CSV-DSM Part 2

Chapter 3b: Mark's Journal Part 2

Okay, I'm done with my cookie break. I kinda like it here, I ain't gotta convince Mom to give me munchies; Kerry is more than willing to help me out!

I guess we better get back to writing this all down. Where was I? Oh yeah; I just got done being put on display by Dad to show off my new tattoo. Stop giggling, Lucas! It might have been funny to you, but you wasn't the one standing there! Whatever! Get over here and cuddle so that I can write, goof!

Wow, Mom and Dad were busy while Adam and I were getting cleaned up! All of the stuff from our birthdays is piled up in the dining room, and she just pointed Adam at it. This is gonna be great; all of the stuff that Adam and me never got to share we can share now!

I'm really glad that I can feel Adam right now; Mom just showed him the pile of presents, and he's asked me, Bri, and Jeff to stay outta his head until he deals with it. He's so happy that he's crying, I don't think he realized just how much all of us did for when he came home. I just cuddled into Garrett's left side, and the semi-brats are cuddled into his right side while we're watching him. Mom and Dad are behind us; I can feel how happy they are too.

Adam's looking at some of the stuff on the HUGE pile of presents; it looks like he's afraid it'll all just vanish. There we go, he's decided to open something... sweet! He picked the necklace that me and the brats picked for our birthday present to him last year!

'You think he's gonna like it?' Jeff and Brian asked me in my head, their voices kinda shaky from worry.

'I know he will! He's my twin, and I loved it when we picked it out!'

'Good point, but I think he needs us even though he don't think so.'

Good thing I understand 'Brat'; otherwise I'd be totally confused by them changing the subject in the middle of a sentence. It looks like I'm gonna have to organize this, those two get confused figuring out which shoelaces are attached to which shoe!

'Yeah; you guys grab Garrett. He's family now, he ain't getting outta this.'

I think Dad's learning to read minds! He's starting to push us towards Adam before he even says anything.

"Go help your brother. This is your family time; I just wish it was being recorded," Dad told us. He even made sure Garrett knew that meant him, too! Dad won't admit it, but he's a lot like Grandma; I think that's what makes him such a kewl Dad.

"Hey Jeff, you take care of explaining stuff about the presents, and Garrett can pass stuff up. Bri, you help Adam with putting all of the stuff in safe piles so nothing breaks. I'm gonna keep my bro from passing out."

"Got it!" I heard all three reply as I reached the back of Adam's chair.

"I'm here, bro." Let's see if I can figure out a way to hug him from behind without blocking him from opening stuff.

"Thanks bro; is this for real?" Adam whispered.

"Yep. Happy birthday, big brother! C'mon, I've been waiting all my life to see some of these presents!"

That worked! Adam laughed, and now he's taking the first present that Garrett picked up. Hey! No fair, Grandma got him an Enterprise Lego set for his eighth birthday! I gotta have a talk with her; all we got was clothes and little stuff! That ain't no fair, I like Legos too.

"Awesome! We're gonna have fun building this!" Adam exclaimed.

"Oh yeah! We gotta ask Dad to get us a shelf to put it on when it's done." Adam said 'we', I think that means that he's gonna share the fun. I hope so; I'd love to share doing stuff with him like the brats and I do already!

Hey, this is getting to be fun opening up presents from way back in ancient history! Adam just unwrapped a mobile that Grandma got for his crib; Garrett's mounting it on the back of one of the chairs now! Its got a bunch of goofy looking cars hanging from it, and Adam keeps reaching over and swatting at them while Garrett's trying to tighten the handwheel down to mount it on the chair. Who says we're too old to have fun with this kinda stuff!

Garrett just finished tightening the mobile down, and he just went to grab a familiar-looking box. He looked at the tag first, then he turned and grinned at both of us.

Okay, that's why he grinned. This big box is from Christmas last year. Mom and Dad got it, and it's marked as for Adam and me. I refused to open it way back then because Adam wasn't here, so now BOTH of us get to see it.

"You gotta help open it, your name is on it too," Adam stated with a smile.

"Okay, bro." Since he's being so careful with all of the wrapping paper, I guess my normal 'rip and destruct' needs to be put on hold. "You start on that end, I'll start on this end."

Jeff and Brian are both giggling as they are watching me try to be careful. Hey, it's a lot harder to unwrap stuff when you are trying to save the paper! Okay, I finally managed to get this end open, and Adam's just sitting there grinning at me as he waits. "Hey, I've never saved the paper before!"

"Yeah, usually he rips it into such little pieces that Mom has to use a vacuum to clean up after him!" Jeff giggled.

"Bite me, Brat!" I replied.

"No way; I don't wanna catch anything!" Jeff responded with a laugh.

