Remember the Titans 2

Remember the Titans 2


By Alayia


Rating: G
Disclaimer: I have no association with Disney or Jerry Bruckheimer Productions Remember the Titans is copyrighted by Disney. RTT 2 is a complete work of fiction. There is no money being made.
Summary: Alan Bosley is taken from the Titans basketball team by his father and tries to get back, while Boone and Yoast are replaced by other coaches.
Author's note: At beginning of the movie, Sheryl Yoast talks about what happened when she was an adult. That's the person at the beginning talking.
[Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13]

The football team of Alexandria, Virginia had accomplished many things, we all know that. Coach Boone and Daddy had done a mighty fine job at making the team a family through the segregation. They had learned to live together in peace and not many people knew that back then. That season was one of the best ones of my life, but as the season starts, it must end, too. I was young back then, so I took it really hard, but Daddy, he told me that there was another sport, not as important as football, but it was still good for our team. The sport was basketball. Not many people down south knew about it, but they were soon gonna find out.

~~~~~ Chapter 1 ~~~~~

1971

"Blue! Blue, man, wait up!" Lewis Lastik called from the end of the street. Blue Stanton stopped and waited for his team member.

Lewis Lastik was one of the Titans, the T.C. Williams High School football team. Lewis was large in size and benefited the team with that. Blue Stanton wasn't that small, either, but still was another advantage to them.

Lewis stopped running, out of breath. "Man, it was really hard running four blocks to catch up to you."

"Let's concentrate just on going to school, man," said Blue. A smile crept over his face as they started walking. Then he sang, "Baby, there ain't no mountain high enough," Lewis joined in the song alongside Blue, "Ain't no valley low enough. Ain't no river wide enough, to keep me from getting to you, babe!" The two boys sang the song all the way to T.C. Williams High.

When they entered the school, they right away saw some people that they practically knew inside and out. Alan Bosley and Petey Jones. Alan was the kind of guy that was easy to be around and mostly accepted things for the way they were. Petey was a clown sometimes, always cracking a joke when he can. They all looked at the end of the hall when a loud noise came through.

"Yo, Alan, Petey," Blue called to them as they came over, "What's up with that?"

"Oh, Gary came back to school today. His mom wants to how it will go with him and his wheelchair. Julius and Emma are with him. I guess that was what the noise was," Alan answered.

Gary Bertier was in a car wreck a few months ago and was paralyzed from his waist down. He was the team's captain until he was maimed by the accident. Julius Campbell, or also known as "Big Ju" was Gary's best friend. They formed a strange friendship at football camp over the summer. Emma Hoyt was Gary's girlfriend. Emma didn't like Julius until Gary's accident because she was very racist and didn't really understand. Gary was coming back to school today and someone had probably made the wrong remark because Julius wouldn't let his friend be criticized.

"Hey guys, it was really nice of you to help me today," Gary told Julius.

"No problem, man," Julius said.

Then, Ray Budds, one of the former members of the team and Gary's old friends, came up to Emma, Julius, and Gary.

"Well," he sneered, "Look what the wheelchair dragged in."

Julius grabbed Ray's shirt and slammed him up against a set of lockers.

"Hey!" Julius shouted, "Don't you be makin' fun of my white skinned brother like that! He's going through a hard time now, ya hear? He was once your brother, too. What's changed?"

"Nothin' that you would understand. Now get your filthy hands off me," Ray said. He grabbed Julius' hands, pulled them off of his shirt, and left the hall. Julius watched him go, hate lusting in his eyes.

"Julius, you didn't have to do that," Emma said.

"I know and I'm sorry," Julius apologized, "but I didn't want my brother to be a victim."

"It's all right, Big Ju, I'm fine. Ray, he's just confused," Gary insisted.

~~~~~

Coach Herman Boone was sitting at his desk in the school. The football season had just ended and now there was nothing else to do. He had heard about T. C. Williams High School not getting involved in other sports like basketball. *Maybe it's time the Titans got exposed to a different kind of sport*, he thought with a wry smile. Just then, Assistant Coach Bill Yoast walked in and said, "Hey Herman, what's new?"

"I was just thinkin',"

"Don't hurt yourself," Yoast joked, "Sorry, go on."

"Why doesn't T.C. Williams play basketball or anythin' like that?"

"I guess we all like football all too much. Why?"

"I was just thinkin' why can't the boys play basketball?"

"We could try it," Bill said, "We've never done anything like it before. They don't know how to play and neither do I."

"I do," Boone said with a smile, "Get them together in the auditorium after school and make sure Gary's with them."

"Coach, why are we here?" asked Jerry Harris. Jerry was known formally as "The Rev" because he was very faithful to his religion.

"Yeah, Coach, what's the deal?" Ronnie Bass asked. Ronnie was nicknamed "Sunshine" because he was a transfer student from California.

"Well, those are very good questions. I asked you here today," He paused. He found it to be a good, suspenseful hooker. "To play basketball this season."

~~~~~ Chapter 2 ~~~~~

"Basketball?" Blue asked, "None of us know how to play basketball."

"I could teach you," Boone offered, "It'll be a little different than football, but I know you guys would win."

"Then what am I here for?" said a voice behind Boone. The coach turned around to see Gary approaching in his wheelchair. "I can't play, what am I doin' here?"

With a smile Boone answered, "Well, someone's gotta be the mascot." He quickly glanced around to see all the boys' faces light up. "Gary, you can't play football or basketball anymore, but you mean a lot to this team. This family."

Standing up, Lewis said, "Yeah, we are a family!"

Also standing up, Blue said, "That reminds me of a song." He paused, trying to get the right tune. "This is how it goes: We are family! All my brothers, sisters, and me!"

"Wait a sec, who are the sisters?" Lewis asked.

The Titans all stopped and thought about that. Then Petey said with a mischievous grin, "The cheerleaders."

They smiled and said in perfect unison, "Yeah,"

Shaking his head with a grin on his face, Boone said, "All right, now. Your uniforms are back in the locker rooms. Coach Yoast and Coach Hinds are back there and they'll give them to ya according to what number ya had in football."

As the Titans filed into the locker room, Boone thought, Training has begun.

~~~~~

"C'mon, Alan! Catch the ball!" Boone cried. It had been a few weeks after the Titans started training. The boys were familiar with the game, but were not ready for another team. Yet.

The ball went towards the boundary line and it so happened that Alan was closest to it. The ball flew and so did Alan trying to go after it. Just as he was about to catch the ball, another person approached and caught it. Alan hit the floor with a thud. Alan-now on the floor- looked up at the newcomer.

From the top of his head to the bottom of his shoes, he looked every inch born athlete. He had the bluest eyes and his blond hair was so curly, it almost looked permed.

With a smirk, the guy said, "Well, well, well, look at little Alan. Towel Boy has a purpose now, I suppose?"

By then the rest of the Titans had gathered over to Alan and the new guy. Petey helped Alan to his feet and asked, "Are you all right, man?"

"Yeah," he assured his fellow teammate.

