The Diary of Alex The Great

by D'Artagnon

Blog Excerpt Number Three

Seeing Cam in that wheelchair brought back memories. Ones that thanks to the painkillers that were marginally working on keeping me from being a screaming wreck, I couldn't suppress. Good memories. Bad memories. Memories of things that were bad but that we survived by depending on each other.

And I could see in his eyes, that he was reliving those memories as well.

I guess a little background information is important here.

When I was thirteen, I had a jerk-off buddy. Cameron Durman. We were best friends, did everything together. Computer geeks. Two of a kind. We'd been friends since back in elementary school. We were part of a secret club, the kind of innocent but incredibly secret thing that boys need. Blood brothers, I guess. There were five us originally, back in second grade. The other three eventually moved away. Our secret club names were based on the characters from the Winnie the Pooh stories. Cameron was Eeyore, I was Rabbit. In case you're wondering the other three were named for Owl, Tigger and Pooh. I can't even remember what their real names were anymore, but I can see their faces as clear as day.

So, Cam and I, Eeyore and Rabbit, sort of kept our nicknames as we got into middle school. I got into track and swimming, so I sort of lived up to my nickname. Cam got a little more introverted, almost emo-like. So he lived into the Eeyore name a bit. I could see the real Cam, though. He was a sweet guy. Thought too much, though. Kept it inside. Gloomy but content, I guess.

We were having a moment, one day. Two naked young kids exploring those delicious tingles that begin in those places that your parents tell you to never let anyone else touch. And it wasn't the first time for Eeyore and me. We would talk as we touched each other. Tell each other what we liked, what we'd like to try. But we also told each other about our fears, about crap at school, about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Once or twice we even talked about other boys we knew and might want to invite to play with us, you know, naked, sexy playing.

We were getting near to both of our climaxes. We'd come to recognize the signs in each other and it sort of drove each other to the end. It was more fun that way. We had each other's hard boy cocks in our hands, sitting side by side on my bed, his arm around my shoulder, my free hand rubbing over his chest, making his little left nipple hard and goose-bumpy. We were both breathing hard, leaning into each other, grunting and panting and sweating and really starting to feel it.

I actually suggested we "touch tongues, like in the movies." Cam agreed and we wound up hitting our cums at the same time, lips locked together, still stroking each other even after we'd coated our bellies and fists with our little boy seed. The watery squirts from him made my hand more slippery on him, and he squirmed into my hand more, kissing me back harder. His fist filled with my juice as well and he kept pounding me, going back and forth between light feathery touches and firm, tightly gripping tugs, making my cockhead feel super thick, hard, spongy, threatening to explode through my skin. There are things you can do with a thumb at that moment that are just mind blowing.

It was the best orgasm either of us had ever had at that point and we kept holding each other's dicks, still lightly kissing each other. At that moment, something between Eeyore and I had fundamentally changed. We might have just been fooling around before, but that feeling we sparked in each other, that emotion that swelled up with it that time, made me feel so much more, even more than the awesome cum we'd just pulled out of each other.

And then my fucking brother, Philip, walked into the room, with his friggin' cell phone camera running. He'd been recording the whole time, secretly watching us from behind the barely cracked open bedroom door. Cam tried to grab his clothes and rush past Philip, but Phil was a senior, and had been on the wrestling team for four years. He grabbed Cam and wrenched his arm around behind his back, bent him over the bed and held him down. The whole time I was screaming and wailing on Phil but he was much stronger and much tougher than both of us. He held Cam in place under his hip and used his free hand to pummel me and shove me into the headboard, hard.

He told us he was going to expose us, called us little faggots. He told us he was gonna show our parents, Cam's and mine, and we'd get in sooo much trouble. And we'd never be able to see each other again. People would know. People would always look and point and laugh and call us names and we'd never have friends ever again and we'd have to go away. Away to a dark, special place where they hid little faggot boys away and did stuff to their brains and made their dicks broken and useless. All of that would happen, he said.


Unless we did everything he told us to do, from then on. Unless we submitted to everything he wanted to do to us or ordered us to do to each other. Unless we let him do as he wanted. When you are thirteen, you develop a slight skepticism about the world. You learn sarcasm and irony. But when you are caught red handed doing something that someone else says you shouldn't, when your feeling are weird and new and your whole world just got rocked in two different directions in the same hour, you don't think clearly. You panic. And any way out thrown to you seems to be the most logical and brilliant choice ever.

And being scared, hurt, embarrassed and afraid of what might happen, we agreed.

For years, my brother held that video over our heads. Even when he moved out to go to college in New Jersey, he held that video over me, making me do stuff online, on camera, and send it to him. I grew to love doing it. I grew to love how it made me feel. But during the time that he held it over both of us, Cameron and I were forced to do all sorts of sexual things. Both to my evil asshole brother, and to each other. Things we weren't ready for yet, mentally, emotionally and in some cases physically.

I should have realized at some point, that the things Philip was doing to us were far worse than the things he'd caught us doing. And that with him filming it with his iPhone, he was just as guilty as we were. More so, since he was 18 and we were just kids. And he liked getting reactions out of us, either from sex tingles, embarrassment or pain. Philip seemed to like the pain stuff the best, savoring when he'd inflict it himself, or order us to hurt each other.

