Memories Part 1: The Gathering

Chapter 3

Teri looked at the two boys, she could see by their eyes that they had both been crying. Cory calling her 'Mom' meant only one thing; finally the time she had impatiently waited for had arrived. A fleeting feeling of fear came over her; would she be able to handle this right without anyone getting hurt?

Sean broke Teri out of the trance she was in "Mooooooommmmm! Did you hear us?"

Teri blinked a few times then said "Yes boys, sorry. Why don't we all go into the living room; for some reason I get a feeling this might take a while."

They went into the living room and Teri sat down in the large overstuffed leather chair. To her surprise, both boys climbed into the chair with her; something they had not done in quite a few years. "Trying to make sure I can't run away?" she joked. That extracted a couple of small giggles from the boys; somewhat breaking their somber mood.

Cory got right to the point. "Mom, why do I have to live at that place? Why can't I be at home with you and Sean? Don't you want me anymore since Mikey died?"

Teri wiped a tear from his cheek that had started running down it. "I can't tell you everything right now; there are still things which you are not ready to hear. I will try to tell you what you want and need to hear. I need a promise from both of you first, OK?"

"What's that?" said Sean

"Go ahead." said Cory.

"If EITHER one of you starts feeling even a little bit uncomfortable with anything I'm saying, I want you to stop me IMMEDIATELY; and the same goes if it looks like the other one of you is having problems with what they are hearing. Do you agree?"

"Yes Mom." they answered in chorus.

"The reason I asked that of you is I don't want any of us to have to go through what we have in the last year ever again; we all need to be careful that we don't try to do too much too fast." Just then Teri felt a strange, comforting, chill go through her; she could tell that both boys felt the same thing as she felt their shivers.

They all three looked at each other, the silence broken by Cory. "Mikey is here to protect me." he stated matter-of-factly.

Teri just nodded. "I believe you are right, and I hope he lets me know if I'm going too far." With that she felt a quick chill, and she knew her youngest charge had a very strong guardian angel who loved him deeply.

"Cory, could you please fill me in on everything you remember first?" asked Teri.

Cory reached over and grasped Sean's hand for strength. "I remember that I used to live here with you, Sean and Mikey. Mikey used to download stuff for me and Sean, and would do cool things with us. I remember that Mikey died and then the next thing I knew I was living in the home. I can remember things here and there before he died; but I don't remember how it happened, in fact you guys never even talk about it around me." Cory grew silent for a minute, then continued. "I was confused when I first started realizing this; I thought that maybe since Mikey died you didn't want me around anymore and that's why you sent me to the home. But then I wondered why you let me hang out here all the time. Sean showed me that he still wants me around, that he even still loves me. I'm so confused; why can't I live HERE?" Cory looked at Teri with tears running down his cheeks: "Why, Mom? Why?"

Teri pulled Cory in tighter to her. "I really do want you back here Cory; we will see how you feel once we're done here, but I hope I can make the phone call I've been waiting forever to make. With one call you can be back here at home, where you belong. I'm not going to get into how Mike died; I don't think you are ready for that yet" A quick chill confirmed what she just said. "But I'll try to fill you in on some things before and after it happened. First, do you remember how you came to live here?"

"No, not really." Cory replied.

"Okay, I'll give you the short version. Your birth mother, Cheri, and I were best friends throughout school. The two of you used to live down the street. You always came over here ever since you were born. As soon as you and Sean were old enough to walk, either you were over here or he was at your house. Mike was with you guys a lot; he felt like he had to protect both of you from coming to any harm. About the time you were six years old, your mom found out that she had cancer; she arranged for me to adopt you if anything happened. Since your father died just over a year after Sean was born, she knew it was the only way to make sure you ended up with someone who she trusted to take care of you."

Teri thought it was best not to tell Cory that both his and Sean's fathers were killed by a drunk driver, since it was the same way Mike had died. The two men were in Cory's dad's Pinto; when they were rear-ended by the drunk, the car exploded, killing them both. The ensuing lawsuit had ensured that both Teri and Cheri were set financially for life. "Mike took you under his wing after we adopted you, and helped both of you boys through Cheri's death. There are a few other things that happened during that time that only you two can work out; I'll just tell you now that I understand, and if you want to discuss it with me I will help as much as I can. You will know what I mean, and I promise that I am fine with it." Teri looked at the two boys; Cory looked confused, while Sean showed a combination of shock, embarrassment, and gratitude. "Don't worry, Cory, it's not something bad; but when the time is right you boys will have to discuss it. Sean, don't push it before you are both ready."

