Memories: Down Under

Book 1

Chapter 2: Revelations

Sydney Royal Children's Hospital, Room 319 - 8:30 am 13 October 2004

Skylan woke up from a peaceful nights sleep, looking forward to having a visitor for the day. Luisa came in to check on 'her' boy, and found him sitting on the bed, tears streaming down his face, but a big smile as well. This cheered Luisa up, as she enjoyed seeing this young boy enjoying life.

Skylan soon noticed Luisa standing in the doorway to his room. "Hello, Nurse Gutierrez. Did you know I'm getting a visitor today?" he asked exuberantly.

"Of course, I knew about that. You're really looking forward to that aren't you? I've never seen you look so happy. C'mon. Let's get you cleaned up, so you don't smell for your guest, eh?"

With that, Luisa helped Skylan into the bathroom adjoining his hospital room. Once Skylan was positioned within the seated shower, Luisa left him to give him some privacy. Ten minutes later, she returned to find a freshly cleaned, well-dressed young man standing next to the basin.

"My, my. Don't you clean up well? I take it you really want to impress Director Thomas' son, eh?" Luisa said to Skylan.

"Well, I don't have any visitors in here. This is my chance to make a new friend. I just hope he likes me." At this, Skylan's eyes became teary. Seeing this, Luisa moved up to the boy and wrapped her arms around him.

"Oh honey. I'm sure he'll like you just fine. You're the kind of kid who people can't help but like." she said as she held the boy, stroking his back to calm him down. Soon enough, the boy had calmed down, and Luisa went back to the bathroom and got a damp washcloth for him to wipe away the tear stains from his cheeks. When he looked more presentable, Luisa took him outside to the park area to await his guest's arrival.

At about 9:30, Linda walked out into the park area, followed by a boy of 14, with short dark brown hair with blond tips. He had a slim build, like a swimmer, with just the right amount of muscle on his frame. Just seeing this vision of perfection brought back quite a few memories to Sky; many of them distressing.

Not wanting his new friend to see him as a wimp, Skylan ran back to his hospital room. When he reached his room, he collapsed onto his bed, crying from the pain brought on by his regained memories. The memories brought back were those of being gay and his parents being completely homophobic. He now knew that he was one step closer to finding out why he was in the hospital.

Linda had seen Skylan's behaviour when he first saw her son, and suggested that she and her son leave him be, but her son, Cody, had other plans.

"No way, mum. I need to find out why he was nearly crying. If I can help him in any way, then I'm going to do it."

Linda looked at her son with pride. The two of them walked to Skylan's room, where they found the boy curled up on his bed, crying. Linda pulled a chair up to the bed and began to calm Skylan, while Cody watched from the doorway into the room.

"There, there honey. What's wrong?" Linda asked the distressed boy.

In between sniffles, Skylan managed to choke out "It's nothin'. If I told you, you'd probably hate me anyway."

Linda put two fingers under Skylan's chin and lifted his face so that she could look him directly in the eyes. "Nonsense, Nothing you could tell me would make me hate you. Now, would you like to talk about it now, or shall we talk about it later?"

"Can I talk to you about it later? I'm just not ready for that yet."

"Of course, honey, Whenever you're ready. Now hows about I go to the office and let you two get to know each other?" She then turned to Cody. "Honey, come to the bed."

When Cody had reached the side of Skylan's hospital bed, Linda introduced the two to each other. "Skylan, this is my son, Cody. He's 14, just like you. Cody, this is Skylan Lampis. Now you two have fun. I'll be here to pick you up at about 5 o'clock, Cody." And with that, Linda left the boys to enjoy their day together.

Skylan hung his head as he said to Cody, "You must think I'm a real baby, crying for no reason like that."

Cody put his arm around Skylan's shoulders and spoke softly, "No. I don't think you're a baby. You're in a tough situation. I actually think you're really brave. If it were me in this situation, I don't think I could handle it." With that, Cody leaned over and kissed Skylan on the lips. It was a soft kiss, one filled with love and caring. It lasted about 5 seconds, but to both boys, it lasted an eternity. Soon, the kiss was broken.

