Westpoint Tales

by Kiwi

Entangled Tales - 72 - Daniel

In the morning, after an immense cooked breakfast, (which Crispian was sure would fill even this lot up for the day), they checked out of the hotel, piled back into the van and went off, up the hill, to the university.

After a lot of searching and getting confusing directions, they made their way around the huge place and finally found the studio for the radio station - Student FX.

Whozzat were interviewed, collectively, live on air and four of their songs were played as they told their story and appealed for any information about their missing singer and friend. The announcer held Tony's photograph up to the microphone, but that didn't help.

From there, they went on to the TV studios and were interviewed again. This time, it was taped for showing later. Then, it was back to the airport and home to Westpoint.

They were all home in plenty of time to watch themselves on the television. The interview with Whozzat, and Crispian, was shown on the current affairs programme after the 6 o'clock news. Tony's photo and the reward being offered were featured prominently.

There was a surprise at the end of the item. The camera focused on Justin and Jonathan, outside the studio, looking through the window. The voiceover said, "Here's some friends of theirs, also up today from Westpoint. Remember these guys? These are the Reynolds twins. One of them is Jonathan who found his long-lost brother when watching this very programme.

The other is Justin. You must remember him; he's the one who intervened in the Westpoint School shooting and hostage drama. After the gunman died, it was Justin who sung at his funeral and told us that he was a victim there as well."

A short clip of the film of Justin singing Danny Boy, in the church was shown.

The interviewer came back on. "Indeed, it must be a special place, this Westpoint."

Tony's photo and a phone number came up on the screen with a final appeal for help and offer of a reward.

The programme closed to the sound of North'n West Coast Sun.

In the TV lounge of the Adelphi Hotel, Jonathan nudged his brother. "Just can't stay out of the news, can you, Superboy?"

"That was old news. Besides, you were there too and they talked about you first. Have you thought any more about changing your name, Mr. Reynolds-twin?"

"Changing my name back to Reynolds? No, I hadn't. But, after that, I think that I will. I'll do it, but I'd better talk to the Shaws first. I'll go and do that now in case they watched that as well."

In the following days, they were all, especially Daniel, anxiously waiting for a response to their appeals for information; but there were none. The sales of Whozzat's songs, on the internet, went through the roof.

All seven songs featuring Tony were selling well, especially North'n West Coast sun. They put up another song with Cody singing the Beatle's Revolution. That went down well too. People seemed ready for a revolution.

Crispian was kept busy with calls from the media - both national and international. He also refused several offers of recording contracts from music industry executives.

"These kids are not in business. Music is just their hobby, they're school-kids, school is their business for now."

By the end of the week, Whozzat were the biggest selling act in the country, several times over.

Crispian put adverts in the Sunday papers around the country. These featured a large close-up of Tony's face and were captioned - "Tony Duncan. He's the current biggest-selling singer in the country. He's a model for J&J's R&R skin repair systems. He's a 15 year old schoolboy in trouble. He's our friend and he's missing. Where is Tony? A reward will be paid to anyone who can tell us where Tony is."

Again, they waited anxiously in the days that followed. The adverts were repeated in Wednesday's papers, but there was no response.

Daniel was a mess. He was really worried and getting depressed, despite everyone's constant support and forced encouragement, especially John's. The weeks dragged on with no news.

Whozzat lost their singer. A huge argument blew up during a Saturday night practice at the Union Hall. Cody was a bit drunk and he snapped when someone told him, (once again!), that he just didn't put the life into the music like Tony did.

"I'm sick of hearing about this wonderful singer that you used to have. When are you going to face it? Tony Bloody Duncan's gone. I'm sick of competing against a fucking dead kid!"

Daniel crumpled like he'd been hit in the guts.

"Don't you say that!" Sandie yelled at him. "Tones is NOT dead. Don't you say that! He's a far better singer - and person - than you'll ever be. Creep!"

"Oh, fuck off, you Butch Bitch. There's plenty more faggots where he came from."

Sandie hit him; she punched him in the face. He punched her back, knocking her off her feet. Jay got up and dropped him with a hay-maker punch. He slid off the edge of the low stage and landed on the floor. Jay stood glaring down at him.