"An integrated team, even?" the person mocked, "Towel Boy's really movin' up the social latter now."

Boone, having just enough of this criticism, walked up to him and said, "What do you want, boy?"

"Name's Jamie Timberwolf. I wanna join the team," he answered.

Glancing back at Alan, Boone asked, "You wouldn't, by any chance, be rattlin' my number forty-eight's cage anytime, would you, now?"

"No, sir, never," Jamie answered.

"All right, now, we'll have to see how good ya play. You still need all your forms filled out and we need to register you a number."

"Back home I was number forty-eight," he stated, quickly glaring at Alan, "But I guess I can't do that, now can I?"

"Nah, I don't think ya can," Boone said quietly. Raising his voice for every Titan to hear, the coach then announced, "Jamie Timberwolf is a new member of our family. He will begin training tomorrow. All right, everyone, good job! Hit the showers." As everyone went inside, Coach Yoast stepped out. "Boone, what's this?"

"This is Jamie Timberwolf. He's new on the team." From across the gym, the school secretary came in and said, "Coach Yoast, your daughter's here."

"Thanks," he said as the little girl with long, blond hair came running across the wooden floor. When she reached the other end, Jamie leaned down to her eye level and cooed, "Aren't you the cutest little kid I've ever seen?"

The girl rolled her eyes. "PUH-lease! How pathetic is that? I don't have enough time for your bowing and scraping."

Boone had to restrain himself from bursting out laughing. He hadn't gotten the best first impression on this guy, but that didn't mean he shouldn't give him a chance to play.

"Sheryl!" Yoast scolded.

"*What*? Basketball head should find someone else to kiss up to!" Sheryl insisted.

"Yoast, ya think you can find a number for this guy?" Boone asked.

"Sure," he answered, "C'mon, Jamie."

~~~~~

"What do you brothers think about that Jamie Timberwolf?" Blue asked the guys in the locker room.

"I can tell you one thing," Alan answered, "He'll probably wreck this whole team up."

"What do you mean, Bosley?" Sunshine asked.

"Well, before I came here, I tried out for the team where I used to live. The only thing is, I didn't make it and Jamie did. He's always been competing with me. He calls me Towel Boy because I was a close second on the team, so, you know. But he'll wreck us up both physically and emotionally. He's not a good person and we need to watch him."

~~~~~ Chapter 3 ~~~~~

The sound of the whistle blew and was heard all through the gymnasium. Both Jamie and Blue jumped for the ball. Jamie caught it and dribbled down the court. Sunshine stole the ball from Jamie and passed it to Blue who threw the ball to Alan. As Alan was going to catch it, Jamie ran up and pushed Alan out of the way and caught the ball. Alan skidded to the floor and stayed there, clutching his forearm in pain. Knowing what happened, Boone called a time out. All the Titans except Jamie gathered over to Alan.

Kneeling down to help Alan to his feet Boone asked, "Alan, are you all right?" "My arm hurts," Alan told the coach, showing him his arm. There was a gigantic burn mark along the whole side of it.

"It looks like it'll be a bruise for a while. You landed on your arm pretty hard. You won't die, but you should go to the nurse just in case," Boone said with a reassuring smile.

Julius turned to Jamie and said angrily, "What on earth were you thinkin' man?"

"I was playing basketball. I intercepted the pass," Jamie said snidely.

"Man, this isn't the pros! This is high school basketball! You shouldn't trash your teammate like that anyway!"

"I never had a liking for Alan Bosley. Let's just say we never clicked," Jamie sneered. He turned and left for the locker room. Julius sighed. *Alan was right about that guy*, he thought.

"All right everyone," Boone yelled, "Hit the showers."

On the way back to the gym, Alan met up with Jamie.

"Oh, hey Alan," Jamie said, "I am so sorry about today. I didn't mean to hurt you. By the way, Boone and Yoast say the team's meeting tonight at seven' o'clock. See ya then." With that, Jamie left.

~~~~~

Alan entered empty gym that night. The sounds of his sneakers filled the large room. He was drawn by the sound of someone coming out of the utility closet. It was Jamie rolling the basketball caddy over to Alan.

"Where's the rest of the guys?" Alan asked, "And the coaches?"

"It's only us," Jamie answered, "You wanna play basketball, Towel Boy? Wanna make it like old days again?" Jamie grabbed a ball and hurled it at Alan. It hit the arm he'd hurt earlier in the day. Alan cried out in pain.

"Your arm hurts?" Jamie scoffed. He barked a laugh. "That won't be the only thing that's hurting when *I'm* through with you!" The new team member threw another basketball at Alan. It hit his face. Filled with all this newfound rage, Alan leapt at Jamie. Jamie stepped aside and let Bosley hit the floor. Jamie pinned Alan down, took a rope from the caddy, grabbed Bosley's arm a little more roughly than needed, and rubbed it hard against number forty-eight's arm.

Janitor Bob finished locking up the last classroom in the senior hallway when he heard a scream come from what sounded like the gymnasium. Grabbing a broom from his bin, he made his way downstairs. The screaming was getting louder and it sounded like someone he knew. Someone from this school. He rushed into the gym. He spotted this boy with curly hair pinning down another boy. It looked like the boy with curly hair was torturing the other one with a rope. They both looked at Janitor Bob. The curly kid jumped up and ran quickly out the door before the janitor could see his face. Bob went over to the other kid, whom he recognized as Alan Bosley. His right forearm was all bloody and scraped by the rope. His face was in pain and was practically in tears.

The janitor kneeled down to Alan who was laying on the floor. He said, "Don't worry, kiddo, I'll getcha some help. Don't move." He got up and ran to get a phone.

Alan winced as the doctor wrapped his wounded arm. Fred Bosley, Alan's father and his mother, Anne, were sitting next to their son, accompanied by Coach Boone, Yoast, and Sheryl.

"How did this happen, Alan?" Boone asked.

Between winces, Alan answered, "Jamie told me after practice today that we were gathering tonight, but he lied. He just beat me up."

"Jamie Timberwolf? I knew that hot air balloon was bad news," Sheryl said.

"I can't believe this," Boone said, "Why would he stoop down so low to do something like this?"

"It doesn't matter any way, Coach," Sheryl said, "I say kick 'em off the team." Boone looked at Sheryl and suggested, "I still think you should find a nice doll to play with."

"Best of luck to ya," Yoast said with a chuckle.

"What about this Jamie Timberwolf?" Fred said, speaking up, "What are you gonna do about him? He's a trouble maker."

The doctor finished wrapping Alan's arm. "Thanks, Doc," Alan said.

"You're gonna have to change the dressing every few hours," the doctor said to the Bosleys, "And be sure to clean it or it will become infected."

Boone, having talked to Yoast spoke up and said, "Mr. Bosley, we've come to a decision. Jamie will be off the team."

~~~~~

"Just what where you thinking when you pulled that little stunt last night?" Boone scolded. Both him and Yoast were having a "meeting" with the new addition.

