CSV-DSM Part 2

Chapter 2: Reunion

Naples, Florida: Morrison residence:

Julio and Jesse watched as Johnny finished his scan of Frank. "Give me what you've got bro; I don't think Garrett can keep Adam from crawling through the screen much longer!"

"But I'd like to see him try!" Johnny giggled, purposefully ignoring the evil looks he was getting from the boys still in Des Moines.

"Be nice, I think his brothers are forming an attack party!" Jesse added, hiding behind Rocky for safety.

"Okay, I guess I'll pass it all along." Johnny replied with a fake pout. "You ruin all my fun!"

Frank watched this, the thought of his sons turning on him was the only thing that kept him from laughing. "I'm glad you guys have fun while working sometimes."

As Julio reviewed the information that Johnny was passing him, Jesse replied to Frank. "We don't get much chance to have any fun on most of our outings. Nobody calls us to say they have perfect parents and want us to see it for ourselves."

"I know how you feel." Frank replied seriously. "You can ask all of these guys, we don't get dispatched to a premise to be told how much they appreciate us."

Jesse gave Frank a smile in reply, glad to know that someone understood. Julio finished his review, and gave his findings. "Okay, after reviewing scans of the three boys and both parents, I've decided that there are no outstanding reasons that prevent us reuniting Adam with his blood family." Julio paused and looked at the screen. "Garrett, would you please escort Adam here?"

"On my way," Garrett said as Adam's nerves kicked in again, going by the look on his face. "I'm gonna let him hit the bathroom first though; we'll be right over."

"Okay; I trust your judgment as to when he's ready." Julio replied. He turned to Mark, Jeff, and Brian as soon as he saw Adam and Garrett leave the Des Moines conference room. "Guys, Adam has been through some pretty rough stuff in the last day, and the one person that he's leaned on all his life isn't here right now. He's gonna be really nervous for a while, and might even respond to things really badly that normally he'd have no problem with. You need to remember that; the three of you have each other for support, but he's going to feel alone until he gets to know you."

"That applies to your Mom and I too," Frank added. "We ALL need to remember that he's got eleven years of experiences that none of us know about. Considering that Clan Short was involved in returning him to us, I'm pretty sure that some of it we're going to wish we didn't know if he ever feels comfortable sharing it with us."

"That was the understatement of the millennium...." Jesse deadpanned.

"Whatever you do, don't ask any of his Clan friends why they're with the Clan; you'll have nightmares." Ricky added as Johnny climbed on his back.

Rocky nodded. "I thought we had it bad, but some of the guys literally had guardian angel intervention to survive."

"I wish we had a guardian angel." Mark muttered.

"You do." Julio said factually.

"Why did Adam get taken then?" Mark challenged.

"I'll quote the son of Patriarch Cory Short, Timmy. I think Timmy said it best when Cory was losing it after finding out that he saved Timmy six seconds before a bomb in the car Timmy was in was set to go off." Julio replied with care. "He said 'Sometimes bad things gotta happen so that good things can happen'. Most of the guys in the Clan have heard the story behind that, and anytime the bad stuff seems to be too much, Timmy's words help us through it."

As Mark pondered Julio's words, Frank jumped in. "This Timmy sounds like a really smart boy. How old is he?"

"He just turned six last month." Julio replied with a smile. "He was five when Cory rescued him."

Frank's eyebrows shot up as Mark, Jeff, and Brian stared at Julio. Nancy just smiled. "Out of the mouths of babes...." she commented. "I think that's fitting, considering the Clan is run by youth."

Jeff looked at his mom. "What you mean, Mom? There's gotta be a grownup in there to do the stuff kids ain't allowed to."

"I'll explain." Frank told his wife. "Jeff; the reason the Clan works is they don't fall under the same rules that you do...."

"Used to; he's one of us now!" Johnny piped in with a grin. "All three of them are!"

"That doesn't surprise me..." Frank said with a shake of his head. "As I was saying, y'all don't fall under the same rules as most kids. They've been given special rules by Vulcan and the Federation Council that give them the same authority as me; in some cases they can even do things that I'm not allowed to do. Since adults have dropped the ball, when the Clan formed they were given the power to fix things."

The discussion was cut short by the arrival of two suitcases, followed shortly by Adam and Garrett; Garrett with a hand on Adam's shoulder to give Adam some added support.

The room fell silent, all eyes on the four brothers to see how their first in-person meeting would unfold. Mark, Jeff, and Brian all stood up, Jeff and Brian giving Mark a slight push to tell him to go first. "He's your other half, you first." Jeff said just loud enough to be heard.

Mark took two steps, then stopped. "Are you okay with me giving you a hug to welcome you home?" he asked, the earlier conversation fresh in his head.

Adam nodded, his voice useless due to his overloaded emotions.

"Go on, I'll be right here; I'm not going anywhere." Garret said softly as he gave Adam's shoulder a squeeze.

Adam started moving slowly towards Mark. They stopped a foot away from each other, and Mark slowly lifted his arms to welcome Adam. As soon as he touched Adam, both boys felt a surge of something pass between them. Adam's arms shot up, and he pulled Mark into a bone-crushing hug that Mark returned almost instantly. Both boys broke down in tears, soaking each other's shoulders as they cried out the loss that they had lived with for the last eleven years.

Jeff and Brian walked over to Garrett. "Thanks for helping our bro." Brian said. "You musta known him a while since he trusts you so much."

Garrett smiled, and figured he'd test reactions as he replied. "I was helped when I was took in by the Clan, so I'm helping him like I was helped. He's one of my Dads now, so I gotta look out for him. Besides, he decided that he's gonna hook up his big brother and me as boyfriends, so I owe him - one way or the other."

"One of your Dads?" Jeff asked curiously.

"Yeah... I was adopted by the Clan; I'm a Ward of Clan Short. That makes all Clan members my Dad or Mom." Garrett explained. "When he came into the Des Moines Command Center, some things happened that made me feel really bad, and he helped me through it. I guess Adam means a little more to me than most of the other guys because of that."

"After what you two talked about, if he didn't I'd be worried." Julio piped in from where he was discussing a few more things with Frank and Nancy.

"If Adam thinks you're special, then you're our friend." Brian stated factually. "He's one of us, he just didn't know it. We felt him, and we trust him."

Jeff nodded. "Him and Mark need to spend brother time. We ain't gonna let you just stand here and watch, you're getting welcomed home too." Before Garrett had time to process Jeff's words, he found himself in the middle of a twin hug.

Frank looked over, and grinned. "I think I just gained another son."

"You did." Julio giggled. "Our AI is handling the paperwork as we speak."

"Garrett says yes, bro." Johnny added helpfully. "You want me to get commbadges for all the twins?"

"Might as well, since we're off base right now." Julio laughed. "Frank, Nancy? This is your last chance to escape the insanity; do you want Garrett to join your family?"

"He already is, make it official please." Nancy said with a smile as she looked at the twins hugging Garrett. "Something tells me that a real family would do him some good."

The printer on the desk started spewing paper, despite the computer on the desk next to it being turned off. "Kerry, are you having fun?" Julio giggled.

"Yeah, it took me a whole five microseconds to crack their network password so I could print the stuff for you!" Kerry's voice replied from the terminal speakers. "I'm impressed, it only took me three microseconds to crack the new FBI password! Johnny's got the commbadges for the kids and the parents, boss."

"He sounds like such a nice boy; I like his sense of humor!" Nancy chuckled.

"Oh, Boss; Momma Janet has already made the usual arrangements." Kerry giggled. "With what my big bro is telling me, it might be needed!"

"Poor Prez!" Julio laughed. "Thanks, Kerry."

As he saw Nancy and Frank's confused looks, Julio giggled. "Mom and Dad will fill you in when they give you the Clan Parent talk. There are some things that us kids stay out of!"

While the adults were busy giving them another brother, Mark and Adam had gained enough emotional control to move over to the couch and sit together on it, each still holding on tightly to the other. Jeff and Brian brought Garrett over and joined them, the five boys somehow managing to find a way for Adam to be in contact with each of them. Jeff pointed at the monopoly board still sitting on the floor. "Adam?" he asked softly.

"Yeah?" Adam replied.

"You see the car on the board? That's yours. Any time we do something, we've included you even though you weren't here with us. We've got a buncha stuff saved up because we wanted you to have it. Mom and Dad bought that game for all of us for our birthday; it's yours just like it's ours."

Adam looked between the faces of his three twins. He saw the longing for acceptance in their eyes, and it made his mind finally realize how much he meant to them even though he wasn't there with them. "You did that for me?" he whispered, wanting to confirm his thoughts.

"Yes, we knew you were okay." Brian replied.

"I could see a fuzzy shape in my head that was you." Mark added. "I could even feel it a little sometimes when you were really happy or really sad."

"I kinda felt like I was missing something, but I didn't have that." Adam said dejectedly.

