"So Alan, you never did tell me what the aliens were like on Voyager." Alex asked with interest.
"Alex, alien is kind of an offensive term around the kids, non-human is better." Andrew said quietly.
"Uh, sure. No offense Trey." Alex said with true apology.
"It's okay Uncle Alex." Trey said with a smile.
"And to answer your question. B'Elana was a Klingon. They are a warrior race, amazingly strong and violent. Their society is built on codes of honor and dedication. They have a violent nature that they don't try to restrain. B'Elana was half Klingon and since she was living among mostly humans she worked very hard to suppress her violent nature. She was a truly good person and was adopted into our family as an Aunt." Alan said with a fond smile.
"Tuvok and Vorik were Vulcans, their society was built on what is logical and they try to purge all emotions from their lives. They never really did fit in with the others on Voyager as far as I could tell, but you could depend on their help if you ever needed it." Andrew said and hugged close to Alan.
"Geron was Bajoran, and their society was based on spirituality and devotion to their gods, the prophets. I do not know of others of the race, but Geron was a kind and gentle man who I was proud to call Uncle." Trey said with a smile.
"I notice that you three take turns talking, and almost finish each others thoughts. Why is that?" Orroro asked curiously.
"Because we see each other as equals. Alan and I know what each other are going to say most of the time and allow each other equal time. When we know that Trey has something to add, we give him the opportunity to say his part. If all the children were here, it wouldn't be so noticeable because we would do most of the talking and they would just interject their points of view." Andrew said, enjoying being snuggled against Alan.
"What is it about the term alien that is offensive?" Tara asked the group.
"Trey?" Alan asked.
"The term alien refers to someone who is different from the norm. While it may be accurate since we are on Earth, it is like saying not-one-of-us rather than saying not-human." Trey said informatively.
"That makes sense." Tara said and took Dawn's hand to hold.
"How do you like Earth so far Trey?" Hank asked curiously.
"I have no memory of living on a planet before. It was disconcerting to feel the sense of... not moving. As well as the absence of the hum of engines. Now that I have become accustomed to those sensations, I am enjoying the freedom of being outside a ship. Grass, trees, open sky, unrestrained water, rain... I had never considered these things before. There is much to learn and experience here." Trey said with a gentle smile.
"How about the people." Hank asked with concern.
"We have mostly met the people that Father and Dad consider family until now. Everyone has been very pleasant and helpful... especially Uncle Alex." Trey said and smiled at Alex.
"Me? What did I do?" Alex asked in confusion as he thought over the past few days.
"You drove the van when Uncle Scott wanted to attend the dinner. You helped us with your mutant ability when we needed you. And you have been a friend to my fathers." Trey said simply.
"Trey's right, you're a good brother." Alan said with a proud smile.
Alex blushed and stayed silent.
* * * * *
Jimmy, Warren and Kurt quietly crept into the back door of the boathouse.
"We do not want to interrupt Uncle Xander and Uncle Remy while they are enjoying their sexuality." Jimmy whispered and walked to the basement door.
A loud moan of ecstasy came from the upstairs and all three blushed as they hurried down the stairs.
"Here, this is what I wanted to get. Uncle Kurt, can you poof us outside so we don't have to hear Uncle Remy and Uncle Xander again?" Jimmy asked hopefully.
"Ja, comin ze." Kurt said and opened his arms.
Warren went to one side as Jimmy went to the other and a moment later they were on the boat dock.
Jimmy looked toward the horizon and saw the reflection of the sunset on the water.
"Look... it is beautiful." Jimmy said in wonder.
Warren pulled Jimmy close to him, concerned that he might get cold and looked with appreciation at the sunset.
"Such beauty happens every day unt ve rarely take ze time to notice." Kurt said and stood close beside Warren and Jimmy.
Silence fell over the three as they stood and watched until the sun had completed it's descent over the horizon.
* * * * *
Scott walked into the room and said, "William tells me that you would like to have a mutant name."
"Yes, please." Chris said with hope.
"If you can tell me about your mutant ability, I may be able to help you. That usually has something to do with what name you get." Scott said quietly.