"You could've severely hurt Alan," Boone continued, "Now, I don't know what wheels are turning in that little head of yours, Timberwolf, but you'd better be prepared to give up your uniform."

"You're kicking me out? Good! I never wanted to be on a loser's team like this anyway!" Jamie yelled. He got up and stomped out of the room.

Yoast sighed. "We've got four weeks before our first match off with the Bulls."

"Wait a minute," Boone said, "We kicked him off before the match with the Bulls? Man, that Jamie Timberwolf will join the Lions in an instant. He knows what kind of people they are. If we beat the Bulls, we go on to the Lions. That'll give him plenty time to weasel in there with them."

"Oh, God," Yoast muttered, "It's better than him beating poor Alan to a pulp, though."

"Got a point there, Yoast."

~~~~~

"Man, are you all right?" Gary asked Alan on the boundary line during practice.

"I don't know," Alan answered, "The doctor said if I don't watch it, it'll get infected."

"That's harsh. You think it'll heal in time for the game with the Bulls?"

"It had better," Alan said, "I mean, I just don't want to sit here and watch the entire time." Alan realized he had said too much. "Oh, I'm sorry, Gary"

"Hey, it's ok, man," Gary told him, "I know I'll never be the same again and I've accepted that. I'm still the same old, pigheaded Gary, but just a little different on the outside."

The whistle blew and Julius went over to the people on the bench, hearing what Gary had said. "Yo, that's pretty riotous, brother. Hey, let me get cleaned up and we can go out for a burger all right?"

"As long as you're paying, Julius," Gary laughed.

"Sure. Hey Alan, you wanna come, too, bro?" Campbell asked.

"W-well, I guess so," Alan answered.

~~~~~

Alan walked in the door after Julius had driven him home. The door closed silently and turned around, almost colliding with Fred.

"Alan!" Fred exclaimed, "Where've you been, Son?"

"I-I was o-out with a few of the-the guys, Dad," the Titan fumbled.

"Well ya can't be an all-star player unless you get your arm healed up. Go on, up to your room."

Alan was about to protest, but he knew it would only get him in trouble with his overbearing father. "Yes, sir."

Jerry Buck sat down at the Boones' kitchen table. He was on the school board of T.C. Williams. "Herman, I believe you don't know what you are doing."

"I know perfectly well what I'm doin', Jerry," Boone answered.

"You know that you and Yoast are football coaches and not basketball coaches."

"I know, but since we don't really got no john brown basketball coaches, I guess that's what we'll be doin' from now until next season," Boone told him.

"Yes, but what you don't know, Herman, is that if you loose the game, they'll replace both you and Yoast," Buck said.

"The school board's startin' this crap up again?"

"You and Yoast aren't qualified coaches. If you lose the game, they'll put a real basketball coach in. It's as simple as that."

"We don't need them coaches. And I'll prove it to that stuck up school board of yours," Coach said.

~~~~~

GAME #1 against Roosevelt Bulls

"All right, now," Boone prepped, "Remember that this ain't no football game, this is a basketball game. Now, Ronnie Bass, you're startin'. Alan Bosley, where are you?"

"Right here, sir," Bosley said, approaching the head coach.

"How's your arm doin'? It OK?"

"It's better," he answered.

"Playin' condition?"

"I'm up for it," Alan offered.

Smiling, Boone handed Alan his jersey, "Well, then, go get changed quickly."

"Thank you! Thank you, sir!" Alan exclaimed as he ran to get dressed.

"Now, let's get out there and do our best now!" Boone cheered.

Gary wheeled out to the microphone in the gymnasium. He could hear the people cheering for him. He picked up the microphone and said, "Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Titan's first basketball game. As you all know, I was injured in a car wreck and can't play, but my former football coach, Herman Boone, made me this team's mascot. Now, I don't if a person can be a mascot, but if I can, I'd gladly be one for my team. I'd also like to thank all of you for our support for me and my mom. I'm grateful you care. Now let's play some basketball!"

The referee held the ball in his hand, blew the whistle and threw it straight up into the air. Sunshine and number 25 jumped up for it. Sunshine grabbed it and dribbled down the court. He tossed it to Julius, who in turn dribbled it and threw it to Petey. Jones was about to throw it to Lewis, but one of the bulls stole it from him. He went down the court. Alan saw and ran after him, blocking him from shooting. The opposing member saw Alan's wrapped wound, moved the ball, and whacked his arm with the ball, pretending to move it around. Again, Alan winced and grabbed his now throbbing arm. The buzzer for halftime cried throughout the gymnasium.

Yoast looked up at his daughter in the crowd.

"Ugh!" Sheryl cried. She was walking all around, disturbing people in the stands.

"And the Titans go in with three to five," the announcer called.

"Alan, your arm's OK, right?" The Rev asked in the locker room.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Bosley assured his friend.

There was a minute left in the game and the score was five even. The Titans already had two penalties. The whistle blew and Julius grabbed ball and passed it to The Rev. The Rev didn't catch it, though. Number 23 of the Bulls caught it and dribbled it down the court. Alan stole the ball from him and glanced at the clock. Five seconds left…four seconds. He didn't have a choice. He threw the ball as hard as he could from the center of the court. The buzzer sounded as the ball went into the hoop. The Titan fans started cheering until the referee waved his arms saying, "No basket!"

Nobody won.

~~~~~ Chapter 5 ~~~~~

"You can't be serious!"

The newly built home of the Bosleys' was in an uproar. Since the Titans technically didn't win, Fred put it all on Alan's shoulders. He wanted him to switch teams- to the Lions preferably- to make sure the teen would win.

"I am completely serious, Alan," Fred roared, "After what you pulled tonight? You need to be on a team that can really win!"

"I am, Dad, the Titans can win!"

"Then how come they lost the game?"

"We didn't lose, Dad, we tied!"

"Tying is not winning in my book. Now, whose fault is that?"

Alan looked down at the floor. "It was my fault, sir. I wasn't focused."

"That's exactly why you need to be on an all white team!"

"I wouldn't want to be with them, anyway," Alan said, "You can't separate our family!"

"*Family*? This is your family! You, your mom, and me! You say these people are possibly related to you!"

"They may not be blood related, but the Titans are my brothers. It doesn't matter what you look like to relate to another person. Sometimes, I feel closer to them than I ever would you."

Fred knew where his son was going. Alan was trying to avoid the switch. Frustrated, Fred yelled, "Alan, you're going to be on the Lions and that's the end of it!" He then stomped out of the room before Alan could protest once more.

Alan, feeling totally helpless, turned to his mother sitting quietly on the couch. He went over to her, hugged her, and, almost crying, whimpered, "Mom, Mom, please don't make me leave the Titans. They're my best friends. We've gone so far together, please don't separate us now. Please."

Holding her son tenderly, Anne said, "There's nothing I can do sweetheart. It'll be all right. Everything will work out, don't worry."

"You're what?" Julius exclaimed after practice.

"I have to leave the team," Alan repeated.

"You can't leave us! You're our brother!" Lewis said.

"Man, how could you do this?" Petey asked, getting mad.

