Nifty Disclaimer - This story is a work of fiction and contains scenes including sexual relations between people of the same gender. If this isn't your cup of tea, or is illegal where you live, please do not read. Any relation between fictional characters and real people is purely coincidental.


Do Over

Chapter 5

By DK Stories


It's funny how imperfect our memories of childhood can be. For instance, I had totally forgotten dad's decision to start selling Amway products just before Christmas break. The first time around, his decision had meant a Christmas where the only gifts came from relatives, and half of them got returned for the cash so we could have food to eat the next month.

It was a good thing I knew how to force myself to vomit, and I hid the can of tomato sauce under the bathroom counter after using it to make some simulated blood in the vomited dinner. Four hours in the emergency room before the doctors ruled out an ulcer and shook their heads at me, suspecting but unable to prove I'd faked anything. Dad was upset he'd missed his Amway meeting but they had another one set up for just after New Years. Hopefully by then he'd be too broke to spend money on a get-rich-quick scheme that wouldn't work.

Brian had joined me at the county library the next day, a Saturday, and we'd spent two hours looking through newspapers before finding one that harshly criticized the Amway industry for overselling it's profit potential versus cost risks. Dad just wasn't a good enough salesman to make enough from Amway, but he would never admit that to himself. Copies of the articles found their way into mom's purse, and I hoped that would be enough to put a nix to his latest scheme.

On Sunday, Brian joined us for church and lunch over at Nanny and Papa's. Papa was pissed, so pissed he wasn't talking at all, and he was staring daggers at me. I found out why when Nanny handed me a check for two hundred dollars an hour later. She'd called me to their bedroom in the back of the house and presented it to me with a wide grin.

"This is for you, Davey." She said with that smile.

"Nanny!" I exclaimed in surprise, giving her a hug. "What's this for?"

"It's your cut of the profits." She said with an even wider grin.

"What profits?" I asked her.

"You remember a few months ago when you told me not to sell my stocks and invest them in CD's?" She asked and I remembered. It was the first change I'd made, and I had done it without really realizing it at the time. I'd just argued my opinion that long-term, stocks would provide more revenue if invested wisely, especially in certain blue-chip sectors. Arguing that to two depression-era adults had not been easy, and Papa swore up and down Nanny would lose every penny she invested.

"Yeah, I said something about keeping them in Microsoft, Apple (at least until '84), and Intel and a few other companies." I admitted, still staring at the check.

"Well, let's just say it's been a very good few months." Nanny said. "Papa had me so mad I didn't just invest the $10,000 I already had, I took all our savings, all $50,000 and invested them. They've grown 12% this quarter, and one of them split before taking off like mad. That's your share of what I made. You convinced me and I want you to keep it, put it in the bank. Use some if you need it, but I also want you to start saving with it."

"Thanks Nanny." I said with a hug.

On Monday, she picked me up and took me to her credit union where we opened an account. Brian came with us, and just smiled as he watched me interact with my grandmother. She wanted me to put it into a Savings and Loan, and I flat out refused pointing out how the investments weren't fully insured and so forth. She ended up taking us to her savings and loan after the credit union and pulling the few thousand she had there out and putting it back into a CD at the credit union.

She dropped us off at Brian's where we worked out for a bit, and while we did that, Brian interrogated me on the S&L scandal. I didn't remember much, but it was enough to get him to worry. It seemed his father had invested heavily into one of them and so we discussed how to convince him to take his money out. We had years for that argument, I was pretty sure, so it wasn't that big of a problem.

A bigger problem was on the immediate horizon, and Tuesday morning after we dropped Jenny off at her school and walked towards ours, it blew up a bit.

"Trevor and Brandon have dates for Friday's dance." Brian said as we entered the dirt path leading to the school through the neighborhood on the right and the grove of trees on the left.

"Who are they taking?" I asked with mild interest.

"April and Sherry." Brian said with a frown. "They want us to go to the dance as well."

