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

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6-10 Recap (Volume 8)

Ben has to make a life-changing decision while the Davids and Josh stop sneaking around in week 2 of Volume 8. Volume 9 launches June 17!

6-10 Recap (Volume 8)
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Ben has to make a life-changing decision while the Davids and Josh stop sneaking around in week 2 of Volume 8. Volume 9 launches June 17!


Fitz stared at Ben.

"What do you mean you might leave Charlie?" he asked.

"I just got accepted into Doctors Without Borders," Ben replied.

"And you're just gonna uproot and go?"

"That's the thing, I don't know. I applied on a whim last year. I never expected it to actually go through."

"So what are you gonna do?"

Ben sat down on the curb. "When you were a kid, what did you imagine your future would be?"

"Well, I knew I wanted to join the force, like my dad," Fitz said, joining him. "I always dreamed I'd be a detective one day."

"Ever since I was a kid, I wanted three things: to be a doctor and help people that really needed it. I wanted to see the world. And I wanted to meet a guy that I loved more than anything and share my life with him."

"Looks like you've got the opportunity for all three."

"Or I'll have to choose."

"I do not envy you. What are you gonna do, man?"

"I guess... I have to figure out if less than all three is good enough."



"Is he still asleep?" Edward asked, pouring two cups of coffee and a glass of orange juice.

"Out like a light, poor kid," Steve said, bringing a platter of pancakes to the table.

"We have to figure out what to do with him," Edward putting cream in his coffee. "Haven's all full up."

"We can't send him back! You saw what those monsters did to him when went into the foster care system."

"I don't know what else we can do, sweetheart." Edward stopped abruptly as Robbie walked in from the guest room, Steve's extra pajamas hanging baggily off of his lanky body.

"Do you want some pancakes?"

"You're gonna send me back, aren't you?" Robbie said.

"Eat your pancakes," Steve said. "No one's going anywhere." This got a sideways glare from Edward.

"I've got to get to Haven. We'll talk when I get home."

Robbie slathered his pancakes in maple syrup. "How are you feeling?" Steve asked.

"Ok," Robbie said. "My stitches itch."

"You ready to talk about why you needed them yet?"

Robbie looked down at his plate and grew quiet for a moment. "These are good," he finally said.

"Thanks. It's my dad's famous buttermilk pancake recipe."

"Real good," Robbie said, taking a bite of them sadly. Steve could have kicked himself. He remembered bits and pieces of the trauma this poor kid went through as described by Charlie when he was on suspension. The last thing he probably wanted to hear about was someone else's parents.

"What do you feel like doing today?"

"I figured... I'd um... stay here. Maybe clean up a little. Earn my keep a bit."

"Screw that," Steve said. "How about you and me go on a little outing?"


The halls and galleries of the Art Institute seemed cavernous to Robbie as they explored together.

"You're not afraid I'm gonna run?" Robbie asked.

"You're not a prisoner," Steve said. "I hope you don't run, but I can't keep you. I hope you enjoy this. I always wished my dad would take me to the museum or to a play or something when I was a kid. It never happened. I thought... maybe you'd enjoy it."

"I am," Robbie said. "Thanks."

As they traversed time and space through paintings, Robbie stopped at one full stop. He gazed into it, transfixed. Steve looked at the information card: "Mother and Child" by Pablo Picasso. A single tear rolled down Robbie's eye.

"What does the painting say to you?" Steve asked.

"It's just... I've never felt that."

Steve walked a few steps away, leaving Robbie transfixed by the painting. He picked up his phone and dialed.

"David? Hi, it's Steve. Listen... what do you know about the adoption process?"



"Anything I can do to help, Steve," David said. Josh looked at him expectantly. "Come by my office tomorrow and we'll work it out. I should get going."

"Working lunch?" Josh asked as David hung up.

"Sorry, you probably have to get back to school."

"It's my prep period. I'm good for another hour at least."

"Good," David said as Josh slid his arms around him. "That's... good."

"So when you said that the last time would be the last time... "

"I meant it," David said, trying not to meet his gaze.

"So what are we doing here?"

"I know about you. And David."


"And I can't do this anymore. The sneaking around... the lying... "

"I get it," Josh said, stepping away from him.

"So we were wondering... would you like to move in with us?"



"He's not cracking, Captain," Fitz heard Detective Palmer say, leaving the interview room. "Kid's a fucking sociopath."

"We've got enough to go to trial," he heard Captain say. "Fitz, can you get him back to holding?"

Fitz opened the door to see the smug kid sitting in his county orange, looking a little worse for wear.

"Afternoon Officer," Steven Albright said, sitting up as Fitz came in. "Word on the street is that you tried to go vigilante. Went on that fuckin fag app to find this alleged killer."

"There's nothing alleged about my friend laying dead in a pool of his own blood."

"How'd it feel to talk to those fuckin' faggots? Throwing themselves at you, doing anything they could for a good dickin'?"

"I don't know, Steven, how did it feel?"

"I'm not a faggot."

"Neither am I," Fitz said, leaning down to get eye level with him. "Cuz fags aren't real men, right? Real men don't hide. Real men own everything they are and don't give a flying fuck what society or their friends or their family think about that. Real men don't regret anything. Aren't scared of anything."

Steven stiffened and averted his gaze. Fitz met it once more. "You can't claim gay scare on this pal. You went to his house, the forensics show that you weren't sexually passive, that your DNA was found inside Tristan. This wasn't a mistake, you weren't raped, you went there to have sex with my friend and then you killed him. Why? Did you enjoy it too much? Were you afraid that it might actually make you gay?"

"No!" Steven screamed, leaping out of his seat. "That's the point! If I killed him, then it didn't happen. It wouldn't be true. I wouldn't be... " Steven stopped, realizing what he just said. "I want my lawyer."

"No need," Fitz said, cuffing him. "You're going back to holding."

Captain and Detective Palmer stood with their mouths agape on the other side of the one-way mirror.

"Did you get that?" Fitz asked as he passed them taking Steven to holding.
"Yeah," Captain said. "We got it."



"Yeah," Ben said, kissing Charlie's forehead. "But what did you want to be when you were a kid?"

"A writer, I guess? I was always really good at telling stories."

"Why did you never explore it?"

"I guess I just never had an interesting enough story to tell as a grown-up?"

"Bullshit. You live in the heart of Boystown. There's stories for years there."

‘Well what about you? Did you always know you wanted to be a doctor?

"Yeah. I also want to help people. On a deeper level."

"How so?"

"Well I guess... on a global scale?"

"Like Doctors Without Borders?"

"Yeah," Ben said, pausing for a moment, holding Charlie tight. "So... I got accepted. Do you want to go with me?"



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