Max woke up abruptly, breathing heavily. Sweat was pouring down His face as he quickly surveyed his surroundings and only sighed in relief when he realized that he wasn't back in his old home with those shit heads. He was in his room, his home, with Ryan and Gwen. It's been 2 weeks since they took their trip to LA.

Fuck, he cursed. Of course he just had to dream about them again, and to make it worse he just had to dream about one of the worst beatings that he had gotten. He was trying to sneak food since they didn't let him eat all day and he couldn't take it. But he got caught by his 'father' and was literally dragged into his filthy closet of a room where he was tossed on the floor and was repeatedly being hit by a belt.

Max shivered at that. He remembered that he couldn't even move after that. He wrapped his arms around himself to stop himself from shaking. He quickly jumped off the bed and went into one of his drawers to retrieve the only comfort that he had in his life. Mr. Honeynutts.

That bear has been his close companion for as long as he could remember and was there for Max every time he needed him, including now. He clutched the bear for dear life. He gritted his teeth as he felt tears coming from his eyes. Max couldn't help as he began to quietly sob. He hates feeling this way, this weak.

He hasn't had many nightmares since living with Ryan and Gwen. The few he did have luckily didn't alert either adults and was able to handle it on his own. However, this one was a real nasty one that felt all too real, thank god no one is here too see him right now.

"Max?" He froze. His heart was pounding heavily. Someone's here. For how long? Max slowly lifted his head to see that the person was Ryan that stood at the door.

Ryan woke up at first to take a piss, but something in the back of his mind told him to check on Max. When he headed to the boy's room he was about to just forget it and head back to bed until he heard quiet sobbing coming from Max's room. When he entered he saw Max on the floor clutching his teddy bear for dear life.

"Buddy, what's wrong?" As Ryan walked closer the sudden instinct in Max that was still in alert mode from his dream made the boy get up and back away. Ryan stopped when he saw Max move away and concluded that the poor kid must have had a bad nightmare. Probably reliving the time he was back in his old home.

Ryan knelt down to his knees to not scare Max any further and stayed in place. Max didn't move a muscle, the only thought in his mind is where to escape. Max flinched when Ryan reached a hand out to him.

"Max, please look at me." Though he was scared, Max eventually looked up to see the man's face. Max was confused at first because the only thing he could see was sadness from Ryan.

"Oh, Max. You must have had one hell of a nightmare. I'm soo sorry that you had to go through that. I wish we could have saved you from all of that, but there's something you need to know. We will never do anything to hurt you Max. We love you. Always." Max's eyes widen when he heard that. That's right, he's not in his old home anymore. He's safe here with Ryan and, with mom and dad.

Max looked up to Ryan who still haven't moved. He had his arms stretched out to him letting Max make the first move. Still clutching Mr. Honeynutts Max first took slow steps that turned to walking which soon turned to him rushing into Ryan's arms.

Ryan immediately wrapped his arms around Max and stood up with the boy with one hand supporting his bottom and the other hand rubbing Max's back as the boy cried on his shoulder.

"Shhhhh. It's alright lil man, daddy's here."

"Is everything alright?" Came a yawn as Ryan turned around and saw Gwen at the door.

"Yeah, Max here just had a nightmare." Gwen sighed, towards the end of camp Neil mentioned it to her that Max would sometimes be restless in his sleep, but made her promise not to tell anyone. At first she didn't know what it could have been and pushed it aside, until Parent's Day where she began to have an understanding.

Still, to think that Max was still having nightmares broke her heart. She walked closer to the pair and softly placed her hand on top of Max's head. It was then that the boy had noticed the extra person in the room and looked up at Gwen with tears streaming down his face.

He didn't know what propelled him to do so but when he saw Gwen he had a sudden urge to want her as he slowly reached his arms out to her. Gwen, not missing a beat took Max from Ryan and adjusted him in her arms. As Max settled himself he had a funny feeling in his heart, like this is somehow right. These are what loving parents are like. With his feelings in order Max snuggled closer to Gwen.

Knowing that Max wouldn't be able to sleep if they tried to put him in his bed both adults headed back to their own room where Gwen got on the bed and placed Max between her and Ryan. Max now knowing that both adults are there and it going to leave him sighed in relief as he drifted off to peaceful sleep.