I focused on those times that Philip forced Cam and I to do things to each other. My first time taking it, Cam pushed into me. We held each other despite the hurts and the struggle. He tried to not hurt me that first time. I understood. I forgave him. We made it work, together. When Philip demanded that I put my cock into Cam's body, it was the same thing. I tried to keep from hurting him, despite how Philip kept hitting me, trying to force me to push in harder, to hurt Cam with my penis. We worked together again. We forgave again. We loved each other enough to protect each other.

And I hated Philip for turning what should have been a beautiful moment between us into something for his benefit and not for ours. He would have us fuck each other, towards the end of that year, and then when we'd just gotten each other loosened, he'd push the giver out of the way and just shove his much bigger dick in. He didn't care if he hurt us. He didn't care if he opened us up and made us bleed, or if he put bruises on us. He certainly didn't care if we got off, if we enjoyed any of it. It was all for his own jollies.

And yes, a few times, when Philip was raping me, I did cum from it. I saw evidence that Cam did as well. After he'd get done with us, we'd huddle together, calming each other down. Cam was the rock in my storm. I was the shelter from his hurricane. We loved each other, kept each other sane after the abuse that we'd agreed to.

When Philip went off to school, he got all new stuff. New computer, new iPhone, he even got a friggin' car! I got his hand me downs. Not the car, naturally, since he hadn't had one and I was way too young to drive yet. But I seized on the chance and searched his hand me downs for the file. He'd already sent it to his new stuff, and erased it from the hand me down tech. So he still had that Sword of Damocles on target over me, ready to snap the string himself. At least that's what he said. As my own sins start coming home to roost, I wonder if he actually still had it, ready to use as blackmail, or if he had deleted it years ago, just knowing that in saying he had it still he kept power over me.

Shortly after Philip went off to school, my dad decided we didn't need such a big house, and we moved. In order to protect Cam, I never told him we were moving. I left him that last time we were together, sitting in different swings at a nearby playground. We hadn't touched in *that* way in the week since Philip had left. I just felt so guilty of all the times Philip had forced me to hurt him. All the times Philip himself had hurt both of us. I couldn't hurt him more by telling him I was leaving.

It was so unfair. Everything pure and wonderful about Eeyore and Rabbit had been crushed by my older brother. I couldn't even tell Cam where we were moving too, since we'd be spending that summer in Wellsley. I had no idea where we'd be going. I had no idea that we'd be staying in Canterbury. So, Eeyore had no way of knowing we were in the same town. We moved to a different, higher rent area of town. Philip couldn't get to Cam as long as I was away from him.

So I was stuck doing as Philip commanded, alone. Until he got sick of it and just stopped asking me to do things. By that time, I had a taste for the feelings. A hunger. I had learned well from my brother, and I think in ways, I went past him. He was doing things to get himself off, using me, using Cam, using anyone. I learned that lesson and discovered more. My power. My pride and power and glory and the attention that I found online, doing things to others as Philip had taught me.

I learned to put my feelings aside. It was a chase, a hunt. The boys I found and hunted, they became my trophies. They became targets, to be used and replaced. *Done, done, on to the next one.*

Emotion became power. Love became unnecessary. Joy became a numbers game. Sex… had become a competition, against myself, against my brother, against my own shame.

Sex became power. Power that failed to fill the vacancy that love once could have filled.

That Jordy could have filled.

Recognizing that really hurt. Not just for what I was beginning to feel for Jordy, but for what I felt once upon a time for Eeyore. For the boy who sat in a wheelchair in the doorway to my hospital room, grown up more now. For the person who recognized me despite the years between us and the injuries that made my face feel like a beaten up lump of clay.

"Alex, my god," Cam gasped, coming closer. The smaller boy who was with him exchanged a long, over the shoulder look with Cam. Somehow I could feel there was something between the two of them. Something strong. The younger boy nodded and then turned and bolted out the door, apparently following the same direction that Jordy and Gary had gone off in. Cam moved into the room more, using his hands on the bigger wheels to propel himself into the room.

Oddly, it was like I could feel him more than see him. His presence in the room seemed to resonate with me, because my eyes certainly couldn't get a decent focus on him. Part of me took it to how fucked up my head was from the beating Hank gave me. Part of it, I'm sure, was from the tears flowing down my face.

He touched me. His fingers brushing along the side of my neck. One of the few places that didn't hurt unmercifully. I could see that he was in pretty bad shape, too. His face was bruised, showed bandages, and he was still sitting in his wheel chair. He was dressed in a hospital gown, probably a match for the one I had on.

"Jeze, Alex. You look horrible."

"Thanks," I managed to wheeze out. "How you?"

"Oh, this?" Cam said, holding up his casted wing. "Long story. Could have a happy ending." He seemed to realize I was parched. He gingerly stood from the chair and took a few halting steps to my bedside. Carefully, he brought the water cup to my lips, helping position the straw so I could grasp it. I took several long, grateful gulps before letting the straw slip out of my lips. He set the water cup back on the rolling cart and pulled the wheelchair up under his butt before locking the big wheels in place.

"I wasn't sure it was you. I saw the name on the door and looked in and, well… you must have had one heck of an accident." A silence stretched out between us as I considered what to say. "I missed you so much, Rabbit. When I went over to your house and that "for sale" sign was up, I was… it hurt. Like more than other things hurt, not having you hurt. At least when the other stuff happened, I still had you."