Cory took advantage of Teri's pause and commented, "So that's why we all have the same last name; that's been bugging me for a while now."

"You got it, Cory." Teri replied as she looked up at the clock. She was shocked to see that it was 4:30 already; as if on cue, both boy's stomachs growled. "Sean, could you hand me the phone from the table? I just realized that we all missed lunch, so if it's okay with y'all I'll order us a pizza real quick."

She called the local pizza shop and ordered three large double pepperoni with extra cheese pizzas, a double order of breadsticks, and two 2 liters of soda for delivery. "Okay, that should hold you guys for a couple of hours anyways" she chuckled as she hung up the phone.

Once both boys were settled back into place, Teri looked at Cory and noticed that the break had done some good; the tension she had seen building up in his face had melted away. "Are you ready for me to continue?" she asked Cory.

"Yeah, I think so." he replied.

"Well, when Mike died, you took it really hard; later that night you just blacked out." Teri's voice broke as she was saying this, and it took a couple of minutes before she could continue. "When you came out of it a week later in the hospital, the only person you recognized was Sean; even though you were able to place a name to his face, you still had to ask him if he was your friend." Teri looked to see how Sean was taking this; she knew it would be hard on him. When Cory had asked that, she had been worried that Sean was about to join Cory in the hospital room. She saw the troubled look in Sean's eyes, "Sean, are you okay?"

Sean looked up at her "Yeah Mom; I have Cory back now, so I'm okay hearing it."

"I just wanted to make sure." Teri responded before continuing. "Shortly after that, the doctor took me aside and told me what they thought had happened. It seems that Mike's death had been too much for you to handle, and it caused your brain to overload and shut down. From what we later found out, anything even remotely associated with Mike was blocked in your memory; since you two had known each other since you were born, that meant pretty much everything. Sean stayed with you every day in the hospital. A month later when school started, the doctors arranged for his school work to be brought to the hospital; that way Sean wouldn't have to leave you. Due to him not giving up, after a couple months you were able to do enough on your own that you were ready to leave the hospital. The staff psychologist decided that you would relapse if you were brought here, so he ordered that you were to be put into the home until you recovered more of your memory. The first psychologist that you had at the Home decided it was best if you had no contact with us at all. After the first month, we found out that you were losing more of your memories instead of recovering them; so we got a court order to change your doctor. While we were at it, the judge approved a requirement that we were allowed visits there; also he forced the Home to allow you to come here if you wanted to to visit."

Teri was interrupted by the ring of the doorbell. As she looked at the boys, she was glad it did; both of them obviously needed time to absorb what she had said. "Well guys, it looks like the chow is here. Go get some glasses and plates on the table, we'll finish after we eat." In a split second her lap was empty as the urge for food overrode any wish to hear more.

She paid the delivery boy, and then carried the boxes to the kitchen. By the time she had poured the drinks for all of them, one pizza box and one breadstick box were empty. She picked up one of the empty boxes and started inspecting the edges of it carefully.

"Whatcha doin' mom?" Cory asked.

"I'm looking to make sure nobody got cardboard instead of pizza! It looks okay though, I don't see any tooth marks." Teri replied with a grin.

That elicited loud groans from both boys, followed by giggles when they saw the grin on Teri's face.

As Teri snatched the last breadstick, more to prevent a war over it than actually wanting it, she looked at her boys. Then she realized, this was the first time she had been able to see them as "her" boys in a long time. For a long and trying year, she had been forced to regard Cory as nothing more than Sean's friend to keep up appearances until Cory's memory came back. " You know, Cory; after thinking about it, I think that's enough talking tonight. I don't want to push you. I know all of this probably brought up more questions, but did I answer some of the ones you had?"

Cory looked up from licking the pizza sauce off of his plate: "Yeah mom, you got a lot of them; I think a little more is coming back now that I'm thinking about it." He then gave her a big smile, accentuated by a pizza moustache. "Thanks a lot for sticking with me, I'm really glad you didn't give up on me!" He then leaned over to Sean "And thank YOU for helping me, even when I didn't know it; I will owe you forever!" He then gave Sean a big kiss on the cheek, leaving a line of sauce most of the way across it.

Teri laughed and went over to the sink. She wet a rag and came back to the table, then started cleaning off both boy's faces. "I don't know what to do with you two, but I love both of you anyway" she chuckled.

