrassed. "Um, just ignore that." he mumbled. The his head shot up. "I'm sorry I was late! Carl cornered me at my locker and it took forever to get packed." He smiled apologetically.

I smiled back. Even if I wanted to he was too cute to be annoyed with. Plus it was Carl's fault, not his. "It's ok. My mom's not here anyway." I frowned. "Carl seems to be hanging around you a lot. I can barely get him to say three words to me these past few weeks but he's always around you."

Vicky giggled and smiled slyly. "He's shy around you. I think he likes you."

I started to roll my eyes, but then I thought about when I first "met" him. The eye rape and the weird looks were pretty much forgotten with all the other, way more important stuff going on in my life but Vicky's words brought them back. I shrugged. "Maybe. But I only have eyes for you." I gave him my best romantic smile.

Vicky burst out laughing. "You are so lame sometimes." Then he smiled. "But I know." He leaned in to kiss me but the mountain he had on his back messed up his balance and he started to fall back. I grabbed him quickly and was almost pulled over with him. Both our hands shot out and pressed against the wall, saving us from extreme public humiliation. Being gay no one touches, falling over on top of each other . . . . . not exactly a group of fangirls for that. Or if there is they're probably in Japan.

"Shit." Vicky hissed. "Stupid fucking bag" He looked behind me and scowled. "Where's yours anyway?"

I felt a ball of dread form in my chest. I winced and looked over towards the doors. There was a gap in the Great Wall of Student Giants and I could see my bag sitting outside. In the rain. Soaking wet.


"Fuuuuuck." I groaned. And don't for a second think I didn't notice how there's only one letter's difference between open and omen either. Vicky cocked his eyebrow and I pointed toward the door.

"Oh crap!" Vicky's eyes widened. "Go get it!"

"Too late." I said sullenly. "It's open so everything inside's already ruined."

"Why did you leave it open?" He asked with a "what the hell?" look.

"It can't close!" I whined. "There's too many damn books inside. I can barely get the thing to zip up at all." I threw up my hands. "TWO math books Vicky. Two! How the hell are we supposed to carry all this crap? I-" I was working my way up into a good, long rant when Vicky put his finger to my lips. I calmed down immediately. The storm, the rain and the ruined books had nothing on the good omen that was Vicky being with me. At least I hoped so. I took a quick look around, noticed that more than a few people had overheard my bitching, and blushed accordingly.

Vicky smiled sympathetically. "I'm sorry Nate."

I sighed. "Fuck it. At least I have a good excuse not to do any homework this weekend." I smirked.

Vicky rolled his eyes. "You can do mine if you want?" he asked sweetly.

"Nope." I chirped. "Gonna be too busy getting exorcised by my dad to do homework."

Vicky winced slightly. "Are you really ok about this weekend?" he asked, all teasing gone.

I gave him my best smile, then let it fall away as quickly as it appeared. Vicky wasn't my mom or Erica or Michelle or anyone else who'd found out about the dinner and talked to me about it this week. He deserved a real answer. "I dunno." I shrugged one shoulder. "It doesn't matter though. I'm gonna have to do it."

Vicky frowned. "Do you wanna back out? If you do you can come over to my house, my dad'll understand. He can take a day off and you can stay over and maybe your mom could make something up?"

I smiled, warmly and for real this time. I didn't doubt for a second that Jack would do that, mostly because he offered me the same thing a few days ago when he came to pick up Vicky, and that automatically made him rise just a little bit higher on the Coolest Adult Ever list. "It's ok." I said and took a deep, but not all that calming, breath. "I'm pretty sure I decided to do this when I was thinking way clearer than I am now so I should just probably trust myself on this. Me from back then I mean. Not me from now. Me from now wants to . . . . well I have no idea what me from now wants and that's a big part of why I'm not listening to him." I nodded firmly.

"You are way too cute." Vicky said, almost sounding in awe. He shook his head slightly. "You sure?"

"No, not at all." I snorted. "But I'm as sure as I'm ever gonna be. Besides, you'll be there so no matter what happens I'll be ok in the end." I leaned in and kissed him quickly on the cheek.

Vicky blushed a bit and smiled. "You always say the sweetest things."

"I always say the truest things." I said seriously.

He blushed more and smiled brighter. "I love you."

"I lo-"


My head shot to the door on instinct. My mom's car was framed in the glass. Shit! She was NOT interrupting this! "I love you too." I said and gave him a quick kiss on the lips this time.


I glared out the door, then sighed. "Come on. Let's go."

I was soaked by the time I got to the car. Not from the rain, but from my stupid bookbag being too heavy to carry anywhere but on my fucking back. The whole back of my shirt was glued to my body with water which meant I was sitting in a wet spot the entire way home. Thankfully my mom was in "being supportive of Nate" mode so she didn't yell at me for ruining my books or the car seat, she just looked at me, frowned and started driving home.

Vicky's hand reached over and found its way into mine as we drove home. I squeezed it and rested my head against the window. I was suddenly really, really tired and I wanted to lay on Vicky and go to sleep but I didn't wanna make him all wet. So instead I found myself thinking about everything that happened during the week and since I'm doing it already I might as well get you all caught up on that.

Jen stopped sitting with us, which wasn't at all surprising. What was surprising was that Erica and Michelle still showed up and aside from a few incredibly unsubtle glares at Jason they acted like everything was normal. Or as normal as they get anyway. Then I had to go ruin it by asking Jason about Luke and that somehow turned into me telling everyone about the dinner which turned into a week of "oh my God! Nate! Are you ok? I heard about your dad! That totally sucks! I hope everything goes ok this weekend, here's an unwanted hug!" from pretty much every single girl in school.

None of this crap happens to Jason even though I'm pretty damn sure Michelle didn't keep her mouth shut about his gayness. Same with Carl. I just assumed it was because Carl was all withdrawn and unapproachable but I guess fucking not. Apparently for some reason me and Vicky are the only homos worthy of fangirl obsession.

Yay for us.

I asked Jason about Luke everyday but other than telling me that they talked he never told me anything. It was really starting to piss me off and I had to constantly force myself not to yell at him. We'd just gotten our friendship back to mostly normal and I didn't wanna ruin it before we had it back for at least a month. One good thing about the Luke thing was I didn't care about Jason being gay all that much anymore. Being pissed that he's a better friend to my little step-brother than I was is apparently a good way of getting over being weirded out about his sexuality. I even started having fantasies about them dating and then breaking up and Luke coming to me crying so I could be a good big brother and comfort him and make him like me again.