"Throat hurts. Face hurts. Can't talk," I creaked out. There were so many things that I wanted to say, wanted to explain. And a big part of it was the shame of what got me to this point. I mean, how do you tell the person that you survived going through hell with, who basically made it bearable, that you've spent the intervening years doing the same things to others?

Cam nodded. He stood and got a tissue from a box on the rolling table. He wiped my tears, despite more of them forming. Which wasn't easy with his cast. He smiled at me, in that same way that people smile at you when you're hurt and can't do anything about it. Like how Jordy smiled at me. That caused more tears. I couldn't help it. My entire everything was falling down, crashed, crushed, cratered, and here was my first sex buddy, my first lover, my first love, here when the one I now needed like water had left me. Probably for good.

The smaller boy entered the room. Cam looked back to him for a second. "Are we clear?" he asked the younger boy.

"Yes. I did manage to talk briefly to Gary and Jordan. They're in talking with a group of kids down by Marty's room. I was gonna head back there and see how he's doing."

"Max, can you do that thing? You know," he said, tapping his head. "Alex here can't talk too well right now, and I have some things to tell him."

The boy, Max looked up at me for a moment, closed his eyes briefly then opened them wide. He looked a little rough around the edges, kind of like how Cam did. But I also, in that moment recognized him. The boy was Max Perault. A boy I'd put on my potential target list just days ago. And now he was here with Cam.

And then I felt something inside me open. Like something I'd felt little bits and pieces of in the past, while hunting, yet this time, it was vastly different. And then I realized that I heard both Cam and Max's voices inside my head.

*The link will stay open until either he or I close it, Eeyore. Alex doesn't know it yet, but he's an empath. I'll have to talk to him later about training. If he keeps using his power without training or recognizing it for what it is, he'll do even more damage than he has so far.\* I detected a bit of a sneer in his mental voice. *And if you hurt my Cam, I'll make what you're feeling now seem like a gentle massage by comparison.\* I got the feeling that Max's last statement was only heard by me. I gulped a little, thinking that this little guy might actually be able to make good on the threat. What I had before was an illusion of power. This little kid clearly had the real deal.

And he knew how to use it.

*Thanks Elf. I need to get things straight with Alex.\*

"I'll let you two get reacquainted, then," the smaller boy said, leaning over to kiss Cam on the cheek. I recognized it as a possessive move, right away.

When Max left, Cam turned back to face me. "Don't try to talk, just think your words my way. I will be able to hear you. Understand?"

*But how?\*

"My Max is a special guy, who can do special things. Some of which you can do, apparently. I always knew you were special. I missed you so much, Rabbit. I stayed indoors for three weeks after your family moved."

Hearing that moved me. *It was for your own protection. My bra… Philip couldn't hurt you anymore if I wasn't in contact with you.\* I felt enormous shame at having hurt him. At never having the balls to stand up to my brother.

"It wasn't your fault. We should have locked the door or something. Maybe waited until later."


"There's been a lot of talk going around school. Lot of bad things, centered around you. I'm so dumb I never put the name and the person together. I thought you were long gone. Guess I was afraid to hope. To get hurt again." He paused, looking at hospital stuff around the room. "The visitors I've talked to tell some wild tales about what they think happened with you and Hank."

*What's the news?\* I thought, trying to sound ironic and cynical. To my own ears it just sounded bitter.

"There isn't much really known, but you know how people are. The stories get better and better down the line. Hank is keeping completely silent. Your parents and his are having some seriously angry words. Marty's mother is in shock. His father has been called, but he's in the north Atlantic, and wont be able to get here for a few days. Something about working on an oil rig or something." Cam paused, looked to my casted arm and his own, holding it up for me to see, when he noticed I'd noticed.

"How?\* I asked, gesturing weakly with my chin.

"Max and I were tenting out up by the Watch. Some people, we're not entirely sure who yet, jumped us because they wanted to capture Max. He has… talents that other people generally don't have. And they wanted that power for themselves, I guess. Fucked me up somethin' wicked. Max saved us. That was a week ago. He was visiting me when we heard about Marty. We were heading down to see him when I saw the name on your door here. I had to look. I mean, how many Alex Karasinko's can there be in one small town?"

*Yeah. Marty…\* I thought, trying to keep my guilt and shame out of that too.

"So, it's true then?"

*Which part?\*

"That Hank attacked you to get revenge for what you had done to Marty? They keep talking about seeing you snubbing Marty in the lunchroom all the time. And there's gossip that you… uhm, that you got into both Marty and Hank's pants. That you got them drunk and did… you know…" He shrugged his shoulders, wincing slightly as he did.

*Guess all my secrets are about to come out,\* I thought. *I turned into Philip, Eeyore. For all that I hate him, and what he did to us, I wound up just like him.\* Tears began to flow again and I found myself thinking images of what I'd done, the boys I'd manipulated, strung along, scored on and then dropped like a hot rock. Somehow, I knew those images had worked across this magical connection Max created between me and Cam. Cam started tearing up as well. He was surely reliving the evil things done to us as I showed him the evil things I'd done recently.