"Oh." I said, a flutter of uncertainty in my gut. It was a given we weren't going to go together. Dealing with my parents reactions as a legal minor was not a fight I was looking forward to, much less the reaction of the school.

"They have two friends who'd love to go with us." Brian said with a frown of his own. That frown made me feel a little better. "Stacy and Monica don't have dates right now either, so we could go with them. We'd just have to ask them though."

"Then we'd have to buy them corsages, and arrange rides with our parents and everything." I pointed out, trying to make the idea seem unattractive.

"I'd rather go just with you." Brian said. "My parents would get over it eventually."

"Mine wouldn't." I said and he nodded. I let out a sigh of defeat. "So which one do I ask?"

"Stacy, Monica's too pretty." Brian said with finality.

"What, I'm not good enough for the pretty one?" I asked him.

"No, Monica's got a crush on you and she's pretty." He explained as his frown deepened. His logic escaped me for a moment but he made it clear. "I don't want a pretty girl who likes you on your arm. I'm not going to accept any competition."

"So I'm supposed to be happy with a pretty girl on your arm?" I countered in a teasing tone.

"No, you're not supposed to be happy about it." He growled, barely keeping his voice to a level we wouldn't be overheard with. "I'm not happy about it at all. I don't like lying to people."

"You're the one who started things." I reminded him sharply, hurt by his comment.

"You're the one who's supposed to be the adult and ends up hiding like a kid because he's scared his daddy's going to kick him out." Brian countered angrily and I seriously wanted to hit him for a split second. My anger was boiling on the point of being out of control, and I mentally cursed puberty again.

"If I got kicked out, or worse sent to some psychiatric center where would 'we' be then?" I asked him instead of hitting him.

"If that happened I'd get dad to adopt you and get you out of that place." Brian countered and my eyebrows rose slightly.

"We're going stag to the dance and I don't give a fuck what anyone says." I said then, wrapping my arms around his shoulder in a 'buddy' hug. He just smiled at me as we finished walking to the school in companionable silence.

We ended up taking the girls to the dance anyway.

Brandon and Trevor could be quite persuasive when they wanted to be, and they pointed out that not having dates would take us out of the 'cool' category faster than we could blink. It was a good point, and being popular was important to Brian, so we ended up asking the two girls out, and both accepted with gushing giggles. I did my best not to puke on the spot.

The night of the dance saw me wearing one of Brian's suits and looking very uncomfortable as Dad proudly drove me to pick up my 'date'. Her parents insisted on taking pictures of us after I gave her the damn little flower and I did my best to smile and talk pleasantly to her.

The first time around, Stacy had been my lab partner in eighth grade science and we'd become friendly, if not real friends. She'd even written her number in my yearbook back then, but I'd never called it. I think Brian had made a mistake, because from the way she grabbed my arm and smiled at me, it was very obvious she liked what she saw, and with dad watching every move in the rear view mirror, I had to at least act entertained by her coquettishness, although not too entertained that I'd be considering anything 'improper'.

We got to the dance right behind Brian's mom. I almost sighed with relief as I saw him in his dark blue suit (I was wearing his matching suit except in a grey color). He smiled when he saw me, and I knew I was smiling as well. The girls, who were close friends, instantly started talking and I was able to edge over until I stood shoulder to shoulder with Brian. The contact helped me relax instead of thinking about our dates. We made our way through the line and into the dance after giving up our pre-paid tickets to the geeks manning the table.

"We'll get you ladies some punch." Brian said suavely as we dropped them off near the girls that Brandon and Trevor had brought. Our friends were just filling up some punch glasses when we showed up next to them. Trevor looked at us appraisingly and leaned forward.

"I thought you weren't coming as each other's date?" He whispered and Brian played like he was going to hit him. He just laughed and took off with the two glasses he'd just filled. Brandon just smiled and nodded in greeting before he too disappeared.

"Those two are going to get it one of these days." Brian said in a low voice as he filled two glasses for me before filling his own.

