Chris and Tim arrived at the hospital and found Charlie with who Chris assumed were Dan's parents. Charlie was in tears. Chris put his hand on Charlie's shoulder and said. 'What happened?'
Charlie explained about how he was waiting outside the doors of the gym for Dan. How he had waited there for a while before Dan came out all bloody. How Charlie called an ambulence and how the coach helped him. Chris listened. Charlie gave a quick introduction of Chris and Tim to Dan's parents. They said they were still waiting for a doctor to come and tell them what was wrong.
The football coach Nelson came soon after. 'Mr. and Mrs. Michaels.' said Coach Nelson. 'I am sorry about what happened. I was in my office doing some paperwork when it happened. There was a lot of noise outside my office in the locker room which is not unusal after we win a game. The guys on the team like to celebrate. So I didn't know anything was wrong.'
'It's alright Coach.' said Mr. Michaels. 'We are still waiting for a doctor to come and tell us how Danny's doing.'
Another person joined the group. Mr. and Mrs. Michaels hugged the guy who came. 'Mom.' said the man. 'Dad. What's wrong with Danny?'
'He was attacked by his teammates it appears.' said Mrs. Michaels.
'Why would they attack him?' asked the young man. Both Mr. and Mrs. Michaels looked like they were on the verge of telling their older son that his younger brother was gay when a woman wearing a white lab coat walked up.
'Hello.' said the woman. The woman looked vaugely familiar to Chris. 'I am looking for whoever is here for Daniel Michaels.'
'We're his parents.' said Mr. Michaels.
'I'm Dr. Berry.' said the woman. Then Chris remembered the woman for she was they very doctor that operated on him when he was nearly killed by his stepfather Frank Meyers when he was twelve. 'I have examined him. He has suffered a concussion, two broken ribs and various cuts and bruises. However he's in some kind of shock.'
'Shock?' asked Mrs. Michaels
'Yes Mrs. Michaels.' said Dr. Berry. 'It has caused him to go into a coma. I will need your permission to due further x-rays and examinations. This coma doesn't explain anything, perhaps there might have been some trama to the head that is causing this.'
'Sure do the examinations Dr.' said Mr. Michaels.
'I will get right on it.' said Dr. Berry. And she walked away.
'Alright.' said the Michaels' oldest son. 'Why did they attack Danny?'
Mr. and Mrs. Michaels looked hesitant to say anything then Charlie spoke up. 'It might be because he's gay.'
The man looked at Charlie for a moment in disbelif. 'Gay? Danny?' he asked.
'Yes Doug.' said Mr. Michaels. 'Danny's gay.'
Doug Michaels sat down in a chair. 'This is my fault.' Doug said with his hands in his face.
'It's not Doug.' said Mrs. Michaels. 'You weren't anywhere near that school.'
'I have been putting pressure on him.' said Doug. 'About getting a girlfriend. Hell I was even asking him if he had gotten any pussy. When he said no I asked him what are you a fag?'
There was some silence. 'I was insulting him.' said Doug. 'Making him feel ashamed. Now my little brother is in a coma.' Doug started crying.
Chris walked over to Doug. 'Doug you didn't do this.' said Chris. 'I am sure Dan would have told you eventually, and know that you would have been ok with it.'
'Doug.' said Mrs. Michaels. 'Danny told us he was gay about a year ago. He wasn't ready for anyone else to know yet.'
'And it's not your fault.' said Charlie. 'It's mine.'
'No it's not Charlie.' said Mr. Michaels. 'You didn't attack him.'
'It's just that Dan and I were not that discret about our relationship.' confessed Charlie crying. 'We would kiss around the school. Chris and Tim caught us doing it quite and few times and told us that we should cut it out as the wrong person could spot us doing it.'
'You were only kissing the person you are in love with Charlie.' said Mr. Michaels 'There's no crime in that.'
'Then I should have went into the locker room.' said Charlie. 'When I noticed that Dan was taking longer than what he said he would take showering and getting dressed.'
'Charlie if you had done that then they would have attacked you too.' said Mrs. Michaels. 'We don't blame you for any of this Charlie. You made Danny happier than what we have ever seen him this past month. It is whoever did this to him that is to blame.'
Just then a couple of more people walked up to the group. Charlie then looked frightened. 'Mom.' said Charlie. 'Dad.'
