When Shadows Pass

by Sean English

Chapter 18

And Then They Were Boys Again (Part I)

The funny thing about holidays, especially those that come at the end of the year, is that they bring a mixture of feelings to different people. For some, it's a time of anxiety and despair, brought on by worry or loneliness, or by obligation. The bills that mount up for the holiday must eventually be paid, and preparations for the coming year are catapulted into action. For others, however, it's a time of being happy and together, surrounded by people you feel comfortable with, relaxing and reflecting on the year in general. There are still preparations to be made for the transition, but the mood is merrier and uplifting.

Such was the case for the Flavells, but particularly young Jason. On Christmas morning, he awoke to find a still shirtless Derek huddled up with himself and Elliot. Unlike the night before when they drifted off to sleep, Derek had somehow shifted and stretched himself on the outer edge of the bed. Elliot was now sprawled between them, with his arm draped around Jason's midsection. As Jason shifted onto his back, it disturbed Elliot enough to follow and close in once again. The domino effect in play, Derek then had more room to do the same, which he readily took advantage of by sandwiching his brother from behind.

Before long, Jason could see the traces of a smile crossing Elliot's face. When his cousin opened his eyes sleepily, just enough to see Jason awake, he whispered. "Ugh, he's got a boner like steel, and he's rubbing it against my you-know-where, right in the middle..."

"Am not," Derek responded, obviously overhearing the remark. "Don't listen to him Jason, he's just messing with you."

Jason giggled. "I don't know about that. He may have his fronts and rears mixed up, because right now he's poking me pretty hard."

Elliot grunted in response, but lay in silence. Jason eventually felt movement, as Elliot reached behind him, feeling around. "Well," he whispered, "it may not be poking me you-know-where, but he does have a boner back there." He brought his hand forward and placed it on Jason's groin, feeling around. "Nope, not woke up yet, I think," he observed.

This time it was Derek who giggled. "Hey, you two clowns, come on... it's Christmas," he observed. "I don't care what you feel. You know I'm not going to rape you, so hush. Just let me hold you for a few more minutes, please?"

Jason could feel Elliot shift and push back into the bigger teen. "I don't care either bro, I love you, too." Jason smiled, feeling the contentment the two had for one another. Although they loved to kid around, it was the kind of banter Jason liked hearing. To him, it was another one of those family dynamics that made them who they were.

A half-hour slipped by before Jason first felt Derek roll over and stretch. The older teen then slipped out of bed quietly, pulling the covers back up for Elliot and Jason both. As he was about to exit the room, Derek called out to them. "Thanks, guys. That meant a lot to me."

Jason propped up on one elbow, rubbing at his eyes. "Meant a lot to me, too." Seeing Derek still standing beside the bed, Jason reached out to bump fists with his cousin. He was surprised instead, however, when Derek leaned in and gave him a hug. As the bigger teen pulled away, Jason saw the older teen smiling at him, conveying a great deal of gratitude in that simple expression. Finding his t-shirt, he donned it and walked to the door. As he opened it, they could all hear activity coming from the floor below. He grinned at them both again, before exiting and closing the door behind him.

Elliot stirred beside him, yawning before flipping onto his back. Jason leaned in and nuzzled their noses together, before giving his friend a soft kiss on his lips. He pulled back to see a pleasant expression cross his cousin. "Elliot?" Jason whispered, and his cousin raised his eyebrows in response. "Last night, with your Dad, and Mum and everything... It won't like, change anything with us, right? Me, and you? We'll still trust each other, like this, right?"

Elliot opened his eyes, then leaned up to kiss Jason back. "Jase, I'd honestly die if it did. You know that, right? I love you that much." Elliot reached out and found Jason's groin again. This time, however, he pushed his hand inside the briefs, and found the soft, warm skin that he was looking for. "And if you EVER get horny again, I'm going to prove it to you, too!" he teased.

Jason snorted. "I'll get horny again, I promise," he whispered back.

"I certainly hope so," Elliot responded, closing his eyes again. Soon, Jason detected a soft snore, and he knew Elliot had drifted off. He shifted, laying his head upon Elliot's chest. In a matter of minutes, he drifted off, too.

Christmas day was spent hanging about with family, playing new games Simon had procured on his recent trip to the States. The entire family nibbled on a variety of finger foods throughout the day, many which Natalie had prepared ahead of time, with the intent she could enjoy more time with her family. They opened presents following a late breakfast, with the three boys each receiving identical watches from Simon and Natalie. In addition to the new games, the boys also opened various boxes containing sweaters and various clothes. To Jason's delight, it helped give him a wider variety of items to have in his own wardrobe, which was beginning to fill up nicely by now.

Jason received a surprise gift, one labeled "From the Flavell Family" as well as Simon's sister. As he pulled a huge box from its wrappings, inside Jason found a large model of an old, classic British sailing ship, the HMS Agamemnon. The box was huge, with hundreds of parts, which easily suggested it would be the biggest model the American had tackled to date. He had noted the warning on the box cover with a laugh. "Not for the faint of heart!" he read aloud.

Simon noticed too, before leaning in. "Hmm, that shouldn't be a problem for you, I think." The brothers had gone an extra step, Jason noted, and purchased a paint set that corresponded with the craft. Simon commented again. "That ship, I believe, was launched in the late 1700's. It has quite a bit of history associated with it, if you ever want to look it up." Jason made a mental note to do just that.

Only Natalie shook her head. "I must say, I have no idea WHERE you're going to assemble that thing! I fear you'll have to spread the pieces everywhere!"

