Connecticut Diversion: A Tarja/Winnisimmet Tales Story

Author's Note: Special thanks to TG Sine for allowing me to write a story with his characters, being New Engalnders there is a lot of crossover in some professional circles especially with the federal agencies so it's entirely probable that some would know about the goings on in a small city over 120 miles away. What happens within this story is all my own ideas and does not detract from the quality of the Tarja series nor on TG Sine. For Winnisimmet Tales fans this story takes place during "Family" but contains references to prior stories so if you are new to the Winnisimmet Tales universe it's a good idea to get caught up.

Massachusetts is a place different than any other state and the week of Presidents Day is about as unique as you can get. The kids need a break from a month and a half of hard work and bad weather. The downside of the vacation is the students are well rested and able to participate in the annual state mandated test.

Willie Pena, Alex Vincent, and Mike Daniels saw it as a nice way of getting away from Winnisimmet, Massachusetts while driving their three sons to a martial arts tournament and exhibition in Connecticut. It was also a rare chance to enjoy some quality “guy time” among the three friends.

Much to Willie’s wife Kennedy’s annoyance he insisted on spending some time with Alex and Mike to compensate for her previous quick trip to England. She and he rarely spent time apart but the draw of a day with the guys was too much to say no to. Besides, she really didn’t mind she only put up a token fight to show she was at least a little disappointed at babysitting their daughter and toddler son.

Alex and Mike have been busy working on a tough federal case with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and needed the rest and relaxation. The boys were sneaky in insisting that they go to the tournament over doing one closer to home, Willie saw right through the ruse and added on a t rip to the two casinos in southeast Connecticut to sweeten the deal. The timing was fine, and the weather was cooperating but it was still a long way away from home.

The weekend was going to be clear and sunny with temperatures in the low 40s, a decent time to get out in the middle of winter. The group set off in two cars from Winnisimmet early, first stopping for breakfast at Dunkin Donuts then driving the Massachusetts Turnpike on to I84 and US6. Traffic was heavy so they ended up arriving at Eastern Connecticut State University just after 10 AM.

The boys signed in and left their fathers to go about their business. Given the nice weather they decided to drive the long way to the casinos and enjoy the scenery of Eastern Connecticut. The drive was relaxing and after an hour they decided to stop for lunch.

The town of Narboro was good as any to stop for lunch. It was a little larger than most towns in the area but still smaller than the coastal towns and cities. The townsfolk didn’t bat an eye at seeing newcomers and most gave a nod to them as they passed along.

The trio walked one block and stopped in their tracks as they saw a group of four teenagers pounding on a boy no older than 15. Each of the boys was yelling “fag” and “queer” at him while punching and kicking him. Willie was already on the phone calling police as Alex and Mike rushed ahead. He informed the calltaker that there were two federal agents breaking up the fight and to let the local police know that they were unarmed while the teens were brandishing weapons.

Willie was in a full run when he heard Alex and Mike yelling “drop your weapons!” When the boys didn’t stop Alex tackled two then Mike grabbed the wrist of a third. The fourth tried to slash at Mike only to meet a kick to the rear by Alex.

Both brandished their badges causing the teens to laugh at them, telling them “you ain’t a local cop, you can’t do a damn thing to us!” Mike shook his head and informed them “you are hereby placed under arrest and detained for assault and battery with hate intent, in other words civil rights violation. Before you go claiming foul we are fully powered in all 50 states and US territories as ATF agents and are bound by law to intervene if a felony is being committed in our presence; this entire country is our jurisdiction and we take civil rights violations seriously in the Boston office!”

Realizing that they were in deep trouble two tried to run and slammed right into the approaching Willie who not-so-politely placed them in handcuffs. Alex and Mike did the same to the other two who continued to threaten them before being relieved of their knives by their quick action.

Willie informed Mike and Alex dispatch knows they are armed and that they were on scene. A few minutes later two local officers came in and took one look at the boys and laughed at the sight. The four football players, pride and joy of the town, were in tears as they begged to be let go.