"We can knock 'em out, strip them, and tie them down out on the lawn for everyone to gawk at before school." I offered as an idea and he started laughing.

"That's a good one." He said as he finished filling the second glass for his date and picked them both up. We walked back to the girls, who were moving in place like they were dancing. I winced at the early eighties pop tune playing, wishing instantly for a good techno beat, but that was about a decade away. At least it wasn't disco.

We put the drinks down and escorted the girls onto the dance floor. I'd never had the chance to see Brian dance, and reflected that he had a lot to learn. Of course the dancing style I was use to was so risqué that if I used it here, it would be a toss-up on who'd hit me first, the girl, Brian, or the dance chaperones. I could try it with Brian, but that had its own problems connected.

While we danced, Brian and I never moved too far apart from each other, and I wondered if the girls noticed that we spent a great deal of time watching each other. I hoped they didn't, and I tried to stop myself, but he looked damn good in that suit. I'd never really understood these school dances and their popularity, but now that I was thinking of ways to get alone with Brian, I realized that it was just another excuse to excite teenage hormones, and I wasn't even going to be a teenager for another four weeks.

"Let's take a break." Stacy said after the fourth song. She was sweating and looked a little tired. I knew I was sweating as well, but I'd actually been enjoying myself and reluctantly agreed to the break. Our drinks were still there although our friends had moved onto the floor to dance with their own dates.

"That was fun." Stacy said to me as she sat on my left. Brian was on my right and we both shifted in our chairs until our legs were touching. Even though we were now more fully facing our dates, our legs touching like that meant we really were thinking about each other. It was unplanned, but sweet.

"Sure was." I responded to Stacy's statement a bit late. She took a sip of her punch and smiled slyly.

"Someone's spiked the punch." She whispered, leaning forward conspiratorially. I took a sniff, and then a slight taste. It sure had been spiked with enough vodka to drown a rat.

"I'll get us some new drinks." I said, moving to take her cup.

"What's wrong with you?" She demanded angrily. "Enjoy it!"

"I don't like vodka." I said with a shrug and moved to stand. Brian had heard my last line and frowned slightly. I noticed his cup was half-empty and couldn't stop the sigh before it escaped my lips. He looked up slightly angry with that and I just turned to walk towards the table where the fresh punch was. I didn't want to deal with Stacy or him at that moment. Instead, I just headed to get a drink that hadn't been spiked already.

"What the fuck's your problem, dude?" Brian's voice hissed into my ear as I was pouring me another punch. I stiffened but kept my temper from flaring up. Carefully, I turned and leaned closer to him so that my response wouldn't be overheard by the people nearby.

"I don't drink, dude." I responded, emphasizing the last word. "I remember what it's like waking up drunk off my ass far too many times to ever want to get drunk again. There's enough vodka in those glasses to get an elephant drunk."

"Oh, so now you're going to preach from the wisdom of your great age?" Brian's voice was angry and the smell of vodka wafted over me from his breath.

"No, drink away if you want." I told him angrily. "Just don't expect me to make the same stupid mistakes when I know better."

"Whatever." He said angrily and marched back to our dates. I followed him and tried to ignore the frowns from him and the two girls.

"You want to dance again?" I asked Stacy after finishing the un-spiked punch. She just nodded without saying a word and we moved onto the dance floor. While we danced, I noticed Trevor and Brandon talking with an angry Brian, and the three of them turned their backs so they faced a wall while one of their dates was obviously pouring out some more vodka. I tried to ignore it and turned back to Stacy who was looking at me with a worried frown. Realizing I was ruining the fun of the evening, I tried to smile and danced a little closer to her. When a slow song started playing next, I moved closer and put my arms around her in the typical slow dance routine.

"Your dad's a preacher, isn't he?" She said and I nodded. She got a knowing look on her face and I let her assume that was why I didn't drink.