Garrett looked at his four new brothers. "Maybe it's because all three of them were together and you were by yourself? What I've learned about twins since I joined the Clan makes that make sense."

"Garrett, you're probably right." Kerry announced over their commbadges. "Momma Janet says that since all four of you share twin DNA at least partially, the chances of being around each other increasing your awareness of each other are really good. She checked all four of you guys; she says the DNA check shows that you started as a fraternal egg split that then split into two sets of identical twins."

"Did you understand what he just said?" Mark asked Garrett.

"I think he means that you guys are really quads." Garrett said. "Other than that, I think he's been watching too many geek shows!"

"We knew that!" Brian said with a small giggle. "We're too much alike, we got a few differences but we ain't different like most brothers."

"I can tell, you guys like to do what Julio calls 'twinspeak', you finish each other's thoughts." Garrett said with a smile. "You just do it with three instead of two; I bet pretty soon Adam joins in. In fact, when we visit Des Moines, I bet one of the guys helps you sort it out a little faster."

Mark smiled as he pulled Adam closer. "I hope so; I want my brother in my head like Jeff and Bri are."

At Garrett's confused look, Jeff explained. "We're all brothers, but Brian and I can feel each other a little better than we feel Mark. I bet Adam and Mark can get that way too!"

"That makes sense." Garrett replied. "After seeing Adam with Ronnie, I'll bet you guys get a couple more friends in your little network once everyone is up to speed with their brothers."

Adam listened quietly, soaking up the contact with his brothers. His smile grew as he heard them planning ways to bring not only him, but also Ronnie, up to speed on being part of their family. After a few more minutes, Mark leaned his head so that he could whisper without the adults hearing. "Adam? I gotta take a leak, could you come with me please? I don't wanna lose sight of you."

The question brought the reason Adam was feeling so content to the front of his mind; the feeling of Mark in contact with his body was making him forget everything else. In that split second, he finally felt complete for the first time in his memory. "I need you too, bro. Let's go." Adam replied.

"I'll explain while they're gone." Jeff told Garrett as Mark and Adam wiggled out of the pile and headed out of the room, each holding onto the other's hand with a death grip. Once they were out of earshot, Jeff continued. "Mark's been holding a pee for a while, he didn't want to leave Adam but didn't want to freak him out either. We finally talked him into just asking since Adam seemed so calm. We musta argued in our heads for five minutes!"

Garrett giggled as he imagined them arguing while Mark was holding his bladder. "Why don't you guys try to bond with Adam like Mark is?"

"We are, in a different way." Brian replied. "We're letting Mark take the front line; he needs Adam a lot more than we do. We have each other, up to now Mark counted on us but we knew that he felt like he was intruding. Adam can tell that we ain't ignoring him, we can hear a little bit from him and he's loving having all three of his lost brothers spending time holding him. Thing is, he feels a need for Mark just like Mark needs him. Until they can fix what they missed, they're gonna be kinda exclusive."

"How are you figuring this stuff out?" Garrett asked.

"Easy; Johnny's been in our heads helping us to understand stuff." Jeff giggled. "He says that it'll make it easier to not screw up if the two of us know what is happening."

Adam and Mark:

Adam blushed as Mark dragged him into the bathroom and then tried to fish himself out using only his free hand. Not even thinking, Adam used his free hand to reach over and release the button at the waist of Mark's jeans. He pulled down the front of Mark's underwear, giving Mark just enough time to aim before his bladder said enough was enough. "Thanks bro!" Mark sighed with relief as he finished. "That was close, we almost needed to take a shower."

"Now you tell me." Adam replied, suddenly nervous as he realized just where his free hand was, and quietly praying that he didn't just do something stupid that would lose the brother he just found.

Sensing the delicate situation that they were suddenly in, Mark decided to risk asking something that he was not sure that he was ready for himself. It was a big step, and Mark hoped that it wasn't too much at once as he spoke softly. "One thing that Jeff and Bri do that I ain't done since I was old enough to be by myself is shower together. It's something special that they share that I don't feel right sharing with them." Mark began to blush as he continued. "I ... ummm ... this is stupid ... please don't hate me ... I-wanna-shower-with-you-and-feel-my-brother-hugging-me-without-clothes-in-the-way!"

For the first time in his life, Adam fully felt the emotions of someone as their budding link made him aware of how his brother was feeling. At just that moment, a drop of urine that Mark had not managed to shake out dripped onto Adam's hand, which was still holding down the front of Mark's underwear due to Adam being frozen in shock. Adam lifted his hand, looked at it, then said in way of response "You just pee'd on me. Now we gotta take a shower."

Realizing that his brother's answer meant their relationship wasn't damaged, Mark shook his legs, causing his jeans to fall down. "Stop," Adam said softly. "I want to see you as you are, let me do it then you can help me."

"Okay." Mark replied, the realization that Adam wanted this to be special as well dawning on him. He felt the warmth in his chest explode into a raging inferno as his brother carefully dressed him in his birthday suit.

Once Adam was done, he stood up and waited for Mark to return the favor. Mark took his time, his emotions overloading as he saw more and more of his lost brother. When Mark stood up, Adam opened his arms. "Hug." he stated, knowing that saying anything more would probably push both of them past the capabilities of their emotions.

Mark nodded as he stepped into Adam's arms. They pulled each other close, crushing every molecule of air from between them. They rested their chins on each other's shoulders, sighing in unison as the full contact of their bodies supercharged the bonding process.

"I love you, bro." both boys said softly in unison. They both giggled softly, then pressed the sides of their heads together as they tried to get even closer to each other. Acting on instinct alone, Mark turned his head. "I do love you, bro." he stated as he kissed Adam's cheek.

Adam returned the favor then added "Shower time, little brother."

Mark smiled as he wiggled around until he could grab Adam's hand once again. "I hated being the oldest one here. Now you're where you belong. Follow me."

"Okay." Adam replied, letting Mark lead him to the shower stall in the corner of the room.

As Adam watched, Mark adjusted the water with his free hand then turned to Adam with a smile. "Ready?"

They climbed into the shower and closed the door. Adam grabbed the soap, and without saying a word began washing his twin. Mark was also silent, his smile unwavering as Adam washed almost every part of his body. As Adam stood up from washing his feet, Mark softly said "You're my twin; you can wash 'there' too."

"Only if you do too when you wash me," Adam replied. At Mark's nod of acceptance, Adam crouched down and carefully retracted Mark's foreskin and then washed his brother's most private parts.

Once Adam was done, Mark said "Thank-you," then grabbed the shampoo. Once he was done with Adam's hair, he made his way down, saving Adam's private areas for last. "Are you sure it's okay?" Mark asked.

"Yes, we're brothers." Adam replied.

Mark repeated the process that Adam had done, then stood up. Without a word, the boys hugged once again, this time a caring hug instead of the needy hugs they had exchanged before. When they broke the hug, Adam shut off the water. They exited the shower, and after drying each other off they spent ten minutes brushing out each other's hair. "Follow me." Mark said as he tossed their towels in the hamper.

"Don't forget our shirts, they have our commbadges on them." Adam giggled as Mark headed toward the bathroom door.

"Oh, yeah," Mark replied as he returned to their clothes, wadded them all into a ball, and then headed back towards the door. "C'mon bro."

Adam couldn't help but giggle as Mark walked out of the bathroom stark naked, acting as if he didn't care who saw him. Feeding off of Mark's carefree attitude, Adam followed him down the hall into one of the bedrooms. He glanced around, it seemed like a normal bedroom with a few minor exceptions. A few things were duplicated, as if two or more boys were living in the room. The bed was the telling sign; it was a queen sized bed, with two teddy bears leaning against the two pillows. One pillow was obviously well used by its shape, but the other still had the shape of a brand-new pillow. The teddy bears shared that distinction; one was obviously well-loved, while the other still bore its tags.

Mark noticed that Adam had spotted the bears. "That's your side of the bed. My teddy is named Freddie; you gotta name yours yet."

"I've never had a teddy bear," Adam commented as he walked over and picked up the bear that Mark said was his. His inspection of the bear was interrupted as he heard Mark saying something from the other side of the bed.

"See Freddie, I told ya that we'd get our brother back." Mark stated as he cuddled his bear to his chest. "You wanna go over and meet Adam?" As Adam watched, Mark nodded the bear's head. "Okay, I'll take you over there," Mark said softly, not paying attention to Adam watching him.

As Mark made his way over to Adam, Adam was reflecting on the other recent reunion of brothers that he had been told about when Garrett and Mick had been trying to calm him down before he came home. He smiled as he realized his bear's name; he just hoped that Kerry was listening so he could share the naming.