Willie informed the officers just who the men were and showed his own badge, adding “as much as I wanted to make the arrest this is your turf and I’m just visiting.” Alex then added “he doesn’t get to play with the perps much anymore, it’s just paperwork and budgets for him now.”

The officers looked at Willie’s badge again and immediately saw the city’s name. Both responded with a loud “holy crap!” Turning to the four teens they both admitted “you guys picked the wrong day to mess with that kid, these three are big city cops and I can guarantee you they have dealt with people tougher, stronger, faster, and smarter than you and won.”

As the four were hauled away to the town jail to await arraignment the three was asked to head over to the police station for their statements. The young man they helped save was taken away by ambulance but it was more precautionary as he had only minor bruising and cuts. Alex and Mike informed the officers that it was beset to have doctors document the injuries then hand the paperwork over to the district attorney to prosecute.

In the police station the trio were treated like celebrities. The chief of police, James Borwick, made a trip out to meet them, personally thanking them for their action.

After a half hour of giving statements and verification of their credentials Alex, Mike, and Willie were asked by Chief Borwick to go with him to lunch. The trio grinned and told him “that’s what we were in town for in the first place.” Chief Borwick nodded, showing them to a nearby restaurant that gave the trio a mix of anger and smiles.

Chief Borwick shook his head at the angry faces, pointing out to the crowd “hate crimes in our town won’t be tolerated no matter who the perpetrators are. Get over it or get out, because we aren’t putting up with it anymore. They chose to act like animals, they are lucky that the agents didn’t open fire on them in self-defense- and they were fully justified in firing!”

A loud round of applause went up as the few complainers left angrily but the chief simply shook his head and explained “those were the aunts and uncles of three of the boys. They think because they are stellar athletes they can get away with anything. Well they are wrong.” Willie laughed it off, adding “reality must have skipped over them, this is New England not the Midwest or Texas!”

Chief Borwick asked about the trials that had just concluded for the major defendants in their gun/drug/explosives ring. Alex smiled as he pointed out “the real leader of the whole operation ended up doing something monumentally stupid when you were hitting the targets down here: he tried to kidnap four kids. One is the son of our boss, one is the daughter of a deputy sheriff, and the third is Willie’s daughter.”

Mike added “the fourth was the real target but the other three made it too tough to grab him so all four were taken. They outsmarted the group and ended up causing them to end up in prison for longer. The ringleader tried to take the kid back to England to get him to sign over his fortune but never made it past customs thanks to his cousin who just happened to be a state trooper on duty in the terminal.”

Willie added “he was still green and got two customs officers to make the arrest without the perp ever knowing he was made. He got put away for life thanks to all of the charges he racked up both local, federal, and even English. His new cellblock mates are thrilled to have him, especially when they learned that the boy he kidnapped was the nephew of their unofficial leader.”

Chief Borwick tried to disbelieve but Alex added “it’s no joke, the man is Willie’s cousin and the boy taken was his newly adopted nephew. He hates the rest of his family but he loves his sister, the boy’s mother, without question and ensured that the guy had a very unpleasant stay prison.”

Mike grinned at Chief Borwick’s expression then added “it’s just one of many things that we ended up having happen in our big family. If you thought that was odd the boy’s paternal family are English aristocrats and he even has his own title, he’s an earl. Willie’s cousin is an honest to goodness English countess and her American born and raised son and daughter is a lord and a lady and both have a title coming to them soon.”

Chief Borwick let out a chuckle then got up to leave after paying the bill. He shook his head in astonishment, quietly telling himself “those guys are something else. That whole city is in a world all its own.”

As the trio were speaking with the chief nearby a woman and two young girls were listening closely. The woman heard a few things that caught her ear and started to jot down what was being said. Noticing what she was doing the girls asked her softly “what are you up to?” which earned quiet “I think I know about these men and I have to meet them. Don’t worry, it’s a good thing and I think you both will enjoy meeting them.”