When he realised what he had done, Cody backed away from the bed quickly, a look of sheer horror on his face. He had known he was gay for two years, but hadn't been able to tell anyone, not even his parents, who he knew would understand. So for him to have just kissed another boy - on the lips - was one of the worst things possible. Meanwhile, Skylan sat on his bed, a look of surprise and fear on his face.

"Uh ... um ... oh. God! I'm so STUPID. Skylan, I'm SO sorry, I didn't intend to do that. It just ... you're so ... I couldn't resist." Cody managed to stutter, while beginning to hyperventilate. Seeing this situation, Skylan quickly broke out of his trance. He quickly got out of bed, after pressing the nurse call button, and rushed to see if he could help Cody.

Luisa rushed into the room to see what was wrong and saw Cody having difficulty breathing. She rushed to a cabinet at the side of the room. From the cabinet, she pulled a paper bag, which she placed over Cody's mouth and started telling the boy to try to take deep breaths. Soon enough, Cody's breathing had calmed down to a normal pace. Luisa turned to Skylan, "How did this happen? What triggered him to hyperventilate?"

Cody heard the question, and looked to Skylan with fear in his eyes as Skylan stuttered, "Uh ... uh ... I don't ... really know. We were talking and he just started having trouble breathing."

Luisa looked as though she didn't believe what she was told, until she said, "OK then. I want the two of you to keep an eye on each other today. Cody if you see Skylan getting deeply depressed or in a lot of pain, call me. Same to you Skylan, if Cody begins to hyperventilate, call me. Now you two have fun, but please be careful." With that, Luisa left the room.

Cody looked at Skylan. "Dude, why didn't you tell her that you didn't want me here. I'm gay, you should hate me for what I did to you."

Skylan looked at Cody, saw the fear and hurt on his face, and looked into Cody's eyes as he spoke. "I didn't say anything for a reason. And I don't hate you for who you are or what you did. If I did, then I'd have to hate myself. I'm gay, too, Cody. And I wanted to kiss you when I first saw you. That's why I ran away when you walked up to me. I suddenly realised I was gay, but then I remembered from my past that my parents were homophobic. It scared me, cause I thought that you and your mum might be the same as my parents."

By now, Cody was looking at Skylan in shock and disbelief. "Oh my God. You're gay? Wow. I never thought you'd be gay. I wanted so bad to kiss you when I first saw you. Then, when you ran away, I thought you didn't like me. Then, when you ran, I saw you starting to cry, and I knew I had to help you feel better. I didn't mean to kiss you like that, it just sorta happened. I'm glad I did now, though. You are cute, you know."

Skylan blushed and looked at his feet. "No I'm not. Look at me. I'm covered in bruises and cuts. I don't look good at all."

Cody lifted Skylan's chin with his thumb and forefingers and looked into his eyes as he said, "It doesn't matter to me what you look like. As I told you, you are a brave person. You have been put into hospital, covered in bruises and cuts, with no memories of your life. If I were in your position, I'd have given up all hope. Instead, you agreed to allow my mum to help you get a better life. You are so brave." And with that, Cody kissed Skylan softly on the lips again.

Skylan was melting on the inside. Here was an incredibly gorgeous boy kissing him on the lips. He began to kiss Cody back, with all the love he could give. As the kiss broke, the two boys looked into each other's eyes. Cody spoke softly, "Sky, I know I only just met you, but I feel like I've known you for years. I think I'm falling in love with you, and it's the greatest feeling ever."

Skylan smiled a wide smile as he said; "I think I'm falling in love with you, too. You know, when Dr. Campbell said that nurse Gutierrez had named me 'Sky', it brought back memories and made my cry, but when you called me Sky just then, it sounded so beautiful coming from you." That said, Skylan leaned in and kissed Cody, the first time ever he had kissed another boy first.

For the rest of the day, the boys played Xbox on Skylan's TV, and spent most of their time cuddled up close to each other, sharing the occasional kiss.

Youth Services Oceania Office, 10AM

Meanwhile, back at her office, Linda was just looking over the results of the search she set the previous night. As she was scanning through the different sites and medical journals, she found that one phrase was common in around 70% of the entries originating from the American Starfleet Medical database. She needed to find out more information about the Act.

