A/N: Oh my god, everyone, I am the WORST author EVER! I am so sorry for this long wait. I keep doing this! I actually do have a marginally okay excuse for some of the delay this time, though! I had this chapter almost completely done back in November, but then my computer crashed, and I had to get my hard drive wiped. Then I had it almost totally done again, and my hard drive crashed AGAIN! It was a very frustrating situation…My friends have dubbed it the double crash '05. And then, I totally would've done it over Christmas break, but we had fourteen family members down here in our three bedroom house and I was stuck babysitting the three two year olds, six month old and six year old, and then my cat got cancer and we've been going crazy trying to fix her (and it's not going well…). So yeah, those are my incredibly lame excuses! Please forgive me everybody, I promise not to make you guys wait this long for chapter 8! Like a lot of promising! This said: I am totally dedicating this chapter to my friend Kathryn, without whom you would all still be waiting for me to update three or four months from now. She totally let me bounce all my ideas and freak outs off of her and stayed up with me on MSN until midnight last night helping me finish! So yeah, every body love her…and if you could, go read her story on fanfiction . net (remove the spaces, I dunno if fictionpress lets you post links). Her pen name is snappy-pants…and her story is pretty squicky but totally awesome, so yeah, go read it! 'Cause she roxors! Also, another person who roxors: my beta! Adnama ael. Thank her too! And everybody listen to Placebo! Okay…now that I'm done pluggin everything that helped with this chapter and making pathetic excuses for my utter lameness…on with the chapter! (oh, reviewer responses, in text notes, and afterthoughts are at the end!)

Black Sunday

Chapter 7: Identity Crisis

The sharp brown gaze of the man sitting across from me dug relentlessly into my own, his thin lips splitting his face with a jagged shard of a frown, and his thick, frosted brows raised righteously over his stormy eyes. His withered fingers were clasped tightly together, his knuckles white against the dark mahogany top of his desk, and as he spoke, his voice filling the room with the sound of gravel on concrete. I was hard pressed to contain the growl rising like bile in my throat. "As you know, Father, there is going to be a new student moving into your dorm this morning, and I feel the need to inform you of the situation involving his transfer." He paused for a moment, as if waiting for someone to acknowledge the gravity of his statement, but after a few moments of empty silence, continued anyways. "Aryeh Cameron is a boy so utterly lost, so completely abandoned, so torrentially misguided that I cannot even fathom the process by which he came to be the person he is today, but as I reviewed the circumstances of his plight, I felt an overwhelming desire to take him under our wing, here at Haymarck School for Boys, to guide him back to the ways of righteousness, and, hopefully, help him to atone for his sins." He paused again, this time to take in a breath, and then launched back into his speech, "Not only has this boy participated in the act of original sin, fornication before marriage, but he has done so with a member of the same gender! In addition to this, his mother, who is distraught with her son's descent, says that he has fallen into the grasp of the devil's music, decorating his room with sinful lyrics and pictures of other," he lowered his voice a few decibels, as if afraid to utter the next word aloud, "homosexuals. And as if that weren't enough, the poor woman implied that he's begun mutilating his body with the devil's ink!" He looked as though he wanted to continue, but, at that moment, Walter-Eugene Harring was so overcome with horror of it all that he proceeded to shudder fiercely and cross himself with trembling hands, sending a strangled, "God help him," to the rapt heavens.

I couldn't help the bark of laughter that rose in my throat, and as he turned tumultuous eyes to me once again, I let out a strangled cough, nodding seriously and giving a solemn, "It's a noble cause, Headmaster. I'm glad to be given the chance to help put Mr. Cameron back on the path of morality. I only regret our inability to save his…partner in sin as well." I cast my gaze to the floor then, attempting to set the old man's shoes on fire, and hoping he wouldn't catch the disgust I was sure was displayed pure and unadulterated in my eyes.

For a moment, Walter-Eugene was silent, and then the storm in his gaze swiveled, his tone shifting as he directed a fresh frown at me. "I'm glad you're able to see things my way, Father." He spit the title like a curse. "We wouldn't want another incident like the Aiden fiasco, would we?" With this, he picked up his water bottle, popped the royal blue cap and took a deep drink, his eyes drifting shut for a moment before he returned from the wonderful land of hydration and gave me a pointed look, waiting for a reply.