Mike, Willie, and Alex got up and started to walk out when the woman with two young girls, roughly 8 years old, asked them if she could talk with them. The girls looked up at Willie with smiles causing the trio to nod and walk out with them to a quiet area nearby. Alex and Mike figured it had to do with the arrests but Willie thought he noticed her looking them over for other reasons, it was worth investigating to see what she wanted.

The woman introduced herself as Dr. Marion Reidmiller and the girls as her future stepdaughter Averill Overington and niece Tarja Milenham. Willie introduced himself, Mike, and Alex and asked what they wanted to discuss. The girls looked up at her and encouraged her to speak but Marion was reluctant to directly talk.

Mike thought he knew why and asked her “you heard us talking in the restaurant. We may not be the brightest bulbs but we saw your expression change when we mentioned our hometown and what happened. Something must have piqued your interest.” Marion finally gave in and asked “are you familiar with the family of several transgender children from Winnisimmet?”

Alex grinned then asked “how much of the family are you asking about? They are pretty big.” Marion tried to come up with the proper question but Willie rescued her, telling her warmly “we are part of that family. It’s more than just blood relatives, our kids clumped together into one large family among themselves. My father told them multiple times ‘family is about love not blood.’”

The girls looked up in disbelief. Marion herself was shocked, she added a soft “my friend told me those exact words.” Willie grinned as he asked “Allison Eliza?” Marion nodded to which Averill asked “how do you know her? That’s mom’s friend!”

Willie showed the girls a picture of his daughter Kylie then his nieces Jaimie and Nichole. Both didn’t understand until Willie admitted “my daughter is like you. She was born a boy.”

Marion now turned to Willie and wanted to know how he knew. Alex answered instead, telling her “it was the way the girls were acting. They knew the name a little too well. They are also looking around without noticing as if they were on the lookout for trouble. The only reason for doing that would be fear due to gender change.”

Willie added “my daughter did the same thing until her friends rallied around her and made her classmates accept her as herself. My wife also did it when we were dating but once she had her surgery she stopped doing it.” Mike added “Jaimie did it as well, only I don’t believe your girls have had to endure what she had to and if Dr. Eliza has told you about her then I hope you can understand why we hope they never have to either!”

Marion cringed at the name. Willie shook his head and told her warmly “the girls would be proud to know that doctors are using their situation as a learning tool to help other girls and boys like her. In fact, Jaimie knows this better than anyone and actively encourages Dr. Eliza to use her situation to help ease new girls and boys into their lives. We all believe she will end up in your profession. She is a great listener and advice giver but she just needs training to focus on being less hands-on and controlling.”

Tarja spoke up, asking “what do you mean your wife was like that? Is she like us?” Willie nodded, showing a picture of her and Kylie then adding “we have five girls in total like you, plus my wife Kennedy. Sadly, we also have a girl who had to become like you because she was injured badly ‘down there’ and chose to have surgery to have girl parts but never wanted to be a girl. She is now an amazing young lady who is celebrating a milestone today- shopping for her first bra!”

The girls giggled and grinned while Marion again gasped in shock. Alex added a somber “Dr. Eliza could write a medical paper on our niece’s situation. But we know now that she may have been forced to live as a girl due to her surgery but she might have been a girl in spirit before it all happened as she acts like any other 12-year-old girl. Even her best friend is taking lessons in femininity from her and she’s a genetic girl.”

Marion softly admitted “Allison told me all about your family and has never been so proud to have encountered people who have had such a positive impact on the community.” Willie grinned as he pointed out “there’s many of us who owe are careers and lives to the family. They saved multiple lives from certain death, brought together families, helped long lost family members find one another, and in the case of my own family saved three kids, got me a job, cleaned up a city, and got me to see the woman of my dreams was right in front of my face.”

