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The Hidden Ones: Resurrection - 23. Battle of the Brothers


Big stages, flashing lights, giant crowds, people waiting on me hand and foot, it all just seemed so perfect. It was the dream. It’s what everyone wants, right? That’s what boys stay up all night thinking about, and grown men envy. Yet this weekend I have something completely different. I have the simple life of staying at my boyfriend’s home. It’s so much more satisfying than those stages wound up being. I’m so much happier. I’m just, fulfilled here. Maybe my true calling is to be a stay at home dad like Harry. God knows Teddy would let me do it too!

“So you’re definitely coming to battle of the bands.” The young boy anxiously whined from behind his drum set.

“Yes.” I groaned for the millionth time this weekend. “Me and Teddy already told you we’re coming.”

“Ask us one more time and we won’t.” Teddy shrugged, trying his hardest to shut his brother up.

“No one was talking to you.” Oli said in a frustrated tone.

I looked to Teddy and raised an eyebrow as he thought it over. “You haven’t been telling people Ryder is going to be there. Have you?”

“No.” He guiltily shutdown.

“Oh kid.” I exhaled looking back to him.

“I haven’t!” He cried in a loud voice. “I swear!”

“This isn’t a game Oliver.” Teddy sighed. “I, you really can’t tell anyone or he can’t go.”

“I didn’t!” He insisted as his anger began to build.

“But you were going to, weren’t you?” Teddy pushed, trying to separate his lies from the truth.

Oli grew quiet and began to drum away again but could feel Teddy’s eyes weighing down on him. His form began to grow sloppier and sloppier until finally he spiked a drum stick into the ground. “Why are you always such a dick Teddy?”

“Woh.” I raised a hand before sparks could really start flying. “Drop it and walk away. Both of you.”

“He’s just going to think he’s right. He always thinks he’s right.” Oliver muttered in frustration. “No one believes that I even know you anyway. No one believes you date Teddy. No one believes you would even look at me. No one believes me. They don’t even listen anymore.” He angrily ranted slowly beginning to climb the stairs. “I don’t even know why I go anymore.” He let out before slamming the door behind him.

“You really had to push his buttons?” I sighed, looking back to Teddy.

“I didn’t know he was going to explode.” Teddy shrugged.

“He’s an anxious kid.” I reminded him as I rose to my feet. “He’s always one push away from exploding.”

“He’s not anxious.” Teddy rolled his eyes. “He’s a brat.”

“He’s a brat.” I nodded. “But he’s also anxious. Watch him fidget and struggle to focus. His minds moving a million thoughts a minute. You guys really need to cut him some slack every now and then.”

“Okay doctor.” Teddy mocked, refusing to hear me out.

“I’m being serious.” I insisted, slowly walking towards the stairs. “It’s a good thing you guys got him a counselor, he needs to learn how to deal with it before he grows up. Maybe you should join him?”

“Yeah sure thing. Me and all my free time will go to a shrink.” He shook his head. “We’re all fine. Just on edge from spending all weekend together.” I let out a long sigh and stared at him. “Alright, alright, he’s an anxious kid.” He submitted, not understanding why I was slowly growing irritated with him.

“It’s not about that.” I forced out. “I just don’t know why you want to take everyone else’s pain on without dealing with your own.” Teddy grew quiet as my words hit him. “You never take care of yourself, and I hate it.”

“I-I do.” He stuttered, unsure what to say next.

“Then take a few days off without work. Give your mind a break before you run it into the ground.” I suggested, leaning over the rail.

“I can’t just take a break.” He shook his head, but I kept walking, tired of his excuses. If he’s a workaholic, fine, but don’t lie about it. “Ryder,” He called out as I reached the top of the stairs. “Come on Ryder.”

I ignored his calls as I shut the door behind me and wandered into the kitchen. Harry raised his eyebrows already having received an earful from Oliver. “Your sons too obsessed with work.”

“So is his mother.” Harry sighed, knowing exactly where I was coming from. “But it makes them happy.”

“I get that.” I nodded. “But it’s not always what’s best for them.” Harry stayed quiet as he tried to stay as far out of it as possible. “When’s Oliver’s Christmas break?”

“Starts next week and runs all the way to the week after.” He shrugged. “If you thought this week was bad, well prepare for full-time Oliver.”

“Can’t wait.” I muttered, trying to line up dates. “Can your wife get off of work?”

