Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Flame Game

Title: The Flame Game
Authors: Rolf and Ranger

Author's Notes: Since we've both been rushed and short of time, and yet desperate to update, this is a cheap way to a story – you wanted a story?

Here's the film script of a Universe story, Chris and Joe. With commentary.

Joe:     parks in the garage and goes out to get the mail, brings it back in and flips through it in the kitchen

Chris: Watching racing on tv

Joe:     puts the mail down and heads into the living room Hey hon.

Chris: Hi, Leans back for a kiss, in the corner of the couch, arms folded

Joe:     kisses him how was your day?

Chris: ok. Yours?

Joe:     It was good. Settled a case before we needed to go to trial. Always like that.

Chris: well done, that's good.

Joe:     What's the homework look like for today?

Chris: Isn't any.

Joe:     No? taking off tie

Chris: No. Dinner's in the oven.

Joe:     What are we having?

Chris: pork casserole.

Joe:     That sounds delicious. I'm going to change, be right back.

Chris: Goes back to the racing, arms still folded.

Joe:     changes out of his work clothes and into shorts and a t-shirt, heads back down  What else to we need to fix with the casserole?

Chris:  I'll do some rice when it's time.

Joe:     Okay. heads into the kitchen to actually read and sort the mail

Chris: Curls up on the sofa in a tighter huddle, glares at the racing

Joe:     gets through with that, checks on dinner, then yells Want anything to drink?

Chris: Double vodka.

Joe:     pours himself and iced tea and gets a can of Sprite for Chris I thought this would be better.

Chris: why ask me then?

Joe:     In case you had a serious choice? Is something wrong?

Chris: You're not my mother you know

Joe:     I think we both know that?

Chris: then why can't I have what I want to drink?

Joe:     Because a double vodka would end your night pretty quickly, and I planned on spending some time with you.

Chris: yep. That's me. Flat on my back on half a glass of sherry

Joe:     I didn't say that. come here. patting the couch next to him

Chris: Goes, sullenly

Joe:     puts an arm around him What's going on?

Chris:  Nothing.

Joe:     You don't seem to be in a very good mood.

Chris:  I felt like a drink

Joe:     You don't usually want that much alcohol.

Chris: I just felt like it

Joe:     Why?

Chris:  I just feel like it! Tries to get up and head into the kitchen

Joe:     pulls him back down, more serious What's going on?

Chris: Nothing!

Joe:     gets the remote and turns the race off  Something is.

Chris:  Joe!

Joe:      I'll turn it back on once you tell me.

Chris:  I was watching that! I GET into bad moods, you do too, it doesn't mean the sky's falling!

Joe:     No, it doesn't. But if there's a reason you're in a bad mood, I want to know.

Chris:  Slouches back into the sofa, NOT happy

Joe:     Alright, you can think about it then. gets the paper and opens it up

Chris:  Growls audibly

Joe:     reads

Chris:  Huffs

Joe:     reads

Chris:  OKAY. school wasn't great.

Joe:     puts the paper down I'm sorry to hear that. What wasn't great about it?

Chris:  Looking at his knees  I got a four day suspension.

Joe:     shocked A what?

Chris:  Four day suspension. A whole bunch of people did.

Joe:     What happened?

Chris:  there was a troll on the college chat list thing, and a bunch of people flamed him to get rid of him - apparently some of the mails went 'past the line', and those people got suspended

Joe:     You took part in flaming someone?

Chris:  Doesn't answer that one, looking down

Joe:     Christopher.

Chris:  Someone used my account

Joe:     You're saying you didn't take part in this?

Chris:  Not in the mails that caused the trouble

Joe:     Who did?

Chris:  that's not important

Joe:     If you're accepting a 4 day suspension for someone else, it is VERY important.

Chris:  it was just someone at college, that was all. I told them that when I got the suspension letter, but they say the mails were in my account name

Joe:     You're supposed to keep that information private. Did someone break into your account or did you give them the password?

Chris:  someone I know who uses the account sometimes, I know them and its ok.  But the authorities said it was my account which makes me responsible.  I didn't see the mails until afterwards, it all happened in an afternoon

Joe:     Do you have the mails?

Chris:  yes

Joe:     May I see them, please.

Chris:  Gets up to put the computer on

Joe:     follows

Chris:  Logs into the college forum There. Under the Traikes thread.

Joe:     starts reading

Chris:  it got nasty around the end of page two

Joe:     Check on dinner while I read.

Chris:  Goes to put the rice on, not happy

Joe:     reads through, not liking what he's seeing, finishes the thread and signs out

Chris:  Shuts the rice in the microwave, hears the computer shut down

Joe:     sits and thinks for a bit

Chris:  Comes back to him, mood changed now that Joe actually knows  Horrible isn't it?

Joe:     Yes, it wasn't very nice at all. I'm shocked at the vehemence.

Chris:  he was being a pain, but that got really vicious

Joe:     I can see why the Dean handed down suspensions, that kind of behavior can't be tolerated.

Chris: it breached the forum rules apparently

Joe:     It breached a lot of rules. You didn't participate at all?

Chris: Shakes his head, sliding his arms around Joe's shoulders, wanting the comfort I didn't even see them until this morning.

Joe:     holds him for a moment, then pulls him down into his lap You do realize that the suspension goes on your permanent record, the same one that future employers have access to when you apply for jobs?