'We know what happened Charlie.' said Charlie's father tears streaming down his eyes. Mr. Bell pulled his son to him and hugged him. 'It's ok Charlie. I am sorry I said all those hateful things in front of you. I never thought you would be gay yourself. I can never hate you I just want you to be happy. I am sorry your boyfriend got attacked.'
Charlie looking stunned at his father asked. 'Who are you and what have you done with my father?'
'I know I have been an asshole Charlie.' said Mr. Bell. 'Please forgive me. You are my son and I love you.'
'I love you too Dad.' said Charlie.
Chris and Tim left a little later. The doctor was still doing tests. Everyone informed Chris and Tim that keep them informed of any devolpments. On the way home Chris and Tim talked. 'We need to get our friends together.' said Chris. 'This is only the begining of it. We need to be prepared for when we go back to school on Monday.'
The next day Chris and Tim called all of their friends over and held a meeting. Chris got Charlie's permission to be able to 'out' him and Dan. Chris told Charlie the nature of the meeting feeling as Charlie would prefer to stay with Dan. Once everyone had arrived in the backyard of the Richardson house Chris spoke up. 'Last night Dan Michaels was attacked in the locker room after the game.' said Chris. 'He's now at St. Anne's in a coma. He was attacked becasue it was found out that he is gay.' There was a little murmering in the crowd of people. 'He came out to Tim and me about a month ago and he has been dating Charlie Bell. As you well know over the course of the past month Tim and I as well as Clint and Ted have been getting threats all around school. Some even threw a brick at the front door of this house. I feel that we are at some kind of risk, even our straight friends can be at risk just for associtating with us.'
'Now if you feel that being in danger is not worth our friendship with you then we can sever ties and Tim and I will not think any bad thoughts about you.' said Chris.
It was Kyle Chris' best friend who spoke up. 'No short minded biggots are going to make me give up my best bud.' said Kyle. 'Chris, Sally and I are with you all the way. We've been through to much together to just end our friendship over some bullshit biggots.'
'Thanks Kyle.' said Chris smiling. All of the rest of Chris', Tim's, Clint's, and Ted's straight friends echoed Kyle.
'Alright here's what I want to do.' said Chris. 'They can't get any of us when the halls are full, or when we are in class. They will want to get us when we are on our own. No one of us should walk in the halls alone. We go in the halls in pairs of groups of three or more. No one goes to the bathroom by themselves. We should have someone go into the bathroom with us if we have to go to the bathroom at anytime during the day. After school we shouldn't go anywhere alone. Are you all on board?'
Everyone murmmered in agreement. 'Good.' said Chris. 'Thank you all.'
They all spent sometime together before everyone left. Chris and Tim spent a normal evening at home. Playing with Davey. Helping Sandy with some household chores. Having dinner with Davey and Sandy. Chris and Tim then went back to their apartment and made love. They fell asleep that evening with Chris laying his head on Tim's chest and Tim with his arm around his fiance. Chris had a weird dream that night.
Chris was walking through a bright cloudy area. It was so bright the light was hurting his eyes. Someone was walking towards him. It was a man, Chris could tell that much of the person. He was dressed in all white. The man came closer and Chris saw his face. 'Dad?' asked Chris.
David Richardson just nodded his head. Tears started streaming from Chris eyes and he ran towards his father. Once he got up to his father he put his arms around him and hugged him tight. 'I miss you so much Dad.' said Chris crying.
'I miss you too son.' said David. 'I am appearing to you to talk to you about your friend that is now in the hospital.'
'Dan's not going to die is he?' asked Chris.
'No.' said David. 'However his body is in so much pain right now that his spirt has temporarly been removed from his body to spare him that pain. He will return to his body when the time is right. Now I must tell you now that the next few weeks will be difficult for you and your friends. The ones that attacked your friend aren't finished as I see you have figured that out yourself. Be careful, don't go anywhere alone.'
'Dad.' said Chris. 'I have already had a meeting with all my friends and we disscussed it.'
'I know.' said David. 'I saw it. There are others that will need you and Tim.'
'Who?' asked Chris.
'You will know in time.' said David 'I know that you are having a tough time right now. Being a leader is never easy.'
'Yeah you would know wouldn't you?' asked Chris knowing that his father was once a mayor.