“For what?” Harry cautiously asked. I stayed quiet and awaited his answer; refusing to show my hand until I had all the pieces together. “Probably.” He finally replied. “I don’t even remember the last time she took off.”

“I want to fly you all to one of my beach houses. Either the one in the Florida Keys or out in Los Angeles.” I shrugged finally letting him in on my plan. “Teddy needs a vacation, and by the sound of it so do Oliver and your wife.”

“I, Ryder, we can’t ask you to do that.” He shook his head. “That, that’s going to cost a fortune.”

“No it won’t.” I said quickly thinking it over. “Plane tickets aren’t that expensive and I already own the houses. It’ll cost like three-hundred round trip. And planes move so fast nowadays. Florida is like forty minutes away.”

He let out a long sigh and refused to answer. “You guys deserve it. I barely even pay rent. Just let me take care of you guys for once.”

“You get your boyfriend on board and I’ll convince my wife.” He finally sighed. “But don’t tell Oliver until it’s set in stone. We don’t need a million suggestions from him.”

“I won’t.” I smiled with a nod. “Where’d he run off to anyway?”

“His room.” Harry answered taking a seat at the table. “Whatever Teddy said was really bugging him.”

I rolled my eyes and made my way up the stairs and to his door. “Oliver.” I sighed, lightly knocking on the door. “Can I come in?”

“No.” He quickly answered.

“Please.” I forced out.

“Fine.” He gave in. As I slowly began to open the door I felt his eyes staring me down. A sigh of relief left his lips as he realized I had left Teddy downstairs. “Why don’t you go hangout with your boyfriend?” He teased in an upset voice.

“Because I want to come hang out with you.” I offered, slowly walking in and taking a seat on his bed. “You know he’s just trying to protect me.”

“Don’t defend him.” Oli muttered, looking over towards one of his desks.

“It’s the truth.” I shrugged. “He loves you, but he’s worried that sometimes your excitement gets the best of you.”

“Then why can’t he tell me that?” Oliver asked, instantly silencing me.

I stayed quiet for a minute or two before finally drawing his gaze back to me. “Why don’t you think anyone will listen to you?”

His eyes fell back to the wall but to my surprise he began to open his mouth. “They just don’t, okay?” He coldly snapped. “No one does. They always think I’m lying. They don’t even notice what a good drummer I am, and that’s the only thing I have. Why would they care about the rest of me?”

“Because you’re a fucking awesome kid.” I quickly supported, seeing the pain in his eyes. “You’re funny and exciting, and just a mini rock star.”

“Don’t pity me.” He grumbled as though he was a grown man. “They always think I’m lying so they don’t give me a chance. And worst of all they think I’m just trouble.”

“Well soon they’ll see,”

“Soon?” He repeated, cutting me off. “And when exactly is that? Everyone tell me it’ll get better soon. You’ll feel better soon. You’ll start behaving soon. But soon never comes. I’m done waiting for soon!”

“I, Oliver that’s not,”

“Can you leave me alone for now?” He asked as I gulped. “I just want to be by myself.”

“I, yeah, I um,” I stuttered as he closed me out for the first time. “I’ll be in Teddy’s room if you need me.”

He nodded but stayed quiet, starting to get lost in his own head. As I slowly shut the door behind me I saw the grin of his older brother, falsely assuming I had put the pieces back together. “Drop it.” I sighed with a shake of my head.

“No, come on, what’d you say to fix it this time?” He patiently asked with a smug look.

“Nothing.” I exhaled, wandering into our room. “He asked me to leave. He’s really upset.”

“He’s just being overdramatic.” Teddy rolled his eyes. “He’ll forget it by the morning.” I rolled my eyes and crawled into bed. “What’d I say?”

“Just because he’s a kid doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel pain. He’s upset. He feels ignored, and you not believing him doesn’t help.” I muttered. “He looks up to you and you never validate anything he feels.”

“He doesn’t look up to me.” Teddy rolled his eyes. “He looks up to you and my dad.” I grew quiet and turned my back to him. “Come on.” He tempted, sliding into bed next to me. “Don’t be mad. I want to fall asleep in your arms.”

“Don’t push it Teddy.” I grumbled, forcing the room to grow quiet.

He tried a few more times but I kept my back to him for as long as I could. Oliver and Teddy can’t keep fighting with one another! It’s childish and ridiculous! Teddy is old enough to let Oliver be a stressed out teen. We can’t just assume he’ll be better tomorrow. That, it’s how things stay broken.


