|Seems Like Only Yesterday
Author: Rustie73 PM
15 Years after graduation, Racetrack returns to Pulitzer Academy. Race and the boys reminisce with stories happy and tragic. [SLASH] RaceBlink, SpecsDutchy, JackDavid, Mush?, Spot?, and others. Rated M for Language, Violence and Sex.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Romance - Racetrack H. & Kid Blink - Chapters: 26 - Words: 99,766 - Reviews: 144 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 25 - Updated: 07-13-07 - Published: 10-31-05 - id: 2641287
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I do not own Newsies or any of the Newsies characters. To the best of my knowledge, Disney owns them.
I am making no money from this story.
Rated M for Slash, Sexual Situations, and Adult Language.
Tony stood on the steps in front of the old brick building staring at the sign above the entryway. "Pulitzer Academy," he whispered. "It's been a long time." A sudden gust of wind and snow stung across his face taking his breath away. "Shit!" he sputtered as he wiped his face with the sleeve of his Armani overcoat.
The heavy metal door swung open and a young voice called from inside, "Hey! Are you Mr. Higgins?"
"Yea, that's me," Tony answered as he trudged inside.
"Sister Regina told us to meet you here," said the boy standing before him. "I'm Andy Koniski, and this is Gertrude Lions."
"My name is Trudy," the red-haired girl corrected as she scrunched up he nose and rolled her eyes at her companion. "Sister Regina said to tell you that she's been detained and that she will see you in the gym when her meeting is through."
Tony followed the couple across the hall into the gymnasium and smiled as he looked over their school uniforms. They reminded Tony of his sister and himself fifteen years earlier.
"Is it true that you used to go to this school back when you were young?" the boy asked.
"Yea, kid. . . . Back when I was young," Tony replied.
"Sorry we have to leave you here alone mister," the boy said, giving his classmate a shove toward the side door. "We've gotta get to our next class."
"Okay, thanks," Tony replied as the children disappeared through the grey metal door. He closed his eyes and listened until their laughter faded down the hallway. "Yea, back when I was young," he sighed.
Tony put down his suitcase and strolled across the old wooden floor. The gym looked just like it had the day he graduated. It was a sort of all-purpose room with a stage at one end, which allowed the room to double as an auditorium. Rows of bleachers ran the length of one wall, and a stack of folding tables leaned against the stage awaiting the next rummage or bake sale. The place even smelled the same. It was a sort of floor wax and old gym socks combination.
Tony stood in the center of the dimly lit room thinking back to when he was the boy wearing the navy school blazer and grey trousers. As he reminisced on his comings and goings in the old gym, he was startled by an all too familiar voice.
"Anthony Michael Higgins! . . . Just what do you think you are doing in here?" Immediately his body tensed, and the hair on the back of his neck stood at attention. Slowly, he turned to see Sister Mary Larkson, or as he used to call her, Attila the Nun. Sister Mary was the assistant principal at Pulitzer back when he was a student. He'd spent countless hours of detention under her watchful eye. Hers was a voice he could never forget.
Tony examined the woman's features, and somehow Attila didn't seem quite as menacing as he remembered. The grimace that once covered her face was replaced by a friendly and inviting smile, and the fiery red curls that once flowed from under the dark veil were now laced with silvery grey. She looks surprisingly "human," he thought.
Reaching out to shake his hand, Sister Mary's smile broadened. "Anthony, it's good to see you again. I'm sorry if I gave you a start."
Tony, now a bit off his guard, shook her hand and smiled uncomfortably. "That's okay, Sister. For a second I thought I was back in school and headed for another detention."
"You're safe now," she laughed. "I'm not in charge of detention these days. I am the principal, or at least I will be until the end of the semester when Pulitzer closes its doors and I retire. I'm going to hate to see the place shut-down," she said as her eyes took in their surroundings. "A lot of good has come out of this school through the years. Look at you for example. Here you are a successful investment banker. I would have voted you most likely to become a professional gambler."
"You were almost right," Tony chuckled feeling a bit more relaxed. "Being an investment banker is a form gambling except I don't bet on the races anymore. Now I bet on which investments will make the most money for the corporation."
"Well, it's good to see how well you turned out, Racetrack," she said, calling him by his childhood nickname. "I have to be going, but Sister Regina will be in shortly." Sister Mary marched across the room with her dark heels clicking against the hardwood floor, and then she disappeared through the door as he'd seen her do a hundred times before.
Tony walked about the cavernous room, and a surge of memories flooded his mind. He looked at the folding tables and remembered the time Spot Conlon had spiked the punch at the Spring Dance. That fiasco earned them all a bunch of sick hangovers and two weeks detention.
The basketball hoop with its torn net reminded him of the time Jack Kelly scored the winning basket and secured the district championship for Pulitzer. An abundance of sick hangovers came with that celebration as well.