Chris: I know. I tried to explain, I tried with several people, but the answer was the same each time. My account, my responsibility, end of story.

Joe:     Did they ask who had posted it?

Chris: Yes. I told them it was a friend I'd let use my account, but they said I was responsible for what they put up there in my name. I didn't even KNOW about this thread.

Joe:     Who was it?

Chris: just someone at college.

Joe:     I want a name, please. That person is due a suspension as well.

Chris: it won't achieve anything. They say I'm responsible for what I allow to be published in my name as much as if I'd written it myself. My fault.

Joe:     I don't disagree. That wasn't a smart thing to do, letting someone else post under your name. I want to know who it was, and I won't ask nicely again.

Chris: There's no point in a name you probably wouldn't even know, you're not going to fix this Joe. I was stupid to trust them, end of story

Joe:     That is beside the point. Who was it?

Chris: Joe it isn't going to matter. It really isn't. This is my problem now and I'm the one who has to deal with it.

Joe:     Wrong. You may go stand in the corner, please, and think about that name.

Chris: Joe. Where is the POINT in giving you a name? What are you going to do with it?

Joe:     I'm going to give it to the Dean. The person that used your account is not getting off scot-free.

Chris: gently Why do you think they're going to listen to you when I've already tried that?

Joe:     Did you give them his name?

Chris: No, but I asked what would happen. They said it made no difference. I'm responsible for anything said in my name.

Joe:     I agree that you should be punished, but I don't agree that you should receive the same punishment as those that actually wrote that trash. That is part of your permanent file and it needs to be clear what your part in it was. With the name of the person that authored it, we get the true culprit punished and see if we can make a difference on your own record.

Chris: I can see that. But they're not going to listen to you Joe, I tried with several people.

Joe:     We don't know until we try. Give me the name or go and face the corner.

Chris: I'm not going to help you get someone else into trouble. Especially not a friend. It isn't fair to ask me to do that.

Joe:     puts him on his feet Corner.

Chris: I can stand there until Christmas... warning

Joe:     LOOKS, serious Did you just threaten me?

Chris: No. frustrated, upset I just want you to understand.

Joe:     I want YOU to understand - you are not getting your friend into trouble. They did the job on their own. It's important that we do what we can to have your permanent record reflect the correct facts. If THAT doesn't convince you, the bottom line is I asked and I expect to be told. Face the corner.

Chris:   Goes, still not believing Joe's being so stubborn about this, mostly upset he's so angry about it

Joe:     goes back into the kitchen to check on dinner

Chris: Stands, miserable and frustrated

Joe:     leaves him there until dinner is ready. Puts that on the table Ready to give me a name?

Chris: Unhappily No. Not because I don't understand or I'm being stubborn, but because it won't help, it's going to make things worse

Joe:     You may come and eat.

Chris:  Comes to the table

Joe:     serves them both Does the suspension start tomorrow?

Chris: today. I was sent home.

Joe:     What happens with homework and classwork?

Chris: I just miss the classes.

Joe:     Any tests or projects you miss turning in?

Chris: No sir

Joe:     eating

Chris: picking, upset

Joe:     Eat your dinner.

Chris: I'm not very hungry

Joe:     You will be later if you don't eat.

Chris: I really don't want it

Joe:     Then you may head upstairs for a shower and get yourself ready for bed.

Chris:   Joe -

Joe:     Shower, Christopher.

Chris: Silently gets up and goes

Joe:     finishes his own meal, puts away any leftovers and cleans up the kitchen

Chris: Showers and gets ready for bed

Joe:     heads upstairs

Chris: Sitting on the edge of the bed

Joe:     comes in, stands before him Going to give me that name?

Chris: I don't want to argue with you, I really don't. I just don't see how this isn't going to make everything a lot worse.

Joe:     What is going to be worse?

Chris: for a start, a friend who's no longer a friend, and a friend and dean wondering why my boyfriend pitches in and argues on my behalf

Joe:     Slow down, I don't understand. Who's no longer your friend?

Chris: the person you want the name of if I give it to you

Joe:     I have a question for you. Does this friend know you were suspended?


Joe:     Are you angry with him or her for putting you in this position?

Chris: yes. But I haven't been able to contact him. And once I spoke to the
authorities I know there's nothing to be done anyway

Joe:     Why do you feel he shouldn't be punished as well?

Chris: Not everyone's like us

Joe:     No.

Chris: I don't want him to wonder why I need my boyfriend to fight my battles for me, or why I have to drop him in it. He's going to feel awful enough when he finds out what's happened and it won't MAKE a difference. I know if it was just a case telling the dean he'd do it himself.

Joe:     Are you going to tell me who?

Chris: Joe I just explained all that

Joe:     Then I'm finished asking for this evening. You'll spend the rest of the evening in bed without books or tv and think about it. I've asked for his name and whether or not you feel like giving it to me is now very much out of the question. We DO need to talk about your part in this, and what it means to you.

Chris: I'm not trying not to take responsibility for this. I'm the one handling it and I didn't even know about the conversation, I didn't actually do anything wrong other than trust a good friend here Joe, I'm not the bad guy

Joe:     Your friend IS attending school?

Chris: yes

Joe:     Then I'd like to know why he asked to use your account, rather than his own?

Chris: because he isn't full time. Only full time students get free access

Joe:     looks steadily at him Was it Matthew?