I grit my teeth and gave a toothy smile, replying stiffly, "Of course not, sir. I assure you this will not turn out the way that did." And with this, I stood, pushing my chair backwards a few feet in my fervor. "If that's all, sir?" I was already half way out the door when he gave permission for my leave, and the sound of the door slamming echoed after me as I retreated down the hall, attempting to shove away the anger bubbling in my chest. "He thinks he's doing the right thing. His intentions are good. He's not trying to be hateful and terrible."

When I reached the door to the dorm, I stopped short, realizing that I had managed to cross the entire campus without noticing. At this point, I took a breath, attempting to release the anger I felt still bubbling over inside my chest, and as I liberated a sigh, I managed to calm myself enough to stop the tremors running through me and to think rationally. If I got angry, lashed out, acted on the rage, which bloomed in me every time I had a conversation with Harring, I would be fired. Then these kids would have no one on their side, no one to stand up for them, no one to help them when the people in charge were being idiots, because the other faculty certainly weren't going to do anything about the obvious abuse of power.

With this thought in mind and my anger in check, I pulled open the door to the dorm commons and walked inside, pausing as I walked past a few boys sprawled across the recently de-cushioned couch, open pizza boxes littering the room and fresh grease stains peppering the tiled floors. "Boys, what did I tell you about cleaning up after yourselves?" I was smiling, but I was also serious. "I'm willing to let you bend the rules every once in a while, so long as you're not hurting anyone, but if you get caught, I get blamed, and then none of us will be having any fun."

The boys gave me a couple of highly convincing withering looks, the one closest to me letting out a moan as the other whined, his voice three octaves higher than usual, "Aww, come on Murds. Just give us a few more minutes." He sat up slightly, his hair sticking out in all directions and lending him the look of an electrocuted wombat on crack, and I was forced to yield, a snigger escaping me as I replied,

"Alright. I'm going to welcome the new kid. I'll probably be in there at least twenty minutes. I want you to have at least started by the time I get back. And maybe, if you're doing a really good job, I'll help." I smiled as they sighed in relief, slouching back into the burrow they had made out of the couch. At this, I turned away, retreating down the hall and giving a loud, "Twenty minutes!" as I turned the corner into the cleanest hall in the building.

A minute later found me standing in the doorway of the last room in the hall, watching two boys engaging in what looked to be a very serious conversation. The first was Jade, sprawled out across his bed, back against the wall and the sheets tangled around his legs. He was a good kid, and I couldn't help but adore his stubborn insistence on being a kid for as long as possible, despite whatever life might have thrown his way over the years. The second boy, however, was unfamiliar, and I assumed he was the one I was looking for. He was sitting cross-legged on the center of his bed, elbows propped on his knees and chin resting against the palm of his right hand. He wore a pair of leather pants tighter than anything I'd seen since before I graduated high school and a hot pink t-shirt with a half naked man smoking a cigarette plastered across the front. I almost felt guilty for knowing it was a His Infernal Majesty t-shirt, but was distracted by the sharp clash of black fishnet on the alabaster expanse of his arms and the ebony smudges of lipstick and eye shadow painting a sharp chiaroscuro masterpiece across his delicate features.

I stood silently for a moment longer, waiting for a pause in their conversation and contemplating the nervous movement of the boy's fingers against his knee as he spoke, his voice expressive, and his smile raw and pained. Then they were both silent, a seemingly awkward moment spanning between them as Jade thought of something to say. I knocked, and felt a little guilty as their connection broke and two pairs of eyes skewered me at once. And then Jade was sitting up a little straighter, a delighted grin spreading across his face as he very nearly squealed, "Father M!" His enthusiasm made me smile, and a grin was spreading across my face as I entered the room. As I hadn't actually been listening to their conversation, I wasn't exactly sure what I was interrupting, but tried to sound as cheerful as possible when I gave a quiet,

"Hello, hello!" I wondered briefly why I felt the need to sound like a complete and utter idiot on every available occasion, but neither boy seemed to notice, so I just kept moving, slipping into Jade's desk chair and saying, "So, you must be Aryeh," as I looked at the new boy, who was now sitting primly on the edge of his bed. He was obviously nervous, his pale, ultramarine eyes wide, his gaze nearly swallowed by black as his pupils dominated. After a brief moment of silence he nodded, making a small noise of agreement before snapping his mouth shut again, obviously thinking better of saying anything just yet. He seemed to think I was going start condemning him to hell at any moment now, instead I said,