Teri knelt next to Cory. "Cory, you need to trust me here; I'm going to call Dr. Richardson now, he will probably want to come over and talk to you. Wait!" she said when she saw the panic appearing in both boys' eyes "Dan and I planned for this a while back; if you will talk to him tonight, Cory, it's possible that the only reason we will be going to the home tomorrow is to pick up your things. I'm hoping that tonight you made enough progress that he will release you; he said it would be soon, that's why he told me to call him at any time if you had a breakthrough."

She heard the sigh of relief from both boys, and saw a spark of hope light up in their eyes. "Okay Cory; does that mean you will talk to him? Actually, he will probably want to talk to you too, Sean."

Both boys answered in unison "Yeah Mom, I'll do it." Once they realized what they had done, they chorused "Jinx!" then collapsed in laughter.

Teri shook her head at their antics, and went into her study to call Dr. Richardson.

On the third ring the phone was answered. "Richardson residence." a female voice answered.

"Mrs. Richardson? This is Teri Short. Is Dr. Richardson there?"

"Yes Teri, just a minute. Is Cory doing okay?"

"He's doing better than ever; thanks for asking."

"Great, I'm glad to hear that! Here's Dan."

Dan Richardson's voice came on the phone. "I can tell from my wife's smile that you don't have bad news. What's up, Teri?"

"We just had a major breakthrough today; I would like for you to come over if you can tonight to talk to both of the boys." Teri replied. "I think it's time for Cory to come home for good."

"Are you positive?"

"Absolutely certain."

"Okay, give me twenty minutes and I'll be there."

"Thanks Dan, we will all be waiting. Bye."


"OK guys, he'll be here in twenty minutes; you need to hurry and get cleaned up." Teri said to the study door. The sounds of scurrying feet told her that her little snoopers had heard.

Fifteen minutes later, Dan arrived. He spent forty-five minutes with Cory, and a half hour with Sean, before he called Teri into the study.

"Teri, after talking to both the boys, I agree with you. The break we were waiting for has finally come; and in my professional opinion, it would be better for Cory to stay home with his family instead of going back. If you don't mind me using your phone for a few minutes, I'll make the required calls to get him released, then you can pick up his belongings tomorrow."

"Go ahead" Teri replied, "Do I need to leave, or would it be better if I stayed in here; just in case I'm needed?"

"Actually, you are right; it would be best to stay, just in case anyone has any questions for you." he replied.

His first call was to the judge that had assigned him to Cory's case after the damage done by the first doctor was brought to light. Teri was shocked to hear Dan making arrangements for an emergency court order, just in case the home put up a fight. Dan saw the look of surprise on Teri's face, and after hanging up he explained.

"Teri, you know that I'm not exactly on the best terms out there at the home; in fact it took a court order to even allow me to take Cory's case. Chances are, they are going to demand a review by their 'staff'; from experience I know that they will stretch it out as long as they can. The major problem is, during the review I would not be able to have any contact with Cory; and honestly I believe that by the time they were done messing with his head, he would be in worse shape than he was when this all started. Judge Lewis is a good friend of my father, and I have been keeping him posted on Cory's progress. That was something that we wrote into the original order to protect Cory. The Judge actually already had the paperwork drawn up; all he has to do is date it and sign it, which he just did."

Teri looked at him with gratitude, knowing that Dan was actually trying to look out for her son "Thank you, I'll owe you forever for this." she stated.

"What I saw tonight was payment enough for the extra work!" he replied with a smile. "Just take care of those two boys; your love does more than any of us doctors could ever do."

Dan then called the home to give them his release order; and as he expected they refused to release Cory. In fact, they demanded to have him returned immediately. Dan just smiled, and told them he would see them personally shortly. After he heard their reply, he laughed and hung up the phone. "Teri, there will be some guests here in just a second; I need to make one more call in private, do you mind?"

Once Teri closed the door behind her, Dan dialed the sheriffs department. "May I speak to John please?" he said to the dispatcher when she answered.

"Please hold, sir."

"Polk County, this is Sheriff Martin."

"Hello John, it's Dan. The home is up to their shit again; I got a court order on its way to release a kid, one of your guys should have it now."

"I know about the order Dan. We just got a request for help from the home, nobody is there yet though." John replied. "Don't worry about it; I know what they're up to and you will have all the protection you need. In fact, as soon as I hang up I'm gonna call the responding officers on the scrambled channel and fill them in. I've got some advice though; you better grab the kid's stuff tonight, this ones gonna cause some fireworks until I talk to them downstate. Oh, don't be too surprised to see some new faces next time you're there; between you and me, this was the final straw we needed to close a major corruption investigation."

