Westpoint Tales

by Kiwi

Entangled Tales - 69 - Daniel

Next day, they went to Warkworth. There were no seats available on the two scheduled flights out of Westpoint, so they chartered a plane to fly them up to Auckland.

It was a ten-seater plane, in addition to the pilot, and they filled it up. They could have filled it two or three times over with the people who wanted to go, but in the end it was decided that the party would be - Jonathan, Justin, Daniel, Lucas, Crispian, (who they needed to drive the bus), and the rest of Whozzat - Peter, Jay, Sandie, Shelley and Kadie, but not Cody.

Cody didn't want to go - he didn't know Tony personally and was more than a little jealous of him. The others weren't worried. They hadn't discussed it, but they were all off Cody. He was an excellent singer, though maybe a little dead in his performance, he was good-looking, but he knew it too. The main trouble was that he was just too self-centered. Any one of them would have swapped Cody for Tony any day.

Besides, their songs, with Tony singing, were starting to make an impact and they all wanted Tony back, except Cody.

Daniel was the last to arrive at the airport and he insisted on bringing his cousin, John, along with him. The pilot was not happy about it but, as they pointed out to him, the combined weight of all 11of them was less than ten adult-sized passengers.

They landed in Auckland after an uneventful flight and hired a mini-van for the trip out to Warkworth. It was only a 9-seater, but again, they squeezed in and there was plenty of room. Crispian had never driven in Auckland before, but he was used to city traffic and was unfazed by it. Jonathan and Daniel were his navigators.

They arrived in Warkworth at lunchtime, went straight to the school and pulled in there. Daniel stood surrounded by his new friends and looking at his old school. It seemed much smaller now. Several people recognised him and came running over.

Kenny Graham greeted him. "Daniel! Hey. What are you doing back here?"

"Hello, Graham. I don't know if I should be talking to you."

"Why not? What have I done to you?"

"Nothing personally, but you were a prick to Tony."

"Nothing he didn't fucking deserve."

"Careful Graham, you're skating on thin ice here. That's him there, Justin. Tony's brother, Alex."

Justin followed the pointing finger and ran over to the boy. "Alex Duncan? Come over here with us. Daniel wants a word with you."

"I've done nothing." The younger boy squeaked.

"No-one said you did. No worries, Alex. Daniel just wants to talk."

They walked over to Daniel, but he was distracted. "You!" he yelled. "David Graham, I've got a bone to pick with you!"

Hold on a minute, Guitar-man," Jonathan interrupted. "Your fingers are valuable. I'll deal with this."

He walked over to David Graham. "This is for Tony," he said and he punched him in the mouth - hard. The boy's feet left the ground and he fell heavily on to the grass.

Jonathan stood over him. "Don't ever hit any of my friends again or I'll break your jaw next time."

He came back to where Daniel stood, awestruck. "Thanks. I enjoyed that. Why don't you take Tony's brother into the van and talk to him there?"

"I'd rather you were there too, Jonathan. Don't worry, Alex, no-one's going to hurt you - I think."

The three of them sat in the van while Alex poured out his story. After a few minutes, Justin got in there with them.

"Excuse me, Guys, won't take a minute. Jonathan, take your sweatshirt off would you? Now sit down on the floor here with me for a second."

"Are you going to tell us what this is about?"

"There's teachers coming. They're going to want a piece of whoever hit Graham, but they can't do anything about it if they don't know which one it was."

"Devious, Justin. Really devious."

"Yeah. Okay, thanks Jonathan. See you soon."

He got of the van to face the irate teachers. When the yelling started, Jonathan got out as well to stand by his twin.

"No, you listen to me, Mister." Jonathan squared up to the large teacher who was trying to intimidate them with his size. "You don't scare me, you're all bluff and bluster, but I'll tell you this much - you lay a hand on either one of us and the other one will break your arse and that's a promise!"

There was something about his clear, controlled and precise speech and the way he held himself, that was far more menacing than any amount of shouting and abuse could have been. Even those who his glare was not directed at stepped back a little.

Even Justin found his brother intimidating like this. He gave the impression of being tightly wound and barely contained. Jonathan was downright scary and no-one knew what he was capable of.

That was when Jonathan finally got a nickname. John, looking at him with awe and admiration, said, "Wow! The Iceman cometh."

