Hurt & Comfort

Book 10: Elusive Comfort

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Chapter 7: Hesitation and Acceptance

As the door shut Bobby turned to Robert and asked, "What was all that with your parents? Are you really wanting to do all that stuff?"

Robert smiled as he pulled Bobby into a hug and said, "Jimmy told us about the art of negotiation. Sometimes in order to get what you truly want you have to ask for more than you want."

Bobby closed his eyes at the wonderful feeling of Robert's hug and said, "So you brought up the water sports and stuff so they'd agree to oral sex?"

"Yes. I did some research on the Internet to understand the various activities involved in sexuality. I came across many extreme examples of intimacy and chose three of them in hopes that my fathers would allow me to do what I really wanted." Robert said as he pulled back enough to look Bobby in the eyes.

"And what do you really want?" Bobby asked cautiously.

"To express my love for you in a physical manner." Robert said softly and began to nuzzle Bobby's neck.

"Robert. Hold on." Bobby said hesitantly.

Reluctantly, Robert pulled back to look into Bobby's eyes.

"I love you Robert, and I want to express my love to you too but I'm having a problem." Bobby said with regret in his voice.

"Is it my age?" Robert asked with a slight tremble in his voice.

"No Robert, since we have your fathers' permission I'm really okay with that." Bobby said honestly.

"Then what is it?" Robert asked, looking somewhat relieved.

"It's Pete. I feel like I'm being disrespectful to his memory or... I don't know how to say it exactly. It just feels wrong for us to do stuff so soon after his death." Bobby said with a distraught look.

"I believe I understand. You are in a period of mourning and to engage in a pleasurable activity seems inappropriate." Robert said in thought.

"Exactly. I'm sorry Robby. I really do love you and I want to be with you but I don't..." Bobby trailed off as he heard something.

Robert turned toward the wall and both heard another sound, like something being dropped or thrown in the next room.

"That's Pete's room." Bobby said as he hurried to the door.

* * * * *

"How do you want to do this?" Alex asked with shallow breaths.

"To tell you the truth mate, I'm not ready." Spike said with apology in his eyes.

"But I thought..." Alex drifted off with hurt.

"I love you, and I want us to both be ready, in our hearts, the first time we make love. If you need to get off, I can do that. But it'll have to be like a couple blokes, not like lovers, not yet." Spike said sadly.

"Can you tell me why?" Alex asked with desperation.

"Cause if we jump into this we can mess it up. Mess it up so bad it can't be fixed. I love you enough to wait till the time is right." Spike said quietly.

"How will we know when it's time?" Alex asked as he looked into Spike's eyes.

"We'll know luv. We've got some baggage to deal with, both of us. I've got me a past I have to sort through and deal with before I can come to you completely. And I think you've got the same." Spike finished softly.

"Me? I've never been with anyone." Alex said in confusion.

"I know. But you seem to be so desperate to be loved, to be held. Is it me you want or an end to the loneliness?" Spike asked with worry.

Alex froze at the words.

"Alex, I love you. I love you enough to wait till you know what you really want. And when we're both ready we'll make love. Is this enough for now?" Spike asked hesitantly.

"You said you'd help me get off, right?" Alex asked seriously.

"I could do with a good wank myself. I'd never leave you having to do without." Spike said softly.

"Then I can wait for the rest, how do you want to do it?" Alex asked unsurely.

Spike thought for a second, and then got a devilish grin.

"I think I should worry now." Alex said playfully.

"You have any playing cards laying about?" Spike asked, ignoring Alex's statement.

"Um, yeah, here." Alex said, bewildered by Spike's request as he pulled a deck of cards from the bedside stand.

Spike scooted away from Alex on the bed and left a space between them.

"What are you up to?" Alex asked warily.

"Strip poker, jokers wild, two draws. Pairs of things, socks and the like count as one item. Jewelry don't count." Spike said as he shuffled the cards.

"What happens when we get naked?" Alex asked with a smile.

