Chapter 3

Red's Conclusion

A Half Moon Investigations Story

A RedxMoon Story

Talking thinking Narration


THE NEXT MORNING BEGAN MY TRUE INVESTIGATION, when I finally buckled down and really started to unravel this mystery. I knew it would be hard and after… the night before, I knew I'd have to be careful not to let my emotions get the better of me. No matter who I was meeting with. Then again, a quick fist to the face never hurt anyone… except whomever the face belonged to, and that was the point. My list was short; the five pieces of shit that dared to do that to Fletcher… and Half Moon himself. I hadn't gotten a good look at the kids who'd done this to Fletcher, but he'd always taught me that the first place to go is to the crime scene. So that's where I headed.

I was there a few minutes later, but my legs grew slower the closer I got. By the time I was on the hauntingly familiar asphalt it felt like I was walking in tar. I looked down and for a second Fletcher was back on the ground, huddled in pain and fear. Where was I when this was – I shook my head clear of the thoughts. Below me was a bit of dried blood, Half Moon's… no doubt, but ahead I saw a tiny slip of paper. It was wedged in a crack in the street, but with a gentle tug, it came free. I unfolded my first clue with anticipation; a… laundry receipt? …With an address! I turned and ran to the address printed on my tiny spark of hope.

The doorbell rang as I waited on the front steps of the house. If this weren't one of them I'd be screwed. "Hello?" a voice said, as the door swung open. Yep, it was him.

The blond boy the stood in front of me was my height, though I was pretty sure he was in Fletcher's grade. More importantly, he was one of the kids to attacked Half Moon. The last one I took down. His eyes widened as he saw me and moved to slam the door shut. I caught it.

"What… what are you d-doing here?" He asked, shrinking away from me.

"I'm here to ask you something," I replied. "I already paid you back for that night… well some anyway."

"Look, I'm sorry okay? It really wasn't my idea!" He exclaimed. "I was just hanging with my friends, and he came along. They all shouted the plan and ran. I didn't have time to say anything! I knew he was yours…"

"Mine?" I thought. What did he mean by that? "Why did they do it?"

He looked at me with a renewed fear in his eyes, like he was afraid to give me an answer.


"B-because," He muttered. "I… it wasn't my idea! Please! Ask the others!"

I sighed; this was going to get me nowhere. He was too choked with fear. "Fine. Who are the others? Where do they live?"

A few minutes later I had swung by my place and was biking to the second culprit's house. I arrived at the old place in record time – I guess rage was a great fuel source. But this time I needed to try with a bit of finesse. "Jack."

More widened eyes, "I'm SORRY! Please! I don't need another bruise!"

"Shut it now idiot," I snarled – so much for finesse. "One question, then I'll leave." He nodded furiously. "Okay. Why the hell did you do it?"

"Because… we… we chose him because…" He muttered quietly. I glared at him until he continued. "Because he's gay."

Stunned. That's exactly how I felt at that moment. What… what the hell was this kid saying? Gay! Half Moon was not gay. He might not be the toughest or the best at sports, but he wasn't… he wasn't… he wasn't… right?

"What… you, didn't know?" Jack asked, beginning to grin. "Hmm, well I suppose everyone was wrong. We all thought you two were an item." His grin turned into a scowl. "It's disgusting. At least now I can tell the others you're alright again. Even if you do hang out with that little fa-"

He was up on his toes, his shirt clutched in my tightened fist within seconds. "You say another wordabout him and I will kill you. I don't know what's what right now, but Fletcher is my friend. And I won't stand for you talking shit about him. Understand?" I spat each word at him with such anger I thought my head might explode.

I threw the kid down onto his wooden floor and stalked off. I needed to talk to Fletcher now. And the look on that guy's face was more than enough for me. Maybe I should apologize… send him a diaper to clean up that mess. With a grin on my face and my heart beating quickly with uncertainty, I hurried to the hospital to get the true scoop.

I walked into his hospital room and felt might throat choke a bit. He looked so pathetic; attached to all those wires and with the IV dripping every few minutes. "Fletch…? You… awake?"