The girls were swooning over that while Alex and Mike tried to keep from laughing. Mike added “Alex wouldn’t have had the guts to ask out his longtime crush nor come out of the closet to his wife. My own son would never have had the guts to ask out his best friend to become his girlfriend and Alex’s son wouldn’t have had a girlfriend at all.”

Alex blushed as the girls looked at him oddly. He told them quietly “yes I’m gay. My new boyfriend is a friend of the family.” Willie added a quick “friend? The man is responsible for six of the kids staying part of the family with one being kept from certain death. The man is entirely part of the family and the sooner you two come out with the relationship the better.”

Marion looked at Mike who nodded. She realized she knew exactly whom she was talking about, Allison had referenced him before and gave him glowing reviews. Marion grinned and added “if she wasn’t a lesbian Allison would have asked him out.” Mike himself grinned as Willie asked “she’s a lesbian? We just thought she was devoted to her job. She is casual with the adults and never mentioned a spouse so we figured she was too busy for love.”

Marion chuckled while Averill added “mom said she should find a nice girl to settle down with but her work keeps her too busy so mom said she should marry her work then.” Tarja snickered as Willie fought the urge to laugh while Alex groaned at the joke.

Willie knelt down and asked the girls warmly “how long have you girls been in transition?” Averill admitted “a couple of years” while Tarja admitted “just a few months.” Willie nodded then showed them a picture of his niece Nichole, adding “you started at the same age as my niece. She had a loving father who helped her through hall of the tough times and through the rough patches at school. They were forced out of their family home but through something bad happening to her they mended fences.”

Averill looked closely as Alex added “it wasn’t entirely sunny, she survived a brutal attack on her cousin by some nasty men and was forced to have her surgery to become a girl due to the damage down there.” The two girls looked scared but saw her smiling face and realized it was alright now.

Marion signaled that they should start heading out. Willie added one last statement “you have done a great job with them. I know Allison wouldn’t be so close to you unless there was another reason, but I have to add you look amazing and are a model for how kids can turn out if they continue on the road to womanhood. You have a great job and a top notch education, you are a role model for any kid not just kids like our daughters.”

Marion blushed then asked “how did you know?” Willie pointed at her hands, telling her “I would have mentioned your shoulders and your hips but really it was your fingers. There’s a lot that you can change about yourself but that’s one thing you can’t change.” Marion asked how he knew about that, Willie proudly told her “when Kennedy told me the truth I went in search of everything I could. I remembered being told this in biology and health class in high school but forgetting it.”

The girls looked at their own hands and saw the truth. They both snickered when Alex and Mike did the same. Willie rolled his eyes and added “they never realized there was a difference in finger lengths between the sexes in a large percentage of people. I have to wonder what they were teaching you out in the suburbs.” Marion was now laughing as the two men were still staring at their hands as were the girls, poor Willie just shook his head in amazement.

Marion bit them farewell with Willie adding “I’ll give Allison your regards, the girls are going to be happy to know that they have had some impact on other girls beyond their hometown. Hopefully Jaimie won’t let it get to her head but she is going to be over the moon.” Tarja gave him a hug as did Averill with Tarja adding “tell Kylie thank you.” Willie just nodded, unsure what she meant but guessing it was a simple “thank you for showing me it’s alright” message.

The trio drove on, watching as the two girls eagerly talked about the meeting. Tarja seemed to be taking things best, she was full of life while Averill took it in stride, just grinning and nodding. Marion though was smiling, she was happy to have met face to face with people she had heard about secondhand and respected both professionally and personally as a mother and trans person herself.

As the trio were driving out they noticed they were being followed. Willie shook his head as he realized it was due to the kids that were arrested earlier. The townsfolk may be good people but the bad apples always find a way of spoiling things.

The two cars pulled over as Willie flipped a switch inside his car. It recorded inside and outside with multiple cameras, something John had given a grant to the city to have installed in all city police vehicles which Willie’s car was considered to be part of. He owned the car, just not the equipment inside nor the license plate and registration. Those were provisionally issued by the city, with the car reverting to normal registration if/when Willie retired or was removed from office- however unlikely that would be.