The next morning I made sure to stay quiet, trying my hardest to drive my point home. Teddy tried to talk about it, but I left it be, knowing leaving him to think about it was the best medicine. He even offered to drive Oliver to school, which of course almost resulted in another fight! But when they both had finally left Harry couldn’t help but press me on what’s happening.

“You get in a fight about the vacation?” Harry asked.

“No, didn’t even bring it up.” I sighed. “It just bugs me that Teddy dismisses Oliver’s feelings.” Harry nodded his head but stayed quiet. “Just because Oli’s an emotional kid doesn’t mean he’ll just get over things. And Teddy never believes him. We don’t need to call him out on every single lie he tells.”

“Good luck officiating that fight.” Harry shook his head.

I grew quiet and slowly headed towards the stairs. “I’m going to go listen to music for a while. If I fall asleep can you wake me up when you go pick up Oliver.”

“Alright.” He shrugged, picking up his tablet and letting me wander off to be with myself.

For someone who’s always struggled to be alone. Well today honestly wasn’t that bad. It was nice to just have a day to myself with music playing. I wasn’t depressed or anxious. I just, was. No pressure to push an album out, or stressing out over filming a music video. No press on my back or people watching my every move. Just me being me. I could really get used to this.


When it was finally time to go Harry made sure to come and get me. He was confused at first but when I said I just wanted to go get a breath of fresh air he let it go. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to this middle school. Haunted memories of my childhood came rushing back to me as we pulled into the lot but I took a deep breath and let it bounce off of me. I stared out the window at the line of parents patiently waiting for their kids. I never got this when I was young. I never got mom or dad there to hug me after class. It was always just, me. Maybe that’s why I got so sick of being left with myself.

“I’m going to go get him, just sit tight.” Harry exhaled, undoing his seat belt.

“I can go do it.” I quickly offered. “If you’re okay with that.”

“Sure.” He cautiously let out. “But aren’t you worried about being noticed?”

“No one recognizes anyone in a winter coat.” I lied. “I’ll just put my hood up and I’m anonymous.”

“If you’re sure.” He checked but I was already opening the door. “His classroom is the third door over. They might ask you for I.D. since you’re not family.”

“Yeah, yeah.” I waved off, slowly walking towards the line of people.

A few minutes of standing out in the cold winter air passed until finally the sound of a school bell sounded out. Like bats out of hell children began to rush out of the school, relieved to finally be set free. A few glanced at me then did a double take to make sure their eyes weren’t betraying them, but no one actually said anything.

Small heads popped up in the windows as children anxiously searched for their ride. Desperate to leave their small prison. It took a few waives for Oliver to finally notice me, but as he rushed to his teacher the short woman made sure to stop him.

I could notice Oliver starting to get frustrated as he impatiently pointed to me. I took in a deep breath and wandered over. “Forget me already?” I asked, looking at the woman who had once taught me.

The woman narrowed in her eyes as she stared at me. “I’m sorry, I’m going to need some I.D. I don’t think you’re on his pick up list.”

“Come on.” Oliver complained. “It’s just Ryder.” I could tell underneath his frustrated act he was thrilled she was causing a scene. Everyone got to see him being picked up. Everyone got to see him with me.

“I’m his brother’s boyfriend.” I groaned, stupefied that even with the fame she’d forgotten me.

“I know who you are.” She groaned, surprising me. “I had to look at that face of yours for a full school year, but rules are rules Mr. Sullivan.”

I rolled my eyes but reached into my pocket and pulled out my I.D. anyway. She took it from me and handed it to a much younger teacher who ran it over to the telephone. “So how did you wind up babysitting Oliver?”

“I always watch Oliver.” I shrugged, making sure to say it loud enough for eavesdropping ears to hear. “He’s a cool kid. We even play music together sometimes.”

She looked down at the excited young boy and shook her head. “You could learn a thing or two from Teddy and Ryder. They were great young students.”

“Wait Mrs. W.” Another voice called out. “You taught Ryder Sullivan?”

“He was one of my first classes.” She proudly exhaled. “He was in Oliver’s brother’s class. What a funny class that was. They were very, excitable.”

“Can we go?” Oliver whined as the younger teacher made her way back.

“They’re good.” She let out, handing her my license.

