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 9

By DK Stories


After our bout of laugher, we sat down with Sean and talked to him until the bell ending lunch rang. He told us that he was pretty sure he was gay, and about his parents finding out he was gay and the 'prayer' sessions he'd been put through for the past week. We didn't even have to ask before he promised that he wouldn't tell anyone our secrets that we had shared with him, and we left the gym in a group. Brian and I had drama next, but Brandon had a class with Sean, so they walked together to that class while Brian and I headed across the campus to the theatre.

Our teacher frowned as we came in though, and told us that Principal Borsch wanted to see us immediately. When we got to his office, Trevor, Brandon and Jay were already waiting outside with Sean all but cowering next to Brandon, trying to avoid Jay's glares. Mr. Collins, the teacher who had been on duty in the cafeteria was inside the Principal's office, and the raised voices we could hear, but not quite make out words for, told us the Principal was quite angry. Mr. Collins stormed out, madder than hell a few minutes later and the Principal's voice almost shook the walls as he yelled out to us.

"Brian, Davey, Trevor, Brandon, and Sean, get your butts in here!" Mr. Borsch shouted and we moved quickly, with Brandon half-dragging a terrified Sean in with us. This time there was no offer to sit as Trevor closed the door behind us. Mr. Borsch fixed Brian and I with hard stares.

"I thought I told you two to let me handle any bullying that went on?" He demanded at the top of his lungs.

"And we told you that if your staff didn't step in, we would." Brian countered.

"There wasn't any fight, anyway." I added quickly. "We just stood up for Sean, the way Mr. Collins should have."

"Mr. Collins is being reprimanded officially." Mr. Borsch said in a much calmer tone. He looked at Sean who was all but quaking right now and his expression softened. "Sean, I've been told what's been happening with you and I'm very sorry. There's not much I can do about your home life, but you have a right to be here at school without being bullied, and I'll do everything in my power to make sure the bullying doesn't happen. If you have any more problems, I want you to go to the nearest staff member. They will help you or they won't be working here for long, is that understood?"

"Yes sir." Sean said in a very soft voice, but there was a large amount of doubt.

"As for the four of you, you're right, there wasn't a fight." He continued. "There could have been though, and you have to understand that if there is, I'll have to suspend you along with whoever else is involved."

"At least we'll be suspended for the right reasons." Trevor said with a shrug.

"You realize that would mean you wouldn't be able to play for the rest of the season?" Mr. Borsch asked.

"Sounds like the coach's problem." Brandon said with a shrug of his own. "Or, if it's members of the team causing trouble like today, it sounds like the team's problem."

"You know they won't see it that way." Mr. Borsch pointed out.

"That's life." I said with a shrug of my own and he let out a sigh.

"Get out of here and back to your classes, and remember what I said." He told us and we left without another word. Trevor and Brandon gave Brian and me high fives before we all headed off to class. For the rest of the day there were whispers everywhere we went, but we ignored them as best we could. The locker room was quiet as practice began, with the four of us receiving several long looks from our teammates. Practice went well though, and Brandon's mom picked us up.

We finally told her everything that was going on while she drove home, and she was not happy at all. She was upset we hadn't told her any of this before now, and even more angry that we hadn't called her when things happened at lunch. It was when she dropped me off at home that I realized things really were going to blow up. Mom was looking angry, and hurt, when I came in. She was holding the phone, talking quietly into it when I dropped my backpack near the stairs and opened the fridge for some orange juice.

"Your dad wants to talk to you." She said from the dining room and slid the phone across the counter.

"Hi, dad." I said cautiously as I picked up the receiver.

"Don't 'hi dad' me, young man." He said angrily over the phone. I knew he was probably in Arizona now since he was making a run to Alabama. "What is this stuff your mom's been telling me about school today?"

"What has she been telling you?" I asked, trying to find out what he, and she, knew.

"First of all, you didn't do the prayer you were supposed to, and then you stuck up for that faggot kid." Dad practically yelled.

"Sounds like she got it right." I said lightly and that only made him angrier.

"What the hell's gotten into you?" He demanded. "You were told to do certain things and by God you're going to do what you're told!"

"Dad, in the military they tell soldiers that if they follow illegal orders, they will be in trouble." I reasoned calmly. "What you and that Dr. Darnell wanted me to do is essentially illegal, and even morally wrong. It would be as wrong of me to follow those directions as it was for you to give them."

"Don't you tell me what's right or wrong!" Dad said. "This isn't just me you're disobeying, it's God and his servant!"

"If god wanted me to do these things, he'd tell me so himself." I said. "So far, I've only heard two men tell me to do things I know are wrong."