It was about then that I started to realize that I'm kind of a horrible person.

Oh well. I guess my List of Self Improvements now has "general horribleness" after "selfishness" and "immaturity".

On top of all that today had the awkward levels at an all time high when Jen decided to come back and sit with us again. Jason looked like he wanted to run and Michelle and Erica looked smugly satisfied and me and Vicky just tried really hard to stay unnoticed. Which went about as well as you'd expect because now that she didn't have Jason to talk to during lunch (she still sat next to him though, once again showing that people really hate changing seats for some reason) she decided to latch onto us.

It was weird at first. I'd talked to Jen a bunch of times when she was with Jason but we rarely ever had a real conversation that lasted longer than a few minutes. She was bossy and pushy and loud and insistent and nosy and very rarely listened to what anyone had to say, even to questions she asked, but she had one amazing talent. She could get Michelle and Erica to leave us alone.

If I wasn't in love with Vicky I would have kissed her.

And that was my week. A small squeeze on my hand brought me back to reality and I realized the car was parked in my driveway. I gave Vicky a semi-distracted smile before getting out of the car.

By the time we got inside I was soaked again and freezing and shivering. The rain had gotten heavier as we drove but I walked from the car to the door slowly to prove a point. If there's one thing I'm not, it's afraid of getting wet.

Unfortunately, if there's one thing I have, it's probably hypothermia.

Hey, maybe I'll die and not have to go through with this. The thought perked me up. Wow, happy about possible death. I really am going emo.

Vicky took my hand and pulled me up to my room after we dropped our bags to the floor, one with a thud the other with a kinda thud-splash thing. The door was barely closed before he started pulling my clothes off.

"O-ok." I tried to shrug but it just ended up looking like another shiver. "B-but you're g-gonna have to be on t-top. I d-don't think I can g-get hard r-right now." My teeth started chattering. Damn you water! I thought we were friends!

Vicky rolled his eyes. "I don't wanna fuck you, you idiot. I'm trying to keep you from freezing to death." He pulled down my pants and underwear in one swift motion. "Step out."

I still wasn't too sure about the no sex thing so I stepped out quickly. Wow it's cold in here. Maybe I should get in bed and wrap myself in the covers while Vicky gets ready to fuck me. Yeah, that sounds good . . . .

"Don't get in the bed!" Vicky yelled and pulled me away. "You'll get it all wet."

"W-wet?" I frowned, then remembered. Oh yeah. I'm wet. Hm. Need to fix that. "Towel?"

Vicky stared at me for a second. "If I go get a towel you'll stay out of the bed while I'm gone, right?"

It was my turn to roll my eyes. Jesus Christ I'm not retarded, just freezing. "Y-y-y-" I growled in frustration, gave up and just nodded my head.

Vicky gave me another look that I couldn't read (which should show you how freaking cold and out of it I was. I can ALWAYS read Vicky) and ran out of the room. I stood there, naked, wet, shivering and incredibly glad that I was doing those things here and not in Alaska.

Vicky came back within seconds carrying pretty much every towel in the bathroom. He dried me off quickly and purposefully and even though there was always a pretty thick towel between his hands and my skin I started to get just a little bit turned on. Not hard, I was still way too cold for anything to happen down there, but I was really starting to hope he wasn't serious about the no sex thing.

"Ok." he said after he finished drying my hair. "Get in bed."

I grinned. Or tried too. My face was a little bit numb so I'm not really sure if it actually moved or not. "Gonna join me?"

Vicky raised an eyebrow and pushed me gently towards the bed. "Just lie down."

Gentle push + unsteady, shaking legs = stumbling backwards and falling on my bed. I recovered quickly though and scrambled under the covers. I looked back at him to leer invitingly but suddenly I was warm and comfortable and my damn eyes didn't wanna stay open. I absently noticed Vicky taking off his clothes and drying off his sleek body with the only towel he didn't use on me and I slowly rolled over onto my stomach. Maybe he could just sorta do me while I laid here in this really comfortable bed . . . . . on this really comfortable pillow . . . . . while I just . . . rested my eyes a bit . . .

The bed moved slightly as something slipped under the covers with me. Something soft and smooth and cool but somehow still warm pressed up against my body as an arm wrapped itself around me. "Go to sleep." Vicky whispered in my ear.

I was already halfway there, so warm and comfortable, but I had this annoying feeling that I should be doing something other than sleeping. "Kay." I mumbled into the pillow. "But wake me up when . . . . . when . . . . whenever." Fuck it. Nothing's more important than sleep right now.

The last thing I felt before drifting off was a soft kiss being placed on the back of my head.

"Well don't you two look adorable?"

I blinked. "Wha?" I mumbled. Or I think I mumbled. Actually I wasn't even sure I was really awake.

"All wrapped up in blankets like a couple of puppies." my mom (or was it my dream mom?) said.

I shifted, slightly just enough to realize that maybe I was awake after all and my naked thigh brushed up against Vicky's naked thigh. My eyes shot open and the only words I could hear in my head were "naked", "Vicky" and "mom".

I was definitely awake now.

I quickly spun over onto my back and pulled the blankets up to my neck and held them there like I was expecting her to rip them off us. She didn't. Just gave me this amused little smile. My heart was pounding in my chest and this seriously can't be happening AGAIN could it?

"I figured I'd wake you guys up for dinner." my mom went on like there was nothing at all weird about her standing there over us while we were naked and in Vicky's case not even awake.

"Um." I licked my lips and tried my hardest to keep from hyperventilating. "What, uh, what time is it?" I asked lamely. Shut up. It was the only thing I could think to say.

"Six PM." she answered and started picking up our clothes. I started blushing. Oh God, this is so embarrassing. "Dinner will be ready soon and I'll just throw these in the dryer. Get Vicky up and come down in ten minutes ok?"

"Uh, yeah, sure, kay."

My mom frowned. "Are you ok? You're not sick are you? Here, let me feel your head." She took a step toward the bed.

"No!" I pulled the covers up tighter. "I mean yes! I'm fine! You don't need to touch me right now."

She stopped. "If you say so." And I swear to fuck she was fighting to keep a smirk off her face as she turned around and left with our clothes.

Why is my family so weird?

I took a deep breath and mentally shrugged. Whatever. I went to shake Vicky awake but stopped short when I saw an amused gray eye looking up at me from the pillow. "You were awake!" I accused.