“Alright Ryder, take care of yourself, and don’t be afraid to come visit every now and then.” She exhaled, handing me back the plastic rectangle. “And Oliver, I expect a better day from you tomorrow. Mr. Rose said you were calling out all class.”

“Yeah, yeah.” he muttered forcing his way through the door and in front of me. “Why are you here?”

“What’s that mean?” I asked, giving him a friendly push. “I can’t help around the house?”

“It means I don’t trust your driving.” He shrugged, happily looking around at all the spying eyes. “You’re probably going to crash the car halfway home.

“Jesus Oliver.” I groaned. “Your dad drove me. You don’t need to get so morbid.”

He shrugged his shoulders and hid his growing smile. I know this isn’t exactly the smartest thing I could’ve done, but look at his face! This was worth every second of whatever happens next! Now kids know he’s not lying. They know he’s telling the truth when he says I hang out with him. That I actually do spend time and play music with him after school.

“Oliver!” A young voice cried out, catching both our attention.

“Sorry Mark, I’ve gotta get home.” He shrugged, staring down a boy idly standing next to his parent’s car.

“Oh, okay.” He nodded his head. “I, you’ll text me?”

“If you want.” Oliver nodded, but I could tell he was just trying to play it cool.

“Who’s that?” I teased as the boy entered his car.

“No one.” Oliver lied.

“You like him!” I teased, bumping Oli once more. “You totally like him!”

“I do not!” He angrily let out, dropping his eyes to the floor.

“Oliver!” A girl yelped this time. “Why are you leaving so fast?”

“It’s time to go home.” He shrugged, already seeing the downside to all the attention he would now receive. This time I noticed he tried to keep his face hidden.

“Oh, well you should call me later. I need to ask you stuff about our science project.” She exhaled, trying to catch his stare.

“I will.” He nodded, desperately trying to hide the blush on his face.

“You like her too!” I let out as she disappeared into the growing crowd. “Oliver,” I giggled. “you’re quite the player.”

“I-I don’t like anyone!” He insisted, still refusing to look up.

“Okay, okay,” I cackled, enjoying the rise I was getting out of him.

“What took so long?” Harry groaned as we both quickly climbed into the car.

“They had to call someone about me picking Oliver up or something.” I shrugged.

“The idiots probably called my wife.” He rolled his eyes. “They know I’m the stay at home dad and they always insist on calling her.”

I couldn’t help but giggle at his frustration. He’s the only man I’ve ever met proud to be a stay at home dad. He doesn’t care that his wife is the one working. He just wants to raise his kids the right way. Sure, he hasn’t been perfect at it, but he does a much better job than most people I know!

When we finally got back home I noticed Oliver delaying on his homework. He clicked on and off his phone a few times before anxiously tapping his pen against the table. “Why’d you come pick me up?” He asked, as I took a seat across from him.

“I was sick of being inside.” I shrugged. “And I figured it’d be funny to see what you’re like at school.”

“Oh.” He exhaled, thinking it all over.

“I didn’t know you were going to have a boyfriend and a girlfriend!” I couldn’t help but tease in laughter.

“I don’t have either!” He insisted in a loud voice.

“It’s totally cool man.” I giggled. “Which one do you like more?”

“Neither.” He muttered, finally looking down at his homework.

“I think you think the girls better looking, but like the boy better.” I analyzed, seeing if I could draw any truth out of him.

He went to argue but let out a sigh and fell back in his chair. “He kissed me.”

“Oh.” I let out as my eyebrows rose. I know Oliver’s been questioning his sexuality, but I didn’t know it’d gone that far!

“We’ve been friends forever, and he just kissed me like it was nothing.” He shrugged, keeping his voice low so only I could hear him.

“Were you comfortable with that?” I asked, growing nervous myself.

“Yeah.” He slowly nodded. “I just, I wish I knew why he did it.”

“Ask him.” I shrugged. “If he kissed you you deserve to talk about it.”

“What if it ruins our friendship?” He couldn’t help but ask, finally looking back up at me.

“I don’t know.” I shrugged. “But he took that risk by kissing you.”

“What if I don’t like him like that?” He asked once more.

“Well did you like your kiss?” I pressured, drawing a grossed out look from him. “You’ve got to mature and like kisses at some point.” I groaned, knowing it was just an act.

“Perv.” He muttered. “But I-I guess I liked it. I-I want to do it again.”