"Listen, I don't wanna leave. My dad's making me. He's transferring me to the Lions because of the game."

"But we tied," Sunshine protested.

"And that's the team that Jamie Timberwolf transferred to!" Blue added.

"You think I didn't know that?" Alan snapped.

Not believing what he was hearing, Gary wheeled away. Alan went after him.

"Gary! Gary, wait!" Alan called.

Stopping in the locker rooms, Bertier asked, "Just what is your problem?"

"I don't have a problem," Alan insisted, "You think I want to be on the Lions?"

"Man, why don't you just admit it? You want to go. Well, go on! Go!"

"I can't believe you Gary. I can't believe that you think of me so low," Alan murmured. With a heavy heart, Alan slowly left the school and went home. That night, Alan didn't say as much as he usually did at dinner, which was probably smart because his dad still looked pretty mad about what had happened. Forcing a smile, Fred asked, "Alan, did you tell Boone?"

"No," Alan bluntly answered, "But I told the team and they didn't take it very well. May I be excused?" Alan slammed his fork down on his plate and left.

~~~~~

"Oh, no, not again!" Alan cried as he kicked his jammed locker. *This has not been my best week*, he thought. Then, a girl approached him. She was short with strawberry blonde hair, a light sprinkle of freckles, green eyes and wore a light blue dress.

"Here," she said, "Let me help you. What's your locker combination?"

Realizing what she was doing, Alan stepped out of the way. The girl pushed her one foot against the bottom of the locker and her left hand at the top, waiting for his combination.

"Twenty-four, thirty-nine, nineteen," Alan said. The girl finished the last number and opened the locker smoothly.

"Thanks," Alan said as he got his books, "Hey my name's-"

"Alan Bosley," she interrupted, "I know. You went to my school a few years back." Confused, Alan asked, "Who are you, then?"

"Joann. I'm Jamie's little sister."

"J-Jamie? As in Jamie Timberwolf?"

"He's my step brother. His mom married my dad."

"Oh," Alan sighed with relief, "So, why are you being nice to me?"

Joann laughed, "I've seen what my hot-headed half brother did to you." She pointed to his wound, "And I don't think you deserved it."

"Oh, thanks. Hey, why haven't I seen you around before today?" he asked.

"I just happened to move here," Joann laughed.

"Right, sorry. So, what's your next class?"

"American Lit."

"That's where I'm going next. I'll take you there," he smiled.

~~~~~

"Are you completely out of your mind, boy?" Boone asked.

"No, I'm completely serious, Coach Boone," Alan said quietly, "My dad wants me off. Look Coach, my dad practically controls my life."

"Well, we'll just have to have a talk with your father, Alan," Yoast chimed in.

~~~~~

"No!" Fred yelled. "Listen Fred, I've said it before, Alan cannot go play for another school district. You won't be able to afford, Fred- especially the lions," Yoast said.

"I don't care! Alan needs to win!"

"You can't pull your boy from my team unless we say so," Boone told him.

"Whatcha plan to do now?" Yoast added.

"I could go to court," Fred said just as calmly.

Glaring sternly at Fred, Boone said after a moment of silence, "Bill, go get Alan's release forms. We've got some writin' to do tonight."

~~~~~ Chapter 6 ~~~~~

"I'll say this much, I'm gonna miss ya, Alan," Sheryl told him.

"I'm gonna miss you too, Sheryl," Alan said, sitting down next to the nine year old.

"What is with your father, Alan? Doesn't he know how much this means to you?"

Shaking his head, Alan answered, "He doesn't care. He seriously doesn't care. It's like, he missed out on being all this stuff when he was a kid and now he's making me do it, you know?

"Even if I get a C on my report card, I'm grounded for a month. I can't do anything. He's controlling my life and I hate him for it."

"Alan, Alan, no," Sheryl comforted, "You don't hate your daddy and know it. You hate the things he does."

"You're probably right," Alan sighed.

Gasping, Sheryl said, "Alan! I have a plan!"

"What is it? I could use one right now," Alan told her.

He leaned down and let her whisper it in his ear. He smiled. *This plan was going to be good*, he thought.

~~~~~

"I've asked you gentlemen here tonight to, um, to tell you the news," Jerry Buck said.

"News? What news?" Boone asked.

"Since you didn't win the game," he started.

"No, we didn't. We tied," Yoast interrupted.

"But you didn't technically win. They're replacing you with real basketball coaches," Buck finished.

"*What*?" Boone exclaimed, getting up out of his chair, "You mean to tell me that stinkin' school board's not even gonna give us a chance to win fairly? Well you can have it!" Boone walked away.

"Why can't they just give us a chance?" Yoast asked.

"I don't know," Buck answered, "It's out of my hands now. I-I'm sorry."

~~~~~

"Gary! Gary, talk to me, brother!" Julius said.

Sighing heavily, Gary said, "Man, what if Alan was telling the truth?"

"Gary, give it up, brother," Julius told him, "He's gone now."

"You don't know what I said to him in the locker room, Julius! I told him off! I practically told him to join the Lions!"

"Bertier, you know what you have to do then," Julius said quietly, "Want me to come with you?"

"You could help me there, but I have to do the rest of this on my own. I'm the one caused all this trouble."

"All right," Julius smiled.

~~~~~

"Hi, Mrs. Bosley, how are you today? Um, I'm Gary Bertier, one of Alan's friends. I have to tell him something. Is he home?"

"Sure, Gary, come right in," Anne said, helping his chair up the two steps, "Alan's in his room. That's the second room on the right side down that hallway."

"Thank you very much, Mrs. Bosley," Gary said, wheeling down the hallway. He sighed as he knocked on Alan's door. Out came Alan, not realizing Gary was there.

"Gary?" he asked, "What do you want?"

"Listen, Alan, I need to tell you a few things. May come in?"

Thinking about it briefly, he said, "All right, but make it quick."

After Gary got inside his room, Alan closed the door completely. Gary glanced around his room. He saw a new color TV sitting on a shelf, an ATRAK player/ radio was sitting next to it with a pile of ATRAKs next to that, and all four of his walls decorated with Titan things. Flags, pictures of Boone, Yoast, Sunshine, Blue, Lewis, Petey, The Rev, Julius and even Gary, and most importantly, his football uniform was hung up perfectly on a hanger in front of his curtained window.

"You got something to say?" Alan asked.

"Alan, man, I am so sorry about the other day," Gary apologized, "I feel horrible. I mean, it's bad enough that Boone and Yoast are being replaced, but-"

"Wait hold on a second," Alan interrupted, "Boone and Yoast are being replaced? Why?"

"We tied and didn't technically win, so, they're bringing the real basketball coaches in."

"And now Boone and Yoast are being replaced on my account? Just for tying the game?"

"Alan, it's not your fault. Listen, I came here to apologize and I'm not leaving until I give you one. Brothers?" Gary said, raising his arm up slightly.

"We never weren't," Alan smiled, taking his hand in a brotherly shake, and then they embraced.

Things were starting to look up for Alan. A little.