"Your hair looks good, did you have it done for the dance?" I whispered back and she smiled before nodding. Yep, girls always liked it when their dates noticed things like that. When the slow dance ended, we returned to the seats against the wall, talking about track. She was going to be on the track team and we spent almost an hour talking about different events we were both going to go out for.
Eventually she got up to use the restroom and I looked around for my friends. Trevor and Brandon were on the dance floor with their dates, but Brian and Monica were nowhere to be found. I just shrugged it off and looked at the crowds of kids around the decorated gym. I noticed Ronna and Jeanette in a far corner talking to a couple of guys. I stood up and started making my way over there to say hi. It had been a while since I'd talked to either of them and right now they seemed like better company. Of course, they'd start drinking next year, I knew, but that wasn't at the present time.

I'd just reached the corner of the gym opposite them and was passing one of the decorative drapes when I saw Mr. Borsch, the Vice-Principal, leaning towards one of the drapes and looking behind it. He'd apparently caught two kids smooching back there and I snickered to myself as I passed them.

"Mr. Breckenridge, Ms. Carswell, this is not the place for kissing games." I heard him say and nearly choked on my snicker. He noticed me and looked at me with a questioning look, but I just continued on my way as if nothing had happened while inside I felt like I'd been stabbed in the heart.

This is what happens when you trust your heart to a kid. I thought to myself as I continued on towards Ronna and Jeanette, who noticed me and were smiling tentatively. I talked to them for about twenty minutes before noticing that Stacy was out of the bathroom and sitting next to Brian and Monica who were now sitting there looking like they'd just been spanked. I bit down on my urge to just walk out and go home, and instead decided to go ahead and embrace the pain. So, I walked back over there and sat down on Stacy's left, leaving the seat next to Brian open. He looked at me with some surprise at that and I just smiled.

"I heard some people got caught kissing by Mr. Borsch." I said to Stacy, making sure my voice was loud enough for Brian to hear. Stacy just giggled and looked at the two of them with a conspiratorial smile.

"Can you believe that?" She said with a fake tone that told me she'd already heard. "Who would be stupid enough to try to kiss in here?"

"I don't know, but they probably weren't thinking clearly." I said, driving another stake home. Brian looked slightly stricken, and for a moment I thought he was going to be sick, but I kept my gaze on Stacy. "You know, there's a lot better places to kiss than where you can get caught easily."

"Now where would that be?" Stacy asked with a lilt to her voice that said she'd be interested in finding such a place. The vindictive bitch inside of me said to show her and let Brian chew on that, but the part of me that remembered being an adult knew better. I had told Brian earlier that I wasn't going to repeat the mistakes of the past, and my vindictive bitch side had led me into many, many mistakes.

"Oh, you'll have to wait for the second date to find that out." I told her with a smile and she accepted that with a giggle. Sometimes playing hard to get was enough, and this was one of those times. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Brian heave a sigh of relief and a fresh wave of anger filled me. "How about we dance for now?"

Stacy accepted the consolation prize, and I allowed my dancing to become a little more risqué, especially since Brian was so obviously watching us. I noticed him disappear somewhere with Trevor while Brandon entertained their dates and returned my attention back to Stacy, who was enjoying the more sexual dance moves. I could see a few of the chaperones/school staff frowning and backed off a little before they said something. Brian reappeared in time for the last slow dance of the night, and made it a point to be right next to us as we danced. As the lights went up, I ignored him though and walked out with Stacy on my arm.

"I really had fun tonight." Stacy said as we scanned the line of parents waiting for their kids. I thought I saw mom further down the line, talking to Brian's mom and headed in that direction. My mother had really come to like Mrs. Breckenridge over the last few months although our two dads didn't really get along. I think dad was pissed because Mr. Breckenridge was working with me a lot on catching and throwing a baseball, something I'd only done with him once, and refused to ever do again after he'd smashed my nose with a very fast throw on the first try.

"I did too." I said with a smile. "I hope I wasn't too much of a downer about the drink."

"No, I think I had more fun even though I didn't have any but that first sip." Stacy said and for a moment I reflected just how much better she was in that respect than my purported 'boyfriend.' I almost wished Brian had heard that comment.