Once again, Simon came to the rescue. "We'll rework one corner of their bedroom and get a decent table up there, I think. It might make space a little tighter, but it should suffice for the short term." He winked at the two younger boys. "Nothing you're not used to by now, though. Right?" Jason grinned and nodded.

The only additional surprise came when Jason was handed an unwrapped, plain boxed package. Opening it, he found a new cell phone inside. He had forgotten all about Derek's mentioning it, which now seemed so long ago. That he now had it in his possession genuinely surprised him. Simon cleared his throat and explained. "That one, I'm afraid, is not exactly a Christmas gift. Natalie and I decided we wanted you to have one, and I think you already understand why. I'm sorry it took me so long to get it, really. You should have had one long before now."

Natalie agreed. "It will make us feel more comfortable with you getting out, and it should help you feel safer, too, knowing any of us are just a ring away should you need us." Jason looked on admiringly, then hugged both their necks.

The brothers then took turns, explaining how to use mobiles in the UK. They helped him with programming their personal numbers in, and a few others that included Simon's sister, the school, and more. Noting how strangely the numbers were formatted on the screen, Jason made a casual remark about it. It was Derek who explained. "I know, we've been down this route before. But if you think about it, you Yanks use a 10-digit number for your numbers too, right? Well, ours is broken up differently, but they serve the same purpose - they're made up of 10-digits, too." They finished by showing the youth how to take advantage of some of the phone's features, like the digital camera and texting.

Although Jason had earned more money from the game shop, as Elliot predicted he might, he still could not quite match anything the family had just spent on him. He knew that value shouldn't be the issue, as much as the thought, but it still weighed on his mind. Living in the UK, he had determined, was more expensive than what he and his Dad had gone through in the States. He looked at the model and the cell phone in his hand, and did not discount the impact of what those two items alone must have added up to. Regardless, Jason had given all he had to Simon before his last trip to the States. He had an idea for its use, but was unsure how well the money would exchange, and was furthermore unsure if it would be enough. Still, he told Simon what he wanted the man to look for, and upon his return, Simon did not disappoint. After watching the boys going through their phones, the elder Flavell snapped his fingers. Immediately rising, left the room, only to return with a larger box in his hands. He sat the unit down in front of the two brothers, which caused them both to look on in curiosity. "This my dear boys, is to you, from Jason."

At their parent's encouragement, Elliot and Derek opened the box to find a set of NFL pullovers, hoodies to be exact, each with the colors and team that each was partial to. It wasn't until recently Jason had developed much interest in the sport, but after watching the three men, he understood why they loved the televised broadcasts so much. The sport was even growing on Jason, after patiently watching and learning about it in more detail. His experience with Derek's team had shown him the excitement and rewards of getting into sports, in general. Knowing the two brothers were fans of the New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins, he was also becoming attached to them, too. Seeing Simon return with exactly that had thrilled him to no end – especially when a third hoodie was pulled out, bearing the colors and logo of the Green Bay Packers. With a grin, the man handed it to Jason.

Neither of the brothers asked Jason how he had obtained the hoodies. They both knew, or at least suspected, their Dad's involvement. Although it wasn't entirely of his own doing, Jason sat proud that he was able to give something back in return. It was an experience unlike that when he lived with his Dad. Here, the constraints of youth and limited budgets were breaking, and he understood the value of giving in a whole new light. Jason watched Elliot and Derek's faces beam as they donned the clothing, knowing he had done well. When Jason later asked Simon how much more money he needed, the man only replied, "None, son. You hit it pretty close as it was." Jason knew better, but he could not extract any more details out of the man, so he left it alone for the time being – especially after Natalie swatted him to get back to the morning's festivities. "I won't hear any more of that this morning, I tell you! Scoot!"

Later that day, there was an NFL game being broadcast live on one of the British channels, and this being so the boys and Simon lounged about watching it with keen interest. Mostly, the boys lay on the floor using various pillows and cushions, while Natalie sat cuddled with her husband. Pretending to be reading a new book, she muttered under her breath to Simon. "Close enough? How long are we going to be paying on this one, my dear sweet husband?"

Simon turned and whispered back to her. "Not as bad this year as you might think. I haven't given these boys much of an allowance for a while, so I had time to build up some reserves. Make no mistake, we'll be at it for a little while, but - it will be okay." He observed the three boys again. "I think they were pretty happy, hmm? We did alright, didn't we?"

Natalie marked her page and lay her book aside. Twisting about, she set herself comfortably into Simons arms before gazing deeply into his eyes. "You did fantastic, dear," she whispered, before she started smothering him with kisses.

Elliot and Jason gathered in their room once again, this time alone, unlike the previous night. Derek had followed them initially, but upon reaching his own bedroom door, he bade them goodnight and disappeared. Although the hour was getting late, both glanced about and decided to do a little general tidying up. It was a task neither was prone to do often, at least under normal circumstances. Jason already kept most of their clutter to a minimum, by his own force of habit. Nonetheless, guilt hit them on occasion, and when it did, they gave the task due justice. They put their things away and organized much of the clutter, leaving the room in a nicer condition than when they started.

When they finished, Elliot turned off all the lights, except for the one in their closet. It illuminated the room with a different effect, throwing shadows in new directions. The subdued hue added to an already ambient mood, and given the hour, it seemed to fit. Jason had just begun to remove his shirt when Elliot crossed the floor and stopped him. "Can I?" Elliot asked, his voice a whisper that was barely audible. Jason grinned and then shrugged, before lifting his arms high. Elliot proceeded to do what they had now done so many nights over the last weeks and months. There was a peace he felt when he undressed the teen in front of him. Odd as it might seem, neither had any inhibitions, and Elliot knew Jason loved that feeling as well. Having the other let them do these things, reinforced their trust and love in so many ways. After Elliot unbuckled both Jason's belt and jeans, he began sliding them down over the hips. When he glanced down and observed how the briefs were being dragged with them, he stopped and readjusted his grip. Jason made no move, and only looked on in amusement. Elliot, grinning, pulled the waistband back up, while simultaneously pushing the jeans further down. Eventually one separated from the other enough, and the garment dropped to his feet.