He grinned at me, his head swaying back and forth to look at me. Usually his grin made me smile, it sent a small tingle through my spine – what? I want him to be happy – but now, this smile was completely drug induced and it… scared the hell out of me. His glazed-over eyes pointed in my general direction. "Hey! R-red! Hehe… your name… its cuz your hair is red. You're a GINGER! Hehe."

My heart ached a bit. "T-that's right…" I replied. "It's me. How are ya feeling Half Moon?"
My old partner giggled. "Half Moon… it's funny. I'm short." My heart sank even further. Fletcher didn't giggle. It didn't suit him, not at all.

I sat on the edge of his bed and reached for his hand.

"Red!" He shouted happily. "Your hair! It's so… so… red! Hehe, red." He ran his hand through my hair. I sighed a bit… and then remembered why I was there, and what had happened.

"Right, I know that Fletch," I replied. "My hair's red. We know. But… Fletch I-"

"It's… so pretty," He whispered suddenly, running his tiny hand back through my hair and letting my fiery tendrils drift through his fingers. "Really, really pretty… just like you."

Wait… what? I sat back a bit shocked, but didn't move from his touch. Was… he serious? "Fletch… I have to ask you something."

"Red! Red! Red!" He cried happily. "You're names pretty too!"

"Okay Half Moon," I said, a bit frustrated. "Now, answer me please! Fletch… do you… are you…"

Suddenly my partner's face got serious. He looked at me, his eyes still and focused. They examined my face with such intensity I thought he might be counting my freckles. I flushed under his gaze.

"Red," He started. "Have I ever told you how wonderful you are? How much I think of you? And how beautiful I think those eyes are; green, like the forest. I think your gorgeous Red Sharkey, every part of you. From your flaming red hair, to your cute, ticklish toes, you are beautiful."

I sat still as a board. He… Fletcher really… really feels… he is… it's true. "Fletch… do you-"

"Hehe Fletcher! That's my name!" He sang, giggling at every word. "It has to do with arrows! But I can't shoot an arrow… I wonder why I was named Fletcher… if I can't shoot arrows."

He was rambling again. He was loopy again. What happened there that caused that serious confession? "Half…"

"Half of my heart!" My partner sang, kind of beautifully really, but I was surprised he knew the song. "Red… you know my heart is with you!"

He laughed and pulled up his sheet bashfully. It was sweet, but also confusing. "What do you mean Fletcher?"
He sighed in exasperation. "I meanthat I, Fletcher Moon, Private Investigator, is in looooooove with you! I love you so much. THIS much!" He gestured a large space – his love.

How many times can I go into shock? This must be some kind of record. I looked up, but my partner was suddenly back asleep. Good. I needed… needed some time. I stood and walked out of hospital. I didn't know where I was going exactly… but I just needed some air. Walking briskly in a random direction, I had my time to think.

Half Moon is… in love with me? I felt my entire partnership with Fletcher flash before my eyes. How did I not notice? All the blushes, the shy smiles, the content looks; it was so obvious. But then I wondered. I thought to my self, what are my feelings about this? I couldn't bear to have that Jack insult him, I hated watching him in any kind of pain, and the idea of him being upset hurt me. Even now, knowing Fletcher's feelings and everything about him… I'm not angry. Well a little annoyed that he had to be drugged to tell me, but… I still want to be around him. I still want to be his partner, to solve cases together, to continue our late-night stakeouts or the simple sleepovers. But… it was more… he was more. I though about how my heart jumped when I saw him smile, how I grew anxious when I knew my time with him was only minutes away, how it sent shivers down my back when he touched me. I don't know when it happened, or if I would have ever figured it out if Fletcher hadn't gotten hurt, but… I realized something at that moment. I loved Fletcher Moon. With all his quirks, his overly complicated way of speaking and his complete lack of good reputation, I loved that kid. And it was stupid that I didn't see it sooner.

