Title:Something New

Rating: PG-13 for themes and language

Characters: In this chapter: Marco, Dylan, Marco's parents, Dylan's parents, Paige, Spinner, and Marco's Italian cousins!

Pairings: Marco/Dylan, Spinner/Paige, Ellie/Sean, not sure of any others.

Disclaimer: I don't even live in the great country of Canada.

Author's Note: Hahaha you didn't think I could do it, did you! You thought this would go un-updated forever! Well, nope! All it took was one slow Sunday, and you know have chapter eighteen of Something New. Sorry it took me five months, guys. I had no inspiration whatsoever. So, maybe this chapter sucks. I don't know, maybe it's good! You tell me. And if you read this, thank you so much for sticking with me over these rocky last five months. This is sort of a slow chapter, with not much going on, but I like it okay. Next chapter (yes, there WILL be a next chapter!) will be more exciting, I promise.

Anyway, read & review and you will be loved!

Marco's heart thudded loudly against his chest as Dylan's words replayed over and over again in his head. I love you. I love you. I love you. His head was spinning and it was getting hard to breath. I love you. I love you. He felt Dylan's hand secured over his own, and could feel Dylan's pulse going as fast as his own. I love you.

"Marco?" Dylan said, concerned, his eyes burning directly into Marco's chest, as though he could see his heart pulsating wildly. The shorter boy said nothing, watching the treetops spinning in front of his eyes. His vision fogged over as Dylan said his name once more.

Finally, he received a shake and his eyesight immediately cleared. He sat up, feeling dazed, and looked around the forest. He wondered how many guys had heard those words come from Dylan's mouth as he picked his shirt up and pulled it over his head.

Completely and utterly confused, Dylan watched him dress with a frown. He pushed himself into a sitting position as well and grabbed Marco's elbow. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. It's too soon, I know."

"No -" Marco began, but was cut off by Dylan.

"Actually, I'm not sorry. It's how I feel. I love being with you, I love telling people I'm with you, I love you. You don't have to say it back. You don't even have to say anything. But you need to know how I feel." He released his grip on Marco's arm, waiting fearfully for a response.

To his great relief, Marco smiled. "I love you too, Michalchuk." He cleared his throat, "You just kind of, uh, gave me a heart attack there at first. Maybe you should have said that before I came out to my parents. It would have made facing my dad look like a piece of cake."

"Oh, we have a comedian in the house," Dylan replied, rolling his eyes. He leaned in and gave Marco a kiss on the cheek, before picking up his own shirt and putting it on. When he picked his pants up off of the ground, he saw something small and metal fall out of the pocket. He picked it up and ran his thumb over it, a smile etching onto his lips.

It was a ring; a silver ring that he had received from Marco for his birthday. This wasn't just some ordinary ring, though - Marco had put as much effort into it as Dylan put into a hockey game. There was an assortment of wonderful things engraved into it: on the outside was Dylan's name and his hockey number, two small hockey sticks on either end, and the year he would be graduating.

But the best part was on the inside, written in beautiful script, was "siete la mia stella". Marco had whispered into his ear after his present was opened that that Italian phrase meant "you are my star" and Dylan had loved it right then and there.

Marco had also bought him a hockey jersey of his favorite player and as a joke, a stuffed whale (which was now in his room next to the plastic bee he got from his Kids' Meal), but he liked nothing better than the ring.

"We should get going soon," Marco spoke up, bringing him abruptly out of his memory. Dylan looked up and noticed his boyfriend was fully dressed, and so he nodded and pulled his pants on over his boxers. "Your parents might be worried," he finished.

When he finished dressing, he said to Marco, "Let's go," and held out his hand. Marco took the hand, but he was unexpectedly hoisted up onto Dylan's back.

"Dylan! What are you doing!" he shouted, squirming a bit.

"Giving you a piggy-back ride," Dylan replied, laughing. "Like you've never had one before?" Marco stopped struggling a little and let Dylan carry him on his back, all the way back to his house. He didn't put Marco down until they were in the Michalchuk household, in Dylan's room. They'd skirted weird looks from family members the entire way up. Dylan dropped him on his bed, then lay down right beside him.