Jason stepped out, and in the dim light Elliot was happy to see his friend already sporting a tent at the front of his underwear. He brought his hand up and cupped it, gently pressing while leaning in and giving his cousin another one of those soft kisses they had come to favor. He lingered for seconds, nuzzling their noses, when Jason leaned in for another kiss. With this one, though, Jason parted his lips and waited for Elliot to respond. Elliot did happily, and they each played with the other's tongue for several minutes. Elliot felt his cousin's boner now beginning to throb in his hand, so he squeezed it gently, before pushing the briefs down until they fell to his feet.

It was Jason who finally broke away, letting up just enough so he could whisper into Elliot's ear. "You gonna get naked, or just stand here and jerk me off all night?" he teased.

Elliot grinned and made a step backwards. With Jason assisting him, he dropped his clothes to the floor in no time. Kneeling, Elliot quickly started nuzzling and licking around Jason's freely exposed groin, breathing him in all the while. "Mmmm..." Jason moaned softly. Looking up only briefly, Elliot then proceeded to take the throbbing dick and suck him inside. Drawing the boy's length as far into his throat as possible, Elliot's tongue waited hungrily to go to work. With his free hands, he pulled Jason close, working to massage his thighs and buttocks, drawing and pulling them with a steady rhythm. Jason closed his eyes and moaned again. He had no idea how so much pleasure could be felt, like this, but he was glad he could enjoy it. Looking down, he trusted Elliot completely, and as he watched the other youth lick him up and down his shaft, Jason, inevitably, began to breathe much harder.

When it felt like his cousin was approaching his peak, however, Elliot pulled off and gave him a few seconds to settle back down. It annoyed Jason at first, as he had really begun to get into it. He said nothing, however, because in that interim Elliot moved around his shaft and buried his nose and lips around the base again. Elliot would take Jason's nuts inside, one at a time, and float them around his mouth, licking and moving them around with his tongue. Eventually he let them fall, and then returned to the object of his real affection.

Twice more Elliot repeated his performance, and it was driving Jason insane in both frustration and desire. Short of the occasional moan, it was a struggle for him to remain mute. Just when Jason felt he couldn't hold out any longer, Elliot changed tactics again. In the last round, he had already detected his cousin's difficulty standing there, so instead Elliot gently guided and pushed him until they moved over and sat down on the bed. With a little encouragement, Elliot bade Jason to lay back, but this time in such a fashion so that his legs hung over the edge. Once done, Elliot positioned himself between them, spreading them wider. He then leaned in and resumed his foreplay. With his nose, lips and tongue, Elliot now worked his way up and down inside the crevices and thighs, before working back up into Jason's crotch.

The new position and exposure piqued Jason's curiosity, until he began feeling the aftereffects Elliot was giving him. "Oh man…" he moaned, placing one hand lightly on the top of his cousin's head. Elliot continued moving back up, over the center and around Jason's testicles, gently fondling and suckling him as before. It was not long before he continued northward, kissing and firmly sucking on the rock-hard erection now standing out from Jason's belly. He smiled as he observed the precum seeping out, and that told Elliot his cousin was ready. Glancing up, he saw Jason looking down at him with a wild, almost pleading expression. "You still trust me, right?" Elliot asked, his voice just above a whisper. Jason closed his eyes and laid his head back, whimpering. He was thinking that anything, ANYTHING would have been fine just then, if Elliot would just take that last step!

Elliot understood, so he placed his hands around Jason's ankles and grasped, lifting them up onto the edge of the bed. Once there, it exposed not only Jason's whole crotch, but the area underneath as well. Elliot had no intention of touching the rosebud that peeked out at him. That was forbidden territory as far as he was concerned, regardless of what Jason had been telling him lately. However, with his tongue, Elliot did work around the outside of it, before moving upwards towards the scrotum, and around deeply to the sides. Elliot made quick order of it, and as he felt Jason tense, he slowed down. Waiting patiently for Jason to relax, he was rewarded, and it was then Elliot made his move. Taking his tongue in another long glide, this time he licked all the way from underneath his scrotum up to the tip of Jason's shaft. There he kissed it first, and then plugged his mouth over the member quickly and tightly. Elliot used his tongue to create as much resistance and friction on the glans as he could, while at the same time sucking hard. Unlike times before, however, Elliot also simultaneously moved a finger to play underneath the scrotum, around the hole, and then back up to tickle Jason's testicles.

Jason's reaction did not disappoint, as he let a rasping whisper escape from his lips. "OOhhh sshhhiiitttt..... UNGH!!" Elliot was rewarded with more of Jason's boy juice than he had ever had before. He didn't have the time to sample or taste his prize, instead having to swallow in quick succession so he could keep up - especially given how deeply that erection had now found its way into his throat.

Elliot could tell Jason was finding it hard to come down from his high. The breathing was the most erratic he had ever heard from his cousin in times like these, and the deep gulps of air that followed solidified Elliot's belief that the experience was over the top. Moreover, Jason had softly whispered, 'Oh fuuccckkk...!' repeatedly, over and again, for a solid half minute before he quieted. In the aftermath, Elliot just stilled himself in the silence that followed, finally taking the time to enjoy the moment for himself. When he finally pulled away, he sat back gently and let Jason's feet descend into place on the floor. He had noted the different view, not surprising in the slightest, but the curves and the way everything was exposed to him seemed sexy. It was a mental image he was not going to forget.