As she continued reading through the results, she came across a document entitled "The Federation Safe Haven Act of 2002". Realising this was what she was looking for Linda decided to read on.

The Federation Safe Haven Act of 2002

The Federation Safe Haven Act allows for the immediate removal and placement of minor children because of imminent danger to said minor. The Act was first used in the year 2003 by Commander Charles Dodds of the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-A, on behalf of a minor, pop singer Aaron Carter.

The Act was put in place to protect minor children from abuse of many varieties. Most cases of the use of this Act have resulted in the child being placed in the care of Starfleet-approved foster families.

As Linda read on, she realised that this was what she needed to help Skylan. She spent the next ten minutes reading until she found the Section that she needed. When she found this, she made a decision and called her husband to get his opinion.

A young male answered the call. "Starfleet IT. How may I help you today?"

"Could you put me through to Director Thomas, please. Tell him it's his wife."

"Of course. Please wait for a minute and he'll be right with you."

A moment later, Linda's husband, Harry Thomas, came on the screen. "What's up, honey? Is something wrong with the boys?" he asked.

"Well ... that depends on how I take that question." Linda replied hesitantly.

"What do you mean?" Harry asked, genuinely confused by Linda's response.

"Well, you know that boy I was talking about last night, Skylan Lampis? I found a way to help him, and I was wondering what you'd say if I were to suggest that we take him in." Linda slowly said.

"How do you mean take him in? As in adopt? Honey, we don't have enough space in the house for another boy. I don't know if this is a good idea. I mean only you and Cody have even met this boy." Harry said, concerned.

"Well we did adopt Kane when he was a baby, honey. It's not that much different. I mean we have the upstairs apartment that we could get finished. Cody and Skylan could sleep up there, and then we'd have a guest room to spare. Also, I'll bring you and Kane with me when I pick up Cody, then you'll get a chance to get to know him then." Linda said. "Please, Harry. Let's just see how you and Kane get along with him. I think Cody really likes him. If Kane likes him and you do, then we'll look further into it, OK?"

"OK, honey. What time are you picking Cody up?" Harry asked.

"I told them I'd be there about 5. Will I see you there?"

"Of course. I'll pick Kane up from school and drive there. It's the Children's Hospital, yes?"

"Yes. I'll meet you there. See you later, love."

"Bye, love." And the connection closed. Linda sat back with a satisfied smile, happy that things may soon fall into place. After lunch, she returned to her office and completed all her paperwork earlier then usual, then she printed off the information on the Safe Haven Act. That done, she locked up her office, sent her secretary home for the rest of the day, then called for transport to the Children's Hospital.

Children's Hospital, that same day

Back at the hospital, Cody and Skylan were enjoying their time together kissing and hugging as well as playing games on the XBOX in Skylan's room. Soon, it was 5. Cody knew his mum would be picking him up soon, and he'd never see Skylan again. This scared him, as he had already started developing deep feelings for the boy, and wanted to do everything in his power to protect him. He decided to talk to his parents about it.

Skylan noticed the fact that Cody was quiet, and spoke up. "Cody, what's wrong? Why'd you go all quiet? Did I do something?"

"No, you didn't do anything bad. I was just thinking. My mum will be here to pick me up soon, but I don't want to go. I want to stay here with you. I care about you a lot; Sky, and I want to be with you always. I'm thinking of talking to my parents tonight and seeing if there's any way that you can live with us. That way we can be together forever. The only thing is I'd have to tell them why. I want to come out to my parents, Sky, but I can't do that unless you want to and I know that'd be scaring for you and all, but ..."

Cody was cut off by Skylan kissing him deeply. When they broke the kiss, Skylan looked deep into Cody's eyes as he said, "I can't believe you'd do that for me! That you'd tell your parents that you're gay, just so we can be together! I love you sooo much, Cody!" and with that he threw his arms around Cody and hugged as tight as he could.

After they had sat there for a while, Linda knocked on the door and asked if it was OK to come in. Cody nodded to his mum, a big smile on his face. Skylan watched as Linda walked into the room, followed by a man and a young boy he hadn't met. The man looked about 40 and had short, brown hair, like Cody and Linda, so Skylan knew this man was Cody's father. The boy looked about 5, with really curly red hair that looked out of place between Linda and the man.

