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"Did anyone survive the accident?"

The fight had been rough on Karl. He was sporting a black eye, scratches and a limp. "Ha ha. Very funny."

Sam sighed and asked, "Want to talk about it?"

"Not really."

Sam grinned and said, "You know you're going to. I'll be insufferable until you do."

Karl shrugged. Then he said, "It was the usual suspects. The seniors on the basketball team got all wound up about something. Before we knew it the freshmen and the sophomores were in our underwear in the showers. Lee Hardin was telling us he was going to find out who the fags were and get them off the team."

Sam growled and said, "I bet that bastard's into getting gerbils up his ass. What did they do?"

"The plan was to hold us down and put Lee's junk in our face and see who popped a woodie. That's when things went sideways on them."

"Really? What happened?"

"Ray Callahan and Rusty Yates happened. As soon as Lee told them what he planned Ray objected and Rusty backed him up. Some cross words were exchanged and Ray called Lee a faggit for wanting to do that. All of the sudden the really bad seniors were fighting with the good ones, the rest of them didn't really know what to do and we were sort of in the middle of it."

Sam raised an eyebrow and said, "This almost sounds a little hot."

"It wasn't from where I was sitting. Ray and Lee fell on top of me fighting hard. I got an elbow to the eye. Rusty and Brian tied up and the rest of the seniors just stood there confused. It was like a mutiny or something and with their ring leaders fighting, they weren't sure what to do."

Karl rubbed his eye and said, "I wasn't really in the fight, I was under it. Lee and Ray had something personal going on and they were going at it assholes and elbows. Rusty and Brian were tied up pretty good too. This went on for at least thirty seconds until Coach Brown showed up and broke it up. The rest of the coaches came in and separated us. Then they asked questions before anybody could get their stories straight. It wasn't too long before they knew exactly what happened and who the instigators were. We came this close to having all the seniors kicked off the team."

"Holy shit. Isn't Lee Hardin supposed to..."

"Yeah. He's being looked at by some big time scouts. He's had a dozen triple doubles this season but getting suspended for hazing is really going to hurt him."

Sam asked, "You didn't get in trouble?"

Karl said, "No. I learned to respect Ray and Rusty quite a bit."

"But.. they were in on it."

"Well, sorta. As long as things didn't get too carried away they were. When it crossed the line, they stepped up. A wedgie here, a red-belly there- hey, that's expected. A dick in the face, well that's got to cross the line in anybody's book."

"Do you know how things are going to turn out?"

"No. It'll be a few days. The Vice Principle and Coach Yelverton will have to sort it out. But something good did come out of it."

"What's that?"

The door opened and a tall boy with coppery red hair, freckles, a shiner and various scratches and bruises walked in and sat very close beside Karl.

Karl reached out and put his arm around him.

"Rusty and I got to know each other a lot better. What was it you said Rusty?"

Rusty blushed an alarming shade of crimson and said, "You are the cutest sophomore I've ever seen and I wasn't letting that asshole Hardin get anywhere near you with his junk."

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