Where Do I Fit In?
by Andrew Foote
Throughout this story real organisations and real people are mentioned by name. Their place in the tale is in the author's imagination. No thoughts, words or deeds attributed to those people or organisations are real, nor have they ever happened. This is a story! It's fiction. The people and organisations, even when they interact with the characters, are presented in an entirely imagined and fictitious manner, and no discourtesy is intended to them by the author nor by the web site.
Spurred on by Mr Fairbairn's and Tony's encouragement we entered back in to our studies and training with renewed vigour. None of our friends had seen fit to comment on our fall from grace but did say something once we were back on track. Paul took the position of spokesman for all of them during coffee following a training session.
"We were really concerned about you. Your mood swings, how you behaved at school was just so out of character and because you were both openly antagonistic, we were frightened to say anything to you."
I hadn't really noticed how we'd changed and neither had Lucas so I tried to put some meat on the bones.
"Look we're both very sorry but I dunno, worry about what's gone on recently, pressure of school work combined with training just crept up on us. We knew we had issues but who could we turn to? We needed and still need answers but you guys weren't in a position to help us so eventually it took a bollocking from Mr Fairbairn to straighten us out. At least now we have people that we look up to who know what's happening and hopefully can help. We are really sorry. We didn't mean to be mean!"
"You're back with us so no harm done but next time……..bloody well talk to us no matter if we can be of help or not! We've all banged on about how we're here for each other but then, just at the point where you need your friends the most? It's like you ditched us. Andy? We were hurt by that and probably more than you'll ever realise."
"I don't know what else to say except I promise it won't happen again. Now I come to think about it, I'd be very pissed off if any of you did that to us. Ignoring your friends, the people you love the most is unforgivable and all we can do is ask you to accept our heartfelt apologies so we can all move on together."
"Sorted. Let's forget about it shall we?"
Looking back, I think……..no, I know Benny had taken a real hit over this, much more than the others. I saw him talking to Lucas one day during morning break at school and he was clearly still upset. I watched from a distance as they talked but then Lucas gave him a hug to which Benny grinned and punched him on the arm which elicited a yelp of pain from my boyfriend as obviously Benny hadn't been too gentle but it cleared the air considerably and at last things returned to normal. I did quiz Lucas though!
"I love the little guy, you know I'll always have a soft spot for him and I hated seeing him so upset so I set things right. Do you mind?"
"No! I know you still fancy him and that's okay so long as it goes no further than an infatuation."
"You're wrong Andy. I used to fancy him, I won't deny it but now? I just……..what's the phrase……..feel very close to him like he's my little brother or something maybe?"
"I can understand that. I feel the same about Lor. Those conversations we had when we were in Guam? It was as if we were totally on the same wave length almost. Talking with each other was just so easy even though I'm gay and she's straight so yeah, brother and sister does it for me."
"We're lucky we still have them as friends. Benny told me they had all but given up on us. I think that's almost as scary as anything else that's happened."
"You do realise that Paul and Lor will marry someday don't you?"
"Yeah. They'll be very happy as well. It's kind of like it's their destiny almost."
"He won't marry Jenny. That'll fizzle out so he has yet to find the girl of his dreams and then it'll be unstoppable! I'm guessing six kids minimum!"
"C'mon?? Happy is Benny's middle name! Can you picture him with the love of his life? They'd be bouncing around fit to bust a gut! The thing is with him is that no matter how serious he tries to be, he always has to inject some humour into everything. Even when he was telling me off he made me laugh. He's just a lovely guy!"
"Yeah you're right but I get a little bit paranoid when I see you together. Perhaps it's because I really am in love with you that I still find it difficult."
"Stop worrying cos we're just good friends and nothing more. We're back on track, summer is just around the corner and we still have to decorate the apartment."
"Yes and then there's the garden to think about before very much longer so let's get busy and motivated."
It was a couple of weeks later when we were summoned to Mr Fairbairn's office but this time, with our lives in some kind of order, we weren't overly bothered.
"Okay boys. You wanted news and now I have some for you.
The DNA together with photographic evidence and detailed measurements of the remains of the body's that were found in Wormleighton are being used in an attempt to reconstruct a three-dimensional image of the two boys in that grave. There is nothing we can do to stop it from happening, none of you rights as individuals are being compromised so it's going ahead as we speak. You did after all, agree to your samples being retained for further research and whilst they won't be using yours you have to let it happen. How do you feel about it?"
Lucas, now back to his confident self, answered for both of us.
"We don't have an issue with that sir but how do they go about it?"
"From what I understand that they take readings and measurements of the skeletons and together with the DNA they were able to gather, they're able to tell body mass, hair colour, features such as eye colour, nose and ears, and just about everything. DNA dictates what we are, who we are, how we look and how we develop both physically and mentally so in time, scientists should be able to pick up on inherited disorders, genetic problems and all manner of other things but I'm a teacher, not a scientist so my understanding is limited."
"Yes but they are looking to recreate a 3D image of what they might've looked like? Why's that?"