“Oh huh ho!” I couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m teasing, I’m teasing.” I quickly waived off as anger mounted in his eyes. “If it helps I totally freaked out the first time Teddy kissed me. I ran home and he had to come check on me.” I laughed. “And I was almost eighteen at the time. So you have me beat by a mile.”

“Am I too young?” He asked, looking up at me.

“Maybe.” I shrugged, starting to enter into uncomfortable territory. “Just follow what you’re comfortable with and you’ll be fine. Your body will let you know, just listen to it.”

“I turn fourteen in a month or two.” He let out, catching me off guard. He’s going to be fourteen? Are you kidding? He doesn’t act like any fourteen year old I’ve ever met. Then again I’ve never really met a fourteen year old! He’s so childish. Yet, in moments like this I guess I can see his maturity.

“See, that’s perfect timing for your first kiss.” I shrugged. “Besides you’re not doing anything wrong. You’re just learning.”

“Okay.” He nodded his head. “Can I, can I talk to you and Teddy about this stuff? I just, I don’t want to talk to my parents,”

“Of course.” I answered, sparing him the words. “We’ll always be there to listen. Does he know about the kiss?”

“Yeah.” Oliver softly admitted. “He basically said the same things you are. But, but Mark has a girlfriend.”

“Well someone better tell her he kissed you.” I shrugged as I stood up. “Besides I think Teddy had a girlfriend in middle school too. None of it means anything.”

“Did you like him back then?” Oliver asked as I slowly headed towards the doorway.

“Slightly. I always thought he was cute.” I shrugged. “Just thought his mouth was too big.”

Oliver giggled at my words and let me go, thankful that the moment was over. It was slightly awkward for the both of us, but I’m glad he could talk about it with someone. I’m glad he could just get it all off his chest. There’s no harm in him kissing someone he likes. If anything I think it’s healthy for him to be seeing what he likes. Don’t get me wrong, It’s not like I’m pushing for them to try anything. I’d really rather not know about any of that. But hey, if he wants to date who am I to stop that.


The next few days seemed to fly by a lot easier. Teddy could tell I was keeping something from him, but I enjoyed how much it bothered him. Sure, he knows the same thing as me, but he doesn’t know that. This is what he gets for being such a jerk to Oliver. Then again I hadn’t even gathered the courage to ask him about vacation, so I guess I can’t really speak!

Oliver’s phone seemed to blow up after I picked him up. Suddenly he wasn’t a liar anymore. Suddenly everyone wanted to talk to him. Wanted to know the kid who hangs around Ryder Sullivan. A media outlet or two picked up the story and publish some pictures but for the most part all the major ones let it go. After all, publishing pictures of me picking up family at a middle school doesn’t exactly make for news.

But that didn’t stop all the little stares from taking place as me and Teddy took our seats next to his parents in the small gymnasium. It’s funny, I always dreamed of getting to play at one of these as a kid. I always wanted a band to play my middle school or high school with. As if that would have fixed everything. As if that’s what would’ve made people like me.

Yet still, the large crowd of students seemed to support that idea. These kids were really into the event. Seemingly most of the school showed up as bodies overflowed every empty space.

“Teddy!” A young voice yelped as it worked its way down the row. “Did Oli already go with the group?”

“I think so.” Teddy shrugged. As I looked over to the young face I realized it was the boy that had kissed him.

“Damn.” He shook his head. “I wanted to wish him good luck. He’s been dodging me for the past few weeks!”

“I’m sure he’s just stressed over this.” Teddy let out. “I wouldn’t read too much into it.”

“Yeah.” The boy nodded carefully looking over to me.

“Oliver is crazy.” I shrugged. “You can never really know what’s going through his head, so I wouldn’t think too much about it.”

The boy nodded his head, but kept his eyes on me a little longer, stunned that I had spoken. “Just let him know I was asking about him.” The boy nodded before wandering back towards his friends.

“He totally has a crush on Oli.” Teddy suddenly let out in a laugh.

“Oli totally has a crush on him.” I shrugged. “You think it’s for real?”

“I don’t know.” He shrugged. “Could just be because he’s curious. Be kind of crazy for my mom to have two gay kids.”

“Crazy but possible.” I reminded him in a nod.

“Well if he’s gay he’s totally got a crush on you.” Teddy giggled. “It would explain why he’s always been so obsessed.”

“He just loves music.” I rolled my eyes. “Most of these kids haven’t taken their eyes off me since I walked in. They’re all like this.”

