By SF Writer
Copyright 2003  Stormnation, All rights reserved.

Interludes - Special Chapter

* * * * * * *

"Dade, what are you thinking right now?" Marcel said resting his head on Dade’s chest and looking up into his eyes as Dade stared out the window.

They lay on Dade’s bed, not the first time by a long shot. But it was the first time they lay there as more than just friends. Marcel gently running his fingers back and forth along Dade’s jersey while Dade had his fingers firmly implanted in Marcel’s long blonde locks. The morning light burst through the window with the dawn, filled with the echoes of the birds chirps and the rustling of the trees just outside. Marcel had been in that position almost all night, Dade and himself taking turns holding the other. Nothing sexual had happened, instead the two of them taking the time to simply lie there and talk the night away. Plans they had for the future, dreams they had for the other, hopes they had for each other.

Marcel for the first time felt completely comfortable sharing everything he had with Dade. His tendency to hold things back having been eroded with the coming together of the two like souls. Marcel yesterday had himself completely convinced he felt nothing but platonic love for Dade. Dade’s daring kiss of Marcel though had changed Marcel’s thinking towards Dade. He realised that Dade wasn’t his little bud anymore. That Dade was his own person. And that Marcel was indeed in love with that person.

Dade on the other hand had only dared himself to kiss Marcel knowing he had nothing to lose anyway. Marcel was leaving so why hold back? What Dade didn’t expect was for Marcel to climb in his window at 4am in the morning and tell Dade how much Marcel realised he loved him. Dade’s initial response of ‘What took you so long to realise?’ had Marcel smiling inside at the Dadester’s intuition. Since that moment Dade had been unable to close his eyes. The two hadn’t even exchanged a kiss since the party. In fact they had done nothing different to when they were friends. This time though it ‘felt’ different. Because it ‘was’ different. When they held each other, they ‘held’ each other with a realisation and knowing of what the other felt. Aside from holding hands and the odd wandering hand, things just went on the way they used to. But now things were very different.

Dade sighed to himself, stroking his fingers lovingly through Marcel’s hair. "I’m thinking that inside I want you to stay. The selfish part of me wants you to stay. But the bigger part of me, the part that wants you to achieve the dreams that make Marcel. That part wants you to go. But all of me will miss you. Knowing you love me the same way I love you helps. But not much. I’ll still miss you."

"You just made it a thousand times harder to go. I had my mind set on going. Now I’m trying to find a way not to go. I don’t want to leave and risk leaving behind the greatest thing I could ever have in my life. This is one of those once in a lifetime chances. Being with you I mean. Ever since you told me how you felt I just couldn’t bring myself to feel the same way. I wanted so much to do right by you Dade. I didn’t want to confuse you, plus there’s a years difference between us. I won’t be very popular when everyone finds out I’m in love with and dating everyone’s little bro."

"I’m not everyone’s little bro. Besides since when did what they think matter to us? Marcel you’ll have to come up with a better reason than that."

"I just really hoped you wouldn’t be like me. I wanted to spare you. But now I can’t even bear the thought of leaving here today. I’m hooked on you so bad Dade."

"Marcel I told you before. I could only be with you. I’ve always wanted you. Wanted you all to myself. I really wanted you to be ‘mine’. All mine and I’m so jealous I don’t want to share you with anyone. I want you all to myself. I want you to be my Marcel. My Marcel."

"I’m all yours now Dade. I’m all yours. You’ll see."

"I hope so."

"So Dade? Are you my boyfriend now?"

"I always was your boyfriend. Except now the words go together."

"This is so weird. You’re my first boyfriend. I feel like I’m gonna burst inside. Like a little kid. It’s like my first girlfriend. It’s exciting."

"Your first boyfriend? How many you planning on having?"

"Oh thousands."

"Damn that’s a long hit list."

"Don’t worry. Thousands of cute guys wouldn’t have anything on one Dade."

"Come here Marcel." Dade said motioning Marcel to lie on top of him.

Marcel moved up and lay on top of Dade gently. Dade wrapped his arms around Marcel and rested his hands in the small of Marcel’s back. Marcel gently brushed his fingers against Dade’s face, moving upwards to caress Dade’s hair. Their eyes locked onto one another, they peered into each other’s souls. Marcel unable to take his eye off the love that lay below him. Unable to comprehend what was passing between them as they looked into each other. Time had no presence or place as Dade lost himself in the endless pools of blue, realised fulfilment surging through him.

"You’re still going to go aren’t you?" Dade said resigned.

"I don’t think either of us could live with it if I stayed."

"I think you’re right. I’m not sure what’s worse. Wanting you and not having you. Or having you and losing you. Either way, I lose."

"I’m sorry Dade."

"I’m not. Just leave before I can’t let you go."

"I love you Dade." Marcel said, his pools of blue sending a stream from it’s well.