Then Tony walked to the bleachers, and a painful chill ran through his body. That was a memory he had tried for years to forget. That was the one that gave him nightmares all through college and occasionally still awakened him in a cold sweat.
It seemed like only yesterday the he'd been staying after school to practice his jump shot. Jack, Dutchy, Mush, and his other friends had all been on the basketball team the previous season. Even Spot Conlon, who was not much taller than Tony, was on the team. Tony thought that if he practiced long enough and hard enough he could make up in skill what he lacked in height.
It was the end of his second week of practice when the gym door opened and in walked the Delancey brothers. They were the school bullies and had chosen Tony as their primary target that year. He'd just come to terms with the fact that he was gay, and somehow the Delanceys knew. He didn't know how they knew, but they did, and they took every opportunity to torture him about it.
Tony thought about running, but that wasn't his style. He wasn't about to let them know that he was afraid. Besides, it wouldn't do any good. He couldn't out run them both. He continued his practice and tried to look unaffected by their presence. One quick glance at their faces and Tony knew he was in for trouble. He cringed as the sound of their high-tops squeaking against the floorboards warned him they were near.
"Well, well . . . If it ain't Little Magic Johnson," Oscar snorted while his brother stood in front of Tony blocking his throw.
"That ain't a Magic Johnson," Morris smirked staring down at Tony. "This is a Magic Johnson," he said while grabbing his own crotch and laughing.
Tony, having always been a smart-ass couldn't keep quiet. Gesturing down at Morris's crotch, he replied, "From what I hear what you got there is a Little Johnson, and there's nothing magic about it." The minute the words left his lips, Tony regretted the remark. "Looks like I'm gonna get my ass kicked again," the thought. But the Delanceys had more than a simple ass kicking in mind.
"I think the little fairy wants you to prove what you got in those pants," Oscar said to his brother.
Tony knew that he couldn't outfight them, so he decided to make a break for it. He threw the basketball as hard as he could at Morris's crotch then tried to run. Oscar threw Tony to the floor before he had taken his second step. "I guess the little fagot wants to play rough," Morris said as he grinned at Tony.
When the Delanceys went to grab him, Tony began kicking and throwing punches. He was one hell of a fighter for a little guy, but he was no match for these two.
Oscar punched Tony hard in the stomach knocking the wind out of him and then dragged him under the bleachers and threw him against the cinder block wall. "You ready for a little magic, kid?" Morris laughed, looking down at Tony.
"Fuck you!" Tony growled as he gasped for air.
"Ya got that backwards, kid," Morris said as he slammed Tony's head against the hard wood bleachers.
The rest was a blur of pain, grunting, and humiliating laughter.
Sometime later, Tony was still lying on the floor under the bleachers. He wasn't sure for how long, but the Delanceys were gone. Blood trickled from Tony's nose and mouth, and a dizzying pain engulfed his scull from where his head hit the bleachers. When he tried to pick himself up, Tony realized that his shorts were down around his ankles. Slowly, his head began to clear, and he realized what had happened. More precisely, he remembered what the brothers had both done to him. Tony stumbled to the locker room and barely made it to a stall before he began throwing up. He wasn't sure if it was sick from the beating or revulsion or from both. Tony continued to vomit until there was nothing left inside of him.
Tony stripped off his gym clothes and threw them into the trash, and then climbed into the shower and turned on the faucets. He watched the blood run down his chest as the hot water hit his skin. He scrubbed his body violently as though he could wash away the assault. As the hot steamy water engulfed him, Tony tried to clear his mind, but the horror of what happened kept creeping back. Each time the memories became clearer, and he'd retch even though there was nothing left in his stomach.
Eventually, he went to his gym locker and put on his school uniform. Tony hadn't the mind to dry himself and had thrown away his undershirt and shorts. Now, the heavy uniform fabric scratched at his skin as it clung to his wet and aching body.
Tony walked home in the cold night air with his hair still dripping from the shower. He went straight to his room that evening and didn't come out until the next morning.
Tony decided that he didn't want to play basketball after all.
Now, it was fifteen years later and Tony's body shook as if it all happened fifteen minutes ago.
Suddenly a sweet voice saved him from the terrible memory. "A penny for your thoughts," she said.
Tony turned around and saw Sister Regina standing in the center of the room. She was a small woman with a pretty and childlike face. She looked like a little girl playing dress up in her knee length black habit and veil.
"Sister Regina," he said softly as he crossed the room to greet her.
"What's this Sister Regina stuff?" she giggled. "I'm still Reggie to my big brother."
"I don't know," he grinned. "You don't look much like my baby sister in that getup." Tony threw his arms around Reggie and swung her around like he did when they were children.
"Thanks for coming, Tony," she said. "I really need your help. If anyone can make sense out of this financial double talk it's you."
End - Chapter One
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