"Stop!" Cam asked, softly but forcefully. "Those were bad times. We survived it, but it broke us both. In me, it made me hide, turn inwards. I became just like a shadow, trying to stay out of sight, out of mind. I actually took to watching other boys in the gym showers, making sure not to get caught looking at the ones who might hurt me if they found out. Christ! I even followed boys home, trying to see if I could look into windows and such."

*Were both still kinda fucked up in the head, huh? And all this time, we still lived in the same town, and I never saw you,\* I wondered.

"We moved too. When Mom got a better job, we went across town, down by the river more."

*That explains why I…\* and I kept myself from completing the thought.

"You went looking for me?"

I nodded slightly, not trusting this mental communication thing to allow me to completely hide how much I'd wanted to find him. Feelings were churning up. Long buried longing for friendship, companionship, even more desires and needs. I shook my head briefly, trying to hide my emotions and knowing that my running eyes and nose were giving me away. I'm guessing Cam was feeling all that old stuff coming up too.

"Rabbit, you should know… Max and I, we're together now."

*I could sorta tell. He's very protective of you.\*

"He's very protective of a lot of people. He wasn't kidding about training you. There's a lot of things happening in town. A lot of weird things, and it's getting dangerous. Especially for people like you and him, with extra gifts."

*What, like X-men style gifts?\*

"I'd be lying if I said no. This week alone has seen some freaky shit, and not just Max and me getting jumped by seriously backed people."

*You're just kids? We're just kids!\*

"Nevertheless, someone is hunting us." He held up his broken arm, taking a step my way. And this time, I noticed his pronounced limp. And the cast on his leg. And the stitches on his face peeking out the sides of the bandages. And the extra padding around his chest, under the shirt.

*Point taken,\* I agreed. *So where does that leave… us?\*

"I dunno. Max and I are together, so whatever he decides, I'm with him, 100%. Other than that, I don't know. Supposedly there's lots of others like Max and you out there. Max wants to find them so maybe they can do things. You know, help each other get better at stuff, keep an eye on each other's backs. That kinda thing." He looked at me for a bit. "You could be part of that."

*Not likely,\* I thought, bitterly. *Chances are that I'm gonna be going to some kind of juvie for a while, once they find the things I did online, all the files I have out there.\*

"Maybe we can do something about that," Cam suggested.

*Like what? Bleach the internet?\*

"Max knows people. Things could happen. We'll have to ask around. In the meantime, maybe we can clean up some of the mess before the cops get to you. I have a feeling Maxy is going to have a lot of questions for you. Then we'll see what can be done."

*You'd clean up this mess for me?\*

"Rabbit," he said, leaning over my face, being careful not to touch the suspension cables that held my cast up. "I loved you deeply, once. That might have faded some, but I still love you. Just not the same as I love Max now. And helping you doesn't just keep you from going to jail, it might help a lot of the kids you victimized. In ways that I wished someone could have helped us when… when Philip raped us as kids." The quiver in his eyes told me much, but I realize now that I wasn't just going on data from what I could read in his eyes, or even the link that allowed my words to flow to his mind. I could sense how truly deeply hurt he'd been. From my brother's cruelties to my just up and leaving him, to the emptiness he'd felt until Max and he found each other.

I suddenly wanted to know that story. And I suddenly hoped that there was a place for me in this brave new world. That wasn't just the part of me that didn't want to get caught or to go through jail time. I felt Cam's need for justice and healing, and it found an echo in me. I wanted to do right by the kids I'd hurt. I certainly owed a major apology to Marty and Gary. And I owed Hank… I'm not sure what, but he didn't deserve to go to jail for doing the right thing by his cousin. And in stopping me, he'd stopped me from continuing my hunting ways.

I owed him my life for him nearly beating the life out of me.

I realized a lot of things then. I must have been using this empathy power a long time without knowing it. I mean, sure, I knew how people think, and I could read their emotions in their eyes, their stance, even in their word choices. But I could actually feel and know what emotions they really did have inside. I knew it instinctively, beyond just the data I drew from their presentation. I knew and could feel deeply what they felt. And I'd used that to my sexual advantage. I wondered if I'd actually projected my own need into them as well.

I suddenly felt sick. Well, sicker. Not only had I been hunting boys sexually with my unfair advantage and power, I'd likely forced them to do as I wanted just by pushing my feelings at them. I was more than a predator. I was a rapist.

That had to end, now. And no matter the personal consequences, I needed to somehow make things right.

Max came back into the room after a bit, his head on a swivel. He stroked his fingers through the back of Cam's hair, getting slight jealousy tingles from me.

"Marty is going to be released tomorrow, but they're gonna put him in a rehab center for depression for a few days. Help him get his head together." He looked up at me with hatred in his eyes. "And if it weren't for Cam telling me to give you a chance, you'd be in a world of hurt right now."

*In case you haven't noticed, I already am,\* I pointed out. Max grinned in an evil way that made me regret the bravado backspin on that thought.

"Do we have a plan?" Cam asked.

"Yes," Max replied. "I get you to your room so you don't make the doctors go looking for you. Then I go home and do my homework."

"I mean for Alex."

"I know what you mean, Eeyore." The way he said Cam's nickname from our kid days made me realize it had special meaning between the two of them as well. My jealousy increased slightly.

