Sorry it's been a while!  I've been very busy.  Any glaring errors in this chapter are because it hasn't been beta-read yet.  I'm going away for a week from the 13th, so I want to post something before I go.  I don't know how long beta'ing will take, so I decided to post this first and re-do it when the beta's reply is back.

A few notes: I don't own Cheerios.  I do like them, though, so thank you Cheerio Maker.

Also: as is said in my bio, I'm now welcoming suggestions for reading!  If you have a story you've written which you'd like me to critique, please just e-mail me at , or alternatively you could make a note in your review.  Please tell me your username and the name of the story you'd like me to critique.  I will read everything that's suggested, as long as a few things are noted:

1: Please wait till I've read the first thing you asked me to before you tell me the second (if you do).  I'm human.  I have a life outside of reviewing (unluckily/luckily, depending on how you look at it).

2: Priority is given, obviously, to those who've reviewed my own work.

3: I'll read any original fics: any rating, any partners, any theme.  Be warned, though: I have every right to not finish reading a story for whatever reason.  If you have a fanfic you'd like me to read, suggest it, and I'll tell you if I can.  Since I don't watch Gundam Wing, for instance, chances are I won't review a Gundam Wing fic.  It's worth a try, though.  Maybe your fanfic will make me get interested in the material it's based on.

4: I may not read it immediately (so patience), since I'm going away, but I may read a few tomorrow, and when I'm back I'll read a lot.

5: If the fic you're asking me to critique has 743 chapters, it might take me a while :D

6: If I really enjoy your fic I will put it on my 'Favourite Stories', praise it in public, and later on put a link on a website I'm setting up (note: the story will be accredited to you.  I don't steal.)

7: I will critique your work.  This means I'll give you constructive criticisms.  These are in no way flames (despite many people's conception of them): I will suggest improvements, and point out what didn't work so well, though I'll also tell you what I particularly liked and why.  Be honest with yourself: do reviews like this annoy/anger/upset you?  Then don't tell me about your fic.

8: As much as I would like to be, I am not a deity *grin*  I am not always right.  If I say something you really don't agree with, ask a second, unbiased person for their opinion.  If they disagree with my advice… ignore me.  A lot is up to personal taste.

I'm really looking forward to reading stuff, so review/e-mail away!


Ken's quietly eating breakfast.  He's managed to calm down and push all thoughts of Cody and their recent, all-night embrace from his mind.  His movements are quicker than usual, and one foot taps.  A slight frown has gathered between thick brows, and sometimes he snatches a furtive glance towards that door.

'Good morning!' Cody calls brightly before throwing his arms about Ken from behind in a familiar embrace.

Ken's so shocked he nearly jumps out from his skin.  Cody got out of his room undetected how?!  And then there's this, the hug, calling up the emotions he'd rather forget.  He carefully lays down his spoon and is awkwardly still.  'Uh, morning, Cody,' he mumbles, barely audible.

Cody doesn't appear to notice Ken's shyness and pulls back a few seconds later, stepping beside his guardian so Ken can see the boy's bright smile – all worries forgotten.  'Thank you for being so nice last night, Ken.'

Ken gulps and nods, averting his eyes.  Guilt rises in him.  'Uh.  Ngggg.  Well.  My pleasure, Cody.  I just wanted to make sure that you were…' he pauses and looks anywhere but Cody's beaming face, 'okay.  You know.  I just thought that since we're practically family, like brothers, you wouldn't mind.'

'I didn't!' Cody reassures him with a quick nod, before a slight blush rises to his cheeks.  'No.  Really.  It was nice of you to be so supportive.  I'm… kinda confused,' he admits with a bashful smile.

Ken's nearly drowning in how cute the boy is.  How could he ever think of kissing Cody?  He's so innocent and so sweet.  And the blush… Ken doesn't know why it's there, but it can' t be bad.  'It will all sort itself out in the end,' he replies, using the clichéd words since he can't think of any of his own.  'Your sexuality and all.'

Ken hopes it will sort itself out, seeing as he's having hell trying to make sense of it himself.  Surely, if Cody kissed a guy, Cody is gay, but what if he's not?  What if it was just one of the… hormone rushes that Ken reads so much about in relation to teenagers?  Ken would so much like Cody to like men… but wait, wouldn't that make it worse, since Cody would be closer and yet still unattainable?

'I hope so,' Cody says with another, deeper blush.  He's already in his school uniform and it looks good on him – slack grey trousers, a shirt with tiny ink stains on the cuffs.  Ken shakes his head quickly to clear his mind.


'I said I hope it would all be okay,' Cody replies before sitting down in the nearest seat and pouring himself some Cheerios.

There's silence for a while – or at least, no speech.  Cody's eating in his usual quick way, and Ken's watching the clock.  It's a few minutes before he actually processes what it's showing on the digital screen.  'Cody!' he shouts, standing straight up and causing his chair to fall over backwards.  'You have to be in school in five minutes!'

It happens often, and they work rather well despite the rush.  Cody only forgets his coat, and Ken remembers the car keys.  He drives over the speed limit all the way to Cody's school, while Cody moans about hitting the "snooze" button.

What really, really surprises Ken is that, as Cody gets out, he kisses Ken on the cheek.