"Don’t cry my love." Dade said using his thumbs to trace each of Marcel’s tears till his fingers caressed Marcel’s face.

"Bye." Marcel said painfully.

Dade didn’t say anything in reply; he just nodded slowly in agreeance as he looked up at his Marcel. Marcel took Dade’s hands in each of his own and interlaced their fingers as he lowered his lips to meet Dade’s. Dade moved up slightly to meet Marcel, their lips barely touching as they kissed. Marcel held himself there savouring the preciousness of a kiss filled with love. Something he thought would never be his. Their lips finally moving closer together they slowly tasted the other, taking turns to gently purse the other. Their lingering and endless kiss broken by Marcel’s sudden sobs. Marcel clasped Dade’s hands tightly, feeling Dade’s skin under his fingers as he tried to hold back his tears. Knowing he couldn’t fight them, Marcel let go of Dade’s hands and moved them behind Dade’s neck. He pulled Dade closer to him kissed him more urgently and longingly. Marcel knew the inevitable had come; it was time for him to leave. Knowing this drove him over the edge and he kissed Dade one last time, holding his lips against Dade’s for an eternity. His sobs shaking himself to distraction.

"Bye." Marcel said painfully as he suddenly pulled off Dade and jumped out the window leaving Dade lying there staring at the ceiling.

Dade didn’t look out the window, choosing instead to close his eyes and remember the moment he just shared with his Marcel. His eyes devoid of emotion and feeling, He didn’t cry, he didn’t speak, he didn’t feel, and he didn’t weep. He simply lay…remembering.


* * * * * * *


I lay there motionless, my arms draped over Lucas chest and my legs draped over his own. Lucas strong arm was around me making sure I was still close to him, making me feel secure and loved. His free hand lay gently on top of mine, twitching at my slightest movement as if to make sure I hadn’t gone away. I’d been lying in this same position only moving faintly for the last hour. Time didn’t seem to have any meaning for me. I took the greatest pleasure in the world simply watching my baby sleep. My eyes studying everything about him, from the slightest curve in his abs to the way his strawberry lips seemed to smile slightly in his sleep. From the way every strand of his hair shone in the morning sun to the way his toes wriggled every once and again when my feet touched his. I’d studied those and everything in between. And when I thought there wasn’t anything else to marvel at, he’d move slightly and there would be something else for me to gaze at in wonder. So that I knew every part of my baby, every single fibre of him.

I watched in silent awe the way his chest rose and fell faintly with every breath he took. I smiled contentedly to myself, knowing that every breath he took had me embedded into it now. Lucas loves me just as much as I love him. He really does. And for once without a shadow of a doubt, I believe it, I know it. And that knowing made my soul fly.

Lucas softly stirred and I knew my time of appreciation, study and contemplation had passed with his coming awakening. I let my fingers dance gently against his cheek as he turned his head with his eyes still closed and kissed the tips of my fingers as he brought his hands to my own and held them against his face.

"I love you." Lucas whispered as he continued to hold my fingers against his lips, his eyes still closed as if he were half asleep.

"I love you too, Baby. I love you too." I said as Lucas opened his eyes finally and he turned and smiled at me sheepishly, the sleep still evident in his eyes.

"You’ve been up a while haven’t you?" Lucas said looking at my obviously non-dreary eyes giving away the fact I’d been awake a fair bit. "How long have you been watching me?"

"About an hour. I just couldn’t bring myself to wake you. You looked so…happy."

Lucas began blushing as he brimmed with an embarrassed yet ecstatic smile. "I was happy. I am happy. I feel like I’m going to burst. I haven’t felt this way since the morning after the train station. I’m just…I’m just so content. I wish we could stay like this forever."

"Me too. This is the happiest I’ve ever been. Because I know you’re mine and I’m yours. I mean I can actually feel myself smiling from the inside out. You are such a beautiful person, Lucas. Beyond words, right through to the core you’re a beauty, Mate. I just can’t get over you."

"You won’t ever have to. Now how’s about a morning kiss?"

Lucas rolled himself over on top of me and tenderly rested his forehead against mine as our lips touched and kissed in our acting of affection and love towards each other. Lucas held his lips against mine for an eternity before he moved down and began sucking on my lower lip. My lips parted and allowed him entry and our kiss took a step up in passion and intensity. I began making those all too familiar moans and gasps as Lucas and my own hands began wandering each other’s body.

"Are you ready for round two?" I panted.

"Two? Won’t this be like round five or six?"

"Uhh I dunno. I sorta went into bliss state after the first round last night."

"Oh boy." Lucas said excitedly as he ground his hips further against mine. "I’m getting really excited, Baby. Last night, hate to sound cliché, Dude. But last night was fucking incredible. You make me melt. I am so hot for you. Am so in love with you. So infatuated with every breath you take. Last night was the best night of my life."

"You’re telling me? Lucas, I want round six. Now."

"Wait wait, I have to know. Did you really enjoy last night?"