"This is all that Brian's doing." Dad fumed. "You were a good boy until you met him. Well, that's over with. You are grounded until you change your mind. No going out, no friends over, no phone calls, and no football. You'll go to school and come right home, nothing else. I'll also have your mom give you some bible readings to do so you'll see how wrong you're being. When you change your mind, we might let you play football again, but you are not to go near that Brian or your other so-called friends. Is that clear?"

"Are you sure you want to do this?" I asked him in a deathly cold voice.

"What do you mean by that?" He demanded angrily.

"I mean that you're going to drive me out the door if you try to do this." I told him as calmly as I could.

"Davey, no." Mom said quietly from where she was listening, he eyes wide, but dad was already yelling.

"You'll do no such thing!" Dad screamed. "You're my son and you'll do what I tell you to do, that's it! I'll be back on Thursday and I better hear that you've done everything I have told you to do or you'll wish you were never born!"

"Are you threatening me?" I asked him, hoping he would.

"Oh, I'm not going to beat you." He sneered at me. "I'm just going to make sure you understand the errors of your ways. Dr. Darnell and I'll get a prayer group together if we need to, and you'll fast while we pray over you."

"I hope you calm down before you get home." I told him angrily. "Else, we're going to have a real argument."

I hung up the phone, and drank down my orange juice in one gulp. It rang a moment later, and mom answered it quickly. I could hear dad yelling, and see her wincing. The whole thing was a little much and I went upstairs quickly, stopping only to grab my backpack before heading into my room. I set it down on the bed and took a seat at my desk/bookcase/drawer combo and put my head down on my arms.

I had so wanted to keep from having this sort of situation happen until I was a legal adult, or at least sixteen. It was late October, and in fact Friday would be the two-year anniversary of that first time with Brian in his back yard. We both had agreed that was our Anniversary date, and had planned to celebrate after the game with a private dinner. If I'd been at least sixteen when all this blew up, I could have firmer legal grounds to stand on when it came to defying my parents.

At fourteen though, my options were much more limited, legally speaking. I could run away from home, but that would only mark me as a 'troubled teen' and I'd still be returned to my parents. To make matters worse, if Mr. Breckenridge let me stay there, they could be charged with kidnapping. So long as my parents didn't get physically abusive, and kept their non-physical responses within reason, I'd have almost no legal grounds to charge them with abuse and get out of the house. Even if I did get out of the house, I'd likely be put into foster care, and that wasn't something I wanted at all.

We'd talked about this situation with Mr. Breckenridge, and he'd even had a few discreet conversations with a family-law attorney. If there was abuse in the home, he could seek custody of me, but it wouldn't be guaranteed. If we were lucky, he'd be granted a limited foster parent license and I could be placed with him, but if my relationship with Brian became public knowledge, not even California in 1983 would place me with them. What's more, most of my family, including my grandparents, aunts, and uncles, would side with mom and dad in this and not be helpful.

A knock at my door interrupted my thinking and I turned around in time to see my mom opening the door. She looked apprehensive, and moved tentatively into my room. Our relationship had been rocky at times, but she'd been more supportive of me in the past. Her expression now, though wasn't giving me much hope.

"Your father is very angry at you at the moment." She said softly, moving to sit on the edge of my waterbed.

"I'm not too happy with him at the moment, either." I said quietly.

"Why didn't you just do what he wanted?" Mom asked. "It's something important for the church, and for god."

"Do you really believe that?" I challenged her. She'd always been a woman of quiet faith.

"Why argue with them if this is what they want?" She asked. "You're his son, and you should obey him. We've given you a lot of freedom the last few years, too much I think."

"I'm sorry you feel that way." I told her sadly. "What they wanted me to do is wrong, I believe that firmly."

"We should never have let you continue helping those fags in San Francisco." She said softly. "They've corrupted your thinking."

"Mom, they have very little to do with what I believe." I told her firmly. "My thoughts are my own, and they were mine even before Brian's uncle died."

"You can't expect me to believe that." She said with a shake of her head and I was reminded of our first conversations in my original life after I came out.

"I can, because it's the truth." I told her. "I don't know why you wouldn't believe me when I tell you the truth, but I can't help that."

"It's not the way you were raised." She said, and my anger spiked in me.

"The way I was raised was to ignore any problems while showing a fake face to everyone around us." I said angrily. "You and dad raised me to ignore my problems and lie to everyone else, so maybe that's why you're thinking I'm lying now, because that's how you raised me. I thought I made it clear that I rejected that in the seventh grade and was going to live my life more honestly."

"If you're so honest why don't you tell me the truth about Brian?" She retorted, scoring a bull's eye.

