A/N: This is a little background one-shot story, concerning the infamous graduation party mentioned in "Back Home Again." It is rated "T" for implied naughtiness and crude language. We all know how teenage boys talk. Hope you like it. Please R&R!
Disclaimer: I do not own or operate "The Dukes of Hazzard."
The Graduation Party
Bo hung up his black cap and gown in the closet. Uncle Jesse had his diploma folder displayed proudly on the mantelpiece with Luke's and Daisy's. He chuckled. Finally – he was done with school. He thought this must be how inmates felt when they were released from prison. He felt his time in the classroom had been about as bad as being in the penitentiary. And now, it was party time.
He was tucking his shirt in when Luke came into the room they shared. "Getting ready for the graduation party?"
"Oh yeah." Bo couldn't keep the silly grin off his face. "And we're gonna party hardy, too!" He looked in the mirror and brushed his hair.
Luke grinned at his teenaged cousin, who was really more of a little brother to him. He'd been there. "Bo, look dude. I'm not gonna lecture you. I'll leave that to Uncle Jesse. But I do want to tell you just a couple of things."
Bo looked at his cousin with an "I don't want to hear this" expression.
"Don't give me that look," Luke said. "I'm trying to help you out, here. I know you'll be drinking. A lot. So don't even bother to deny it. But I also know there'll be plenty to eat, too. Get some food in your stomach before you start drinking, and keep eating. It'll help you keep from getting so dog-drunk. And when you get home, go ahead and take two Tylenol and drink a big glass of water. That'll help the hangover. You're gonna feel like crap anyway, but if you'll just do that, it won't be as bad. Booze dries you out and the hangover headache is dehydration. Drinking that water will help you. Learned that the hard way in the Corps."
Bo actually appeared to listen and said, "O.K. Good to know. What else?"
Luke reached into his nightstand drawer and took out a handful of foil packets. He slapped them into Bo's hand. "Uncle Jesse won't like it, but he can live with you coming in stinkin' drunk, or with a black eye and a fat lip. You get a girl pregnant, though, and he's liable to have you fixed."
"What makes you think I don't already have some condoms?" Bo asked, a little indignantly.
Luke just settled for glaring at his cousin.
"O.K., O.K.! But I may not even need them!" he said.
"You go out in the rain, you take a raincoat, dude. And even if you didn't get a girl pregnant, some of those chicks have been around. Do you really want to be embarrassed?"
"Embarrassed? Whaddaya mean?"
Luke sighed. You had to spell out everything for Bo sometimes. "Do you really want to have to go see Mr. Lloyd at the drugstore with your prescription for penicillin for a case of the clap? Or worse?"
This clearly had not occurred to Bo, in spite of the "guys only" health class Coach Boyle taught and that was mandatory for all sophomore boys to attend. A little color drained from his face and he said, "I get your drift." He folded up the strip of packets and put them in his wallet.
"Good." Here Luke opened his own wallet. "Here's a $20 for an emergency. And I mean an emergency. Don't you give it to anybody for beer. And one more thing: do not get behind the wheel while you're drunk. Don't do it. You're risking your life and everybody else's. Call me to come and get you, no questions asked. I'll bring the phone in here. If you drive after you've been drinking, I swear to God, I'll kick your butt. You hear me?"
"I hear you, Luke. I thought you said you weren't gonna lecture me."
"This ain't a lecture. It's a little friendly advice. Take it if you know what's good for you."
"All right, I will. Uncle Jesse's already read me the riot act about behaving myself, for your information."
"Somebody has to," Luke said. "And you know that whatever happens at that party is bound to come out. Hazzard's a small place and people talk. So messin' around and hoping you'll keep it covered up is pretty much useless."
"Yeah, yeah. Are you through?"
"I'm through. Have a good time, but for heaven's sake, don't get arrested, all right?"
Bo just waved in answer and disappeared out the front door. Luke shook his head.
The party was rolling along by the time Bo arrived. One of the class parents who wasn't too fussy about legal drinking ages hosted it. Kegs were piled up in a corner. There were 85 in Bo's class and he guessed about 70 of them were here. He did remember Luke's advice and grabbed a couple of sandwiches before he got his first glass.
"Hey Bo! I was wonderin' if you were ever gonna get here." Darlene Pitman edged over to him.
"Better late than never, darlin' Darlene," he replied, greatly pleased with himself at the wordplay.
Darlene was tipsy enough to think it was funny and giggled. "You're so funny, Bo. C'mon over here and dance with me."
"I'll be glad to," he said.
Sometime about midnight, Darlene led Bo outside. "I need some air," she said, but the tone in her voice said something else entirely. Bo had a feeling things were about to start heating up. He was glad Luke had given him those condoms. Looked like he was about to find a use for them. He also knew Luke always kept a blanket in the trunk, so he hurried to get it and he and Darlene walked arm in arm behind the house, a little ways into the woods.
Once they were comfortable, Darlene said, "Bo, I waited all year for you to ask me out. Why didn't you?"
"You were always too busy with the jocks. You acted like you didn't know I was alive," he said.