Mark stopped in front of Adam, suddenly nervous about seeming childish in front of his brother. Adam noticed, and quickly worked to calm Mark. "We gotta make my naming of my teddy official, and both of them gotta be entered into the Clan's member roster," he said as he dug through the clothes Mark had tossed on the bed and pulled out his commbadge. "Kerry, you there?" Adam asked as he stuck the badge on his bare chest.

"Always!" Kerry replied with an obvious grin. "I gotta watch out for my little brothers! Have you picked a name for your teddy bear?"

"How do you sleep, eat, and go to school if you're always listening to people?" Mark asked curiously.

"Kerry's a special kid." Adam giggled. "He's just as real as us, but his body is a buncha black boxes in a room nobody can get to."

"So I got a new big brother who can watch me anywhere?" Mark asked. "KEWL!"

"Does that mean I can put a camera in your room? I've never been invited to a teddy bear naming, I'd like to see it!" Kerry asked hopefully. "I promise not to show anyone unless you tell me that it's okay."

"I'm okay with it if Mark is." Adam replied.

"Yeah, do it. That way you can watch and make sure nobody tries to steal my brother from me again while I'm sleeping!" Mark exclaimed. "I ain't gonna lose him again!"

Adam couldn't find words to express what he felt hearing those words from Mark, so he walked over and pulled him into a hug, being careful not to squash either of the bears.

"I love watching twin brother hugs; you guys don't hide any emotions from each other while hugging." Kerry commented softly. "Thanks, guys."

"You've got a camera already?" Mark asked, not breaking the hug with Adam.

"Yes, my Dad taught me how to install them with teleporters," Kerry replied. "I'm glad he did, I would have hated missing this."

Mark grinned as he replied "My brother's special. I'm gonna wanta watch this with Adam when I'm a billion years old!"

Kerry giggled. "Be careful what you ask for, bro!"

Mark glowed at being included in the family that had rescued his twin.

"Hey, Kerry? Could you get Mini, Alien, and the twins? I want them watching when I name my bear." Adam asked, his voice betraying his wildly swinging emotional state.

"They're listening already, they put themselves on standby in case things went bad for you." Kerry replied. "Mini says if you want, they'll come over to be there in person."

"Who are they?" Mark asked.

"They're the first clan guys I met in Michigan." Adam replied. "They're really kewl; the twins are Mini's little brothers and Alien is his boyfriend. They're also the ones who have helped Garrett a lot."

"I wanna meet them then," Mark stated. "Can they come over, bro?"

"Sure, tell them come on over, Kerry." Adam replied, glad his brother was open to meeting the people that gave him his family back.

"They're getting into their official 'Teddy Bear naming' uniforms now." Kerry giggled. A few seconds later, Mini and his brothers appeared just inside the doorway; all wearing weapon belts, commbadges, smiles, and nothing else.

The appearance had the desired effect; both Mark and Adam began giggling at the sight of fully-armed nude boys. With the stress dispersed before it could even set in, Adam introduced the four newcomers to his brother.

Mark looked at Mini and Alien. "Don't you guys play for that Little League team from Iowa?" he asked, still giggling slightly.

"That's us." Alien replied.

"Sweet! You guys are awesome!" Mark gushed as he pulled Adam along with him to a table by the wall. "Can I get your autographs?" he asked as he grabbed a marker and a picture he had cut out of a magazine showing the team celebrating their latest win.

Lucas and Logan had to hold each other up as they broke into laughter at the expressions on Mini and Alien's faces; obviously neither of them had expected this to happen. After an obvious 'I'll get you later' glare at his little brothers, Mini came over to Mark. "Sure!" he replied as he took the picture and marker from him.

As Alien waited his turn, Mini thought for a second before writing "To Mark, my newest Clan brother. Love ya, 'Mini' Busch".

Alien took his turn, adding "Welcome to the family! Alien Busch".

Alien handed the picture back to Mark. Mark's eyes shot wide open as he saw what was on the picture; not only had the two boys written their messages, but both had added something that, as far as Mark knew, had never been done for anyone not carrying the exclusive 'Butterfly Hunter' designation ... there were two little butterflies drawn after the signatures, each with their respective signer's uniform number inside and the word "Ace" printed underneath.

As he watched Mark's response, Mini softly said "Davie? I know you're listening! Could you and Jake please make an appearance?"

"I thought you'd never ask." Davie said as he appeared, wings folded behind his back. Jake was standing next to him, smiling.

"What's happening?" Mark and Adam exclaimed in unison.

"Hey guys, I'm Davie; I'm the assistant to Saint Mikey of Urbandale. I'm also officially one of your Guardian Angels now." Davie said softly. "I'd like you to meet Jake Busch, he's these guys' brother."

Adam and Mark nodded their understanding, both unsure of how to respond in the presence of an Angel.

Mini, on the other hand, was fully comfortable. After a gentle poke to make sure that Jake was in solid mode, Mini wrapped his arms around him. "How you been, bro?" Mini asked.

"If I wasn't already dead, you would have given me a heart attack." Jake giggled. "You scare me sometimes, bro."

Mini giggled back. "You worry too much! Are you feeling artistic today?"

Jake nodded. "You explain it, and then I'll do the work. I think the two of you are more alike than you think."

"Gotcha," Mini responded as he broke the hug. He turned to Mark, the seriousness in his face making everyone else fall silent. "Mark, I saw your face when you looked at the picture. There are only a few ways that someone can become a Butterfly Hunter. One of them is to overcome bad things and turn them into something good, another is to overcome your own fears to become better than anyone expects. The rarest one is to maintain hope that you will one day be reunited with family when others have given up, then when it happens doing everything you can to make it easy for your missing family to become part of what they missed. Before now, I was the only one to have that on my list. You didn't know it, but within five minutes of you and Adam getting together the four of us agreed that you had earned your wings. Dad already reviewed it and agrees. Mark, will you accept our offer of becoming a Butterfly Hunter?"

Adam beamed, Mini's speech answering questions that were still bouncing in his head.

Mark looked at Adam, and the pride he saw in Adam's face told him more than any words could have said. As he turned to reply, Davie spoke up.

"Before you answer, Mark, I want to add a few things into the record." Davie stated with a smile. "Your hope is what kept Jeff and Brian going; without you they would not have dealt with the loss of Adam like they did and they would not have turned out like they have. As the years stretched out, your hope kept your parents together when things got rough. Today you listened to your heart instead of your head and performed multiple actions which have helped Adam adjust without any outside interference. Through you, your Grandma has maintained the strength to survive the pain she felt at Adam's loss; you are the reason she is alive today. Not only have you earned your butterfly wings, but there is another set waiting for you way down the road."

Mark looked around the room as he processed the new information. Adam's arm on his shoulder gave him the support he needed to finally answer. "I did all that? I was just me, I knew Adam was okay. Do you get wings for just being you?"

"Yes. I say so!" Jake piped up.

Mark grinned as he saw Mini and Jake poke each other and giggle. "I guess that means I'm a Butterfly Hunter then." he commented.

"Almost. Have a seat." Jake said with a grin. "I've got a special butterfly for ya."

Mark sat down on the bed, Adam sitting next to him. They sat their bears on their laps as Jake came around and made himself comfortable behind them. Jake hummed to himself as he ran his finger over Mark's shoulder repeatedly, smiling as his latest creation took form. Once he was done, he had Mini and Alien hold two mirrors so that Mark could see the permanent change to the skin on his shoulder. The drawing was quite intricate; in the center was a butterfly ace holding crossed fig branches instead of swords. Surrounding him in the background were nine smaller butterflies, each unique yet somehow similar. All of this was done over a background of fluffy clouds; the entire picture taking up almost all of Mark's right shoulder.

"What's with the nine small ones?" Mini asked.

"Mark'll figure it out by tomorrow morning." Jake giggled. "I'm not tellin!"

"You've been spending too much time with Uncle Taco." Mini giggled. "That looks awesome bro; I think it's the best one you've ever done."

"Thanks!" Jake replied, proving that you could still blush after death. "I gotta get back bro, can we talk later tonight?"

"Yep. Same time as usual?" Mini responded.

"Of course!" Jake replied. "Ready Davie?"

"Yep; these guys got everything under control." Davie replied. "Lucas, you've got it; you'll do good." he added with a smile as him and Jake faded out.

"What was he talking about?" Adam asked as he took another look at Mark's shoulder.

Logan answered for Lucas, knowing that his brother was feeling the stress of talking so much in one day. "After we finish with the official Naming of the Teddy Bear, Lucas is gonna help you guys understand the new stuff going on with your heads. Jamie, Beau, and Jacob, the official head trainers in the Clan, taught him how to help out some when guys are having head problems."

"Oh ... okay." Adam replied, his basic knowledge of the Clan telling him it was best to not try to figure out details.

"Adam? Freddie wants to know if you'll hold him so that he can see my back too." Mark said as he picked up his teddy bear and began to pass it to Adam.