I heard a soft, pillow muffled giggle. "Yep." he said.

I stuck my tongue out at him. "You could have said something." I muttered.

He shifted into his side so his face wasn't buried in the pillow anymore. The side of his face was pillow lined and his hair was all disheveled and he looked so damn sexy that I couldn't stay annoyed. "Yep." he said pleasantly.

I stuck my tongue out at him again but this time gave him a quick lick on the tip of his nose. He giggled. "Stop that."

I smirked. "Don't wanna." I licked him again and he pulled the covers up over his face.

"Stop!" came a muffled giggle-yelp. He is way too cute. Seriously.

"Nope. I'm all worked up. You should have sexed me before." I said and started licking his exposed hair.

He reached out from the blankets and swatted me away. "You mean before when you were passing out and freezing to death?" He pulled the blanket down just enough to cock an eyebrow and give me a 'seriously dude?' look.

I grinned. "I'm not freezing to death now." I said and gave him my best seductive look.

He moaned, just a bit and my grin got even wider but then he had to go ruin it. "We're supposed to be going down to eat in a few minutes, remember?"

"But I want sex!" I whined. And I really did too. Frozen and wet and shivering doesn't really do much to put me in the mood but warm and rested and naked is pretty much the definition of "the mood" and I wanted Vicky. Plus you have no idea how much of a turn on it is to remember how he took care of me and shared his body heat with me to save my life. Ok, well, maybe I'm being a BIT dramatic but it was still hot. My Vicky cared for me when I needed it. It showed his love and feeling love from Vicky is the biggest turn on there is.

"I do too, but we have to wait." The only thing that kept me from going back to being annoyed with him was the slight whimper in his voice and the weird tenting in the blankets down by his crotch.

"Grrr. Fine. But after dinner, sex. Lots and lots of sex." I said sternly.

His eyes sparkled as he grinned and saluted. "Yes sir!"

With thoughts of what we'd be doing later running through my head and a raging hard on doing it's best to suck all the blood out of my body I got out of bed and started rummaging through my drawers trying to find something to wear.

"Um, Nate?"

"Yeah?" I said over my shoulder without stopping.

"Um. Your mom took my clothes." He said hesitantly.

"Didn't you pack a change?" Ah, there we go. Captain America goes with green cargo pants, right? Of course he does. Maybe I'm not so bad at this fashion stuff after all.

"Yeah, I did. But they're nice clothes for dinner tomorrow and I don't wanna wear them tonight so, um, could I maybe . . . . " he trailed off.

A smile started to creep it's way across my face when I realize what he wanted. "You wanna wear my clothes?" I asked as I turned around.

He blushed a bit, looked in my eyes then looked away. "Yeah. Um, if you don't mind?" he asked with the most adorably meek little smile.

I grinned. "Hell no I don't mind! That'll be hot!" I spun back around and started going through my clothes again.

Hm, what do I wanna see Vicky in? I immediately pulled out my nemesis jeans. Yeah, they were gonna be a total bitch to get off him later but they were tight and black and mine and I practically started drooling thinking about Vicky wearing them. I slung them over my shoulder and started going through shirts. What would look best on my Vicky? Batman? Nah. Shawn Michaels? Nope. Master chief? No. Aperture Laboratories? Hmmmmm, maybe, but no. Ah! Found it! The perfect shirt. I giggled evilly to myself when I saw it. Oh yeah, he's gonna look AMAZING in it.

I turned back to Vicky and tossed my clothes to him. "There you go!" I said cheerfully.

He smiled wonderingly. "Wow, are you really this happy that I'm wearing your clothes?"

"Oh yeah." I nodded eagerly. I watched in gleeful fascination as his happily surprised smile turned into a good-natured groan. "Really? You're making me wear this?" He held up my black Empire Strikes Back t-shirt. It was awesome with the original movie poster printed on it with cool vintage fading and everything.

I grinned happily. "Yep!"

"I know you have Star Trek shirts." He said, trying so hard to hold back his smile and keep up his annoyed act.


"I'm not gonna get to wear it, am I?" he asked resignedly.

"Nope! You'll look hotter in that one."

He rolled his eyes but totally ruined the effect by blushing a bit and giggling. "Ok, ok. I'll wear it."

"Awesome." I said and started putting my own clothes on.

"Um, Nate?" He said after a second.


"You forgot to give me underwear."

"No I didn't."

"But I don't have any."

"Your point?"

Silence. Then a soft giggle. "You're enjoying this way too much."

"I know." I giggled too as I pulled the bright blue Captain America shirt over my head.

"You know, I COULD just wear my own underwear." He said with a smirk.

"Yeah. Maybe. But only if they're tight because there's no way you're getting those pants on with boxers."

He looked, REALLY looked, at the pants for the first time. "Oh fuck me." he said breathlessly. "These are the pants."

"Yep." I said.

A slow grin formed on Vicky's lips. "Oh hell yes." He couldn't get them on fast enough. And his sudden boner didn't help out at all either.

When we were all dressed (and HOLY SHIT did Vicky look completely teen model drool worthy in those pants and that shirt with his hair still all sleep tousled) we went downstairs and sat at the kitchen table with my mom.

She raised an eyebrow at Vicky's clothes but she didn't say anything, just gave me a little smirk like she knew exactly why he was dressed like that. Which is kinda scary if you think about it, so I'm not going to.

Dinner was already on the table. Fried chicken and baked potatoes for me and Vicky and (gag) leftover lasagna for my mom. I dunno what it is about Italian food but the smell always makes me just a little bit sick. Let's not even get into what the taste does to me. I'm so glad Vicky doesn't like it much either or I'd never be able to kiss him after we eat, which would seriously suck tonight.

"So," my mom said after we got settled. "You boys have a nice nap?"

Even though we didn't do anything except sleep I still blushed at being reminded that she caught us naked again. "Yeah." I mumbled and took a big bite of chicken so she wouldn't ask me another question.

"Good. You both looked a little wiped out when you got home." she turned her way-too-mischievous eyes toward Vicky. "Oh, Vicky, your clothes should be out of the dryer in thirty minutes or so."

Now it was Vicky's turn to blush. "Um, ok. I mean, thank you." He took a big swallow of the Sprite he was drinking.

My mom looked back and forth between us and laughed. "You two are way too easy to embarrass." she said with a smile and a shake of her head. "It's almost not even any fun."