Linda did the introductions; "Skylan, I'd like you to meet my husband, Harry, and our youngest boy, Kane. Kane is 5 and he's adopted, we adopted him when he was a baby."

Skylan extended his hand to Harry, "Nice to meet you, sir. I've had a fun day with your son."

"That's good to hear, Skylan. It's always nice to make new friends, isn't it?"

"Yes sir. It is." Skylan then turned to Kane, "Hey there 'lil buddy."

"Hi." Kane replied shyly. "Why are you in hospital? How come Cody's in the bed with you?"

"Kane ..." Linda began to admonish the boy, but Skylan interrupted.

"That's OK, I don't mind trying to satisfy my 'lil buddy's curiosity." He said to Linda, then turned to Kane, "Well 'lil buddy, I'm in hospital cause I was hurt by some people and needed to come here to help me heal, and Cody here is in my bed cause we were just playing the XBOX. Do you play XBOX, Kane?"

Kane vigorously nodded his head, "Uh huh! I beat Cody lots of times! He keeps sayin' he lets me win, but I know he's lyin'."

"Well, I think you're right Kane. I kept beating him all day. He mustn't be very good, eh?"

Kane giggled, "You're funny. I like you."

This shocked everyone else in the room except for Skylan. The Thomas family knew that Kane was a very reserved boy, and rarely made friends, and yet he had just held a conversation with Skylan, and told him that he liked him.

"I like you too, 'lil buddy. How'd you like to sit up here between me and Cody and play the XBOX while I get to know your mummy and daddy?" and then he lifted the boy up onto the bed and placed him between himself and Cody. This again shocked the Thomas family, as Kane NEVER let anyone but them touch him.

When Kane had been shown how to play the game, Skylan turned his attention to Linda and Harry, who stood there, still with shocked looks on their faces. Skylan began to wonder if he'd done something wrong.

"Uh ... did I do something bad?" he asked in a timid voice.

"OH ... no! We're just shocked that Kane talked to you so much. He's very shy and usually doesn't say anything to anyone unless he's spoken to. And within 5 minutes of you meeting him, you had a full conversation with him, AND lifted him up onto the bed. No, you didn't do anything wrong at all. In fact, you did the right thing then." Linda said in a shocked tone.

"Oh OK." Skylan said, a big smile on his face from the praise he had just received.

"So, how are you liking it here in the hospital, Skylan? Is it a lot of fun?" Harry asked.

"Yes sir, it's a lot of fun, but I don't like the night, cause that's when the nightmares come to me. Is Cody able to come visit again tomorrow?" Skylan asked, a hopeful look on his face.

"Now that's enough of that 'sir' business. It's Harry, ya hear? And I don't see why both Kane and Cody can't come visit you tomorrow. In fact, I think I might even pop in. How's that sound?"

Skylan and Cody's faces both lit up at the thought of another day together. Kane, however, was too busy playing the game to hear what was said.

"You mean BOTH me and Kane can come visit Sky ALL DAY tomorrow?" Cody asked with excitement. He then realised that he called Skylan by his nickname and blushed, but Skylan grabbed his hand and squeezed it out of sight of the adults and Kane.

"Now hold on. I didn't say you could stay all day, I just said we'd visit. We'll come in the morning and in the evening. In the morning we'll stay for half an hour, then the evening we'll stay for couple of hours, maybe we'll all go out to dinner." Harry said. He had already made up his mind about Skylan, but wanted to talk to Linda first.

Cody and Skylan's faces both dropped when Harry said 'no' to an all-day visit, but they brightened up again at the mention of going out to dinner. Harry had already begun making plans for the dinner.

The Thomas family stayed for another hour, then Harry said it was time to go. Before they left, Skylan had Cody take him to the bathroom to go to the toilet. When the door was closed, both boys shared a deep and passionate kiss, one filled with all the love they could muster. "I'll miss you, Code." Skylan whispered as tears began to form in his eyes.

"I'll miss you too, Sky." Cody said, tears also forming in his eyes. "I love you."

"I love you too. Good luck with telling your parents."