"Hey, Dylan?" Marco said, running a hand through his wet hair. He glanced at the clock on the dresser and frowned. "It's getting pretty late, and I think my parents want me to come home tonight. Do you think you could give me a ride home?"

Dylan was visibly disappointed, but he nodded anyway. "Sure." He planted his feet on the ground and stood up, then crossed the room to his closet. He disappeared into it for a few seconds, but returned with two hooded sweatshirts in his hands. One which looked a little bit smaller, a red one, he threw to Marco, then placed the larger - a gray one - over his shirt. "Your shirt looks a little damp," he explained. "Don't want your parents to be suspicious."

Marco gratefully accepted the hoodie, and pulled it on. "Thanks," he said with a smile, standing up as well. Dylan grabbed his hand and gave it a little squeeze, and then together they walked downstairs. They were met at the landing by Mr. Michalchuk, who was frowning rather deeply.

"Where are you off to, boys?" he asked, looking into Dylan's eyes. Dylan swore he was wearing a disapproving look, the one he usually wore before grounding Dylan, though he had no clue why.

"I'm just going to drop Marco off at his house. Why?"

"No reason. Take him home, then come straight back, okay? I need to have a talk with you." Dylan nodded, a little bewildered, and then continued towards the front door.

"What was that about?" Marco asked in a low voice, as soon as the door was shut behind them and they were out of earshot.

"No idea. I think I'm in trouble though." He racked his brain, trying to think of anything he'd done in the past week that could have gotten him in trouble. There had been alcohol at the party, but he and Paige had told their parents about it, and that they made those who brought the alcohol leave. He'd left out the part about getting drunk, but there was no way he could have found out about that - right?

"I'm sure it's not anything too bad," Marco assured him. "Your parents know you're a good kid." He offered a smile and a wink after that statement.

"Let's hope so." The blonde opened the passenger car door first, so Marco could hop in, then walked around to the driver's side and got in himself. He buckled his seatbelt, started up the car, and pulled out of the driveway.

"You know Marco," Dylan said after a short silence. "Lately, I've been thinking a lot about university." The word alone scared Marco, and he stared down at his hands while Dylan talked. "I've gotten a lot of scholarship offers for hockey. But what I'm really thinking about is going someplace close to here. I wouldn't live at home, but I'd only be about a thirty-minute drive away. The classes are good, they hockey team is decent, and I think I could really go there." He took his eyes off the road for a split second to catch Marco's reaction.

The Italian boy was almost speechless. "Wow," he said softly after a moment's hesitation. "Dylan. Wow. That would be… amazing. But I don't want you to feel you have to stay here because of me. I want you to live to the best of your abilities, and even if that means going to university somewhere five hours away, well…" His sentence ended there, but they both knew he was lying. He wanted to be close to Dylan more than anything.

"I know that. But even if it weren't close to home, it'd probably be one of my top choices. It's a good school and I wouldn't mind being there at all." He smiled, and Marco excitedly put his hand on top of Dylan's knee. "And Ty wants to go there too. So it would be a lot easier with my best friend there and everything," he added. "It's not a sure thing yet, but it's looking pretty good."

"I hope so, Dylan. I want to be as close to you as I can. But if… if it doesn't turn out that way, what would happen?" he asked, in almost a scared voice. "What would happen with us?"

"There's always the phone," he replied, not liking to think about that possibility. "And the Internet. And I'd drive back as often as possible. And when you get your license, you could come stay with me. For a day, a weekend, a whole week! We could make it work."

"I know." Marco smiled at him as Dylan pulled the car into Marco's driveway. He leaned over and gave him a small peck on the lips before opening his car door. "Good night, Dylan."

"Good night gorgeous," Dylan answered with a grin. "I love you." Saying those words gave him the best feeling in the world. They came out of his mouth tasting like sugar, and he could repeat it a million times and never get tired of it.

"Love you too." Marco closed the door and ran up the stairs into his house. Dylan sat in the driveway for a minute or two after his boyfriend had disappeared from sight, before finally pulling back out and heading home.

When Dylan got back to the house, he found his dad sitting in a chair not far from where he'd been before Dylan left. When he saw his son, he immediately put down the newspaper he was holding but not reading, and stood up. "We need to talk."

"Sure, Dad," Dylan said, feeling a bit uneasy. "Where's Mom?"