“Sure.” Teddy cackled, enjoying how uncomfortable he had made me.

Finally the lights came down silencing both of us. The first few bands were good I guess. I mean their kids so it’s hard to tell. Their voices are flat and all over their place. While their ability to play instruments, well it was all over the board. Some were pretty good while others didn’t seem to know what they were doing. However none of them got close to Oliver and his drums. None of them had that dynamic flare with what they were playing. None of them loved it the way he loves it.

When his band finally came up I felt myself grow nervous for him. I couldn’t help but laugh as he slowly stepped onstage, eye black smeared across his eyes the same way I always wore it.

“Up now is the combination of Oliver Haner, Tyler Kahill, Colin Werth, Jeremy Jacobs and Jamie Palmer.” An older woman announced. “Their band name is The Apostles, and they’ll be covering a song called All Signs Point to Lauderdale by A Day to Remember.”

The older woman quickly lowered the microphone and wandered off stage as applause filled the air. Oliver took a deep breath, found me and Teddy in the crowd and quickly nodded to his band to start the old song. Leave it to Oliver to find an old hit from the 2000s to play.

His band was a little rough but no worse than any of the others. It amazed me they had the guts to pull him from the drums, especially since the kid that was playing seemed to struggle keeping the beat. Yet at the same time Oli at front man kind of made sense. He had the spirit and energy for it. He bounced around up on stage like he was meant to be there. Sure, his singing voice wasn’t exactly perfect but it was good enough to get by.

Different colored lights seem to flicker on and off of them as they caught fire on stage. Their song was a great choice. Simple enough for them to play, yet catchy enough for their peers to latch onto. As Oliver reached the end of the song I could tell he started to forget where he was. I couldn’t help but laugh as the f-word finally escaped his lips. I knew the self-censoring was going to be an issue, but I didn’t expect him to slip up that bad! I looked over to his parents but saw them holding back laughter as well. After all, this is the most Oliver thing to have happen!

You’re going to be in so much trouble kid, but you’ve made us all proud. You rocked that small stage. You showed the temperament and energy I knew you had in there. You may not be all that great a singer, but now I know you’re a performer. You belong up on a stage somewhere. We all know it.

Copyright © 2018 Aceinthehole; All Rights Reserved.
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So Oli’s not a Karen Carpenter, but maybe he’s a Phil Collins! They’re both drummers who were also lead singers at least part of the time. But Karen was known primarily for her voice, not her drumming.  ;-)


It appears that Ryder picking up Oli at school went over better than I would have expected. Oli gets cred from his classmates and yet the media didn’t make too big a fuss over it. It was probably TMZ (or a successor) which ran the story since it seemed to be more gossip than news.  ;-)

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It's nice to have some down time and just take a look at their day to day lives sans the popularity and paparazzi chaos. Fun chapter to read, loved it. Cheers 😁

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34 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

So Oli’s not a Karen Carpenter, but maybe he’s a Phil Collins! They’re both drummers


yes they are were/are both drummers but you could find two people more stylistically different from Ryder and Oli


Ace, another superb chapter. Ryder is helping himself as he reaches out to mend the family's lingering wounds. Thoughtful, Sweet and Empathetic.


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Teddy can be really annoying sometimes. He dismisses his brother, not realizing the damage he is doing. Oliver is hurt. Ryder pegged him being anxious. He shows some of my own symptoms.

I applaud Ryder giving Oliver his moment. He gave him street cred. Hopefully an easier time at school. Ryder is cementing his place in Oliver’s heart.

The age Oliver is at is confusing... Boy, girl, fluid... it doesn’t matter. That age is hard to decipher if feelings, or hormones.

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1 minute ago, Rndmrunner said:

yes they are were/are both drummers but you could find two people more stylistically different from Ryder and Oli

I’m not a fan of metal (or hard rock in general) so I go with what I know. It’s more about the fact that drummers sometimes sing lead. With one not being known for her drumming since her voice eclipsed her skills behind the drums.  ;-)


There are also drummers who rarely sang lead (Ringo) and many others who sang harmony or never sang at all.  ;-)

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Superb chapter.  Ryder makes a great psychologist, possibly because he sees so much of himself in Oli and possibly because he knows his boyfriend so well.  Helping pick up Oli from school was a great way of supporting Oli without straining Ryder, and the vacation he's planning should do them all a world of good. I can't wait to see how Ryder intends to pry Teddy away from work!