After a minute, Elliot stood and turned out the light in the closet. The ensuing darkness was only broken by the moonlight seeping in through the window. He worked gently and tirelessly as he tugged at Jason, moving with him so that they could both lie lengthwise in their bed once more. Once there, he stretched out on Jason's side like so many times before, skin to skin. Though the room was again cool, there was a feeling of warmth that radiated between them. Elliot found pure joy in the intimacy of it all, secretly hoping it would never end. He wasn't foolish enough, however, to believe anything lasts forever. He just hoped they could have more nights like this, at least for a long while to come.

Elliot curiously watched Jason in the moonlight, feeling a swelling of pride for himself. He had wanted to make this special, in some way. Of all the nights it could happen, this Christmas night he had wanted to make sure his new brother-to-be would feel it. Not just on the outside, but inside, too. When it appeared that Jason had settled enough, Elliot moved his hand up and placed it over the teen's heart. He felt the faintest beating underneath, and for a moment Elliot just lay there taking it in. He noted how his elbow just touched the tip of Jason's now softening member, and it reminded him once again how far they had come. He watched it retract and return to its normal state, thinking about what that privilege gave to him. When he glanced up and saw Jason now observing him, he saw an expression filled with wonder. Elliot smiled, and then softly kissed his friend again before speaking. "I've been waiting to do that to you, you know. I wanted to give you a kind of Christmas present, something that could only come from just me, to just you," he whispered. When he saw his cousin smile weakly, Elliot added nervously, "Was it okay?"

Jason did not answer right away, his breathing taking even longer to return to a more normalized state with the rest of his body. When he did respond finally, he had that goofy grin of his again that showed up rarely, but it was one that Elliot loved to see. "You... You really want to ask me that? How many times did I swear...?"

"A lot," Elliot giggled in reply, but nodded. "Yeah, I really do want to ask. I sort of did something that's... you know..." As he said it, he was nervous, and he tensed up. "I kind of went back there, where I promised I never would, you know?"

Jason observed and felt the change. Although with only those few words spoken, he knew and understood at once why it was at the forefront of Elliot's mind just then. "I know. Yeah, I admit it, I was maybe a little nervous at first. I felt you, like, probing around and everything, and I had no idea what you were up to. But you know what? That was... well, different. It felt… nice, you know? But it was special, too." He wrinkled his nose. "That's when I decided I didn't care, Elliot. I didn't care, because I was with you." Giggling, he added, "I thought... I thought for a moment you were gonna, like set me up, you know, do 'it', stick your thing in me or something."

Elliot, however, shook his head. "No, bro. Never, I wouldn't... I couldn't-" He stopped however, when Jason put a finger to his lips to shush him.

"I know, Elliot, but listen... I mean it. With you? It would have been okay. You might have to give me a little time with something like that, but... I would have done it. I would have done it, with just you," Jason concluded, smiling.

Elliot was stunned. "I... You..." When he couldn't speak, Jason giggled again, then leaned in and kissed him ever so softly again, this time lingering so he could breathe the other boy inside. Jason had, as of late, no inhibitions about what he shared with his cousin, and he thought Elliot knew that by now.

"I love you, and I told you, I trust you. Even if you, like, do that with me. It would be okay, because I trust you," Jason whispered.

Elliot finally let go a deep sigh. Resting his head on Jason's chest, he lay there for a moment, listening to the heartbeat that thrummed inside. "I'll never know what I did to deserve this, you know? To deserve you," he whispered. "The way those guys treated you though, Jase. Sometimes I, like… I don't know. I'm just afraid, that's all." He paused before he continued. "You know, back in the beginning, I just wanted you to trust me as a boy, as a human being. Like someone you didn't have to be afraid of being with me, or afraid of me being with you. Naked, or not, you know? I wanted to trust you inside, and let you know you could trust me inside." He hesitated as he looked deep into the eyes that met his. "I never in a hundred years would have thought we'd get this close to one another."

Jason smiled. "Any regrets?" he whispered.

"No way... no fucking way," was Elliot's quick reply. "But honest, I was scared. I was scared I might do something wrong, or maybe go too far or... or something. I just wanted to give you something a little different. You know, I just wanted to make it special. I wanted... I wanted you to feel special."

Jason hugged him again. "Elliot, every time we do this stuff, it is always special to me. Yeah, okay, it's sex, and it's two horny guys getting their nuts off and…and… yeah. It's still special though, because it's like a whole new world we explore with each other and stuff. I never would have discovered it if it hadn't been for you, and Derek, too." He giggled. "And no, you guys didn't corrupt me, honest. I think I'm just, like, seeing a part of something. You know, like life and stuff, in a new way I hadn't thought about much before."

Elliot nodded. "I guess it's not that big of a mystery to figure out. Those creeps in the park, your Dad, like, shielding stuff from you... I can understand that Jase, but..."

Jason glanced out their window into the blue tint of the night. "Yeah, I guess so. Maybe it shouldn't be, but I'm okay with it." He turned back to the boy in his arms. "I still don't think I'm gay Elliot, but right now? It's kind of like you said before. I really don't give a fuck about it. I mean, if I am, then I am. Right now, I'm kind of just having fun, you know? But I'm having it with someone I trust with my life, my own soul even." He giggled again. "If that means I'm gay when it comes to us, then okay, I'm super-gay for you. But only for you."