"Do pigs fly?"


"They flew last night, Boy. The pigs were most certainly flying. I’m having trouble breathing, Lucas. I need you again. PLEASE, BABY."

"Are you sure you liked all of it?"

"Did you?"

"I asked you first."

"I enjoyed it. More than anything else I could have done. It’s the first time I’ve ever gotten to make love with someone. I don’t ever plan on doing that with anyone else. Ever. Nothing can compare."

"So you’re sure?"

"Well ok. THAT bit hurt. And was rather uncomfortable. But I still loved it. I loved being with you that way. Loved having you inside me. Like we were one. No pain could ever dull that. First time it hurt, Second time was much easier. How about for you?"

"Well. Ok well it hurt and was uncomfortable. But I loved it. Simply because you were inside me. I’m glad we both shared ourselves with each other and didn’t just have me getting off and you giving everything. I loved it so much in fact, that I want to do it again right now."

"Ok who’s on top who’s on bottom? We only have one raincoat left."

"You on top, please, Baby."

"You won’t see me complaining. Next time you’re on top."

"Cool." Lucas grinned. "I like it like that."

"Hey don’t steal my lines."

"Ahh shut up and make love to me, Punk."

"Oh well, if you say so!" I grinned raising my head to meet my strawberry lover’s lips, Lucas my beloved addiction.


* * * * * * *


"Yeah Dad, just gimmie ten minutes! I’m just writing in my diary and then we can go." Claire yelled as she sat on her bed wiping the tears from her face that she’d seemingly been crying since she arrived home from Marcel and Storm’s party. Claire picked up her ink pen and slowly opened her diary who she affectionately named Dayze, dreading to write what she was about to.

Dear Dayze,

Why do men suck?

It seems in this town, they’re either gay or bi or they’re assholes. I wish I were going to school with Jacob. Higher population, more chance of me finding someone to share my thoughts and dreams with. I still feel like an outsider here. Why? It feels like I’ve been here forever but I still don’t have any real close friends. I miss Rachel and Tammy and everyone back home. I wish I belonged. I can’t take this feeling of being an outsider much longer.

Dayze, I found out last night that Lucas and Storm, are in crazy love with each other. Just my luck? I’ve been chasing them for over four months. Well, mainly Lucas. What’s wrong with me? Why couldn’t I see? I have a gay brother for crying out loud.

Now don’t get me wrong, Dayze. I’m really happy for these guys and I can understand why they didn’t say anything but…I feel something not very nice. Do you ever think I’ll find someone, Dayze? I mean people tell me I’m beautiful and I try to be a nice person and a good person but I just can’t get it right. I’m so deflated and depressed. I really wanted Lucas. It hurts to think I’ll never have a chance with him. He’s my dream guy. But I won’t ever think of him that way again. Why do I pick the wrong guys?

Dad and I are going back down to the shelter today to help out. I’m so glad I am. It’s at times like this when I begin to wallow in self pity that going to places where you see people who have hardly anything really makes you value what you have. I’m reminded of a saying that helps me right now to deal with this terrible dreading feeling I have inside; this too shall pass. I am hoping it will pass. It’s not a nice feeling to be stuck on someone for so long and then to realize you never had a shot to begin with and have been wasting so much time.

I cried myself to sleep last night thinking that I would never ever know love. Do you think I should give up, Dayze? Do you think I should just forget about it? I see Mike and Sarah and I think; I want that. Knowing my luck, the next person I fall in love with will be gay. Maybe I should wait for them to come to me. Maybe I should just settle for Brad. He can’t be that bad, can he?

I think I am going to give up looking. I will wait for it to come to me. I really feel terrible right now, Dayze. I’m going to try my best to move on and forget about this whole thing but I doubt it will be easy. And now I will see those two together and I think I will lose it. I am going to stay away from Lucas and Storm. I will be happy for them because I should be happy for two people who have found each other. But I just don’t really want to be around them and be reminded of how stupid I was for so long. Or to be reminded of something I wanted but will never have.

I am going to stop writing now, Dayze. Otherwise I will soak you with tears and ruin all my writing.

Hopeful always,



* * * * * * *


"Yeah hi this is Mike, is Marcel home please?" Mike asked anxiously as he stood in the phone booth just outside the front of the school gates.

"No sorry. He’s gone over to see his friends before he leaves."

"But there’s nobody there." Mike said frustratedly.

"Well…I’m sorry I can’t help you then. That’s where he said he was going."

"Ok thanks. Bye." Mike said quickly hanging up and putting another coin into the phone before he dialled the number for home.

"Come on, somebody pick up. Somebody’s gotta be home."

No reply. Mike waited anxiously for another few minutes. Still no reply. "Come on, Marcel. How long does it take you to get from your house to Mom’s."

"Mitchell, hang up the damn phone and get your butt into the changing rooms." Coach Anderson yelled from over the school fence to Mike.