"I don't drink just because my dad says I shouldn't." I said in a calm voice. "It's because I've seen how stupid some people can get, and well, I don't need anything to make me stupid like that. Some people are fine when they drink but not everyone and I don't want to be one of the stupid ones. That doesn't mean other people can't drink, it's just not for me."

"So you've tried it before?" Stacy asked in a surprised voice.

"Of course I have." I said with a smile. "That's why I'm so sure I don't want to drink again."

"Oh." She said as if that made a big difference in her mind. "So, how does a girl get a second date with you and learn how to kiss at a dance without getting caught?"

"When's the next dance?" I asked with a chuckle and she laughed happily. That was when I heard some stumbling behind me and turned to see Brian recovering from a near fall. I wasn't sure if he was holding Monica up, or she him, but he didn't look to good. I turned back around though as soon as he saw me looking. We were close enough now that my mom and his were walking towards us.

"Did all of you have a good time?" My mom asked, smiling happily at Stacy. I could see wedding bells in those eyes and this was my first 'date'. Yeah, she'd eventually overcame her depression at me being gay, but that had only meant her planning weddings with every guy I ever dated, right up until she died from pneumonia.

"I had a wonderful time, Mrs. Jones." Stacy practically bubbled while Mrs. Breckenridge looked worriedly at her son.

"You feeling okay, Brian?" She asked him worriedly.

"I think I just overdid things today." Brian said, barely slurring any words at all. My mom's eyes grew sharp at his speech and I could see a worried frown crease his mother's mouth. Stacy had the grace to blush.

"Well, um, Cindy, would you mind giving Monica a ride home too?" Mrs. Breckenridge asked my mom with a sad smile.

"Not a problem, Barbara." Mom said with a genuine smile.

"Um, Davey, would you come home with me?" Brian asked in a wretched voice and I wondered why in hell he'd think I'd do that. "Mom and dad are supposed to visit Uncle Rich tomorrow and they won't want to leave me if I'm sick at home."

"Uh…" I said a little lost for words and my eyes met mom. She was frowning, but I saw her nod after looking at Mrs. Breckenridge.

"I can take the girls home." Mom said before I'd had time to do anything more than say that single word. It really wasn't something I wanted to do right then and there, I was too angry with him.

"Are you sure?" I asked her, hoping she'd change her mind, but she took that as a polite way of dumping the girls on her.

"It won't be a problem, Davey." She said with a smile. "Take care of Brian so his parents won't worry about him while they're gone."

"Thanks, mom." I said and was proud I kept the sarcasm from my voice. I gave Stacy a hug good night and helped Monica into the car. She was almost stumbling and I was glad she wasn't my date from the way mom scowled at her briefly. Mrs. Breckenridge was helping Brian into their car and I joined him in the back seat only after she held the door open for me. Brian immediately leaned over onto my shoulder, mumbled something I couldn't make out and went back to sleep.

"Is he passed out?" Mrs. Breckenridge asked as she maneuvered through the crowded traffic.

"Yeah, he's out like a light." I said, not hiding the sarcastic tone now. She frowned again.

"He was drinking, wasn't he?" She asked and I paused before spitting out the bald truth. He was twelve, and drinking could mean a lot of trouble for him, and my telling her could ruin our friendship. Well, whatever friendship wasn't already ruined by the evening.

"Yeah, he was." I said at last and she just nodded.

"You weren't, though, were you?" She asked.

"No." I said a little too fiercely.

"Why not?" She asked me.

"I don't like to drink." I answered simply and she nodded her head.

"You're angry with him about that?" She asked me carefully and I nodded. It wasn't all the reason I was mad, but it was part of the thing.

"Getting drunk is stupid." I said simply.

"You've seen me and my husband drink wine with dinner." She pointed out carefully. We were almost to her house now.

"Yeah, but you didn't drink to get drunk." I said carefully. "If the two of you drank to get drunk all the time, I'd probably not be as comfortable in your home as I am. Drinking with dinner, or at social occasions is one thing, but those glasses were so full of vodka it was obvious the intent was to get drunk, nothing else."