The group hasseled Mike and Alex to drop the charges. They threatened them with bodily harm and showed a gun. Willie discretely called the local police and told them that they were in danger and if provoked would fire upon the others in s elf defense. Unlike last time the duo had their side arms in their holsters but faced away so they weren’t noticed by the crowd.

Mike just nodded to Alex who announced “I am going to ask you all to leave or face the law.” The group ignored them, with one again brandishing his gun. Alex pulled out his sidearm followed by Alex as Willie announced loudly “this entire encounter has been recorded both by sound and video. Your threats will be prosecuted as will you brandishing of your weapons.”

Realizing they were in trouble one opened fire on Alex which resulted in Mike shooting him then Alex shooting another who pulled a gun on Mike. Willie positioned his car so the group couldn’t drive away as the local and state police drove in a high speed from the other direction boxing in the group. It was all over quickly s two were down for the count, heavily bleeding while four more were on their chests with their hands and feet spread wide.

Alex and Mike made their statements while Willie copied the video and showed it to state troopers on scene. The troopers shook their head in disgust as they heard the threats and why they should release the punks. The ones who were shot were taken away by ambulance with a police escort and told that a judge would be meeting them in the morning to arraign them.

The local state police lieutenant greeted the trio and offered their thanks in stopping a well-known abuse ring. He explained “those scumbags have been forcing people to change their testimony to let their kids off with warnings or slap on the wrists for far too long. We have been trying hard to nail them on serious charges and you three did just that.”

The trooper looked at the badge Willie had and loudly told the lieutenant “these guys are the ones who brought down the 95 drug, gun, and explosives smugglers last October!” Willie tried to shrug it off but the lieutenant was all smiles as he boldly asked “please do us all a big favor and quash this rumor: the entire operation was due to an 8-year-old English kid.”

Alex shook his head and mumbled “it’s no joke. It was all a big scheme by his father to get his family’s title and lands so he could fund his lifestyle. It failed when his son told his grandparents the truth and set in motion a big investigation by us and our state into his father’s company. Everything just snowballed from there.”

Mike added “the real brains of the operation boldly tried to kidnap him but was stopped by one of the members of or family. He’s now doing a 25 years in the state prison before going to federal prison and finally back to England for his own murder sentence there. If he is lucky he will be released when he is 95.”

The lieutenant and the others were listening intently. Willie added “and before you ask, yes the kid is a real English lord. He has his own title as does his new father and his grandfather. In fact his adopted brother and sister will have their own titles this summer. The boy simply did the right thing and unknowingly caused dozens of people to face justice for their crimes. He doesn’t know about that and we don’t think he would want to know, he just wants to be a normal boy.”

With that the trio got in their cars to drive on to the casino. They spent the night in the attached hotel and played the various games and slots until mid-afternoon. They broke even, winning enough to pay for the whole trip with a little left over for dinner in Boston so they were pleased to be in the black for the weekend.

Reed, Eric, and George were tired from their tough workouts. They didn’t do too well but they did better than expected. Reed grinned as he explained his sensei was eager to have him try for the next belt while Eric and George grilled Alex and Mike about their trip. Both looked the newspaper in the car and loudly told them “how the heck do you end up involved in two busts!?!?!”

Both tried to put it off but Alex freely told them “we don’t go looking for trouble, trouble usually finds us.” That sent the boys into a laughing spree as Mike tried to top the line to top it but gave up after 10 minutes. He finally conceded “we have an obligation to intervene as law enforcement officers, the fact that those people were being investigated for their actions against others was irrelevant. Someone needed help, so we helped them. It’s what we taught you to do, we wouldn’t be good parents if we didn’t practice what we preach.”

