Memories Part 1: The Gathering

Chapter 25

Authors Note: Sean and Cory have a little personal business to catch up on, by order of their personal shrink! So for this chapter, you get to see how the rest of the Tribe is handling their new fast-paced lives. Don't blame me, Dan put his foot down!


Hey everyone, this is JJ! I finally managed to sneak in some time to get you all caught up on what's been happening with me and MY brothers! Just a sec - I gotta take care of something! (Give it up, Cory! This is MY turn, you can wait 'till next chapter! Go chase down your rug rat before your Mom sees him tracking water all over the house!) Sorry, SOMEONE wanted the computer to play games on! Anyways, I'm gonna let you in on some of the latest news in the Richardson clan; all of the stuff that's been happening while Cory and Sean have been saving the Universe. <Giggle> Read on, you will see that those two ain't the only ones to have fun!


JJ woke to two boys giggling at his chest. He opened his eyes, and found the tops of Kyle and Ty's heads just below his chin. "Okay goofballs, what's so funny?"

Both boys turned beet red. "Nuthin' bro! Really!" Kyle stuttered.

"Why are you blushing then?" Adam interjected from the other side of them.

"We ain't doin' nothin' bad, leave us alone!" Kyle uttered defensively.

"Yeah, we was just sword fighting." Tyler added. The look he received from Kyle for his slip could freeze fire. "Sorry Ky, I wasn't thinkin' when I said that."

JJ and Adam both bent their heads down and kissed their little brothers' head. JJ spoke for both of them. "Hey guys, settle down. We're not mad, and you ain't gonna get in trouble. You must'a really been having fun the way you were giggling! Hey, let's head upstairs and let the rest of the guys sleep; we can get the first showers and talk more."

Kyle and Ty stood up first, both immediately making sure their 'swords' were securely put away. Adam joined them, but when JJ went to move to get up, a stereo moan accompanied by two hands grabbing for his arm stopped him.

Adam giggled. "I'll take these two on up, babe. Go ahead and wake your shadows, we'll see y'all upstairs."

JJ stuck out his tongue at Adam before carefully rolling over and softly shaking Jeffy. He leaned over so both could hear, and said softly "Jeffy, Sammy, c'mon little bros; time to get up."

Both boys opened their eyes, and smiled sleepily when they saw JJ leaning over them.

Sammy: "Okay bro, we are up."

Jeffy: "Why do we gotta get up?"

Sammy: "Can't we just lay here and"

Jeffy: "Cuddle for a while?"

JJ giggled at their antics. "Naw, Adam, Ty, and Kyle are waiting for us. C'mon you two."

JJ stood up, and immediately had a twin under each arm. As the three of them headed for the stairs, JJ reflected on the twin's personality shift since they joined the family.



JJ finally was able to make time to sit down with his new brothers after Aaron's concert on Friday. After locating Kyle and telling him to join them, JJ led Jeffy and Sammy up to Dan and John's room for some privacy.

Once all four boys were comfortably seated Indian-style on the bed, JJ started.

"Sammy, Jeffy, I'm sorry I took so long to get us together; as you saw, things are nuts here right now."

Sammy looked at his new big brother. "That's okay. We thought the talk from Sean and Cory was all we would get."

Kyle giggled. "There's one thing you guys need to learn, when it comes to big bros JJ is more protective than Sean and Cory put together! Just watch it; last time I screwed up he chewed me out BAD! I was in the courtroom, and even Judge Lewis was surprised!"

JJ shrugged his shoulders at the quizzical looks from the twins. "Hey, he was actin' like a brat, so I treated him like one. If Dad hadn't been such a chicken, I wouldn't have had to do it. He came home with us that night, so I guess it was worth it."

Kyle started pouting over being called a brat, so JJ leaned over and hugged him while giving him a kiss on the forehead. "Hey lil' bro, you have to admit you were goin' too far. Like I told ya', I yelled 'cause I love you, and the way you were going I coulda' never saw you again."

Kyle returned the hug. "Yeah, you're right, I guess. I was just scared. I love you too, bro."