"I'm Keagan McKenna." I smiled again, taking in the multitude of silver shot through his ears, taking in the ring in cuff on his left ear and the transferring my gaze to the six piercings in his right ear as I continued, "You can call me whatever you like, but some of the populars are Father M, Father K, Mister Father Keagan Sir, Father Keagan, you get the picture, and…" I paused, not sure why I was rambling, and even more unsure that I actually wanted to admit to my most shameful nickname. In the end I decided he was going to hear it eventually and sighed, "…If you really feel like it, Murds."

Within a second, Aryeh's quiet passivism was broken as his jaw dropped and he gave a disbelieving, "Murds?" I had to grin a little at the horrified look on his face.

"Yes, well. That's just what happens when you let your students find out that your middle name is Murdock. What can I say?" He was looking rather appalled at the thought that anyone could have such a horrible name, and I couldn't help but laugh. I liked this boy very much, if only for the honest display of emotion that he seemed so apt to give, and I absolutely hated to bring up what I knew I had to, but as my laughter died down, I found myself unable to avoid it. "Anyways…" I paused, waiting for him to at least acknowledge the pending seriousness of the conversation.

He was silent for a moment, looking slightly dejected, and then he delivered a slightly distraught, "Yeah," his eyes falling back to the floor, and his fingers beginning their nervous cadence on his leather clad thigh once again.

I felt terrible bringing up something that was obviously a great source of anxiety to the boy and tried desperately to sound friendly and unobtrusive when I said, "Mr. Harring, the headmaster here, has just briefed me about the situation of your untimely transfer," I paused, my anger awakening once again as I attempted to remain composed. I knew that saying what I really wanted to say at that moment would probably be a bad idea, and had almost managed to convince myself not to when he tore his gaze from his bare feet. His eyes were aggrieved and hopeful, silently begging for something to be said on his behalf, and I just couldn't ignore them. So I returned his stare steadily and said in my calmest voice, "And I just want you to know, before we talk about anything else, that I think it's a complete and utter load of crap."

After a few tense seconds of berating myself for saying something so stupid, I noticed that Aryeh was smiling almost delicately his head tilted to the side in a slightly quizzical manner, and then he spoke the first real sentence I'd heard him say, his honey tenor quiet, but sincere as he said, "Thanks, Father McKenna." His eyes dropped back the floor as he flushed a little, still smiling and continued, "It's nice to know someone over the age of twenty does."

"I just thought you should know you have somebody on your side." His smile was obviously infectious, because I couldn't wipe my own grin away from the life of me, and I sounded ridiculously cheerful when I chirruped, "And now, we must discuss the rules." For some reason, I felt like a twelve year old trapped in the body of a twenty seven year old as I paused dramatically. I knew there was a reason I loved teaching, and this was it. Aryeh was smiling, and I was delighted knowing the kids were happy, however temporary that joy may have been.

"First, there's curfew. You must be in your dorm by ten thirty every night, and you are not allowed to leave the building before six thirty in the morning. If you get caught outside during these hours, chances are Harring'll have you in D-hall for the rest of the trimester. Also, dress code applies every day of the year but free dress day, and on the weekend outings. I expect you can guess what parts of your wardrobe will be off limits, and although make-up isn't really against the rules, I would suggest toning it down a bit." I paused, taking a breath after rattling off all those rules, and couldn't stop myself thinking that his features looked even more enchanting as he frowned, his expression softer in anger than any I'd seen before, all gentle curves and slopes despite the sharply delicate angles of his face. He was giving me a look that implied I had said something utterly ridiculous, and I immediately amended, "I know, I know. It's ridiculous, but this place isn't exactly on the liberal end of the Episcopalian spectrum. Dyed hair is looked down upon severely here, but no one's going to call you on it, because, well, look at me." I made a vague gesture towards my hair, which currently an interesting shade of deep red.

During my pause, Aryeh seemed to have gathered the courage to speak again, and he sounded genuinely curious when he asked, "So what possessed them to hire you, if you're such a terrible example?"