"Then whoever is naked and loses the next hand has to do what the winner says... to himself. We'll see how this game goes and maybe next time we'll do each other." Spike said as his eyes glittered with mischief.

"Enough talking, deal." Alex said forcefully.

* * * * *

"Andrew, Alan, can I have a few minutes of your time?" A familiar voice asked.

"Jean?" Andrew said as he ran to greet her.

"Hi guys." Jean said as she accepted a hug from first Andrew, then Alan.

"How are you doing?" Andrew asked as he led Jean to have a seat in the common room.

"I can honestly say that every day is a new adventure." Jean said with a big smile.

"Have you had any Thanksgiving dinner? There's still plenty of food left." Andrew said quickly.

"Sorry guys, I don't have time. I really need to ask you a tremendous favor." Jean said with a serious look.

"Go ahead Jean, you know you can ask us anything." Alan said firmly.

"Thanks... I need to explain a few things before I get to the favor." Jean said and looked to see that both men were listening.

Andrew nodded and Jean continued, "When the virus changed my body and increased my mutant abilities and the power of the Phoenix I had the potential to cause destruction on a scale that you can't comprehend. An uncontrolled outburst of my power could disrupt time and space to the point that the damage to the multiverse could never be undone."

Andrew and Alan didn't fully understand what she was saying, but could tell that she was leading to something more.

"My increasing power attracted the attention of a species called the 'Q'. They are multidimensional creatures that exist outside the time/space continuum. They had the choice to either kill me or make me one of them. For whatever reason, they chose to make me 'Q'." Jean said in thought.

"Now to the favor. My mentor in the Q continuum got the idea that he wanted to have a child. He approached Captain Janeway with... less than successful results. Eventually he found another member of the continuum to mate with him and they produced a child, a son." Jean said and her looked changed from thoughtful to sad.

"Q has grown quickly and honestly isn't a bad child but..." Jean trailed off and looked away as tears began to form in her eyes.

"What is it?" Andrew asked with concern.

"When my mentor decided he wanted a child, it was a whim, a passing fancy. Now he's faced with the reality of having a child, even when it's not fun and not what he wants. Their fights have been escalating until my mentor finally did something that did irreparable damage to their relationship." Jean said darkly.

"Did he hurt the boy?" Alan asked with concern.

"What about the mother?" Andrew asked at the same time.

"The mother had the child as an indulgence for the father. She had no interest in being a mother and still doesn't. And he didn't hurt the boy physically, in his true form he is nearly indestructible." Jean said as her tears began to fall.

"What did he do?" Alan asked in a whisper.

"Q had a friend. His first and only friend. During their last fight, my mentor attacked Q's friend in a fit of rage. Q's friend was 'unmade'. My mentor sent a surge of energy into the past and prevented the conception of Q's friend... he never existed. Only Q, his father, Logan and I even remember that he ever was. To the rest of his timeline, no such person was ever born. The Q are extremely powerful and capable of almost anything with just a thought, but when someone is 'unmade' there is no way to undo it." Jean said quietly.

"I think I have an idea of what favor you're going to ask, but please, go ahead." Andrew said in an emotionally drained voice.

"My mentor wanted to destroy Q, calling him a mistake and too dangerous to be allowed to exist. Logan and I convinced him to allow us to take Q someplace where he would be out of his father's way. This Earth in this dimension belongs unofficially to Logan and I. No other members of the Q come here and no one will interfere. Q has had his powers negated and has been given human form. What I'm asking is if you'll take him in and raise him as one of your children." Jean asked in a pleading voice.

"Jean, we have eight kids and one on the way..." Andrew began.

"Yes." Alan said firmly.

Andrew looked at Alan with surprise.

"Andy, Jean knows about our kids. She feels that this is the best place for him or she wouldn't ask. How could we sleep at night knowing that we said no to a child in need?" Alan asked with a plea for understanding in his eyes.

Andrew held Alan's gaze for a moment, and then looked at Jean.

"Alan's right. Of course we'll take him in." Andrew said softly.

"I'll introduce you, and then I'll leave. I can't stay too long." Jean said quickly.

