Disclaimer: Why don't I own The Listener. I guess its cause I'm just not cool enough. Oh well, I guess, we can't have everything. I DON'T OWN THE LISTENER OR IT'S CHARACTERs. Sniff, sniff :(

Chapter 5

Toby walked into the kitchen with a big grin on his face, excited to show of his new ability to block his thoughts from the rest of the mind readers. He watched in an amused silence, as one by one, everyone in the kitchen turned to stare at him. He couldn't help, laughing out loud when he saw Evan's mouth fall open in amazement.

"Damn," sighed Seth, "it was fun being able to listen to someone's thoughts again. I feel like I just lost TV privileges," Seth wined, jokingly.

"Yeah," Toby smiled, no longer upset about his past lack of privacy, "well, you won't get them back any time soon, I can promise you that young man," he scolded in a comically authoritative voice and everyone started to laugh.

"Sorry, kid," Michael stated, "but you're the bossy persona makes you look pretty adorable."

Toby was mortified and spluttered, "me, adorable…cool maybe…awesome, of course, but I am NOT, N-O-T, adorable," he could feel the blood rush to his face, unable to hide his blush of embarrassment, which just made everyone else laugh harder.

Finally, Evan spoke, "okay, guys stop teasing the poor kid, you're making him blush," at the mention of his blushing, Toby felt more blood rush to his face. He was actually debating weather or not to leave the room, but instead, decided to ignore them all. Walking over to the kitchen's wooden cabinets he found himself a bowl and went to pour himself some cereal.

After what felt like forever, the others stopped and also began to dig in to their breakfasts. Then Evan glanced at Toby and in a low deep voice, stated, "I'm impressed kid. I don't think I've every seen someone learn to shield their thoughts so quickly."

The comment made Toby's chest swell with pride, "thanks my…Jamie taught me," he muttered shyly, looking up he was surprised to find a look of disappointment on Jamie's face. "I mean my dad," Toby whispered, awkwardly. Trying to relieve the tension he was now feeling, he looked back at Evan, "I had a lot of initiative, what with everyone here being able to hear everything I was thinking…"

"Well, even with that initiative, it still took me a while to block people. Trust me, the fact you learned to make barriers in you're mind so quickly is pretty impressive," he gave Toby a wink, while Toby felt a slight blush grace his face again. Damn he was going to have to work on the blushing.

"Thanks," Toby whispers again, while he pushes his corn pops around his bowl absently.

"Well," Maya says, getting everyone's attention, "I think it's time to talk about where Toby and I…"

Jamie looks up and states, "I'm going wherever Toby goes," an angry flare enters his eyes, "he's my kid, you can't take him away from me again, Maya. You owe me," he finishes with a meaningful glare.

"Fine," Maya growled angrily, "I think it's time to talk about where Toby, Jamie, and I go from here." While Toby, had come to accept his parents feelings for him it was still strange to see the two actually fighting over being with him. Honestly, he wasn't sure how he felt about it. On the one hand, he liked that they cared about him, but on the other, he wasn't really used to feeling cared about and it made him feel a little uncomfortable.

Evan, who Toby had realized was clearly the leader in the group, spoke up, "Well, let's think about our options okay? Now, I'm not going to tell you what to you. The way I see it is you don't really have too many choices. You could try the whole cover thing, get yourselves some false identities and settle down, but that probably wouldn't last. We all know how good The Institute is at sniffing out listeners…they have a lot of practice," he mumbles sadly. "You guys could all go live in one of the compounds, but I'm guessing you, Maya, wont want to do that…" there was a long silence, before Evan spoke up again. "Well, I think the best choice for you guys would be to just stay here, until you can find a better alternative…"

All of a sudden, Toby felt the need to speak up. "Why can't we go live in a compound…I mean, it sounds kind of cool. Isn't it just some place where mind… I mean listeners live?" he asked.

Maya looked a little angry, "No…well, yes, but the compounds," Maya paused thinking. "In theory, Toby, the compounds sound great, but there not really all not safe. The fact of the matter is it's dangerous to live in those compounds. The Institute is always searching for listeners and they know about the compounds. Every once in a while, the compounds are raided. Sometimes the listeners escape in time, but most of the time…" she looks down sadly, unable to finish the sentence, but Toby's pretty sure he knows what happens to those people.

"Okay, but can't we visit. I mean I want to meet other people like us. I'm not asking to live there, but I can't we visit?" Toby knows he's whining, but he doesn't care. The thought of meeting more people like him, a whole community, fills him with a giddy excitement.

Jamie looks at Toby and then gives Maya a meaningful look before responding, "well, I suppose we can visit, there is a compound pretty close to here," Toby practically jumps for joy even doing a little victory dance, which results in a renewal in of laughter from the grown ups around him.

"Okay," Maya reaffirms after the laughter dies down. "Well visit one of the compounds, but as far as the living situation. I think Evan's right, as hard as that is to admit, I think until we can find somewhere safer, this old farm house is where we'll have to stay."

"Maya, please, I know the thought of living with us is exciting, but try and contain yourself," Jenny adds with a smirk.

"Well, I don't think she's excited to live with all of us, right Maya?" Seth chips in, giving Jenny a sideways glance.

"The truth is, Seth she's only stay for me," Michael says with a goofy smile, as he wiggles his eyebrows at Maya. Toby notes the death glare Jamie is aiming at Michael.

'This is gonna be interesting,' Toby thinks to himself, smiling.