"Because DNA is handed down, watered down through the generations but it will give them a clue to how we develop over time and it might help to solve mysteries that surround some diseases such as Cancer, heart problems, strokes and other ailments that appear to be hereditary. They are already working on drug treatments that target specific diseases in certain people with a view to prevent them from infecting others such as their children in the future so it's important research."
Lucas and I looked at each other and smiled.
"Count us in sir."
"This research won't directly involve you as they already have your DNA records but they wondered if you would be interested in seeing the results of the computer reconstruction. They also have a motive for asking you and that is, to make a comparison between you and whatever it is they've managed to come up with but obviously, if you agree, then they'll need your parent's permission."
"We don't have a problem with that but I still don't understand why they need to make a comparison?"
"The way it was put to me is that this technology is still in its infancy and given that your genetic makeup and that of those two sets of remains are so unbelievably close, it gives them a perfect opportunity to see whether or not they're headed in the right direction."
"Oh okay so they want us to ask our folks if it's alright."
"No they'll be writing to them as it will have to be written permission."
Exactly two weeks later and we were on our way to the University of Birmingham with our parents plus Mr Fairbairn who had commandeered the school bus to get us there. We arrived at the building which housed on of the country's centres of excellence for biological research, a drab and very uninspiring block of offices just off the Hagley Road near to the main University campus where we registered with the receptionist and then met by a Professor Adams. He seemed to study Lucas and I before he introduced himself then led us through to his office.
"I'm sorry if I appeared to be staring at you two lads but later you'll understand why and by the way, you can expect a similar reaction from other team members but first, an explanation of what we're attempting to do here.
You might have seen on various TV programs how by using data collected from DNA samples of dinosaurs and the like, we're able to recreate what we think is how they might've appeared when they were alive but our problem has always been that it's pure conjecture so we simply don't know if what we are doing is correct or just a wild stab in the dark. With you two boys, we have a real opportunity to find out because your DNA and that of the two skeletons found at Wormleighton are so close to the point where I can honestly say, I've never come across anything quite like it.
So now I'll tell you what we are attempting to achieve. We are able to glean so much information from samples that we can build a computer model of how these two might've looked in life and the more we understand, the better we become. We're already able to pin-point those who might be at risk of developing serious diseases so enabling us to work on ways of targeting specific treatments for those individuals but still the question remains, are we going in the right direction? Now shall we go and see the results? I must warn you, you may well find what you're about to see somewhat disturbing so if you'd rather not, then now's the time to say."
Lucas was adamant.
"We've seen enough that's freaked us out already so how bad can it be?"
"Okay then but prepare yourselves for a surprise at least. Let's go through shall we?"
We were taken through, not into a laboratory as we'd expected but into a computer room. As Professor Adams had told us, the five or six other members of staff turned to look at us as we walked in and subsequently introduced. Sharp intakes of breath all round is possibly the best way to put it and we were about to find out why.
Professor Adams took us over and had us sit in front of a very large computer monitor and began to explain the process.
"Right then. The first images you are about to see are a digital reconstruction of the two skeletons which we've called 'A' and 'B'. This won't be too upsetting as I understand you saw the remains at the church so let's take a look."
He hit the return key and the images were displayed.
"Most of us in here have been involved in deciphering the DNA maps obtained from these remains and we've been able to recognise virtually all physical attributes and so what we were left with was strings associated with things like temperament, mental capacity, congenital defects and so on and while they are of interest to us as scientists, they really don't have a place in this particular undertaking, we just wanted to understand how they appeared in life.
This DNA evidence was used in a way that we believed would be able to build up three dimensional layers of tissue around the bones to the point where we should get an idea of what these two poor souls looked like but the thing is, we could never be 100% sure that what we were doing was correct as we've never been able to draw any comparisons, well not up until now anyway. I'm going to fast forward a little as the entire process took almost two hours but I'll slow it down towards the end because that's where it becomes rather dramatic."
We watched as slowly layers were added which began to take on the appearance of two human forms then after about fifteen minutes, he stopped the process and spoke to us.
"Okay so here is where I'll resume but at the normal speed."
Very gradually we noticed distinct and very life-like muscle definition being added, facial features and embarrassingly, genitals but while the two boys looked sort of like us, that's where the similarity ended, that is until hair was added to their heads.
Lucas was stunned into silence but I was more vocal.
"Dear God! They're us!"
Professor Adams smiled.
"Yes indeed but before you say that we must have cheated, one of the team seemed to recall a UTube video of your diving and it was at that point I made it perfectly clear that you boys were not to be researched in any way, we have no photographs of you, no history about you. This had to be purely a scientific exercise with no possibility of anything other than the reconstruction of the skeletons and the DNA to help us. I'll have this put onto a memory stick for you so you can watch it in its entirety when you have the time if you like but now I have a favour to ask of you. Come through to my office and I'll explain."
We were all taken through to an office laid out much like a conference room. There was a tray of soft drinks and a flask of coffee on the table and we were told to help ourselves.