"Then stop doing it!" I said around a mouthful of chicken.

"Nate, don't talk with your mouth full." she scolded.

I rolled my eyes and swallowed. Vicky just giggled.

"No giggling at the dinner table." my mom told Vicky with a frown that stayed on her face for exactly two seconds before the 'not sure if serious' look on Vicky's face caused her to start laughing again. Vicky just snorted and rolled his eyes which caused ME To start laughing and then he just looked back and forth between both of us until he started giggling again.

When she stopped laughing a small, but really meaningful smile stayed on her face and I with a sudden flash of very un me like insight I knew exactly what she was doing. She was trying to keep things light and fun so we wouldn't get stuck on worrying about tomorrow.

You know, Vicky was right, I really do have an awesome mom.

And that's how dinner was. We talked and joked and about halfway through it hit me that this is what a family dinner is supposed to be like. Fun and happy and comfortable and a time where people who love each other can share some food and talk about their day and just enjoy each others company. That's how real families interact.

That thing that's gonna happen tomorrow isn't a family dinner. It doesn't matter that there's gonna be more people who are related to me either legally or by blood there than there are tonight because none of them are my family. My dad isn't, his wife sure as hell isn't and as much as I'd like him to be Luke really isn't either. My mom was my family. Vicky was my family. Hell, maybe Jack was slowly working his way into that too. All that mattered was that I had them and the only thing I was sure about tomorrow was that at the end of the day, no matter what happens, I'd still have them. And just like that I felt so much better. A lot of the stress and worry that had been building up all week just kinda faded away and I couldn't help the stupid, happy grin or the optimistic thoughts that I suddenly had.

Tomorrow, dad would be out of my life forever and I'd have my best chance at fixing things with Luke. Life was looking up.

When we were done we stayed and talked for another half hour. Not about anything important, just stuff, and I honestly couldn't remember ever feeling this good at a dinner table. Even back before my dad turned into a total drunken asshole and I still thought he was my own personal Superman I can't remember ever feeling this relaxed or at home at a family dinner. Looking back it seemed like my dad or my mom would talk to me a lot more than they ever talked to each other. It's kinda weird how you don't really see things sometimes until you look back at them with a little more knowledge or life experience.

Ok, wow, that sounded way too much like an adult thought. Maturity may be on the list but not that much fucking maturity.

Finally my mom got up and took our dishes to the sink. Me and Vicky started to get up and leave but she called us back. "Boys, wait, I want to talk to you a bit more before you go."

We looked at each other before sitting back down. "That sounds kinda ominous." I whispered to Vicky. He nodded back slowly. My mom came back and sat down.

She looked back and forth between us and rolled her eyes. "Don't look like I'm about to waterboard you. I just want to ask if you're feeling ok about tomorrow." Her smiled tried to be calm but I could see just a hint of concern in her eyes.

"Yeah mom." I said. "I'm ok. A little nervous I guess but I just kinda wanna get it over with, you know?"

She nodded and sighed. "I know. I could just kill him sometimes for coming back like this and forcing you to do this. As much as I'm going to enjoy the look on his smug, superior face when you tell him I really wish you didn't have to. No one should see their father react to them like I know he's gonna react to you."

"He's not my father." I said with conviction. "Not in any way that matters. That's why I need to do this. I can't have half my life run by someone I don't even wanna know or who's gonna hate me because I love Vicky." I shook my head. "No way. I need him out of my life, mom."

She didn't say anything for a few seconds, just smiled and blinked rapidly. "I'm really proud of you Nathan, you know that right?"

I felt my face heat up and I looked shyly down at the table. "I know mom." I said, feeling a little embarrassed at the out of nowhere praise. Then she reached across the table and squeezed my shoulder and that just made it worse. I resigned myself to a weird touchy-feely parent moment and for some reason that didn't bother me as much as it would any other time.

"And what about you Vicky?" my mom asked a few moments later. "Do you feel weird about being here tomorrow?"

"No." he said instantly. His hand found mine under the table and squeezed. I turned my head and looked right into perfect gray eyes. He wasn't even looking at my mom. He was looking at me. "I wanna be here for Nate."

I swallowed the sudden lump in my throat and couldn't stop the tears from welling up in my eyes. God I love this boy! No one this perfect should be real, but he is and he's mine and I love him so fucking much. I squeezed his hand back and tried to put all of the love I was feeling for him into my gaze and my smile and I must have gotten at least some of it in there because I saw his eyes start to tear up also.

The next thing I knew there was the sound of a chair scraping across the floor and my mom was around the table and pulling us both into a tight hug. "I'm so proud of both my boys." she whispered, her voice thick with emotion.

"Mom." I said and started to shift uncomfortably a bit in her arms. This was like total emotional overload and I didn't know if I could handle everything I was feeling.

"Quiet Nate, just stay still and take it." she said and hugged us both tighter.

I blinked. Ok, not exactly something I ever expected to hear from my mom. But I stayed still and took it. And in the end it wasn't that bad at all.

I have no idea how long we stayed like that, me and Vicky holding hands while my mom hugged us, but eventually she let us go and we all wiped our eyes with varying degrees of stealth. "Alright!" she said cheerfully. "Well, you boys should go up to your room and do whatever it is you do up there together." Teasing mom was back but the effect was kinda dulled when my mind was still filled with her calling me and Vicky "her boys" and telling us to go up to "our room". Her love and acceptance of my Vicky was seriously messing with my emotional switchboard, but in a really good way. "I'll let you sleep in tomorrow so stay up as late as you want. Just keep it down" she added with a wink and this time I did blush a bit.

I got up, still holding Vicky's hand. "Ok. Goodnight mom."

"Goodnight m-Julia." Vicky said.

"Have a good night boys." My mom gave us one last smile as we left the room. I know she noticed Vicky's almost slip up like I did but neither of us said anything. Still, it almost brought me to tears again knowing that Vicky almost accidentally called my mom "mom". Maybe we were becoming even more like a family then I thought. I knew from what Vicky told me that his mom was almost as bad at the whole parent thing as my dad ended up being and it would be really awesome if my mom could be like the one he never had.

But that wouldn't happen tonight. In fact I was totally done with the emotional rollercoaster thing for right now. It was stopped right at the top, as high as it could go, right now and I wanted to just keep it steady there for the rest of the night. Tomorrow I knew it was gonna fall, that dinner was gonna be the total opposite of dinner tonight, but I didn't wanna think about that tonight. I wanted the rest of tonight to be as normal a Friday night with Vicky as it could be after an amazing bonding thing like that.