Chris: no.

Joe:     continues looking

Chris: Shuts his eyes, very upset Mike.

Joe:     incredulous Michael??

Chris: Nods

Joe:     debates for a moment whether to involve them immediately or later, chooses later Thank you. We'll take that up with Michael in the next day or two. We need to discuss the punishment for your part in this.

Chris: I keep telling you, I didn't even KNOW about the conversation if I HAD I wouldn't have joined in, it was horrible.

Joe:     I'm very glad to hear that, but it doesn't change the fact that you made a bad decision by allowing someone else use of your account, and that you're now suspended from school for four days, does it?

Chris: I'm suspended for something I didn't do. Mike has been using my account for two years. I didn't mind, I don't go on the forum and he likes to.

Joe:     You're assigned a private password for a reason. You're responsible for anything that gets posted under your name, which is how the University wants it to be, so they can monitor their students and try to prevent what happened today. That account needs to be used by you alone. Mike can afford to pay for access and if he can't, then he doesn't need to participate in the first place.

Chris:I THOUGHT I could trust mike

Joe:     I would have thought so as well, but that doesn't make it right that you gave him access to your privileged account.

Chris: I didn't know that applied to someone who's a very close friend.

Joe:     The University wouldn't assign you a private password if they cared who used what account.

Chris: no, and I wouldn't give mine to just anyone

Joe:     You shouldn't give it to ANYone.

Chris: OKAY, I get it! I trusted someone, who did something I wasn't even involved in, I'M suspended, I'M in major trouble, YOU're mad at me and I'll never bloody touch another computer! Happy now?

Joe:     No, I'm very far FROM happy, as will you be if you speak like that to me again. LOOKING

Chris: I'm sorry. But it's been a horrible day, I'm horribly in the wrong, and I didn't actually do anything

Joe:     No, I can imagine it hasn't been a great day, but it's not horrible or horribly wrong.

Chris:  I got suspended. You're carrying on like I killed someone.

Joe:     Stop with the dramatics, Sunshine. Your suspension is serious – it stays on your records, it makes learning a lot harder, and had you had any tests during these four days, it would have a serious affect on your grade. School is hard enough without the additional problems this brings along.

Chris: really on the brink of losing it. I. Know. I had noticed. I'll go and cut my throat on the front lawn if that will make you any more convinced that I Get This.

Joe:     What did I JUST say?

Chris: AGAIN that you don't think I'm feeling sufficiently bad about this!

Joe:     Face the corner. pointing

Chris: No. Getting up, heading for the bathroom I've had it with this. I've had a lousy day, I expected SOME understanding.

Joe:     turns, but doesn't move, voice changes Christopher Stevens, WHAT did you just say to me?

Chris: That I expected some understanding Joseph, not blame. Slams the bathroom door behind him

            and I would have used Joe's surname but I can't remember it

            he doesn't have one?

            I THINK it might be Robertson but I'm not sure



            lol. he's a little ****

            this is Chris. Sell him to a drama company

            ALL of your brats are like that.

            and you don't ever lose your temper?


Joe:     You have until the count of three to get yourself back in here, or I'm coming in there with the strap. ONE.

Chris: Exploding out of the bathroom GO ON THEN. I don't bloody CARE! You can't make this day any worse anyway!

Joe:     takes him by the arm and over to the bed You have NO idea. pulls him down across his knees and starts spanking him

            which is really going to cheer him up


Chris: Fights for a moment, then bursts into floods of tears

Joe:     yanks down the pjs and spanks for a few minutes more, making sure his bottom is hot and stinging, pulls the pants back up and sets him on his feet Corner.

Chris: Goes, sobbing

Joe:     gets up and straightens up the bed, trying to settle himself down and keep an eye on Chris at the same time

Chris: Still crying, not just reaction but thoroughly miserable

Joe:     gives them both about ten minutes to settle, sits down in the big chair in the room, voice still stern, but kind Come here.

Chris: Goes to him, arms folded tightly. Not defiant, defensive

Joe:     Sit down. pulls him down into his lap, puts an arm around him

Chris: Sobbing starts again but arms stay folded

Joe:     rubs his shoulder, not saying anything

Chris: makes himself calm down

Joe:     I'm sorry that Michael has put you into this position.

Chris: doesn't answer

Joe:     It wasn't fair of him and you have every right to be angry with him.

Chris: still doesn't answer

Joe:     The rules are what they are. The Dean I'm sure, believes that you had nothing to do with the writing, but his hands are tied because University policy tells him what to do.

Chris: I told you I got that

Joe:     Then all that needs to happen is you serve your four days of suspension, knowing your conscience is clear because you didn't take part in the ugliness that happened.

Chris: doesn't answer, not looking at him

Joe:     Chris.

Chris: yes

Joe:     What's bothering you the most?

Chris: I don't know

Joe:     Mad at the university?

Chris: I don't know

Joe:     Break it down. I know you're mad at Michael, right?

Chris: I suppose

Joe:     Why is it only suppose? He said some pretty bad things in your name.

Chris: That doesn't have anything to do with it. I don't even know what the thread was really about, he was involved in it and I know Mike isn't mean, he just lost his temper. And he never pretended to BE me, he just accesses the forum through my email account

Joe:     That's fair enough, but his loss of temper has gotten you suspended as part of the whole problem.