"I'm more worried that he'd catch something from you!" Adam said as he got into the fun. "You little kids always carry funny sick stuff."

"Great, now we've got TWO of you who think you're better because you're a few minutes older than us!" Jeff moaned.

"Where do you get 'WE', LITTLE brother?" Bri giggled.

"Give it up, Jeff; I think you're outnumbered!" Garrett laughed.

"MOOOM! They're picking on me!" Jeff whined; actually a pretty good fake whine in my expert opinion.

"I heard your comment; you asked for it!" Mom replied with a laugh.

Oh my God! Adam just stuck his tongue out at Jeff! That's sooooo funny! "Let's open this box!" I managed to sputter through my laughter.

Okay, Adam's taking off the last of the wrapping paper, and...

"HOLY CRAP!" Hey, we said that in stereo! It's a model of the first Enterprise! The one with sails and stuff from wayyyyyy back in ancient history! This one's real wood and everything!

"I've never done one like this!" Adam said in awe.

"Me either, that looks hard."

Garrett grinned at us. "I'll help you guys with it if you want; that's a pretty hard model to build right, but one of my friends had one and it looks sweet when it's done."

"Thanks!" We did the stereo thing again, that is soooooo kewl! I think having a big big brother around is gonna be fun; he can teach us stuff instead of us having to bug Dad all the time.

Garrett smiled at us, I think we just made his day. He went to grab another present, and now he just handed Adam a kinda round package while I was putting our model someplace safe.

While I watched expectantly, Adam opened it. Hey, kewl, it's a see-and-say!

Adam giggled as he pulled the string. "The cow goes 'moooo'."

Okay, that is funny! My turn, I'm trying the pig.... "OINK!" Now Jeff's just pulling the string without picking something... he got a frog! All of us are laughing, that thing sounds soooo funny!

After giving us a cat meow demonstration, Adam reached over and gave his mobile a light swat so it's spinning again. Garrett just reached over and pulled the string randomly, and we found out that a sheep goes 'Baaaaa'. I think the cow sounded better, myself!

Has anyone else noticed that a moose sounds a lot like Jeff when he's ate too much Halloween candy? Yeah, I'm talking about you, brat! You were doing moose calls all night in the bathroom! I TOLD you not to eat all twenty of those wigglebears and then all of your share of the Pixie Styx!

Awww crap, we better get back to the presents. Dad just gave us one of those 'they're so cute, where is the camera' looks. Why do parents have to try to take pictures every time us kids try to have a little fun? Grown-ups must have no fun; if so I don't EVER wanna be a grownup!

'Don't say that out loud; you never know what might happen with this group!' Lucas' voice giggled in my head.

Hey! You're not even here, how'd you do that?

'You build really good tunnels; I'm hearing everything that you're thinking; you must want me there or something.'

What can I say, I like you! (giggle) Why don't I hear you all the time then?

'I've got a lot of practice with controlling what thoughts go where. Be glad, there are a lot of things I think about that you don't want to hear.'

You ain't figured out that I wanna know everything about you yet, have you? (giggle) You ain't met Grandma yet; I'll bet there's nothing that you can come up with that beats her!

'I don't want you hurt like me.'

Lucas, Dad decided we're moving to Des Moines; that means you're gonna have to work to avoid me trying to cuddle all that pain outta you!

'Oh, a challenge... this should be fun!'

Just wait! I don't give up!

'No shit; the butterfly on your shoulder proves that. I ain't got a chance, do I?'

Nope, you're mine and I'm keeping ya!

'There goes any chance at reality...' Lucas giggled.

Okay, I'm getting back to helping with presents. Listen in, you'll be tested on it later.

'Great, my boyfriend is a smart-ass!'

Don't forget it either, cute stuff!

Okay, WHAT did Grandma buy Adam for his eleventh birthday? These boxes are hugeand they weigh a TON! We've got all three boxes scooted over by Adam now; so we should find out pretty quickly.

How does Adam manage to open stuff so fast without ripping up the paper? He's almost got it open already, he got a... HOLY CRAP! That's AWESOME! She got him the new version of the stereo that she's got; the one her music engineer friend bought for her. That thing will blow the windows out of a car parked across the street! I wonder if she got him... WOW! She got the big speakers too! "Hey Adam, check it out; they each have a serial number. All five of them are a matched set!"

"How you know that?" Adam asked me, not bothering to look away from his latest gift.

"Grandma's taught me a few things. She says if I'm going to blow the windows out of her house, I need to know about the tools I'm using."

"That makes sense in a twisted way!" Adam giggled as he drooled over his new sound system.