"You're a very mature young man." She said as we pulled into their driveway. Both she and her husband parked the cars outside the garage since Brian's weight equipment took up the whole space inside.

"Sometimes." I admitted with a shrug. "I do get into my own share of trouble."

"But you have a pretty good head on your shoulders." She said firmly. "What do you think we ought to do about Brian?"

"I'm not sure." I admitted. "Right now I don't know if I want to be his friend, but I'm not going to break things off just because he got drunk one time. If it becomes a habit, don't expect to see me around."

"Well, we'll be gone in the morning." she said, turning the car off as she spoke and looking back with a worried expression. "If we don't see you on Monday I think it'll be time to sit him down and have a long talk. Otherwise, I don't think we'll even mention it to him."

"Um, Monday's no school." I said softly. "I think Nanny and I are supposed to go shopping then."

"Oh, well, then Tuesday." She said with a smile and opened the car door. I got out as well, and managed to wake Brian up enough that I only had to steady him as we went inside. I was able to get him into his room easily, and started stripping him out of his clothes before putting him in bed. It was a cold night so I put the comforter over him before going into the living room. Normally I'd just sleep in his bed, but I didn't want to that night. Both of his parents were in the kitchen and talking in very hushed voices that stopped as soon as they saw me.

"Is he in bed?" Mrs. Breckenridge said with a small smile.

"Yeah, all nice and comfy." I said with a matching smile. "I was wondering if you'd mind me sleeping on the couch tonight."

"How about the guest bedroom?" She said with a knowing look at her husband. Mr. Breckenridge just looked at me with a quiet appraisal.

"I made up the bed in there while you were getting him settled." He said with a gruff nod of his head. "I moved the sewing table to the side so you'll have more room as well."

"Thanks." I said with a returning nod. I tiptoed back into Brian's room and got a pair of his sweats and a t-shirt before going into the guest bedroom and changing into them. Mr. Breckenridge knocked and then opened the door a few minutes after I'd climbed into the narrow bed that they had in the room. Mrs. Breckenridge used it primarily as her sewing room and every time I'd been there in the past it was covered with half-finished things.

"We'll be leaving early in the morning, probably before you two get up." Mr. Breckenridge said after poking his head into the room. "I'll leave some money on the table in here for the two of you while we're gone. Barbara told me what happened and I just wanted to tell you thanks as well for tonight."

"It's no problem, sir." I said sleepily and he nodded again before shutting the door. He really was a nice man, and to be honest I liked him more than I did my own dad. Certainly he was a better role model for me, although I couldn't really ever admit that to him or to my dad. I was tired, but I couldn't sleep as I mulled over the night's events in my head and wondered how much I'd just over-reacted and how much was a sign that things wouldn't work out and I should just cut my losses and run as I always did.

It was about two o'clock in the morning when I heard some stumbling in the hallway and knew that Brian was awake. I got up and opened the door to the hallway, looking for him in the dim light. A sound from the living room told me he was in there, and I sighed before following him into the living room where he was leaning heavily on the counter near the phone. I could see him dialing the numbers unsteadily and cleared my throat.

"Who are you trying to call at this time of the night?" I asked him softly and he turned around in shock.

"You're here!" He said in a little louder voice than I would have wished for his sleeping parents."

"Yes. Who are you trying to call?" I asked him again and he held the phone receiver to his chest possessively.

"I'm trying to call you." He said with only a little slurring.

"Well, I'm here so you can hang up the phone." I told him with a note of irritation. He almost fell as he tried to put the phone back on the hook, and it made a crash as it fell off. I winced and hurried across the room to replace it myself. After placing it back on the hook, I firmly took his arm and began to help him back towards his room. "C'mon, let's get you back to bed."

"Where were you?" He asked me with a little more slurring. "You weren't in my bed where you belong."

"I was in the guest bedroom." I told him sharply. "I'm not sleeping with you right now."