Chris: He didn't mean that to happen and he doesn't even know about it yet.

Joe:     Are you mad at me?

Chris: I'm tired, let's just go to bed and finish this in the morning.

Joe:     No, I want an answer. Are you mad at me?

Chris: yes, ok, I am

Joe:     It's okay to be. Why in particular?

Chris: Because this was hard enough without you blaming me too

Joe:     Honey, I never blamed you for the writing. You said you didn't do it and I believed you. The reason I got upset with you was because I asked for the name of the person that did that. You refused. That isn't how we work and I needed you to understand that.

Chris: I don't mean that. I meant I really didn't need to hear a lecture on how stupid I was to trust one of my closest friends and just how bad this has made things at school. tears starting to overflow again I'm upset and scared enough about that, I GET the picture, I didn't actually DO anything wrong here. And I incidentally didn't see the point in making Mike's life miserable either, he didn't mean this to happen.

Joe:     How many times do things happen that you know very well you're in trouble for, and why, and that I still lecture you on? Every time I lecture you, you're not totally surprised by what I have to say, are you?

Chris: no

Joe:     This is no different.

Chris: it is. I could have used some understanding and support, not you of all people trying to make me feel still worse about this. Slides off Joe's lap, just wanting to go away

Joe:     snags his wrist We're not finished here. Sit back down.

Chris: Goes where he's pulled, not outwardly fighting, but no eye contact

Joe:     I am always here to support you, but you know very well how I handle defiance. You defied me by refusing to tell me it was Mike when I asked, didn't you?

Chris: I'm not talking about that

Joe:     I am, and I expect an answer.

Chris: yes, ok

Joe:     I can't support you, until you support us.

Chris: that isn't fair

Joe:     It's not fair that I ask you to participate in our relationship before I can help you?

Chris: Pulls firmly out of his arms and gets up I'm sorry. I'm very sorry.

            is what joe saying coming out right?

            or is chris just being selective?

            I don't know. I'm seeing only through Chris's eyes so it's hard to tell? I'd see it that he's going to feel he can't win this whatever he says

            I was trying to have Joe say, he refused to give the name, thus earned punishment and that had to be overcome before they could continue to deal with the issue.

            It didn't unfold like that though- Chris might feel that he was punished for losing his temper and arguing back, or that Joe is saying in a way he deserved not to be sympathised with or supported because he didn't play fair


            lol it's not supposed to be easy

Joe:     Chris, come back here.

Chris: I'm sorry. I really am sorry. You're right, I'm wrong. I'm going to bed.

Joe:     Christopher.

Chris: What?

Joe:     Come. Here.

Chris: Goes to him, just about holding together from another explosion

Joe:     gets up, puts Chris in the chair and squats down at eye level in front of him What are you feeling?

Chris: Laughs, since it's that or cry or throttle him Take a wild guess!

Joe:     You're mad at me but you're not telling me why.

Chris: I KEEP telling you why. I feel let down. I'm mad at you, I'm mad at the dean and I don't want to talk about this any further.

Joe:     I let you down because I didn't listen?

Chris: No. I said. I give in. You're right. I got it wrong. I screwed up. I'm the one who was stupid.

Joe:     And I said that wasn't true, didn't I?

            did he?

            I'm saying yes?

            Ok - can't remember exactly what he said

            I know he told him he wasn't stupid, etc


Chris: I FEEL stupid.

Joe:     I can understand that. You trusted Michael and he let you down. You weren't stupid though.

Chris: Well I'm getting this wrong aren't I?

Joe:     Stop it Christopher. You've had a bad experience today but you don't need to borrow yet more trouble by saying things like that.

Chris: There is nothing I can say to you that isn't going to get me into more trouble!

Joe:     That isn't true. You can always say how you feel, but you know I'm not listening to you call yourself names.

Chris: can I please go to bed?

Joe:     .........yes?

            LOL if not PLEASE go to bed. In another state.

Chris:  Thankyou. Goes to the bathroom, shuts the door


            well you told Chris he could go to bed

            thats what i wanted to do. lol

            yes. PLEASE go to bed.

            get that again from before joe said yes


Chris: There is nothing I can say to you that isn't going to get me into more trouble!

Joe:     That isn't true. You can always say how you feel, but you know I'm not listening to you call yourself names.

Chris: can I please go to bed?

Joe:     No, we're not leaving this without sorting it all out.

Chris: It is sorted out. I'm sorry. I apologise.

Joe:     What are you apologising for?

Chris: anything you like

Joe:     That, young man, is not going to cut it.

Chris: then what do you want?

            to hide




Joe:     What I want is for you to tell me why you ended up getting ready for bed immediately after dinner.

Chris: because you were mad I wouldn't tell you the name you wanted

Joe:     Very good. Does that have anything to do you being suspended and how I feel about that?

Chris: I don't know. All I know is you're mad I got suspended, you're mad I let Mike have my password although I trust him and I know him about as well as anyone, and you're mad I wouldn't tell you Mike's name

Joe:     You didn't trust me to tell me his name.

Chris: Because you were about to go storming up to the school and raise caine.

Joe:     Whether I did that or not is beside the question, as it's my choice first. I asked for Mike's name and you refused to give it to me. That bothered me a lot, Christopher. You didn't trust me to do what I thought was right, you took those options from me. That isn't your choice to make, is it?