The smaller boy sighed loudly, blowing upwards to shift some stray hairs out of his eyes. He needed a trim, at least for that forest of bangs. "One step at a time. I can see about undoing the computer stuff, but I'm gonna need info that only Alex has. And that means I'm gonna have to deep scan him." He shot me a look. "And as much as I'm in the mood to do him some pain right now, I'm not ready to deal with all the stuff I'm sure I'll see in there," he said, nodding towards my head.

"More kids than him need the help this time, Little Elf."

"Cam! Not in front of the rapist!"

I felt myself blush in shame as he said that to me. And I realized that as much of a calculated asshole as I was, this kid just had a natural talent for putting me in my place. His honesty and directness had a way of cutting through the bullshit I used as armor.

I'd once said that need and shame equal power. I could see now that this kid had never thought about such things, but he knew the equation well enough that he could ignore it. Shame might be a tool in his arsenal, maybe even a shield against having to directly answer questions, but this boy had a handle on the things he needed. And nothing I could provide even touched those things.

We heard a series of footfalls in the hallway and in walked a doctor closely followed by my parents. They were discussing my case and were sort of surprised to see that I was awake and had visitors.

"Well, he's back from the dead," my father grinned. Mom moved around to my good side, gripping my hand lightly in that way that suddenly overprotective mothers get.

"Your friend Jordan was here earlier," she said as the doctor checked over my vitals.

"I spoke to him. He had to go," I managed to croak out.

"Let's keep the talking to a minimum, Alex," the doctor advised. "Your throat is still quite tender. Don't want to aggravate that injury."

Dad looked over to Max and Cameron and his eyes opened wide. "Cameron? Cameron Durman?"

"Yes, Mr Karasinko. Good to see you again."

"What happened to you, young man?"

"Bullies," Cam replied. "This is Max Perault, a friend of mine. He's been bringing me my homework stuff so I don't fall behind in school."

"Pleasure to meet you Max. Tell your parents you saw Jenny and Clark. They'll know who we are."

"Yes sir. Pleased to meet you. C'mon, Cam. We should let them talk with the doctor." As they turned Cam's wheelchair about, Max turned back to look me in the eyes. "See ya again, real soon, Alex," he said sweetly. I had a feeling that his intentions might have less sugary coating the next time we met. Oddly, I felt that whatever he had to dish out to me I more than probably deserved.

But… just before they could exit the door, one of my worst nightmares happened, right before my eyes. Philip turned the corner to the doorway, nearly walking right into Cam's still casted foot in the wheelchair stirrups. The look of surprise on Philip's eyes quickly turned into his casual and leering sneer. I saw Max visibly stiffen his spine.

And then I felt it. First, an intense burst of emotions from Cam, and Max picking up on that burst as well, his own body seeming to explode with light as I watched. My eyes flew open, realizing that Max had somehow just gathered enormous energy to himself and I, in my newly awakened state, could actually see it. I got the immediate impression that no one else could.

Then I saw it. A line of energy spun out from Max's forehead like a computer generated special effect on a comic book movie. Twisty bits of bright white particles slid around Max and twirled into strings that ran at Philip's face. The lines seemed to bury right between Philip's eyes.

Philip's face changed in an instant. His eyes teared up, almost turning red with how quickly the change came over him. His mouth hung open in what can only be described as a moment of abject personal horror. His shoulders, broad and wide with all the working-out he did, shook and trembled, as did his lip. He backed away from the doorway, the lines of energy still stringing out from Max and impacting my brother in the head. Philip planted his back on the wall behind him, dislodging a large painting in a glass covered picture frame, sending himself and the painting crashing to the ground. He lay there, his back barely supported, slumped over to one side, loudly crying, deeply inhaling to cry some more.

The lines of dancing energy faded back to nothing, and Max turned to me, his eyes glazed with tears and tiny points of light. *Justice for you and Cam,\* his young boys voice sounded in my head, and he turned back, pushing Cameron's wheelchair down the hall and away. The doctor hurried to Philip's side, as did my father. Mom looked on, concerned, but she stayed with me.

I don't know what exactly Max did to Philip, but I got the feeling he was merciful. Much more merciful than I might have been, knowing the truth as I do. For some reason, it gave me hope and comfort that this little kid with so much hidden ability had a sense of restraint. Hope that maybe something good could come from the evil I've done.

Before you worry too much about the son of a bitch, Philip wasn't permanently harmed by whatever Max did. Later, tearfully, he would beg for my forgiveness for all the things he'd put me through. He'd blame hormones and strange urges and that he was using steroids and smoking weed and taking all kinds of pills. In the end, he begged me to forgive him for not being a good brother, for not thinking of my needs before his own. And worse, for taking advantage of me and Cam for his own personal lusts.

He was sincere when he said it. I could feel his own internal anguish. I could sense the demons that were still active in his life as he confessed to me. I could believe that he was honestly and completely sorry for all the pain and suffering he'd caused.

Part of me wanted to forgive him right away. I know, he'd been such a horrible shit my whole life, even more so the last several years. But forgiving him, in a way would mean that I could forgive myself. And as ready as I was, for some fucked up reason, to forgive him, I'm still not completely ready to forgive myself. So I told him I'd think about it.