I gave a little laugh at that grinning. "Ah, the smoldering question of every student here." My voice was sarcastic despite the partial truth behind the statement, and I noticed that Aryeh was slowly relaxing as the minutes passed. He had pulled his legs up onto his bed again and his hands were no longer twitching. "The way I see it, Harring wouldn't even think about letting me on this campus were it not for the fact that I spent two years as a missionary in Haiti, and earned a servant distinction from the church. But as it is, it would've looked really bad if he hadn't hired me. And I guess he thought I could get in good with the students. You know, dig up the dirt, get confessions with my friendly "cool" demeanor. I don't know." I shrugged a little, putting special emphasis on the word "cool" knowing that it was an absurd description (2). I sat up a little then, accidentally cracking my neck as I turned my head to side a little and caught sight of Jade sitting silently on the edge of his bed, still smiling a little. I flashed him a brief grin before turning back to Aryeh and continuing with my explanation, "Mostly, I think it was an image thing." I shrugged again and continued, "So anyways. The point is: they won't call you on the dyed hair or piercings. Body art, however…" I trailed off, waving my hand vaguely in the direction of Aryeh's body before dropping it my lap, my fingers skittering unconsciously across my hip before moving back up to the top of the chair.

He seemed to catch on well enough, because he quickly turned around, examined what I could only assume was his tattoo, and then said almost desperately, "It's not that big."

"Alright, let's see it." I smiled, finding myself nearly rocking with excitement. I always loved looking at peoples' tattoos, no matter what they were, and this piece was obviously important to Aryeh, which made it all the more interesting.

He stood slowly, looking as though he desperately wanted to be angry but just couldn't, and finally gave into the grin attempting to conquer his features as he turned and pushed various articles of clothing away from the base of his spine to reveal a wispy purple butterfly spanning the entire small of his back. The spindly wings sprawled elegantly across an immaculate expanse of perfect skin, the delicate tips curling daintily, dipping just low enough that I thought seeing them should be illegal. I made a low noise of admiration, awe striking me momentarily dumb as I stared at the art before me. It was more beautiful than anything hanging in a museum could be. It was alive.

"It's a shame you'll have to cover that. It's beautiful." I hated to say that he had to cover it, and it was almost painful to watch it disappear beneath his clothes once again, but the smile on Aryeh's face was bright enough to ease the ach at seeing such beauty covered, and his voice was a lilting prayer of contentment,

"Thanks. My statement about people over the age of twenty stands."

"I always thought rules against that kind of art were stupid, but don't tell anyone that, because I might be fired, and then where would you be?" I teased quietly as he turned back around, resituating himself on his bed. When he was settled, I continued again, "So, now that we've cleared that up, I'm afraid it will have to stay covered whenever you're on campus, except on free dress day, when you're swimming, or showering, or anything else involving hygiene. Speaking of which, the showers are at the end of the hall, your toilet and sink are straight through that door," I paused to point to the door just inside the room to the left. "And should you so decide, there are locker rooms down by the gym, which is directly across from the pool. All showering must be done before eleven thirty or after six thirty, and I'm pretty sure there aren't any new rules about when you're allowed to go to the bathroom, so I think that covers use of the bathrooms. Are you still with me?" He nodded a little, looking slightly distracted. I couldn't blame him; the whole spiel was rather boring, after all, and I smiled a little as I watched his eyes roam the room.

"Okay, then. The phones can be used at any time, but you can't make inter-dormitory calls after ten thirty. And, I think that's it." I paused turning back towards Jade and flashing him a smile before addressing him, "Did I leave anything out, Jade?" The blonde was quiet for a moment, as if reviewing all that had been said, and then he gave an absentminded,

"I don't think so, but if you did, I'll tell him later." (3)

"Fabulous. Then I think we're done with all the boring rule stuff. If you have any questions, or if you just feel like talking, I live in the big dorm at the end of the hall. On the weekends, we take trips, but they aren't mandatory, and if you ever want to go somewhere, just ask, and I'll try to set it up. I can't always promise results, but I can try. I think you're parents are expecting you to come home this weekend?" I paused waiting for an answer and was a little surprised to hear the sarcastic sting in Aryeh's voice when he replied,

"Yeah, they want to make sure I'm not raping my fellow students or something." He paused, his smile turning as bitter as his voice before he continued, "Does someone have to come with me for that?"

