Expanding Horizons

Chapter 15

"Oh my god, that new ticket guy is SOOOOO dreamy!" Brad winced at the high pitched tone of the girl's voice as she stepped up to the snack counter.  "I'll have a large popcorn with extra butter, a Snickers bar, and a large diet soda.  Oh, and the name and phone number for that hottie in the ticket booth."

"Here's your food, but I'm afraid I can't give you any information about him without asking him first," Brad said politely while Chris dragged a fuming, jealous Ronnie to the far end of the counter using the excuse of teaching him how to change out the syrup and carbonation tanks for the drink machine.

"Well, I'm sure I can find him at school Monday," the girl said confidently.

"Hey Brad," Aaron yelled from the ticket booth door.  "Could one of you guys grab my leg for me?  I need a pee break."

"Little gay dude, did he just insult you?" the girl asked seriously.  "Cause he may be drop dead gorgeous, but he is so not cute enough to get away with that kind of thing.  You can't help the way you are."

"Thank you very much for that, but no he didn't mean anything bad," Brad told her with a smile.  "He lost one of his legs in a car accident when he was a little kid, but his prosthetic was bothering him earlier because he's outgrown it a bit, so he took it off upstairs."  He turned and called down the snack counter, "Hey Ronnie, can you run upstairs and grab Peg Leg?  Our ticket taker needs a break."

"He really has a fake leg?" the girl blurted.

"Oh no, it's a real leg, it's just detachable," Chris laughed.

The girl leaned forward over the counter a bit and whispered rather loudly to Brad.  "Don't worry, sweetie.  I'm sure once you and your boyfriend get to high school this fall, his sense of humor will improve."

"Well, it's not like it can get worse," Brad grinned and joked back.

"HEY! I can hear you, you know?" Chris pouted cutely.

"Here you go, Trip," Ronnie announced as he rushed across the lobby with the prosthetic limb.

"I know you did not just call him Crip," the girl at the counter growled.

"No, I didn't," Ronnie assured her.  "I said Trip, it's his nickname.  I swear."

"It better be, because making fun of disabled people is no different or better than making fun of gay people," the girl said sternly.

"I actually don't really think of myself as disabled," Aaron announced as he hurried past them all toward the men's room.  "I'm just a super awesome guy who happens to come with spare parts that are interchangeable.  I'm like a Transformer, who really has to go now."  He grimaced and rushed into the men's room.

"Oh, he's tall, too," the girl cooed while staring at the door Aaron had just gone through.

"Yeah, I didn't realize how tall he was when I saw him in the hospital," Ronnie mumbled.

"Oh, did he come and visit you?  I knew just looking at him that he would be sensitive and caring like that."

"He didn't visit me," Ronnie corrected.  "He was in for his appendix, and we got put in the same semi-private room."  Ronnie wiped a tear as he remembered.  "That first night I was like freaking out pretty bad over everything, like not having a family anymore and probably never seeing my little sister again.  He got out of his bed and came over and hugged me until I stopped crying.  Then he got all upset over being in the hospital and stuff, so I went over to his bed and held his hand.  Plus he was in so much pain.  They had to take him like super early that next morning for emergency surgery cause his appendix ruptured because he got up to take care of me.  I just knew I had to pay him back for that somehow, so after he came back from his surgery and he woke up... well you guys know the rest."

"Wait, I don't," the girl protested.

"My little angel of mercy here saved me from peeing myself that day just like he did just now, but he was a little more involved that time," Aaron announced as he stepped up and hugged Ronnie and kissed his cheek.  "I didn't want to leave the hospital two days before you got to, but it gave me time to talk to my mom, and for me and her to talk to your moms."

"You kissed him," the girl said flatly.

"Yeah, listen I really like that you were ready to take on any of us that were bullying the others, no matter which way it was going, but I only got eyes for this guy.  We've already been through a lot together, and I hope we have a lot more good stuff ahead to make up for the rough stuff already."

"My mom's brother is gay, and my oldest sister's little boy has Down's Syndrome, so yeah, championing causes is kind of my thing," the girl admitted with a blush.  "Probably why I don't have a lot of friends in school," she added with a shrug.

"Well, once I get transferred here, you'll have me as a friend, and I count as two friends, so yeah, bonus points," Aaron said with a big grin.