"Oh, I knew you were alive, sugar. Every time you walked by in those tight blue jeans, I knew." They were lying on the blanket and Darlene ran her hand down Bo's side and slapped him softly on his backside. His eyes widened in surprise. None of the other girls he'd been out with would have done this. And when she slipped her hand into his back pocket, he decided that bold girls like her were a pretty good thing. She actually took his wallet out and started rifling through it. When she found the condoms, she looked sidelong at him. "And what were you planning on doing with these?" she said.
"Luke gave 'em to me. Just in case, he told me."
"I see. Well, Bo, honey, what I'm gonna do for you, you won't need these."
A mental image presented itself and suddenly, Bo's voice left him. He cleared his throat. "Is that so?" he squeaked.
The redhead chuckled. "That is so, sweetie. So you know what?"
"What?" he rasped, still hoarse.
"All you have to do is lie back. I'll take care of everything else." She ended that startling statement by kissing away any response Bo might have had, her hands in his hair, her mouth all over his lips, his face, his neck, chest. She unfastened his jeans and a moment later said, "Well Bo, that package of yours does deliver on its promise, doesn't it." Bo actually was glad for the darkness so she couldn't see his beet red face. Was this chick 18 going on 40 or what? After that, he was more or less in a daze.
"Bo?" she said, a little while later, as she cuddled next to him.
"Think you'll ask me out now?"
His beer and lust-fogged brain wasn't working terribly well and he said, "Yeah, sure."
"That's good. You ready to go back to the house?"
"I guess so," he said. "I could use another beer."
Bo did remember to fold up the blanket and return it to the car. Darlene nudged him before they got inside. "Check your zipper," she said.
"Ooops," he giggled drunkenly. Even with a zipped fly, his shirt was awry, his hair tousled, and it was still more than obvious what he had been up to. No one thought much about it, though. Everyone knew what Darlene was like and she had been saying for weeks she had Bo Duke in her sights. And when she set her crosshairs on a man, it was generally only a matter of time. The girls were a little disgusted, if resigned. Why would a fox like Bo Duke, who could literally have his pick of any girl in his class, pick her? As Brenda Sellers put it, "Well, when the guy's horny and the girl's easy, that's what happens, I guess."
Bo found himself face to face with Troy Blankenship, one of Darlene's former conquests, and a defensive lineman on the football team. "You and Darlene were out messin' around," he said.
"So? What's it to you? Ya'll have been broke up since before Christmas," was Bo's answer.
Troy was drunk and jealous. "What'd you do, force yourself on her?"
Bo laughed. "On Darlene? You're kiddin' me, right? That chick could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch!" That got a round of laughter from the males hanging around the beer keg.
"You jackass!" Troy swung a haymaker punch at Bo, which he, for a wonder, avoided. So Troy just put his lineman skills to good use and head-butted Bo, plowing him into the opposite wall. Bo lost his breath for a minute, but then swung and connected with Troy's chin. At that point, the party turned into a street riot.
"Bo! Get out of here! Somebody called the cops!" He felt himself being pushed out the door. The only thing he remembered about Luke's advice was not to get arrested. The part about not driving drunk completely left him. He fired up Luke's car and peeled out of the yard.
Bo's guardian angel was with him, and he made it back to the farm without incident, except for having to throw up a couple of times on the side of the road. However, by the time he arrived, he had finished his last beer and was feeling pretty good again, well enough that he was singing "Skip-to-My-Lou" badly off-key, and loud enough to wake the dead.
Luke had waited up for him and heard the car come into the yard, followed shortly by Bo's warbling. "If he's driving, I swear I'll cripple him," Luke muttered. He walked outside. Bo nearly fell out of the car, singing and stumbling as he went. As he got to the front steps, Luke could see his cousin had been in a fight. And judging by the stains on his shirt, Bo had been sick, too. If Luke hadn't known Bo had been driving drunk, he would have laughed at the sight of his younger cousin. As it was, Luke was plenty pissed that Bo had been behind the wheel in that condition.
"Get your tail in here, Bo, and for heaven's sake, shut up!" Luke said.
"I feel like singin'" he slurred.
"Tough. Shut up."
Bo gave Luke a boozy frown as his cousin dragged him up the front steps and into their room. Luke caught a whiff and said, "Lord Bo, but you smell to high heaven! You've got to shower off before you pass out or you'll stink up this whole room."
"Don't want to." Bo had gone from cheerful drunk to sullen drunk.
"I don't care. I'll have to leave your clothes out on the back porch as it is, until Daisy can get them washed." He peeled Bo's shirt off his back and grimaced at the smell. "I'm tempted to just take you outside and wash you off with the garden hose," he groused. He heard a light tapping on the door. "Luke!" It was Daisy. She whispered, "I thought I heard Bo come home. Is everything all right?"
He opened the door. "I guess so," he said in a low voice. "He's just drunk as Cooter Brown, that's all. And he's been in a fight."
"I din' get arrested, though. You tol' me not to," came the comment.
Daisy peeked in to see her cousin propped on the edge of the bed, barely able to hold his head up. She clapped her hand over her mouth to hide the laughter. "He's smashed out of his gourd," she giggled.