I'm glad Adam and I are sharing a room; this is gonna sound sweet once we get it all set up! Okay, I recognize this next box that Jeff, Bri, and Garrett are bringing over! I was hoping Adam got a bike too, and it looks like he's getting one like the rest of us did. Yep; he's got a twenty speed too; that's gonna help us get around our new home! He even hugged Mom and Dad like the rest of us did when we got ours, and then Mom told Garrett that she's gonna get him one too. That's great, I'd hate for Garrett to be left outta the fun that we have when the 'rents ain't looking! There's only one gift left, and this one is special.

I better be careful, I don't want to mess this up. I really hope that I didn't screw up with getting this for Adam; I don't even know if he might like it, but something told me to get it. The rest of the guys are letting me handle this one; it kinda is making me get butterflies in places other than my shoulder.

Adam's taking his time opening it; he's still smiling as he's opening it though. I think his smile's getting bigger!

"I always wanted one... how did you know?" Adam asked me as he stared at the Taylor acoustic guitar I had picked up for him.

"I was out with Grandma a couple of months ago, I saw this in a window and for some reason I knew you'd like it. I told Grandma I thought you'd like it, and she told me I'd helped her enough around the house that she'd pay for it so I could get it for you."

After putting the guitar in the stand that Grandma had me get as well, Adam pulled me into a hug. "It's the best present ever, bro. Thank you."

Today must be my lucky day; that went great! I can't wait to see if he can play it! I wonder how long this took to do... oh crap! I haven't called Grandma to check in before bed, now she's gonna kick my butt! I bet I can get outta it, it's not every day that your twin brother comes home! "C'mon, we gotta call Grandma."

You should see Adam's grin; I don't think he has any idea what happens if we forget to call Grandma. Have you ever been woke up at four am on a school day by your Grandma doing donuts on her Harley... in the front yard... right outside your bedroom window? Then having to stand there and listen as she chews you a new butthole for two hours? Then have her ride in the front seat with your Dad as he takes you to school, chewing out everyone in the car the entire way? That was the first time; I ain't even gonna think about the second time. There ain't been a third, and I'm not gonna find out what she'd do!

Okay, here we go. I've dialed the number and it's ringing. If it hits five rings, I'm moving to the South Pole, because that means she's on her way over. Sweet, she answered on three, I'm safe! "Grandma?"

"Well, look who decided that they have a new bedtime since they're eleven now!" Grandma said with what sounded like a laugh "I'm pretty sure the world has not ended; what's got you so excited at this hour, Mark?"

Okay, how in the heck did she figure out I'm excited from just one word? And I know her, she's not gonna let me off the hook for calling late this easy! What the heck, I'll just roll with it. She'll explain later. The look on Adam's face is awesome; I hope Grandma don't take my giggles the wrong way! "Adam's home, Grandma! He's standing right here!"

"Thank you, Lord!" Grandma said in a voice that told me things were about to get really interesting. "Please, Mark, let these old ears hear it for themselves."

Old ears my foot; she's got better hearing than I do! Ummm, Adam needs to go study 'Grandma interaction', he's just standing there staring at the phone! 'POKE' "Go on, Bro!"

"Grandma?" I heard Adam ask. I don't think it's sunk in that all of us missed him!

"I don't know what you went through, Grandson, but you're home now. You stay right there with Mark; I'll be there in a couple of minutes." Grandma said in her 'argue with me and you'll die' voice.

"Yes Ma'am," Adam replied quickly.

Oh crap; I hope nobody between her house and ours is a light sleeper! The way she said that means one thing; there's gonna be another judge retiring after she gets done arguing with him about the ticket she's gonna get... when she finally stops. If the officer is brave enough to try to give her one, that is! "DAD! Grandma is on her way over!"

"There goes the lawn..." Dad laughed before turning to Garrett.

Okay. Considering the time, I'm gonna guess that Grandma already had the garage door open. If she skips the helmet, and takes the back way, she should be just about at the corner of... "C'mon, you gotta see this! She should almost be here!"

Adam's laughing because I'm dragging him with me to get outside! The semi-brats are bringing Garrett with them behind us; that's good because I'll bet that Grandma is gonna like him too. Looks like we might not get to sit long out here; I think I just heard a siren. Yep... WOW, this is a new one! Grandma is chasing the police car for a change!

Whew; no donuts in the grass. The skid mark from that big Harley Sportster rear tire that she just left in the yard ain't gonna grow back anytime soon though. "Hey Adam and Garrett, while she's picking on the officer, get ready to meet the best Grandma in the Universe!"

"Yeah," Jeff said, agreeing with me. "With the way she came in, she's gonna hug us all until we can't breathe! "

Grandma gunned the Harley, which probably woke any neighbors that were still sleeping. As soon as she walked up to us, she told Garrett that he was next then went directly to Adam. How she's telling us apart I can't figure out, but she did and she's doing her 'Grandma Commando' thing again.

