Chapter 1: The Move

Author's Notes:

I don't own Remember the Titans characters, lines, or scenes. Many of the Titans belong to themselves and Disney's depiction of them belongs to Disney. I don't make any money off this, blah blah blah.

I'll be using some quotes and scenes directly from the movie, and I found a transcribed script Script-O-Rama dot com.

Some facts about the original Titans that I've used - or are based on for the story - come from '71 Original Titans website.

A station wagon pulled into the driveway at 389 Grandview, Alexandria, Virginia, in the early evening of Wednesday, August 25, 1971. The station wagon was followed by a moving van. James E. Dawson stepped out of the driver's side and his daughter, Rose Ann Dawson, stepped out the passenger's side right after him.

Mr. Dawson took in a deep breath. "Smell that clean air. We didn't get this in the city now did we, Rose?"

Rose attempted to hide her eye roll. "Dad, I'm okay with the move. It's just going to take some time to get used to."

"I know honey, and I know you're going to miss your friends too. But the move was in our best interest. And I'm sure you'll make more friends." He hugged his daughter.

Mr. Dawson went to the movers and assisted them in hauling all the boxes and furniture into the garage of the house while Rose took a look inside. The main floor consisted of the two-stall garage, half bath, wash room, dining room and kitchen, a small room that would probably become her dad's office, and a living room. Rose took the stairs to the second floor.

The upstairs had a master bedroom and bath, two smaller bedrooms and a bath between them, and a small closet. A pull cord at the top of the stairs a few feet above Rose's head alerted her to the presence of the attic. Rose poked her head in the first bedroom, the one right next to the stairs, and then looked at the second. Both bedrooms were probably the same dimensions, but the second one had windows on two sides.

Rose went back downstairs to the garage to begin bringing her seven boxes up to the second bedroom. Four large boxes, three smaller ones and five trips later, Rose had all of her belongings, except a bed, in her new room. Rose heard the movers leave and went back downstairs. There was one couch in the living room and another in the dining area. The couch in the living room was in the middle, so only slightly out of place, but Rose was significantly confused about the couch in the dining room.

"Dad? Dad?" Rose hollered.

"In the garage, Honey," Mr. Dawson hollered back.

Rose found him in the garage rummaging through a box marked 'Dad – Work'. "What are you looking for?"

"My planner. It has a bunch of phone numbers for places in Alexandria – or near it – in it. I figured we'd order pizza for tonight."

"Dad, it's in the other box." Rose pointed to another box that also read 'Dad – Work' on it.

"Oh. Well, you would know, wouldn't you? Seeing as how Miss Organized packed most of this stuff, huh?" He gave her a teasing grin.

Rose laughed. She had most certainly gotten her organizational skills from her mother, and not her slightly-scatterbrained father. Rose opened yet a third box of her father's work stuff and went digging for his check book, thoughts of her mother passing through her mind.

Julie Rosalyn Dawson had become Julie Rosalyn Maguire about a year and a half ago, and had been divorced from Rose's dad for about two years before that. Rose would be the first to admit that she missed her mother, but would also say that she didn't miss her that much. Mrs. Dawson-Maguire and her first husband and daughter had never seen eye-to-eye on the whole black-white situation. Plus, mother and daughter had been too alike personality-wise to get along very well.

Rose shook her head and pulled out her father's check book.

"Ah ha! You read my mind. I did wonder where you had put that."

"You're welcome, Dad. What are the two couches in the living and dining room for?"

"Us to sleep on. Remember, the beds from LaGrange were getting old and needed to be replaced anyway? Well, I decided that it would be a better idea to buy beds here. And other necessary appliances," he added as an after thought. "But there obviously isn't time to get them tonight. So the couches are what we'll sleep on in the mean time," Mr. Dawson explained. "I had hoped we'd get here an hour earlier, but that flat back in Pennsylvania prevented that. Ah well, it's all in God's hands."

"Oh," was Rose's only answer. She went upstairs and dug out Indian Captive to read for a bit while her dad called and ordered pizza.

"Hey Honey?" Mr. Dawson called upstairs after he was done on the phone.

"Yeah Dad?"

"When's Gerry due back from his camp so he can help us move in?"

"This Saturday, Dad."

Rose's Aunt Jean Bertier hadn't been on the best terms with the Dawsons since Julie had left James three and a half years ago. They also had different views on the "rising of those no good blacks" in her words. Still, she had volunteered cousin Gerry to help them move, if he had time. They had been invited to the Bertier's for Sunday dinner this coming weekend, so Aunt Jean was at least trying to be hospitable to her sister's ex-husband.

Rose sighed at the idiocies and complications in life and went back to her book until the doorbell rang and she came downstairs for a late supper.

Rose and her father used the box top for plates, and since they had gotten a small pizza there were no leftovers; which was a good thing, since there wasn't a refrigerator to put them in anyway.

Mr. Dawson glanced at his watch. "Wow, it's nearly ten o'clock. I think I'll turn in for the day. Packing and driving and unpacking took a lot out of me. Not to mention trying to change that tire." Both Dawsons laughed at the memory of Mr. Dawson, who wasn't much of a mechanic and therefore a slight hindrance to the movers, trying to help change the tire earlier that day.

