My jaw hit the floor, as I stood there watching Juan, not believing what I was seeing before me. It really looked as if he saw nothing wrong with what he was doing. Before I could recover enough to say anything, he looked down and noticed my sword lying on the floor. He blushed slightly and mumbled, "oh, sorry..." as he bent over, picked up the sword, and walked over to where Drake was lying; sobbing on the bed. When Juan got close to him, the man began to scream again, as Juan looked on with a small smile playing across his features. I watched in fascination, as Juan calmly reached out, cleaned off the sword on Drake's bloody lab coat, and then turned to me, spinning the sword around, so he was holding the blade, extending the hilt out to me, all without saying anything or taking his yellow predator's eyes from his prey. Still in shock, I numbly took the sword from him, and then, with some trepidation, watched as he got a cloudy look on his face. He walked back over to the doctor, and with pure venom in his voice, which belied his age said, "Oh, will you just shut the fuck up," in exasperation, as he calmly, and with the barest hint of effort, reached over and grabbed Drake by the neck, snapping it in the process. He then looked at me before letting his gaze drift over to Joe for a moment, and then returned it to me, saying,"You think it's over boss?" I couldn't do much more then nod that I thought it was, then he grinned at me with a feral expression, looking at me with those yellow eagle eyes, before something totally amazing happened. I watched, as he closed his eyes, then reopened them and looked down at the floor, seeming to physically deflate, before my eyes. When he looked back up at me, I got another shock, because it was with normal looking, brown eyes, and a frightened expression on his face. The boy I originally saw was back.
Juan looked warily around at the room and it's occupants, with his eyes finally coming to rest on the recently deceased body of Dr. Drake. At which point, he let out a horrified squeak and ran over to the trash can. I heard him throwing up, as I looked over at Joe. I am sure my face mirrored the look of astonishment, and confusion that was on his. Joe shook his head to clear it, obviously at a loss for words, glanced over to Juan and then back to me, before saying, "Adam, you take care of Juan, I'll go load Logan's program." I just nodded, what else could I do? I watched as he left the room before turning back to where Juan was. Juan was just kneeling down in front of the trash can, panting and looking lost, so I walked over to him, and knelt down beside him. "Juan?" I asked, with a question in my voice. He looked up at me with tears still brimming and a scared look on his face, as he wiped off his mouth with the back of his shirt, which only managed to smear blood in with the vomit. I quickly took off my outer shirt, and handed it to him, watching as he took it, and started to clean himself off, while I stood back up, adjusting the fit of my armor. He looked back up at me, with that same frightened look, still kneeling there on the floor, after he cleaned off his face, before looking down again and muttering almost too softly for even me to hear, "Sorry about that. I'm still not used to seeing what HE does!" After he was finished talking, he looked back up at me with a look that showed a mixture of fear and slight hope, as I asked, "he who?" He considered what I had said for a moment, then looked back at the floor and said "The other Juan, the part of me that can handle doing that stuff," leaving me even more confused than I was before.
I had a million questions and then some, that I wanted to ask him, but Joe came walking back in right then and said. "Okay, it's done, let's get out of here." I glanced over at him, then looking back toward Juan, I extended my hand, to help him up, but when I did that, he just cowered and rolled into a ball pleading with me not to hurt him, for letting the "bad kid out" shocking me again, as I knelt down, cradling him into my arms, and whispered. "It's okay Juan, I'm not gonna hurt you." I just kept repeating that, over and over again, as I held onto him while my heart broke in two, for this, not so defenseless, little guy. It was hard to believe that this was the same kid I saw a few minutes ago, it was like two different people. Slowly he snapped out of it, and I helped him to stand as we quickly made our way out of the building, and to the waiting car. On the way there, I made sure to grab every weapon I could, and put them into the duffel bag I had brought with me. Who knows when we might need some extra weapons in our fight to rescue my brothers? One thing I did notice was that every time we got near a dead body, Juan would either look the other way, or squeeze his eyes shut, not being able to take the sights he was seeing. This reaction by him was not at all what I had expected to find here to say the least.
About half way back, I suddenly stopped. Joe and Juan stopped as well and looked at me. “Joe, did you hear that music in there?” The look of confusion on his face answered my question, and I turned to Juan. He looked down at the ground sheepishly, not daring to lift his eyes to meet mine. “It's okay little guy, was that you?” He ever so slowly nodded his head, and I thought quickly about what it meant. The realization hit me quickly, and I understood. I walked over to Juan, and lifted his head so I could meet his eyes. I concentrated hard, and tried to send my thoughts to him. 'Juan, can you hear me?' He lit up like a Christmas tree, and bobbed his head up and down. 'Isn't this so cool Adam?' I still had a million and one questions, but they would have to wait. “We'll have to talk about this later little guy, let's get outta here.”