Chris: what do you WANT me to do? Drop a good friend right in it? I didn't see any point in getting HIM into serious trouble with you and Eric and the school when I'm already neck deep!

Joe:     That isn't your choice.

Chris: you think Mike will see it like that? Because I don't

Joe:     Christopher. That isn't your choice. When I asked for the name, you needed to give it to me. THEN we can talk about what to do with that information.

Chris: yes. it was when you calmed down and got to that point I told you remember? initially you were about to storm into school with all guns blazing

Joe:     That was before I knew the name. You further know that I would do nothing to hurt you, don't you?

Chris: Of course I do, but I don't want you ringing Eric and going ballistic, or going to school and going ballistic

Joe:     That isn't your choice.

Chris: great

Joe:     Hey. I didn't say that I wouldn't listen to you. Or that I'd go off half cocked. What I want you to understand is, I asked for the name and I expected to be told. And if I'm not, then you're being disobedient and I WILL deal with that first.

Chris: For which I've said I'm sorry about twenty times now.

Joe:     THAT is why you were sent upstairs to get ready for bed and why I refused to talk any more about what happened. NOT because I didn't care.

Chris: That isn't what I'm saying. What I said was I didn't need to be made to feel more guilty and more upset about this as though I've done something terrible. I haven't. I actually haven't.

            there isn't anything else joe can say

            why not?

            he doesn't get the idea. he trusted mike, yes, but his account was his alone. and he's now out of school for 4 days and should rightfully be punished for that, but not to the same degree as if he'd written the letter. i already tried explaining that to him once

            gosh and that didn't work?

            If he's too upset to hear it, he isn't going to hear it. What do you think should happen now?

            I guess go to bed. then I'm not sure if joe should call eric, its still early evening, or if they should wait until the morning. But joe isn't going to let chris stay home alone during his 4 days off

            Ok, that makes sense. Id think if he's in a state and feeling thoroughly and unfairly got at - which if he's spent his day being told off at college somewhat unfairly he will be - then it makes more sense to calm him down now and sort it out with him when he's calmer. And it's up to Joe when and how he lets Eric know, but he would need Mike to know ASAP about the forum situation before Mike causes any further trouble by posting there


Joe:     still squatting and looking for a long minute Okay, I think it's time for bed. We'll discuss this further tomorrow.

Chris: What else is there to discuss? I'm sorry. I'm sorry I ever let mike near that computer, I'm sorry I'm out of school and that upsets me a lot more than I look if you don't think I'm upset enough-

Joe:     getting up that's enough Christopher. I know you're upset, which is why I think right now is a good time to settle down and try to sleep. Things will be a little more clear and less hurtful in the morning. holding out his hand to help chris up

Chris: Gets up, not taking it

Joe:     puts hand down, waiting

Chris: Goes across to the bed, gets in

Joe:     comes over and tucks the blanket in, leans over for a kiss

Chris: Allows him, but doesn't respond

            which really is VILE

Joe:     Sweet dreams. I'll be up in a while. heads out, turning off the light

Chris: Turns over, tries not to dissolve into tears until he's out of earshot

Joe:     heads downstairs, logs back into Chris' account and figures out how and changes the password

Chris: Crying, quietly

Joe:     Calls Eric's home

Mike:  Hi?

Joe:     Just the person I wanted to talk to. It's Joe.

Mike:  Hi, Cheerful What can I do for you?

Joe:     I'd like to know what you were thinking, posting that horrible mail onto the University forum this morning?

Mike:  Freezes in absolute shock

Joe:     Michael?

Mike:  I - er -

Joe:     I'm waiting.

Mike:  It was part of a thread - if you didn't see the whole thread -

Joe:     I saw enough. Do you realise that Chris has been suspended for four days because of that mail?

Mike:  what?!

Joe:     he Dean has suspended anyone that participated in that particular thread. Your post was done through Chris' account, and thus he's been suspended.

Mike:  Oh God. Joe, I swear, Chris never saw a word of that thread. I haven't seen him all week so he didn't even know about the conversation, he doesn't read the forums.

Joe:     That's what he said. He's pretty upset about it and wouldn't give up your name for some time. Neither have you been mentioned to the Dean.

Mike:  I'll go straight in first thing in the morning and explain it was me. I'm so sorry, this has nothing at all to do with Chris.

Joe:     back to his usually nice tone Thank you. May I speak to Eric a moment?

Mike:  He's here. breathing down Mike's neck having worked out the conversation isn't a happy one

Joe:     Thank you. Eric?

Eric:   Hi, what's the problem?

Joe:     I'll let Mike explain it in full. Seems that Mike participated in a thread of discussion on the University boards that wasn't very nice. The Dean has since suspended anyone that had a part in it. Since Mike used Chris's account, he's the one that was suspended.

Eric:   Oh no. taking that in Is this a case of Mike just explaining to fix this?

Joe:     I hope so, but I'm not sure. Chris wouldn't give him up and even if he had, the Dean wouldn't have been able to just believe it wasn't Chris himself. Having Mike explain it might help Chris, I don't know. I'm going to work from home tomorrow, since Chris won't be in class. Mike hasn't been able to apologize to Chris and I think tomorrow would be a good time for that.

Eric:   I'm sure he'll be wanting to. Is Chris ok? Not easy standing the shock of this kind of thing anyway, never mind if he hasn't actually done it!