The Iceman - it fitted him. In his stance as he faced down the staff and pupils of Warkworth Area School, it was easy to picture him as the Iceman , covered in cold, hard, ice and shooting bolts of icicles from his clear blue eyes. The Iceman.

Next, Daniel spoke with Tony's cousin, Diane. He brought her over to Crispian who, full of his usual charm, introduced himself as Whozzat's manager. He explained that Whozzat's music was becoming quite well-known and being featured on the alternative radio stations. Tony was their Ace singer, and they needed him back if they were going to progress any further. He left Diane with a handful of the small posters that they'd photocopied - wanted posters with a photo and offering a reward ($500), for information on his whereabouts.

Then, they went to the Riverboat Queen Café. Alex said that he would have liked to come and see his parents get what was coming to them, but he'd better not, he had to live there after all.

They left the school, drove up the road and parked outside the café. Daniel walked in first and looked around. It was a quiet day, only two old ladies and one family group in there and another couple out in the sun on the balcony.

June Duncan came out from the kitchen out the back, and stood behind the counter. "I told you that you are not welcome here, Daniel O'Brien. Leave. Now!"

"I don't think so," Daniel snapped. "Where is Tony?"

"I don't know and I don't care. Get out of my café."

"Careful, Lady," Jonathan stepped forward. "You may not have a café by the time we've finished."

"What the hell do you mean by that? Get out, all of you!"

"No!" Jonathan snapped. He turned on the customers, sitting staring at him. "You people, leave - now."

"I'll go when I'm ready. I haven't finished my coffee," one of the old ladies retorted.

Jonathan walked up to their table; he took the cup from her upraised hand and poured the coffee out on to the table.

"Now you've finished. Go!"

The ladies jumped back from the coffee streaming off the tabletop, and then, grumbling, they picked up their bags and left. Jonathan pointed at the other two groups and flicked his head towards the door. They all left hurriedly.

"What do you think you're doing? You can't do that. Get out of here now or I'm calling the Police."

"That's a good idea," Daniel said. "Call the Police. We've got a few things we want to say to them too. Things about people who beat up their kids and throw them down the stairs! Where is Tony's so-called Father, anyway?"

"Right here, Faggot!" John Duncan came out from the kitchen and out from behind the counter. He had a small baseball bat in one hand and stood slapping it into the other.

"Oh good!" Jonathan grinned menacingly at him. "Just what we need. Hit me, Big Man. Come on - one shot and then we'll see what happens."

Duncan felt a chill from the boy's icy glare. Starting a fight was the last thing he wanted to do. He laid the bat down on the counter.

"What do you want then?"

Justin picked up the bat. "Nice bat. Probably a bit light though."

He swung it down and smashed it on the floor. Everyone there froze at the sudden loud noise. He picked up the three pieces and laid them back on the counter.

"Yeah, a bit light really."

"You bloody little" - John Duncan choked at Justin's evil grin and Jonathan's glare.

"Now we've got your attention, Duncan. Where is Tony?"

The next few minutes were unforgettable as Jonathan interrogated the fearful parents. There was no more violence, no threats, not even any raised voices, but they were both thoroughly cowed before him.

He got the full story out of them. Tony had been picked up on the streets in the city and had been placed in a Welfare Home. There had been some sort of trouble there and he had run away again, two days ago, and hadn't been seen since. The police were looking for him now.

As they were leaving, Jonathan looked back and promised the Duncans, in his chilliest voice, that they had better hope and pray that Tony turned up safe and well, or he'd be back and they would pay - bigtime.

They stopped at a Wendy's Burger Bar for a late lunch, on the way back into the city and studied the maps from the rental van to work out how to get to the Welfare Home.

Jonathan looked at Justin who was grinning at him across the table. "What are you looking at?"

"I'm not sure what I'm looking at - not sure at all. Peter, my friend, remind me never to piss my brother off.

Daniel agreed. "Thanks, Jonathan. You were brilliant back there - scary, but brilliant. I'm pleased that you're on our side."

"You were brilliant, Boy," Crispian agreed as well. "The pen is mightier than the sword and, I think that the tongue is greater than the fist as well. You reduced those people to frightened messes without touching them."

"Yeah, well," Jonathan blushed. "We do our best. We're not finished yet either, if words don't work then I'll turn Justin loose on them. Then they'll really know what scary is."

"I think they already know that - the Iceman cometh."

After their quick meal, they all climbed back into the van and went to Werita Street and the Gibson's family home. Daniel went in and rang the doorbell. Mrs. Gibson answered.