JJ sat back and returned his attention to the twins. "Guys, I know it does not seem like it, but I have been keepin' an eye on you since you got here yesterday. I noticed a couple of things that we really need to talk about. You guys are kinda acting the same way Kyle did when he first started staying with us on weekends, and it's got me worried." JJ saw the fear seeping into the twin's faces, and tried to stop it. "You can stop worrying, it's nothin' bad, nuthin' wrong, and you are not in trouble. You have had a rough life, guys, and you have picked up a couple of habits from it. Dad says that it is your way of trying to protect yourself, at least that's what he said when I asked him about Kyle."

The twins studied each other for a minute, and then Jeffy turned to JJ and asked defensively "What's wrong with our habits?"

JJ took a deep breath before responding carefully. "Most of your habits are fine, guys. But you are doing the same thing Kyle used to do; keeping to yourselves whenever you can so that you are safe. You can let go now, I'm your big bro now and it's my job to look out for you."

Kyle interrupted. "Yeah, listen to him, bros. 'Bout a week ago, I didn't trust no one but JJ and Cory. I kinda know how ya' feel - this real family stuff is scary. There ain't none of these guys gonna let us get hurt, 'specially JJ."

Sammy looked at Kyle suspiciously. "What makes you trust them now? What did they do that's so special?"

Kyle saw the suspicion, and decided it was time to push the issue. "You are gonna wish you hadn't asked that. There are four guys here who know what I had to live like before I was put in the home. Cory knows from helping me through counseling before Dan became my dad. JJ knows from sitting up with me all night after I had nightmares while visiting at his old house. Tyler knows because we talk about it a lot trying to get to know each other. Sean is the one who worked the fastest, though. Instead of waitin' for me to tell him, he kept askin' questions 'till he was happy that I wasn't hiding stuff from him. When he found out I only got one ball, instead of makin fun of me he told me he was gonna have a doctor make sure I was okay. I went from being called a no good one balled piece of trash to being called a little brother. I have watched and even helped as these guys helped all of these other kids. Do you understand now why I trust them, or do ya' wanna hear about the stuff that they won't let happen to me again, like the beating and peckers being forced where I didn't want them."

JJ pulled Kyle back towards him and gave him a hug. "Thats enough, lil bro. Those days are over, please don't work yourself up talkin' about them, okay?"

Kyle buried his face in JJ's shoulder. "Sorry bro. It's just that they had live a lot like I did before I met you. I want them to be happy like you make me happy."

JJ gave Kyle a squeeze, then looked up and saw the shocked looks on the twin's faces. "Let me guess, you're wonderin' how he knows about your past, ain't you?"

Both boys nodded their heads, unable to speak.

JJ gave them a small smile. "Between Kyle reading minds and Tyler reading emotions, it's kinda' hard to keep a secret if they are worried about you. You two are our family now, and even though Kyle has not told me what your life was like, I know it musta been bad for him to get this freaked."

Jeffy and Sammy looked at each other with surprise, then in one movement they scooted against each other and placed their arms over each other shoulders. The two boys started to retreat into themselves, overwhelmed by their new brothers knowing about their past. JJ saw what was happening; so he reached across the bed, pulling both boys toward him then on top of him as he laid backwards.

As JJ settled with a twin on each shoulder, Kyle wiggled between the twins and laid on top of JJ. Both JJ and Kyle put their arms around the twins, pulling them tightly into the snuggle. JJ thought back to the times when Kyle withdrew into himself; hoping that what he was about to do was what they needed too.

"Jeffy, Sammy, c'mon guys. It's okay, no matter what happened before I'll still love you. You guys are my little brothers now, do you really know what that means to me?" JJ started in a soft voice as he hugged the boys laying against him.

The slight movement of the two heads buried in his shoulders told JJ they didn't, so he continued. "It means that anyone who has hurt you or tries to hurt you has to deal with me. You don't have to just count on each other now, I gotta make sure you don't get hurt. It also means you need to trust me to help ya' get over the stuff that happened to you before Pop found you."

