One Dream, Glory

by Maureen

Disclaimer: no money is being made, Animorphs owned by KA Applegate and Scholastic. Not me, and I have no money which means don't bother to sue. The song in here is One Song, Glory from the musical RENT, which is owned by Jonathan Larson. Not me again. Poor Me.

Authors Note: I know book canon. I know tv canon. I am using mostly tv canon because I don't like writing about the Animorphs as middle schoolers. They aren't, the way their lives work, they have to be in high school at least. So that's why Tobias' hair is black and not blonde. This story ties into another fic in the works. YES, everything in this will be explained. It is from the POV of Loren, Tobias' mom.

I leaned against the bar of the shopping cart and tried not to stare so obviously at the family down the aisle. A man and woman with dark skin and a teenage daughter to match trailing behind them, with her was a boy of about the same age using crutches to walk.

I could hear snippets of their conversation, plans for the weekend, what cereal to buy. I sighed, longing for my family. Even the boy, probably a friend, seemed to be a welcome addition to their family. More than I was to mine.

He reminded me of my first love, Alan. The same black hair, cut short in the back and shaggy in the front, a popular style for boys right now. Alan and I were engaged when I found out I was pregnant, only 20 years old. He was in the air force, on a mission in Europe. I couldn't wait for him to get back so I could tell him the good news.

From the soul of a young man
A young man

But he never came back. I got a telegram the following day, saying that he had died on the mission, shot down and crashed. I was alone. As I am alone now, even surrounded by my family, I feel isolated, separate again. My heart died that day, but it was rebuilt. Not as strong as before it had broken.

I had my baby, a boy I named Tobias Alan Fangor, after the father he'd never know. I took care of him as best I could, but we quickly ended up on welfare. That wasn't the life I had dreamed of, so I left him with my sister, Susan, in order to rebuild my life. I was going to take him back in a few months, a year at most. A high school dropout had very few options though, as I soon realized. Then we would be together again, he would become a doctor or a lawyer, anything he wanted to be so long as he was happy and I was nearby. I was a fool.

In the eyes of a young girl
A young girl
Find glory
Beyond the cheap colored lights

I began using drugs to dull the pain of being away from my Toby, depending on family to raise him and the stress of having to try to support myself. I ended up working as a prostitute on the streets. I user. Years went by without my even noticing it until I ended up in the hospital because of an overdose of cocaine. I went through hell, but finally they released me to a halfway house, to try and rebuild my life once again.

I got a job as a sales clerk in a department story which was where I met my husband, Adam Montgomery. We dated for over a year, taking it slow before deciding to get married. I didn't tell him about Tobias, afraid of how he'd react. I was sure that he was having a better life with Susan, why should I disrupt the only world he knew?

We married that summer and I had our first child, another boy named Joshua two years later. My life was perfect, I couldn't ask for anything more. Except my Toby. I could never find the courage to tell my husband about him though. I was too scared. Scared to ruin my perfect life.

In a song that rings true
Truth like a blazing fire
An eternal flame

Two years ago, we were vacationing in Brazil, when I had our second baby, Theresa. It was supposed to be a joyous event. I had to have a blood transfusion...I went to the doctor yesterday, he had called asking me to come in. He said I was sick. It was the blood he said. It was bad. HIV. Now my heart has shattered once again, held together by mere wisps of fleeting dreams of my Toby. He is my glue holding me together.

My family is supportive, even though Josh and Terry don't understand, but Adam is the best. We're going to counseling, trying to keep it hush-hush. That's why I was here now, pretending that I was fine, a smile plastered to my face and a shopping list and coupons in one hand.

Before I go
Before the sun sets

Now here I am, dreaming in the supermarket that some boy in front of me is really my son, who disappeared fifteen years ago. Hoping again all hope that it is him. Susan said she had sent him to live with our brother. She had figured I was never coming back. When I called him, noone answered. Finally his landlord said that he had gone to jail on charges of child abuse against his son, she claimed. The boy had been gone for a year now, noone knew where he was. She knew that he had left in an ambulance though, and some men had come to pack his things but that no one had seen him since. My Toby.

Glory - on another empty life
Time flies - time dies
Glory - One blaze of glory
One blaze of glory - glory

My heart broke then, hearing that news. Nobody knew where he was or how to find him. That was it then, my time was running out, and I still had Adam and the kids. None of whom knew of Tobias. My little Toby. Yet I still dream of fining him.

Before the virus takes hold
Like a sunset

In the checkout line I could see them a few lanes away, paying. The boy was lurking around the magazines, oblivious that they were leaving. "Tobias!" the girl called, "Come on!!"

He put the magazine down and started to follow.

To redeem this empty life
Time flies
And then - no need to endure anymore
Time dies

My heart stopped. My one dream. Glory.

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