"Sure bro!" Adam replied, glad for the distraction from the weird events going on around him. It never dawned on him that showing a tattoo to a stuffed teddy bear just added to the weirdness as he took the bear and held it so it had a good 'view'. "What do you think, Freddie? Looks awesome, don't it?" Adam asked before nodding the teddy bear's head in agreement.

As Adam handed the bear back to Mark, he said "Freddie likes it bro!"

Lucas exchanged a glance with Logan, then walked over and sat on the other side of Adam from Mark. "What are you gonna name your bear, Adam?" he croaked softly, the day's stress on his voicebox quite apparent.

"I want to name him after you." Adam admitted. "He's my strong, quiet friend that I can always count on."

Lucas smiled at the complement, understanding from the stray thoughts coming from the two boys just what the bear's real purpose was. He knew that Mark was using his bear as an emotional safety valve, and Adam seemed to be taking note as he started to use his bear for the same thing. "Go ahead." Lucas replied.

"Thanks!" Adam said as he picked up the bear from his lap. "You hear that Lucas? You're named after the best blower-upper in the whole world!"

"Jory's never gonna let him live that down!" Logan whispered to Mini and Alien, trying not to ruin the moment.

Lucas flipped off his brother, holding his hand so that Mark and Adam couldn't see. He sent his next words over their 'brother link' 'Spence? Could you three go check on Jeff and Brian while I help these guys? They might like a little privacy.

Mini nodded. "The three of us are gonna check on your brothers while Lucas and y'all talk." he announced.

"Okay." Adam and Mark chorused.

Once the room was cleared of extra people, Lucas looked over at the two brothers. They were just sitting there, shoulders touching as they assisted their teddy bears in a hug. With the extra interference from other people gone from the room, Lucas could now tune in on the random flashes of unshielded thought coming from the two boys. What he heard confirmed his suspicions; the two of them were bonding faster than their brains could adjust for, and it was straining them in multiple ways.

"Guys," Lucas whispered. "I need you to pay attention."

Mark and Adam sat their bears down on their laps and looked at Lucas. "Wazzup?" Mark asked.

Lucas nodded his thanks. "You guys are relinking as twins faster than your heads can adjust, and it's starting to mess things up." he whispered. "If you'll let me help you telepathically, I can show you what you're gonna need to know to make it easier for your heads to adjust to having each other around."

"Adam named his teddy bear after you," Mark stated. "If he trusts you so much that he'd do that, then I trust you to help us if you think we need it."

As Adam nodded his agreement, Lucas continued. "I'm gonna teach you guys some head security too; you both need it. You're gonna hear my voice in your head, and then I'll help you out."

A few minutes later, the three boys finished. After Lucas stood up, he found himself sandwiched between the twins in a hug.

"Thanks, Lucas!" Mark exclaimed.

"That feels better already!" Adam added.

"You're welcome," Lucas replied. "Logan says you guys better get dressed and back out to the living room, Jeff and Brian are about to send out a search party."

"Okay!" Adam giggled. "You wanna tell them we'll be right out?"

"Okay," Lucas replied as the hug broke. "Hurry up though, they're missing the two of you." he added as he headed towards the door.

Adam and Mark grinned at each other as Lucas left. Mark then went over and opened the closet door, knelt down, and opened one of the drawers in the bottom. Two pair of orange briefs appeared on the floor behind him, followed by socks. He then stood up, grabbed two pair of jeans and a pair of matching mesh Sea World shirts. "Twin time!" he giggled as he tossed the rest of the clothes on the bed then grabbed some shoes out of the other side of the closet.

Adam giggled as he noticed that even the sneakers matched. "Do you have two of everything?" he teased.

Mark nodded with a grin. "Yep, that way when you came home I knew you'd have clothes!"

Adam grinned as he walked over and gave Mark another hug. "Thanks bro," he said sincerely.

"Wait until I tell Grandma 'I told ya so!' about the clothes!" Mark giggled. "She always told Mom that double everything for me was wasting money. Grandma's nice, but she don't like spending more money than needed. She still bought double, but she complained while doing it."

Adam smiled, aware that Mark was trying hard to not give Adam a bad opinion of the grandmother he'd never met. "We dressing each other?" he asked.

Mark nodded with a grin. The two boys took turns dressing each other, both giggling constantly as they completed the task. They checked themselves out in the mirror, and once they were satisfied with their appearance they headed back out to rejoin their brothers.

Mark led Adam down the hall, the two brothers once again holding hands as they walked. They walked into the living room, and came to a halt when Frank's boss, Gary, called all of the officers in the room to attention. Nancy came over and pulled both boys into a hug, then stepped back and gave them a good look.

"I think you two just proved me wrong; I always thought dressing up twins the same was silly. You both look so handsome!" she exclaimed.

"Mom!" Mark exclaimed as Adam just giggled at the attention.

Adam held his giggles long enough to ask "Why are all of the police officers standing at attention?"

"Because I told them what Mark earned." Alien giggled.

Frank came over, and gave both boys a hug before asking "Can we see the butterfly, son?"

"You're not mad, are you?" Mark asked warily.

"No, I'm very proud," Frank replied.

"Me too, I'm proud of both of you." Nancy said. "I agree with why you were chosen to join the Butterfly Hunters, Mark. Mini let me talk to their Dad, and he explained it to me. Adam, I've also been told about what you did for Ronnie; you weren't just a brother, you were the twin he was missing. The two of you are very special."

Jeff and Brian joined them, each taking a turn hugging their brothers. Jeff spoke for them both. "We've been talking, and we think it's awesome that not only do we got both of our big brothers now, but both of them are so awesome that grownups think they're special!"

"You're special too, you just ain't been caught at it." Mark scolded gently. "You guys ain't no different than Adam and me. We're a set of four, not two sets of two."

Adam grinned. "He's right, bros. We're a team, that's what makes family. I went from living with one brother to having five with my first one just a call away. If Ronnie is getting along with his twin like I'm getting along with you, we might even have another one on the list."

Frank and Nancy both shook their heads in wonder as they listened. Nancy motioned for Garrett to come over next to her from where he was watching the twin twins with amusement. As she pulled him into a cuddle, she commented "See what you've got yourself into? You've got the only brothers that I know of that argue about how much the same they are!"

"Great, ain't it!" Garrett giggled.

Frank smiled. With Garrett's permission, Logan had given him an update. He now knew just why his newest son was a Ward of the Clan, and vowed to himself to do his damnedest to help Garrett overcome the damage that had been done. Seeing Garrett happy in his wife's arms was a great first step. While Adam and Mark were in their bedroom, Frank had talked with Garrett to work out ways to keep Garrett from freaking out at Frank's normal interactions with his sons. "Garrett, would you do the honors of lifting your brother's shirt so we can all see his badge of honor?"

Garrett nodded with a grin, and moved to the open space between Frank and Mark. He lifted the back of Mark's shirt and got his first good look at Jake's drawing. "Awesome!" he breathed in awe.

"Shoulder," Frank signaled.

"Okay," Garrett replied, only flinching slightly as he felt Frank's hand land on his left shoulder.

"That is amazing..." Frank commented as he examined the drawing. "Why are there extra butterflies?"

"I dunno yet," Mark giggled. "Jake said I'd figure it out though."

As everyone took their turn looking at the butterfly, Garrett unconsciously let the feeling of family soak in. Without thinking, he worked his way back and was pressing himself into Frank's side, his arm stretched out to keep Mark's shirt up. When he realized what he'd done, he turned his head to look up at Frank. "Thanks ... Dad." he whispered.

Frank smiled and gave Garrett's shoulder a light squeeze. "You doing okay?" he responded with concern.

Garrett smiled back. "Yeah."

The last people in line were Mini, Alien, and their brothers. "Us four are heading home," Mini told them. "Thanks for being great parents; these guys deserve the best and they've got it. We'll see y'all later."

"Thanks for taking the time to make sure the boys were okay," Frank replied. "I'm sure we'll be seeing more of each other."

"Me too!" Mini giggled before the four boys vanished.

Nancy shook her head before moving over to Adam. "I know we're a few days late, son, but ... Happy Birthday!"

Adam looked up at his mom, his eyes wide. He followed along as she guided him into the dining room, where the table was piled to overflowing with wrapped gifts.

"Mine?" Adam whimpered as tears began flowing freely down his cheeks.

"Yes son; you're looking at every present that has ever been bought for you," Nancy stated as she pulled Adam to her chest. "I know you've outgrown some of it, but it's all still yours."

Adam stepped away from his mom and slowly walked to the table. He began looking at the tags, being careful not to disturb anything else in case it wasn't real. He turned his tear-filled eyes to his family, and was just able to make out Frank, Nancy, Garrett, Mark, Jeff and Brian all standing in a group cuddle smiling at him. He turned back, and randomly chose a small box from near the top of the pile. He opened the small card attached to it, and barely made out the words "To our big brother, happy 10th birthday. Love Mark, Jeff, and Brian".