We thankfully made it back to the car without encountering any problems. It was as we got to the fence that I was able to determine that Juan had undergone all the same physical changes as I had, when, with a squeal of joy, he easily leaped the fence in front of him. I guess he didn't get out much, not that it surprised me; I never did either. Nothing was said during the entire trip, back to the house where we were staying, and I could easily feel the tension radiating from Joe as he tried to figure out what the hell was going on with Juan, and to be honest, I had no clue either. This was beyond weird, and I was very worried for the little guy. Something sure wasn't right. We got back to the house, and Joe's friend very coldly, just dropped us off, and told us he would be back tomorrow and he wanted us gone by the time he got there. "You can't really blame him Adam, as far as he knows, we just kidnapped some kid and God knows what else." Joe said, by way of an explanation. I looked over at him warily, and said, "I suppose not, but will he become a problem?" clearly indicating that I would deal with it if he couldn't. Joe took a deep breath before saying, "He may not like it, but he won't become a problem." I didn't say anything, I just looked at him until he said,"Come on, Adam, we need to get inside," to me, and I let the issue drop, for now.
Once inside, I walked into the kitchen, to find Janet and Logan sitting at the table. Logan started to get up, but then he noticed my troubled face, and just asked, instead, "What's wrong?" I shook my head, not wanting to go into it right there and then, before saying, "Janet, Logan, I'd like for you to meet Juan." By way of introduction, but I felt Juan pressed tightly into my back, I could feel that he was trembling, and he almost seemed to wilt when I turned around and looked at him. "Juan, it's okay. Everything will be alright," I said, as I bent down to be on his level. "These are our friends." I slowly turned him around, so he could see the people in the room, and they could see him. "Juan, I would like you to meet Logan Hayes, and his mother Dr. Janet Hayes." As soon as I said Janet's name, I realized that I had made an error, as I watched Juan stiffen and let out a whimper of fear. As I looked over at him, I was confronted with those eagle eyes again, and fear coursed through me as to what might happen next. The change that came over him was like night and day. The shy withdrawn boy, who was just, a moment ago, cowering behind my leg, was now, looking at me with a much stronger look than I had seen before. "What the fuck boss," he said, in a loud voice. "Why the hell do you got one of them doc's here?" Spitting out the word Doc, like it was a curse word.
I had a feeling that this was going to be a critical moment in the Unit, and I had to handle it just right. I decided I needed to assert myself as the commander, so I stiffened, and in my most authoritative voice, I said. "At Ease Juan," he almost fell over himself as he took the parade rest stance, "Dr. Hayes is the ONLY reason I was able to escape. Both she and her son have sacrificed greatly to see that all of us are able to be rescued, and brought together. I will NOT allow you to disrespect either of them. Do I make myself clear?" Those yellow eyes stared straight ahead, as he barked out. "Sir; Yes sir." "Good, now, this is what's about to happen. You will follow Dr. Hayes, into the other room, so that she may give you a complete physical. You will do what you are told, and will not argue with her. When that is done, you will return here, and we will sit down and go over what we know about our other brothers. Any questions?"
"I will not allow her to hurt…" Juan started to say, when I interrupted and said loudly, "You will allow what I tell you to allow, is that clear?"
I was surprised when he broke etiquette and glanced up at me with fury and defiance in his gaze.
"IS THAT CLEAR" I practically yelled and watched as the training overcame the defiance, and I watched as it flowed out of him, and as his eyes returned to face forward and in a somewhat cowed voice I heard, "Sir yes sir"
It was clear he wasn't happy, but it was also clear that he would obey albeit reluctantly.
I watched as the yellow eyes disappeared, and the deep brown ones returned. He still stood at parade rest, but I saw he was fighting not to let his bottom lip quiver. "Sir..." he said, in a whisper, "you won't let her hurt me, like the others did, will you?" I almost broke down right there and hugged him, but I knew it was important for me to be the commander right now, not the caring brother, so I didn't, although. I did allow my voice to relax some as I said, softly. "No Juan, she isn't going to hurt you, I promise. Trust me; I had her do the same to me. She is going to need to draw some blood, but that's it. I promise you, she really cares about us."