"Okay... when it happened... it was like a ball of power moved out from my heart and grew in all directions. I couldn't see it but I could... see it in my mind. Everything it touched began to crumble and break apart. It was like everything around me just got tired and old, then became weak. When the power reached the gas stove in the kitchen, it exploded. And when it reached the ceiling, it crumbled... but it fell around me... not on me." Chris said from distant memory.
Angel took Chris's hand and held it tightly, knowing that he was reliving the death of his parents.
"And when it touched my parents... They fell apart. It's like the skin and muscles didn't want to hold onto the bones anymore. They just fell into a pile of parts." Chris said and began to cry.
"It's okay son. I'm here with you and you're safe." Angel said and moved to hug Chris closely.
After Chris had quieted, Angel asked, "Is that everything you need?"
"Yes. I'm sorry my question upset you Chris. I'll need some time to think about your name... William, would you come with me?" Scott asked and turned to leave.
"Yes Uncle Scott." William said quietly and left the room.
* * * * *
As Robert was trying on a bright blue, iridescent shirt there was a knock on the door.
"Just a second." Bobby said and ran to answer it.
"Peter. Come in... and... Icheb?" Bobby asked, straining his memory.
"Correct. May we speak with you for a moment?" Icheb asked timidly.
"Come in, Robert and I were just going through some clothes." Bobby said and walked back into the room.
"I have something to ask you, and I am unsure..." Icheb began to say with a blush.
"He wants to kiss you." Peter said simply.
"What?" Bobby said, stunned.
"He is not sure of his orientation. He kissed Marie and wants to compare the feeling of kissing you so he can be sure before he makes any decisions." Peter said without embarrassment.
"Um, I, uh, guess so. I mean, I've never really kissed a guy before but I wouldn't mind giving it a try." Bobby said hesitantly.
"I was led to believe that you are same gender oriented." Icheb said curiously.
"Yeah, but I haven't really done anything about it. I've had sex, but it didn't have anything to do with kissing. It was just sex." Bobby said with shame.
"I understand, I am sorry to hear that your previous experiences were unfulfilling." Icheb said honestly.
"Um, thanks. You wanna just do it so you can find out?" Bobby asked with a new blush.
"Yes, please." Icheb said and took a step toward Bobby.
"Okay." Bobby whispered and waited for Icheb to kiss him.
Icheb moved in and kissed Bobby full on the mouth. As Bobby felt the tongue glide across his lips, he opened hesitantly.
Icheb let his tongue roam as his hands began to explore Bobby's back.
Bobby hesitantly put his hands on Icheb's back and pulled him close.
Icheb felt a swell of desire rise up within him and ground his pelvis against Bobby in an almost animalistic thrust.
Bobby felt the erect cock through the layers of clothing as it rubbed against his own rising member.
Icheb let his hands drift lower and come to rest on Bobby's ass. He firmly grasped, and pulled Bobby closer, grinding Bobby against him as much as he was grinding against Bobby.
Finally Icheb pulled out of the kiss and said, "Thank you."
Bobby let his hands fall away from Icheb and stood stunned.
"Have you decided yet?" Robert asked curiously.
"I believe I will process the information while I regenerate before making any decision." Icheb said and walked for the door, before leaving he said, "Thank you again Bobby."
* * * * *
Logan led the ghost Ronny first to the kitchen, then into the common room that seemed to have a... lived in quality. There was debris strewn across the room and empty food containers surrounding the couch.
"I wasn't expecting company." Logan said as he took a seat on the couch.
"Are you the only one here?" Ronny asked as he looked around the room.
"Yeah, I been alone for four months. Everyone else is dead." Logan said and took two pills, then washed them down with a beer.
"Everyone in the mansion died? How did that happen?" Ronny asked as he thought about the people that he had met earlier in the day.
"Everyone in the world died. Some mutant hating trash decided that the world would be a better place without us and made a virus to kill us all. It backfired and killed everyone." Logan said before taking another drink of his beer.
"So you're alone in this world?" Ronny asked with a note of fear.
"Yeah, as far as I know. I ain't seen or heard anyone else since November." Logan said, looking curiously at the ghost standing before him.
"How can you live like that? I mean, I've always been around people, I can't imagine being completely alone." Ronny said in thought.