Adam carefully unwrapped the package, saving the card and folding the wrapping paper before opening the black felt-covered box inside. His vision clouded even more as he saw the gold necklace that had waited a year to be seen; the tags inside professionally notifying him that this was the real thing, not a cheap gold-plated knock-off. He barely made it onto the nearest chair as his legs decided that they no longer wanted to support him, and as he sobbed his thanks he somehow managed to figure out the clasp by feel, fumbling but managing to put the necklace on and refasten it.

"Go help your brother." Frank told the rest of the boys, giving Garrett a slight push to tell him that he was included in the request. "This is your family time; I just wish it was being recorded."

"Kerry?" Garrett giggled as he tapped his commbadge.

"Already handled. You worry about Adam, I'll take care of the blackmail videos!" Kerry replied with a laugh.

At seeing Frank's raised eyebrows, Julio explained as his group rejoined everyone. "Clan operations are recorded, video and audible, for everyone's safety. Usually it's kept internal, but I can release it if I have good reason." Julio glanced over at the boys, seeing Mark cuddling Adam from behind, Jeff and Brian on either side, and Garrett taking over passing the presents one at a time to Adam. "In the entire history of the Clan, I don't know of any time a family has done anything like this. Not only am I going to make sure you have a copy, but with your okay I'd like to share this with the rest of the Clan. You could actually help a lot of kids who are recovering from bad families by showing them that good families are out there."

Frank glanced over at where his boys were slowly making a dent in the pile, Jeff explaining events that went along with each gift. "Nancy, I've only made non-negotiable decisions like this one other time, but I'm even more serious now than I was then." he stated, his jaw set with determination.

Nancy saw the fire in her husband's eyes. The last time she had seen that fire, they had moved to Naples to keep the loss of their son from breaking up their family. Considering the events surrounding Adam's return, she had a suspicion that Frank's sense of honor was about to kick into high gear, and Heaven help anyone that got in his way. Knowing that words were unneeded, she just nodded her head in understanding.

"Director," Frank stated. "I understand that your compound in Iowa is a residential neighborhood. What lead time is needed to locate a permanent residence for my family within the compound? You returned our son to us, it is our duty to ensure that your efforts to help other youth are successful in return; to accomplish that we need to be where we can be of most help."

Before Julio could respond, Kerry interrupted him. "Boss? Dad says this might be why Peter built that ten-bedroom place when he converted the old strip mall property to a few house lots."

Julio rolled his eyes. "I need to have a talk with Peter...." he giggled. "Frank, I think your house is waiting for you. What about the friends that your boys have made here? Arranging so that they can visit is not an issue, but due to the security scans I require for access to the Compound there is a slight chance that one of them might suddenly need parents."

"Slight chance? Unless my instincts are wrong, I think the first friend you need to check is Tony Chapin." Frank stated. He turned to Johnny, "Son, I know you dug a lot deeper than the information you passed to your Director; if you hadn't I would have been worried. Filter out everything on Tony and share it with Julio."

Johnny grinned. "I started as soon as you mentioned his name. Jesse, listen up, you're the expert on this one so I'm sending to you too."

Julio reviewed the information, and then nodded at Johnny. "Good catch, bro. I think the signs are there." He turned his head, looking at Jesse. "What you think, Babe?"

"I think Ricky, Rocky and me are gonna take a walk." Jesse replied. "We'll be right back; c'mon Johnny, you need some fresh air."

Julio looked back at Frank to find him watching with a raised eyebrow, obviously waiting for an explanation. "I don't know everything to look for," Julio began. "We've found out that the best people to spot possible victims of abuse are the ones who have been through similar types of abuse. Tony's got flags that I kinda pick up on due to living with Jesse; Jesse saw more than I did in what you noticed. If there's anything to it, you're gonna be having a visitor shortly."

Frank's reply was cut off by Seth, who had been off dealing with the fallout from the Mayor firing all of the police force over the radio shortly after Adam and Mark had went to the bathroom.

"I'm sorry to interrupt," Seth said softly, "I have just returned from a conference with the State Legislature. As of this moment, I am assuming command over the Naples Police Department pending arrival of permanent Clan Short Staff as provided under the State of Emergency declared for Collier County. As of this moment, you are all reactivated as Law Enforcement agents in Naples and any charges or grievances filed by the Mayor are hereby nullified."

Gary turned his head in shock towards Seth's voice. "Oh crap... where does that place me?"

Seth smile was apparent in his voice. "Running the everyday operations of your department, like always. You're all back on-duty, and in thirty minutes or less full communications will be restored. Until that time, I will be using Clan resources to provide dispatch services. I have access to all of your personal communication devices, so dispatch will not be hindered by the actions of local persons associated with the Mayor; all incoming lines to the Dispatch Center are being redirected here. Frank? You are on paid personal leave until such time as you decide how to move on from this point."

"Thank you." Frank replied, looking at Adam, who was about halfway through the pile. "I believe you will know my plans just as soon as Director Hernandez files his report.

"George just filled me in. Welcome to the family." Seth replied. "Don't bother turning in a resignation from the department, I'll deny it. You're on detached duty." Seth paused. "Gary, I am transferring personnel at this moment to fill Frank's position in your department. This will give you a Clan presence in your staff, which should make a few things easier for you."

Gary laughed. "I think we're going to work together great, Seth. Obviously you hate bullcrap as much as I do. Once your staff arrives, I'm sure I'll be in contact."

"Trust me, you will," Seth laughed. "I'm going to close out this call; Kerry will tell me if I'm needed. Congratulations, Frank."

"Thank you, Seth," Frank replied.

Gary looked around the room. "Okay men, you heard Seth; we're back on duty. Joe, stay here with me in case the Clan needs assistance. The rest of you guys, get out there and show Naples that we take our oath seriously. I'm sure at least a few criminals heard that radio announcement, so I'm expecting a call from the county jail later, bitching because they're running out of room."

With huge smiles, the officers complied. A few seconds later, the evening's peace was violently broken by the sound of almost every car in the Naples police force firing up their sirens and lights as they quickly dispersed throughout the city.

Frank returned his attention to the boys, to find the five of them giggling as they played with the 'see and say' that had been bought for Adam's fourth Christmas. He chuckled as he realized that despite the other three being destroyed, as boy's toys tend to have happen to them, this one would more than likely see plenty of use from all of his sons. "We accept the house." He told Julio, not moving his eyes from watching the boys.

"It's yours," Julio replied. "Don't worry about this one; I just bought it. You've got another seven hundred thousand dollars in your bank account."

"It was only appraised at five hundred fifty." Frank commented.

"I paid market value." Julio giggled. "Amazing how prices rise when the realtors find out an Embassy is being placed in an area."

Frank smiled, realizing the boy next to him wasn't stupid in the least bit. Naples had appeared on the Clan's radar, and with the State's blessing they were now staging a full-scale invasion. The practice of using youth as 'mules' to transfer illegal drugs into the United States was about to become the downfall of quite a few people, people that until now had been able to buy politicians to get them to look the other way. He chuckled as the thought hit him that alligators were no longer the most dangerous thing the runners had to avoid; they were just displaced from their top spot in the Everglades food chain by a group of boys.

As he finished his musing, he realized the boys were almost done. They were working together to open one of the three large presents that had been sitting on the floor. Frank had to fight to keep from laughing as he realized what the package was; despite his mom's complaining about wasting money on presents for a boy that nobody knew was still alive, for some reason the last few gifts for Adam had been larger than the ones his brothers had received. This particular one was his eleventh birthday present, and it actually consisted of three boxes which required two people to move. As Frank watched, he was just as surprised as the boys were when he saw the contents; a top-of-the-line sound system complete with speakers guaranteed to blow out windows at twenty feet.

Julio noticed as well, and he made the adults laugh as he quickly hit his commbadge. "Kerry, how fast can you upgrade the windows in their new house to transparent aluminum?"

"I'm on the line with Starfleet Construction Corps; they say they'll start immediately!" Kerry replied. "Can I get one of those? The specs on it are awesome!"

"Go ahead!" Julio laughed. "Thanks, bro."

After drooling over Adam's new toy, the boys went for one of the two remaining boxes. "Awesome! A twenty-speed bike! Thanks Mom, thanks Dad!" Adam yelled, running over to give them both a hug before running back to the box.

"Garrett, since you missed last Christmas when all of the boys got their bikes, tomorrow we'll go to get you one." Nancy stated, earning her a huge smile of thanks from her newest addition.

Jeff and Brian signaled for Garrett to stand back with them to watch as Mark wrestled the last box over to Adam. "Happy Birthday, bro," Mark said nervously.

Adam looked at the tag, and realized why this one was being treated differently. While he had already opened his eleventh birthday present from his three brothers, this one was also for his eleventh birthday... but the only name on the 'from' line was 'Mark'.