~~~~~ Chapter 7 ~~~~~

"*Towel Boy*? Joining our team? Better watch out boys, this guy's an all-star player!" Jamie Timberwolf laughed cruelly.

Alan closed his eyes and sighed. *Today is going to be a very bad day*, he thought.

"You!" yelled a voice.

Alan looked around to see who said that. He was still talking. "Yeah, you with your sloppy, untucked shirt."

"Me?"

"Yeah!" the voice startled Alan. He turned around to see a very tall, much more older and experienced man wearing a bright yellow Lion t-shirt. "You the transferring member, Alan Bosley?"

"W-well, yeah, b-but-"

"Where you comin' from?"

"T.C. Williams, b-but I have a question, I-"

"Shut up!" he boomed, "I am the one askin' the questions! And when you finish a sentence you will address me as 'sir', am I clear?"

"Yes, sir, but with all due respect, who are you?" Alan asked.

"I'm Coach Whitman, and I will be your daddy!" he sneered.

"Don't make fun of Coach Boone like that!" Alan exclaimed.

"Apparently you don't learn the rules very well, Bosley," Whitman said, "You will not speak unless spoken to. Before each practice, you shall run ten laps with the basketball. No one speaks in the locker room. Before each practice is over, you are to complete ten fowl shots, do you understand?"

"Yes, I mean, yes sir," Alan said.

"Now, you shall at all times have your shirt tucked into your pants, even during practice. If it comes down, Stupid, put 'em back in, am I in anyway unclear?"

*And I thought Boone was hard-core*. "No, uh, sir."

"Good." Then he whispered, "Now go over to Assistant Coach Tyrell and," then he raised his voice, screaming in Alan's ear, "Get your uniform!"

A scared Alan hustled over to Coach Tyrell. *Wait a second. Coach Tyrell? Tyrell*!

"Alan?" a voice said, "Couldn't stay away, now could ya?"

Alan was shocked to look at Ray Budds standing next to Jamie.

"Ray? What are you and Coach Tyrell doing here?"

"Well, they both, along with me, decided that Boone was unfair," Jamie answered.

"Boone is not unfair and I didn't ask you in the first place, Jamie," Alan told him.

"Bosley!" Tyrell yelled. Alan hurried up. *Today is a very stressing day*, he thought.

~~~~~

"Today, this practice, I nor Coach Yoast will be coachin' ya," Boone told the Titans, "Both of us are being replaced by Coach Donnerson and Assistant Coach Lloyd. They, unlike Coach Yoast and myself, are qualified basketball coaches. And now, I'll turn it over to them. See ya boys."

The Titans turned their attention to the two men standing next to their favorite coaches. One was very short, was balding and had a very milky white complexion. The other man was much taller, had an afro and very dark skin. He spoke.

"Hello, I'm Coach Donnerson and the little man standing next to me is Assistant Coach Lloyd. Now, I know Coach Boone had rules and regulations that you know and you practice them regularly. I want you to forget them. Every single one of them. You are mine now. If I remember correctly, Boone told me that you go by a dictatorship. Before, Boone was the law. Now, I am the law. You abide my rules and you will follow them."

Petey raised his hand. "What about Gerry?"

"Gerry? Who in the sand hill is that?"

"Me," Gerry answered. Donnerson turned around and saw Bertier in the wheelchair. "I'm Gerry Bertier."

"Bertier? You the one in the car wreck?"

"Yes, I *was*, and I'm also this team's mascot."

"Mascot, eh?" Donnerson asked, "This team doesn't need a mascot."

"But our brother gives us our Titan Spirit," Julius told him, standing up.

"He can stay, then," Donnerson said, "But it won't be permanent, you can count on that."

~~~~~

"Daddy, what are you doing?" Nicky Boone asked her father.

Boone was more depressed than he thought about being replaced, by basketball, even. His two daughters had approached the Coach, who was sitting on the couch in front of the fire. Nicky was the oldest one and Karen was the youngest one. Boone sighed and then he smiled at his girls.

"I don't know, just thinkin'," Boone answered.

"Thinkin'! Mama, he's thinkin'!" Karen called out to the kitchen.

"Karen!" Nicky scolded.

Boone chuckled. Now his wife, Carol, was getting their children to pump information out of him. "Well, you know what?"

"What?" the two girls asked in unison.

"I could sure use a hug right now," Boone smiled.

The girls both jumped upon their loving father, tackling him on the couch in a surrounding laughter that filled the room.

~~~~~ Chapter 8 ~~~~~

Alan walked out of Groveton High that day exhausted. He found none other than Fred, sitting in the family's old station wagon. He had forgotten that Groveton was too far away to walk, which he was grateful for that because he probably couldn't even walk half a mile, but then again, he had to survive the ride home with his father.

As Alan hobbled into the station wagon, the first words out of Fred's mouth were, "Did you like practice?"

Alan barked a laugh. "No. They run it like the military."

"I heard Whitman's better than that Coach Coon," Fred said, starting to head home.

"Dad, Boone's been fired because of me, fired from basketball," Alan told him.

"Good," Fred sneered.

"Dad, you know what? I learned more from Coach Boone and Coach Yoast in one football season than you have ever done in my lifetime."

"*Really*? What did the coaches teach you?"

"They taught me that I don't have to be in the spotlight. If you're bad at something, you should give the spotlight to someone who's good," Alan answered.

"W-well, name something else," Fred stuttered.

"What you look like doesn't really matter. You could be a different race, you could be too big, too small, but no matter what, you're gonna get it 'cause your different. But if we learn from mistakes, then and only then can we live in harmony. First, you gotta learn that no one is normal. That's how we ride the peace train. I don't think I learned that from you, huh?" Alan finished with a smile.

Frustrated, Fred turned his head and didn't talk to Alan the rest of the way home. *I won a battle*, Alan thought, *But now I've got a war to win*.

~~~~~

"It'll be all right, Coach," Sheryl said to Yoast at home.

"You know, you said that to me last time I was depressed," Yoast told her.

"I know, it's just that ya gotta stick it out."

Yoast chuckled, "Me? Stick it out? You really think I can do that?"

"Well, Coach that's just up to you."

"You think the, eh, Titans will win the game against the Lions this Friday?"

"Titans against Lions? This Friday night!? Ugh! We're not ready, yet!" Frustrated, Sheryl ran into her room to think. She was gonna need to talk to Alan to get out of this one.

~~~~~

GAME #2 Titans against Lions

The Lions ran onto the basketball court with their heads held high. Alan scanned the area for Sheryl. He spotted her and she gave him a thumbs up. He nodded back at the young girl. The plan was going to come into action.

The referee held the ball high into the air. He blew the whistle and threw the ball up. Jamie and The Rev jumped for it. Timberwolf got it and dribbled down the court. He tossed it to Alan, who didn't catch it. Petey did.

Blocking Petey, Alan said, "Petey, this is for you and the team."

Alan jumped up and tackled Petey. The referee blew the whistle for a time out. "Penalty for the Lions! Titans, two foul shots."

"What are you doing? You can't tackle people in basketball! Get over here!" Alan ran over to Coach Whitman.

"What on this God forsaken planet was that? I don't care how much your father's payin' me, you're benched! Get over there!"

"Yes, your highness," Alan smirked before heading to the benches. *Boy, is he gonna get it from my dad*!

From the audience stands, Fred saw Alan being taken out. "Not this again! Whitman! Whitman! I paid you! Put him back in!"

Sheryl looked at Fred Bosley and giggled. That man sure had a lesson to learn. He was gonna learn it the hard way, too. Sheryl could tell.

"The game goes to the Titans! At a score of five to four!" the announcer cried.