"Good night Daddy," Rose pecked him on the cheek. "I think I might stay up for a bit longer and read upstairs, if that's okay."

"Of course it is, just don't stay up too long. I'll take the couch in the kitchen then, so you can find the one in the living room easy. Good night."

Rose went back upstairs and read for about an hour. She dug out her pajamas, toothbrush and toothpaste, her hair brush, the sheet from her bed, and her pillow; she changed in her room, and then proceeded to the bathroom. While brushing her just-past-shoulder-length hair Rose began to cry softly. Her hair had once been half way down her back and at the going-away party for her thrown by her best friend Amy it had been cut to where it was now. Amy had always begged to give Rose a new hair style, and Rose had finally given in to her friend. Rose missed her hair slightly, but missed her friends far more. Eleven hours. LaGrange was eleven hours away from Alexandria. She wiped the tears from her eyes and inhaled deeply. We'll see each other, every summer break, Amy and Rose had promised; one to Georgia or the other to Virginia. Rose brushed her teeth, grabbed her sheet and pillow and quietly went downstairs and lay down on the couch. It would take her a bit to fall asleep in this strange, new place, and to get used to a new home. But it would happen eventually.

A sleek, shining Camaro pulled into the driveway Saturday mid-afternoon and a tall dirty-blonde boy stepped out.

"Well hello Mr. Bertier!"

"Aw please Uncle James, I ain't old enough to be called 'Mr.' yet," Gerry Bertier chuckled as he shook Mr. Dawson's hand warmly.

"Hey Gerry," Rose said, giving her cousin a short hug. She looked up at him since he was at least four inches taller than her. "Gee, when was the last family reunion? I think you've grown at least a foot since I've seen you."

"Well, I think five or six years ago was the one where you guys came all the way down here. The last one was last year; but that was after…. um… so you guys didn't come. Sorry," Gerry apologized for bringing up the separation.

"Don't worry son, it's not a big deal anymore," Mr. Dawson soothed over the incident.

"So, what're we haulin' around today?" Gerry asked.

"I'm borrowing the neighbor's truck to get beds, table and chairs, and some small tables or whatever for the living room. The people at Marv's said they'd drop the refrigerator off and hook it up in an hour, so you and I will be getting the bed frames, table, and chairs; then going back out to get mattresses. After we're done with the mattresses, the china cabinet will go in the kitchen and we'll get your desk and bookshelves in your room, Rose," Mr. Dawson responded.

Rose clapped her hands once and grinned, excited at the prospect of having her furniture in her room as the familiar furniture would help ease the moving transition and aid in making the space her own.

"Sounds like a plan to me Uncle James."

"See you in a bit Rose."

Gerry waved at his cousin and Rose waved back to both as they got in the neighbor's truck and drove away. Rose continued to unpack and sort through her father's boxes and kitchen supplies until her father and cousin returned about an hour later, and a Marv's Appliance truck pulled up just after they had. The refrigerator was hooked up in no time and Mr. Dawson and Gerry got the table and chairs in the dining room, the bed frames and bedside tables in their respective bedrooms and the coffee table and an end table in the living room.

"Now for the mattresses. Rose, would you like to accompany us?" Mr. Dawson asked rather nonchalantly.

Rose hid a giggle. The Dawsons planned to take Gerry out to supper as a late birthday present. "I'd love to."

After they had purchased and loaded up the mattresses, Mr. Dawson asked, "Say Gerry, you had a birthday just last week didn't you? How old are you now?"

"Yes sir, last Friday. Turned eighteen. Mama got me the Camaro for it, 'cause my grades where good and this is my senior year. Hey Rose, you got a birthday comin' up too, don't you? Seems like yours wasn't long after mine."

Rose was surprised that Gerry remembered her birthday. "Yeah, mid-next month. I'll be sixteen."

"Listen Gerry, it's a week late but is there a good restaurant in town we could take you to and celebrate?" Mr. Dawson invited.

"Aw, no, Uncle James, you don't have to do that," Gerry replied.

"True, but you didn't have to help us move in either. I already talked to your mother and she said it was fine. How about it?"

"Well, if you insist, Uncle James. Hal's has got pretty good food. I really appreciate it, Uncle James."

Mr. Dawson coughed. "Well, actually; Rose will have to take most of the credit. She's the one who remembered that it was your birthday. I never was very good at remembering dates and stuff."

Gerry grinned at Rose who grinned back.

On Sunday, supper at the Bertier's went well enough. James and Jean hadn't been very talkative with each other after Julie divorced him, but they got along for the evening and were not rude to each other. Becky, Gerry's younger sister by five years, hardly remembered what had gone on between her Uncle and her mom, so she had no trouble bonding with the Dawsons. In fact, she was rather excited to talk about just about anything besides football with Rose, citing that Gerry was addicted to it and talked of nothing else.

"He's still into that sport huh?" Rose had asked. She vaguely remembered Gerry playing it with their cousins and uncles once or twice at family reunions. Becky had nodded vigorously.

After the events of the evening had gone well enough, Rose hoped that school the next Wednesday would go smoothly as well.

Author's notes:

Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jeminson is a real book written by Lois Lenski. It's a good book, read it sometime. :-)

Marv's was created for the fic.

Hal's is the restaurant in the beginning of the film.

Booyah, I finally got my initials in a fic! ((Is a dork))