If it was possible, Adam took even more care opening this present than he had any other. As he carefully removed the wrapping paper, his smile threatened to split his face open. "I always wanted one... how did you know?" he said softly as he unwrapped a Taylor acoustic guitar.

"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," Mark replied. "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."

Adam made sure the guitar was secure in the stand that came with it, then turned and pulled Mark into a hug. "It's the best present ever, bro. Thank you," Adam whispered.

Comfortable that his present for Adam was the right choice, Mark took Adam's hand as they broke the hug. "C'mon, we gotta call Grandma!"

Adam grinned as he followed his brother, somehow comfortable with calling the grandmother he never knew due to the presents he'd received. He stood off to the side as he watched Mark dial the number from memory and put the call on speaker.

"Grandma?" Mark said as the call was answered.

"Well, look who decided that they have a new bedtime since they're eleven now!" the voice replied jovially. "I'm pretty sure the world has not ended; what's got you so excited at this hour, Mark?"

Mark giggled, obviously this was a normal conversation between them. "Adam's home, Grandma! He's standing right here!"

"Thank you, Lord!" she replied. "Please Mark, let these old ears hear it for themselves."

Mark poked at Adam, "Go on, bro!"

"Grandma?" Adam asked hesitantly.

"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."

"Yes, Ma'am!" Adam replied in surprise, not even noticing when the call disconnected a few seconds later.

"DAD!" Mark shouted. "Grandma is on her way over!"

"There goes the lawn..." Frank commented with a laugh. "Garrett, get ready to meet your grandma; if she offers to play poker with you say no, she cheats!"

"You just say that because she beats ya', Dad!" Jeff giggled. He grabbed Garrett's arm, and along with Brian they joined Mark and Adam. "Grandma's kewl," Jeff said once all five of them were together. "We're her only grandkids; Mark's her favorite but she's good to all of us."

"You guys ain't jealous of Mark?" Garrett asked.

"Naw; why should we be? She's gotta have a favorite, and Mark's just the lucky one that she likes the best," Brian responded.

Realizing that his new family was unusual in a good way, Garrett smiled. "I'm gonna like it here!" he giggled.

Mark looked at his watch. "C'mon, you gotta see this! She should almost be here!" he said as he ran towards the door, dragging Adam behind him.

"C'mon Garrett!" Jeff giggled as him and Brian followed Mark and Adam.

The five boys ran out, and had just grabbed seats on the edge of the porch when they heard the sound of sirens and saw flashing lights coming up the road. A few seconds later, a police car whipped into the driveway as a Harley cut across the front yard, coming to a stop on the sidewalk. "You're slipping, Charles; you kept all four wheels on the ground," the rider commented to the officer as he got out of the car.

"Only because you actually followed me instead of taking the lead this time," Charles shot back. "Take care of your grandkids, I need to run down the block to assist with a raccoon attack."

"Get moving then, young man," she ordered as she gunned the throttle, shut down, then dismounted. She walked up in front of the five boys, first nodding at Garrett and saying "You're next," then stepping in front of Adam. "You're home, Adam. I believe you owe your Grandma a hug?"

Adam giggled at her no-nonsense approach, and immediately stood up to let her envelope him in a hug. "Hi Grandma!" he managed through his giggles.

After a few seconds, she pulled back and looked Adam in the eyes, seemingly drilling into the darkest depths of his brain. "You missed the worst; that is good," she stated.

"Okay Mom, spill it," Frank said from the doorway, where he was leaning on the frame watching. "You were so vocal about wasting money for presents for someone not here, yet you spent more on him in the last year than the rest of us put together; now you come over and are not surprised in the least that he came home?"

"I know why; you do too, you just don't think about it enough for it to stick in the front of your mind," Julio giggled as he squeezed through the doorway. "Welcome to Clan Short, Grandma Morrison!"

"So my secret is revealed," she laughed. "I knew that if he survived to come back, it wouldn't be until after his eleventh birthday. Call it a gift or a curse, but I've always had the 'sight'; between that and Mark's bond with his brother, I was confident that the time for his return was soon."

"So you were waiting on me to come home?" Adam asked, still securely held in her arms.

"Yes; and I knew that tonight was the night when the boys didn't give me their nightly 'Good night Grandma' call."

"This has been a weird day; awesome weird!" Adam giggled. "Thanks for the presents; and thanks for helping Mark with the one he picked out for me," he added sincerely.

"You're welcome, Adam." she replied. "Would you please introduce me to your brother?"

"Okay," Adam replied as he broke the hug. "Grandma, this is Garrett. Garrett, this is Grandma Morrison. Garrett helped me and my other brother, Ronnie, when we were in Des Moines, now he's our brother."

"I believe now is when you give your new Grandma a hug," Grandma Morrison prodded with a smile. Garrett grinned as he stood up, and let her repeat the hug she had given Adam.

As the hug broke, she looked Garrett in the eyes. "The past is the past, learn from it but don't let it ruin the present. You understand?"

"Yes Grandma," Garrett replied, understanding that he had just been told to lighten up.

Grandma Morrison turned to Julio. "If I'm not mistaken, going by what I've seen, you are either responsible for the presence of my grandsons here, or a party to their return."

"Yes, Ma'am," Julio replied. "I am Julio Hernandez, Division Director, Family Clan Short of Vulcan Des Moines Division. I led the operation which resulted in Adam's rescue. Garrett is totally responsible himself for being here though; I just provided the transportation."

"I see Garrett matches his brothers in taking charge when needed," Grandma Morrison stated. "You are making an old lady wait to give you a proper thank-you, Director. I'm not going to live forever."

"Sorry!" Julio exclaimed as he jumped off the porch, missing totally Frank stating "I wouldn't count on that last part!" under his breath.

As the hug broke, Charles pulled back into the driveway, then got out of his car and opened the back door to let his passengers out. "Look what we found!" Rocky said as a black-haired ten year old scrambled onto his back.

"You got your wish, you have six sons," Jesse said seriously to Frank as he joined the group. "Nice catch, but believe it or not what was being done to him isn't what did them in. The drug lords lost one of their destination points tonight; I've got people on station to intercept the next scheduled delivery and deliver him to Des Moines."

"I couldn't tell you or they'd kill you and me," the boy added from his perch on Rocky's back.

"I understand, Jake," Frank replied. "Join your brothers, you've got two you've never met, and I'm sure your Grandma will want to welcome you as well. I need to get Nancy before we run out of rooms in our new house."

As Jake joined them, Mark met him halfway and immediately noticed that Jake no longer 'felt' like he was holding something back. "It's about time you felt free," Mark commented as he put an arm over Jake's shoulder. Before Jake could question what he meant, Mark took him to Adam. "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!"

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," he purred as he soaked up the hug.

Grandma Morrison watched with approval as the final piece of the puzzle she had been waiting for fell into place. She glanced up to make sure that Nancy and Frank were back and watching, then turned her attention back to the boys in front of her. "Frank," she said without shifting her gaze from Adam, Mark, and Jake, "you didn't actually think you could move without your dear mother relocating with you, now did you?"

"I had hoped ...." Frank began to reply, to be interrupted by his mom.

"Choose your next words carefully; there are some thing the boys don't know about their father ... yet," she interrupted.

Nancy chuckled. "Don't worry, Mom; I was already planning on having you around to teach the boys. There is no way I could update Adam on what he's missed like you can."

"Once again, Nancy saves your butt." Grandma chuckled. "How long do I have to pack?"

"We'll handle moving everything," Julio stated. "There's one thing, while I hope to get a ride on it someday, you won't be able to ride your Harley in the compound, Grandma Morrison."

"There's no need to worry about that; when we moved here Charles thought the same thing, I straightened out the city council within a week. I'll be riding it in a month tops," Grandma replied with assurance.

Julio set his jaw. "No. You won't," he stated firmly. Suddenly all of the boys, even Jeff, Brian, and Mark, ignored everything else they were doing and took defensive postures. Frank and Nancy glanced at each other, both realizing that the fun-loving kid that had returned their son had just shifted gears into a parent's worst nightmare.

"Excuse me?" Grandma asked, amazed that this youth was standing up to her.

"You heard me," Julio stated. "In the Des Moines compound, I am the Law. I have declared the streets within the compound as safe zones for the children and parents within the community. The ONLY self-propelled vehicles allowed are carts, minibikes, and trikes that have been designed to Clan specifications for the safety of the rider, passengers, and pedestrians. I can and will evict anyone who tries to circumvent my decision."

"I can...." Grandma started to say.

"You will not be granted an exception. Period," Julio stated, staring her in the eyes even though he was twenty feet away.

Grandma stared back, holding Julio's gaze for a full two minutes before speaking. "Director, not only will you have my full compliance, you have just earned my respect. I will gladly provide the ride that you asked for once we have moved; it has been years since I rode the highways of the Midwest."