"Okay so now for my favour. What you've seen isn't like a scientific breakthrough, the theory has been around for a while now but where this is important is that what you've seen today proves that theory beyond doubt and that in itself is important so I want to publish a paper on it and to be able to do this, I need your cooperation. I would like photographs of the pair of you and preferably only wearing underpants or swimming trunks because it isn't just faces that are important here, body mass and muscle definition is equally as important. I promise you that you won't be named but I fear that as you are already capturing the attention of the media, it will only be a matter of time before someone, somewhere puts two and two together and so that's my problem and why I'm hoping for your cooperation."
Mr Carmichael and my Dad looked at each other before my Dad spoke.
"You are absolutely correct Professor, both the boys have had their fair share of media coverage and if they continue to succeed then we are very aware that this is only the beginning. It has always been one of our priorities as parents, also Mr Fairbairn as their Head Master and all members of their coaching team, that they are shielded from public scrutiny as much as possible but as you say, this piece of research is important so my take on it is that such a decision is left up to the boys. I take it that your paper will be published in a scientific journal?"
"Yes but you have to be fully aware that the press are bound to pick up on it."
"Thank you for your honesty. It's like you're talking yourself out of it!"
"Ha-ha! No but it's as well to be clear about the implications. I wouldn't want you to think that I hadn't come clean with you just for the sake of my publishing these results. I have children of my own and so I know how important these issues are."
"Thanks for that! Well boys? What are your thoughts?"
Lucas had found his voice and asked the self-same question I wanted answering.
"You research DNA here, is that correct?"
"Yes Lucas. That's all we do here. Why do you ask?"
"Then you might be able to help us with something."
"If we can, we'll certainly try so tell me what it's about."
"Ever since Andy and I have known each other, we've been incredibly close, not just as the best of friends but also in other ways. We can communicate with each other without opening our mouths, we are very aware of each other, where we are in relation to each other and there are times when we think as one person without even realising we're doing it.
The thing is, no one can explain it away, nobody can tell us how or why we're able to do it to the point where we feel as if we're freaks. We were just wondering if DNA could hold any clues."
"You just said 'we were just wondering'."
"Case in point. If I hadn't asked the question, I knew Andy would've done and no, we haven't talked about it previously."
"That's very interesting. Can you give me instances of these occurrences?"
"How many do you want? Maybe you should talk to our Sports Phycologist, Dr Lauren as she has miles of video footage that demonstrates it."
"I'll do that! I like a mystery and if it helps you lads understand yourselves better then I'll put together a research plan and get someone senior to head it up."
"In that case, publish your paper."
The drive back home was subdued but then Mr Fairbairn asked us both a question.
"You never told me about this communication thing? How far does it go?"
Lucas pulled a pencil from his pocket along with a piece of paper.
"Andy? You just look out of the window and I'll write down what you're thinking about but KEEP IT CLEAN!"
I gazed out of the window to see a lorry driver picking his nose and the thought crossed my mind that you see a lot of drivers doing that so maybe it was some kind of subconscious thing but other than that I was just day-dreaming.
Lucas was busy writing then passed it to his Dad.
"Here you go. That's what Andy was thinking. Now Andy, tell them what you saw and what you thought."
"I saw a truck driver picking his nose and I just wondered if it was something drivers did subconsciously cos loads of them do it."
Lucas' Dad burst out laughing!
"Can't fight that! That is pretty much exactly what's written here. I'll put it on the dashboard so you can see for yourself once we're parked up.
The day had actually been shorter than we had anticipated and when we got home there was still about three hours to kill before our evening training. I looked at Lucas as he boiled the kettle for coffee and even though we had got so used to each other's company, there were times when it was as if it was like that first time I'd seen him but without my nervousness and reservations. He was beautiful and I could feel tears begin to roll down my face just in total awe of him. He reached for the coffee jar and noticed me crying silently and turning off the gas under the kettle, drew me into his arms.
"What's the matter Andy? Have I done something to upset you?"
"No, nothing like that. It's just that sometimes I look at you and I can't believe we're really together. Given how much time we spend together, it would be easy to take each other for granted but then there's times like these when our relationship feels so fresh, so new. Lucas? Will you take me to bed please? I want you to make love to me so much it hurts."
That took care of two hours giving us just about enough time to shower and change ready for the other's to arrive. We showered together and despite the fact we'd both cum twice, just looking at the water running off his lithe, smooth body made me chub up again. I pulled him into a hug which made him do the same.
"I love you so much. I don't want to go training, I want us to go back to bed again!"
"I know but if we dip out, we'll be letting down the guys. It's been a long time since we've either not been too tired or we've just had the time to simply make love that it's very tempting to say sod it and go back to where we just left off but we really should go tonight Andy."
"You're right but I think today has helped clear up some things that have been playing on my mind and given me back some perspective. Yes school work is important as is our diving but to me, our love for each other is more important than anything else and I fucked if I'm going to let it take a back seat like I think I've been guilty of allowing it to recently."
"It's not just you who've been guilty of that, I've been just as bad so now my May resolution. Make time for each other. Agreed?"
"Make time for making love!"
"Is that all you ever think about?"
"Mostly! Well today definitely!"
"Good! Now c'mon Andy or I'll be sporting a stiffie all evening which even tight Speedo's won't be able to hide!"
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