My new revelation spread a grin, wide across my face. I needed to go back, to tell Fletcher everything. I looked up at a clock that I noticed out of the corner of my eye. Somehow, it had been four hours since Half Moon's confession. Wow… heartfelt realizations take a lot of time.

"Hey Red," Fletcher muttered as I entered his room. He looked a bit tired, but I could tell that the drugs had worn off. Good, I needed him clear-headed for this. There had to be one of us.

"Hey Fletch," I replied, sitting at his bedside.

"Red… I wanted to… to thank you for saving me," He said, smiling lightly. "Again. I'm sorry you always have to do so."

I frowned. "What are you talking about? Don't apologize for getting beat up! Jeeze Fletcher, I know your upset at yourself, but still. I'm your… friend, you don't need to thank me."
Now it was his turn to frown. "Why the pause?" Sometimes his detective skills were extremely annoying.

"Fletch… you don't… remember me coming in to see you this morning, do you?" I asked timidly.

His brows furrowed and his eyes glossed over, like he was looking into the past. "I don't… believe so. Did you? Why did something happen?"
Again… that stupid intuition finds its way into everything. "Fletch… you were kind of drugged. For the pain I mean, and well… I guess you weren't really in control of what you were saying and umm… Half Moon… you confessed."

Confused, his brow wrinkled again. It was kind of cut- okay not what I needed to be focusing on right now. "Confessed…" He said. "To what?"

"Fletcher, I went to those guys who attacked you, and asked why?" I answered. I might as well start at the beginning.

He blanched, but I continued. "Then I came back here, and in since you were drugged you just… confessed."

He cleared his throat and wrung his hands together. "I taught you far too much."

"So it's true?" I asked. His earlier confession was… something, but I needed a clear-headed answer.

"What do you think?" He asked a bit coyly. "What does your investigation tell you?"

"That… that it's true," I stammered. I felt my cheeks burn with anxiety. What if… I was wrong. What if that was just a loopy slur of words that didn't mean anything? "That…"

"That what Red? Say it." He looked at me, confidence rolling off of him, but fear in his eyes.

I don't think I could say it. There's no way I could say it. My heart sped faster than ever. I thought it might even explode. "That you love me."

"You would be right…" He answered quickly. It was true! He loved me! My heart fluttered with happiness… at least, until he continued. "I guess… this is the end of Half Moon Investigations, huh?"

"What?" I asked, confused.

"Well it won't really exist without you…" He replied, a sad smile on his face.

Now I saw there this was going. I sighed. Did he really think I would leave him? That after learning his secret I would just leave? Not saying much for me… but I guess I would probably think the same. And who knows how long he's had to keep this secret. "Who says I'm going anywhere?"

His eyes widened in shock. I think his heart might have stopped for a minute too. "You're… you're not disgusted?"

I grinned and rolled my eyes. "Jeeze Fletch," I said with a smirk. "You really are slacking. I think I'm starting you surpass you."

I saw the happiness grow in his eyes. They glistened with happiness, but he was still the Half Moon I knew, not about to let me win our little verbal spar. "Not a chance. I just haven't had as much time… or enough courage. Really Red?"

"Yeah Half Moon," I confessed, smiling though my cheeks must match my hair by now. "I love you too."

You know those cheesy movies? Where the girl and guy oblivious of each other, then they realize each other's love and end it in a small kiss? I mean… uh, not that I've seen those, but… shut up. Anyway, it was exactly like that. Both of us were blushing bright red, but we leaned in and tilted enough to connect. I know I've never seen those movies, but… what they say about the fireworks? They're completely right. Fletcher pulled back first and a sigh escaped my lips.

Half Moon grinned. "So… what are we going to do about the rest of the populous?"

"Let's see them try something with me and my family," I replied, smiling as well. I'd be with Fletch if I wanted to, screw everyone else.

His smile widened and this one sent butterflies into my heart. "You really are awesome," He said. Nice.

"Yeah, I know," I replied, winking at him.

He laughed and I felt my blush grow a bit.

"Hey!" I exclaimed laughing as well. Hey, even if I was embarrassed, his laugh was infectious. I really do love him.