"You're home, Adam. I believe you owe your Grandma a hug?" Grandma said to Adam, her voice not giving any other options. He's giggling, which is a better response than peeing your pants in fright like our principal did when she found out that he was messing with our grades!

It looks like Dad's gonna put in his two cents. He's challenging Grandma, and now Julio is taking her side. Me personally, I think I'll stay back here with Jeff and Brian where it's safe. Grandma is getting ready to torture Garrett now, so Adam can get over here where he won't get crushed by Grandma hugs.

"Hey you survived without bruises!" Jeff told Adam as he rejoined us.

"She's pretty kewl," Adam giggled back.

"Yeah; she can be your best friend or your worst enemy; it looks like you've made the friend list," I added with a grin.

"Yeah, we went through five first grade teachers in the first two weeks before she found one she liked!" Brian giggled. "I think the PTA sent her a 'thank you' basket for that one!"

"Five? What did they do?" Adam asked.

"They tried to make us stay separated from each other!" I replied, Bri and Jeff echoing me in unison.

"Dang, I'd hate to see what would happen to anyone who tried to hurt us!" Adam commented.

"She won't tell us what she did to the coach that was a little bit too pushy about getting our gym class to take showers under his supervision," Brian commented.

"I know; and you really don't want to," I replied seriously. "All I'll say is she has way too many friends on the State Police force..."

Oh CRAP!!! The police car is back, and one of those raccoon-looking kids just got out of the back with Jake! I hope nobody tells Jake that Dad called him by his first name... he makes Grandma seem nice when people do that! His full name is Tony Jake Chapin, but his Dad is a Tony too, and for some reason Jake don't like being called the same name as his Dad. One of the teachers last year refused to call him Jake, and by the second week Jake lost it and called her everything but Ma'am! He was put in our classroom the next day for some reason; all I know is that Grandma heard me telling Dad what happened, and her Harley was parked in front of the school the next morning. It looks like Dad's decided to try to adopt him, so I better get him safe with us while I can!

Speaking of safe; I'm not even touching him and he feels different. It's kinda like he's happier. Hey, I got it, he feels free! I heard some of the stuff that Jesse told Dad; and now Jake ain't got to worry anymore!

"It's about time you felt free," I said as I put my arm over his shoulder. As we went to meet Adam, I couldn't help but giggle as I realized that this is the first time that I actually get to show off my twin bro! "Remember me saying I had a twin? Here he is! Jake, meet Adam; Adam, this is Jake... he was one of our friends, but now he's our brother too!"

"Welcome to Insanity!" Adam giggled. "Great to meet ya, dude; you've got to be pretty kewl if all my bros like you, so I like you already!"

I giggled as Jake stepped forward and threw himself into a hug with Adam. "You're definitely Mark's twin; you know how ta' give hugs that make people feel better even if ya' don't know what's wrong," Jake stated.

I do that? Really? I wonder if I can make a little side money giving hugs to make people feel better? Nah, it wouldn't work; Jake's my friend, of course I would wanna make him feel better. I'm just glad Adam's fitting in, especially since it sounds like Grandma is about to put her foot down again!

Awww, Mom saved dad's butt again. She ruins all our fun... hold on... I know I didn't just hear Julio try to tell Grandma where she can ride her Harley!

HOLY CRAP! He DIDN'T just challenge her! Yes, he did; and he's right! This ain't good... I don't argue with Grandma, but Julio gave me Adam back and it sounds like he's gonna stand his ground on a really good rule.

'I've got your back Bro; I've seen what he's got set up and I think he's right,' Adam assured me quickly.

'Me, Brian, and Garrett are in too. Grandma can't argue with all of us,' Jeff added.

It looks like Jake is with us too in backing Julio; he's standing there like he's about to kick some butt. Julio and Grandma are having a staredown now; she always tells us to admit when we are wrong, I hope she does like she tells us to do.

It's so quiet right now that I think I just heard an ant fart. Oh, my mistake, it was just the wind whistling as it blew through Jeff's ears.

'I heard that!'

'I know you did... it's not my fault that there were not any brains left by the time Mom got to making you!'

'BRIAN, help me here!'

'I'm staying outta this one! Mark's got help now!'

'You know, I'm glad all three of my little twins love each other; I'd hate to hear y'all if you were really arguing!' Adam added with a giggle.

'See Jeff, they agree with me!' (Giggle)

'I'll get all three of you later!'

'OHHHHHHH... I'M SCARED!!!' (Giggle) Hey; that sounded even better in triplicate!