"Get out, Cody. Get out and don't come back. We don't want to know you."

"I'm going. I'm outta here. I can do better than a bunch of baby queers like you lot."

"Fuck off, Harrison!" Peter yelled. "We don't want crap like you around here."

Cody left town that night and they didn't see him again. They went ahead and did their first public show anyway - a dance for the local teens. All of Whozzat took turns at the vocals. None of them were very good at it, except Sandie (Suzie Quatro) Evans, but they had a lot of fun. Except Daniel.

By now, he was really low and would happily have given up the music if not for all the others' constant pushing and pleading. He did love his guitar - Tones' guitar - so he persisted even though he was 90% sure that Harrison was right when he said that Tony was dead. It was only a small country, surely they would have heard something by now? He thought it, but he didn't dare say it out loud, in case that made it real. Tony was probably dead and he'd never hear from him again.

Weeks dragged on. Carl Douglas was killed in a stupid, tragic, accident. The school musical, Oliver, and Justin and Billy's reunion provided some high spots. Also, Justin and Billy's radical moving in together. Shelley and Lucas broke up and Lucas started seeing Billy's sister, Margaret. School finished for the year. Christmas came and went. New Year came and went. (Whozzat did an open-air, free, concert at the Shingle Beach on New Year's Eve, Peter and Crispian videoed it.)

The new year began and days went past. Daniel, (and Tony's), sixteenth birthday was approaching on the 16th of January. Daniel didn't want to know. He'd never had a birthday without Tones - ever!

On Sunday night, the 11th of January, the Peters, (and O'Brien), family had all gone to bed early. Daniel had cried himself to sleep while John lay on his bed and held him. This was an all too usual pattern now.

It was almost 11.30 when the phone rang, waking up the household. Nita answered the phone next to her bed, and then called out to Daniel that the call was for him - Lucas Sheridan wanted to talk to him urgently. He stumbled out to the kitchen and picked up the phone by the door.

"Hello?"

Half-awake, he winced at the cheerful, loud voice coming through the phone.

"Guitar-man? This is Lucas. I think you might want to come around to my place."

"You what? It's late, Lucas. I was in bed."

"I've got something here for you."

"For me? What are you talking about?"

"Tony just walked in here."

"Tony? My Tony?" Daniel yelled, 100% awake now.

"Yes, Tony Duncan."

"Yes!" He dropped the phone and took off out the door.

Daniel and Lucas both lived in the same street, but several blocks apart. Daniel was at no.3, Lucas at no. 88. He streaked up the road, running as fast as he ever could, bare feet pounding the asphalt in the middle of the street. He arrived at the Sheridan's in record time - a car couldn't have done it faster.

The lights were on and he crashed straight in through the front door. The door flew back and banged on the wall.

Lucas called out, "In here, Guitar-man. We're in the living room."

He burst in through the door and wildly looked around the room. Lucas was saying something about Justin Reynolds, but he wasn't listening. Daniel only had eyes for the boy rising up from the couch, behind Mrs. Sheridan. She stepped back out of the way.

('Tony!') He stood trying to catch his breath. He'd never run so hard in his life and his chest was heaving. Feet were bloody sore too!

Tony stood facing him. He was wet and dirty and dressed in ragged clothes. Taller? Perhaps. Definitely thinner, long and lean. He was much thinner and what had he done to his hair? He looked different, but it was him - Tony!

He wasn't moving - looked like a possum caught in the headlights, so Daniel walked over to him. He was so relieved to see him. Relieved from months of worry, and mad with him for not calling or something. Not a bloody word!

He raised a hand. He felt like slapping him, but, no - he couldn't do that. So he grabbed his shoulders and shook him as he yelled in his face.

"Where. The. Fuck. Have you BEEN?"

Then he burst into tears in joy and relief as he hugged him tight. "Tony. Tones. Oh my Tones. Where were you? I thought you were dead. I thought you were dead!"
He pulled back to look into his eyes. He brushed the tears away with his fingertips. "If you ever, EVER! do that to me again, I'm fucking going to kill you, Man. Oh, Tones. I love you so much."

"Daniel? Danny. Oh Danny. I nearly was dead. I need you, Danny. I really, really need you. I love you, Danny."

"Of course you do!"

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