JJ had to strain to hear what Sammy mumbled into his chest. "If you knew what we did you wouldn't like us."

JJ gave the boys another squeeze. "Kyle knows, and I'll bet Tyler does too. Both of them still love you, so why do you think I won't? C'mon, tell me; I promise I won't get mad or hate you."

Jeffy turned his head slightly. "But we liked it. Unca' Calvin was right, we're nothin' but little pros'tutes."

After some coaxing, JJ finally got the full story out of the twins. Whenever their old father was away, they had stayed with a friend of his that they had always called 'Uncle Calvin'. One night when they were six, he caught them experimenting with each other. He took advantage of them, and started having them perform fellatio on him. When Calvin realized the boys enjoyed it, he started inviting over his friends and let the boys loose on them for a fee. For the last year, Calvin had even started filming the boys as they 'serviced' his friends. JJ almost vomited from disgust when Sammy finished by saying their old father was getting a cut of the profits from the sale of the movies.

Once he regained control of his stomach, JJ spoke carefully. "Lil' bros, we need to sit up. I want you to see my eyes when I tell you what I think, okay?"

Everyone sat up, both of the twins with worry about JJ's response etched on their faces.

JJ began, looking Sammy straight in the eyes. "Sammy, you can tell Jeffy if you think I'm being honest. Just watch my eyes, they can't lie. What you guys had happen to you has got to be the worst thing I have heard since I met Kyle. Calvin took advantage of something you liked, and used you to satisfy his friends and make money. There is nothing wrong with you liking to pleasure a guy like that, but it is only supposed to be done with someone who makes you feel good back; someone who you love and they love you back. I know you liked it, but from now on could you not do it anymore until you got boyfriends? Even then ask me if it's okay first; Calvin messed with your heads so you will be safer if I help you decide if it's for real. I absolutely still love both of you, and I'm proud of you for being strong enough to tell how you felt. I want both of you to forget everything that happened before Pop found you; all of that is my problem to fix. Stick with me, Kyle, Adam and Tyler; we'll help you out and protect you, okay?"

Jeffy and Sammy looked at each other, using the natural ability all twins have to wordlessly communicate between each other. They simultaneously cracked slight smiles, then Jeffy spoke for them. "I guess you don't hate us. You really mean that; you know, that you are gonna take care of Unca' Calvin?"

JJ reached out and pulled the boys into a hug. "Yeah lil bros, give me a couple of days to figure out how, but that bastard is gonna pay for using y'all. I was serious, you can forget all about it, its my problem now."

Kyle leaned against the twin's backs and wrapped his arms over their shoulders. Even knowing ahead of time had not prepared him for actually hearing what they had been through, and he was still recovering. "That goes for me too, bros. You ain't gonna get hurt any more, you are our family now."

Kyle and JJ's affirmation of their support was the final straw. Jeffy and Sammy relaxed and began sobbing in relief as they were sandwiched between their new brothers. An hour later, Dan found the four of them asleep in a pile on the bed, exhausted by the emotional overload.

End Flashback


Ever since that conversation, the twins had hung on JJ like shadows.

The six boys managed to squeeze into the shower at the same time. At first Jeffy and Sammy were skittish about any contact at all, but as they realized that none of the others planned to do anything other than wash they joined in on the horseplay. As they were finishing the shower, Kyle and Tyler decided to finish their sword fighting.

At first Jeffy and Sammy were giggling as much as the others at Kyle and Ty's antics, but suddenly Jeffy dropped to his knees and turned Kyle towards him.

"Whoa, Kyle, you just got one ball? Kewl!" Jeffy exclaimed as he reached out and inspected Kyle's scrotum. "One of the guys we used to do was born like this; he tasted better than anyone else!" Jeffy then stood back up and hugged the still-shocked Kyle. "You are extra special bro; if anyone picks on you about that let us know. We'll beat up anyone who does that."

Kyle smiled as he recovered and returned the hug. "Will do, bro. I was born like this too; I hope you are right!"