I think Jeff's realized he's outnumbered! He's suddenly decided to keep quiet before we tickle him.

Whew, looks like the fight between Julio and Grandma is over. Hey, I didn't expect THAT! Grandma's not only doing what she's always telling us to do, but she's telling Julio that he's earned her respect as a leader! I gotta ask her later why she decided that. Here we go... now she's gonna start her complaints about the schools here - this is always funny! Jeff's playing along with her, and the rest of us are trying not to fall down laughing! He might be a semi-brat, but he's OUR semi-brat, and he's funny when he teases Grandma! 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - there he goes, running for safety before Grandma decides he needs tickled!

Now that the explosion has been shut down, and Grandma is deciding if she should get Jeff now or later, Julio and Jesse are making out. I probably should be paying attention and taking notes so that I have some ideas to try with Lucas...


'Okay, you're still listening! Good, because I'd really like to try...'

'Don't EVEN go there... I really don't need Logan and Colin getting started again, I finally got them to change the subject!'

'Okay... I'll just tell you in person, cutie!'

'Do you realize you've made me blush more in an evening than I've blushed in the last five years?'

'But you're cute when you blush'

'Be glad I made it into the bathroom BEFORE you just did it again!'

'Okay, I'll be nice; but you owe me cuddles tonight as payment.'

You know, I think he just stuck his tongue out at me! Wait, how was I able to tell that, he's a gadzillion states away from me! I wonder if Johnny gives advanced head lessons for stuff like this?

Speaking of blushing, Grandma just made Julio and Jesse glow like light bulbs!

'Now I know who you got it from!'

'Watch it cutie; I'll be in Des Moines pretty soon, and I'll get Kerry to help me catch you!'

'He wouldn't dar... oh crap, yes he would. No fair; you've got Kerry corrupted already, and you ain't even home yet!'

'He's my brother, I've gotta make sure that he's trained to be a proper Morrison!'

'Jeeze! The only way I'll be safe now is to marry you before he graduates!'

'Okay; I'll have Grandma start making arrangements, if she hasn't already!'

'(Groan) I'm gonna stop now before I get myself in any deeper....'

'Love you too, cutie!'

Okay, what have I missed... oh, Adam's calling Ronnie, our other big brother, to get him over here before Grandma pushes the issue. He's learning quick! It sounds like he's coming over... and he's here, bouncing off of the ground with three other guys that look like him too! That's awesome, they got picked up and sent here sitting down without their chairs! I gotta remember that one!

"That's TWICE! In ONE DAY! Who thought up the AI's sense of humor, Genghis Kahn?" one of the four yelled as he landed. By the way that Adam is laughing and pointing, that must be Ronnie.

Some kid with... I dunno WHAT to call his hair, it's like every hair color I've ever seen all at once, popped in outta nowhere. "No, but I think they'd like to meet him. Hey Julio, how ya doin?"

"Good, Ezzy, we were just getting things ready to head home," Julio replied. "Grandma, this is Ezra, he's the son of a couple of the guys who started the Clan."

Okay, Julio knows him, and he's the kid of some really kewl people since they thought up the group that saved Adam and Garrett and Ronnie and his brothers.

"I'm happy to meet you, you have some amazing parents to have started an endeavor like the Clan," Grandma said to the Ezzy kid. "I must tend to my grandsons; they need to learn much stronger language for when they are the targets of pranks of this magnitude."

This should be fun; Dad and Mom would FREAK if they knew about the language lessons that Grandma gives us! Did you know that if you say 'das Kamel' about someone that you are saying they are 'the moron'? Grandma uses that one a lot when she is talking about the city council!

"Hey Ronnie, I know you ain't no good in math, but that is THREE brothers, not TWO!" Adam told Ronnie as Ezra walked off with Mom, Dad, Jesse, and Julio. I thought he was NEVER gonna stop laughing!

Yep, I was right; that is Ronnie. He pulled one of the other guys over and told Adam "About half an hour ago, Robbie here showed with his parents."

"Hey Robbie!" Adam said as he waved. "All you come on over here; I think Grandma is gonna let us meet each other before she takes over." Hey, he's getting it already, he's starting to sound like the rest of us picking on Grandma!

'Hey Adam, what you up to? Why are you trying to force Ronnie to stand on that side?'

'Ronnie and Garrett are boyfriends, they just won't admit it yet!' Adam replied to my question.

Jeff and Bri must be listening, because they both chimed in. 'Sweeet! We'll handle getting Garrett in the right place, you take care of Ronnie!'

That sounds like a plan! 'I'll just stand here looking innocent, have fun!'

'INNOCENT!' Lucas exclaimed over our link. 'If anyone believes that, I've got some primo farm land on the dark side of the Moon they'd be interested in!'