"Just 5 more minutes Coach, this is a really important phone call." Mike begged desperately knowing if he didn’t catch Marcel now it was more than likely he wouldn’t catch him again for a very long time.

"This is a really important game. Pack it in, Mitchell. Get your ass in there. I shouldn’t have to be telling you of all people to be getting your A into G."

"Damnit!" Mike cursed slamming down the phone. "I’m coming Coach."


* * * * * * *


"So, Studly. How’s my boy?" Sarah said sitting down beside me and resting her elbow on my shoulder.

"He’s pretty good." I said sliding my Oakley’s down over my eyes to block out the sun so I could see better what was going down on the field from way up here in the back of the stands. Right where I liked to always sit when I watched Mike or Lucas play. The mid afternoon sun was blazing down a heatwave paused every so often by a cool breeze that would work its way up the stands. I leaned back and put my feet up on the back of the seat in front of me trying to make myself comfortable in the sticky heat. "You guys left early this morning."

"Yeah, well I had to go home and do a few things and Mike wanted to come down here early. I’m still kinda whacked from the party. We had a pretty late night."

"You’re telling me." I said yawning.

"You guys might want to keep it down next time. But look on the bright side, I don’t think they heard you in Russia."

"What?" I gasped in disbelief. "We weren’t loud, I was careful."

"Storm, Storm, Storm. My how easy you fall." Sarah said patting me on the shoulder and smiling smugly. "So what was it like?"

"You tricked me!" I said punching Sarah in the arm teasingly. "Clever Bit…"

"Yeah, yeah heard it all before. So tell me, what was it like? Was it good? Did it hurt?"

"My lips are sealed." I said with the biggest grin possible on my face as I winked at Sarah.

"I bet they weren’t last night."

"So what, a little tweety bird tells me your lips weren’t too sealed in a certain bathroom at a certain party last night either. You should try and tidy yourself up better when you and your mate are leaving the crime scene."

"Nuff said. Lovely weather we’re having isn’t it?" Sarah said blushing beet red.

"Yeah, friggen excellent." I smiled. "Mike’s having a great game isn’t he."

"He always has great games. Can you see those two men over there on the other side of the field, just down by the benches."

"I see them. Who are they?"

"Talent scouts. I’m not sure if Mike knows they’re here. But I’m hoping he doesn’t or it’ll cause unnecessary pressure."

"But Mike still has two years left. Why would they be looking at him?"

"It’s not for college. It’s for regional development. Sorta like a dream team for the local region. I think they want to make Mike part of the regional team."

"Well if they’re here for anyone it’s Mike. When will he know?"

"Oh won’t be for a while. They’ll probably monitor his progress for the rest of the season and then approach him for next year’s season."

"Oh man." I said excitedly. "Go Mike. Oooh I hope he gets it. Mike deserves this. Damn he deserves it." I said proudly.

"You don’t need to tell me. Football has been his well it was the only thing he could use to take his mind off things for the last few years. The only other person who has Mike’s potential is…no offence but it’s Joshua Barrett. He’s one of those silent but violent types. Off the field he’s quiet and reserved from what I know of him but on the field he’s like another person. He goes hard, really hard."

"What about Lucas? I know he’s good, he’s great even. I’m not just saying that because I love the guy. I just know he’s good."

"Yeah Lucas is very good. His skill is probably just that bit more refined and accurate than Josh’s but I don’t think Lucas has got that spark or drive. I don’t think he loves the game as much as Mike and Josh do, you know? I’m not trying to be mean or put Lucas down, I love the guy too but I’m just telling it how I see it."

"Yeah well, we’ll agree to see it differently then. Lucas is awesome and that’s all there is to it."

"So is Joshua Barrett. You know he’s up for Vice Captaincy."

"So is Lucas. Who do you think will get it?"

"Hmm. Mike seems to be fairly confident Josh will get it. He’s been pretty impressed with Josh’s game the last few months. Josh has a lot of commitment to the game. And he’s got that drive like he really wants it. Lucas is more of a natural than Josh but Mike seems to think Josh has more fire. And he’d be good in the VC spot."

"What a load of shit! Look at Lucas! He’s kicking ass. He hasn’t missed a tackle the whole game. He’s consistent, he’s solid. I mean he’s got game man. Look at the way he moves on the field, his feet are practically stepping on air. And his style is so methodical. The guy’s a legend waiting to happen. He’s just not cocky like everyone else, that’s his problem."

"Well somebody’s gonna get it and somebody isn’t. We’ll just have to wait and see."

"Lucas will get it. I bet my last dollar on it." I said proudly and with confidence. Nobody could beat my guy, he was going to take Brad’s former VC and that’s all there is to it. "He’ll get it."

"I’m sure whoever gets it will do a great job. And that’s all I’m gonna say." Sarah said sharply, probably becoming annoyed at my over zealous support of my man.

