A/N: This will be my first story posted in about a year, so please forgive me if I'm a little rusty. Also, I do have a knack for starting stories and not finishing them, I'll apologize in advance for that. You can read my profile for more info on that because I could use some help, and definitely a beta-reader for this fic.
Disclaimer:Sorry, I don't own Remember The Titans or the characters, but I do own the ones that you've never heard of, because I made them up.
Summary: This story is a look into the slightly minor characters of RTT; Alan, Sunshine and Rev. Beyond football madness and into their more personal lives outside and inside of the team after the stadium lights shut off every week. Each one is an OC pairing.
Beyond The Titans
Alan hung back at the end of the train of football players as they practically stumbled over themselves to finally get into the locker room. As the last one in, he knew he was going to have to wait for a while until any shower room was available so he just pulled his soaked jersey from his equally drenched back and relieved his self from his shoulder pads. Solemn faces tainted the entire place, he ended up noticing. It had been a while since the guys had been this quiet in the locker room. He grunted and slumped onto the bench closest to his locker, choosing for now to just observe everyone else.
Tensions were bound to be high today. Alan knew it, just like everyone else. This had been their first in-school practice of the year, and they had been desegregated for a week. The previous five days were challenging to say the least. Contrary to everyone's beliefs, the boycotts and picketing did not stop the first day of school. In fact, Alan wouldn't be surprised if they happened to show up again the next week. Death threats were made to teachers, guidance counsilors, and principals alike. Parents threatened to move their children to avoid intergration, and some students simply dropped out on their own. Inside the walls of T.C. Williams was no different. Fights broke out almost after every class, people said things under their breaths, someone had even managed set off the fire alarm in an attempt to temporarily shut down the school.
It didn't even stop with interracial conflicts. He had seen that just the day before in the scramble with Gerry and Julius. Both the blacks and the whites would turn on their own kind easily if one showed any sign of tolerance for the other. Animosity flooded the streets of Alexandria, and students were getting the brunt of it. And of course Coach Boone only saw this as an excuse to push them harder during practice. Alan Bosely was both physically and mentally drained. And it bugged him to see he wasn't the only one.
"So...this is what integration is like," He rubbed his hands together as he finally spoke. "Hm." He smiled briefly to himself before looking around to everyone else. There was no response except for a few glances, for a while. But he heard Julius chuckle. The quiet actually seemed to grow after Julius began to laugh heartily, but he continued, clutching his stomach until Bertier couldn't help but laugh with him. Alan looked at them both confused, but smiled anyway. It wasn't long at all before there was a complete uproar of laughter from everyone on the team. When it did eventually die down, the tension had eased some.
"What were we just laughin' at?" Someone finally managed to ask. Julius' expression flipped completely, and he just shook his head. It was a while before he spoke. Alan assumed he was trying to find words.
"All these years, this's what we been fightin' for," He finally spoke. He managed to stretch a pitiful smile across his mouth. "All this...it ain't what I expected."
"It ain't what none of us expected, man." Blue agreed. "...Just don't make no sense." He added disgustedly. Alan was struck dumb. He had never seen Blue upset before. Not even at camp. His heart started to sink. If all this could get Blue down, what kind of hope was there. He didn't even notice that Petey had joined the conversation.
"What is yall talkin' about?" All eyes were averted to him at this point. Petey was known for his bad temper, and usually did have to always put his two cents in, but no one thought he would go as far as to agree with what had surfaced in the past week. "Yall think the whole world gon' be like us? What, the world gonna change just cause we did?" He looked around, as if he really expected an answer. But everyone was taken aback with him by then. "Look, camp is over.", he continued. "I say we all just go ahead and get used to it."
"Petey's got a point fellas." Gerry sighed, plopping down on the bench next to Alan. "I mean, camp was different. This just crazy. It's not gonna change. People ain't gonna listen to anythin' we have to say." He looked up guiltily at his team. "He might be right." He said lower.
"No, Gerry. No he isn't." Sunshine cut in. He couldn't believe any of this. Other people were other people but the fact that his teammates were letting everyone else get to them felt like a slap in his face.
"Yeah, if we could come together at camp, why can't everyone else?" Louie backed Sunshine.
"They can." Rev finally spoke up. Alan was waiting for him to chime in. Arguments always ended on a more positive note with Rev. "We can. The good lord God made us all in his image. They'll know it sooner or later. We just gotta set the example until then. With his help."
The quiet resurfaced pretty quickly after that. There just wasn't any argueing with Jerry Harris. Alan looked around. There were eyes cast down in shame, up in faith and wonder, and closed in dismay. They all must have been thinking the same thing as him, he figured.
How would they make it through.
"This week." Alan spoke again. He tried to ignore the shaking in his voice. There was no explaining what he, or any of them had gone through in the past few days. Through those few months at Gettysburg they had come across revelations beyond what any of them had experienced before. They had learned to look beyond color and see into one's character, and respect eachother as men. But now that he was back home, it was as if he were suffocated within himself. His father had been on the verge of beating him sensless when he had come home with stories of Jerry or Petey and Julius. The people he had been close to his entire school life changed over night once they found that he had made friends with 'them'. By Tuesday he had become an outcast, and it was slowly ripping his heart open. The true colors of everyone were beginning to show, and he could confide in almost no one but himself. He was almost to the point of breaking and he hadn't known it until then. He tried to laugh again, but it was grim and bitter. "It was a bad week." He swallowed hard at the painful lump swelling in his throat. "It...was a horrible week." He closed his eyes when someone's hand landed heavily on his shoulder.
"It'll get better." Rev answered him. And everyone.