Joe:     He will be. It was a rough night, but mostly because he refused to mention Mike until it was almost too late. He's in bed now, things will look better in the morning.

Eric:   Poor Chris. I take it you read the thread? I won't be able to access it and Mike will not be using that account again- do you know how bad it  was?

Joe:     I've changed the password but you're welcome to access it to read. You probably should, just to get the whole picture, and no, it wasn't very nice. First initial, last name, password is graytrail.

Eric:   Thank you, I'll take a look. I'd like to know what we're talking about. My sincerest apologies to you and Chris, if we can fix this we will.

Joe:     Thanks, I'm sure Mike will do the right thing. Talk to you tomorrow.

Eric:   Goodnight. Hangs up. Kills mike


Joe:     does whatever someone does before going to bed, goes up about 10

Chris: Still awake, no longer sobbing but still tearful

Joe:     gets ready for bed, slides in, gentle and calm What are you still doing awake?

Chris: playing bingo

Joe:     sighs I called and talked to Mike. He was very upset to hear that you'd gotten suspended.

Chris: I told you he would be. He didn't mean to do any harm.

Joe:     He's going to head over to talk to the Dean and see if he can get anything settled with him.

Chris: They won't listen. I tried.

Joe:     It's not going to hurt though.

Chris: I suppose not.

Joe:     turns out the light Come here.

Chris: I'm ok.

Joe:     pulls him over to lie against him and rubs his back

Chris: Not resisting, still trembling, but not coming any closer either

Joe:     It's going to be alright sweetheart. That i can promise.

Chris: it isn't, is it! I've got a mark on my permanent record for something I didn't even do!

Joe:     We're going to wait and see what Mike can accomplish tomorrow. Then if we don't get anywhere at that point, maybe we both can go in and talk to the Dean.

Chris: How do you think that makes me look Joe?

Joe:     It makes you look like you're taking this seriously.

Chris: To take my boyfriend in with me to fight my battles?

Joe:     This isn't a battle we're fighting. It's a situation we're trying to resolve. It helps to have someone in your corner, to suggest things that you may not think of, or just to be there to offer moral support. I'm not taking up a fight for you, I'm there to support you.

Chris: It just doesn't look very good to the authorities.

Joe:     How do you know?

Chris: I feel like I'm asking my mum to come to school with me

Joe:     Hon, I don't have to be there if you really don't want me.


Joe:     There is no need to yell. If you want me there, you know I'll be there. And you don't need to worry about what ANYone else thinks of me being there.

Chris: Shot his bolt, tears overwhelming

Joe:     Rubbing his shoulders, comforting

Chris: Finally turns over and clings to him Just DON'T be mad at me. I can't handle you as well as everyone else.

Joe:     I'm not mad at you, you don't need to worry about that at all.

Chris: Then why did you carry on at me about it? sobbing I DIDN'T write the mails. I don't even USE the forum and Mike doesn't post under my name, he doesn't pretend to be me

Joe:     I wasn't carrying on at you about the mails.

Chris: You were mad about me letting Mike write them and getting suspended. I didn't DO anything

Joe:     Shhhh. I'm not mad. It's late, lets get some sleep.

Chris: You ARE mad. You were mad all evening

Joe:     We're not discussing this anymore tonight.

Chris: Sobbing

Joe:     Rubbing his shoulders Shhhh, settle down, it's going to be alright.

Chris: Gradually calms

Joe:     Keeps rubbing, waiting for him to finally fall to sleep

Chris: Takes a while but does finally doze off

Joe:     Goes to sleep soon after

Chris: Sleeps through, tired out

Joe:     wakes up, leaving Chris to sleep and makes something for breakfast

Chris: wakes slowly, very tired and headachy from last night

Joe:     comes upstairs You're awake. I've got breakfast on the table, come on down.

Chris: Gets up, slowly

Joe:     Not feeling so well?

Chris: headache

Joe:     I'll get you some Tylenol. heads downstairs

Chris: Thanks. Washes his face, head pounding, gulps water and heads downstairs

Joe:     waffles and sausage on the table, orange juice and two tylenol in Chris' spot. Joe hugs him, kisses his forehead good morning.

Chris: Hugs him back Good morning. Sorry for being so vile last night

Joe:     You weren't THAT vile. Get your tylenol and something in your stomach and I'm sure today will get better quicker.

Chris: Are you coming in with me this morning?

Joe:     To school?

Chris: yes

Joe:     We're going to wait until we here from Mike or Eric, after their meeting with the Dean.

Chris: Nods, slowly, trying to eat

Joe:     We're going to need more waffle mix, don't let me forget to write that on our list.

Chris: Ok. Picking

Joe:     finishes up his breakfast I'd like for you to email your professors first thing and ask for the work you need to do from yesterday and today.

Chris: Yes sir.

Joe:     I changed your password last night, it's now graytrail.

Chris: yes sir.

Joe:     Finished with breakfast?

Chris: no sir.

Joe:     Want anything else at the moment?

Chris: No thanks. I'll finish this.

Joe:     Okay. I'm going to call the office and check in. gets up to put his plate in the dishwasher

Chris: Sits, trying to finish the waffle

Joe:     heads down to the office and calls in

Chris: Gets up, loads the dishwasher and puts it on

Joe:     still on the phone

Chris: Gets himself another drink of water, goes to start up the computer

Joe:     hangs up the phone

Chris: Opens email

Joe:     looking over notes he'd taken from the phone call

Chris: Joe

Joe:     Yes?