I loathed the pain that seemed to penetrate his posture as he slouched down, injury written clear in his steel blue eyes, and I could only imagine just how much worse it was going to be for him having someone witness his reunion with his family. I was truly sorry when I said, "I'm afraid so. When are they expecting you?"

He gave a dejected sigh and said softly, "Sunday afternoon."

I tried to smile for him, hoping to exude some sort of comforting aura or…something, and then said, "Alright, then. I'm going to be you're chauffeur, unless you'd rather ride with Harring?"

That drew forth another little grin, and he looked up briefly to answer, "Yeah, I'm thinking you're a fine driver. And besides, I'm sure my parents will love you."

My smile widened, "I'm sure." I stood slowly, reluctant to leave, but figuring I would soon wear out my welcome anyway. I stretched for a moment before dropping my arms back to my sides and smiling again at both boys. "So, now that you know all the rules, I guess I'll let you settle in." I felt my smile soften a little as I turned to leave and just as I was about to slip off down the hallway, I remembered something and paused. "See you in class tomorrow." I didn't wait for a response, just turned off down the hall, hoping the boys had started cleaning as they'd promised they would.

TBC…

A/N: And that was it. I'm not gonna lie, I totally hate this chapter. It was SO hard for me to write Keagan, like beyond all. I'm never going to do it again unless you guys really want me to (which considering how bad this chapter was, I don't think that'll happen….). Anyways, I hope somebody liked this chapter…and I'm once again, so SORRY for the long wait. I would appreciate reviews even though I don't deserve them, and there was one not I had that wasn't really marked in the text:

In case you didn't catch on, Aiden is Jade's brother. The one who was put in the hospital by the evil students. So, yeah…

So now for the reviewer responses:

D.H. L'Orange: Yay! This review has cheered me up like eighty times since I got it. Every time I have a shitty day, I waltz over and read it and I'm like ego points up by twenty, and I smile. Haha. I'm glad you like Keagan, and I know he doesn't seem priestly, but I figured, the whole thing is already totally unrealistic, so I might as well have a crap load of fun with it and make the priest a sexy beast (or so I thought, and now I know you think so too!). I'm glad you liked the descriptions and stuff, because I had so much fun writing them, and as for the vocabulary, I actually had the dictionary next to me while I wrote this, because I felt the need for fancy worddom. Hehe…that makes me an unredeemable dork doesn't it? Haha. Oh well. What a way to go. Anyways, I'm glad you like the chapter (and you might be right about the tattoo situation, but don't tell…). Thanks for totally cheering me up and boosting my ego by a billion times! Much Love to you!

Bloody Corsets: I'm glad everyone likes Keagan, because I was a little worried about people being disappointed by the complete and total fakeness of it all. (Of course, I got over it due to my personal belief that were Keagan a real man, he would be a sexxxybeastmonstermangod.) I'm glad I sparked the interest too. Thanks so much for reviewing (as I told D.H. L'Orange above, the ego-meter is in the red zone…)!

FamousOneLiners: I'm glad you think so, because it's also getting funner and funner to write (despite the fact that funner is not, never has been, and probably never will be a real word!). I hope my incessant need to have unholy amounts of sacrilegious fun makes this better instead of worse. Thanks for reviewing! (Oh, and before I forget, that little laugh at the beginning of the review sounded insanely evil when I read it inside my head…)

EarthsTear: I'm glad you like Keagan, and I have to say, you sure as hell better like the name, my friends and I spent literally DAYS agonizing over what to call him! (No, I'm kidding. You're allowed to not like it, but we did spend that much time thinking about it, so it's good you like it.) I know there are people who update even less often (not you if you update five times a year), but that doesn't mean I'm not unbelievably slow…but thanks for trying to appease the guilt. Haha. Anyways, I'm glad you like Keagan, and thanks for reviewing!