"What, you want me to confirm he's my boyfriend?" I demanded angrily, my voice going lower instead of rising into a shout. "Fine, he is, and Friday will be our two year anniversary together. Yeah, two damn years of dating. No, we haven't had sex yet, either, we're saving that for when we're adults and ready to commit to each other for the rest of our lives."

"What about all those girls you've dated." She asked in a breathy voice, a look of shock on her face.

"Cover story to keep you and dad happy." I said.

"And you were just talking about being honest and that I should trust you." She snapped angrily at me. "Then you tell me you've been lying to me for two years?"

"I haven't lied to you, you've never asked." I said.

"But you dated girls to fool me, that's lying." She countered.

"You have a point there, I'm sorry for doing that." I admitted. One thing about mom, she was always good at arguing and picking apart everything I said.

"I have to call your father and Pastor Darnell." She said, standing quickly.

"Do you really want to do that?" I asked her.

"We have to get you fixed." She said. "You've been perverted and we have to cleanse you. I know our bible study group was talking about this and they've got some centers that can help straighten good kids like you out. Maybe we can afford one of them now."

"Thank you." I said with a smile and that stopped her from leaving.

"What do you mean?" She said suspiciously. "You should be angry at that idea."

"Oh, I have no intention of letting you lock me away against my will." I assured her, and cursed silently as her expression changed. Mom was not stupid, she might let herself ignore things, but she was not stupid.

"I was just thinking aloud." She said quickly. "I wasn't saying we were going to do anything like that. We'll reach a decision on what to do together as a family."

She left then and I cursed at my always wanting the last word. If I hadn't said too much I'd have gotten the legal reasons I needed to sever ties with them, I was pretty sure. California courts were more liberal, and parents forcing their kids to go through psychological regimens to 'cure' them of being gay wouldn't hold up in court. I knew that, because I remembered reading court cases where such treatment had been denounced, but that had been in my original life, not in the here and now.

I was really tempted to run away right then, pack my bags and head over to Brian's. I was worried about what mom might do, and suspected she was making a lot of phone calls. Well, if she called over there, he'd at least know what was happening here. She probably was, I realized as I heard her yelling downstairs. From what I could make out, it seems she was outraged Mrs. Breckenridge had known about our relationship and she was telling Mom B that her son was to stay away from me.

Instead of running away, I did push-ups next to my bed until a fine sheen of sweat covered my body. Then I sat down and did my homework, trying to keep my mind on that instead of on whatever mom was doing. Several hours later, just as I was finishing copying down some German words, a knock at the door broke my concentration. I could hear mom talking to someone quietly and then footsteps on the stairs that were too heavy for just mom. The footsteps were the warning I needed, and I put a Christmas gift from Brian into my pants pocket before those steps reached the top of the stairs.

"Ah, doing your school work I see." Dr. Darnell said in that oily voice of his and I suppressed an urge to shudder. He was a tall man, with salt and pepper hair, lean and with a dignified appearance that he used to great advantage. "Why don't you come downstairs so we can talk?"

"If you wish." I said softly, closing the binder. Several more low voices were audible as I followed him downstairs and I realized he had not come alone. I recognized Dr. Mills, the pastor at First Baptist, the youth pastor from our church and a few other deacons. There were ten people in all, and mom was serving coffee and other drinks to them in the living room. They all sat down in every available spot, leaving me standing alone and Dr. Darnell tried to get me to move into the middle of the room, which I did with my head held high. This was like an inquisition, and the part of me that loved challenges was shrieking with delight while my knees shook with pure terror. Still, I'd faced worse in my first life, and I realized that this could be useful to me.

"Today has been an eventful day for you hasn't it, young man?" Dr. Darnell said wisely and smiled at me. "Let me introduce you to my associate Dr. Mills, the pastor of First Baptist. I believe you know everyone else?"

"Welcome to our home, Dr. Mills." I said politely and he looked at me appraisingly.

"Thank you." He said in a deep, gravelly voice.

"Why don't you tell us your version of what happened at your school today, and later here at your home." Dr. Darnell ordered.

I didn't answer him right away as an idea occurred to me. While he waited quietly for me to answer, I ran the idea through my head, thinking long and hard about it, studying it from several angles. There were several holes in it, but I was pretty sure I had the answer to the situation I faced. I'd have to consult with certain people over the next few days, but for now I'd proceed with it, albeit a bit cautiously.