Eric nodded in agreement then asked his dad “when are you going to stop acting like a scared teenager and introduce us to your new boyfriend? We want to meet him, all of us.” Alex sighed then solemnly told him “April vacation. I’ll introduce you to him then. I don’t want you gossiping to your friends either, let me do the introduction. He has a lot to lose if things go sour and I don’t want it to tear apart the family if it does. I like him a lot, and I hope he feels the same way.”

George shook his head and bluntly told him “nobody took sides when Aunt Leslie and Uncle Jake broke up. Nobody is going to take sides when you and Ricardo come out.” All three looked at him funny to which George groaned “do you really think we are dumb? It was either him or Uncles William or Todd. It sure as heck isn’t dad. Ricardo is single, but he is so involved in so many of the kids’ cases that it would impact half the family.”

Alex sighed and told the truth “yes we are dating. I didn’t want you to know until we were ready but I guess you called my bluff. I really like him, but after he was fired from his law firm he has been reluctant to get involved with anyone and until a mutual friend got us together at the club we didn’t see things going anywhere beyond friendship.”

Eric grinned and sharply told him “you two deserve happiness. If you need to take things to the next level I’ll go stay with someone else for the night. His family is good and he treats us all well, you two deserve each other.”

The rest of the drive was in silence as Eric texted Ricardo directly to tell him to get a move on with his father. Ricardo texted him back asking if he had his blessing to which Eric added “do whatever you have to do to make him happy. Marry him, adopt me, adopt other kids. Whatever it takes to be happy. You deserve it as much as he does.”

Willie and Reed talked back and forth then Willie told him about the arrests. Reed just took it in stride, knowing that it was part of the job but adding “you wanted to do more but you couldn’t. At least you helped in your own way. You are a good friend and a great cop, don’t feel bad because you couldn’t do more.”

Reed looked at the texts Eric sent and laughed. He told his father “George got the identity of Uncle Alex’s new boyfriend. Eric thinks they are serious and Ricardo could be on his way to being his second father.” Willie nodded in agreement, the wives knew that Ricardo was in love just from how he was acting the past month before the Deborah situation. To have confirmation was big, to have wedding bells ringing in Eric’s ears was huge.

Reed grinned as he asked “did you do anything else down there?” Willie drew a sharp breath the told him “we met some nice young ladies. They are like your sister and their aunt and mother is like your mom. They knew about Kylie and the girls from Dr. Eliza She is the woman’s colleague and friend.”

Reed asked what he meant to which he added “the woman is a doctor like Dr. Eliza, only she is also like your mom in she was born a boy. She is a good person who is doing well for her area and the discussions were simply of a professional nature. I also found out why Dr. Eliza isn’t married; she is so focused on her job that she doesn’t take the time to date. She hasn’t found the right woman for her.”

Reed looked stunned the smiled. She was a great looking woman and she would have the choice of any girl, but the kids come first and she was amazing with them. He respected her more now than he had before.

Back at home after a quick dinner in Boston the three teens went right to bed. Kennedy asked what happened to which Willie replayed the events. She smiled at hearing about the encounter with Marion and the girls as Kylie cheered at the girls liking her story and being happy for her.

Kylie hugged both of them deeply, crying into their shoulders as she told them “you are the best mom and dad.” Kennedy shed a tear herself as she walked away, warmly telling Willie “she needed that boost, she’s starting to become jealous of the other girls again. Knowing that other girls look up to her just made her month.”

Willie confided in her that he took her transition for granted. Kennedy asked what spurred that on, to which he admitted “seeing the girls being frightened of us and of others made me think about your early days and how you reacted when we were out walking around the quad. I know things got better but seeing the fear in their eyes made me glad that you never had to endure the abuse that some endure. I am especially glad that Kylie and the others have someone to look up to who is not afraid to stick up for them and whom they can confide in.”

Kennedy kissed him deeply, then shed a tear as she added “I am lucky. Many aren’t. I know you always had my back in school and the girls know you will do anything for them. I am just glad that you understand now that it wasn’t always easy.”

The End.

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