Grandma turned to Frank and Nancy. "You just made the best choice for your boys that any parent has made, with this young man as an example instead of those overpaid stuffed shirts the schools call administrators here, your boys will become respectable men instead of spoiled brats like most of the graduates around here are."

It was obvious that Mark, Jeff, and Brian had heard her say that thousands of times by their giggles. "You're gonna miss complaining about them, Grandma!" Jeff prodded.

"No I won't, I can still complain about them without living here, you little rat," Grandma replied with a smile.

"That ain't as much fun though!" Jeff shot back, his smile giving away the fact this was normal banter.

"I'm sure Julio will be able to point me towards new targets," Grandma chuckled. "If not, I'll just start helping you with homework."

"DAAAAAD! Grandma's threatening me!" Jeff giggled as he sprinted towards the house to avoid repercussions.

Julio shook his head as he gathered a giggling Jesse into his arms. "Did you already send Jake's stuff to his new house, babe?"

Jesse nodded. "Yep, I told Kerry to move Grandma's stuff too after you got done with her. Was that okay?"

"Yes," Julio replied as he gave Jesse a kiss, "it was perfect. You're doing awesome."

Jesse returned the kiss, then leaned back to look Julio in the eyes. "I love you," he whispered.

"I love you too," Julio replied softly. "What do you think about getting these guys to their new house, then you and I check out those purple speedos you're wearing under your uniform?"

"Your wish is my command, Sir," Jesse said with a grin.

Julio and Jesse both began blushing furiously when Grandma announced "That, boys, is love. Take notes, I'll be testing you when we get to our new home."

"That was mean, Grandma!" Adam giggled.

"I was serious," Grandma replied. "I can see it in their body language; they are in love for real. I'm wondering about something though, Adam. I sensed another boy in my visions of you, yet I don't see him here."

Adam's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "You saw Ronnie? He's meeting his brothers in Hawaii right now. He's probably wondering why I ain't called to let him know how things are going."

"Well, call him and tell him their grandma is expecting to meet him and his brothers before I go to bed tonight," she stated firmly.

"Yes, Grandma," Adam replied quickly, sure that he would not fare as well as Julio did in a battle of wills with his Grandma.

She watched him until he tapped his commbadge. "Hey Ronnie, you doing anything bro?" Adam began.

"We're just finishing up dinner," Ronnie replied.

"You didn't invite me? See if I make cookies for you next Friday!" Adam giggled in reply.

Ronnie sniggered as his brothers could be heard humming in the background. "We had country fried steak, mashed potatoes and southern gravy, and you missed it."

Grandma cleared her throat, signaling Adam that he needed to stop stalling. Adam nodded, and got to the point. "Grandma Morrison's here, and she says she wants to meet the rest of her grandsons, like now. She kinda gets her way, I think Julio is the first person in history to stand up to her and survive!"

"Okay," Ronnie replied, then Adam heard him explaining to the other brothers, "We'll need to take a short trip to Naples."

Adam heard an unfamiliar voice reply "Kewl, bro. We'll see ya later tonight?"

Ronnie's reply came across the channel. "Yup, before bed time, so we don't start off on the wrong foot with Jason and Trinity."

Adam heard multiple voices exclaim "Mom and Dad!"; a second later Ronnie and three other boys appeared in front of him, all four landing on their butts as soon as they materialized.

"That's TWICE! In ONE DAY!" Ronnie exclaimed loudly as he rolled to stand up. "Who thought up the AI's sense of humor, Genghis Kahn?"

"No, but I think they'd like to meet him." Ezra giggled as he popped in as well. "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."

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

Ezzy grinned, and went to talk with Julio, Jesse, Frank, and Nancy. Adam meanwhile, had finished giggling at his brother's landing, and was now ready to meet the group. "Hey Ronnie, I know you ain't no good in math, but that is THREE brothers, not TWO!" he prodded.

Pulling Robbie close, Ronnie smirked, "About half an hour ago, Robbie here showed with his parents."

"Hey Robbie!" Adam said with a grin. "All you come on over here; I think Grandma is gonna let us meet each other before she takes over."

The four new arrivals joined Adam with his newly-met brothers. Nobody was sure how, but Adam somehow managed to herd them in such a way that Ronnie ended up next to Garrett.

Helplessly giggling at the wickedness of his half-brother, Ronnie introduced his other brothers, all identical to him except for hair styles. "This one here with the hair parted down the middle is Ralphie."

"The cutest," Ralphie cheekily grinned, only to hear various rebuttals from his brothers.

Ronnie smirked, "Robbie here cut his hair off to show support for a friend with cancer."

Robbie nodded, "When it grows back, I'll part my hair in a zig-zag, so folks can tell us apart."

Gesturing to the last of the four, Ronnie smiled, "And this is Richie, the only soft spoken one."

Forcing a frown that really didn't fly, Richie giggled, "We'll see how long I stay quiet."

Adam giggled as he put his arm across Mark's shoulders. "I like you all already! I found out that I'm actually a quad too, we just split kinda different. This is Mark, in case you can't tell he's my twin. Our brother who's holding our little brother is Jeff, and his double is Brian. Our little brother is Jake; Jesse just rescued him. Last, but not least, is Ronnie's future boyfriend, Garrett. Mom and Dad adopted him and Jake tonight."

As Ronnie and Garrett both blushed and tried to think of a way to get back at Adam, Mark chimed in with "You two are a cute couple, stop fighting it and make out already!"

Closing his eyes, Ronnie softly reminded Garrett, "We barely got to speak before. Can we at least chat a..."

Liking the fact that Ronnie was more interested in knowing one another, Garrett couldn't hold back. He took the initiative and tried to perform a tonsillectomy on Ronnie. Having never been kissed, never mind with such passion, Ronnie's wide eyes slowly closed as he enjoyed the kiss.

"Awwwwww!" eight boys exclaimed in unison as they clapped in appreciation. Grandma just smiled, quite proud of her two grandson's efforts at promoting budding relationships. After the first minute passed, she gently reminded Ronnie and Garrett "Boys, don't forget to breathe. It can be embarrassing to pass out while kissing in front of your family."

Still attached at the mouth, Garrett and Ronnie giggled. Realizing that everyone was watching them though, they separated and blushed.

"Now that the most important item of business has been handled..." Grandma said with a knowing smile, "we will finish introductions. I know all four of you; I was watching and listening while Adam had his fun. I am Grandma Morrison; and all of you are my grandsons. I'm not aware of what some of you have went through, but I think you will find that Ronnie agrees with me that Adam has a certain magic to his hugs - a magic which Mark shares. You have two minutes to make the rounds, and I better not see anyone skipping a hug with one of their brothers."

Jeff giggled, "Ronnie, Garrett? Y'all have already got your hug in; give the rest of us a turn!"

Garrett and Ronnie both stuck their tongues out at Jeff, then began circulating. As each boy finished the rounds with his brothers, Grandma took her turn in welcoming them to the family. Once they were all through, Grandma asked "Have you boys found parents yet in Hawaii?"

Nodding, Robbie softly answered, "Yes ma'am. My parents will take us all in."

"We had a room in the dorm for about three hours," Ralphie sniggered.

Richie nodded, "We'll have one of the AI's move our stuff."

Ronnie sighed, "They'll probably dump it all on top of us."

"I didn't think of that!" Kerry and Alden, the Pacific Rim AI, exclaimed in unison over all the boys' communicators.

Grandma laughed. "Now boys, try not to hurt your brothers! You don't want me to have to sit you down for a talking to, now do you?"

"Sorry Grandma!" both AI's replied quickly.

"I thought so," Grandma stated. "Boys, this means you have two sets of parents; I will introduce you to your other set in a minute. After a nice chat with the Director of the Des Moines compound, I have found that I approve of the leadership style of Clan Short. I expect all of you to follow the example of the leaders and show the world that this family does not take bullshit from people who think they know better just because they have a fancy title. Is that clear?"

Ralphie sniggered, "Guess that means we should walk into girls' changing rooms playing Ms. Pacman."

"If that is what it takes to reduce the stress of your fellow Clan members, then yes," Grandma replied with a smile. "Sometimes being silly is needed to achieve your goals." After a pause to take in the amazed looks she was receiving, she added "I'm going to go find out what my son is plotting behind my back, I will return in a few minutes, so you all can catch up with each other. And yes, I expect you to compare notes about me; don't bother waiting until I am out of hearing, I find such conversation amusing." She then turned and headed towards the house.

Before the woman had taken two steps away, Ralphie smiled at Ronnie, "Grandma's a heck of a lot nicer than my aunt, that's for sure."

Ronnie nodded, "She doesn't fart around. This is the way it is, like it or lump it."

"I've kinda expected her to say something about me joking about her, but she didn't yet." Adam added.