Elliot smiled. "I feel the same way, Jase. Honest."

"Really? Then," Jason started to reply, but stopped to choose his words carefully. "Then why were you scared? Because... because of what happened to me?" When Elliot nodded, Jason grimaced. "Okay, I get that, honest. I know we've talked about it, but you know something else? I've had more time now, here, with all you guys. I've gotten closer with you, and I've gotten to finally grow up some more. Yeah, that shit is always going to be there. I know that, and you know it, too." Jason stopped and shook his head. "But Elliot, this stuff means so much more than what those creeps did to me, okay? This... it's something cool, because I feel it the right way. If you fuck me, or if I do it with you, it's not fucking, not really. Does that make any sense?" Without waiting for a response, he laughed. "Sheesh, look at all the dirty words and swearing I'm saying now! I used to not even be able to say the word 'fuck', you know?"

That made Elliot laugh. "Just like a true British teen," he whispered, to which Jason grinned and nodded.

"Maybe so. But, the real truth, Elliot? I know I've told you, but I'll tell you again: I love you, I'm not afraid of you, and I trust you. I don't care if we mess around or not, as long as what we do, you and me, together, it stays here." He said the last part by brushing his fingertips across Elliot's heart, and then grasping Elliot's hand and putting it over his own, holding it in place. "Don't be scared. Not of me, Elliot. Just love me some back, okay? I promise you, everything will be cool."

"How could I not love you back?" Elliot whispered. Jason then felt hot tears fall on his chest and was moved. He felt that he was always the emotional one, not Elliot. Pulling his cousin up on top of him, they sank into another soft kiss, exploring and feeling each other yet again in tender, loving ways. After a while Elliot turned and spooned his back into the naked boy, bringing themselves into contact again. He even wiggled his butt into Jason's soft groin, as if to emphasize his trust of the other. "Happy Christmas, Jase. I love you." They were the last words Jason heard before Elliot fell into a peaceful sleep. Jason lay there listening and feeling the breathing boy in his arms and smiled. He then closed his eyes and within minutes joined him, falling into a deep and restful sleep.

When Elliot awoke the next morning, he found someone had their hand in front of him, not just cupping his groin, but grabbing hold of his firm boner poking out and upward. HIS boner, he realized. He turned to find Jason grinning at him from his side. "We have a problem," his cousin whispered when he felt the British teen was alert enough. All the while, Jason continued kneading and massaging the pulsing member in his palm slowly.

"Yeah?" Elliot finally whispered.

Jason put his lips near his friend's ear. "Someone didn't get to have their turn to unload last night. With me."

Elliot smiled. "Yeah," he responded, but not in the same context as before. "And that's a problem… how?" he said, giggling.

"Well, it seems we're doing it more and more that way, and I don't think it's fair all the time," was Jason's soft reply.

Elliot was lost, however, in the steady pumping he was receiving just then. He rolled slightly so he could sink his butt against the other youth. "Don't stop," he pleaded, his eyes closed.

Jason did not disappoint. "I'm not going to, bro," he replied, as he gradually started to pump faster, squeezing gently the warm but hardened flesh in his hand. He whispered into the Elliot's ear again. "Want me to suck you? I will, you know."

Surprisingly, Elliot shook his head no. "Not now... that feels, like, really… really good... just like... that..."

Jason continued without comment. Eventually when he could feel the pulsing become stronger, he sped up. Elliot started to hump the hand pumping him into a steady rhythm. Jason was attempting to send his friend over the edge, and it did not take long. Jason had just enough time to throw the covers back enough to watch thick, white streams splurge upon his cousin's belly. Elliot was grunting the entire time. "Oh yeah, fuck, don't... don't stop..." Even when he was coming off his heightened state, he repeated it again. It made Jason giggle, but he obeyed as he was requested to do. At least, until he could feel Elliot was spent.

When the flesh in his fingers began to soften, Jason stopped and extended his index finger. Threading it in and around some of the gooey substance beneath him, he played with the feel of it. He eventually leaned over his friend toward a box of tissues, extracting and using them to clean Elliot up. Once done, Jason stretched back out beside Elliot and just played, feeling his way around and through the pubic hair. As Elliot's penis continued to soften, he felt a little bit of cum that must have been left behind, seeping out from within the skin. Studying it for only a few seconds, he then leaned down and took it in his lips. Pulling Elliot's skin back, he sucked the head clean, lapping up everything that remained. Elliot grinned when Jason pulled off snuggled up close again.

They both lay deep in thought in the early morning hours, before Elliot broke the silence. "You know, that was really cool, just like that. You know, no sucking or anything, just getting jerked and all."

Jason scoffed. "You mean perved, by me."

Elliot finally opened his eyes and considered the ones penetrating his own with a smile. "No, you don't perv on me. We trust each other, remember? That's not perving."

Jason looked pleased. "Oh… Okay, okay!" he complied softly, before leaning in and kissing the other boy softly on the lips. They lay relaxed for some time before Elliot grunted.

"Uh, a trip downstairs is coming up, bro. I've gotta pee."

"Yeah, me too. I was just holding out for a bit," Jason replied. "I didn't want to let go until you made me, though." He giggled. "It's kind of fun, you know. Playing with you, down there."

Elliot grinned. "If it were up to me, I'd say let's hang out for round two. But, uh... yeah…"

"I know. It's okay..." Jason replied as he sat up.

"Good save by the way, nothing to leak into the covers," Elliot remarked, checking around him.

Jason nodded. "I'm learning, I guess," he mused. They found their usual clothes and quickly donned them.