I watched as my words seemed to relax him a little bit, before he nodded to me that he understood, and said "Yes sir" then looked over to Janet and taking a deep breath, told her "Ma'am, when you're ready, I am ready for the physical." Janet slowly got up, with the questions on her face apparent, but I just shook my head and she sighed, before saying "Okay Juan, please follow me, and we'll get this over with." I watched as Janet headed for the door, grabbing a bag from the counter, as Juan turned back to me, went to attention, and saluted. I returned it, and he spun on his heal, and followed Janet out of the room for all the world looking like a condemned man, going to the executioner's block.
Once he was gone, I went over to a chair and collapsed into it wearily asking of no one and everyone. "What the FUCK is going on here? Can someone please explain it to me?" I looked over at Joe hopefully, but he just shrugged, ending any hope of an explanation from that quarter. I bent forward, and rested my head in my hands, in defeat, when I heard Logan pipe up meekly.
"Ummm... I think I may know what's going on." My head shot up and I stared at him. He stared back, and after a second, I said, none too kindly "Well?" He shook his head not letting my tone get to him and began, "Well, I guess it would be safe to say that he was treated about the same way you were, or maybe even worse, if his reaction to mom was any indication?" I just nodded. "I think he may suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder." He must have picked up on my lost look, so he continued. "Basically, what I think happened, is his mind couldn't take the abuse anymore, so his mind split. He made another person who dealt with the pain. That's the person who has the funky eyes. If I guess correctly, he comes "out"; I guess would be the right way to put it, when he's in a situation where he thinks he might get hurt." Logan said, with a shrug, but I just stared at him, then looked away and stared at the wall. "That almost makes sense." I said, in a whisper. "It would explain what happened at the lab."
For the next twenty minutes, Joe and I related to Logan what happened, and mostly how Juan acted, throughout the encounter with the people in charge of the facility. The final question being what we could do about it, but Logan didn't seem to have the answer to that one.
After we explained it all to Logan, he went off to check on things on his computer, and I walked outside with Joe, I had a feeling it was time for our "talk." "Adam," Joe began, as we sat down on the porch, "I think it's time for us to have a bit of a talk." I just nodded, and settled back in my chair. "I think I may know what's going on with you." I just looked at him and begged with my puppy dog eyes, to make him go on. "Adam, you've never been around other people before, save for the people in the lab right?" I nodded, not really understanding what he was trying to get at. He sighed, looking like he was trying to figure out where to go with this. "Adam, do you know what it means to be gay?" I cocked my head, and looked at him weirdly. "ummmmm... yeah, it means someone's happy." I told him. Joe just shook his head, and looked off into the woods for a moment, before saying. "Adam, being gay means the same as being homosexual" then he looked at me, to see if I understood. When he saw my blank look that I didn't, he just groaned and went on. "Okay, it's like this. Most of the time, when a kid gets to be your age, they start to have changes to their bodies, they start to get hair in places they didn't have it before, and they start to have some feelings that they never even thought of before. Do you understand what I mean?" I nodded hesitantly, before saying, "well for the most part I do, I mean I know I've been growing hair around my penis, as well as under my arms, but I'm not sure what feelings you mean." He got a rather pained expression on his face, before saying, "Adam, there are a lot of feelings, that go with the changes that are occurring in your body. Your penis gets hard, and you may find yourself…ah…touching it more than you used to, for instance. You may also start feeling a lot of feelings that make your penis hard that you never felt before, and some of them may include romantic feelings." again I was lost and told him so, adding "If you mean masturbation, I do that frequently as I was told it was important for my physical well being, not to mention it relieves stress and is quite pleasurable," which got Joe to choking for a moment. Finally with a sigh, he said, "Okay, let's start over. I don't mean just masturbation, when boys get to be your age, most of them start to think about sex, ah…you do know what sex is, right?" I laughed, and just gave him my best "duh!" look, and he laughed too.
Okay most boys start to have feelings about wanting to have sex, a lot of them, matter of fact it is a major preoccupation of the thought processes of the average teenager, but you've never had to deal with those before, because you grew up in a very controlled environment. Now that you're out of that environment, I think your starting to feel those feelings, but you have no frame of reference for them. While masturbation is certainly a component of sex and even doing sexual things with others is part of sex, romantic feelings are not just about sex, but a lot more. They are about love and caring for another person, and also may include sex, but the sex isn't the most important part of it. Adam I think you are falling in love with Logan." He finished, and when he said that last, I collapsed back in my chair, and got lost in thought. 'Could I be in love with Logan, I mean it makes sense, he's beautiful, he's smart, he's perfect. But could I really be in love with him? Hell! First I need to figure out what love is.' I looked back over to Joe, "but... but what's love; and how do I know if I am in it?" He just laughed and said, kindly "that, my friend, is a question many people have tried to figure out, and no one has yet. My only advice for you is to follow your heart, and it won't lead you wrong." He told me, as he got up and left me alone with my thoughts and these things called emotions that were swirling around in my body and mind. I think things were easier before I escaped.