~~~~~

"I paid you whoppers of money! Fifty dollars for just this game! Just so my Alan could play basketball!" Fred yelled.

Whitman was sitting at his desk. Fred had actually taken Alan along this time. Fred felt like he should be a of it part.

"Yeah," Alan added, hamming the part up, "Why'd you take me out? I just tripped. You didn't even give me time to explain."

"Tripped, eh?" Whitman challenged.

"I saw him, Whitman! You can't deny it," Fred yelled.

"Well, then, what do you propose?" Whitman asked.

"Leave the team," Alan chimed in, "My dad only agreed if the Lions won, but they didn't"

"Alan, get your jersey. We're going back to the Titans," Fred ordered.

"Yes, sir!" Alan smiled, hopping out of his seat. *I'm going back to the Titans! Thank you so much, Sheryl*!

Alan, though, didn't know that there was going to be trouble at his house that night.

~~~~~ Chapter 9 ~~~~~

"Mom!" Alan exclaimed, bursting in the door a few minutes before Fred did, "I'm going back! I'm going back to the Titans!"

"How in the name of heaven did you do that?" Anne asked her son.

"I don't know," he answered, out of breath, "It's a miracle."

"I'm happy for you, Alan, I really am," Anne told him.

~~~~~

"Shh, don't wake anybody, you idiot," Jamie ordered. Jamie and Ray knew what was going on with Alan. He had made a plan to get himself off the team and give the Titans a victory. And those two were going make him pay. Tonight, they were going to break all the windows in his house and mess up a few things inside. They got behind the gate and started breaking windows.

"Alan! Alan! Come quick! Jamie and Ray are out here!" yelled a voice from the tree.

"Joann! What are you doing?" Jamie hissed.

Alan rushed out the door and down the steps. He saw Ray and Jamie smashing out his windows.

"Hey!" he yelled as he ran over and tackled Ray. He hauled back to punch him, but Jamie grabbed his fist and dragged Alan up, punching his stomach.

"You creep!" Joann shot. She jumped on her half brother's back, distracting him from Alan. Bosley hit the wooden steps in his backyard. He groaned with pain. He didn't have much time to recover, either, because Ray picked him up and punched him in the face. Alan tackled Ray again and both boys started wrestling on the ground.

Jamie pushed his sister onto the ground hard. "Stay there," he ordered as she writhed in pain after hitting her head against the tree. With an evil smile, Jamie ran and threw Alan off of Ray and started punching the former Lion.

"*What* is going on out here?" Fred roared.

~~~~~

"Sir, it's my fault," Joann insisted to Fred.

"No, Dad," Alan corrected, "It's not. Her brother and Ray came out here to vandalize our house. They did a pretty good job so far, too."

By that time, Jamie and Ray had fled the scene of the crime. Joann had stayed behind to help sort things out. She still had a pounding headache, and it looked like Alan was going to be sore for a few weeks with a shiner.

"Listen, Mr. Bosley, they came here because they were holding Alan responsible for the Lions losing, so they wanted to make him pay. My brother, he can't see over the fact that Alan's actually a really nice guy. And, with all due respect, Mr. Bosley, I think you should, too."

Shocked, Alan removed the ice pack he had from his swollen eye. His mouth was gaping open. When he realized what he was doing, he closed his mouth and sat up straighter.

Fred finally got over his own shock and said, "Uh, here, Alan, let me help you with that eye of yours."

"How 'bout you and me go call your parents, Joann," Anne chimed in, "Come on."

~~~~~

"Alan? Where've you been my white brother?" Petey whooped in the locker room, "Oh, that is a massive shiner. What'cha been doing?"

"Getting in formal fights with Jamie and Ray," Alan glumly answered.

"Ray?" Gerry asked, "As in Ray Budds?"

"Yeah," Alan said, "One of our friends. Oh, and did you know that Coach Tyrell is on the Lions?"

"Tyrell?" Sunshine exclaimed, "We've, we've gotta tell Boone!"

"Hello? Sunshine?" Petey said, "Get it through your Californian head! Boone is no longer here! He won't be playin' no basketball no more."

"You know what?" Julius spoke up, "I'm sick of hearing Donnerson and Lloyd every single day! Man, if anyone is to be yellin' at us, it should be Boone!"

There was a surrounding cry of "Yeah!"

"We should go tell him!" Blue added.

"We should get Boone and Yoast back!" Gerry chimed in.

"Yeah!" they all shouted.

"Wait," Lewis said, making everyone stop cheering, "Does anyone know where he lives?"

~~~~~

"I can't," Boone insisted, "Now, I'll be back for football next year, but I can't coach no basketball no more."

"But this guy is like a military officer!" The Rev protested.

"Even worse than me?" Boone asked with a small chuckle.

"Ten times as worse," Blue said, "Add with a side of a bull horn to yell into."

"That bad?" Boone inquired.

"Yes!" All of them replied in unison.

Smiling Boone said, "Well, I'll see what I can do, but I can't guarantee no promises. If the school board says no, that's the end of it. You won't argue with that, now will you?" The boys shook their heads. "Well, then, let's play some basketball!"

"If anyone be yellin' at us, it Boone! It's Boone! Coach Boone!" Petey cried with joy.

"Do I really yell at you?" Boone asked.

"I, er, uh, uh," *Petey think fast, and I mean fast,* "No?"

~~~~~ Chapter 10 ~~~~~

"It worked?" exclaimed Sheryl, "It really worked? Your back in?"

"Yeah," Alan smiled.

"I'll tell ya what," Sheryl directed to the other men, "Ya guys did good. We are winners! The Titans are gonna win! Are we gonna win?"

"Yeah!" they all shouted.

"Do we want a victory!?" Julius yelled.

"Yeah!"

"I said, do we want a victory!?," Sheryl cried.

"Yeah!"

Picking Sheryl up and putting her on his shoulders, Julius shouted, "Turn in!" All the players bunched up in a circle and were yelling and screaming for victory, with Sheryl still on Julius's shoulders.

Watching the entire thing with a smile on his face, Boone said, "You know, Bill, that girl of yours is gonna grow up to be the country's first female coach."