Upon taking care of basics, both boys entered the front room of the flat to find Simon sitting quietly and reading one of the national newspapers. When he saw them, he exclaimed, "Happy Boxing Day, boys!"

"Morning, Dad!" Elliot replied, grabbing a sweet roll from the table. Moving over, he flopped down next to his father. "Anything good going on?" he asked smartly, to which the eldest Flavell shook his head.

"Afraid not, just the usual riff raff and politics." Simon put the paper down. "What have you two got planned for today, anything?"

"Nothing yet that I know of, sir," Jason answered. Simon grunted.

"We still need to have a talk about this 'Sir' business of yours. You know, you're beginning to make me feel old!" Simon remarked.

"Well, you are 'older'!" announced a voice from the doorway. Natalie entered carrying fresh glasses of milk for the boys. "We both are, for that matter!"

They all laughed as Jason settled into one of the empty seats. "I don't... I mean, I don't want to disrespect you guys any. You know that, right?"

Natalie shushed him. "He's just teasing you, Jason. Call us whatever is more comfortable to you."

Jason wrinkled his nose. "But, you do understand, right? I mean-"

"She is correct, Jason," Simon interjected. "I was only jesting with you. It doesn't make me feel THAT bad." He looked at the boy. "We know son, like we told you the other night. We're not your parents, and we're not trying to replace them, but-"

"It's not that, sir," Jason interrupted him. It was rare Jason ever interrupted anyone, and when Simon and Natalie both raised their eyebrows, he smiled and tried again. "It just doesn't... fit. For me, anyway. Like when you call me 'son'. I know I'm not your son, but you've made me a part of your family. I can't tell you how much I love that, and what that means to me and all. I mean, in a way, it makes me feel like I should do something back. It's just not, though. To me, it just doesn't 'fit' for me to call you Mum and Dad, like Elliot and Derek do. It's not like it's something bad, but it IS different."

Jason sighed in frustration, but then held up his hand in an effort to stop them from interrupting. He wanted to try and get through this. "Let me try again, okay? What I'm trying to say is that it's just not the same thing. It's not got anything to do with you two being replacements for me. I promise that, honest. It's just... like... okay, if I call you Mom or Dad, then it feels like I'm forgetting about who my real Mom and Dad were, see? And I don't want to do that, you know? I don't want to forget them, and the fact they were my real parents and everything." Looking at the two he found understanding in their faces, so Jason sighed with relief. "Maybe I could compromise, though. I mean, I've been thinking about this for a while, but I didn't want to hurt your feelings or anything." He grunted. "Actually, it was Elliot and Derek who sort of brought it up to me before, too. And, well..."

Simon peered on with curiosity. "And what might that be?"

"Well, technically I guess you both are still my Uncle Simon and Aunt Natalie, right? Maybe..." Jason's voice trailed off, with a hopeful expression as he watched them both.

Natalie beamed at him, then glanced at her husband. "Why didn't we think of that before?" She got up and walked over to the teen and put her arms around him. "I think you hit it perfectly, Jason. That would certainly be fine by me!"

Simon agreed, but then grinned at the youth. "Just one condition: So long as I don't have to call you 'Nephew Jason', I think we can make it work out. THAT would sound rather odd, to me!"

Jason thought for a few seconds, then smiled and rose to his feet. Moving over to where the man was sitting, he offered his hand, which the older man accepted and firmly returned with a shake. "Deal," Jason said, before adding, "You can still call me son, by the way. I don't mind that at all. Or, as you said, just 'Jason' is cool, too."

Simon gave him a thumbs-up and handed the boy another sweet roll. "Here, your reward awaits you." They all laughed as Jason made a mock bow before returning to his seat. Simon cleared his throat. "I asked about your plans boys, because I thought you might like to go up into London today."

Jason's eyes widened. "Seriously?"

"Of course! I was thinking we could give you a royal introduction to part of the Underground, or in London as some refer to it, 'The Tube.' I just saw today's schedule posted here in the paper. We could all take the train up to Waterloo station, then take the Northern tube to Kings Cross. Then perhaps go over to one of the history museums for a couple of hours, grab a bite to eat, then ride back. Not sure if you'd be interested, but Buckingham Palace may be along the route, too."

Jason knew the Underground was the British version of the subway system in London, but also connected on various lines throughout the country. "That sounds great! When do we leave?"

Simon looked at his watch. "We have roughly 70-minutes before the next train arrives that we'll switch onto, so I would suggest you boys get ready quickly.

"What about Derek?" Elliot asked.

"Derek went out with friends earlier this morning. It looked as if he was heading out for the day."

"What about you?" Jason asked Natalie.

"I'm coming along, too - if it's okay with you lot. But, like your Uncle Simon said, we need to hurry. It's a good 15-minute walk to the station, so that cuts us down somewhat! And probably another good 10 minutes more, just to get our tickets for the day and onto the platform!"

Elliot didn't even wait to reply. As he grasped Jason by the hand, he exclaimed, "Come on! We're going to London, and trust me, you're going to love it!"

Of all the sights and sounds in England Jason had experienced since his arrival, none quite matched the atmosphere surrounding the heart of Great Britain itself. Of all things that represented British culture, London was the center point of England, from both a beginning and an ending perspective. Jason's brief encounter before, upon arrival at Gatwick International Airport, did not even come close to doing the great city justice. When they arrived, Simon first had them change onto the tube. That experience was interesting to Jason. He saw it done, of course, in the movies - but there was a disconnect in how it was represented on-screen than what he now experienced in reality.