"Yeah b…"

"Storm, what the hell’s happening to you?"

"What are you talking about?"

"What happened to Storm Marcus, the fighter? Storm Marcus the guy with whom you did not fuck."

"I don’t know what you’re talking about."

"Well frankly, Storm. You’ve been acting like a bit of a girly blouse lately. And that’s coming from a girl."


"You’ve changed, Storm. You’ve gotten soft. Your whole attitude is different. I mean if you and Lucas were a guy and a girl, you’d be the girl."

At first I was shocked, now I just sat there simmering with anger that threatened to explode. "So what the fuck is your point, Sarah!"

"I think you should harden up and be more like the Storm we all loved before Lucas came along and made you forget about who you were. You’ve got him now, start acting like Storm and not some lovesick dickhead that’s losing track of everything around you. You guys are so wrapped up in each other you forget about everything else. Except Lucas manages to keep holding himself while all you do is worry about whether you and Lucas are going to be ok. There’s more to life, Storm. One day you’re going to wake up and wonder what the hell you’ve been doing the last six months. Because frankly, I…"

"Sarah, lost for words? I don’t believe it. Come on, spit it out. You think I’m pathetic right?"

"The Storm I knew would think the same thing."

"Fuck you, Sarah. Just get fucked. You wanna see a hardass Storm? Here he is. Get fucked you two timing bitch and mind your own business."

"What?" Sarah said looking surprised and hurt. Hey if you wanna give it you better be able to take it too.

"You heard me. I don’t need to take this shit from you. The worst part is, you have a point. You just didn’t get it across very well did you? Couldn’t help but let that Super Bitch in you take over. That’s all you are, a fucking high and mighty bitch who thinks she knows what’s best for everyone else all the time. Somebody needs to bring your ass back down to earth."

Sarah just sorta sat back in her chair and slid her glasses down over her eyes. She didn’t say anything, her face had gone completely devoid of emotion. She was seemingly staring down at the game but I knew she was in shock or something behind those glasses. "Well?" I snapped.

Sarah didn’t say anything. She just had a blank look on her face that began slowly turning my fiery rage into a nagging anxiousness the more I saw and the longer she remained silent. I’d seen Sarah do this before and it meant I’d really hurt her. Really hurt her. Next she would say something calmly and emotionless before she walked away and didn’t speak to you for a long time. Well I wasn’t going to let that happen.

"Sarah?" I said taking Sarah’s hand as I sat down beside her. I watched Sarah’s mouth begin to open and then close again as if she wasn’t sure what she wanted to say. Here comes the calm, cold bit.

"I think you and I are two different people now, Storm. Just remember, I’m not a two timer. And you know it. That really hurt. Won’t you ever get over it? Don’t worry, I’ll mind my own business from now on. Bye, Storm."

What do I do? What do I say? How do I stop Sarah from walking away? I know she’s just as stubborn as me and if she decides she doesn’t feel like being friends with me, she’ll stop being friends with me. "Sarah, Sarah. Come on, we’re buds. We’ve known each other longer than we’ve known we existed. We’ve had fights before."

"Not like this. I was trying to help. You pretty much just wanted to hurt me. You succeeded, tough guy. Now let go of my hand."

"No." I said gripping Sarah’s hand even tighter.


I raised Sarah’s hand to my lips and kissed it tenderly, holding her hand to my face. "I love you. And I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I wanna tell you something and then you can decide whether you still want to leave or not. Just hear me out please."


"Sarah. You’re right. I’ve been so wrapped up with Lucas, I’ve forgotten about being me which is who he fell in love with. I j…"

"Yeah Storm. I’m not saying leave the guy or stop loving him. I don’t want that because I love you so much more than you realise and he makes you happy and I want to see you happy. All I’m saying is that now you’ve got each other, why don’t you give yourself a bit of time and attention now. Lucas didn’t fall in love with you for loving him, he fell in love with YOU. But who are YOU lately?"

I knew this was my chance, Sarah had just opened the door to her good books again. I dashed up to her side and had to hold back from just throwing my arms around her. "Sarah, you’re right. You’re so right. I’m sorry for snapping at you. I’m just defensive when it comes to Lucas. But I wanna tell you something really important that’s been nagging at me for the longest time. You and I are best friends right?"

"We’re actually a bit tighter than that but for demonstration purposes we’ll go with that."

"You know you’re my girl right? You’re the only girl in my life. You have been and you always will be, no matter what. I mean you’re Sarah." I said starting to choke up. "You’re the girl I thought I’d marry one day. The girl I thought I’d raise kids with. There will never be another you. I miss you, you know. I really miss you."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean. You were the girl I used to lie beside on the grass, watching the stars and sharing my dreams with. I used to tell you my secrets, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. Everything I could say to you. Nothing was sacred between us. You used to be my strength. You made me strong, like you make Mike strong. I miss you being my best friend, my confidant. I know we’re not together anymore but I miss that so much about us. We used to be so much better friends. We haven’t had that since we broke up. I want that back. I want us to be best friends like that again. I want you back, Sarah. Please say yes."