'Bite me, hot stuff!'

'Hey, it's the truth! Remember, I've been inside your head!'

'So what? That don't mean everyone has figured it out!'

Lucas' laugh was all the answer I got, he's soooo gonna pay for that! Ronnie's introducing the quads; I think I know Ralphie from somewhere...

Adam just pulled me over to introduce me and the rest of our family. He just made Garrett and Ronnie blush by pointing out AGAIN that they are gonna be boyfriends. I can't let him have ALL the fun, time to drop the innocent act and join in. "You two are a cute couple, stop fighting it and make out already!"

That worked! Awwwww, they're gonna do their first mouth-leech practice session. Dang, they're good! Grandma just reminded them to breath; I better remember that later tonight! Don't try to fight it Lucas, I know you heard me!

'Dang it! Now you've got my DAD asking why I'm blushing!'

'Ooops! Wanna borrow my halo?'

'He wouldn't believe it, he's known Spence too long.'

'I tried!'

Here we go, Grandma's making us do the 'family hug ring' thing... again... I think we hug more because she says to than all the rest of the families in Naples combined! She's tryin to say I've got special hugs again, too; I hate it when she does that!

I'm not gonna irritate Grandma though, so here goes the hugs. About the only thing different is that Adam's getting the same treatment I usually do; for some reason people hold on longer when I hug them, and all the guys are doing the same thing to him.

Okay, now that I made it through that without getting squashed, I get to watch as Grandma does her thing again. She's making sure our new bros have parents in Hawaii; it sounds like we're gonna be visiting a lot over there, Robbie's parents are making sure all of them have a place.

HOLD ON ONE MINUTE! Grandma just said that she had a 'nice chat' with Julio! A nice chat? It was more like two Klingon starships playing chicken! If that was a nice chat, I wanna be on the other side of the Universe if they ever argue!

The good thing is that Grandma is gonna go terrorize Dad and Mom before she makes my new family run for the hills! I love her a lot, but she scares a lotta people, and I'm not really sure how they're taking to her.

'Don't worry, hot stuff. You've got a Mickey Mouse there, and he won't let anything bad happen.'

'What you talkin' about, Lucas? There ain't no cartoon mice here!'

'Ezra; he ain't a normal kid. I'll explain it better later, but think of him as an alien species. He's not like the rest of us, and he can do some pretty amazing things.'

'But he's not even out here!'

'Don't count on it. He's able to do some funky thing that makes it so people don't see him. It's kewl though; him and his family kinda protect us.'

'Okay, I guess. A lot of weird crap's been happening today.'

'Just wait until you meet Johnny's security detail!'

'You're a lotta help, Lucas!'

'I know, my big bro taught us well! (giggle)'

'Just wait until I get my hands on you!'

'Sticks and stones might break my bones but whips and chains excite me!'

'You are nuts!'

'Thank you!'

'I'm sooooo gonna get you!'

'You keep telling me that; I'm waiting to see it. This sounds like fun, Markie!'

'Ohhhhh, you DIDN'T just go there! Even Grandma don't call me Markie!'

'Uh huh - but I'm not your Grandma!'

'I hope not, she's ANCIENT!'

'I'll tell her that you said that!'

'Yeah, well I'll tell Ezra that you called him a Mickey Mouse!'

'Good one, Mark; I'm not sure which one would react worse, and I'm not sure that I want to find out!'


'The only difference between a pissed-off Grandma and a pissed-off Mikyvis is the Mikyvis can't ride Harleys!'

'I think we're gonna have to talk more about these guys, they sound kinda scary.'

'Nahh, they're kewl; just cuddle them and feed them cookies and they're your friends for life!'

'Suuuurrreee... hold on, I really should be paying attention to this. The quads are telling us about Hawaii.'

'You're gonna like visiting there. The Rimmers are kewl.'

'Rimmers? I don't wanna know! Ewwwwww!' Okay, if that means what I think it means, that's GROSS!

Wow, Ronnie's just told me that Adam's always needing cuddles to sleep. I think I can handle that pretty easily; cuddles are fun! "I've got you covered, bro. I've waited eleven years to meet him; I ain't letting him go that easy!"

Adam's grin must mean I said the right thing. It sounds like the rest of the guys except Ronnie haven't learned brother stuff yet; I guess the rest of us gotta teach them. They've got part of it right so far! "Kewl, we're all gonna take care of each other!"

Garrett is gonna share a room with Jake? That's awesome; I think that's gonna work great. Mom and Dad are coming back out; from the look on Mom's face Grandma is having fun. Dad musta lost the argument, he's got that 'I wanna strangle your grandma' look again.