"Great, thanks John!" Just then the doorbell rang. "Looks like our escort is here, I better run."

"Okay, I'll see you on the course tomorrow; you be careful. Bye."

"I will. Bye John, thanks again."

Dan had Teri get the boys ready to go. While she was doing that, he filled in the officers as to what was happening, along with his discussion with their Chief. Just before they left, he took Teri and the boys aside. "Okay all of you; no matter WHAT you hear, let the officers and I handle this. You will definitely hear things you don't want to hear; in fact, it will probably sound like everything is going wrong. Don't worry; we have this all under control, and I'll bet if you read the paper tomorrow or Monday you'll understand."

"Teri, before we go; can you make copies of something on the computer here?"

Teri looked at him "I think so; do you know how to, Sean?"

"Yeah mom, what would you do without me! It'll take just a minute" Sean replied with a grin.

Dan shook his head. "Okay Sean, make two copies of this. Leave one here, and give me one."

Teri gave Sean a playful swat on the butt as the giggling boy slipped past her. Two minutes later, he was back with the copies.

Now that the paperwork was in order, they piled into Teri's Suburban and drove over to the home. As they were pulling into the lot, they were shocked to see eight sheriff's cars and two state cruisers sitting in the lot, spotlights aimed at the main entrance.

'Shit!' thought Dan. 'It looks like John called out the big dogs. At least I hope it was him!'

They climbed out of the Suburban and walked up to the door of the home. As Teri and the boys waited just inside the door, Dan walked up to the counter and handed the copy of the order to the desk clerk. "I have a court order here to release Cory Short to his mother, Teri Short."

Without even looking at the order, the clerk tore it into pieces. She turned to the State Trooper at the end of the counter. "I want him, her and that kid arrested for trespassing! The blond is to be escorted to solitary confinement NOW!"

Before the Trooper had a chance to reply, one of the Deputies that had escorted Dan, Teri, and the boys in walked up to him. "Captain, we anticipated this response; here is the ORIGINAL order from the court granting immediate release."

The Captain took a minute to look the order over, and then nodded to his partner. "You stated before they arrived that you were the Director here, right?" he said, looking at the woman.

"Yes, why should that matter?" she replied.

"Because you just saved me a lot of work," he replied. "You are under arrest for obstruction of justice, disregarding a court order, attempted destruction of same, causing officers to be falsely dispatched, and whatever else the prosecutor can come up with. Sergeant; read her her rights and cuff her, this place is officially being shut down." He looked over at Cory. "Son, go get your stuff; if you would like, one of the officers can help you. Congratulations, you are free to go home."

Cory ran over to him and gave him a tearful hug. "Thank you, I will NEVER forget this! I hope I grow up to be just as good as you!" The Captain returned Cory's hug then lightly swatted his butt.

"Go on Cory, your family is waiting."

As Cory went down the hall with the Deputy that brought them, the Captain walked over to Dan, Teri, and Sean. "Would you mind joining me in the waiting room? We have a report to fill out."

A half hour later, everything was loaded, the report was finished, and they headed home. Teri invited the Deputies and Dan in for coffee; an offer which they accepted after a quick check with Dispatch. Between the joking about the look on the director's face, and the explanations of what happened and why; the boys calmed down from the recent excitement.

After all the men left, Teri went in the study and retrieved an envelope from her safe. "Hey guys, come with me for a minute." she said as she came back out.

They climbed the stairs and began walking down the hall. As realization slowly crept into Sean's eyes, Cory followed along, still confused. When she tore open the envelope and he saw what was inside, Cory suddenly realized what was happening.

"You WERE expecting me to come back!" He exclaimed. "Those are MY keys!"

Teri handed him the key ring, then handed one of the two remaining keys to Sean. The other she put on her own ring for emergencies only. Even though they trusted each other fully, the boys had asked to have real locks put on the bedrooms so that if there was company, a common occurrence during the holidays, they would not have to worry about their rooms being invaded. Each boy had a key to the other's room, a privilege which had never been abused.

"Do you remember which key it is?" Sean asked.

"I think so" Cory replied. He broke into a huge grin when the first key he tried opened the door. "Holy Shi ... OOPS, sorry Mom!" he exclaimed. "You left it exactly how it was!"

They all looked into the room; the bed was a mess, some dirty boxers were hanging from the bedpost, one wall was covered with Dale Earnhardt posters, a half-completed model car sat on the desk, and there were odd clothes hanging out of drawers. In the center of the floor, a half-disassembled radio was sitting there with extra wires leading to unrecognizable boxes surrounding it.