Suicide Of Love: Yay, Brokeback Mountain! –does happy, we're tainting straight Christian girlies dance- Ahem. Anyways. I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter, because I had way too much fun writing it. And I'm sooooo glad my friend Kathryn and I aren't the only ones who think Keagan is the sexxxybeastofmangodosity, because, while I wasn't worried, it's always good to have assurance when you're lusting after someone you've made up. –nods- Did that make any sense? Eh, even if it didn't…the point is, I'm glad you liked the chapter and Keagan. Thanks so much for the review! Love!

Meg: Yay! I'm glad you like it! And as I've told everyone above you, I was hoping you guys would think Keagan was a sexy beast, because I made him up to BE a sexxxybeastofeternallygodlikehotbeauty. So, yeah. Glad you like him. And I hope this chapter from his POV is pleasing, because I had sooooo much trouble writing it. (I hate writing priestliness….) Haha. Anyways. Thanks for reviewing!

SkepticCritic: You could join and put us all on author alert? Other than that, I got nothing. Haha. As for the rest, I'm not at all offended by questions like that. I've been asked out by enough girls that I've gotten used to telling people I'm straight. Haha. I'm a straight girl, but I read everything, including lesbian stories, but the thing I read most and am totally completely addicted to and obsessed with are m/m stories. I've read slash stories of both the male and female variety by gay males, lesbians, straight people with gay friends, and liberal people who just happen to think gay people are hot. I've never read an m/m story by a straight male, but I've read femmeslash by straight guys. As for the reason I like slash, it's probably the same reason I like gay cinema: It's often more honest than straight stories. When one is broaching one political/social "taboo" it's easier to broach others, and I find things that aren't afraid to talk about "scary" or "risqué" things far more interesting than you're typical, safe as all hell Hollywood blockbuster film. Don't get me wrong, I still love those types of things too, but I have a much stronger affinity towards gay cinema and literature. (Also, I think gay boys are hot as all get out. ) I've got gay friends, but I was addicted to the slash long before I met them, so, in short, it varies from person to person, and a lot of types of people write slash. I hope this helps. And now that I've bored you with a veritable novel about why I like slash, I'm glad you like the story, and thanks so much for reviewing. Much love! PS- it is incredibly hard to offend me in any way, so don't hesitate to ask me if you have any other "smouldering questions"! ;) That is, if you're not put off by my unbelievably long winded answers. Oh, and I responded to your second review down further.

A Tarnished Rose: Oh my god, Joe! Jonathan Rhys Meyers is my sexy man bot lover! Ahem. –shifty eyes- Anyways. I happen to lust thoroughly after Irish accents as well, hence the me giving him one (despite my inability to actually write it without him sounding like some sort of navaho-indian-scotch-irish-southern-english-chinese-swedish freak). Haha. Thanks for the well wish, I'm still working on the fixing thing, but whatever! I'm glad you're liking the story, and thanks so much for the review! (Mercury Bohemian loves it when her ego-bot is stroked…) Okay, maybe that last note was a little creepy…haha Okay, I'm really done now!

GossamerHeart: God, if I could find one that was straight, I would be keeping him for myself, thank you very much. As it is, though: There's a reason I had to make him up! Pouts : Anyways, though, I'm glad you like the story, because I rather enjoy flooring people with the utter hotness of the men I make up inside my head. If there's one thing I'm good, it's that. Writing, not so much, plot development, not so much, sports, not so much, coming up with incredibly hot guys and putting them in skimpy ass clothing, oh yes. snerk So now that I've officially stroked my own ego-bot, thank you very much for the review and I hope you enjoy the chappie!

Skeptic-Critic: Wow, I was really confused for a little while, because I could've sworn I'd answered your question already, and then I realized you submitted two reviews for this chapter! Of course you didn't scare me with your question (like I said…I love questions, or did I not say that…I don't remember.) I really just haven't been updating due to a three consecutive crashes of my hard drive, my laziness, and my reluctance to write Keagan. Not that I don't like writing him, but he's a far more challenging character to myself in the place of! Anyways, thanks for the second review! Peace.

And now for the in text notes!

1. So, I said Keagan was hot…not a good judge of human behavior…at least not when said human behavior is screaming, "I Want You Desperately!" in his face. Hehe. I think maybe he's the self-depricating type, ne?

2. Yeah, did I mention our dear Murds is rather self-depricating?

3. Did I just make Jade sound totally high? If I did, that was not my intention…hehehe.

And that is all! Tootles everyone! Much love.