"She's driving Gavin home, and Paige went with her. Let's go up to your bedroom. If they return before we're done talking, I don't want them to disrupt us." Before waiting for a reply, Mr. Michalchuk turned around and started up the stairs. Silently, Dylan followed him, all the way into his bedroom. His dad closed the door and then locked it, then pointed to the bed.

"Sit," he said, with a stern face. Dylan immediately obeyed and sat on his unmade bed, while his dad pulled a chair over and sat right across from him.

"Your mother was cleaning your bedroom tonight," Mr. Michalchuk began, "when she found something… interesting. Now, I know we haven't discussed this before but I feel now is the time. You're almost eighteen."

Dylan sat on the bed anxiously, not knowing what his mom could have found that was so horrible. He didn't have any porn magazines in his room (that he knew of).

"She was cleaning out your dresser drawer," his dad finally supplied, and Dylan's heart sank, "when she found these." He pulled out something from behind his back, and his son had to fight from letting a groan escape. In his hands were condoms, a whole strip of them. "Care to explain yourself?"

"Dad," Dylan said, rubbing his face in embarrassment. "I… I don't know exactly what…"

His father interrupted him there. "I know what you're thinking. You're eighteen; you're a man now. You should be able to make decisions for yourself; you're old enough to have sex. Right?" He didn't give Dylan enough time to answer before going on. "But you have to remember something. Your boyfriend. Marco. He is only… how old?"

"Almost sixteen," Dylan mumbled miserably.

"Right. About the same age as Paige. Do you think she's old enough to be having sex?"

"No way!" Dylan immediately responded. Then his stomach knotted. The age difference between Marco and Paige had always seemed humongous - he was his boyfriend, she was just his little sister. But saying it out loud changed things. Marco was young.

"Exactly. Now, I know you. You're a fine gentleman, and you always treat others with the utmost respect. I know you wouldn't to anything foolish, like pressuring him into sex." Another pang of guilt. Dylan grabbed his stomach in pain and stared downwards.

Mr. Michalchuk stopped, looking curiously at his son's guilt-ridden face. "You and Marco… haven't had sex yet, have you?" he asked.

"No, Dad. We haven't done it yet. We've talked about it a lot. He says he's not ready and for now, I'm fine with that," Dylan said, forcing himself to look up into his father's eyes.

He got a nod in return, and an almost-smile that vanished almost as quickly as it had appeared. "But this isn't only about Marco. It's about you too. Even if you were dating someone your own age, you're most likely not ready for sex - or the repercussions of sex - yet. You know, I lost my virginity when I was about your age."

Dylan groaned inwardly, his ears turning pink. God, how embarrassing. Talking about sex with your father is bad enough, but know one wants to hear when their parents did it.

"I regret it, too," Mr. Michalchuk threw in. "I met your mother two weeks after that. She gave me her virginity later on, and I wished I could have done the same for her."

"Dad! Please! Keep yours and mom's sex lives to yourself," Dylan pleaded, looking extremely disgusted. His dad just laughed it off.

"Sorry. But still son, you have to know that it's with the right person."

Dylan frowned. "Marco is the right person."

"You may think that now," he argued lightly. "But most relationships in high school don't work out. You're going to university next year, he'll still be a high school student. And I think you should save your virginity for the someone that you know is special."

"I do know it, Dad," he said, crossing his arms and narrowing his eyes the littlest bit. "And you know what? I told him I loved him tonight." His dad leaned back, registering the news he just received, and frowned.

"And I meant it," Dylan added. "I meant it with all my heart. I love him. And he loves me too." He was glaring now, daring his father to object. If he wanted a war, he would get one.

"I know you do, Dylan," Mr. Michalchuk said after a small silence. He smiled and put his hand on Dylan's leg, and his son's whole body seemed to relax. "I could tell you did. But that doesn't mean I want you to forget what I said tonight."

"I won't," he promised, returning the smile.

"While I'm up here, let's forget all the emotional aspects of sex that we just discussed and talk about the… physical aspects for a bit." He was obviously choosing his words very carefully. Dylan noticed he was still holding the condoms, and that he was gripping them rather tightly.