"You're mad at me for drinking." He slurred, trying to pull his arm out of my grasp.

"I'm mad at you for getting drunk, not drinking, and other things." I said sharply, keeping a firm grasp. "Now's not the time to talk about it, Brian. Let's wait until your sober and your parents are gone."

"No." Brian slurred. "You'll just dump me if we wait."

"Why should you be worried about me dumping you?" I asked him as we reached his room. He planted his feet though, and refused to take another step, swaying slightly as he struggled to put his hands on my shoulders.

"Because I kissed Monica after telling you I wouldn't." He slurred and I tried to get him to move into the bedroom. The hallway was NOT the place for this conversation.

"You can kiss whoever you want, as long as you know what the cost of that will be." I told him. "I told you, I'm not going to play kid games, and sometimes when we're young we're not really sure what we want, so it'd have been best if we didn't go down this road. It doesn't mean I won't still be friends with you, Brian, it just means I won't leave my heart out for you to trample on."

"I don't want Monica, I want you." Brian said in a voice that was clear of any slurring. His eyes burned fiercely as he spoke and I almost believed him.

"Then why'd you kiss Monica?" I asked him angrily.

"Cause I was drunk and she pulled me back there, and I let her do it. I didn't like it, Davey, not anywhere near as much as I like kissing you!" Brian said in a rush. His voice sounded miserable and I felt my heart soften a little.

"I told you, people do stupid things when they get drunk." I reminded him a little cruelly. He winced at that and nodded. "That's why I didn't drink tonight. There was only one reason to drink tonight, and that was to get drunk."

"I won't ever drink again, just go to bed with me." Brian said in what he probably meant to be a whisper but was a little louder. I winced at that.

"Don't make stupid promises when you're drunk." I told him with exasperation. "Don't make stupid promises you can't keep either."

"I mean it!" He said far too loudly. "I won't get drunk again! Just go to bed with me."

"Look, we'll talk about it in the morning when you've sobered up." I said as quietly but as forcefully as I could. I looked at his parent's door, but it was still closed. "I'm going to put you back in bed, and you're going to sleep. I'm going to go back to bed in the guest room. I promise, I'll be here when you wake up, and we'll talk about things tomorrow. Don't worry, I still…love you, and I'm still your friend. I'm not going any where until we've had a chance to talk things through, okay?"

"You promise?" He said, his voice choked with a sob and I could see a tear running down his handsome cheek.

"I promise." I said softly, and kissed the cheek where the tear was. It tasted salty, and he relaxed and leaned against me for a moment before making his way into this bedroom. I gave him another kiss after tucking him into bed and went back to the guest bedroom. For some reason I had no problem falling asleep right away.

It seemed I'd no sooner closed my eyes than a hand was shaking me awake. I looked up to see a very worried Mr. Breckenridge looking at me. His eyes looked sleepy and I glanced over his shoulder to see the clock on the far wall. Without my glasses the hands were a little blurry, but I reasoned out that it was a little after four in the morning.

"Davey." Mr. Breckenridge's voice was soft, but more than enough to bring me fully awake, as did the smell of coffee wafting in from the hallway.

"I'm awake." I said as my body finished waking up and I sat up in bed.

"We've gotten a call from Reggie, um, Rich's friend." He said softly and there was a hint of worry in his voice. "Rich collapsed last night and is in the hospital. We're leaving early to go see him and we think we're going to take Brian with us. Do you want to go too, or we can leave you a key and you can go home in the morning or we can take you home now."

"Rich is in the hospital?" I asked and just nodded. Rich was gay, it was 1981, and he'd collapsed. I didn't have to think hard to make a very scary presumption. "Has he been sick lately?"

"A little." Mr. Breckenridge said softly. "Reggie said he'd noticed a few skin lesions and they were going to the doctor next week to have him do a biopsy so we think it might be cancer."

"Oh god no." I said softly at his words and he put a comforting hand on my shoulder.