"Jean, please don't leave until I've had a chance to talk to him. I know you think you're doing what's best for him, but if this isn't what he wants, it won't work." Andrew said simply.

Jean stopped, then nodded.

There was a flash of light and a teenage boy, maybe fourteen appeared.

"Q, I'd like for you to meet Andrew and Alan, these are the guys I was telling you about." Jean said with a gentle smile.

"Nice to meet you." The boy mumbled, not looking into anyone's eyes.

"Q, please come over here. I need to talk to you for a minute." Andrew said quietly.

The boy walked to stand in front of Andrew.

"Sit down with me, I just need to ask you a few questions." Andrew said and patted the cushion beside him.

Q hesitantly sat beside Andrew.

"Jean told me a little about you. But I just need to know that you're here because you want to be." Andrew said in as gentle a voice as he could manage.

"Yes, please sir, I promise I'll do anything you say, I'll be good! I promise! Please let me stay!" The boy said in panic.

Alan automatically pulled Q into a hug and whispered comforting words into his ear as Andrew said, "Q, as long as you're here because you want to be, then we'll be happy to have you."

Jean walked to Andrew and Alan with a look of relief.

"I don't know how we'll explain him being here. I mean, from what you said, he doesn't 'officially' exist on this world." Andrew said with concern.

"Not a problem. There's a folder of birth certificates and social security cards on the Professor's desk that Scott forgot to distribute yesterday when it arrived. All Q's paperwork is in there and he has a complete history of existence in the official files, as do the rest of your family." Jean said with a happy smile.

"Thanks Jean." Alan said as he lifted his head from beside Q's ear.

"I didn't do much. Mr. Howlett did most of it; I just did the things he couldn't. All your family's official records are settled, you'll never have to worry about that." Jean said in peace.

"Um, what is Q's name in the paperwork?" Andrew asked as he looked at the boy who was soaking in the love and comfort from Alan.

"Quaid Summers." Jean said with a giggle.

"Is that alright with you Q?" Andrew asked as he tried to hold Q's gaze.

"Yes sir. I'm not Q anymore since they put me here. I'm human now. I *should* have a human name." Q said in barely more than a mumble.

"Guys, I really have to go now. Logan and I will check in with you as often as we can." Jean said warmly.

"Jean?" Andrew said quickly.

"Yes?" Jean responded.

"Thanks." Andrew said, then turned a loving look toward Q.

Jean nodded and vanished in a flash of light.

"Andy, let's take Q home." Alan said as he held tightly to the young boy.

Andrew smiled and gestured to the portal forming in front of them.

* * * * *

Bobby entered the room and froze in place.

It looked as though the place had been ransacked. Books were thrown from the shelves and were scattered around the room.

"Who would do this?" Robert asked as he walked to stand beside Bobby.

"No one." Bobby said in confusion.

Robert looked at Bobby curiously.

"No one could have gotten out of this room without passing us in the hall." Bobby said as he looked around.

"Give me a moment." Robert said and began to press some buttons on his personal data node and his ocular implant.

He slowly looked around the room and finally said, "There is no indication that another person has been in this room in the past two hours. I am capable of seeing thermal variations and any warm-blooded being would have left residual thermal traces in the room."

Bobby smiled and said, "I didn't think of that. I can sense heat too. You're right. No one's been in here. But that doesn't explain what happened to the room."

"Look at this." Robert said as he pointed to a sketchbook opened at their feet.

"It's one of Pete's drawings. I've seen him working on them a few times, but he never felt comfortable showing them to me." Bobby said as he looked at the beautiful picture of Ms. Munroe.

"He was quite talented." Robert said quietly.

"He had so much to live for." Bobby said as he knelt down to look at the book.

"Robby, look at this." Bobby said as he stared at the next page in the sketchbook.

"It is us." Robert said in wonder.

"He captured our love." Bobby said in a whisper as he looked at the picture of him and Robert hugging.

Bobby turned the page, and then quickly turned it back before Robert could see.

"What is it?" Robert asked with concern.