"Thanks. I don't think they'll mind. It's Kane I'm worried about. What if he doesn't take the news well?"

"Relax, Cody. I'm sure he'll love you all the same."

"You're right, Sky. We'd better get out there before they come looking for us."

"Yeah, your right. Love you." And with that, the boys exited the bathroom. 5 minutes later, all the Thomas family had said their goodbyes, the boys being the last and most emotional - Cody because of his love for Skylan and Kane because this was his first real friend - and had left the hospital room. Skylan went to sleep that night with a smile on his face, knowing that he was loved.

Thomas residence, Manly, Sydney, 8:30PM

The Thomas family had just walked in the front door of their large home and began to get ready for bed. On the way home, Harry had taken the family to a Lonestar steakhouse for dinner, and they were all feeling the effects of overeating. Cody changed into his pyjamas and went downstairs to find his parents sitting in the living room, watching the late night news.

"Uh ... mum, dad? Could we talk?" he asked his parents in a worried tone. His parents looked at him and noticed his fear and knew he was about to tell them something they had known for a while, and had been waiting for him to tell them.

"Of course, son. Come have a seat between us, and tell us what you need to whenever you're ready." Harry said, while patting a spot between him and Linda.

Cody sat down between his parents, nervous about what was about to happen. He sat there for about two minutes, phrasing his words carefully, before speaking. "Mum, dad. I want to talk about Sky." He said to his parents.

This shocked both Linda and Harry, who were expecting a different topic. "What about him, honey?" Linda asked.

"Well, I wanna know if there's a way you two could, like, adopt him or something. I mean, I hate the idea of Sky living with complete strangers. At least he knows us." Cody said, so fast, that Linda and Harry almost couldn't make out the separate words of the sentence.

"Oh, honey. I'm so proud of you. You're learning to put other peoples' needs before yourself." Linda said while hugging her son.

"Son," Harry began, "I just want to say how proud of you I am. I have a few things I want to look into, but if we can help Skylan in any way, then we will do it, OK? I just can't promise that we can adopt him. His parents may be looking for him still. Maybe they didn't know there was anything wrong. After all, he was found near a popular camping ground."

"OK dad. Thanks for listening to me. I just don't wanna see him get hurt again."

"That's very good of you son. Was that all, honey?" Linda asked him.

Cody considered saying 'yes' for a moment until he remembered the look of love on Skylan's face when he suggested coming out to his parents. "Actually, there's something else, but I'm scared you'll hate me."

Both Harry and Linda wrapped Cody up in a hug and said softly "Oh Cody, no matter what happens, we'll ALWAYS love you. Nothing will ever change that."

"I hope so," Cody began, "because I'm gay."

Both Linda and Harry looked at each other and smiled. "Follow me son." Harry said as he got up from the couch, and walked towards the office. Cody thought he was going to get a beating, like many boys he'd read about in stories on the Internet and in the news. However, when they got to the office, Harry pulled a painting down from the wall, exposing a safe that Cody never knew existed. After putting in the correct unlocking sequence, Harry opened the safe and pulled out two boxes, one smaller than the other, but both still pretty small. Linda walked into the office at this time, followed closely by Kane, who still looked sick from too much food. Linda and Kane both took a seat on one of the sofas in the room. Harry sat down next to Kane and had Cody sit on the floor.

"Son. I think Kane here needs to know what's going on. After all, he is a member of our family. Would you like me to tell him or do you want to?" Harry asked Cody.

"I'll tell him, dad. He needs to hear it from me." Cody then turned to Kane, "Hey, 'lil buddy. Can we talk seriously for a couple of minutes?" After receiving an affirmative nod from Kane, Cody continued, "OK, 'lil buddy. Now, I need to ask you a few questions, OK? Do you know what it means to be gay?"

"No." Kane said.

"Well, what that means is that a boy likes boys the way most boys like girls. You know what I mean?"

"Not really." Kane said softly, afraid he was in trouble.

"OK, 'lil buddy. Well, you like boys as friends, right?" Cody asked the 5 year old. Kane nodded his head vigorously. "OK. Well, see, I like boys, too. But I like them a lot more than you do. You like them enough to hug them sometimes right?" Again Kane nodded. "Well, I like boys so much, that I want to kiss them."