"After much thought, and prayer, I decided that your request for me to violate the laws of this country regarding the role of religion in our public schools was not only illegal, but immoral and unethical." I said in a carefully neutral tone. His expression darkened, as did that of Dr. Mills, who was slightly overweight and much paler in complexion. His face was reddening with each word I spoke. "Later in the day, I witnessed an event that was reprehensible in every way. A member of Dr. Mills' church was harassing a young man verbally and physically and I stepped in, along with some good friends, to put a stop to it non-violently. You had indicated I was to support such actions, and based on that, and your other request to conduct a prayer in violation of our country's laws, I have decided to withdraw my membership in your church. I thank you for the opportunity to do it here, now, instead of by letter. I will however, have the letter prepared and sent to you to make it official. As for any events in this home, they are a private matter and as you are no longer my pastor, they are none of your concern. Is there anything else?"

"You can't withdraw your membership in our church, you're only a minor." Dr. Darnell said officiously and I smiled at him.

"That's right, you weren't there when I joined almost two years ago." I said with a smile on my face. "I joined a week after my mother, at the age of thirteen. My membership was accepted in and of itself, without the need for parental approval. If it was enough for me to join alone, the principal stands that I may withdraw such membership of my own will."

"Do you fancy yourself a lawyer, boy?" Dr. Mills said with contempt.

"No, I am not a lawyer." I said calmly. "A lawyer has completed a bachelor's degree, law school, and passed a state bar exam, and at this time I have done none of those things. I am merely stating my opinion and the facts as I see them. If a lawyer is needed, I will hire one."

"With what money?" Dr. Darnell snorted and I smiled.

"With polite respect, that is none of your concern, sir." I said. "Thank you for your visit. As I have no other business, I leave you to my mother if you wish to talk with her."

"Don't move, boy." Dr. Mills said sternly. "It's obvious Satan has influenced you more than your parents know. You will not disrespect your elders this way!"

"If disrespect means disagreeing with you when I believe you are wrong, then you are in for a lot of disappointment, sir." I said calmly, still smiling. I noticed two of the men with them were shifting uncomfortably. "In every way measured by polite society, I have shown no other disrespect than to disagree with you. There have been no harsh words by me, and nothing that any reasonable person would construe as disrespect. I ask that you respect me in my own home by not making false accusations."

"Is it true that you believe yourself to be a homosexual?" Dr. Darnell blurted out, changing the subject and attempting to gain control of the situation.

"That, sir, is something I do not believe is your concern." I answered him firmly, but politely.

"The state of your soul and of all god's children's souls, are my concern." Dr. Darnell said in a dangerous tone. "We are here to intercede for you, to pray that god's will shall enter your heart and turn you from the misguided path you are on."

"I thank you for your concern, sir." I said politely. "I think what you believe god's will to be and what I might believe it to be are different. Fortunately, in this country we have a law that says we can differ in our beliefs. I kindly ask you to respect my right to hold my beliefs as I respect your right to hold yours."

"Stop this nonsense!" Dr. Mills thundered. "You have Satan in you boy, and we're going to pray him out of you!"

"Thank you for your time, gentlemen." I said firmly. "Have a good evening."

"Hold it right there!" Dr. Mills shouted, rising from the couch he sat on and grabbing my arm as I moved to leave. Mom was standing in the dining room with a very worried look on her face and I suppressed the flash of anger that she had allowed this to happen. If I hadn't had my memories of being an adult, I might have been forever angry with her for this, but as it was, I forgave her because I knew she was only doing what she thought was right. Instead I turned to face Dr. Mills' angry face and stared at him calmly.

"Please remove your hand from me, sir." I told him quietly.

"You will stand where you are told to stand, young man!" He practically shouted at me and I turned to look at my mother. I hated to do this, but I wanted a legal solution, and hauling off and hitting the man wasn't a legal solution.

"Mother, this man is attempting to manhandle me." I told her calmly.

"Shut up." Dr. Mills roared.

"Please tell him to release me immediately." I said to mother, keeping my muscles loose, and resisting the urge to shout at the red-faced man.

"I told you to be quiet, you ignorant whelp." Mills said in a much lower, and more dangerous voice. I met his gaze squarely though, and without fear. He recognized that, and didn't have the intelligence to recognize it as a warning.

"Just do what he says, Davey." Mom said quietly and I let out a sigh. I had so hoped she would show the spine I knew she possessed and let me go upstairs. I didn't want to do this with her on their side.

"You heard your mother, boy, now go stand over there." Mills demanded, pointing to the spot where I'd stood earlier.

"For what purpose?" I asked him cautiously.

"We're going to talk about the bible, read it to you and then pray over you until Satan leaves you!" He thundered and I shook my head.

"I'm sorry, sir, but I must respectfully decline to participate in your religious service." I said firmly and clearly. "As I have already told Dr. Darnell, I do not share your beliefs about several matters and have withdrawn my membership in his church. I am not now, have never been, and never plan to be a member of your church. You have no right to force me to participate against my will in your religious observances."

