Chapter 14: Epilogue

Lewis slowly realised he was waking up. He knew he was in a bed: his head lay on a pillow and a blanket covered him to his chest, his arms placed on either side of him. He could feel a hospital gown, no doubt the nurses put it on him while he was still unconscious. He could feel the IV injected into his right arm. He could tell someone was holding his left hand. There was only one person who would hold it in such a way. He slowly opened his eyes.

Lewis first looked at his right, at the window seemingly glowing. This window had white screen within its panes rather than glass, so it was completely opaque. No one would realise that a medical bedroom was inside. For the patient, it meant that the sun could still shine through and illuminate the room naturally. Slowly, he brought his sleepy eyes to the left. Leslie, still firmly holding his left hand, watched him kindly yet nervously. He smiled brightly once his lover's eyes met his.

"Hey Lou."

Lewis couldn't quite decide how to respond. "What time is it?"

The blonde shrugged. "Gone 11." With his left hand still holding that of the sleepy patient in front of him, he reached out with his right and began caressing Lewis' silky black hair.

"Took that long?" murmured the brunette. The caressing made him blush slightly. He sighed. "What did I agree to? I'll 'ave ta...dress in 'em...bright clothes that ain't me. I can't act like me anymore."

"All the new clothes I put in a new closet," told Leslie. "You can keep your clothes ta wear 'round tha house." Lewis still looked faintly upset. "You get ta keep your job, it's easy ta hide as a hobby. An' I promise we won't've kids unless we both wan' 'em. We should both wan' kids before we get any."

Lewis tightened his hand around Leslie's. "What did Matthew say to you to get you to say yes? Yes to...this?"

Leslie's eyes became desperate. "Can you think of anywhere we can live without prejudice? Even in San Francisco we'd be livin' in a ghetto of sorts a...sub-community. Here we can do whatever we want, talk ta whoever we want an' not get any consequences." ... "Lewis? Forgive me?"

The brunette sighed. "Not completely." He slowly removed his left hand from Leslie's and turned onto his side. The caressing stopped out of surprise. He curled into a ball and ducked his head beneath the blanket. After some rummaging, he let out a squeeling whimper.

"What is it?" asked the concerned blonde.

"That ain't supposed ta be there!"

"What ain't?"

Lewis straightened himself. "The hole where you make tha connection! Whaddya think!"


Ivan opened the door. "Matthew?"

"Matthew?" asked Jack, just coming down the stairs.

"Why are you here?" asked Ivan, letting inside a very grouchy Matthew clasping the side of his face. "Who punched you?"

Matthew dropped his arm in defeat. "Tyson."

Jack fell into a fit of laughter. The visitor didn't appreciate this, naturally.

"Dad? Poppa? What's so funny?"

Seeing his two children wandering onto the balcony, the blonde parent quickly sobered and bounded up the stairs. "I know a funny story an' you two'll only hear it if you go ta ya room."

Sounds of running, giggling and a door slamming proceeded. Matthew gave Ivan an angry look.

"Ivan, why did you remove Tyson's hypnosis?"

The Yugoslavian nodded. "We agreed, if there was any mental risk-"

"His mental health file is clean, you know that."

"Kai was the one who was suffering. Lewis brought this to my attention. His mental health is quite unstable and he relied on Tyson to be his confidant. The new Tyson could only obey orders, so he couldn't carry out the duty he promised to his lover."

... "You shoulda told me this."

"You would've said no," reminded Ivan pointedly. "You always overlook the psychological consequences, it was bad enough you made me do an instant change with Alan and while he was still suffering a hangover no less!"

Matthew turned away in disgust and paced along the corridor. "That was a good thing for everybody, it meant he was in good health once a healthy uterus was on its way to him. And if you want to talk psychology, Daniel had already settled a good routine for the both of them."

Ivan chuckled. "You tell yourself that, but really you were just too happy to help Alan hide the fact that he slept with you. Now this time? You really fucked up."

"I don't want insults, just your co-operation!" snapped Matthew, advancing towards the Slav. "Now what is it Tyson and Kai plan to do?"

"They're leaving."

"I saw that myself. I mean what they intend ta do about our secret."

"They don't want to tell anyone. Kai is willing to pay a lot of money for a top surgeon to remove the uterus and to keep his mouth shut about the affair."

"That's hardly a guarantee."

"You know what I think? You don't know how trust anyone anymore."

"People are despicable by nature."

Ivan rolled his eyes. "You can say that again."


"So when's the wedding?" asked Tyson.

"Don't know when, just the where. We're having it in Washington. Roy's mom's sick and he doesn't want her travelling too far."