"Um, I guess Peter wasn't just talented, but also had a dirty mind." Bobby said with a chuckle.

"I do not understand." Robert said hesitantly.

"Look." Bobby said as he turned the page.

Robert stared in wonder at the picture of the two of them, Bobby and Robert, completely nude and engaged in passionate sex.

"I didn't know he thought about stuff like this." Bobby said as a blush crept up his face.

"Bobby." Robert said with a serious tone in his voice.

Bobby stood quickly at the sound and looked into Robert's eyes.

"Peter loved you and wanted you to be happy. The picture was an expression of his desire for you to be happy. If we make love, we will not be disrespecting his memory, we will be granting his wish." Robert said seriously.

"I think you're right. Let's go take care of that now, we'll come back later and tidy up." Bobby said warmly.

"I love you." Robert said as he held Bobby's gaze.

"I love you too Robby. Let's go to bed." Bobby said and put an arm around Robert to guide him out of the room.

* * * * *

As the three emerged from the portal Q asked, "What was that?"

Andrew looked at Q and followed his eyes to the vanishing portal.

"It's a portal, that's my mutant ability." Andrew said in a fatherly tone.

"You're a mutant?" Q asked with wide eyes.

"Yes, Alan and I are both mutants. That doesn't bother you does it?" Andrew asked with a note of concern.

"No, I mean, no sir. I just, I never met any mutants before. The last time I visited a material dimension there weren't any mutants at all." Q said with excitement.

All three turned as Lee and Slash walked out of the bedroom.

"Hi Dad, I'd like you to meet your new grandson." Andrew said with an impish grin.

Lee looked at his son in surprise, then noticed the frightened look on the boy's face.

"What's your name little fella?" Lee asked as he walked closer to Q.

"Q... I mean Quaid." Q said in a trembling voice.

"Are you my grandson?" Lee asked as he squatted to look into Quaid's eyes.

Quaid looked up to Andrew with question.

"Since Jean named you Summers, I'm assuming that you are going to be my son. If you're my son and he's my father, that makes him your grandfather and you his grandson." Andrew said gently.

Quaid had a look of confusion on his face as he looked from Andrew to Lee. When he met Lee's eyes he nodded hesitantly.

"Good. You can't have too many grandkids." Lee said with a smile and held open his arms.

"How you doing Slash?" Andrew asked as Lee pulled Quaid into a hug.

"Um, okay. Where'd you get the kid?" Slash asked curiously.

"He needed a family, and we appear to have one empty couch." Andrew said with a shrug.

"Sir?" Quaid said as he pulled out of his hug with Lee.

"You can call me Father if you like." Andrew said gently.

"Father. Q said that she fixed all the new rooms you were building. She knew you'd need a place for me to sleep." Quaid said quickly.

Andrew and Alan looked at each other, then walked to the door that separated the existing house from the new wing.

Lee took hold of Quaid's hand and began to walk, taking hold of Slash's shoulder along the way.

"Who's with the babies?" Andrew thought to ask.

"Xander and Warren are watching them." Lee said immediately.

"Okay, let's go." Andrew said happily.

* * * * *

"Full house, kings high" Alex said proudly.

"Bugger! I thought I had you with two pairs." Spike said as he dropped his cards.

"What's it going to be?" Alex asked with delight.

"Socks. If you want to see the good stuff, you're going to have to earn it." Spike said with playful gruffness as he pulled his socks off.

"My deal." Alex said happily as he gathered the cards to shuffle.

* * * * *

"Wow, it's really all done." Alan said as they walked into the first room.

"It's beautiful. I didn't think the rooms would be this big." Andrew said as he looked at the comfortable, fully furnished room.

"Look at that." Andrew said in astonishment.

"What is it?" Alan asked curiously.

"It's Spike's duster. It was destroyed in Sunnydale when he closed the hellmouth." Andrew said as he carefully glided his fingers over the leather.

"And this is Alex's uniform." Alan said from the open closet door.

"Let's check out the other rooms." Lee said with excitement.

To Be Continued...