"Your mother has told you to obey, and that's all the permission we need, lawyer boy." He said angrily and as he spoke he pushed me back towards where I'd stood earlier, and I moved a few steps. "Now, do what I tell you to do and be quiet!"

"My mother has many rights as my parent, but forcing me to believe, or practice a religion whose beliefs I do not share is not one of them." I said firmly. "Release me this instance or I shall call the authorities."

"We are the authorities!" Dr. Mills thundered. "God had given us the authority we need and you will obey."

"For the last time, release me immediately." I said in a very dangerous tone and noticed that mom recognized the look in my eyes. Mills didn't though and tried to jerk me a few more steps back to the spot where I'd stood earlier. This time I didn't move though, except to jerk my arm out of his grasp and turn slightly, heading towards the phone in the dining room.

"Get back here!" Dr. Mills shouted, grabbing my shoulder and trying to jerk me back. I just lowered my shoulder out of his grasp and continued towards the phone. Mom looked on the verge of saying something, but Dr. Mills's next shout happened first. "Bill, help me grab him."

"If you try to touch me again, sir," I said, spinning around and dropping into a defensive crouch as I spoke. "I will use whatever force is necessary to stop you and anyone who assists you."

"Are you threatening me now?" The man roared angrily.

"Only in response to your threat to use force against me." I said more calmly.

"I think you all should leave and let me handle him." Mom said in a weak voice from where she stood. "He's a good boy really, but he's all riled up right now and talking to him won't do any good."

"Nonsense, woman." Mills snorted. "He's got Satan in him and we're going to get him out of the boy right now."

"Sir, you've been asked to leave by my mother." I said, grateful that mom had finally spoken up. "Please do so."

"She doesn't know what she's talking about." Mills said as he grabbed my right arm again. "Now get your butt over there before I beat you like your dad should have been doing for the past two years!"

"Mom, please call the police." I said aloud.

"Don't move woman!" Dr. Mills said loudly.

"Jim, maybe we should…" Dr. Darnell said nervously from the couch.

"No, we're going to win a victory for Christ tonight!" Dr. Mills roared. "Now, move, boy."

He tried to push me again, and I ripped my arm out of his grasp. This time he cocked his fist back and moved to hit me, but I blocked it easily and swung at him with my left hand, hitting the bridge of his nose with the base of my hand, breaking his nose so hard that blood splattered on both of us. There were gasps at that, and mom screamed. Before anyone could move, though, I ran across the room to the phone, and dialed the police number that was on the wall there. I told them where I lived, and then that I'd been assaulted in my home by some guests of my mother and that I was going to my room to stay away from them, and then hung up. Mom was standing there horrified as Dr. Darnell moved towards Dr. Mills who was raging at the top of his lungs about laying hands on god's anointed. Two of the other men looked like they were thinking of grabbing me, but I ran upstairs and locked the door to my room, hoping Brian's Christmas gift worked. I pulled it out and checked it quickly, letting out a sigh of relief as there was a loud knock at the front door. About a minute later, I could hear footsteps coming up the stairs and there was a knock at the door.

"Hi." I said quietly after I opened it to see a middle-aged officer with his hand on his gun. He looked at me nervously, and I noted that I was taller and better built than him.

"Davey Jones?" He said inanely. Who else would I be? I just nodded. "Son, you're going to have to come with me, you're being charged with assault. I don't want any trouble, so just put your hands on your head."

"Okay." I said with a smile, complying as I spoke.

"We're going to talk after I handcuff you first." He said calmly. "It's for your protection really."

"You mean yours, and only mine incidentally." I said, turning around. He frisked me quickly and then handcuffed me, although not too tightly. Then he had me sit down on the bed.

"Now, why don't you tell me what happened tonight?" He said after pulling out a notepad. I was upset at being handcuffed for the first time in either of my lives, but had to admit it was reasonable. There was the pastor of a pretty big church downstairs with a broken nose. I carefully recited how events happened, as I remembered them, and he took several notes. "Okay, I'm going downstairs now to talk with my partner."

"I'll be here." I said wryly and he actually chuckled. He was gone for nearly ten minutes, and I began to grow a little nervous. When he came back up, he had his partner with him, an older officer who wore sergeant's stripes on his sleeve.

"Davey, I'm Officer Johansen." He said as they stood in the doorway to my room.

"Nice to meet you." I said politely and he actually smiled.

"We have a problem here." He continued after smiling. "What you told Officer Michaels does not match what everyone downstairs said happened, including your mother."

"How…unexpected." I quipped and he frowned at me. It was time to introduce them to the Christmas present from Brian. "Do you see that little recorder on my desk?"

"Yes." He said after a moment, and then he smiled.