Once aboard, they traveled towards the more common places people visited. Jason had heard of some of these, such as Big Ben, Kensington Palace and more. He was surprised, however, at finding that the London Bridge, the landmark Americans most thought of as a structural classic, was instead known as Tower Bridge. Simon explained, and pointed out along the way, that the true 'London Bridge' wasn't any different from a normal bridge. When he saw it up close, Jason was curious, and asked his uncle about it.

"The London Bridge is new, although in opened in the early 1970's, I think. It actually replaced an earlier construction that was over a century old, and it was called the 'New London Bridge'. You might find it interesting, though, to know that the earlier one was bought by an American, McCulloch I think was his name. He had it dismantled stone-by-stone, before shipping and reassembling it in America."

"Really?" Jason replied, surprised. "Where at? Do you know?"

Simon thought for a second before answering. "Somewhere in Arizona, I believe. You can probably find out more on the internet, if you like." Jason nodded, making a mental note to do just that.

They walked a good length of the various streets and river bank, even seeing sites such as the entrance to Downing Street and the Sea Life Aquarium. The most impressive to Jason, however, was the London Eye, a massive Ferris Wheel that revolved above the River Thames. It gave its passengers a privileged, birds-eye 130-meter view across the city. Simon, recognizing the awe and interest in their young charge's eyes, purchased four tickets that would let them all ride. Although there was somewhat of a wait, as the line to board held several other people waiting as well, they were eventually boarded into one of the bays. As they were elevated in the almost 45-minute session, the man laughed at himself as he watched Jason's eyes bulge. He thought it was also amusing that Jason kept his nose right at the edge of the glass bubble nearly the whole time they were aloft. Near the top, however, Simon was pleasantly surprised when Jason sidled up next to him, putting an arm around the older man's waist. "Thank you, Uncle Simon. It is … incredible up here. It's like, I'm looking down on the world, you know? And seeing how little we are and everything, compared to it."

The sightseeing consumed most of their day, so they did not visit the museums as originally planned. Simon assured them, however, that they would return another time, and see even more wonders he suspected would be just as fascinating. As the family slowly made their way back toward the tube, Simon steered them in the direction of TGI Fridays. He had thought the place was a popular, American-based chain, but with serious UK roots. Even so, it was another one of those types of places Jason had never heard of. Admitting that it sounded familiar, neither of the boys were skittish about trying it out. Having skipped lunch, the family thus enjoyed an early dinner before heading back towards Portsmouth.

On the return ride, which required several stops along the way, Simon commented to Jason. "You know, truth be told, these rails can take you almost anywhere in the country. Not totally, but the general areas are there, and you can get access reasonably enough. You might have to get a car hire in some places, especially in the outer cities and rural areas, but overall, it's a fairly ingenious system. It's composed mostly of a web of connecting lines and trains, all tied together in London by the Underground."

"Are they all run by the government, or…?" Jason asked.

"No. The government has a deep hand in managing the rails, but for the most part there are a dozen or so different companies, each with lines to a different corner of the kingdom. The Underground brings them all together, though. The various trains do not connect directly, but the Tube has connections where most people change out in one place or another, so that there is continuity in the overall system. So, if for any reason you ever get separated, or need to find familiar territory, find one of these connection points or terminals, and then head toward London. From there you can always make your way south, towards home, with little to no trouble at all."

"Does it, like, cost a lot?" Jason asked.

"Hmm, not too bad, considering the service. The four of us got an all-day pass for about £32. Natalie and I come up here a couple of times a year. We even let the boys come up here last summer for a day, on their own for a break." Seeing the surprise on Jason's face, Simon shrugged. "It's reasonably safe, and Derek always watches out for them both. See, if you're with someone and don't idle too much out in the open, it's perfectly fine. Oh, and as long as you stay away from some of the more, ah, rougher and unpleasant areas of the city, too. Plus, Natalie and I made sure they had their mobiles with them the whole time."

"Wow," Jason replied softly. "I think I'd be afraid of getting lost in all that."

Simon smiled at him. "I know that's different to what you American chaps do over there. Truth is, years ago it wasn't that uncommon in the States, to let one's children roam the streets in groups all over the bigger cities. Of course, the times have changed now, even here in the UK." Simon looked at Jason boy seriously for a moment. "Listen son, while I'm thinking of it, I need to explain something, please – and I really need you to hear me on this. There is one rule we have in our house, which I am afraid you must promise Natalie and myself to never break. It's important, even considered to be somewhat sacred. You understand, Natalie and I will never, ever smother you boys. It doesn't matter what you do, or how you grow up in general. We keep an eye on you, of course, but for the most part, the activities you get involved with, and most of the time even your friends, we try to let you make your own choices. Not a lot of parents can do that, you know. A lot of teenagers and the younger adults – they don't have a seasoned enough maturity to understand what that kind freedom costs us as parents. When it comes to our young people, it takes a willingness and a trust, and an understanding that you just can't run the streets wild. Does that make sense?" He paused. "Each of you three boys have proved more than once to be pretty good judges of character, and as we trust that in our sons, we'll also trust you in the same way. But you must never, ever go off and trot about, whether at home or elsewhere in this land of ours, without someone having an idea of where you are."

Jason nodded. "I understand, sir," he replied, thinking about it.