"Ewwww! Kissing's yucky! Why would you do that?!" Kane asked while pulling a face.

"Well, when you get older, you start to like kissing, 'lil buddy. But, some people don't like that some boys like other boys, so you can't tell anyone, OK 'lil buddy?"

Kane nodded his head. "OK, Cody. I won't tell no-one. I promise." At that, Kane jumped off the sofa and wrapped his little arms around Cody in a tight hug. "I luv you, Cody."

Cody returned the hug. "I love you, too, my little Kano."

After the hug broke up, Kane returned to the sofa and snuggled up to Linda, and Harry placed the boxes from the safe on the floor in front of Cody. "Son, your mother and I suspected you were gay last year, when your cousin came to visit. When we talked about it, we agreed that you had to approach us with the topic, otherwise, you'd probably get scared. We want you to know how proud we are of you. It took courage to say what you had to say."

"Thanks, dad. But that courage was because I've fallen in love." Cody said.

"Really? Who is it?" Linda asked.

"Skylan." Cody said as he blushed. "I really like him and I don't want to see him hurt again."

"Well, son. I must say you certainly have good taste. Does he know you like him that way?" Harry asked, placing a hand on Cody's shoulder.

"Yes. He found out when I kissed him just after mum left the room. I didn't even mean to kiss him, but I'm glad I did now." Cody said with a smile.

"Well, we're happy for you, Cody. Now for the boxes. When we began to think you were gay, we bought you a couple of things for when you came out to us, kind of like to celebrate it. Open the boxes and find out what we got you."

With that, Cody began to tear into the wrapping paper on the largest of the boxes, to reveal a brand new laptop computer. Tears came to his eyes as he looked at the box in his hands. "Now, that is actually up-to-date. When a new model came in, I traded-in the old one for a new one." Harry said to his son.

"Thank you." Was all Cody could choke out as he looked at the box and tried to stop the tears from flowing.

"Well, before you thank us, open the other box." Linda said, her eyes moistening as well.

Cody tore the wrapping paper off the smaller box to reveal a blue, 4GB Apple iPod Mini. We he saw this, Cody completely broke down into tears. "Oh my God. You DO still love me. I thought you'd never buy me this. I love you guys so much." Harry, Linda and Kane all got up off the couch and pulled Cody into a big group hug.

For the rest of the night, the family sat in the living room, watching TV. Kane was sent to bed at 10, and Cody was carried to his bed at 10:30, having fallen asleep in the living room, the excitement and drama of the day taking its toll on him.

After the boys were in bed, Harry and Linda watched some more TV. As the late night news update finished, Harry turned to Linda. "Linda, honey. I think we will be taking in Skylan."

"Oh, Harry. I so happy to hear that. What made your mind up?" Linda asked.

"Seeing the way he was smiling today, despite being in hospital was one thing. The way he treated Kane like an equal, though, clinched the deal. Also, I think the last thing Cody needs right now is to be away from Skylan."

"I agree, love. I'll organise everything tomorrow. Now let's head to bed." And with that, Linda and Harry retired to their bedroom, turning the lights off on the way. When they reached the bedroom, Harry spoke up again. "While you take care of the paperwork for custody, I think I might look into hiring a contractor. That idea you had for the upstairs apartment is a good one. I think we'll finish it off and let the boys fully move in there if they want. They are very mature for their age."

"I agree honey. I think that will be very good. I'll also look into hiring a tutor for all the boys. I don't like the idea of Skylan being in school while he's regaining his memories. Some of them might be hard to deal with and a school's no place for emotional support. If he's here with Cody, then Cody can support him through rough memories. Also, I don't think a school's going to be good for Kane. He'll be bullied a lot at a public school, and he'd be very repressed at a private school."

"I agree, love. Tomorrow at dinner we'll spring the surprise on the boys. While the apartment is being finished, Skylan can sleep in Cody's room with him."

"OK. 'Night love." Linda said as she kissed Harry's cheek.

"'Night love." Harry said as he kissed her back.

The two fell asleep soon after, imagining what a new boy in the house would be like.