Chris: Sits back, mail open

Joe:     What is it? looking over

Chris: Hate mail

Joe:     About the thread?

Chris: yes. Someone who was upset about what 'I' wrote. It's horrible.

Joe:     comes over and puts his hands on Chris' shoulder. Close that down and get the emails to the professors.

Chris: Shuts it, opens another email, shaken

Joe:     chris. Leave the mails alone. Email your professors, please.

Chris: Writes the mail

Joe:     Got them finished?

Chris: yes sir

Joe:     Get yourself into the tub for a soak.

Chris: Goes upstairs, still shaken from the content of the mail

Joe:     goes over and opens up the different mails, getting thoroughly mad

Chris: Lies in the bath, trying to calm down and convince himself it wasn't him it was aimed at

Joe:     composes a blanket email and prints it out, heads up to the bath, knocks How's the bath doing?

Chris:  Its ok.  looks back at him did you read those mails?

Joe:     Yes. I composed a response to send anyone that writes. What do you think? hands it to him

Chris: reads it, flinches Ouch

Joe:     People respond without knowing the whole story and I'd rather let them know that immediately. It's not mean or argumentative, just states the facts as they are, along with an apology for your name being dragged into the mess.

Chris: You want to send that to everyone?

Joe:     I'd like your permission to send that to anyone that writes hate mail. I'll monitor it myself for a few days.

Chris: ok. I don't think I'm ever going in that mail box again

Joe:     I don't blame you. I'll check through it for your replies on homework, the rest you don't need to worry about. I'll go do that now.

Chris: thankyou

Joe:     heads downstairs and returns the few emails that are needed, shuts that program down and starts working on some stuff he needs to do.

Chris: Gets out and dries, dresses

Joe:     working in the office

Chris: Comes down and leans on his shoulders, folding arms around his neck

Joe:     Headache gone?

Chris: No.

Joe:     Come around here. moves chair back and pulls him down in his lap

Chris: leans back against him, wanting the contact

Joe:     massages the back of his neck for a few minutes

Chris: Leans back against his hand That's nice. I've got homework to do. What are you working on.

Joe:     I have a brief due in court on Friday that I'm working on. What homework do you have at the moment?

Chris: Nothing special. Revision for a quiz. Reading.

Joe:     Why don't you turn the radio on and stretch out on the couch for a few minutes, see if that won't help the tylenol to work,?

Chris: I ought to work

Joe:     You've got nothing but time today. Rest for a bit, then get started on it. I need to shower, I feel like a bum working in my pjs!

Chris: You look like one too. But don't shave on my account. kisses his cheek

Joe:     hugs him, puts him on his feetI'll be back down in a few minutes.

Chris: Goes in to the sofa, stretches out, shuts his eyes and tries to stop his head pounding

Joe:     showers and dresses

Chris: turns over, tries to get comfortable

Joe:     heads downstairs and into living room Would you like some iced tea?

Chris: Yes please

Joe:     goes in and makes two glasses, hands him one I'm going back to the office to continue working. I'll check back in a few minutes and see how you're doing.

Chris: I'm ok. When it eases off I'll get some reading done

Joe:     Make sure that tv stays off. heads into the office and starts working on his brief

Chris: Shuts his eyes, trying to calm down the pounding

Joe:     working

            think mike will get anyone to change their minds on the 4 days suspension?

            I don't know?

            seems like if chris said it, he couldn't necessarily be believed. But if the person that wrote it said it, then it does make chris look less guilty. i'm not sure that he should still be suspended the whole time

            i don't know.

            I don't think so. It would be hard to prove, but I really wouldn't blame chris much if at all

            probably given time served and a reminder that his account is his only, because you can see what happens


            that sounds right

            who will call first? think mike/eric will stop by after their talk and then the school will call to tell Chris he can come back?

            I'd think Mike and Eric would call in and say it's gone to meeting, and then the school call later

Chris: Aching, trying to find some how to lie that doesn't hurt

Joe:     working

Chris: Joe?

Joe:     gets up and comes through Yes?

Chris: This is going to be a migrane. I'm going to take the heavy duty stuff

Joe:     Let me get that for you then. ruffles his hair, heads upstairs to get the good stuff

Chris: Shuts his eyes, trying to stop the room moving

Joe:     comes back down with the drugs Here you go.

Chris: Thanks. Takes the capsules

Joe:     Want to stay here or try lying in bed?

Chris: Here? It's cooler. Can you put the burner on?

            whats a burner?

            um. You put lavender oil in the top and a candle/hot stone underneath and it heats the oil, makes the scent strong

Joe:     I'll do that. gets up and turns that on, then pulls the curtains closed over the window to block out some of the light Relax now, and try not to think about school. I'm sure that's what's got you started.'

Chris: It'll go off in a bit

Joe:     I'll check on it. Relax now. heads back into the office

Chris: Concentrates on lying still

Joe:     working

Chris: Gets up, goes into the bathroom

Joe:     working

Chris: Stands for a few minutes trying to settle his stomach, then throws up

Joe:     thinking he's taking a while, gets up and heads towards the bathroom

Chris: Clutching the sink, getting his breath back

Joe:     Chris? Are you alright?

