The daily serial fictional based on Chicago's Boystown neighborhood: Boystown series by Danny Bernardo

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21-25 Recap (Volume 8)

It's goodbyes and "maybe next times" in the fifth week of Volume 8. Volume 9 launches June 17 on GoPride!

21-25 Recap (Volume 8)
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It's goodbyes and "maybe next times" in the fifth week of Volume 8. Volume 9 launches June 17 on GoPride!


Charlie waited outside the hospital, waiting for Ben to get off his rounds. They weren't able to finish Ben's abrupt phone call announcing his departure to Africa as he was called into surgery immediately. Charlie had waited all night for a return call. He had lain in bed with the ringer on full blast, trying to desperately to sleep while prepped to wake immediately to Ben's call. But after tossing and turning listlessly for two hours, he jumped out of bed, grabbed a cup of coffee and a pack of smokes from the Seven Eleven on the corner of Halsted and Roscoe and waited outside the hospital doing something he hadn't done since he was in college: drank coffee and chain smoked. He rose from sitting at the planter as Ben came out of the hospital looking exhausted.

"Hi," Ben said. 

"Hi," Charie replied. 

"I guess we should talk." 

"So what's going to happen?" 

"I have to find a subletter in the next few days. They're arranging for my flight..." 

"So you're going?" Charlie asked, fighting back tears. 

"I have to," Ben said. "It's been my dream since I've been in med school." 

"And I can't ask you to give it up. For me." 

"Have you thought more about...coming with me?" 



Charlie lit up another cigarette, much to Ben's surprise. "I've got to finish out the school year at least. It's a couple weeks." 

"And then after?" 

" I don't know," Charlie said, avoiding Ben's gaze. 

"We've got a few days," Ben said, wrapping his arms around him. Charlie lay his head on Ben's shoulder, feeling a sudden resentment for a continent he'd never been to.





Tyler tried to ignore his phone vibrating as he finished the quarterly report from the donors. It was probably Brad with yet another half ass apology. Or worse, Andy trying to get in contact with him again, pouring salt on a wound Tyler had thought closed months ago. 

"How do you do it?" an exasperated Tyler asked Edward as he passed the office?

"How's that?" asked Edward, stepping in. 

"You work more hours here then there seem to be in a day, you've got a fiancé..." 

"Who's trying to adopt a kid," Edward added flatly. 

"Wow. do you do it? How do you make it all happen?" 

Edward sat on Tyler's desk. "I don't think about it, I suppose. I've always just...done it. You know?" 

"You don't get stressed about life?" 

"Well sure,'s all about the kinds of problems life throws at ya, you know? You've got the silly little stuff like what you'll have for lunch or what that person thinks of you. Then you get the big stuff like if you don't get this grant over two hundred kids won't have a place to stay or how can you stay within payroll budget but still have enough staff to take care of the kids." 

"I guess I never thought of it that way." 

"Don't take offense, but it comes with age. If you spend most of your young adult life focusing on the big stuff, eventually the little stuff doesn't matter as much, you know? Or at the very least, you don't let it bother you." 

"That makes sense." 

"Did that help?" 

"Yeah. And really, it's just little stuff." 

"There's a catch though, dear," Edward said, moving towards the door. "If the little stuff is going to add up to something big, best nip it at the bud and move forward. " 

Tyler thought about his problems: his not-really-but-mostly? boyfriend cheated on him with a girl, not unlike he'd cheated on his female fiancé with Tyler. The guy that broke his heart was suddenly interested again. And he had to get the quarterly report for the donors completed so that they could hopefully open up some more job-transition programming for the kids. It was clear what Tyler needed to focus on. He thought about his problems in comparison to Edward's, who had a full-time job he was passionate about, a fiancé that adored him, and maybe a kid on the way? Those were grownup problems, unlike Tyler's own navelgazing childish typical Boystown dating problems. Tyler decided that he'd rather have grownup problems. 

His phone vibrated again and he put it in his desk drawer without even checking it.



"Would you make me a picture?" Fitz asked, stroking Hunter's hair as they lay in bed. "I want to hang it up right there so then when I wake up without you, the first thing I think of is you." 