Somehow Vicky ended up in front of me as we went up the stairs and his sexy ass covered in my skin tight jeans was right in front of my face. I licked my lips as I felt my pants suddenly get about two sizes smaller in the crotch. There was definitely one way to make this a normal Friday night for us. Just then I saw Vicky shift a bit and I glanced up to see him watching me over his shoulder with the sexiest look on his face. Our eyes met and he flashed his wicked grin before turning away and moving faster up the stairs, making sure to move his ass as much as possible. My breath caught at how fucking hot that was.

Ok, so maybe him in those jeans are about as far from normal as we can get, but if I had my way it was gonna start to be normal really quick.

Not even the frustration of trying to get him out of the pants could change my mind about that.

I paced back and forth in front of the door, nervousness rising. God! When the hell is he gonna get here? I took out my mom's cell phone and looked at it for like the six thousandth time.


Dammit! So much for being all calm and cool about this. Although, I guess I'm more anxious to get it over with than worried about how he's gonna react so maybe yesterday did do me some good after all. I'd hate to think how fucked up I'd be if last night's dinner wasn't as awesome as it was.

"Hey, Nate?" Jack called from the living room where he'd been with my mom since showing up a half hour ago. "Why don't you and Vic come in here and sit down?"

I stopped pacing and nervously tugged at my shirt. It was the same one I wore to the dance since that was easily the nicest one I had. I hadn't really planned on dressing up or anything but earlier when Vicky finally got dressed for tonight I saw that he was wearing his blue dance shirt with a pair of nice dressy pants and I thought it would be a good idea to try and look as nice as he did. I didn't have any pants that went with the whole "looking nice" thing besides my gay jeans and there was no way I was gonna wear those in front of my dad again if I could help it. So I ended up bugging my mom about it until she found a pair of old slacks from like two years ago that I can't even remember wearing. They still fit, which kinda annoyed me, but were a bit tight so that kinda kept my height complex from acting up too much at the time. Now, though, all I could think about was how they were barely any looser than the fucking jeans. Maybe I wouldn't even have to tell my dad. Maybe he'd just take one look at me and scream "HOMO!" before running to his car and driving to church to bathe in holy water or something. That would probably be ideal.

"No." I said, shifting awkwardly. I really wanted to be pacing. "I'll just stay here." I shot a quick look towards Vicky, who was sitting on the stairs watching me with a worried yet sympathetic look on his face. "You can go in if you want. You don't need to sit here and watch me freak out."

Vicky smiled. "I'm here for you. If watching you freak out helps then I'm doing my job."

I laughed, a lot louder and for longer than what he said deserved but it still felt good. If manic. "Honestly you being here is the only thing keeping me from having a heart attack."

Vicky just smiled. "Well then I'm glad I'm here."

Now do you see why I always say he's perfect? "I'm glad you are too." I let out a breath. "Pacing sucks. I wanna sit down."

"Wanna go in the living room?" Vicky asked.

"No. Next to you." I quickly shoved myself between him and the wall.

"You have enough room? There's more space on the other side."

"I'm fine." I said contentedly and snuggled up to him. I sighed and a tiny bit of tension went away. "I wanna be right here."

Soft lips brushed the side of my head. "Ok."

And that's how we stayed. Eventually he put his arm around me and I rested his head on my shoulder. I even kept from checking the phone a million times. Go me.

I felt just a little bit bad about not sitting with my mom and Jack though. I knew he came here for me as much as for my mom, he told me that several times since he got here, and it kinda sucked that he was gonna be here for the awkward coming out part without really knowing if he gave me any support or not. Maybe after my dad stormed out I'd let him give me a hug or something. I can't even remember the last time I got a hug from an adult male, let alone one that was acting more like a father than mine had in a long time. Maybe even ever. I hoped I could keep from sobbing all over him if he did.

The doorbell rang.

Shit! They're here! I jumped up, just barely managing to miss smashing my head on the banister and causing Vicky to yelp in surprise. I froze, staring at the door. My heart was pounding in my chest and I could feel the blood rushing through my body.

I'd like to go back to the waiting, please.

I felt a hand squeeze mine comfortingly before letting go just moments before my mom and Jack came in from the living room. Jack stayed back a bit in the entrance while my mom walked up to the door. She didn't open it though, not even when the bell rang again. She just looked at me, waiting for me to tell her to answer the door. The look on her face told me she'd wait all night if that's what I needed. I started to calm down. I'm not sure if it's because of her silent support or just because that's what happens when sudden panic turns into sustained panic but the tiny little part of my brain that stays logical when I get like this was telling me that I needed to do this. I took a deep breath. Ok, more like several. Maybe even a dozen. Then took Vicky's hand and gave it a squeeze before letting it go and nodding to my mom.

She opened the door.

Pointlessly polite greetings were exchanged but I didn't pay attention to any of it. I just studied them. My dad was wearing a white, collared t-shirt with another taste repelling sweater vest. His hair was flawless and his skin glowed and everything about him just screamed "staged", including the warm smile that never quite reached his eyes. I wondered why he even bothered to show up since everything about him was giving off a "don't wanna be here" vibe but maybe that had more to do with seeing that it wasn't just me and my mom here than anything else. Or maybe he was just trying to piss my mom off by showing up to "win me over" after I seemingly opened up to him by wanting him here tonight. His eyes definitely darkened when he saw Jack and his smile froze just a bit when he saw Vicky.

Wifey Caroline seemed less comfortable than my dad but more genuine in how pleased she was to be here. She was dressed in a blue skirt that came down below her knees and a weird, billowy shirt that I think might be called a blouse. Somehow I doubted it had Captain America on the back so who cares? Her smile wasn't as wide as my dads but everything about her seemed honest. Her eyes met mine and her smile got a little bit wider for a second. I guess she was happy that I was "giving my dad another chance" or whatever. I didn't really care about her one way or another but it was nice that Luke's mom seemed at least a little bit human. Hell, maybe having her here for this will make it easier to accept Luke if he decides to tell her about himself when he's off at college or something.