"It's already re-wound." I told him. "It was in my pocket, and obviously you won't see what happened, but from what you hear on it you might be able to tell which version is more truthful."

"Ah, fuck." Officer Johansen said after listening to the tape. He turned to the officer who had first interviewed me who just shook his head. "You better go to the car and radio the watch commander. We can't arrest someone like Dr. Mills without there being trouble. Have them call social services as well."

"Got it." The first officer said with a nod and left while Johansen turned back to me.

"Where'd you learn to break a nose like that?" He asked me. "The medics are going to have to take him to the hospital."

"Instinct." I lied. I couldn't tell him I'd learned it from some marines while I was in the Navy.

"Well, you got good instincts." He said with a chuckle. "Stand up and let me take those cuffs off of you."

"What happens now?" I asked after he'd removed them and sat back down on the bed.

"Well, I'm not really sure." He said kindly. "Social Services will have to determine what happens with you and your parents, as for Dr. Mills, it's pretty obvious from your statement and this tape that you were assaulted and only defended yourself. Since you're a minor, the DA has to decide on charges and can press them even if your parents don't. Whether he will or not, given Dr. Mills' position in the community, who knows. You play football for Downey, don't you?"

"Yeah, I do." I said with a grin.

"You played my son last week." He said with a grin. "Poor Roger came home covered in bruises and griping about these guys on defense that kept on running him over."

"I was one of them." I said with the same grin and he laughed.

"That preacher should count his blessings you didn't tackle him." He said.

"I didn't want to do anything, but he left me no choice." I responded softly. "Violence is always the last option, except on the playing field. Then, I take no prisoners."

"My son will attest to that." He said with a laugh. We talked about football for twenty more minutes, mostly about the different area teams and who would win the divisional championships. It was pretty much agreed that Downey stood the best chance of winning again. We had a strong team and a good coach.

"Hi." A female voice that was somewhat familiar said after twenty minutes and I looked to see someone I'd known in my original life. She was a teacher at the local community college, and had done a lot of work as a social worker in the past. She taught Human Sexual Behavior, social service courses, and was the advisor to the campus gay and lesbian club for the last three years in this timeline (eighteen years in the original timeline). I vaguely remembered her once mentioning that she'd worked for years as an on-call case agent for the local Social Services Department. "I'm Mary Lou Hacker."

"Hi, Miss Hacker, I'm Davey." I said, introducing myself by standing and shaking her hand. She wasn't married I knew. She'd had a boyfriend for twenty years in the original life, six or so now, but they had never married. They had a daughter together who'd be around ten right now, and would come out to her as a lesbian three years from now.

"It's nice to meet you Davey." Mary Lou said politely. In my first life, I'd spent many hours talking to her about sexuality, and a lot of my beliefs that I still held had come from her. Seeing her here, now, in my home was like a godsend for me.

"It's nice to meet you as well." I said with a genuine smile. "I just wish it had been under better circumstances."

"I won't argue with that." She said, taking the seat at my desk as Officer Johansen rose and excused himself, taking the tape recording with him as he left. He'd already put it into an evidence bag. "I've talked with Officer Michaels, and with your mother away from the other, um, guests. Would you tell me your version of what happened?"

"Sure." I said with another smile and told her everything.

"Davey, I'm going to ask you some questions, and while you don't really have to answer them, the more honest you are the better I will be able to help you." She began after I finished with my story.

"I'll answer whatever I can." I told her truthfully. If there was any adult I could trust completely, it was Mary Lou. I didn't have to worry about her believing the same way as she had when I met her, because I knew she had held those beliefs for over twenty years when we met.

"First of all, what seemed to have caused your mother to invite these people into your home this evening?" She asked, pulling out a small notebook, and I took a deep breath.

"Well, it was a culmination of several events from today." I said softly. Her eyebrows rose softly at the words I used, and stayed up as I talked about everything that had happened today, and ended with my having told my mother about my relationship with Brian.

"So, the thing that really motivated her to call your pastor was your telling her you were in a relationship with another boy?" Mary Lou asked me and I nodded.

"It must be tough for someone your age to come to terms with something like that." She stated and I shrugged.

"It could be harder." I admitted. "Brian's parents have known since almost the beginning and been somewhat supportive, although they've been very firm about setting boundaries for our relationship."

"What kind of boundaries?" She asked with open curiosity.

"Well, they want to make sure we don't go too far…physically while we're younger." I said. "We both agree with them and have kept ourselves to the limits they've set. It hasn't been easy at times, but it's worth it, I know I think that and Brian says he does as well. Then there's been the whole keeping it secret from most people. A few of our close friends know, but no one else. Now, I expect everyone will know so there'll be more things to deal with."