"Hey, cancer can be beaten." He said in an effort to cheer me up, but it didn't work.

"Cancer, yes, what he might have, no." I said firmly. "I'm going with you, I have to see for myself to be sure."

"Um, maybe we should call your parents first." He said softly.

"We'll call them from San Francisco." I said firmly. Dad wouldn't let me miss church for any reason, and there'd be hell to pay for this later, but I could talk my way out of any trouble. "Trust me, I know my parents. Once they hear it's your sick brother-in-law they'll forgive not being called at four in the morning. Wake them up now and dad'll just get mad and not think things through."

"I wouldn't normally let a kid get around his parents this easily, but I think I'll just take your word for now." Mr. Breckenridge said, and then he frowned. "There's something else I'd like to talk about with you."

"Let me guess, Brian woke you up a few hours ago as well." I said with a sinking feeling in my gut.

"Yes." Mr. Breckenridge said and his eyes met mine firmly. "Which is why I'm asking now, what exactly is your relationship with my son?"

"I am now, and hopefully always will be his friend." I said softly but meant every word. As much as the events of last night hurt, it still didn't change how much I cared for him, and the few hours of sleep I'd had let me see that more clearly.

"Is that all?" He asked gently and I knew it would be useless to lie to him.

"No, we've been…becoming closer over the last few weeks." I said softly, my gaze not wavering from his. "We've been…exploring a relationship beyond friends. We haven't had sex, just kissing and heavy petting, and a few other things, but not oral much less anal sex."

"I owe my wife an expensive dinner." Mr. Breckenridge said with a chuckle. He'd winced at the words 'oral' and 'anal' but his chuckle said he wasn't offended.

"Why's that?" I asked him curiously.

"She said I'd get an honest, and descriptive answer from you." He told me with a smile. He shook his head slightly after that though before meeting my eyes again. "She said you're awfully mature for someone your age. Do you think it's a phase you're both going through?"

"For me?" I asked rhetorically before answering it myself. "No, it's not a phase for me. For Brian? I can't answer that, only he can. We're kids. Who knows if this will last longer than a month, a year, or for ten years? I'm not going to let that stop me from taking a chance that it's a lifetime thing, though. We're also not going to go much further than we have right now until we're a lot older and more ready to answer your question about it being just a phase, for both of us."

"What if we, or your parents told you to stop seeing each other?" He asked me with a guarded tone and I smiled.

"Parents have been saying that to their kids since the dawn of recorded history." I countered and he smiled. "They've met only with limited success. If my parents did know, they'd do everything possible to keep me from seeing him, and they'd find out just how strong-willed I can be when it's important enough."

"You know Barbara's already picking out china patterns for you two." He said with a chuckle. "I can't say I'm really comfortable with it, but you're both such strong boys. I like you, and if Brian does end up being this way, I can't think of anyone I'd rather have him with. Why don't you go wake him up while I talk with Barbara? Get some clothes packed for both of you, too. It's a good thing you're both the same size."

"Okay, sir." I said and got up as soon as he stood and left the room. My legs were shaking from the questions he'd asked, and I said a silent prayer as I made my way over to Brian's room. He'd reacted just like Brian had said he would, and I wondered for a moment why I couldn't have had parents like his.

Stupid question really, diversity is as fundamental to life as anything else.

When I opened the door to Brian's room, my breath caught in my throat. He looked like a sleeping angel except for the frown on his face. His blond hair was fanned out on the pillow, not really long but not short either, and his dark eyebrows were furrowed together in a way that made my dick twitch in the sweat pants I was wearing.

He looked so good I didn't want to wake him up and tell him I thought his uncle had the 'gay plague' I'd said I'd do nothing about despite what I knew about it already. In comparison to that, the events of last night really were truly insignificant and I wondered if he'd want to be my friend once we reached San Francisco. Hell, I wondered if I'd even be able to live with myself after this trip.



As with all my stories, E provides immeasurable input, grammar checking, and all those other lovely editing thingies that make the story so much better!


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