And weirdly, that was enough for him to grab my good hand, bury his face in my chest and just cry, saying "thank you," so many times I lost count.

The doctor checked Philip over and diagnosed a sudden case of light-headedness. A quick sniff of smelling salts brought him back around. Well, either that or the smell and feel of his own urine pooled under him. Dad took him home to get cleaned up, so the above conversation happened a few days later.

When the doctor got back to me, he told me all about the injuries I'd sustained. The two broken bones in my left arm and the multiple dislocations in my wrist were the most worrisome. He suspected there might be some nerve damage there. Only time and some healing of the bones would tell us for sure. He advised me to flex the fingers in the cast to keep circulation and some muscle tone, but to do so gently. "Otherwise, don't move that arm at all," he said. "It needs exactly that position to heal properly."

I took that to heart. He explained that the other injuries were surprisingly mild, other than the concussion. A testament, he said, to how in shape I was. I was expected to be in hospital for the next two weeks, and then could be sent home, provided I did as I was told and rested.

Then the doctor asked my mom for a moment alone with me. She said she had to get home, had work in the morning, so she kissed me on the forehead and wished me goodnight. As she left, I got the feeling that I was about to have the boom lowered on me again.

"They don't have any idea of your sexual activities, do they?" the doctor asked me, point blank. I shook my head no.

"For now, I will consent to keep that in privacy. You are my patient and enjoy the benefit of my confidentiality. However, I am also young mister Martin's doctor. And he has told me much. With the degree of damage done to your body by his cousin, and the fact that he attempted suicide, I am obligated to report to the police about this as an abuse case. It may actually warrant youthful sex offender status, legally. I'm not a lawyer, but it seems some extremely questionable behavior has occurred. Am I right to assume so?" I gulped and nodded. The boom was right on target, and falling fast.

"However, after seeing what happened with your brother earlier, and the look on that boy in the wheelchair's face, I'm willing to bet there's more to the story that what I am seeing." I nodded, sadly, and exhaled. "It can wait for now. I know a few officers in the city police department who can deal with this discretely. However, I must ask that you immediately desist in any form of sexual exploitation. I know in your current medical condition that's not generally possible, but I must insist."

Again, I nodded, hopefully in a sagacious way. He patted my good shoulder and said "good lad." As he left the hospital room, he looked back at me and said, "Few people in this life get a second chance when they deserve it. Fewer still make good on those second chances when they actually do come around. Think about that." He grinned and then he closed the door.

Much later that night, I had another visitor.

The door clicked open and a small form entered, In the darkness, my eyes hadn't had the opportunity to focus on who that person was before I felt him climb up on the bed, beside my good arm. And somehow, I knew who it was, without having to see, without having to ask. That new aspect of my mind, awakened by Max, seemed to be working overtime.

It was Marty.

"I could hurt you so badly right now," he whispered near my ear. A bit of fear crept into me as I could feel the younger boy's anger, rage and hurt, boiling just under the surface of his skin. "I could wicked hurt you in ways you'll never recover from. Ways you hurt me."

And then he started crying, laying his head on my chest, his hair tickling under my chin. I was confused. The cocktail of emotions flowing from him was so rich and diverse. Mixing hatred with desire, need for acceptance with the deep pain of rejection. His puppy love crush actually crushing him in other ways. His sense of being used. His enjoyment of being used. His want for revenge or supplication or just fuckin' acknowledgement. His simple need to be seen as a living, breathing, loving, emoting, sexual being and not just some little kid that can get pushed around emotionally and physically by the older boys he looks up to, has strange sex feelings for, even just craves attention from.

Simple things I could have given him, but didn't. Instead I'd raped his soul as surely as I'd taken his virginity and trust. Yet here he was, hinting at the ways he could vent that anguish on my completely vulnerable, weakened, battered body, but he instead was letting his demons go. Instead of lashing out in anger and pain, he shared it, excised it from his deepest being. And in doing so, he shamed me, cleansed me, and made me feel suddenly incredibly protective towards him.

I cried along with him. I couldn't speak, but my good arm snaked up around behind his back as he sobbed on me. I felt him stiffen in surprise as I touched him, my bare hand coming into contact with a strip of bare skin exposed by his hospital gown. But it wasn't a sexual touch. At least I didn't intend it to be. It was more just…

See, sometimes even my words fail me. I'd done horrible things to this boy. I'd awakened feelings in his body. I'd opened possibilities in his mind. I'd become an important part of his life and fantasies and he even came to love me, in a fashion. And I'd betrayed him. Not only betrayed, but paraded that betrayal publically around like it was a prize I'd won at the county fair.

He'd nearly died because of me. Had nearly taken his own life. And for what? He got so little out of being with me. And what had I gained? Sex? Not really. Any guy can get himself off, easily. Power? In the end, that power didn't seem like much. And it hadn't left me with a lot of friends. Nor much comfort.

Power, it seems, is a cold, harsh light.

"Not your fault," I said to him, gently stroking his back from neck to his middle ribs. My throat hurt so much saying that, and not just because of my injuries or dryness. We held on like that for a long time. His tears dried on my chest, but I could still feel him awake, breathing against me, holding not to hang on, but because it felt good.

Damn, did it ever feel good.