"You don't have to imagine it now kid. You are alone. Unless you meet up with another ghost, you and me are it. And I don't think we're going to be best buds or anything since you got me shot when you were alive." Logan said honestly.
"So you don't mind being alone?" Ronny asked in confusion.
"Well, I guess since you're dead I can tell you. I mind it. I've always been a loner, but when I wanted to be around people, they were there. Now, I dunno, it's like there's no point to being. I think it's like, when you help someone, you have a purpose. It makes their life better and yours. Without anyone else around to help or fight, I can't make a difference. There's no point." Logan said darkly and finished his beer.
Ronny sat silently for a long minute then said quietly, "I never helped anyone."
"You're a user kid. You use people to get what you want and damn anyone else's feelings." Logan said without malice.
"You don't know me." Ronny said in offense.
"No. But I've known enough people like you to recognize the breed. You're a parasite, you latch on to someone until they can't give you anymore then you move on." Logan said and walked from the room.
Ronny sat silently thinking about the words.
* * * * *
There was a knock on the door.
"I'll get it." Dawn said and sprinted from the common room.
She opened the door to reveal a familiar face.
"Wesley?" She asked in wonder.
"Yes... Have we met?" Wesley asked curiously.
"Um, no, I guess not. Come in, it's cold outside." Dawn said and led Wesley into the common room with everyone else.
"Wesley!" Andrew exclaimed with a smile.
"How is it that I am known here?" Wesley asked uneasily as he was directed to a chair.
"Long story Wes, maybe later." Dawn said and walked to Orroro.
After a moment of whispering and a nod from Orroro, Dawn and Tara left the room.
"So what brings you here Mr. Wyndom-Price?" Professor Xavier asked with a smile.
"I, uh, Mr. Giles had requested some rather rare items and I was asked to verify the need for their use." Wesley stammered, thrown completely off balance by everyone knowing him.
"Yes, of course. We will be having dinner soon, would you like to join us?" The Professor offered kindly.
"Yes, thank you. That is very kind." Wesley said in confusion.
Ethan walked into the common room and timidly asked, "May I borrow the Star Wars movies? I was reading and wanted to look at them again."
"Go ahead Ethan, just bring them back when you're finished. Those movies are quite popular." The Professor said in his teacher's tone.
"Thank you Professor." Ethan said and made his way across the room. He noticed Wesley sitting by the VCR and said, "Hello Wesley, are you staying for dinner?"
"Yes, I am." Wesley said with renewed confusion.
Ethan got the videotapes he wanted and left the room quietly.
"I think we should wait for Dawn to explain, she's the most knowledgeable about the spell that was used." The Professor said to Wesley.
Wesley looked around the room and noticed Trey sitting by two men on the couch.
He was unaware that he was staring until Andrew said, "Go ahead and ask whatever questions you have Wesley. You're among friends here."
Wesley shook himself out of his daze and asked, "What is he? Is he a demon?"
Alan and Andrew laughed as Trey got a sour look.
"I am not a demon. I am a non-human from another world." Trey said with a trace of offense in his voice.
"I'm sorry, I didn't know." Wesley said timidly.
"That's fine Wes, Trey needs to get used to explaining who and what he is. Let me help." Andrew said and put on a serious expression. "Wesley, this is my son Trey O'Seofon Summers, Trey, this is Wesley Wyndom-Price from the watcher's council."
"You know about the council? How much did Mr. Giles tell you?" Wesley asked with worry.
Dawn walked back into the room carrying a cup of tea.
"Here you go Wesley. Some oolong tea should make you feel better." Dawn said and handed the cup to Wesley.
"Yes, thank you." Wesley said in astonishment.
"And Giles didn't tell us anything. I come from a neighboring dimension and my sister is the queen slayer, so I already know all about that stuff." Dawn said as she took her seat followed immediately by Tara.
"Neighboring dimension? Queen slayer?" Wesley asked in confusion.
"Andrew? Can you give an amazing demonstration for Wesley?" Dawn asked without looking away from the watcher.
"Sure Dawnie... Slayer central?" Andrew asked casually.
Dawn nodded and continued to watch.
Andrew gestured toward the entertainment center and a misty vortex formed from floor to ceiling, then resolved the image of a large room.