"How do you count double?" Ronnie asked in confusion.

"Well there's me, Trip, and there's Peg Leg, my spare part," Aaron announced proudly.

"Oh you poor dears," the girl gushed as she grabbed Brad and Ronnie in a hug.  "Both of you dating boys with defective humor.  Never fear, your big sister Tora will be here for you."

"Tora, that name means Thunder," Ronnie said thoughtfully.  "Rainbow Rangers, I present our newest recruit, Thunder Girl the Warrior Princess."

"OH I like that," Tora grinned.  "What's the Rainbow Rangers, though?"

"We can tell you later," Chris announced as he joined us all in the lobby.  "If you don't hurry up, you'll miss your movie."

"I've seen it three times already," Tora dismissed.  "I want to hear more about you guys.  You are all so brave coming out like you did."

"Well, I kind of forced the issue," Ronnie said as he looked down sadly.

"Hey, we both might have handled things wrong, but I think the end result is worth it," Brad told him with a hug.  "I got to find a best friend, I got a boyfriend, we're both free of our old families, you got a boyfriend, and we all got a new sister that will kick butts for us if we get picked on."

"Damn straight," Tora grinned, and then gasped.  "Oh, maybe that isn't quite the phrase to use in this case."

"I will overlook the 'd' word if the boys here can overlook the 's' word."  We all turned to see Mr. Bassi grinning at us.  "Ok boys, you have one hour and 45 minutes to sightsee the metropolis before curfew.  It is a school night after all."

"Ok, we can show Aaron around the town, but I'm not sure what to do for the other hour and thirty minutes," Brad grinned.

"I would complain about that bad joke as well if it weren't so true," Tora shrugged.

"Way to make a guy get excited about his new hometown," Aaron pouted.

"Tora, thank you for understanding my boys," Mr. Bassi told her with a smile.  "If you ever have an interest in making some spending money, I am looking for new staff for the summer."

"Oh but I wouldn't want to take a job from any of these guys," Tora protested.

"Oh I had fun tonight, but I can't work here much longer," Ronnie told her.  "As soon as I find a contractor to do some mods on that hellhole I got awarded by the judge, I will start training with General Sweets and my new Mom."

That started an explanation for Tora of what would be happening to the former First Bigoted Church of Hatred and Hypocrisy.  While she was excited to hear about a combination coffee, bakery, and bookstore, the teen girl was much more interested in the theater job if Mr. Bassi truly needed someone.  She also said she would have her father, who was a contractor, contact Ronnie and Brad's Moms about the construction needed on the building. 

When they walked outside the theater, Aaron's mom pulled up in her minivan and called out to her son.  "Trip, I have been to the only real estate office in town and got told that I have to find your young man....  Oh, hello, Ronald."

"Hi, Mrs. Archer.  If you two really want the old parsonage it's fine with me," Ronnie said as he walked up to the car with his boyfriend.  "I offered it back to Jules here and his mom, but they turned it down, understandably."

"Yes I was told the property had some not so pleasant recent history," Mrs. Archer agreed.  "Trip, would you mind pretending to be polite and mature and introducing me to your friends?"

"Oh, sorry Mom," Aaron blushed.  "Mom, this is Chris Bassi, whose father owns and runs this theater, and this is his boyfriend, Brad soon to be Kennedy.  His sperm donor was the minister that was on the news connected with Ronnie's case.  And last but definitely not least, this is our new sister, Tora Peerson."

"Your new sister?"

When Mrs. Archer heard why the boys had all adopted Tora, she got out of the car to hug the girl.  "Thank you so much for being ready to defend the boys, dear.  I always did want a daughter, but a part time daughter will do.  Not like I'm going to get a daughter in law, anyway.  Besides, I rather think my future son in law is adorable especially when he blushes like he's doing now.  All right gang, hop in the car and we'll see the town in style."

"Mom, I kind of wanted to be able do that with Ronnie with a little privacy," Aaron mumbled with a blush.

"I'm sure you did, that's why you and he can take one back seat, our other couple can take the other, and this lovely young lady can sit up front with me and actually tell me about the town while you hormonal boys make out."

"MOM!" Aaron squealed and blushed even more.  That is exactly what happened, though, and everyone had a wonderful time even if Aaron didn't see much of the town.