Brian decided to fill them in. "Grandma's not like other old people. She does stuff to get what she wants, but she treats us kids like we're people instead of annoying troublemakers. Dad still laughs about how half the city council quit after she got done with them because they had a speed limit set at 10 and were forcing the police to ticket at 12. She don't lie to us, if it's something that we don't need to know yet she'll say it."

Adam smiled, and turned to the PRD group. "Okay, spill it; what's it like on Hawaii?"

Richie, Robbie and Ronnie turned to Ralphie, since he'd been there the longest. Ralphie smiled, "I spent a week on my own in Waikiki. It's real pretty and always warm, like in the low eighties during the day. The Rimmer Base..." Pausing for the giggling and remarks to taper off, Ralphie smiled, "the base is awesome, with a pool, diving well, soccer field and basketball courts. The dorm rooms are huge. If we had to, all four of us could live pretty comfortably there, but usually it's two kids to a room that was way more comfy than my bedroom at home. We had a great dinner there too."

Only to get a reaction from Garrett, Ronnie slyly added, "Almost all the guys at the pools swim naked."

"Sweet, that'll save me the trouble of stripping you in public!" Garrett replied with a grin, not willing to let Ronnie win that easily.

Getting shoved around from three angles by his brothers, Ronnie laughed as loudly as the others. When he was finally able to catch his breath, Adam commented "It sounds like fun there! We're moving to Des Moines, Dad bought a big house in the Compound, so after we get things all setup, we'll have to make the rounds on sleepovers!"

"That reminds me," Ronnie said seriously, "Mark, can I ask you to fill in for me on one thing? Adam needs someone to cuddle with or he can't sleep. I need to settle in with my new family too, so I ain't going to be able to help him sleep."

Mark nodded his head as he pulled Adam close to him. "I've got you covered, bro. I've waited eleven years to meet him; I ain't letting him go that easy!"

Raising his eyebrows, Ralphie told the gathered boys, "I never had a brother before. There's a bunch I missed out on."

Robbie nodded, "I'm there too, bro. How about we share a room? If either of us gets freaked and starts feeling lonely..."

"Let's plan on sharing a room then," Ronnie interrupted, and then checked with Richie, who hadn't yet shared much.

Nodding, Richie smiled and softly assured them, "I'd like that."

"Kewl, we're all gonna take care of each other!" Mark said with a smile.

"Yep." Garrett giggled as he took his turn at cuddling Jake. "I've found my roomie right here; I've never shared a room before, so Jake and I are gonna learn it together."

Jake grinned widely. "Really? You really wanna share your bedroom?"

"OUR bedroom, lil bro," Garrett corrected.

"What about when Ronnie comes over?" Jake asked. "Where do I sleep then?"

Ronnie smiled, "A really nice kiss doesn't change the fact that me and Garrett have only known each other about a couple of hours or so. We can find a way to all sleep comfortably in the same room, Jake."

Jake beamed, realizing that his new brothers actually were thinking of him. "AWESOME!"

"What have we missed?" Frank asked as him and Nancy came out of the house. "Besides my mother corrupting the rest of my sons before I even meet them, that is."

"DAD!" Jeff giggled. "Grandma wouldn't do that; she don't corrupt people until her second visit!"

"I wish you were joking!" Frank stated, barely dodging a cuff on the back of the head from Nancy. "Adam, would you please do the honors of introducing us before your mother puts me in the hospital?"

Adam giggled as he introduced the quads, making sure to point out that Garrett and Ronnie were an item ... three times.

Covering his face with both hands at the third repeat, Ronnie giggled, "Can we please have some time to talk before ordering the wedding rings?"

Nancy came over and put the two blushing boys under each of her arms. "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."

"To give you an idea, we were kicked out so that she could work with Julio, Jesse, and Ezra to finish moving and get anything else she thinks we'll need in the new house." Frank laughed. "I'm not going to make you guys suffer through the same questions about you that Mom asked; she filled me in on all of those details. Now that you've all had a chance to socialize some, what do you guys think, you gonna be happy as one very large family?"

After checking with his brothers, Ralphie nodded, "We'll be more than fine... Dad!"

Robbie chortled, "My mom and dad will adjust to sleepovers for ten."

"As will we!" Frank chuckled. "Tell your parents that we'll get together after both families have settled in to share stories and compare notes to make sure one of us doesn't do something that's against the rules of the other. That will make it a lot fairer for all of you. Also, warn them about your Grandma; she tends to shock people if they are not prepared."

After getting nods from all of the boys, Frank walked up to Ronnie and pulled him into a hug. "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."

With tears pooling in his eyes, Ronnie pulled closer to his second new "dad" and hugged him, softly assuring, "Adam's kewl, dad. We helped each other, just like all brothers."

At that point, Ralphie lost it and started crying. He was immediately surrounded by the other eight brothers. There wasn't a dry eye around and many were sniffling, he quickly realized.

Once all of them had recovered, Frank and Nancy made the rounds of each of the boys, giving them a hug and personally expressing their love. For the first time in years, Garrett willingly allowed an adult male to hug him, the emotions of the moment allowing him to overcome his past problems. The boys then hugged each other in one big group before breaking off and giving a personal hug to each other. Once the only two left hugging were Garrett and Ronnie, Frank looked at his greatly expanded family. "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."

The quads smiled, realizing that Frank wanted them to bond with both families equally. After making the rounds of the goodbyes, including running into the house to say goodbye to Grandma one at a time, they made arrangements with their soon-to-be-living-in Des Moines brothers to get together sometime during the day tomorrow.

As the boys prepared to go back, Frank announced "Kerry, I know you're listening; will my request that my four sons be returned to Hawaii without any pranks be enough, or do I need to ask Mom for her opinion?"

"She already told me I'm grounded if I try anything," Kerry replied with a pout. "I don't know howshe could ground me, but I ain't gonna find out. Let me know when you're ready, guys."

Ronnie checked with his brothers. After receiving affirming nods, Ronnie called, "Kerry, transport me and my brothers back to Ewa Beach, by the pools, dude." The four boys raised their arms and waved then disappeared.

Adam looked around himself. For the first time ever, he felt totally complete. "When are we getting our new house, Dad?" he asked, the excitement of sharing something new with his family making him giddy.

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

Mark, Jeff, and Brian all giggled, knowing just how attached she was to the motorcycle. As if to prove the point, Jesse, Julio, Rocky, Ricky, and Ezra walked out of the house, shutting off the inside lights and closing the door behind them. "All set, Frank. You ready to go home?"

Frank looked around his family, and found all of them smiling in anticipation. "Goodbye Naples, hello Des Moines!" he stated theatrically.

"Take us home, Kerry!" Julio ordered. They vanished from the yard, leaving Ezra standing alone. He looked around, smiled, then vanished to go wherever he might be of help next.

Des Moines, one hour later:

Frank and Nancy began making the rounds of the three bedrooms which had been chosen for the boys. Their first stop was Jeff and Brian's room, where the two boys were both comfortably snoring on each side of their bed. The next room was Jake and Garrett's room; they couldn't help but smile when they saw that Jake had decided to leave his own bed and was cuddled up against Garrett. As they looked into the last room, their hearts filled with love. Cuddled together in the center of the bed, with teddy bear heads poking out over their exposed shoulders, Mark and Adam were nose-to-nose in an all-night cuddle, both sound asleep with smiles on their faces. The bed covers told them all they needed to know, as by this time Mark would have twisted in his sleep so much that they would be in a ball. Tonight, they were smooth, proving that for the first time in their lives both boys would have a peaceful night's sleep.

To Be Continued...

AC's Notes:

There, that's better! I actually split this into two chapters because of the size it became, Adam kinda took the spotlight and ran with it! I think I'm gonna like having Mark and Adam around, they seem to be a great set of brothers!

As you know by now, these first two chapters of Des Moines are part of a larger picture, this entire rescue ended up touching many stories. I thought that it was fitting to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Memories with an old-fashioned kick-butt rescue, and with the help of The Eggman, Roland, Zacky, Fibita, Ilu, D&B, and a few people in the background that you'll hear more from soon, I think we've achieved a fitting tribute to the story that started it all, Memories!

Thank you for reading, and hang on because the ride is just beginning!


Editor's notes:

Ah man, that chapter had me crying so many times!!! The tears of joy were killing me.  My paws are all wet now.  How awesome this turned out.  AC Fan, you out did yourself again!  And what about Grandma?  Where in the world did that character come from?  I think we should be worried about AC!  Or better yet, was that a role model from his past?  "Shivers" that is all I can do!! Gotta love her though.   Man I can wait to see what is coming up next for this group!  Oh, and I can't forget to mention Ronnie and Garrett.  Wow, they must have been made for each other.   Let's hope we get to know more about them too.

Hope you enjoyed it, from you friendly neighborhood editing puppy!!