"Do you know how, um, how sex is… how two men… how two men of a homosexual relationship engage in sex?" he stuttered, looking a little pink in the cheeks.

"Of course I do, Dad," Dylan said, his whole face as red as a cherry. He wanted this talk to be over so badly. This was humiliating. "I may be a virgin, but I'm not naïve."

"Okay then. I don't know from experience, but when you came out… well, I did a little research and I found out how… Well, I was enlightened, shall we say? And from what I learned, sex for the first time can be rather… painful. There are certain things you need to use to… reduce the pain, and you've got to be prepared…"

"I know," Dylan muttered, clenching his teeth. This conversation was what was painful. "But painful or not, it's a way to show how much I love Marco. And when he's ready - and when I'm ready - we'll talk about it and figure it all out. But right now he isn't ready, so we don't even need to be having this conversation. Okay?"

"You're right," Mr. Michalchuk said, blatantly relieved. He stood up from his chair, then grabbed Dylan's shirt as well and pulled him roughly to his feet. Then he gave his son, who was a little bit shorter than him, a big hug. When he pulled away, he stuffed the condoms into Dylan's hands.

"Be wise, son. And if you're going to do it, at least be prepared." With those words, he departed and Dylan gratefully collapsed on his bed, laughing to himself.

TyIsTheMan: Hey Dyl, whats going on?

Idylan: Oh you know, the normal stuff. Receiving sex talks from my dad, all that good stuff.

TyIsTheMan: No way! So he found out about us, huh?

Idylan: Keep on dreaming, Ty.

TyIsTheMan: I asked Lainey to go to the dance with me today.

Idylan: Oh yeah? What did she say?

TyIsTheMan: No.

Idylan: Too bad, man.

TyIsTheMan: Yeah. Have you asked Marco yet? Please tell me you guys aren't wearing matching suits or anything.

Idylan: Oh come on, we're not that pathetic. But no, I haven't asked him. I don't know if I should. Don't you think it'd be a little weird if we went together? I don't want to make him uncomfortable.

TyIsTheMan: Uncomfortable? Doubtful. Not like you have anyone like Hogart to worry about. Oh, that'd be funny… Hogart at a school function.

Idylan: Yeah, but Carlos del Rossi probably will be. Besides, I don't think Marco would really want to dance with me in front of all those people there.

TyIsTheMan: He'd be crazy not to. I know from experience that you're one hell of a slow dancer.

Idylan: Oh quit it, before my ego gets too big.

TyIsTheMan: Let's make a deal. If I don't find a girl before the dance, and you or Marco are too uncomfortable with it all, you be my date.

Idylan: Sure you want to do that? You might as well kiss your reputation goodbye.

TyIsTheMan: Please. Everyone will just be jealous that I got a hotter date than them.

Idylan: Haha, if you say so Ty. You're definitely my second choice for a date, though. I'm going to go on to bed. See you tomorrow at practice.

TyIsTheMan: Yeah, see you man. Night.

Idylan: Night.

Marco rolled over in bed, closing his as tightly as he could to keep any rays of sunshine from getting in. He breathed in deeply, smelling the scent of Dylan. That made him snap his eyes open right away, but the scent was just coming from the red hoodie his face was pressed into.

He groaned and closed his eyes again, but he knew that once the eyes opened, he couldn't get back to sleep. Yawning, he reached over to his bedside table and grabbed his cell phone. He had three text messages - one from Dylan, one from Ellie, and one text message from Heather Sinclaire, telling him to send it to ten other people or else he would die.

He read and replied to Dylan's message with a smile, then rolled out of bed. He could tell that his ma was making breakfast, and it smelled good. He threw on a pair of plaid pajama pants and Dylan's red hoodie and padded downstairs towards the kitchen.

Marco expected to see his mother at the stove and his father at the table drinking coffee, and he expected to see his brother reading the sports page in the newspaper, but he did not expect to see five other people in the kitchen as well. They were all Italian, throwing their native language around the kitchen easily as they got ready to eat.

Marco stood in the doorway for some time, blinking and staring at the unexpected visitors, before a boy sitting next to Carlos turned around and grinned at him. "Hey Marco," the boy said, and everyone else's head turned to look at him.