"Be sure you do, son. If you get stuck out somewhere, even if you're in places you shouldn't be, but somehow end up there regardless, I don't care. Even if you end up incarcerated, for whatever reason – I still would not care about the why of it, until I at least knew you were safe. So, in that same vein, make sure someone amongst the four of us, knows where to find you. That goes for your mobile, too. If someone is trying to get hold of you, do your solemn best to answer it. If you can't, and yet you see them try a second time back-to-back, know that there is a sense of urgency, perhaps even an emergency. Someone in this family will be worried and we, any of us really, need to be sure you're all right. I promise you, you'll never get in trouble with us for that at any hour of the day or night, okay? It's too important, in so many ways I can't even begin to describe to you. You have our word, we won't nag you boys. But to gain that trust? You must promise us: no sneaking off or going places, without someone knowing what is going on. That is the price for freedom both Natalie and I require. We don't ask much, I feel, other than for that which lets us have a little peace of mind. Do you understand?" He watched Jason nod again, but noted the anxious, serious expression that he wore. Putting his arm around the teen, Simon lightened up. "Now that I've beaten that into you, probably more than I should have, but did so nonetheless, relax. It's not a horrible, scary thing, really." He hugged Jason closely. "Really though, it is something I had to make sure you understood, above all. Okay?"

Elliot, sitting on Jason's other side, gently elbowed his cousin while continuing to stare out the window. Natalie was seated across from them, taking a nap as they rode along. When nothing further was said, Jason finally realized how tense he was. With a deep breath, he relaxed.

It was late in the evening when they arrived home. Each member of the clan was exhausted, so they separated their ways to turn in for the night. When they reached their room, both boys smiled at each other as they undressed. Once under the covers, however, Elliot just wrapped his friend up from behind, and both fell fast asleep, exhausted from the day's adventures.

The next few days passed with little incident, other than the family spending time taking down their Christmas decorations and watching the television. Plenty of time was also spent playing the new games which they had opened on Christmas morning. Natalie beamed with pride, enjoying the feel of having her family under the same roof again for a few days uninterrupted. Only Derek seemed to come and go at differing hours, as he and his friends met to do whatever things they got into. Derek once invited both Elliot and Jason along, but it had turned into another brutally cold afternoon that day. Neither really felt brave enough to face it for the evening.

The day before New Year's Eve arrived, and Elliot got a call from Scott. "Hey, what's up man?" he greeted him.

"Not much, just wanted to check in on tomorrow. Mum is making me ring you, in case you two maybe changed your minds or something," came the cheerful reply.

Elliot laughed and told their friend to hold on, setting up the speaker so Jason could listen in. "Yeah, right, we're dying for you to get here so we can beat your sorry arse in some video games! Jason's even been practicing!"

"Is that right? Careful guys, I might just end up showing you who's got the sorry arses! I happen to be pretty good with some games, myself!" Scott laughed. "Seriously though, how do you guys want to do this? Do you want to come over here, or have me come your way?"

Seeing Jason shrug, Elliot answered. "Um, either I guess. Which do you want to do?"

There was a slight pause before Scott replied. "Well, to tell you the truth, I don't get to leave this flat very much, as you can imagine. Would it be too much trouble if I hopped over there? It would be kind of nice to have somewhere else to go for a change. Would that be okay with you blokes?"

"Sure, that would be cool," Elliot said.

"What about your, you know, wheel chair and all?" Jason chimed in, curious.

"Eh, don't mind it. I won't be bringing it with me. I can get around on crutches decent enough, so long as you two are willing to help me out a bit. Like, if you guys have stairs, you might have to help me get up and down. Otherwise, I'm pretty mobile around a flat, for short distances anyway."

"Okay, cool, that sounds great then! So, you really want to come here?" Elliot asked.

"Yeah, if it's okay, sure! Think you can put up with a crip for two whole nights?" There was a tone of amusement in Scott's voice that made Jason grunt.

"You're far from a crip, Scott. I've seen you get around just fine," Jason mused.

Elliot agreed. "Just come on over, we'll work it all out. Mum has said it would be okay either way."

"Cool, then that's a plan! I'll get there around 1:30 or so, if that's alright. I think my parents' flight leaves around 3:45 or so."

When there was silence, Jason spoke up. "Um, is there anything special we should know about? Like foods you can't eat, diapers we need to get, or any of that stuff?"

Scott laughed at being teased. "Nope! Scouts' honor, I'm an almost normal teen, no big difference in me than other peeps. Including the nappies department!" The voice softened and lowered before he spoke again. "Trust me guys, I do appreciate this. You don't know how much, either. I owe you both, big time."

Elliot smiled as he exchanged a glance with Jason. "You don't owe us anything Scott, just come on over. It'll be cool to hang out with you a couple of days."

A depth of gratitude could be heard in the soft voice over the speaker. "Thanks guys, honest." He cleared his throat before continuing louder. "Okay, tomorrow, 1:30 give or take a few, I'm coming to whip both your arses in games. See you then, okay? Cheers!" They said goodbye as well, and then terminated the call.

"Kind of wonder what that was all about, you know?" Jason mused. "I mean, are sleepovers like, not common or anything over here?"

Elliot shrugged. "I've had sleepovers, so has Derek. Lots I guess, at least on his side with his mates." Thinking, he went on. "I have no idea why he keeps saying stuff like that, either."

"Maybe..." Jason studied for a second. "Maybe he is kind of like I was. I mean, I didn't have any places to really go while growing up. But then again, me and Dad were kind of, you know, private I guess. I know lots of kids though, in school and stuff, who had sleepovers and get-togethers, birthday parties, the whole deal, I guess." He looked at Elliot. "Maybe Scott just didn't have anyone to go home with, or to come stay with him."

Elliot nodded. "Maybe," he replied, before changing the subject. "I think Mum and Dad are going to a party as well, but Dad said he'd grill us a bunch of hot dogs and burgers tomorrow before they left."

"Is he nuts?" Jason exclaimed. "It's freezing out there!"

Elliot laughed. "People over here grill out in all kinds of weather, bro. Trust me, it's not THAT strange!"

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