Dad really needs to learn that Mom is on Grandma's side though; if the slap upside the head she tried to give him woulda connected, it'd hurt! Only us kids can pick on her like that! Now he's gonna have Adam introduce the guys.

'Watch this, bro!' (Giggle)

Okay, what evil is my twin plotting now? Adam's a lot like me!

"Dad, you know Garrett, his future boyfriend is Ronnie. This brother over here is Ralphie, next to him is Richie. Robbie is the next one in the line; his parents get to deal with Ronnie and Garrett hooking up. The last one is my bro Ronnie; he's the one with the hots for Garrett!"

It worked! Ronnie's trying to hide behind his hands!

Ronnie giggled from behind his hands, "Can we please have some time to talk before ordering the wedding rings?"

Awww man, Mom's gonna ruin it. "Be glad it was him and not Grandma; she had my wedding dress picked out for me by our second date, and the chapel was booked by the third date. Take your time, boys - I'll try to keep him under control."

She's gonna try to keep HIM under control? Ohhhhhh, this should be fun, I ain't even started helping Adam out yet! 'I've got your back, Adam; Grandma's taught me some pretty kewl tricks!'

'Sweet! He's gonna hook up one way or another; Ronnie was always avoiding dating so he could watch over me. We're safe now, so I'm paying him back by helping him be happy.'

'I'm with ya bro; I owe him for keeping ya safe. We'll get them ready to be married as soon as they are old enough! Mom's not gonna be able to stop both of us! We can ask Grandma to help too if we need to.'

'Awesome, sounds like we got a plan!'

'Yep! Watch this; I think Dad's gonna show Ronnie what he means to us.'

Dad just pulled Ronnie into a hug, then told him "Son, I'm glad to see that you've found your brothers. No matter what happens, you and them have a place here. You were Adam's brother when he had no way of finding us, and I'm sure that without you we wouldn't have got the same boy back that I met today. No matter what surname you go by, you have earned the right to be called, and will always be, a Morrison. Thank you for being Adam's brother; you're blood to him forever."

Ronnie's starting to cry, but he still told Dad "Adam's kewl, Dad. We helped each other, just like all brothers."

Okay, now I am crying! One group cuddle coming up; Ronnie is right, we're all brothers and we gotta help each other. See, I didn't even mention that helping Ronnie get hitched is my brotherly duty!

Dad and Mom are giving all of us hugs too; I wonder if my new brothers understand just what it means when they were told that our parents love them? Mom and Dad don't joke about that stuff, all of them are family now. Dad's looking at us all now, and I think he's gonna say something.

"Boys, as much as I would like this to go on forever, some of you have parents waiting for your return. I promise that we'll all get together very soon, but tonight each family needs to be together in their new home."

Dad's right, as much as we want to, we can't hijack our new brothers from their family in Hawaii. They are taking turns saying goodbye to Grandma, and now we gotta let them go to our other home.

Ronnie's got something to say. "Guys, after we get stuff sorted out, you all need to come over tomorrow to meet our other parents. We can get in some awesome beach time too!"

Okay, my turn to chime in. "Admit it, you wanna get your boyfriend nude in the diving well too!"

Ronnie groaned theatrically. "Oh God, Adam's got help!"

Adam giggled. "Of course, we're twins!"

I can't resist it... "We do everything as a set!"

Ralphie giggled. "Okay, we need to fire up Quad Power to deal with this twin invasion to our sanity!"

"Not so fast!" Jeff giggled. "Y'all forgot that we've got the double-twin advantage! We're taking our big twin brother's side on this one; we gotta help Garrett!"

Garrett giggled as he put an arm over Jake's shoulder. "We got ourselves some scheming brothers, you think we should fight it or give up?"

Jake grinned back. "We better give up; they are worse than Grandma if you fight them!"

"HEY! We resemble that remark!" Dude! All four of us said that at once, and we didn't even plan it!

Adam giggled. "Okay, so phase two of 'Operation Hook Up' will happen in Hawaii tomorrow?"

Ronnie laughed. "Whatever, bro. We'll see you tomorrow, and I'll have a talk with Alden about dealing with pushy little brothers who are usually lovable when they ain't scheming about your personal life!"

"You love it!" Adam and I replied in unison.

Ronnie grinned as he pulled us into a hug. "Yeah, at least I know that you're happy. You have your best schemes when you're happy, and this one tops the chart. I love both of you guys; take care of each other."

"We love you too, take care of our brothers. They gotta have brother lessons, and you're the best teacher. You proved that with Adam," I told him sincerely.

"Got it, now could you two manage to scheme against someone else long enough for me and Garrett to know more about each other than our names?"