As much as he didn't want to, JJ interrupted the exchange. "C'mon guys, let's get dried off. Jeffy, Sammy, why don't you go with Adam and get started on breakfast; I gotta discuss something with Pop."

The boys split off, all but JJ heading downstairs. JJ took a deep breath once they were all clear, it was time to deal with the twins problem. For the first time since he had been told, he gave the matter of what they had been through his full attention. He finished clearing everything else out of his mind, then knocked on his parent's bedroom door.

"Come in JJ!" Dan called out.

JJ opened the door and walked in, locking it behind him. He then walked over to the bathroom door and locked it too. Once he was sure they were not going to be interrupted, he turned toward Dan and John.

Dan began to joke about the locked doors, but then he got a good look at his oldest son. JJ's normally full lips were nothing but thin lines, and his magnetic hazel eyes were replaced by ominous black pools.

Dan turned serious. "John, get dressed NOW! I've only seen JJ like this once; all I'll say is all Hell is about to break loose."

Both adults threw on clothes as fast as they could, then sat in front of where JJ was waiting patiently. "What's wrong, Son?" Dan said as soon as they were settled.

JJ handed John the list of names that Kyle got from the twin's memories. As John opened the paper, JJ finally started venting the anger and disgust he had been feeling since he heard the twin's history.

In a cold voice, JJ answered. "To start, I want all of those guy's nuts hanging from the fence by supper..."


Adam led the boys into the dining room. "Mornin' Helen, what's for breakfast?" the boys announced.

Helen shook her head and smiled. "Y'all act like you haven't ate in a week. I was thinking about waffles; how's that sound?"

"Yeah!!" four of the five boys exclaimed. Kyle dropped his chin to his chest and quietly began sobbing.

Helen noticed Kyle's reaction and rushed over to him. "What's wrong, baby?" she asked as she pulled him into her arms.

"N .. nu .. nuthin'." Kyle stuttered.

Helen rubbed Kyle's shoulders as she tried to calm him. "It's okay Kyle, you can tell me about it. I can't make things better if I don't know what's wrong."

Kyle snuggled into Helen and whispered just loud enough for her to hear "Me and JJ's mommy used to make blueberry waffles when I came over. She said they was special for me. I miss Mommy!" Kyle broke into a fresh round of tears.

"Shhhh ... It's okay Kyle. It's good that you miss her, it shows that you love her. I'll bet right now she's smiling knowing you love her so much."

"If it's good, why does it make my tummy hurt?"

"Thats because you're holding all the love you have for her inside you now. When she was here, you gave it to her. I bet you don't think about her much because it makes you sad. Is that right Kyle?"

"Yeah, I guess so. I know she is watchin' over us, but it hurts to 'member her."

Helen kissed Kyle's head, then continued. "You know something? When Kelly was separated from me, it hurt me to think about him. I was feeling like you do now."

"What did ya' do?" Kyle mumbled.

"I figured out that it didn't hurt as much once I started doing things that we had fun doing together. It was like I kept the good memories of him alive by doing the things we enjoyed. Maybe you should do something like that; it helped me."

Kyle thought for a minute. "I guess I can try. How do I start?"

Helen smiled slightly. "I think a good start would be a special batch of blueberry waffles for a very special little boy. How does that sound to you?"

Kyle leaned up and kissed Helen's cheek. "Okay! You know what? You are almost as smart as mommy was!"

Helen chuckled as she kissed Kyle's forehead. "I'll take that as a compliment, little one. Why don't you and Ty meet me in the kitchen, and we'll see what we can do about making some waffles that'll make your Momma proud."

Kyle giggled as he hopped down and grabbed Tyler's hand, dragging him into the kitchen. Helen turned to Adam and said "why don't you guys get everyone else up? By the time they are done with their showers, I should have enough done for the first round."

Adam giggled. "You sure about that Helen? None of us have had anything to eat for quite a few hours."

Helen smiled and shook her head as Adam ran for the rec room. She turned to join the boys in the kitchen, but was stopped by the twins pulling her into a hug.

"Thanks for helping our little brother, Helen." Jeffy said.

