With thanks to my beta reader Roa1
"What are you doing?" Richard asked, appearing behind Craig and looking at the computer screen.
Craig started guiltily and pressed a button on the keyboard in front of him. The window on the screen abruptly disappeared.
"Oh Craig, you're not on that site again? You're addicted, you know that?" said Sharron.
"Aw come on, you look at it too. It's kinda fun reading about ourselves. Some of those stories are amazingly accurate you know," said Craig.
"Yes and some are astonishingly inaccurate - did you read that one where I was supposed to have grown up on a sort of commune with eight siblings? Crazy! It's as if they haven't watched the series. I'm sure I actually said 'I'm really rather short on relations' in one episode. Surely that's a strong enough hint that I don't have a lot of brothers or sisters – isn't it?
"I agree with you there. One or two writers seem to think I have a bunch of younger siblings too. I would have thought they'd have known that if I had I would have at least mentioned one of them or visited them from time to time. Surely I don't come across as the callous type who forgets his family as soon as he's grown up enough to leave home – do I?" asked Craig.
"I shouldn't think so. I expect sometimes they just want to add a few of their own views on our backgrounds to make the story more personal," Sharron replied.
"Well sometimes I sure wish they wouldn't! The whole thing can get pretty irritating. I get pulled right out of what I'm reading when something like that happens. I'm so busy thinking, 'That's not right' that I completely lose the momentum and that's a shame," Craig said.
"Still, I suppose that occasionally they do have to invent details to either make the story flow a bit better or as a plot device. And, of course, sometimes the whole story is based on something they decide might have happened to us," Sharron said.
"That's true and I have no problem with it when it's essential. It's when they make up stuff that adds nothing to the story that it gets to me a little – that doesn't add to the flow, it spoils it!" Craig said.
"Er, what are you two talking about?" interjected Richard, a little plaintively.
"It's a website called 'fanfiction' there are a few stories that fans of the series have written about us on there. Craig and I take a look every so often. Some of the stories are excellent."
"Yeah, I enjoy most of them. It's kinda flattering to have people writing stories about us," Craig said.
"You miss out on a lot when you refuse to take on board the importance of computers, Richard. It's almost a badge of honour with you now isn't it - telling people you wouldn't know how to use them. You can be such a dinosaur sometimes," said Sharron.
"You got that right," agreed Craig. "I know we're all agreed that, when it comes to work, our more…er.. 'natural methods' are better a lot of the time but all the same, as Sharron said, you miss out on a lot of fun stuff when you insist on living in the past, Richard."
"I know and I have come round to the idea lately. I do use them now and again, when I think they'll be useful. So what's this site then? I want to read about myself," Richard said.
"Er you might not like some of the stories. You sure you want me to show you?" asked Craig.
"I'm intrigued – yes show me."
Craig opened the page for him and picked up the newspaper while Richard started to read the stories.
"I haven't found anything all that bad yet Craig. What were you hinting at?" Richard asked, after a short time.
"Well there are quite a few stories on sites like this that people never get to read," said Craig.
"Now you come to mention it I expect there are a lot, I mean you can't expect people to want to read everything that's published can you?" Richard said.
"No, of course not, but that isn't what I meant."
"So are you going to tell him what you are talking about or not?" Sharron asked.
"Sure I am. Richard, the reason they don't read the stuff is because they don't even know it's there."
"This must be the part where I ask him why they don't know it's there. Maybe I just shouldn't bother," said Richard, winking at Sharron.
"He's going to tell you anyway, look at his face, he's dying to show you how clever he is," said Sharron.
The two of them studied Craig for a moment or two. He looked a little put out at Sharron's teasing but, as he really did want to show Richard some of the stories, he couldn't deny that she was right.
"Well?" he said, hopefully.
"All right, all right, anything to get that 'puppy dog' look off your face. Tell me Craig, why don't they know it's there?" asked Richard, taking pity on his friend.
"It's the rating system, it defaults to 'rated K-T', anything else doesn't show up."
"So no-one can read stuff outside that range," said Richard, looking puzzled. "So why do people bother to write it then?"
"Oh yes, people can read it, but they have to know how to look for it."
"This must be the part where you ask him how," said Sharron, rolling her eyes at Richard.
"Why don't you ask him Sharron?" said Richard.
"I don't need to ask because I already know," Sharron replied.
She saw the crestfallen look on Craig's face and continued,
"But I won't steal your thunder Craig, go ahead and explain."
"Well for starters we need to be on the first screen," Craig said.
"Scroll up the page to where it says 'TV Shows » Champions' and the title of the story you're reading, then right click 'Champions' and click 'open link in new window' in the box that appears. The first page of 'The Champions' stories pops up. Now for the clever bit! You see that row of blue drop down boxes just above the first title in a section? Well you click on the one that says 'rated K-T' and select 'All' then you click the button on the right of the drop down boxes labelled 'Go' then all the stories for that section are visible and selectable. Or, if you just want to find the 'censored' stories, you select 'M' instead of 'All' and then 'Go'," Craig said.
Richard put his friend's instructions into practice, opened an 'M' rated story at random and read aloud,
"Richard closed his lips around Craig's…..Bloody hell ! Oops, sorry for swearing Sharron, but I can hardly believe what I'm reading."
"It came as something of a surprise to me when I read it," replied Craig.
"Me too," said Sharron.
"It's astonishing," Richard said, his mouth hanging open in dismay.
"It only goes to prove what I have oft-times said," Craig remarked.
"What have you oft-times said?" asked Richard.
"That some of our fans are a lot more discerning than others," Craig replied, as he moved closer to his lover and gave him a passionate kiss.