Teri thought at that moment it was the most beautiful sight she had ever seen; it meant her other son was finally back home. She then said something that almost sent the boys into shock "Don't worry about cleaning it up right now, let's get all of Cory's new stuff in here and we will start sorting it all out in a few days."

It took forty-five minutes to get everything into the room exactly where Cory wanted it, and then they all went down to the kitchen for a bedtime snack. Teri smiled as she watched the boys suck down a quarter of a pumpkin pie each. She wasn't sure, but it appeared that each of them had a full container of Cool Whip on their slice.

As they were finishing up, Cory looked at Teri: "Mom, would it be okay if me and Sean slept in my room tonight?"

"Sure thing, Cory; as long as you two promise to sleep sometime during the night." Teri replied with a grin. "Also, both of you need to get a shower."

Teri left to go to her room. Cory grabbed a towel, then went through the common bathroom into Sean's room to get him.

"Sean, can we shower together like we used to?" Cory asked shyly, looking at Sean expectantly.

"REALLY!!! I was afraid to ask you 'cuz I was afraid if you didn't remember you'd think I was weird. You better believe we can!"

Sean started digging through his dresser. "What you looking for?" asked Cory.

"Something to put on after the shower." Sean replied.

"Why?" Cory asked, a hurt look crossing his face.

Sean saw the look and immediately took Cory in his arms. "I'm sorry bro; I just don't know what you remember, and I'm afraid of doing anything to freak you out. If I'm doing something that seems weird, please just tell me. We both still have lots of adjusting to do; I ain't gonna hurt you, so I might do some things that seem different from what I used to do. Just tell me, and real soon I think we will be back to how we used to be."

Cory sniffled then gave Sean a big squeeze. "I'm sorry. You're trying to watch out for me, and I was feeling hurt because you were doing it. I'll try to let you know when that happens; I don't want to lose you again."

Sean grabbed his towel, and they both went into the shower. They used the excuse of washing each other to reacquaint themselves with each others body, both commenting on changes as they noticed them. Cory insisted on using both shampoo and conditioner on the small patch of pubic hair that Sean had grown, then Sean inspected Cory closely until he found a couple tiny hairs so that he had an excuse to do the same for Cory. By the time they were done, both boys sported evidence that they appreciated the extra attention.

Cory knelt down and started washing Sean's legs. The next thing Sean knew, he felt something soft, warm, and wet on his erection. The new sensation was too much; Sean exploded in Cory's mouth before Sean could groan a warning. Cory swallowed every drop, and stayed on Sean until he was sure he was done. Once finished, Cory stood up and looked at Sean with a smile.

"Sorry Cory, I couldn't hold it. That's the best you've ever made me feel!"

"It's OK Sean, it's been so long I wasn't sure if I still knew how."

"Would it be... can I... would you like... is it OK for me to do that to you?" Sean asked.

"Please? I remembered us doing this when Mom was talking after the pizza. I was worried that you wouldn't want to do it anymore, but after you agreed to take a shower together I figured I would take a chance." Cory replied.

Sean was on his knees so fast he forgot to grab the soap. They both giggled when Sean had to ask Cory to hand it to him. Cory moaned as Sean began returning the favor. He was amazed at the feeling; he vaguely remembered that it felt good, but this exceeded his expectations. Suddenly a new feeling came over Cory, it felt like his entire groin was exploding. He latched onto the shower rails with a death grip, trying not to pass out from sensual overload. Once he recovered enough to think straight, Cory looked at Sean with an amazed look: "Whoa! That was the FIRST time I've ever done that!"

Sean looked up with surprise: "That was your first cum!?"

Cory reached down and pulled Sean up then enveloped him in a hug. "Yes, and I am sooooo happy that I gave it to you! After all you have went through for me, you are the only person who deserves it."

The boys stood there in the shower just holding each other until they noticed that the hot water had ran out a while ago. They hurried up and got out, then dried each other off. They brushed their teeth with an arm over each others shoulder, and then headed into Cory's room to hit the sack.

They laid down, and Cory snuggled up to Sean. "I love you, Sean."

"I love you too, bro." Sean replied.

Cory reached up and turned Sean's head. Looking deep into Sean's eyes, Cory said; "Not that way; I LOVE YOU!"

Sean smiled "Cory, I LOVE YOU!" He then locked his lips to Cory's and snaked his tongue into Cory's mouth.