She was pleasant enough, but not much help. She couldn't tell them anything that they didn't know and she was not happy about the missing $340. Jonathan, Justin and Crispian pulled out their wallets and together came up the money to pay them back.

They were about to pull out of the driveway when a long, skinny, Maori boy came running over to the van.

"Hi, I'm Cody. You Fellas Tony's mates?"

"Yeah, we are - some of them."

"Dunno if I should tell you this, but Tony left here well-prepared. As well as the money, he had sleeping bags and stuff. They haven't worked that out yet. They also don't know that he left on wheels - he pinched their 50cc Honda motor-scooter. I covered up for him so they haven't seen that it's gone. He took petrol too."

"He did? That's great, Cody. Thanks. Any idea where he was going?"

"Not a clue - he didn't say.  He had wheels, he could be anywhere by now."

"Right. Two days, money, petrol and a bike. He could be anywhere. Thanks, Cody. We'll keep looking. Have a poster, ring us if you hear anything, okay?"

"Sure. I hope you find him, he's a good guy."

"He is, he's the best. See you, Cody."

"Yeah, goodbye and good-luck."

On the way back into the city, Jonathan used his cell and rang Mr. Currie, their pilot, to tell him that they were on their way. When he finished the call, he turned to Crispian.

"Well, Lordship, we'd better find somewhere to sleep. Mr. Currie says that it's too late to fly back to Westpoint now. It's raining down there, just for a change, and it'd be dark before we got there. Westpoint International airport doesn't have any lights for night landings. He's going to stay at his sister's in Mangere."

That's that then. We shouldn't have bothered going to see the Gibsons, we'd be home by now."

"Home, Lordship?"

"Yes, home. Westpoint's my home now. We need a hotel then. Somewhere in the central city would be 'cool' I guess. We might as well enjoy a night out seeing as we're stuck here anyway."

There were cheers all round from the back seats, mostly. Daniel spoke up.

"Shit, Guys. I'm sorry about this. We're putting everyone to so much trouble."

"No trouble, Guitar-man," Peter replied. "We'll have a little holiday, that's all. It'll be fun, and if it's not then we'll all kick Tony's arse when we find him."

Again, there was laughter, cheers and agreement all round - mostly. John noticed Justin, sitting across from him, looking downcast.

Crispian found a hotel in the central city, close to the waterfront. It was big and multi-storied, but didn't look too flash - just a hotel, not a top-of-the-range clip-joint for the wealthy tourists. He parked and went into speak to reception. The others all got out, stretching and looking around excitedly, mostly.

John went over to Justin who was standing quietly watching the others.

"Superboy, you don't look so happy about this. You're thinking about your Carver Kid, aren't you?"

"Yes I am. Very perceptive of you, John-boy. Though I suppose that it's no secret that I'm missing him. The last time we came up to Warkworth, we stayed a couple of days in a motel. It was great - best time of my life."

"And now you're all alone."

"If you can call it alone, in the middle of this crowd, yeah, I am."

John was red-faced and embarrassed now and he struggled to get out the words he wanted to say. "You. . .um. You, er, don't have to be alone. I could share a room with you, if you'd like."

Justin was a bit taken aback by this and he just stood studying the red-faced boy before him.

"If, um, that is - if you want to. We could, um. . .share a bed . . maybe? If you want."

Justin took his arm and pulled him a few steps along the sidewalk, away from all the others.

"John Peters, are you offering to have sex with me?"

John was almost crying now. "Yes," he whispered. "Just tonight. If you want. You don't have to be alone."

Justin hugged him quickly. "Thanks, John-Boy. Thanks, but no thanks. Billy is the only one that I want to make love to, but I do appreciate the offer. You're a good kid; really hot too, for a little 'un. Someday, you're going to be a great boyfriend for someone."

"But not you. I'm not looking to be your boyfriend or anything, just a friend. I'm not a virgin you know."

":Neither am I, John-Boy, neither am I. I'll be proud to be your friend. Thanks. Don't worry about me; I'll be sleeping with my brother, so I'm not alone. So, are we friends?"

John smiled and nodded. "Friends," he agreed.

"Great." Justin kissed his cheek and then hugged him. "You're a good friend. I'm gonna love you, but not like that. That has been taken, okay?"

"Okay, Superboy. I love you too - as a friend."

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