"We'll consider it!" You know, I'm beginning to like this twin-speak stuff happening, it sounds awesome!

Ronnie gave us one more squeeze, then him and the rest of the guys got ready to go back to Hawaii. A minute later, they were gone. Adam's getting excited now though, I can even feel it.

Adam smiled as he looked around at all of us, stopping at Dad. "When are we getting our new house, Dad?"

"As soon as you guys are ready; all of our stuff is moved, and in the right rooms." Dad paused as Grandma's Harley vanished from the sidewalk. "I bet Grandma is there too, the Harley and her are never separated!"

(Giggle) Ain't that the truth! One time, the Harley had to have some engine work done; the shop ended up setting up a cot for her in one of the service bays! Julio's outside now, it looks like we're about to go check out our new house! I'm feeling butterflies because I'm so excited!

Here we go ... hey, that tickled! I wanna do that again, that was fun! This new house is HUGE! Wait! Who are all of these guys lined up on either side of the sidewalk? Here comes Lucas, maybe he can explain it.

"Payback time!" Lucas giggled as he walked up and gave me a hug. "Welcome home. A couple of my brothers decided that one of their own shouldn't just arrive at their new house without a proper welcome for an Ace. You need to take the lead so we can check out the house."

"You sure we ain't related?" (Giggle)

As soon as I started towards the house, some old guy in a uniform with lots of ribbons yelled "Honor Guard, Attteen-HUT! Reaaady AHMS! Presennnt AHMS!" Now all the kids wearing uniforms by the sidewalk are holding swords so that I have to walk under them. Lucas ain't getting outta this that easy, I'm grabbing his hand and making him walk with me!

I can hear the swords dropping and hitting each other as I walk past them. Grandma, Mini, and Alien are waiting on the steps with some guy that looks like an old version of Mini. Wait, that's the coach of the little league team! Awesome!

Lucas grinned as we reached the front step, then stopped and came to attention as he announced "Sir, I present to you Ensign Marcus Jefferson Morrison, BFA, Clan Short Fleet."

WHAT!? ENSIGN?? BFA??? CLAN SHORT FLEET??? Okay, who slipped catnip into Lucas' dinner?

"At ease Lieutenant, thank you. Mark, welcome home. I'm Bob Busch, 'Dad' to over half of the boys here and the person responsible for the 'Butterfly Hunters'. I saw the look on your face when Lucas introduced you, so I'll explain it. You are one of only five living Butterfly Aces. Your partner and his twin are two of the others,  Mini is the third, and Colin is the last. I got a call from Patriarch Short a couple of hours ago telling me that he was ordering me to process commission paperwork in the Clan Fleet for any person declared an Ace. Any ranks held are mirrored by the Fleet commission, while those with no rank are to be assigned temporary rank as an Ensign until such time as they pass security training given by Colin. At that time, Colin will assign permanent ranks based on the skills of the person he is evaluating."

"I'm glad to meet you, Sir. I'm just another kid; I'm nothing special." I really hate it when adults make a big deal about stuff!

"According to Lucas and Mini, Jake thought differently," Bob said as he smiled at me. Grandma is just standing there with one of her 'I knew it' looks, which means I'm pretty much stuck. Dad's brought the rest of the family up here, and the old uniformed guy has told the guys with swords to join us too. Lucas has his arm around my waist, which at least makes things a little better.

"Hey Mark, would you mind showing our Butterfly brothers the tattoo?" Mini asked me. "They don't get to see many of Jake's drawings."

"Sure, Mini." I can handle this; Mini's at least got a good reason for me to show it off.

Lucas helped out by lifting my shirt. While the other kids were looking at it, he spoke on our link. 'Something Dad ain't saying, Mark. Cory asked him to reactivate his commission and join the Clan Fleet first. Cory promoted him to Captain, and put him in charge of Staffing and Recreation. Herman over there was already re-activated in the Clan Special Forces, but Cory talked to him and he's also taking on Clan Fleet Tactical Operations.'

'Is that why you called your Dad "Sir"?'

'Yep; I bet that Cory's gonna make sure that Julio finds a job for your Dad too. Grandma's already claimed her spot as Division Grandma, and there ain't anyone crazy enough to tell her no!'

'(Giggle) I bet she loves that! Looks like your Dad is gonna take a look at my shoulder too.'

Bob walked behind me, and exclaimed "Oh my GOD!"

"What's wrong?" He didn't sound good.

"The drawing," Bob whispered. "That was the last drawing Jake was working on before he was killed. He never finished it. The last words I ever heard from his mouth were 'I'll finish my drawing when I get home, Dad'." Bob paused, and I barely heard him as he whispered slowly "It's finished... he finished it..."

To Be Continued...