Speaking of Luke, he was standing behind and between both of them. He didn't look happy to be here and he wasn't trying to seem like he was even a little bit. He had a slight scowl on his face but his hair was nicer than it usually is and he was wearing a white button down short sleeve t-shirt with a pair of pants that looked exactly like mine except tan and they fit better. Our eyes met for a second and an expression started to form on his face but before I could even start to figure out what it was his gaze slipped to Vicky standing next to me and his mouth dropped open in total shock.

Shit! Miscalculation! I totally forgot that he had no idea who Vicky was outside of the boy he walked in on me kissing. Of course he wouldn't expect him to be here and any second someone was gonna see him gaping at Vicky like an electrocuted fish and ask him what was wrong and what if he let it slip? That was definitely NOT the way I wanted this to happen. I quickly walked towards the group by the door.

"Hi, dad." I said, interrupting whatever polite BS he and my mom were saying to each other.

He turned his attention to me. "Hello Nate." he patted my shoulder and gave it a small squeeze. It took a lot of effort not to flinch. "I'm really glad you invited us here tonight. Thanks for giving me another chance."

I gave him my best fake smile. Like last time the words were there but the feeling behind them was all wrong. God I hoped he wasn't as good at reading people as I was. "No problem. Um, is it ok if we hang out with Luke a bit until dinners ready?"

My dad smiled back. "Sure, son. We can talk over dinner." The words were barely out of his mouth before I was grabbing Luke by the wrist and dragging him upstairs with Vicky following. He didn't struggle, probably still too shocked at seeing Vicky here to do much of anything. We got to my room and I locked the door.

We all just stared at each other for a minute, Luke's eyes darting back and forth between me and Vicky rapidly. Finally, he broke the silence. "Ok. What the hell is going on?"

I took a steadying breath. "Luke, this is my boyfriend, Vicky. Vicky, this is my step-brother Luke."

Luke's eyes widened and his mouth dropped open again. Any other time it would've been hilarious. "Y-YOU'RE Vicky? From Reach?"

"Yeah." Vicky answered. "Nice to meet you."

"Um, yeah." Luke looked between the two of us with a confused frown. "Why are you he-" he choked on his words as his eyes widened for the third time. "Holy shit. You're telling him, aren't you?"

I nodded. "Yeah."

For some reason he looked angry. "And, what, you're gonna tell him about me too? You think he's just gonna fall all over himself to accept you like everyone else did and we can all be one big happy gay accepting family? Not even your life is that perfect Nate and you if you think you can ruin mine you can go to hell!"

"Fuck you!" Vicky yelled. He was across the space between Luke in a second and pushed him back against the nearest wall. Luke was a bit taller and probably had more leverage but he was too stunned to use it. When they got to the wall Vicky shoved him into it and glared at him. I'd never seen him this pissed before. It was kinda hot. "Do you have ANY fucking idea how upset Nate's been since the party? He beat himself up for a whole week after because you said you hated him. No one could even say your name or he'd get depressed and just completely shrink in on himself! And you know what? I didn't say anything about it because I figured you'd come around and realize what an unfair DICK you were to him but I guess I was wrong. So now I am saying something. Nate doesn't want you here because he wants to tell his dad anything about you or for any other reason other than he thinks of you as a brother and he loves you like one so if you hurt him again then I'm gonna kick your fucking ass!"

Total stunned silence filled the room. Luke stared at Vicky with shock and not a little bit of fear. I stared at Vicky with my own shock tinted with arousal. Wow. That sounded like Vicky had been holding it in for a while. I had no idea what to say. I swallowed down everything I was feeling and walked over to them. I put my hand on Vicky's tense shoulder. "Vicky." I said softly.

The tightness melted out of his body and he let go of Luke before sagging against me a bit. "I'm sorry. He whispered to me. "I just hate seeing you hurt."

I pulled him into a hug. God, this was a fucked up night and we hadn't even gotten to the main event yet. I definitely didn't think I'd be comforting Vicky tonight. "I love you."

"I love you too." he whispered back and then looked back toward Luke. Judging by the way Luke swallowed heavily and looked away I'm guessing the look wasn't a nice one. Vicky was in total protect mode.

"Luke." I said and he looked back. He didn't look angry anymore. "Look, I just wanted you here to show you that this isn't all easy for me. I'm not some charmed little gay boy who's loved by everyone. The only reason we don't get our ass kicked everyday at school is because we're protected by a bunch of girls who keep the guys from being horrible to us but we're not accepted. No one who's straight and male talks to us, most people barely even look at us. Yeah, I have a mom who accepts me and Vicky has a dad who does the same but you know my dad isn't like that. You KNOW how he'll be if he finds out and if he legally has me when he does he can do something about it. I NEED to tell him now. It's the best way to keep him out of my life. It's probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do and I wanted you to be there to see me do it so maybe you'd stop hating me so much." I wiped the tears out of my eyes before they could fall. "Maybe I was just being stupid."

Vicky tensed up in my arms but I squeezed him comfortingly. Vicky was right, somehow even though I only knew him for a few weeks, I loved Luke like a brother. But I loved Vicky a lot more and if Luke hurting me was upsetting him this much then he just wasn't worth it. It'd suck, but I'd give up Luke long before I'd let Vicky suffer because of him.

"I-" Luke licked his lips and cleared his throat. "Um. I don't, I'm-sorry. I was just surprised to see him, um, Vicky, here and I thought . . . . I guess I didn't think. I'm sorry." He took a deep, shuddering breath. "And I don't hate you." he added softly. "I'm just so jealous. It's my life I hate, not you."

"Why?" Surprisingly this was from Vicky, not me.

"Huh?" Luke blinked. He still seemed a little wary of Vicky.

"Why do you hate your life?"

"B-because my mom will hate me if she finds out about me."

"That's a stupid reason."

"What?" Luke sputtered.

"It's stupid to hate yourself because other people hate what you are, no matter who those people are. Before I moved here I lost every single friend I ever had because I told one of them that I liked him. Even with my dad not caring I was gay I still felt like shit right up until I met Nate. You know why? He made me feel loved for who I was, not just because he was related to me. If someone like him could love me then I wasn't the disgusting freak my 'friends' said I was. They were the ones with the problem, not me. And if your mom can't love you just because you don't wanna fuck girls then that's her problem, because Nate loves you too, and he wouldn't unless there was something worth loving."

By the time Vicky stopped talking I was hugging him as tight as I could as tears streamed down my face. I didn't know what made me the happiest, what Vicky said or the fact that he said it to make Luke, a guy he wanted to beat the crap out of not even five minutes ago, feel better about himself just because he knew it was important to me.