'I am sorry I never told you about my years as mayor.' said David. 'I was preparing to tell you someday.'
At the mention of his father being mayor Chris asked. 'You not made about me being with the son of Jack Hanning are you?'
'Tim Hanning is your soul mate Chris.' said David. 'He is nothing like his father and you will be with him for the rest of your life.'
'You must go back now Chris.' said David.
'I don't want to leave you Dad.' said Chris teary eyed.
'I will always be with you Chris.' said David.
Tim woke up. He heard Chris saying 'Dad' over and over again. Tim shook Chris awake. Chris jerked awake. 'You were having some kind of dream.'
'I saw my dad.' said Chris. 'He told me some stuff.'
'What did he tell you?' asked Tim.
'That Dan's not going to die.' said Chris. 'That we have a tough few weeks ahead of us, and that there will be others that need us.'
'Who?' asked Tim. 'Who will need us?'
'He didn't say.' said Chris.
Monday came. The Principal called a special assembly before classes were to start that day. Chris and Tim sat in chairs in the autoturium with their friends. The Principal Mr. Mackey walked up to a microphone that was up on the stage. 'Good morning students.' said Mr. Mackey. 'If you don't know by now then you should know that last Friday night after the homecoming game Daniel Michaels was attacked by his fellow members of the football team. He is now laying in a coma as St. Anne's Hospital. It is unknown as to who that attackers are. The attackers attacked Daniel presumably because of his sexual preference. Daniel Michaels is gay, and it is believed that he was attacked for that reason. I know we have four students here that are openly gay and I was in the belief that, that sort of biggotry didn't exist at this school. Unfortunitley it appears that I was wrong about that. The people who did this if they are caught will be expelled and charged by the police as adults for a hate crime. I am going to however give the ones responsible a chance to confess by the end of the day. The judge will go easier on you if you confess. Also if anyone has any information on what happened then I urge you to inform a teacher, or come to the office and tell me or Mr. Rayburn. I also want to make clear that the harassment of a fellow student because of his or hers sexual preference, skink color, religion, ethinancy, or nation orgin. WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! Now please go to your classes and if anyone has any information about what happened to Daniel Michaels then please tell a teacher or come to the office and inform Mr. Rayburn or myself.'
Chris went to his classes. Everything seemed to be going normally. Once at lunch Chris, Tim, and their friends were sitting at their normal table eating and talking when some members of the football team came up. 'Look at the fags!' said Robby Martin the starting linbacker on the football team.
Chris just shook his head. 'You fags are going to pay!' said Martin.
'Pay for what?' asked Chris. 'What have we done to you?'
'Richardson you are trying to undress me with your eyes aren't you?' asked David Jackson the takle.
'No.' said Chris. 'I am not into dumbasses! Now let me ask you again. What did Dan do to you?'
'He wanted to fuck us!' said Martin.
'Did he come on to you?' asked Tim. 'Did he try to flirt with you?'
No answer to that question. 'We knew Dan was a little strange. No girlfriend or anything with him. Then we saw him talking to you two fags, and then saw him kissing Bell. Then we knew he was a fag and wanted to fuck us.'
'Hey.' said Kyle. 'There are plenty of hot girls in this school. That doesn't mean that I want to fuck them all. Besides I have a girlfriend that I love very much. Chris and Tim are boyfriends. As are Clint and Ted. Dan is Charlie Bell's boyfriend I doubt that Dan wants you guys when he has Charlie. I know I don't want the other hot girls here when I got Sally.'
'McComb.' said Jackson. 'You're a fucking fag lover. You are no real man. And Hanning with a father like yours it's surprising that you turned out to be a fag!'
The football players walked away. 'Chris.' said Kyle. 'We should go to Mr.Makey or Mr. Rayburn and tell him what they told us.' Chris nodded and the whole group got up and walked to the office. They told Mr. Rayburn what the football players told them.
'About all I can do is question them about it.' said Mr. Rayburn. 'I have no proof of anything expecpt your word. I do believe you.' said Mr. Rayburn as Chris was about to speak up. 'Just I need more proof. Now I want all of you not to go into the halls alone. Don't even go to the bathroom alone. Stick together after school.'
'We already decided that sir.' said Chris. 'Well thank you anyway.'
Chris knew the next weeks were going to be difficult...
To be continued...