Sammy took over the conversation. "We think he's messed up a little cuz' JJ is tellin' Pop what happened to us."

Jeffy interrupted. "Yeah, I hope Pop still wants us after he finds out. It's kewl feeling like someone might actually love us."

Helen looked at the twins hanging on to her, their insecurity evident in their blue eyes. "Guys, you can stop worrying those pretty blond heads of yours. There is one thing I've figured out about this house; when you walk through that front door you are loved for what you are now, and nothing in your past can change that."

Dan walked up and motioned the twins over to him. "She's right, guys. John and I still love you just as much now as we did before JJ told us what happened." As he sat down and pulled the twins onto his lap he continued. "In fact, right now John is contacting his boss in Orlando to start things rolling to give the people that used you what they deserve."

Dan noticed Helen was heading to the kitchen. "Thanks for helping our sons, Helen. I think you are going to fit in here just fine."

"Anytime Dan, you have some very fine young gentlemen for your sons. I need to get moving, Kyle and Ty are waiting to help make blueberry waffles." Helen replied as she headed out of the room.

Dan raised his eyebrows. "I wonder if she has any idea what she's getting into with your little brother, guys!"

Jeffy looked up at his new dad. "Yeah she does, Daddy. Kyle got all sad when she first said she was making them. He was missing his mommy bad, but after Helen talked to him he is feelin' better."

JJ took a seat next to them. "what's this about our little brother?"

Dan responded first. "Blueberry Waffles, son. Need I say more?"

JJ shook his head. "Is he okay? Where's he at?"

"Don't worry, bro; Helen talked to him and he's okay now. Him and Ty are helping her." Sammy replied as he turned toward JJ. "Hey, why have you been crying, JJ?" he asked as he noticed JJ's red eyes.

Dan answered as he reached over and pulled JJ into the family embrace. "Your big brother went to bat for you guys. He was so mad he broke down in tears telling us about what you had to go through. I have only seen him close to that mad one other time, and that was when the home Kyle used to be in started blocking us adopting him. You two have nothing to worry about now, JJ told us everything and we WILL make sure nobody does that to you again."

John entered the room as Dan finished talking. "That's right, in fact I have to go to Washington, DC after breakfast to get the ball rolling. Thanks to you two, a lot of kids are not going to have to do what you had to do."

In a tiny voice, Sammy pleaded "Do you still want us now that you know what we did?"

"Yes, son, we still want both of you. It doesn't matter if you liked it or not, you were being used. If anyone ever gives you trouble about that, let one of us know." John wiped a tear from his eye then continued. "The Lord has blessed us with four fine sons; there is nothing any of you could do that would make us send you away. Go clean up you three, it smells like breakfast is almost ready. I love all of you equally, never forget that."

Just as JJ and the twins sat down at the dining room table, the rest of the tribe made their way into the room and grabbed their normal seats. Teri had just joined them when Kyle and Tyler came walking in from the kitchen. Both boys carried plates with two large waffles on them, dripping with blueberry syrup and topped with whipped cream.

Kyle smiled as they sat the plates in front of Sammy and Jeffy. "Momma used to make these for me 'cause I was special. You guys are my special new big brothers, so since she was not here to make them, I made these for you. Welcome home, bros!"

Kyle had made this announcement while standing between the twins. Both boys turned in their seats and gave Kyle a big twin hug. "Thanks Kyle! You're the best little brother in the whole world!" both Sammy and Jeffy announced in unison.

As Kyle left the twins and headed towards his seat, John pulled him over and hugged him. "That was the nicest thing I've ever seen Kyle. I'm really proud of you, and I know your momma is too."

Kyle smiled. "Thanks Pop!" He then hurried over to his chair by Tyler as Helen came out pushing a cart with a serving platter heaped with waffles, six flasks of blueberry syrup, and a plate already prepared exactly like the ones Kyle gave the twins.

"This one is for you; a special waffle for a special boy." Helen told Kyle as she sat the prepared plate in front of him. Kyle silently turned and hugged Helen, the quiet tears saying more than any words.