"Yeah, it would be funny, but he drove home like that."
Daisy stopped giggling and her eyes widened. "Like that? Dear heavens!"
Luke nodded. "It's a wonder he and the car got home in one piece. I am going to beat him senseless for this. I told him to call me and I'd come and get him!"
Daisy shook her head. "Well, all we can do now is get him… Sheewee! What is that smell?"
"Bo was sick all over himself," Luke said.
"Mercy. We'll have to get him bathed before we put him to bed. There's no way you could sleep in the same room with that stink."
"I'm glad you're here to help me. Come on. Let's get a shower started." Luke started running water in the shower, thankful his and Bo's fathers had decided putting a half bath downstairs off the master bedroom was a good idea years ago. At least they didn't have to maneuver Bo in and out of a tub.
"We'll have to wash his hair, too. I don't know what all he's got in it," Daisy said.
"I hope whatever he did was worth what's going to happen to him," Luke said. Daisy nodded in agreement.
An hour later, Bo was passed out in bed. Thanks to Luke and Daisy, he was reasonably clean, his hair was washed and had on a clean T-shirt and underwear. They collapsed on the back porch steps, where Daisy had put Bo's jeans and shirt to air out. "I never realized how heavy he is!" Daisy said.
Luke shook his head. "At my last checkup before I got out of the Corps, I weighed 172. Bo outweighs me by a bunch."
"What time is it?"
Luke tipped his wrist up to the light to see his watch. "Three-thirty."
"We'd better not have too many repeats of tonight," Daisy said. "My back can't handle hauling his big ol' carcass all over creation."
"I don't think I ever realized how much of Bo there is, either." He stretched his arms out. "We're both gonna be sore in the morning."
Daisy nodded. "It's already in the morning. I'm going to bed. Good night."
Luke patted Daisy's shoulder. Good night, hon. Thanks for helping me."
"You're welcome." She went inside and after stretching and yawning, Luke did, as well.
"Give me your car keys, Beauregard," Uncle Jesse said. He and Bo were in the barn. Luke had given their uncle a full account of Bo's arrival home.
"Uncle Jesse! Come on! I was tryin' not to get arrested!" he said.
"So instead, you did something that could have gotten you or somebody else killed. Car keys. I'm not arguing with you. Hand 'em over."
Bo gave Jesse the keys. "How long?"
"Six weeks, at least. Then we'll talk about it. One of us will drive you to work. And there's somethin' else."
"What is it, Uncle Jesse?"
"I was at the barbershop this morning and I heard some things that bothered me, aside from you coming home driving drunk. It was all over the place about you and that Pitman girl, and what you said about her, and how you and Troy Blankenship got in a fight."
"Nobody got hurt," Bo said.
"That's not what concerns me. I raised you boys to respect women. What you said was lewd and disrespectful, and that Blankenship boy had every right to come upside your head about it. Bo, you were raised better than that. I am mighty, mighty disappointed in you."
That hurt. It really did. Braving Jesse's disappointment was worse than anything. Bo made a feeble attempt at explanation. "Everybody knows what she's like," he said.
"I DON'T CARE!" Jesse yelled. He actually took Bo by the shoulders and shook him. "She's a girl and you don't say things like that! How would you feel if some jackass said that about Daisy?"
"Well, Daisy's not a sl- She's not like that," Bo amended.
"Darlene Pitman is pitiful, is what she is. Her sorry mama cats around all the time and she ain't had nobody to tell her how to act. She don't know any other way to be because that's all she's ever seen. It's pathetic. But you have been taught better. I can't keep you from fooling around, period, but if you do, you're gonna respect the girls you're with. You're gonna respect them by using protection and you're not gonna go shootin' your big mouth off about them afterward. That's downright shameful, what you did."
For all his faults, Bo Duke was as tenderhearted as anyone could be, and hearing about Darlene's background made him feel awful. He hadn't known. He hung his head. "I'm sorry, Uncle Jesse. I promise I'll do better."
"That's a start, but you need to apologize to Darlene."
"I will, Uncle Jesse." He didn't want to have to face her, but knew he had it to do.
"That's my boy. Now son, I want you to be a good man, a gentleman. Ownin' up to what you've done wrong and apologizing is part of it. You might as well learn this lesson now. I love you, Bo, and I always will. You know you and Luke and Daisy are my young'uns. You're all I've got in this wide world, and by the Lord Harry, you're gonna do right! Understand me?"
"Yessir," Bo said. At Jesse's mention that he and his cousins were all Jesse had, his blue eyes welled up with tears. Jesse had given them everything they had. He loved them, took care of them as tenderly as any mother, taught them right from wrong, put clothes on their backs, food on the table and made sure they got an education. The enormity of what his uncle had done for them all hit Bo right then. "I really am sorry, Uncle Jesse," he said, wiping his nose with the back of his hand.
"I know, Bo. You apologize to Darlene and we'll not say any more about it, all right?" He patted Bo's back.
"I do love you, Bo."
"I love you too, Uncle Jesse."
Bo Duke went back to his chores, sadder, but much wiser.