"Where do you see your relationship with him going in the long term?" She asked and I smiled.

"Um, well, together of course." I said and she smiled. "I mean, well, we've talked about what we want to do, and we both want college. Right now we're both leaning towards going into law. It's something we both like to do, although he's wanting to do something like business law and I want to do patent law, which means I'll have to get a science degree for my undergraduate studies."

"So you've actually looked at these things together and made plans for them?" Mary Lou asked as she scribbled some things down in her notebook.

"Yeah, we have." I said with another shrug. "We're freshmen in high school, so we have to look towards when we graduate, especially if we are in a relationship together. I mean, most guys our age don't fall in love until they're sixteen and even then they don't work on making relationships work, they just go with the flow and break-up. Some of them get a girl pregnant and end up marrying her, ruining their future. It's not easy being in a relationship, it's work! If we want to be together when we're older, we have to plan things out and make sure we both agree with them."

"That's a very adult way of looking at things." She noted.

"Thanks." I said and she smiled a little wider before pushing her horn-rimmed glasses further up on her nose. I noticed her dark curly hair had almost no gray in it, and she looked skinnier than she had when I first met her originally.

"From what I've heard and seen, you would probably be very good as a lawyer." She said next and I had to smile at that. She'd told me I should have gone into law the first time around, and I hadn't listened to her. "Now, for the bad news."

"I'm a mature young man, well-adjusted, who exhibits every sign of being able to cope with these events." I said for her. "While my religious parents are reacting negatively to recent events, my mother did try to stop things before they became abusive, and there are no signs of mental or physical abuse being used against me at this time. Because of this, there are no grounds for removing me from the home."

"But I am going to recommend oversight of your case." She said when I finished, nodding only slightly at my explanation. "Further, I'm going to request to handle your case myself, although I don't normally do that. I've got enough pull with the local director that I can probably do that. Your mother said your father would be home on Thursday?"

"Yes." I acknowledged.

"I'll try to arrange a 'family meeting' and be present for that." She said. "I think it'll be best for you and your family to have someone not directly involved in the situation to be there. I'm also going to recommend we send someone I know to this Sean boy's home and look into the situation there."

"That might be smart." I agreed, wishing I'd thought of that first. "He's not as…mature as I am and is having a tough time dealing with things."

"You know you're going to have to be prepared for the kids at your school to be aware of tonight's events, don't you?" She asked me with a worried look. "How do you think your boyfriend and other friends will react?"

"We've talked about what we'll do if this happened." I told her with a reassuring smile. She nodded as if she expected that response. "It won't be easy, but we'll get over it. My biggest worry is that mom and dad are grounding me and won't let me finish the football season."

"Don't you think that might be for the best, all things considered?" She asked me.

"No." I answered her. "We've got a winning season going, and if I don't play, Brian definitely won't, no matter what I say to him. Brandon might, Trevor might, but then again they might not and that would really hurt the team. We can overcome any problems from the team. It's mob psychology dealing with them. Push the right buttons and things will work out. For a while, it will be rough, there'll be some bruises from the field, but Brian and I are tough enough to take the hits. The principal is fair minded, so he won't let things get out of hand."

"Let's go downstairs and talk to your mother." Mary Lou said, getting up from the chair and holding out a hand towards me. I took it as I stood and returned the smile. "Most of the people should be gone by now."

Mom was downstairs in the dining room, and the house was empty except for Jenny, who'd come in sometime while I was upstairs. My little sister frowned at me for a moment before turning to watch the television again, and we sat down at the table with mom.

"Can I get you some tea or coffee?" Mom asked Mary Lou politely. I could tell she was very nervous about Mary Lou being in the home and she kept glancing back at Jenny sitting by the television.

"No thank you, Mrs. Jones." Mary Lou said quietly. "I want to compliment you on what a fine, smart young man Davey is. I don't see many young people going through the problems he's going through that have their head on that well."

"Thank you." Mom said, smiling slightly at the praise.

"I know tonight's events have been traumatic on the entire family." Mary Lou continued softly. "I just wish all the cases I saw where there are problems in the family have such strong, centered people involved who all obviously love each other. While there are some things you need to work on as a family, there's no need for the children to be removed from the home for now, and I hope it will stay that way. There's been no sign of any mental or physical abuse, so I'm going to recommend that Davey stay here while you work out your problems as a family. We will check in from time to time, and I would like to offer my services as a mediator when your husband returns home on Thursday."

"That might be a good idea." Mom agreed quietly. "Davey and his father have…gotten quite mad at each other before."