To all of the adults surprise, not one of the boys even mentioned the fact that Kyle, Sammy, and Jeffy were the only ones to get whipped cream for their waffles. As breakfast was being finished, John spoke up.

"Teri, Sean, and Cory, I need to see you in the office after breakfast. Gabe, call your dad and ask him to hurry over. I have a feeling that he's about to get very busy."

Alec, Trav, and Kelly gave Helen a hand cleaning up as the rest of the families dispersed throughout the house. Andrew joined JJ and Adam as they headed to the rec room with their brothers. "What happened this morning? When I got up you all were gone." Andy asked as they all sat on the couch.

JJ smiled, finally relaxing from the mornings stress. "Kyle and Ty kinda woke us up. I'm glad they did, 'cuz now I've took care of a promise I made to my newest little brothers.

Andrew chuckled. "I'm not sure I wanna know what they were doing!" He then turned serious. "I wanna thank you guys for lettin' me stay here. I kinda feel like you are all my brothers now too, and if any of you need help let me know, okay?"

JJ reached over and rubbed Andrew's neck. "Hey man, like we told you at Denny's, you ARE our brother. You and I's been friends for a long time, and you proved that you were more than a friend right then."

All seven boys cuddled together as each thought about the changes in their lives over the past week. Tyler broke the silence when he commented softly "I used to tell Sean I wished for a big brother, one that was as nice as him. Now I got three big brothers and a big family and a cute boyfriend. I really hope this ain't a dream."

Adam reached over and hugged his little brother. "Ty, thank God this is not a dream. I would go through the pain all over again if that's what it would take to keep you now that I have you little brother."

The cuddle became a group hug as they all expressed their love for each other. As they broke apart, Kyle began giggling.

"What's up, bro?" Sammy asked.

Kyle grinned. "I just got done catchin' up Jamie and Jacob. Justy had to hold Unca Josh down to keep him from goin' huntin' for Calvin! Unca Josh said to tell you guys not to worry, he's gonna make some calls and do some stuff that Unca Chip and Pop can't do." Kyle looked confused for a second, then muttered "OUCH!"

"What's wrong?" Tyler asked with concern.

"Justy just told Jamie somethin'. Justy says the last time he saw his Pop that mad was when the Carters kicked Aaron out. I had to ask what a word meaned, and Justy told Jamie so he could tell me. Justy says Unca Josh is gonna castrate Calvin with a butter knife! I guess Calvin better hope our Pop finds him first, cuz Justy says castrate means cuttin' his nuts off!"

All of the boys winced at Kyle's announcement. They all turned to JJ in shock when he muttered "In that case, I hope Uncle Josh DOES find him first. If it was me I'd use a hammer and chisel."

Adam recovered his voice first. "Babe, please let it go, the grown-ups can handle it now. I don't want you to let this eat you up, your brothers and I need you to be yourself. You did your part, please don't let it mess your head up."

JJ leaned forward and kissed Adam. "I'll try, cutie. I can't forget about it till Pop and Dad say it's taken care of, but I'll do my best."

Andy looked at JJ with confusion all over his face. "I know I'm missing something here, what's going on?"

JJ looked over at the twins. Sammy noticed the look, and answered the unspoken question. "Go ahead bro, he's one of us."

JJ sat back. "Okay, here you go. Babe, you might wanna listen close, this is gonna be the unedited version. Ty, why don't you get the rest of the guys in here, that way we don't have to repeat it."

Once the entire tribe was assembled in the room, JJ prepared to update them. Adam went to sit with Sean and Cory, but JJ stopped him. "Babe, stay here and hold me, please? I need you a lot right now."

Adam sat back down, snuggling tight against JJ with one arm around his back and the other over his chest.

JJ gave a long sigh. "Okay guys, please don't ask anything or comment until I'm done; this is gonna be really hard for me to talk about. I know most of you know about what happened to make it so that Jeffy and Sammy became my little brothers. Well, you are about to get what that old guy on the radio calls 'the rest of the story'."