"Why?" he asked, my barely understood ability conveying to me a deeper sense of the meaning of his question. It was a conversation that I owed him, and one that didn't have simple answers.

"Don't know. Will tell you," I spoke, my voice creaking like an old tree in a thunderstorm.

"Hank still wants to hurt you more," Marty said. I gulped and nodded. I'd have to deal with that later as well. But in that moment, I needed to make things better with Marty.

"Start over?" I asked, feeling the pain in my throat go deeper. I needed to say it, but I could hear the doctor in the back of my mind reminding me to spare my voice. "Friends?"

"We'll see," he said, rubbing his face against my chest. "I should get back to my room. Alex?"


"You ruined me. You broke me and made me look at myself. And I didn't like what I saw. It hurt. I fell apart a bit. But I will not crumble. I will rebuild."

"Good," I croaked, and this time the pain in my throat spiked. It felt like I had a long iron nail stuck down the top of my neck, pointing down. I must have grimaced in pain, because he reached up and stroked my forehead, pushing hair out of my eyes. He leaned down and planted a kiss on my forehead, like a little kid might to another kid. In that kiss I felt that swirl of emotions again, along with two others. Acceptance, and a grudging forgiveness.

As he shuffled out of my room, he turned back to me, smiled, gave a little wave, and then turned into the light of the hallway. I thought I saw tears. Mostly, I saw Marty taking back a little pride in himself. A little swagger in his walk.

I slept that night with pain, but it felt good. Like healing pain. You're still alive pain.

And you've got a lot to fix now pain.

Next morning, not really sure when, the doctor was in the room, checking the bandages on my face. Not sure why I didn't wake up to that, but the physical pain in my body and face was much lower. Perhaps the pain killers had finally kicked in.

"Ah, sorry, Alex. Didn't mean to wake you. How are you feeling?"

"Crap," I replied, croaking a bit. My voice still felt like hell. The doctor brought over my laptop. Mom had brought it with a small care package. The idea was pretty clear. I could type with my good hand and save my voice.

>sorry, feel like crap. Throat hurts. Marty was in here last night. He cried and I hugs him. I think I understand some stuff now.

"I see," the doctor replied. "I will still have to report the things that happened. At least as I know them. Speaking of reporting, there is a police detective who wants to talk to you when you are able. I can hold him off for a little while, but he will eventually get to talk to you. If I was you, I'd be thinking about what exactly I'd want to tell them."

>lawyer? I typed.

"Since you are still a minor, I'd guess that responsibility would go to your parents. They would have to be present with you during questioning, I would think. But, my training isn't in legal matters."

>How marty?

"He was released this morning and is in an inpatient counseling center. I cannot tell you which one. He is recovering nicely."


I took a few moments to think while he made notations to my chart.

>I want to help. Not just fix what I screwed up. Want to heal the hurts.

"You have been doing a lot of thinking about this, I see. You realize that what you're contemplating may take a long, long time, yes?"

>I hurt people. I wont heal me until I can try heal them.

"Young man," the doctor said, smiling, "there's hope for you yet. You rest, now. In a few hours I'm going to have the nurses come in to change your bandages, clean you up some. We'll talk again after that."

>Thank you dr. Sorry, don't know your name

"It's McCoy."

>like startrek and xmen

"Yes, well, just the beneficiary of good taste in film and literature, I guess," the doctor said. "Be well, Alex." And he left.

That night I had a dream. At least I think it was a dream. All the crazy thing happening in my head since Max opened me and Hank opened up a can of whoop ass on me, and since Marty and Gary both opened up to me, kinda had me doubting my sanity, wicked. Oh, and my asshole brother becoming a wet blanket, his own pee providing the wet, yeah, that kinda stirred my already scrambled eggs a bit more.

So, anyways. The dream. Usually I don't remember my dreams. Partly because a lot of them were nightmares revisiting me from when my brother wanted a second helping of my body some nights. I'd mostly shut those out because I didn't want to remember. Partly because admitting that I sometimes wanted him to do it was just as bad as when he did it and hurt me, inside and in my heart.

Damn, I keep sidetracking. The dream started out at the beach. It was a sunny day, seagulls riding the thermals, waves crashing on the sand and rocks. You know, typical summer kinda day. I feel happy, light, no worries. I see kids playing, old ladies in swimsuits a few sizes too small looking for shells, there's an old guy wearing sandals and long black socks with a metal detector cruising up around the high tide mark, ironically, dragging a chair with him. People being people, and all of them just letting each other do their own thing without any hassles or worries.

Typical New England beach goer stuff.

A man sits down next to me. I don't recognize him, but for some reason. I feel comfortable around him. Like he should be here, just to sit beside me. He's middle aged, receding hair line of sandy brown hair, warm brown eyes behind slightly oval glasses. Got the middle aged gut hanging over baggy swim trunks. He just seems like what you'd expect to see out at the beach, watching his kids play in the surf and sand.

"You have a lot to learn about your powers, young man," he says to me.

"And you need sun screen."

"A sharp tongue and quick wit will only get you so far, Alex."

"I kinda have noticed that," I reply, wryly. Such an odd sounding word, wryly.

"Don't worry. Things are in the works. We'll take care of these legal matters and help those you've hurt as well as get you up to speed on what exactly all those extra tools in your head are good for."

"As simple as that?"