Then I noticed Luke and saw his own tears and couldn't resist pulling him into the hug too. Him and Vicky both stiffened for just a second but then Luke sagged against us and one of Vicky's arms rested lightly on his shoulder. This was more than I ever expected from tonight. I had my brother back and I had my boyfriend making me feel like I was a fucking superhero. What could be better on what was supposed to be one of the worst nights of my life?

We stayed like that for a while, just enjoying the moment and trying to get ourselves at least a little bit under control. Finally Luke pulled back a bit and wiped at his eyes with his palms. "Shit." he gave an unsteady laugh. "We're crying like a bunch of girls."

I giggled a bit, which didn't do anything to make me seem more manly. "Yeah." I wiped my eyes too.

"Maybe you two are." Vicky said after wiping his eyes on my shoulder. "But I'm all man."

I laughed. "Yes you definitely are." I leered at him.

He blushed and looked away.

Luke made a weird sound and I glanced toward him. He had a strange, pained yet wistful look on his face. "What?" I asked.

He shook his head. "Nothing. I . . . . it just seems nice. Having someone."

"It is." I smiled. "But until you find someone better you have me-"

"-us" Vicky cut in.

I was startled for a second but quickly smiled. "Us." I said. "Just without the sex and stuff."

Luke scrunched up his face. "Gross. Like I'd wanna have sex with my brother. Even a step-brother."

I laughed. "What about your step-brother's boyfriend?" I teased.

Luke blushed, mumbled something I couldn't hear and looked away. I giggled to myself. Everyone wants Vicky. But I got him first. And last.

"Hey boys!" my mom called from downstairs. Perfect timing. "Dinner's ready!"

The mood changed again, all three of us feeling varying degrees of tension and apprehension. I steadied myself as best I could. Alright Nate. No more under card crap.

Time for the main event.

Leaving the adults alone might not have been the best idea ever.

Walking into the living room was like being slapped in the face with a wet fish of tension and once we actually sat down to dinner things didn't get much better. Like last time my dad was at the head of the table. Caroline was next to him on his right and Luke was on his left. Jack sat next to Caroline and mom sat next to Luke. Me and Vicky shared the opposite end of the table from my dad. That got a strange look from my dad but I didn't give a shit. I needed Vicky as close as possible to me and if I could have ate dinner on his lap I would have. Hell, maybe I should anyway, he's gonna know before he leaves tonight so maybe that's as good a way as any to tell him.

Common sense and stupidity fought it out and I have no idea which won but I didn't sit in Vicky's lap.

"These steaks are wonderful." Caroline said after a few minutes of way too silent eating. I was surprised that she was the one trying to keep the night from being a total disaster but maybe she was one of those "homemaker housewife" types who did stuff like that. I could definitely see my dad latching onto a woman like that after my mom. I was also surprised that no one suggested saying grace. I guess maybe they were both trying to keep away from anything that might cause a repeat of our last dinner.

"Thank you." my mom said politely. "I got them from Omaha steaks."

"Oh! I love Omaha steaks!" Caroline gushed. "They have the best filets."

"T-bones are a little overcooked." my dad added. What a fucking child. Jesus! And this is how he acts when he's trying to get closer to me? Glad that wasn't why I was doing this or I'd be pissed.

"Oh, Eric, stop that." Caroline scolded with a smile. "Some people like their meat in the grill for more than a minute."

She stared hard at my dad and he apparently got the message because the next thing he said was, "You're right. The baked potatoes are wonderful Julia."

"Thanks, but Jack actually made the potatoes." mom said sweetly. Great, now mom was doing it. Jack didn't make anything, he showed up after everything was already in the oven or grill or whatever.

My dad glanced briefly at Jack, who looked as calm as he always does even though he knew he didn't cook anything. Well, I mean, duh, right? Of course he knew. "They're good." my dad said grudgingly.

"Thanks." Jack said without missing a beat and gave him a friendly smile.

I fought back a sigh. Adults are such children sometimes!

My dad quickly turned his attention to me. "So Nate, how's school been?"

Ok! Innocent, sterile, best behavior question. I can totally answer that. "I'm gay."





Did I . . . . did I seriously just say that?

Judging by the sudden, total silence around the table I'm guessing I did. Fuck. So not according to plan. Not that I had a plan. But if I did, that wouldn't have been it. At all. Shitshitshit! Ok, ok, I'm not dying from sudden heart implosion so I might as well just rip the band-aid off all the way or dig the hole a little deeper or whatever metaphor you wanna use and come out with the rest of it. I took one, quick look at Vicky, just in case he was giving me "Retreat! Retreat!" signals but he just gave me a small, encouraging smile. I took a deep, surprisingly calming breath. "And Vicky's my boyfriend."

It was the hardest thing in the world for me to look back at the people sitting around the table, so I did it slowly, taking in each reaction on it's own.

Jack looked surprised, but still calm. When our eyes met he raised his eyebrows questioningly. I just shrugged. Not sure what he was asking or what I was answering. So I guess a shrug is a pretty good response for something like that.

Luke was openly gaping at me. I guess knowing what I was gonna do and having me do it out of nowhere were two different things. He very slowly put the fork that was halfway to his mouth down, leaned ever so slightly away from my dad and seemed to brace himself for something.

Caroline looked like she was about to pass out. She was pale and her eyes kept darting back and forth between me and Vicky but the disgust and moral outrage that I expected wasn't there. I really hoped Luke was noticing that too but I couldn't exactly draw his attention to it.

My mom was staring directly at my dad, waiting for his reaction. She was wound up but I had no idea if it was a "if you hurt my son I'll leap across this table and rip your throat out" wound up or a "ohmigodohmigod! I can't WAIT to see how he reacts" wound up.

And my dad, my dad was glaring with the expected total disgust and moral outrage. But not at me. He was glaring at my mom.

He was also the first one to break the silence. "I don't believe this." he said, low and angry and dangerous. "Is this why you invited me here Julia?"

"Yes." my mom answered simply. "Nate wanted-"

"ENOUGH!" my dad screamed and slammed his hand down on the table. We all jumped, even my mom. "Don't Julia! Just don't." he shook his head angrily. "Don't even bother. I know what you're up to and I can't believe you would do something like this. I know you don't want me to have anything to do with Nate but to make your own son-your son!-lie and say something that disgusting and degrading about himself just to, what? Scare me away? That's low Julia. Even for you."