"Yes, well, sometimes having another person in the room who isn't a family member can help keep things calm." Mary Lou said with a smile, obviously pleased mom had agreed to have her there when dad returned. "I would like to talk about the time between then and now though. You and Davey both have told me that his father has grounded him, and that includes his extra-curricular activities. Davey's expressed a strong desire to continue playing football and was wondering if you might consider allowing him to do that at least."

"I don't know." Mom said worriedly, twirling one finger in the hair over her ears. "David was very insistent he was to have no contact with that Brian boy and he plays football too."

"Mom, Brian is in most of my classes and I'll see him at school anyway." I told her and she flinched. Mary Lou just watched calmly. "You and dad are grounding me, fine, I'll do that, but don't take me out of football, please. I promise, I'll go to school in the morning, I'll go to my classes, go to football and come right home. I won't sneak off, skip school or practice, or do anything else to get around being grounded. No phone calls, no visitors here at home, no going over to anyone's house behind your back. If you let me play football, I promise that's what I'll do."

"What about contact with that Brian boy at school?" Mom asked crossly.

"Mom, let's not go down that road just yet." I said after a deep breath. "I promise, no contact outside of school or football. If you try to make it more than that, you're going to have a fight on your hands that neither of us, and especially Mary Lou, will like. You're my parents, and you have the right to ground me and other things, but if you take away football and try to keep me from being able to interact with my friends like anyone else does while in school, things are going to get ugly. I've given you my promise that I'll abide by the grounding, and I won't have any out-of-school contact with any of my friends."

"Okay." Mom said. "But only until your father gets home. Anything we decide then will be final, is that understood?"

"Yes, mother." I said with a sigh.

"I'm glad you could work that out so equitably." Mary Lou said with a smile of her own, and mom seemed to appreciate the comment. "There is one more thing I'd like to talk about before I go home for the night. The state doesn't like to get involved in religious matters within the family, but I think in this case we need to discuss types of events like tonight. It would be best if there were no similar events like tonight that provoked the disturbance. If Davey doesn't wish to participate in a religious service, for the present at least, I suggest you don't force the issue. I can not, and will not, tell you that you can't attempt to force him to do so, but if there were to be another disturbance like tonight, Social Services might have to take action and I believe none of you want that."

"You can't tell us how to raise our children in god's way." Mom snapped testily, her eyes flaring angrily.

"So long as such observances aren't abusive, we can't." Mary Lou said with a nod of her head and a gentle smile. "If you invite him to church on Sunday and he goes, that's between you and him. If you ground him for not going, that's between you and him. If you physically force him to go, or physically restrain him in your home to participate in a religious event, that is a matter for Social Service's concern. If you invite your pastor into your home to talk to him, and Davey refuses, you can ground him or punish him in an otherwise appropriate manner for not complying with your wishes. If you force Davey to see him, listen to him, or talk to him, again that's a problem we will have to deal with."

"If Davey was sick and didn't want to go to the hospital, and we forced him to would you arrest us then?" Mom argued and Mary Lou's eyebrows rose slightly. Mom was definitely not stupid when she put her mind to things. "That's what's wrong with him now, he's sick in the head and needs to be fixed."

"Mrs. Jones, Davey is not mentally ill." Mary Lou said with a resolute firmness. "Being gay isn't a mental illness, and hasn't been classified that way since 1971. Your religious beliefs may say it is a sin, and that he's a sinner, but in the eyes of the medical profession, and in the eyes of this state's laws, there's nothing wrong with him. You have a constitutional right to hold your beliefs, but he has some protections as well. His protections include being free from the use of force to alter his beliefs. He's a well-adjusted young man, surprisingly mature and intelligent. He's comfortable with his self-identity and has clearly defined goals for his future, goals that are highly laudable. If he was sixteen years old right now and could financially support himself, he'd have no problem getting the court to declare him legally an adult and capable of severing ties with his family. He's only fourteen though, and will have to wait a few years to do that, if he wants to at that time."

"Fine, he can play football." Mom said with an exasperated flinging of her hands. "But you come right home after practice! You'll have to take the city bus because I won't let that Brian boy's mother drive you anymore."

"Fine, mom, I agree." I said with a smile. All our parents usually rotated driving us home, and I could just run home on the day Brian's mom normally drove, or just take the city bus. Mary Lou left shortly after that, and I went back up to my room to lie in bed and think. That's all I did, all night, not even sleeping for more than an hour. I just lay there and thought about how I'd so neatly destroyed my second chance at a 'normal' life.

I should have known I could never be 'normal' for long.



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!


Feedback, an Author's Lifeblood

A/N - Several Readers have asked if I have a website or other stories on the net. Some of my early stories, including MIsts of Fate were posted here to Nifty and to . Most of my later stories are now posted on in the Hosted Authors section (just look for DK Stories). Enjoy!