Chuckling, Yoast agreed, "You're probably right, Herman. Let's go talk to Doctor Barker. We need to straighten this whole mess up."

~~~~~

"Please! We need one more chance! Just one! Can't your John Brown school board do that??" Boone shouted.

"Herman, I'll see what I can do," Barker said, "But Donnerson needs to decline on his own. He can't just be taken out."

"And you were saying, Doctor Barker," Yoast chimed in quietly.

"Well, I got an idea that would make Donnerson decline so fast, we'd never see the likes of him again," Boone said, "See ya on the court."

~~~~~

GAME #3 Titans against Hayfield Hawks

"Tonight, if you lose, I'll kick every last one of ya off the team. You'll all go home and forget about the Titans," Donnerson instructed.

"Coach," Blue spoke up, "We, uh, wanted to let you know."

"About what?"

"Have you ever actually watched the Titan's football games before?" Petey asked.

"My son did. Why?"

*That guy has a son? I never would've guess him to be a family man*, Petey thought, *I pity his son.*

"You know how we warmed up?" Alan asked.

"Ok, you'd better tell me what's going on now," Donnerson said, starting to get angry.

"Well, the Titans and I decided that before every game and after each winning game, we'll do our Titan Victory Dance," Gerry said with a smile, "It sparks up the, uh, Titan power."

~~~~~

"And here are the Hawks!" the one announcer said.

"They've been undefeated so far," the other announcer told the audience, "But so have the T.C. Williams Titans. They'll both have a load on so far."

"Oh and here come the Titans!' the first announcer exclaimed, "And what are they doing?"

"I don't know, Chip, it looks like the dance they've been doing for football. Let's watch."

~~~~~

The Titans were all in their assigned spots as they went out. They rolled their hands and then raised them up, shaking them twice before rolling them again. They were moving out to the assigned spot they had chanting, "Hoo ha! We feel! Hoo ha! Real good! Hoo ha! We feel! Hoo ha! Real good! Hoo ha! We feel! Hoo ha! Real good!" They kept chanting that until they got to their spots.

"Ready?" Blue asked, "A 5, 6! A 5, 6, 7, 8!"

The Titans, in unison, then said while dancing, "Everywhere we go, everywhere we go, people wanna know, people wanna know, who we are, who we are. So we tell them, so we tell them, we are the Titans! We are the Titans! The mighty, mighty Titans! The mighty, mighty Titans! Ooh, ha, oh yeah! Ooh, ha, oh yeah! Ooh, ha, oh, yeah! Ooh, ah, oh, yeah!"

Gerry glanced over at Donnerson, who wasn't even there. He heard the door closing. *He couldn't even be in the same room! Boone was right*! he thought. Gerry laughed. He looked over at Boone in the stands and gave him a thumbs up.

"I was right," Boone told Yoast, "He's so embarrassed by those boys, he's not even in here. Bill, we're back in!"

Blue intercepted the pass from the Hawk. He tossed it to Julius, who made the basket. The score was twelve even and there was only a minute left in the game. The ref threw the ball and the Hawks got it, but Sunshine stole it and dribbled down the court, who gave it to Lewis, and then got to Alan.

Alan looked at the clock. Five seconds, four, three, two…Alan jumped for all he was worth. Higher, higher, higher…until…a basket! Alan hung onto the basket as the buzzer sounded. The Titan fans roared with happiness. The team grouped around Alan, cheering.

Fred realized that Alan should be a part of the Titans. He saw it that night. Now, the Titans had to get Boone back.

~~~~~ Chapter 11 ~~~~~

"Herman, Bill, I don't know how you did it, but you did," Doctor Barker said, "Last night, Donnerson said he's gonna give it up. He's turning it back over to you and Yoast."

"We're back in?" Yoast asked, "You're sure?"

"I'm absolutely sure, Bill," Barker said, "You guys are allowed to coach the team again."

The Titans cheered. They knew that Boone and Yoast were coming back. "All right every one," Boone called over everyone, "Listen up, listen up. Listen up. Listen up. I wanna thank each and every one a ya for believin' in me and Yoast. Now, we got three weeks before we face off with Millsburg for the title. I don't know what Coach Donnerson's been doing with yins, but I'll tell you one thing. When I was watching the game from the stands last night, I could see that, first of all, Sunshine, your dribbling was a little off. Petey, your free throw was something to be questioned, Blue, both you and Julius need to practice your passes. And Alan Bosley, you were doin' pretty lousy before those last five seconds, son."

*Life's back to normal*, Gerry thought, *It's good*.

"You all kicked some butt out there," Sheryl chimed in, "I'm proud out y'all."

Boone looked down at her, then looked up at Yoast, who shrugged his shoulders.

~~~~~

"Hey, there," Alan said.

Joann had started meeting Alan at his locker daily, so they could walk to class together. They had formed a friendship after they first met. Alan had to admit he had an odd liking for the slightly younger girl. What he didn't know was that she secretly liked him, too.

"Hi," Joann greeted, "Oh, I saw you last night at the game. You scored that final basket right when the buzzer sounded. You were awesome."

Alan blushed, "W-well, I, um, thanks. Um, my dad's letting me stay on the Titans. And last weekend, he actually took me fishing."

"That's great!" Joann exclaimed, "Spending quality time with your father is wonderful!"

"Yeah, it is. Hey, this Friday night, if we, uh, if we win, would you join me and the team for the party?" Alan asked.

Smiling, Joann answered, "I'd love to, Alan." She then, without thinking, reached up and gave Alan a peck on the cheek.

Turning a shade of red, Alan stuttered, "G-great, uh, uh, um, let's uh, let's go to class."

~~~~~

Championship Game: Titans against Coyotes

"Get ready, men!" Boone yelled, "Tonight is our night. Take no prisoners! This game will separate the winners from the losers. And what are we?"

"Winners!' the Titans cheered.

Smiling, Boone then said, "Alright, then, let's show 'em whatcha got."

The ref blew the whistle and Blue and a Coyote jumped for the ball. The other team got it and made a basket.

Tonight will be a long night, Boone thought.

~~~~~

There were three minutes left, the Coyotes had five more points than the Titans did. They were gonna need a miracle to get out of this. Alan sighed. Then he remembered that Joann had come tonight. He looked up at the stands and spotted her. She saw him and smiled. He smiled back. He really wanted her to come to the party with him. He then sparked an idea.

"Guys! Guys!" Alan yelled, "I have an idea. Huddle in! Okay, I've got a play that could get us six points. It's confusing, but we can take it."

"Alan's starting?" Yoast asked. "Let's just see what happens," Boone said. The ref threw the ball once more and Alan caught it. He threw it behind him and Sunshine caught it. Sunshine threw it to Julius, who was half way down the court. Julius caught it and threw it back to big Lewis. Lastik passed the ball to Blue, who was half way on the other side. He tossed it to Julius. Julius passed it to Petey. Jones checked it to The Rev, who had moved up the court. Rev then scored just as the buzzer rang. They all glanced at the scoreboard. The Titans went up six, beating the game.

~~~~~

"I'm glad you came with us," Alan told Joann.

"I wouldn't have missed it for the world," she smiled, "I'm glad the Titans won."

"So am I," Alan whispered. He leaned down and softly touched his lips with hers. When they separated, they gazed into each other's eyes.

"Whoo!" Petey whooped, "Look at Joann and Alan! They've got it goin' on!"

They both looked at each other and turned a shade of red. Joann liked Alan, but she didn't think Jamie would like that very much.