"Don't talk about her like that!" Jack yelled. It was the first time I'd ever seen him angry.

"And you!" my dad turned his anger on Jack. "You let your own son go along with this? It's bad enough letting him run around calling himself a girls name but this is just sick."

Jack jumped out of his seat. "How I raise my son is no goddamn business of yours!"

My dad was up before Jack even finished talking. "And mine is no business of yours! I don't care if you ARE fucking Julia that doesn't give you the right to-"

"Eric!" Now it was my mom's turn to jump up. "You can shut up right now! Neither Jack or Vicky, or me and Jack, are any of your business! And if you seriously think this is some big lie just to get you away from MY son then you're even crazier than I thought!" my mom sneered scornfully.

"I know my son!" dad roared. "Not even three years alone with you is enough to turn him into a degenerate!"

"They're not degenerates!-" Jack yelled.

"Finally! Some truth!" my dad cut him off and smirked.

"They're not degenerates." Jack repeated. "Not because we're lying but because they're not! They're gay and I won't let you stand here in front of my son and go on an ignorant, bigoted rant. There is nothing wrong with either of them."

Dad narrowed his eyes. "Maybe YOUR son's a fairy but mine isn't!"

That was when everything started getting a bit hard to follow. Jack and my mom started yelling at the same time, which made my dad start yelling back at them and they all talked over each other so I had no idea what anyone was saying. Luke was away from the table with his back pressed up against the far wall looking terrified and Caroline was still sitting in her chair, chewing her bottom lip while her eyes darted from my dad, to my mom, to Jack and back again.

But I barely noticed any of that. All I could think about was that I finally decide to come out to my dad to get him out of my life and he doesn't even believe me. How can it work if he doesn't believe me? I was stunned and had no idea at all where to go from here and that fucking yelling isn't helping anything!

I didn't even realize I was tapping my fingers nervously on the arm of the chair until Vicky's hand covered mine and stilled it. I looked at him, confused and worried and confused and hopeless and confused, but he just smiled. That beautiful, amazing, perfect, life altering smile. And in the middle of the yelling and the fear and the potential murder(s) building up just a few feet away, I found myself smiling back.

As corny as this is gonna sound, Vicky was the eye of my storm.

But sadly that still left the storm. And it was gonna get seriously out of control unless someone stopped it. To say that I'm physically unfit to break up fights is probably one of the biggest understatements anyone can make. And that's just talking about kids my own age or even a little bit younger. There was no way in hell I'd be able to pull any of these full grown, seriously pissed off adults apart and I seriously doubt they'd be able to hear another voice joining in the yelling. So I did the only thing I could think to do to get their attention.

I kissed Vicky.

He was so surprised that he didn't kiss me back for a few seconds but when he did he dove in hungrily. It wasn't at all a polite, chaste, easily-explained-away-as-fake kiss. It was hard and passionate and filled with more tongue than a lesbian gangbang (which, by the way, ew) and there is no way anybody seeing it could have any doubt that we were seriously into it.

I'm not sure how long it went on but finally we broke apart, breathing heavily and looking into each others eyes with lust and love and need and it took a good solid minute of listening to Vicky's sexy breathing in the silence for me to realize that there WAS a silence.

I looked and saw every single person in the room staring at us. I steadied myself as best I could and stood up. Vicky followed less than a second behind me and we reached for each others hand at the same time and held on tight.

"I'm gay." I said again, firmly and forcefully. I ignored everyone else and stared directly into my dads eyes. "And Vicky's my boyfriend."

So many things filled my dads eyes. Rage, hate, pain, sorrow, disgust, confusion, helplessness, determination but they only stayed there for a second before he totally closed up. His face turned to stone and if he was feeling anything at all he sure as hell wasn't showing it anymore.

"I came too late." he whispered into the silence. His voice was cold and harsh from the yelling and I wanted to laugh and dance and jump around because I knew that it was over. He was going to leave and I'll never have to- "But I can fix this." Huh? He slowly and deliberately turned his head towards my mom. He didn't look away until the last possible second, like he was trying to sear the sight of me and Vicky holding hands into his brain. "I'm going to get him back Julia. And when I do, I'm going to fix whatever it is you and this-this-" he waved his hand towards Jack. "Whatever you've done to him."

And with that he walked past my mom, out of the dining room, and left the house. Caroline followed seconds later, pulling a stunned Luke behind her. She looked at us once, her eyes shakily moving down to our still joined hands and I couldn't read the expression on her face. Then she left too.

I should have felt horrible. Or at least numb. The whole point of doing this was so my dad wouldn't want me anymore and the exact opposite happened. I should have been crying and feeling like a hopeless failure, but I wasn't any of those things. Maybe I would be later. The court date was already set for the middle of the month, a week or so away, and maybe when it got closer I'd start to feel the panic and horror that I should be feeling.

But for right now, all I felt was determined calmness. I was standing in my house with my family, and legally or not, blood or not this was my true family, and I knew with absolute certainty who was on my side and exactly how far they'd go for me. At that moment it seemed like there was no way my dad could ever win against that kind of united front.

"I'm sorry Nate." my mom said. She and Jack were standing by me and Vicky, close, but not crowding. "That didn't work out the way we thought."

"It's ok." I said.

"Is it really?" Jack asked.

"Yeah." I gave him a small smile. "It is. And thanks, you know, for everything you said."

He smiled and ruffled my hair. "Anytime."

"Dad." Vicky complained and shot him a Look before fixing my messed up hair with his fingers. "Hands off."

My mom snorted a laugh. "I guess we don't need to ask if you're ok."

"I'm fine." Vicky said as he slid his hand back in mine after he was done with my hair. "I kinda wish I was tall and built so I could kick Nate's dad's ass though."

Jack and my mom laughed.

"So," mom said. "You boys gonna go upstairs?"

I looked at Vicky and he gave me a small shrug. Guess he wasn't all that eager to leave right now either. "Actually," I said, "could we maybe stay down here with you? Maybe watch a movie or something?"

My mom's eyes widened in surprise, you could probably count the times I'd offered to spend time with her since I was 12 on one hand, and then smiled radiantly. "Sure." she said. "I'd actually really like that."

So that's how we spent our night. Me and Vicky curled up together at one end of the couch. My mom and Jack sitting together at the other. We ended up watching movies through most of the night until we all fell asleep.

Even though dinner was a total failure, it was one of the best nights I can ever remember having.

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