Chris: Hit by another bout

Joe:     opens the door

            what DO you do for someone who's getting sick??

Joe:     gets a cold washrag and a glass of water ready, talking soothingly

            Leave 'em alone until they feel better I suppose- it depends on how the person feels about it, I hate an audience

Chris: straightens up, flushes the loo and takes the water to rinse his mouth out, shaky and eyes watering Thanks. I'm ok, just the migrane

Joe:     washes his face when he's done with the water Let's get you back on the couch, hmmm?

Chris: Thanks. I'd love a cup of tea.

Joe:     I'll make us both one. follows him out to the living room, then heads into the kitchen to make the tea

Chris: curls up on the sofa, pain a little better

Joe:     brings tea through a few minutes later Here you go.

Chris: thanks. sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you

Joe:     You didn't disturb me. Is the pain a little better now?

Chris: yes, its easing off

Joe:     runs a hand through his hair Your eyes are a little clearer too.

Chris: That'll be the worst of it over. what are you working on?

Joe:     Still on the brief. I needed a break anyway.

Chris: sips tea, tired, about ready to fall asleep. door bell rings

Joe:     That may be Eric and Mike. puts down tea and goes to the door

Chris: sincerely hoping not

Joe:     opens door

Eric:   Hi Joe. eric with an acutely embarrassed mike

Joe:     Hello Eric, Mike. Come in. holding the door open to let them enter

Mike:  gos in, Mike looking about ready to let the floor swallow him up I'm really sorry about everything Joe

            who said? mike?

Joe:     I was surprised. I didn't expect to see your name connected with something like that.

Mike:  flushing still darker No sir. I'm sorry you saw it

Joe:     Sorry I saw it, or sorry that it was done at all?

            oooohhh, he's mean. lol

            LOL no kidding!

Mike:  still darker, mumbles something incoherent

            sorry, i'm laughing here


            i don't know.

            LOL Ok.

            guess because i can make eric say something too

            LOL go for it, gang up why don't you

Joe:     lets that go Did you get a meeting with the Dean this morning?

Eric:   Eric, looking sternly at Mike You can do better than that.

Mike:  shifting weight on his feet, still looking at the floor I'm sorry anything was said at all.

Eric:   We saw the dean. I'm afraid he won't budge. He was extremely unhappy with Michael, but the rules stand that the account holder is liable.

Joe:     shakes head Thank you for trying.

Eric:   We really did. Mike tried very hard. But they're stuck to their rules. Apparently they used the same policy they use for online plagiarism, which is the account holder is legally liable - you're the lawyer, you'll know this better than me.

Joe:     Yes, it's in the contracts and the only legal way should they be taken to court to show who actually wrote the stuff. I wasn't sure if they'd budge or not, but it was certainly worth a try.

Eric:   I'm very sorry Chris is carrying the can. Mike assured me he had no idea of the content of the conversation

Joe:     Thankyou. Chris said he hadn't known and I believed him. I think Mike owes the apology to Chris but he's not feeling well at the moment.

Eric:   I'm sorry to hear that. He must have had a very stressful evening

Joe:     He was pretty upset about it all.

Eric:   I'm sure he was. I'm suspending Mike since the college won't. And if there's anything we can do to help please let us know.

Joe:     Thank you again for trying with the Dean today. Chris isn't missing anything important and he'll be getting his homework assignments taken care of.

Eric:   I'm very glad, I'm just sorry he's had to be affected at all when he's done nothing wrong. Tell him how sorry we are? Come on Mike. I hope Chris is feeling better soon.

Joe:     Thank you. sees them out

            pooooooor mike. lol

            LOL I get the impression he is very dead


            very very very dead

            poor boy

Chris: Trying to hide in a corner of the sofa Have they gone?

Joe:     Yes. comes over and sits down, takes his hand Mike wanted to apologize but I told him you werent' feeling well.

Chris: heartfelt thank you. Did they change anyone's mind?

Joe:     shakes his head no No, I'm sorry. The school is sticking to their guns about that.

Chris: Doesn't say anything but looks down

Joe:     It's going to be alright.

Chris: I'm so sorry

Joe:     Why? You did nothing more than trust a friend.

Chris: I still got suspended. Which is always going to look bad.

Joe:     We can write a letter to be inserted into your file if you'd like. Explain our side, and that we understand why the school suspended you, just that you didn't participate in the flaming that took place. That should fix what employers will see and there shouldn't be a problem.

Chris: That's a good idea, that really is. I'd feel a lot better about that.

Joe:     We'll get that done in the next few days then. I think you should take another dose of painkillers as you lost some of that earlier and relax until lunch.

Chris: I knew I had a good reason for hanging around with a lawyer. Gets up to get the painkillers, leans over to hug Joe

Joe:     laughs, hugs him back Glad that degree was worth something.

Chris: Definitely. Goes to get painkillers

Joe:     gets up and takes the mugs back through to the kitchen

Chris: Takes two painkillers, blinking a bit in the light Can I go and sit outside? It's fresher out there?

Joe:     Maybe after lunch. Rest on the couch, that way you might actually get some sleep out of it.

Chris: Ok. Goes back into the lounge, curls up on the couch

Joe:     heads back into the office to work

Chris: Quickly falls asleep


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