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hey ace,


thanks for the great chapter. i find Ryders willingness to deal with public for the good of the family (of which he is slowly realizing he is an integral part of) enjoyable. a bit sad that oli had to give up the drums to sing, but i can't tap my foot in rhythm, so certainly not the person to discuss musical abilities!


thanks for continuing to tell this stor!


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I know it’s not easy being a teenager - in fact it really sucked - but I dislike Ryder calling Teddy a jerk for how he deals with Oliver.  Teddy not being patient with him is not the same as bullying him or deliberately causing emotional stress.


Yeah Teddy could be better at communicating but come on, I think Ryder’s a little hard on him.  Oliver has issues but is annoying as hell and Teddy is just trying to be responsible.  Just cause some people are always one step away from exploding as Ryder put it, doesn’t mean you don’t tell them things they need to hear.  


Oliver is a young teenager who makes noise.  It’s not surprising people dismiss him - we all felt like that at his age and we all survived it.  The reason people don’t listen to you when you’re 13?  Cause 9 out of 10 tines you’re an idiot.  We all were.  The one time you’re not completely wrong doesn’t negate the other nine where you are.


The not calling him out on every lie to spare his anxiety is just wrong.  I was an anxious, emotional kid too - my parents made damn sure to call me out every time they could.  Otherwise I’d keep doing it (still tried but I was a bratty teen haha).

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1 hour ago, Israfil said:

I know it’s not easy being a teenager - in fact it really sucked - but I dislike Ryder calling Teddy a jerk for how he deals with Oliver.  Teddy not being patient with him is not the same as bullying him or deliberately causing emotional stress.

I agree with you, but Oli actually did call Teddy a bully.  ;-)

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1 hour ago, droughtquake said:

I agree with you, but Oli actually did call Teddy a bully.  ;-)


Cause Oliver is such a reliable source :P


From an objective standpoint, Teddy isn’t bullying him - not even in the “big brother” way (which is really just standard bullying so that wouldn’t even be much of an excuse).  He was calling him out - and I disagree with the idea that you can’t call the kid out cause he’s fragile. 

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I haven't commented in awhile, so I would like to say thank you once again. I am still really enjoying this story! I appreciate the love many of the characters share, and the complexity of the relationships.

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Great chapter, it interesting to see that Ryder became less depressed or anxious when he stopped thinking about himself and started helping the people around him that he loves. It was even good for him. While Teddy might be a bit hard on Oliver sometimes, I agree that Oliver has to be called out in his BS, 13 year olds do not command their lives and those around them. But in the end he did ok, still opened up to Ryder and included Teddy and Ryder in the people he wants to talk about feelings. While I am normally suspicious of stories where in a family everyone is same-sex attracted, as sometimes it feels forced, I found very endearing the way Oliver is questioning and discovering his bisexuality, and after finding that Marc is also crushing on him, I am hoping he leans to male ;)

PS: just found one detail strange, Ryder suggested that Teddy had a girlfriend in school, but wasn't he out very early? I I remember the previous book with 14 was that bad episode where he had Mike and Blake bully the kid he fake dated.

Edited by Sweetlion
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16 minutes ago, Sweetlion said:

PS: just found one detail strange, Ryder suggested that Teddy had a girlfriend in school, but wasn't he out very early? I I remember the previous book with 14 was that bad episode where he had Mike and Blake bully the kid he fake dated.


He was, I think Ryder was just trying to encourage Oliver to take a chance, and kind of say it's still a toss up when you're that young. He's so young that who knows which way he'll eventualyl lean, if he even leans one way.

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8 hours ago, mrbossmant said:

Is it Christmas already? It feels like Christmas. 2 chapters in 2 days it must be Christmas    


Possibly 3 in 3 if my professors decide to calm down with all the damn work.

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12 hours ago, Rndmrunner said:


Should only people without harsh life experience give advice to those who are struggling? I think Ryder has earned the right the hard way to reach out to Teddy and Oli with their issues

Considering how he emotionally crushed this family, I feel he has NO right to come in and tell anyone how to conduct their lives! 

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Oliver is 13 , bratty and over excitable , he loves Teddy ! Teddy is a sanctimonious prick , sometimes , he loves Oliver ! Ryder listens to both , interferes or not , and gives advice , wanted or not . Harry and Ryder are tiptoeing around the family , re: the holiday! Gosh .... they really seem like , well .... a family . 

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