"I want us to be best friends like that again too. We let Mike and Lucas drift us apart. I miss us being close like that, Storm."

"I do too. So we’re friends like we used to be? Like when we were married?"

"We were the King and Queen." Sarah smiled.

"You’re still the Queen. I’m somewhat…lower now."

"Ahh bullshit. You’ve just been distracted for six months. Lucas has had you to himself for long enough. Time for everyone else to have a bit of Storm. Take your spot back, King."

"So you and I…partners in crime again?" I said, my grin growing wider and wider. "Sarah and Storm, the demented duo."

"I would like that very much." Sarah nodded as she motioned me towards her with tear filled eyes.

"What is it, Sarah?"

She pulled me close to her and wrapped my arms around her so I was holding her. We were so far up into the stands with no one around us that it would’ve been hard to see what we were doing, not that it really mattered right now. I kissed Sarah’s forehead gently and held her soothingly as she began sobbing gently and silently.

"Do you know how hard it is to be me?"

"No I don’t, Sarah. What’s wrong?"

"I missed you too." Sarah cried. "So much. I missed having a friend. I’m so sick of being a hard ass all the time. I’m there for everyone else, but who’s there for me? No one, because I don’t have any friends. I don’t have any friends."

"What are you talking about? You’re the most popular girl in school now. And what about all of us, we love you to death."

"Yeah but, I don’t have a friend. A confidant. Don’t you understand?"

"What about Mike?"

"I don’t talk to Mike like that. I need to be strong for him. He’s been through so much."

"So you’ve been being Miss tough bitch for everyone else and there’s no one there for you?" I said actually crying myself now. "I was so fucken caught up in my own shit, I didn’t notice. I’ve overlooked what Mike’s been going through, I neglected Marcel, I couldn’t even see what was beginning to happen with Dade, and on top of that I left you out in the cold. I just assumed you found a confidant to take my place. A best friend. I thought maybe Claire was that person."

"Oh no. No one can take your place. I’m just so sick of being miss hard ass all the time. I’m hurting too you know. I haven’t exactly had everything great lately. But I put on a front, just like you. We try to be strong for everyone else. Maybe now you and I can be strong for each other. I’ve got a real friend again. Someone to talk to. I really want us to be close again, Storm." Sarah sobbed. "Best buds, just like we used to be."

"Best buds forever, Babe."

It had been such a long time since I’d seen Sarah cry like this. I’d gotten so used to her hard ass attitude I’d forgotten the more vulnerable side to Sarah that I’d practically been married to all my life. I held Sarah tight, hoping that I could be there for her the way she’d been there for me so many times over the years. No doubt about it, I really loved this girl. And I wanted her to be ok. Wanted us to be ok. I think we will be. Only the future will tell for sure. Today is definitely a good start.


* * * * * * *


Lucas stepped out of the changing room showers and headed back to his clothes locker. He pulled out his towel and began drying himself off vigorously. Lucas had a rush of excitement and exhilaration coursing throughout his body from his performance in the game today. He threw his towel aside and threw his boxers and track pants on.

"Great game, Lucas." Mike said patting Lucas on the back as he walked past and headed outside. "Great game, everyone. You too Barrett. I want the same game next week."

"You got it, Cap."

"Right on, Boss."

"Thanks, Mike."

Lucas turned and sat himself down on the bench. Everyone was beginning to filter out but Lucas was in no particular hurry today. He was still on a high from the game. His face brimming with a satisfied and confident smile. He leaned forward and held his head in his hands, his insides just on fire with joy. He looked down his own chest following the trail down to his abs remembering how it felt to have Storm trace his own trail.

Lucas sighed in contentment, unable to lose that smile he had. Everything was starting to go right now. Finally he had Storm the way he wanted him. Not just physically, but finally Storm had given himself over to the idea that he and Lucas were for real. Not some dream bubble about to burst. And that Lucas really did love him as much as Storm loved Lucas. For the first time in their entire relationship Lucas felt secure. For the first time he wasn’t worried that something might go wrong or Storm might suddenly change his thinking about Lucas. Now he saw long term and he believed it would happen.

And still that smile would not go away. Lucas looked down at his feet, his mind wandering, remembering, and dreaming. Remembering the first day he saw Storm on the bus, how his heart skipped a few beats when Storm smiled at him that day. How Lucas wished in his heart that Storm was like him but not believing he could be. He remembered how much he doted after Storm those first few months they were friends. Always wanting to be with him, to spend time with him yet hoping he wouldn’t scare Storm away by showing just how much he wanted to be with him. He remembered the train station, the night that decided their fate and the rest of their lives together. Had Lucas not found Storm, where would he be today?