Some time later, Juan came walking out, and shyly looked over at me. "Have a seat, Juan." I said, indicating the chair that Joe had been sitting in before. "Yes sir," he mumbled. I sighed, and sat back. I really didn't need this on top of what was going on with me and Logan. "Juan, you don't need to call me sir all the time, I would prefer that we were friends and brothers first, Unit members second, can you do that?" He nodded, and visibly relaxed. "Good, now, can you please tell me what's going on with your eyes, and your personality shifts?" He nodded; looking a bit frightened, took a deep breath, and started.
"It all started about 5 months ago." he pause for a few seconds and seemed to gather courage, then he continued "I had just finished some time on the range, and was getting ready for bed, when Dr. Drake walked into my room. He said it was time for me to learn something new. So I said okay. He came into the room and sat down on my bed." He stopped again for a minute, and I thought I would have to prod him to continue, but then he took a deep breath, and started talking again. "He said it was time to start training me for what would happen if I got captured and questioned. He had me strip down to my underwear, and lie on the bed face down. Then he got some chains out, and strapped me to the bed." He stopped, and I could hear him sniffle. I put my arm around his shoulder, and pulled him into me. He melted into my side, and continued, while trying to hold back his tears. "He.... he then whipped me... and it hurt so bad... I just screamed, but no one could hear me. I screamed until I passed out. I woke up some time later when he.... when he pushed his thing into my butt. He kept telling me to scream, and that son of a bitch liked it when I did that." The little guy could barely talk through his tears and sobs, but the little trooper kept on telling me what happened. "He... He said that I was just a freak who deserved this." He stopped again for a second, took a deep breath, and then went on. "He did that every night after that, then, a week ago, he said he wanted to see just how quick I could heal. So after he got me tied down, he... he took a knife... and started to cut me... down there. He... he cut them off." I stiffened in barely suppressed rage, but softened when I heard Juan crying, full out. I just held him close, trying the best I could, to sooth his pain. We sat like that for about 20 minutes, until he cried himself out, and I saw that he was asleep. I then carried him up to my room, and placed him in the bed. I sat down in the chair at the desk, and lost myself in my troubled thoughts.
I must have fallen asleep in the chair, cause the next thing I remembered, I was being woken up by Juan, crying in his sleep. I saw that it was dark out, and Logan had fallen asleep in the other bed. Juan was twisted up in the sheets and was crying in softly. He must have been reliving a few things from the lab. I got up, and quietly walked over to the bed, and crawled in beside him. I took him into my arms, and started trying to sooth his nightmares.
What happened next, I had no explanation for, as suddenly images and more assaulted my mind; knives heading toward forbidden places, pain, searing, burning, tearing agony, fire across my back, and over it all; a laughing man who took pleasure in inflicting said pain. I writhed, as I felt all the pain and humiliation this man had brought to Juan, and somehow I knew that I was experiencing the acts that were giving Juan his nightmare. I couldn't explain it, but I knew that somehow, as I tried to calm him, I was also sharing his pain. I attempted to take some control, and tried to broadcast reassurance to the small boy in my arms, and it must have worked, because he soon quieted down, and fell back into a more peaceful sleep. I made a vow to myself then and there, that I would look after my brothers with everything I had, and protect them, so that they never had to undergo anything like that again.
The next afternoon, had us back on a plane, heading for home. I managed to get Juan to sit and talk with Joe, while I pulled Logan to a row of seats in the back. I needed to talk to him. Once the plane was in the air, and we were on our way, I turned to Logan. "Logan, can we talk for a few minutes." He nodded, while closing the lid of his laptop, and then he turned to look at me. "What's up, Adam?"