"Jesus, that's both the sweetest and cheesiest thing anyone's ever said to me," Hunter teased. Fitz replied immediately with a pillow tap on Hunter's face. 

"I'm being serious. Your work is so good and I'm...I'm just so fucking proud of you." 

Hunter kissed him tenderly. "Of course I'll draw you something. What do you want me to draw?" 

"Oh just...maybe like that assignment you had that was shown. Whatever inspires you." 

"God, that's broad." 

"Oh yeah?"

"There was just something about how Charlie sat there...sad...broken. I'd never seen anyone like that, even myself and I've been bottom of the barrel low. With all that shit at school, almost losing his job, I guess I could understand why. I just knew that Charlie being the way that he is...he'd overcome it all. And I wanted him to see it too." 

Fitz kissed the top of Hunter's head. "That's sweet." 

"So...if I just draw what inspires me...and it's not good..." 

"I'll still frame it up," Fitz said, kissing him on the mouth. "And I'll love it because it came from you."




Ben finished checking his bags, grabbed his boarding pass, and walked up to Charlie.

"I don't board for another hour and a half," Ben said. "We can grab some dinner, maybe?" 

"I think this is just easier I guess," Charlie said. 

"Yeah," said Ben. "Look I'm sorry that..." 

"You know what? You don't get to be sorry," Charlie said abruptly. "Fuck you. Fuck you for springing this on me so suddenly and then having to leave so quickly. Fuck you for being so fucking diplomatic about it and for being alright with ambiguity."

"Are you done?" Ben asked, kindly. 

"Fuck you," Charlie said, bursting into the tears he'd held in all day. 

Ben held him tight. "I hate putting us in limbo. I am so sorry. I understand if this is it for us." 

Charlie wiped the tears from his eyes and pushed him away. "You should go." 

"Right, " Ben sighed. He kissed Charlie with every ounce of tenderness he had in him. "I love you." 

Charlie watched Ben walk towards security checkpoint. He watched one of the best guys he ever knew walk away from him. And part of him, most of him, was tired of watching guys walk away. He ran for the checkpoint as Ben was taking his shoes off at the metal detector. 

"You got a boarding pass?" asked the guard? 

"No...I just have to say something to my boyfriend before it's too late..." 

"This ain't no Kate Hudson movie!" scoffed the guard. "You need a ticket to go..." 

"Charlie?" Ben yelled across the checkpoint line. 

"Ben! Let me finish out the year at school! Then I'll come to Africa!" 

"Really? But what about your life?" 

"What about you?! I want to be with you!" 

"Sir," the guard at the metal detector said as he ushered Ben through the metal detector. 

"I'll Skype you when I get in," Ben yelled. 

"I love you too!" said Charlie




"You're so over it, it's not even funny," Virgil said, as they patrolled Belmont, west of Clark. 

"Oh, so you're gonna miss me?" Fitz teased. 

"Shut up," Virgil said. 

"You should've applied too. We could've been partners again." 

"Right. Like they would've put two rooks together. Anyway, there's no way I would've gotten to detective." 

"There's always a way, man. You just gotta apply yourself." Fitz stopped and realized that Virgil was yards behind him crying. "Oh man, what's wrong?" 

"I am gonna miss you," Virgil said. Fitz went back and hugged his partner: it was almost like a break up and they had to treat it as such. This was their last patrol together before Fitz was moving on to become a detective. It was special. 

Loud voices clamoring from just east of Berlin interrupted the moment and they ran to assess the situation. Two drag queens were fighting in the alley and Fitz recognized one of them immediately as LaTrice, one of Edward's girls from Haven

"I told you bitch, next time I saw you, I'd end you," the drugged out looking drag queen said to Edward's girl. 

"Jazmine, you so fuckin' stupid," LaTrice said. Jazmine pulled out a gun. 

"Freeze," Fitz said as Virgil called for back up. Fitz saw Jazmine put pressure on the trigger before he could reach for his own gun. Out of instinct, he ran to push LaTrice out of the way.

Jazmine pulled the trigger. The bullet found its home deep in Fitz's lung. 

"FUCK!" cried Virgil, as Jazmine ran off and LaTrice collapsed next to Fitz. "We need a bus, in an alley between Belmont and Sheffield NOW!"

But it was too late: Fitz was gone.



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