Tyson, Edward and Lewis were in Tyson's cluttered kitchen, helping him pack his things. Lewis wore a black vest with black jeans, carefully wrapping the plates in newspaper. Edward had his hair loose and wore nothing except trainers and a pair of red shorts; he was packing various kitchen appliances into their boxes and was currently packing an electrical fryer. Tyson was wearing a mesh shirt with his jeans and was stuffing various cooking utensils into boxes of various shapes.

"Hey Lou?" began Ed. Lewis looked at him questioningly. "You gone to Seth's yet to uh..?"

The brunette seemed rather embarrassed. "Yeah, I got the sanitory stuff. I dread usin' 'em. I'm male goddammit!"

"You'll feel worse when the period pains hit, trust me. ... Why am I saying that so normally?"

"Aaah!" Tyson gripped his ears. "I ain't meant ta hear this stuff!" He let go of his ears, glaring at Ed suddenly. "Why'd it take so long ta get you a womb anyway?"

"I have a rare blood type." The half naked blonde had sealed the box and picked up the one with a picture of a microwave on it. "Roy also told me that a couple of months ago, my uterus had arrived but I'd extended my trip by a week so they had to send it back." He pulled the unplugged microwave towards him.

Lewis suddenly stopped what he was doing in stunned realisation of something. "Cloud's pregnant." The other two stared at him in confusion. "Soon after Leslie an' me moved in, Cloud fainted an' he weren't taken to tha hospital."

"You're right, he is pregnant," called Matthew's familiar voice outside the kitchen. He entered, looking somewhat disgruntled but still rather important in his suit. Ivan followed him, looking reluctant but casual in his form-fitting white T-shirt and jeans. Anger filled Matthew's eyes as he beheld the sight of the three Ukes. "Why are you dressed like that?!"

"It's hot in here?" suggested Ed.

"They're not breaking any rules," pointed out the Slav quietly.

"Why you even here Matthew?" asked Tyson angrily. "You're not welcome 'ere."

Kai came in, decked in leather and looking none too happy.

Matthew calmed himself. "I know what it is you plan to do. Why don't I just take it out myself? Right now?"

Tyson was taken aback, but continued to look at the gynaecologist suspiciously. He eventually locked eyes with his leather-clad lover.

Kai shrugged. "I don't see why not, but it's your choice."


Tyson sat in the front passenger seat of the parked car. He seemed to be daydreaming. For some reason, it was cloudy that day and was definitely chilly. What woke him up was the knocking on the window. He quickly rolled it down.

"Hey guys." He rested his head on his crossed arms.

At first glance, Edward could've easily been mistaken for a woman. His hair hung loose and he was wearing a white roll-neck (or turtleneck) jumper. He was also wearing bright blue jeans. Lewis wore khaki pants with a white T-shirt and a royal blue long-sleeved fleece jacket that was 80% zip-fastened.

"We just came for our goodbyes," announced Ed. He smiled. "How are you feeling?"

Tyson shrugged. "Sleepy, can't walk right, but I'm fine. I shall soon be free."

Lewis chuckled a bit. "Hopefully you'll send us an email or somethin' once in a while."

The seated passenger looked a bit uncomfortable at this suggestion. "Actually...I...don't wanna have ta think about this place. It's not personal, you're great an' all, but I don't wan' anything or anyone remindin' me of Stepmanford." He couldn't bear to meet his friends' eyes. Kai came out of the empty house and slammed the door. He didn't need to lock it.

Lewis was stunned by this. Ed was also somewhat hurt, but he continued easily as if it was no big deal. "Sure Tyson, that's fine. But if you want to talk to us, know how."

Tyson nodded.

Kai opened the driver's door. He hesitated. "I never thanked you Lewis." He sounded like he was giving an order, but his eyes were gazing softly. "Thank you, I mean it. If you hadn't checked on me..." He didn't seem willing to finish the sentence.

The brunette in question beamed a small, sweet smile. "It was nothin', really."

Edward had an encouraging smile of his own. "Good luck, wherever you go."

Kai nodded. "You too." He sat in the driver's seat and closed the door.

While the engine started up and the car began driving away, Tyson and the remaining pair continued to exchange goodbyes, then the car increased speed and drove away.

Ed looked at his friend in concern. Lewis didn't seem to know what to do with himself. "You alright?"

The fleeced one sighed. "I'm gonna miss 'im."

"Me too. Why don't we do the very thing you did to cheer yourself up on your first day as stereotypical Uke in servitude? Go to Jack's house and have eclaires."

"What if 'e don't 'ave eclaires?"

"He always has something sweet."

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©Ruth Amy Louise Hüneke 2008