"Well," I began, "I wanted to ask you about the other night at the truck stop." His face clouded up, but he nodded for me to continue. "I'm not really sure what happened there, but I do know I lost control. Joe and I talked about it, but... but I don't really know what to think about what I figured out." I told him, hesitantly. "Okaaay," he said, wanting me to continue. "Well... I don't know exactly how to say it... but... I think I lost control, when he hit you... because... well see.... I think it's because... I love you." I said that last part as quick as I could, while I stared down at the floor. I heard Logan gasp, when I said that, not daring to look up, thinking the worst. I thought he was going to hate me for what I did there and what I had just told him. He was silent for a few moments, and not being able to take it anymore, I risked a glance up at him, to find that he was staring at me with an unreadable expression. "What did you say?" He asked softly. This was the moment, and I was so scared, as I gathered my courage, and said. "I said, that I think I reacted the way I did, because I saw him hurt you. It made me soooo angry when he hit you that all I saw was red, and I think it did that because I love you." I started to look back to the floor, when he reached out and took my chin. He raised my head back up and stared into my eyes, smiling gently as he said. "Its okay, Adam, I think I love you too." I was stunned by what he said, and stared at him with open mouthed shock, that didn't even begin to compare to what I felt at what happened next as he leaned forward, and I suddenly had his lips covering mine. I don't know how long we stayed like that, but finally he leaned back, and looked at me, with an impish smile on his face. I was blown away by what happened, and couldn't say anything, but I was sure thinking that Joe's comments about feelings didn't even come close to what was going on in my body and mind right at that instant. He just giggled at my predicament, glancing downward briefly, before turning back to his lap top, leaving me to my thoughts, with my body on fire with no idea how to put out the flames. This has been one hell of a week.
The next morning, I woke up just as the sun was about to rise. I thought it'd be best if Juan and I could do something, together, to take his mind off of everything, so I gently woke him up. When he awoke, he looked over at me and smiled. "I thought you were just a dream." When he said that, he reached out and gave me a big hug. "No Juan, I'm not a dream. I hope you can wake up every morning from now on, in this kinda mood. Now, up and at em, we got some runnin' to do. He jumped out of bed, and we dressed quietly so as not to wake Logan. Together, we went outside, and warmed up for our run. After twenty minutes of warm ups, we were off. We decided on a nice easy 10 mile run, and we were back about an hour later.
Over the next two days, I was kept rather busy, what with getting to know Juan, cleaning and going over the weapons we liberated during the raid, and basically trying to figure out what my feelings were. There were so many different feelings, and Joe had been right that I had never been exposed to most of them before. Ironically, the easiest of them was simple physical relief, and I certainly took care of that, but the stuff inside I couldn't relieve nearly as easily. It was all a confusing jumble, and about the only thing I knew for sure was I loved every second that Logan was near me, and felt somehow empty if he wasn't, even if he was in a nearby room. This was all too weird. I had the table covered with guns, and parts of disassembled guns, when I heard Logan shout from upstairs, and seconds later I heard his pounding feet as he ran down the steps. He ran into the kitchen waving a stack of papers in the air. "Here!" He said breathlessly as he shoved the papers into my hands. Everyone else came running in, while I was reading the papers. I couldn't believe what Logan had found, and I looked up at him. He had this silly shit eating grin on his face. I couldn't help it; I took him in my arms, and kissed him as hard as I could, not caring that everyone else was in the room. It just felt so good to hold him in my arms and even better to kiss him again. Joe cleared his throat, and it brought me back to earth. I blushed as I released Logan and looked around. Joe and Janet were smiling at us, but Juan had this really weird look on his face (that concerned me for some reason). Joe said "What's all the excitement about, Adam?" I looked back over at him, forgetting for the moment about Juan's expression. "The stupid assed military did it again." "What?" Joe asked, clearly confused. "I grinned at Logan again and said, "I'll let Logan tell you, since he found it." I was so proud of him
"Oookay, Logan... what's going on?" Joe asked
"Well.... you remember that disk I had you load into the computers at the lab?" Joe nodded his head. "Well, it seems that the military has set a trap for Adam and Juan. They've increased the security at the labs where the other kids are at, but, the other guys aren't there any more. The military moved them to another facility, to try and hide them, and the new facility has minimal security, but the best part..." he stopped, looking at everyone with a big grin on his face, "All three of them are at this new facility. We can rescue the rest of the unit at one time, and it shouldn't even be that hard to do."
Joe just walked over, and took the papers out of Logan's hands. He read them quickly, and then handed them to Juan, who did the same. No one could believe the government could be that stupid, but guess what; once again, it seemed that they were. Once everyone was done reading, Logan said. "There's only one slight problem... I've got to go with you," instantly getting everyone's attention.