Lucas pulled his backpack from out of locker and put it on the ground in front of him before he pulled out his socks. He lifted his left foot and slid one sock over it before he proceeded with the next. He opened his bag again and pulled out his jersey and put it on the bench next to him. Finally Lucas pulled out his wallet. He opened his little coin pouch and pulled out one of the most meaningful things he’d ever owned. His silver ring. Lucas held it in his hands feeling it in his fingers and combing it with his eyes. He knew somewhere not far away Storm was wearing the matching necklace Lucas had given him to symbolize how much they meant to each other. Lucas never wanted Storm to stop wearing his necklace, and Lucas would always have his ring. Lucas could still remember the afternoon in the tree house months ago when he’d first given the necklace to Storm. His heart still fluttered remembering that moment when Storm accepted the necklace and Lucas placed it on his neck.

Lucas slid the ring over his finger and held his hand up to the sunlight pouring through the top of the changing room windows. "Always."

Lucas was sharply brought back down to earth by a booming voice. "Sheridan! I want to see you after you’ve finished getting changed. Everyone else. Great game. Don’t let it get to your heads. But pat yourselves on the back. You did a great job. See you all at training."

Lucas eyes caught Josh’s, as Josh looked at Lucas in sullen horror and dejection. Both knew at that moment that Lucas had received the Vice Captaincy. Lucas quickly stepped into his trainers and slipped on his jersey as he grabbed his bag and headed for the door. He stopped beside Josh who just stood there staring into his locker.

"Josh…" Lucas said nervously.

"Congratulations." Josh snapped. "You’ll make a great VC." And with that Josh threw his bag on his shoulder, slamming his locker shut so hard it caught everyone’s attention before he stormed out the door.

Lucas hung his head low, he felt bad for Josh and knew how much Josh wanted this. But only one could have the VC. Lucas knew Josh was just as capable as he was, if not more so but perhaps Lucas performance today was the deciding factor. Lucas shook his head and sighed to himself as he headed laboriously outside to receive his new responsibilities from Coach Willering.


* * * * * * *


"AaAaaAAAHHH!!!" Josh screamed frantically as he slammed his wooden baseball bat without retention repeatedly at the base of a large oak tree in the park adjacent to his own house and backyard.

"Having fun?" Dade asked flatly as he approached Josh.

Josh acknowledged Dade’s presence by pausing before he renewed his attack on the tree, outpouring his burning frustration. He continued to smash the bat against the tree with all the power he had inside of him, feeling the bat begin to creak under pressure. Josh’s screams became more frenzied and frantic as he let one final mighty barrage fall upon the tree before the bat finally buckled and snapped just above the handle sending the large of the bat flying backwards.

"So…that’s what you’ve got inside is it?" Dade said assessing Josh’s handiwork as he looked over the top end of the bat that Dade had managed to catch seconds ago as it flew back towards his head. "And there I was thinking you were the nice quiet type."

Josh fell to his knees breathing hard as he leant his head against the tree, his face flushed with anger and pain.

"Next you’ll be ripping your shirt off as you scream at the sky." Dade said sitting against the tree, making himself comfortable while he took into account all the details he could from the bat. "This is an old bat. How long have you had it?"

"Since I was 7." Josh said still breathing heavily. "It was a present from my grandfather."

"And you broke it aye. Let me guess. You didn’t get the VC."

"I thought that would have been obvious."

"Well…I’m sorry you didn’t get it, Josh. I was rooting for you, man."

"You woulda been the only one." Josh winced as frustrated tears escaped him and muffled sobs attempted to make themselves evident. "I pushed myself past my own limits for that spot. I busted my ass. I deserved it. But everyone else wanted Lucas. You could see, nobody believed I could do it. They all wanted Lucas. Mike wanted Lucas, the whole team wanted Lucas. Everybody wanted Lucas. Nobody wanted me there. Nobody thought I could do it. I’m still a loser in their eyes."

"You really wanted this. I’m sorry, Josh."

"It was all there. All in front of me. I could see what would have happened to me if I had of taken this. People would have noticed me. I would’ve gained some respect in school. I would’ve had more of a chance to be noticed for my playing ability. I could’ve been like Mike. I would’ve helped the team. Now I’m just back where I started, in loserville trying to be a winner. Heck I’ve been here all my life why the hell did I think I could’ve had it any different?"

"Why would I want to hang out with a loser?"

"See, I knew even being friends with you wouldn’t last. I’m a loser. I’m not going anywhere. Josh is just nothing. I’m just a loser. No one’s ever gonna give me a shot."

"That’s not what I meant, Punk. I don’t hang out with losers. You’re not a loser. Josh I know you had a bad day today. I know you didn’t get something that you really wanted. But look at yourself! Snap out of it already. Josh you’re so cool you don’t even realise it."

"I’m not cool. I’m not popular. I’m not intelligent. I’m not special. I’m just average. And I’m not even good at being that."