"Caridad, is Buffy around?" Dawn asked through the vortex.
"No, they're all on their way here by bus. They should be in... Texas or Oklahoma right now. Do you need me to call her on the cell?" Caridad asked with worry.
"No, just a social call. Just let her know that I checked in and I'll see her soon. How are things going on the Cleveland Hellmouth?" Dawn asked and glanced at Wesley.
"Not bad, but we found something that freaked us out pretty bad last night." Caridad said with worry.
"What's that?" Dawn asked as she devoted her full attention to Caridad.
* * * * *
"This is my writing. You like to read, so I thought maybe you'd enjoy it." Jimmy said as he offered the padd.
"Thank you Jimmy. Let's go back to the mansion and we can read it together." Warren said and glanced at Kurt.
"I have difficulty reading English. The rules of pronunciation and grammar confuse me." Kurt said honestly.
"What is your native language?" Jimmy asked curiously.
"German." Kurt said as the three walked.
Jimmy pressed a few buttons on the padd and finally said, "That language is included in those I downloaded from Voyager's database. If you wish to read the story in German, I can translate it for you."
"Zat vould be good. Zere is little available for me to read in my own language, and it is difficult for me to follow ze story when I must translate ze words as I go." Kurt said quietly.
"You don't have the same problem with hearing English do you?" Jimmy asked curiously as the mansion came into view.
"No. Much less so."
"Uncle Warren, would you read outloud to us?" Jimmy asked hopefully.
"How much time before you have to be back?" Warren asked Jimmy.
"Twenty seven point four minutes." Jimmy said automatically.
"Then I think it will have to wait until later. By the time we get back to the mansion, you'll need to be back with your parents." Warren said in a gentle tone.
"Perhaps later. It is still many hours before I must regenerate and Uncle Xander and Uncle Remy don't sound like they're done yet." Jimmy said with a smile.
"How do you know so much about sex?" Warren asked with concern.
"My fathers don't realize that all of us have enhanced hearing. We can hear them when they enjoy sexuality. Icheb said that they would be embarrassed if they knew and would become uncomfortable sharing intimacy while we were in the house if we told them. So when they go in their room, we generally go to a part of the house far from them and act as if we don't hear them." Jimmy said with an impish grin.
"Then you must hear other things that you're not supposed to, when your fathers think they are speaking privately." Warren said with worry.
"Yes, but our Fathers have never said anything except to express their love for each other and for us. It reassures us to know that even when they believe we can't hear them, they continue to say good things about us." Jimmy said as they reached the mansion's back door.
* * * * *
William and Scott walked down the hallway of the lower level of the mansion, and Scott turned opposite the way William expected him to.
"Where are we going Uncle Scott?" He asked curiously.
"To the hanger bay. I want to talk with you for a minute and we can be alone there." Scott said and led the way.
William followed silently and once they were inside Scott led him into a side room that was filled with lockers.
"Have a seat. I need to ask you something and I'm not sure..." Scott began as he took a seat on the bench opposite William.
"Please just ask Uncle Scott." William said quietly.
"I've just seen that you are someone who takes the most direct path to get things done. You are blunt and honest. I need to know how you feel about me living at the boathouse." Scott said with concern in his voice.
"I do not understand the question." William said honestly.
Scott got up from the bench and said, "I just don't know if I belong there. All you kids and your fathers are so close. I don't know how to be like that. Alex and I have never been in a family where people talked... or touched. We each lived our own lives and pretty much avoided contact with everyone else. If we behaved ourselves, we were rewarded by being left alone rather than have to endure a lecture, or even worse, a family meal where we sat silently and tried to get through as quickly as possible so we could get away from each other." Scott said from memory.
"Is that the type of family you wish to be a part of now?" William asked hesitantly.
"No. Not at all. But I don't fit in with your family. I'm not like you. I don't know how to be like you." Scott said as he paced the room.
"Are you asking if our family would be better without you as a part of it?" William asked in confusion.
"Yeah, that's what I'm asking." Scott said and took his seat again to look William in the eyes.