"As complicated as that. You will have to toe the line as well, Alex. No more using your powers openly or for purely selfish reasons."

"I'm no hero."

"And I'm not asking you to be. I just want you to take responsibility for your actions. And stop hurting others. And stop calling attention to yourself so that you don't get yourself killed."

"Wait, what? Who the hell are you?"

"You'll be seeing me soon. The school is going to send me here to be your tutor until you are ready to return to classes. And you'll be in my class once you do return to Canterbury High."

"These are some _really_ fuckin' good pain drugs, man. I hope I remember this hallucination when I come down."

"You better damn well remember!" the man said. "I don't just astral project into random dreams."

"Do what?!"

"You will meet me in a few days. I'm moving up from New Jersey to take care of my recently orphaned nephew. He's a classmate of yours. Schedules will be re-routed, and you will be in a special class with several of your peers. Kids like yourself with abilities beyond the normal."

"Dude! This is soooo like X-men!"

"Shut up a minute, willya Alex. You're kinda being a pain in the ass." The older guy sighed loudly. "If all young psychics are as powerful and as stupid as you, we're in for a very bumpy ride."


"Let's just say, I'm the help that Maxy said was coming for you. And for others, too. We'll see what we can make of this mess you've started. I have high hopes you can be salvaged," he said, looking over the top of his round glasses at me. "The real question is, do you think you can be fixed?"

"I don't know," I answered, feeling the fun part of my medicated high seem to drop completely away. "Not sure if I deserve it."

"Max thinks you do. I get the feeling Cameron does as well, _Rabbit_," he said. "Name's Ben. Ben Carrington."

"I guess you know my name already," I replied. "Can I be fixed?" I asked, feeling a lot of conflicting emotions, a lot of them all coated with thick layers of guilt and regret.

"Only you can answer that in the end, Alex. I think you are a suitable case for treatment. And I think that despite some of the ways your emotions have been warped with what happened to you, and with what you did to others, well," he paused, looking back out over the beach scene before us. "Take a look at this. Everything is normal, everything is as expected. It's what you expect of something as pure and elemental as the beach, in your own mind. This isn't some depraved orgy on the sand, or people tossing their clothes to leap at each other like sea lions in full rut."

I kinda giggled when he said that, sounding like Marty. Sounding like Jordy.

Sounding like Rabbit and Eeyore did as kids about a billion years ago.

"You see?" Ben asked, raising his hand towards the seabirds riding the thermals. "You aren't locked into a path of self-destruction. And you aren't locked into a path of self-delusion either. You can choose how you want to be. You can choose to be that rapist who was using his powers to make other boys do as you wanted them to…"

"Or I can choose something else?"

"I have hope for you yet, Kiddo."

"So," I said, trying to keep from grinning. "Where do we go from here?"

"Well, _I_ have to go back to my body. My nephew's father's burial is tomorrow. I'll be seeing you shortly. Just, uh, keep that you know I'm coming under your hat. And, after we assess your physical situation and your classwork is caught up, we'll go from there."

"I'm kinda a jerk sometimes," I said. Dunno why I admitted that.

"We all got personality quirks. For example, I tend to end things abruptly."

"What's that supposed to…" I said, looking his way. Was about to say "mean" at the end of that, with the whole question mark thing, but when I looked to where he was just seconds ago, he was gone. The beach scene was as it was before, just people doing what people do. Leaving me alone with my thoughts. "Humm," I thought. "Man of his word."

The rest of the dream was not really worth mentioning. I found myself people watching without the usual subtext of me looking for cute guys I'd normally be plotting to have under my hips by nightfall. I found myself remembering simpler times. Buckets and shovels, army men in the sand. Frisbees and water wings. I used to love the beach as a little kid. Part of it was that you could get dirty and wet all at the same time and Mom wouldn't pitch a bitch about it. Just playing in the sand, playing in the breakers as they came onshore. Just playing without worrying about the score or who was better than whom.

I remember waking up and being strangely happy. Like a happy I haven't felt in a long, long time. And for once, I didn't think it was the drugs to blame, or my own smug sense of self-satisfaction.

I was happy, because for one night in a long, long time, I was able to be little again in my dream. To be pure. To be… to be Rabbit as he was before all the crap turned me inside out. Before the thing that was fun and playful and led to a moment of love and joy with Cam was turned inward and ripped up. I remembered and for that short time of memory, I was good again.

So, I bet you're asking me, how things have gone since then. Have I set to rights the things I screwed up? How did everything turn out? Did Jordy come back to me? Or Gary maybe? Or Marty? Or, by some long stretch of the imagination, Cam? Well, those are ongoing stories all their own. Yeah, I know, sounds like some kinda cop out or literary device or something stupid and technical and cheesy like that. Truth is, it's still playing out.

I did meet Ben, or Mr. Carrington. He did start teaching me to control my abilities, even taught me how I was using it almost defensively before. He showed me that I was capable of lots more, maybe eventually developing full telepathy. And he showed me that I was pretty strong, but that someone like Max is waaaay stronger than me. We just have different strengths. His happen to be just about everything. Mine, well, I'm still figuring a lot of that as I go.

And if you want to know, you're just gonna have to wait and read as we all figure it out.

But, like I hear a lot of other people saying these days, that's another story.

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