"Hey Dominic," he greeted his older cousin, who a little bit older than Carlos. "Aunt Violetta, Uncle Antonio, Angelo, and Aida." He looked at each of his relatives as he said hello to them. "When did you get here?"

"We flew on a plane last night!" Aida, the youngest child and only daughter, supplied excitedly. She was six years old, with dark hair and eyes and wore a constant smile.

"We got in at about three in the morning," Angelo, the middle child who was a year or two younger than Marco, added. All del Rossis looked a lot alike. Antonio was Papa del Rossi's brother. Violetta was his wife, and Dominic, Angelo, and Aida were their children. Though they lived in Italy, the children's English was just as good as their Italian. They traveled to Canada so much that they had to know it. Marco's aunt and uncle spoke limited English, though, and spent most of the time conversing in their normal language.

"Marco!" his dad called, gripping him by the shoulder. "Can I talk to you in the family room for a second?" Without waiting for a reply, he yanked Marco out of the kitchen. "Listen," he said when they were out of earshot. "I haven't told them about you, and I don't want them to find out. Understand?"

He nodded quietly. He wouldn't have told them even if he wanted to - his aunt and uncle were extremely conservative and would frown deeply upon that. And as for his cousins, well, he liked them and didn't want to ruin their relationship.

"Good," Mr. del Rossi snapped, heading back into the kitchen. Marco followed him after a second, and sat down in between Aida and Dominic, with Angelo across from him. His mother and aunt brought the food onto the table, and they all joined hands and said grace before eating. Finally, they dug into the good food and chatted while eating.

"So Marco," Dominic said, looking at him as he ate. "What's been going on? Got yourself a girlfriend now?" His father shot him a dirty look.

"Nope. No girlfriend," Marco answered truthfully, stuffing egg into his mouth.

"I have a boyfriend," Aida whispered, leaning in close to Marco so her parents wouldn't overhear. "His name is Giorgio and he gave me flowers." She giggled.

"Oh really? Is he cute?" Marco whispered back, then felt his cheeks go red. Oops. He looked around. No one had noticed, and Aida probably didn't even know what gay meant.

"Yes," Aida replied, nodding solemnly. "But he's not as cute as my old boyfriend, Dante. Or Constantin. Or Aldo." She giggled again, in the adorable six-year-old way.

Discreetly, Dominic nudged Marco and they both tried not to laugh. Marco listened patiently as she went on about her boyfriends, but he really wanted to talk to Dominic. Dominic had been his role model as a kid, and he still thought he was one of the coolest guys he knew.

When Aida finished talking to him, Marco turned to his older cousin and said, "So what are your plans for the day, Dom?"

"Carlos has soccer practice today, and all of our parents and Aida are going somewhere. So that leaves you, me, and Angelo. Your ma said I could drive her car today. Do you have any plans?"

Secretly, Marco was glad his aunt and uncle would be gone. They were so strict, and expected their kids - and nephews - to behave perfectly. He shook his head in response to Dominic's question. "No, I don't have any plans. We could go to the mall or something."

"That sounds good," Angelo said, grinning. They all resumed eating.

When all of the food was gone and the plates were empty, everyone stood up to leave. Dominic, Angelo, Marco, and Carlos were already halfway out of the kitchen, when Uncle Antonio said harshly, "Arresto!" They stopped, and turned around and faced him. Dominic looked troubled and somewhat sheepish.

"Dominic, ritorno qui!" he yelled, pointing by his feet angrily. The rest of the family watched in silence as Dom made his way over to his father.

"Desiderate essere puniti! Pulite!" his dad shouted, then went on to shoo everyone else out of the kitchen.

Dom hung his head and nodded and said, barely audible, "S� signore." He began to clean up the table by himself, while everyone else left the room.

"I'll help," Marco offered, staying in the kitchen and helping him wash the dirty plates. "Your dad is pretty strict with you. Why didn't he yell at Angelo, or me and Carlos even, to stay and clean?" He took a plate from Dominic and ran it under the water.

Dom looked a little bit hesitant. "It's because… well, I'm the oldest, I guess. He expects a lot of me. I'm sure not what he wanted me to be, though."

"What do you mean?"

"Nothing. Forget about it." Antonio reentered the kitchen, and Dominic immediately fell silent as he dried the dishes and put them back where they belong.