~~~~~ Chapter 12 ~~~~~

"Alan likes me," Joann said to herself while biking home that night, "Alan Bosley like me. Me."

She paused at the red light and pressed the button. She waited until the sign said to walk. She started to go across the road. Joann made it half way across when she heard tires screeching. She turned her head in time only to see a pair of headlights coming towards her.

~~~~~

Alan rushed into the hospital. This was the third time he had to be there in circumstances he didn't really want. Either times weren't so happy and he was thinking this one wouldn't very much better than the other ones. He saw Jamie. He got brave and walked up to him.

"What are you doin' here, Towel Boy?" Jamie angrily asked, "We don't need you here."

"Listen, Jamie. Maybe you've forgotten. You used to be my friend. Well, Joann's my friend. How is she?"

Putting his anger to the side for the time being Jamie answered, "She's, she's not that good. She was hit dead on by a drunk driver. She's got a lot of problems. The doctors don't think she'll survive the night. Towel Boy," Jamie then corrected himself, "I mean, *Alan*, listen, she's not my blood sister, but she's all I got. I don't wanna lose her."

"The first thing you gotta do is make amends," Alan offered, "Are we friends again?" Nodding slowly, Jamie agreed, "Yeah, we can be friends again."

The two boys embraced. "Hey man, wanna go see how she's doin'?" Jamie asked Alan. Alan nodded.

~~~~~

Taking a deep, shaky breath, Alan entered the room Joann was in. What he saw almost brought tears to his eyes. Joann's head was wrapped, she had bruises and cuts everywhere, IV's and monitors. He walked in and sat down next to her.

"Hi," Joann said in a hoarse voice.

"Now who's being unfair," Alan whispered, "What happened?"

"Oh, it was terrible. I was going a-across the uh, the street and all I remember is a pair of headlights."

"Look at you. This isn't fair. I-I heard that the other person wasn't even hurt. Why did this have to happen?"

"Alan, at least I'm still alive," Joann said, "Maybe this, maybe this is my second chance. I'll live better knowing that I escaped the clutches of death, and maybe I'll live my life to its full potential. Maybe."

Alan checked his watch. It was a quarter after ten and his father wanted him home by ten thirty.

"Hey, Joann," Alan said, "I hate to say this, but I have to go home. I'll be back as early as possible tomorrow, all right?"

"Ok," she agreed.

Alan got up and was about to leave, but before he did, he told her, "Oh, and Joann?"

"What?"

Alan leaned over the bed and kissed her. He had a feeling this would be his last chance to express his feelings toward her. To let her know how strongly his feelings for her actually were. He then whispered his last words to her, "I love you." Then, with a heavy heart, left the hospital.

Alan was walking home that night when he spotted Petey. He then remembered that he was supposed to meet up with him two hours ago.

"Where were you?" Petey asked.

"Listen, Petey, man, I'm sorry," Alan apologized, "But-but Joann had an accident. Sh-She was hit by a drunk driver. The doctor thinks she won't even survive one night."

"Alan, it's ok," Petey said, "It's O K. Joann'll be fine."

"I hope your right," Alan told him.

Alan walked in the door that night only to see Fred and Anne sitting at the table.

"Um, Alan, son," Fred said, "We just got off the line with the doctor. The doctor who's helping Joann."

"She's gonna be all right, right?" Alan asked.

"Alan, there's no real way we can tell you this," Anne started.

This doesn't sound good, Alan thought, But Joann has to be ok. I know it, she said it herself. She's strong.

"Alan, I'm sorry," Anne said, "I'm just so sorry."

"What are you getting at? Joann's gonna be ok. She has to be. I- I just got back from the hospital! She was fine!" Alan started for his room, but Fred grabbed him and looked in his son's eyes.

"Alan, listen to me, just listen," Fred ordered, "This is hard for us, too. Alan, Joann died right after you left the hospital."

"What? No! This can't be happening!" Alan shouted.

"She died from internal bleeding," Fred continued, "I'm sorry, son."

"No! I won't believe it! This was supposed to be Joann's second chance! What happened to it? What happened?" Alan cried.

Saying goodbye to anyone was never easy and Alan found that out the hard way.

~~~~~ Chapter 13 ~~~~~

"We are gathered here to remember a person who was dear to all our hearts," the priest announced, "Joann Miller was a person you'd never forget. We have something written by a friend: 'To Joann, you remind me of the summer breeze because you took all my worries away. You were the one that patched up the hole in my heart with your love. You gave me something to look forward to and I have no regrets about our binding friendship that you and only you knew about. You made a victory out of defeat and you could move a soul of a man with your smile. What I'm trying to say is don't forget anything because you never know when a person can leave without any notice. And they'll be gone. Forever.' And that was from Alan Bosley. That was very nice. I couldn't have put it better in words myself."

Alan looked inside the casket. He had been to his grandparents' funerals before, but instead, there lie a beautiful girl inside. Her blonde hair was pulled back and into a braid. Her pale face glistened off the candlelight that was present. She wore a beautiful dress and was half covered up with a blanket. People had placed trinkets and memoirs inside the death box. He wasn't alone. The whole team had agreed to come to the funeral. Gerry was the only one willing enough to go up to the casket with him.

"She's too young to be in there, Gerry," Alan whispered, "She had her whole life planned, only for it to be taken away."

"Nothing will be the same again, will it?" Gerry asked.

"I loved her, Gerry. Nothing will ever be the same."

"But you have to move on, man," Gerry insisted, "It's what Joann would've wanted for you."

"I now know that life isn't just about basketball and football. It's a whole lot deeper than that," Alan said, "I guess I learned that the hard way."

"Alan," Boone said, coming up, "Joann's father and step-mother wanna talk to you for a second."

"Hi, Alan," Mrs. Miller asked, "Jamie told me that you and Joann were close, right?"

"Yeah," Alan answered, "Joann and I were close. I'm sorry."

"Joann's not here anymore, but you're certainly welcome to be a friend of the family's. I know that you're still Jamie's friend. You're welcome to come over anytime, Alan," Mr. Miller said.

"Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Miller. This is a hard time for all of us. If, y-you ever need anything, I'd be happy to help, I-I really would."

Alan embraced both Mr. and Mrs. Miller.

~~~~~

Alan and the Miller family became close friends after that. You know, it's almost funny how hatred can be lead to love by just one person. Alan had to go on after that. There were more things in store for Alan and he knew it. He never had to attend another funeral up until Gerry's death in 1981, and as plain as my name is Sheryl Yoast, nobody forgot anything. Daddy and Coach Boone declined from basketball after that year and became full time football coaches. They were better at football. But it goes to show, that when push comes to shove, sometimes there's no choice but to shove back. Being a team means more than working together, it means being a family.

And never, ever forget to remember the Titans.

The End


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