"Oh man, do you want me to pull out the violin’s for your sorry sounding ass? Josh just snap out of it please? You’re not a loser. Don’t give up. I’m sorry…for once I just don’t know what to say to make you feel better. I guess it’s because we’ve only been good friends for a few weeks."

"Good friends?"

"Yeah, good friends. What’d you think I was going to say? Acquaintances?"

"Good friends. You and me. Real friends. For some reason that makes me feel a little better. You were probably the only person rooting for me at the game and you weren’t even in the stands. You and I, good friends."

"If we weren’t good friends do you think I would have stood there watching you have a mental episode? Dade thinks not. Dade sees potential. Dade sees talent. Dade sees a really big spider sitting on top of your head."

"Aaah!" Josh screamed jumping to his feet and shaking his head vigorously.

"Oh man, it disappeared." Dade smiled standing to his feet.

"That’s not funny. You know I hate spiders." Josh said taking a few deep breaths and smiling at Dade.

"Aahh! I see a smile! You’re just like my brother. He just turns into a frightened little kid when it comes to spiders. He always asks me to get rid of them when he finds one. Can we go back to your house now Josh?"

"What for?"

"To fix up your hands. And then decide what we’re gonna do for the rest of the day."

"Are you sure? You don’t have anything else to do?"

"Nothing. I wanna hang with my bud. Come on let’s go." Dade said picking up the broken pieces of bat and putting his arm around Josh as they began the short walk back to Josh’s house.

"Maybe we should go hiking. Burn off some tension. We can go across the lake and trek up the ridge, camp out for the night or something." Josh suggested, his voice still laced with tension.

"Sounds great. Are you feeling ok now though, Bud? A bit better?"

"I still feel like breaking another bat but I’ll get over it."

"Maybe we better take a LONG hike."



* * * * * * *


Mike, Sarah, Lucas and I sat in Mike’s room. Lucas and I sitting on the spare bed and Mike and Sarah sitting on his own. Sarah had her head resting on Mike’s chest, her eyes weary and tired from the last two days activity.

"Sarah, I really messed up. Marcel’s gone now. He’s really gone. I screwed up so bad." Mike said cursing himself.

"When he calls us next week, talk to him."

"It won’t be the same, Sarah. I wanted to see him in person before he left. The phone just isn’t the same. I don’t want him to hate me."

"Oh come on, you know he doesn’t. I bet he’s not even angry. Probably hurt, but not angry."

"I’m gonna miss that guy. I’m really gonna miss him."

"You’re telling me."

"I wonder if he’s ok. I wonder if he misses us too." I said leaning my head on Lucas shoulder.

"I wonder if this is what it was like for my friends when I left. I hope not, this feeling sucks." Lucas said yawning a little.

"And then there were four…" Mike sighed.

"Would I be weird in asking if we could sleep in here with you guys tonight? Not in the same bed of course." I said turning to Lucas. "If that’s ok with you. I didn’t even ask if you were staying here tonight."

"Of course I want to stay here tonight." Lucas said holding me just a little closer. "Sarah are you going to stay here too?"

"Yeah, I think so. If it’s ok with your Mom."

"She’ll be fine. We’ll just get out some DVD’s, grab some munchies and have our own little slumber party."

"I think that would be cool." Mike smiled. "We all feel like hanging out together tonight, don’t we? You know what I mean."

"Yeah Mike. Let’s just enjoy each other’s company. I would really like that." I said yawning myself a little as I turned to Lucas. "Did I tell you how proud I am of you for today?"

"Every ten minutes for the last six hours." Lucas said putting his fingers to my lips so I would shut up about telling him how proud I was. Hey, it’s my right.

"You said we’d go out and get some DVD’s. You seriously think we’ll get through one?" Sarah yawned. "We had a pretty late night last night. I’m about to drop."

"Me too."

"Dudes, I was dead an hour ago. Now I’m a zombie."

"At least I got some good sleep." Mike grinned.

"Mike put blankets on us." Sarah said laying herself down on Mike’s bed.

I leaned my head back into Lucas chest and looked up at him, seeing my Babe fast asleep. I turned him gently and eased him downwards so he lay on the spare bed in Mike’s room. He moaned softly in his sleep every time he lost touch of me, making me smile inside.

"Sorry Mike." I said looking over at Sarah’s already sleeping form. "You’re on your own."

I lay down next to Lucas and snuggled into his arms, wrapping them around me and nuzzling my face into his neck. I yawned loudly and pulled a blanket up over Lucas and I. Lucas gently moved his leg over my own and pulled me closer. I closed my eyes, satisfied and content. Waiting for the dreamscape to…


* * * * * * *

This was a one off interludes chapter to bridge Seasons 2 and 3.  SF16: Nemesis Rising is next up.   Hope you enjoyed!


Stay Tuned for Chapter 15b: 'Till it's gone.' and send me a note to let me know what you thought of Chapter 15a
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