"Marco," Antonio said with a smile as he patted him on the back. "My boy. You have plans today?" He spoke slowly, but Marco appreciated the fact that he was trying to use English.

"Dominic and Angelo and I were going to go to the mall," Marco responded, also speaking slower than usual. "I'm going to show them around, I guess."

"That good. You and Angelo find nice girls? Get one for Dominic too." He laughed, and Marco uneasily did too, though he didn't understand why what he just said was funny in the least bit. He looked at Dominic, who was glowering silently. He wished he could say something, but he knew he couldn't tell his uncle he was gay. It would ruin their whole family vacation.

Aunt Violetta came back into the kitchen as well at that point, with Aida right behind her. "Marco, Dominic. Aida does not want to go with us today. Could she go with you boys?" Marco looked down at Aida, who stuck out her lower lip, and he laughed and nodded.

"Of course she can go with us." Aida threw up her arms and cheered, and Marco had to laugh again.

"We going to leave now. Buona giornata!" Violetta said, smiling down at them. Before actually leaving the kitchen, though, Antonio muttered something quietly to Dominic, who just nodded silently. Marco went out and said goodbye to his parents and aunt and uncle, then sat down on the couch. Carlos was gone by that point as well.

"You're awfully quiet around your dad," Marco noted to Dominic, raising an eyebrow. That confused him. Antonio used to be so proud of his son. Now it almost seemed as if he detested him.

"Papa doesn't let Dommy talk at home much," Aida said to Marco, bouncing on the balls of her feet. Dom shot his little sister a dirty look. "Not since he quit the football team at school because he kept getting hurt."

"Aida Rachele!" Dominic snapped suddenly. "Be quiet and don't talk about things you don't know about." Aida stopped bouncing up and down and looked as if she was about to cry.

"Don't tell her to shut up, Dominic!" Angelo said. "She was telling the truth."

Marco looked between the three siblings, more than a little confused. "When did you quit football? And why doesn't your dad let you talk?" Dominic shook his head, as if to dismiss the subject.

"Let's just go to the mall. Aida, put your coat on. Angelo, go get our money." Marco helped Aida slip into her bright pink coat, while Angelo ran upstairs to do what he was told.

After a while, Angelo called down, "Dominic! I can't find it. Come help me." Dom rolled his eyes and went upstairs to help his little brother.

Hurriedly, while Dom was gone, Marco kneeled so he was about the same height as his little cousin. "Aida, tell me what happened with Dom and your papa," he said quietly, extremely curious at that point.

Aida's eyes shone excitedly. She loved being the one to tell what she knew. "Well, one day Dommy came home with a bad black eye and a bloody nose. It was icky. Papa asked why he was hurt, and Dommy said that some boys were picking on him. He wouldn't tell me why though. Then a little bit later, Dommy told my papa something real bad. Papa whipped him that day, real hard. He used his big black whip too, the one that hurts a lot. Then Dommy had to go to his room for all night."

Marco looked up at the stairs, making sure the other boys were still out of sight. "Okay, go on."

"Well the next day, right after breakfast, Papa made Dommy go outside. Then he whipped him again with the same whip. Dommy was crying real hard when he got done, then he had to go back to his room for all day. Then every day after that, Papa whipped Dommy. He told me and Angelo that we weren't allowed to talk to him at first. That was a long time ago though. Papa doesn't whip him a lot anymore."

Marco sat down, completely stumped. What could he have done to make his father that angry? "What did Dominic say to your papa, Aida?"

"If you have to know, Marco," said a voice from behind him. Marco whipped around, seeing Dominic standing on the stairs. He felt extremely sheepish, and he opened his mouth to make up an excuse, but Dom cut him off. "If you just have to know," he repeated, "I told my dad that I was gay."

Italian Translations: Arresto - Stop
ritorno qui - come here
Desiderate essere puniti! Pulite! - Do you wish to be punished! You clean up!
S� signore - Yes sir
Buona giornata! - Have a nice day!

My deepest apologies if those are incorrect. Oh man, Dom's story makes Marco's look like a piece of cake, huh? Sorry if you thought all the new Italian characters were annoying or something. At least it got me back into updating mode. So, review and I will update again! Promise this time!