"Uncle Scott. Our dad loves you and is proud of you. Since the day we arrived on Voyager, he has spoken of how much he cherished his brother. You and Dad are like role models for Robert and I since we are all twins. Our family would be harmed if you decided to leave. It would hurt our dad, our Uncle Alex who loves you a great deal, and it would hurt Robert and I. We do not want you as part of our family for what you do, we want you because we love you." William finished sincerely.
Scott thought about the words and sat silently for a long minute, digesting what was said and trying to formulate his next question.
"Why do you want to leave us?" William asked bluntly.
"I don't. Not really. I just feel... separate from the rest of you and I don't know how to change that." Scott said quietly.
William thought about the words then asked, "What do you like to do Uncle Scott?"
"How do you mean?" Scott asked with confusion.
"What activity do you engage in for pleasure?" William asked succinctly.
"I... usually don't have time for anything but work. I'm either planning my next class, seeing to maintenance of the jet or the mansion or dealing with team issues... I haven't even watched a movie since the day your Father arrived in our world." Scott said in realization.
"Do you want to be a part of our family?" William asked with strength.
"Yeah, I really do." Scott said quietly.
"Then I will tell you how, do this list of things and you will be a part of our family... completely." William said with certainty.
"What things?" Scott asked anxiously.
"You must let Janine teach you to play Kadis'ka, read all of Jimmy's writings, take Robert to buy clothing, create one graphic design with me, ask for Trey to help you build something, give Icheb a task among your duties in the mansion that involves leadership and supervise him, and you must assist each of my fathers in preparing food for the family for at least a week. If you do all these things, you will be one of our family completely." William said certainly.
"How will those things make me a part of your family?" Scott asked in confusion.
"Because those are the activities we enjoy. We share in each other's interests and enjoy each others company. I believe that if you chose to share in our interests, you would feel like one of us, and when you develop your own interests, you could share them with us." William said instructively.
"Thanks William. I'm going to give it a try... when would you have some free time to work on a graphic design?" Scott asked with a smile as he stood and offered a hand to help William to stand.
"I have no plans for tomorrow, whenever is convenient for you." William said as he accepted the hand and stood before his Uncle Scott.
Scott stepped forward hesitantly, and with a look of question, he asked, "May I give you a hug William?"
William nodded and Scott pulled him close for a tender hug.
"For your future reference, you are welcomed to hug me when you like. You are my favorite Uncle of all those I have, real and honorary." William said from the hug.
"Why?" Scott asked as he pulled back to look William in the eyes.
"Dad told Robert and I how you accepted him immediately as a brother when you met. And how you worked to make sure that he never felt like, 'the other one'. You were a friend to Father when he most needed a friend. And they both speak of the time the three of you were in a bed, recovering from injuries, as one of the happiest times of their history together. Anyone who could bring so much joy to both my fathers is a special person who deserves to be honored." William said honestly.
"I did all that?" Scott asked in wonder.
"Let's go upstairs and visit with the family." Scott said as he put an arm around William's shoulder and guided him toward the door.
* * * * *
"How are you Bobby?" Robert asked with concern.
"Um, good, wow, your brother... he's some kisser." Bobby spluttered.
"He uses the techniques that our fathers use. I believe he was emulating them." Robert said in a considering and clinical tone.
"Now I know why they always seem so happy." Bobby said as a silly smile fell over his face.
"Are you attracted to my brother?" Robert asked with genuine curiosity.
Bobby froze at the question and really thought about it.
Robert saw Bobby's frozen stare and concluded that Bobby was either processing a great deal of information... or stuck in a loop.
Eventually Bobby snapped out of his trance and looked at Robert's expectant face.
"Oh, uh... No. I'm not really attracted to your brother. I mean, I am physically. The kiss was great, and if I ever had any doubt about my orientation, that pretty much settled it. But I don't know your brother. I don't know if he's someone I'd like to spend time with..." Bobby trailed off in confusion.
"I understand. His action toward you stimulated a sexual response, but you have no emotional connection to him. It is good that you recognize this, I believe that such situations sometimes lead to misunderstandings that have far-reaching consequences." Robert said in a considering tone.
"Thanks buddy. That cleared it right up for me." Bobby said with a smile and opened his arms.
Without hesitation Robert went into Bobby's arms and enjoyed yet another hug.