Comin' Home: A KISS Fan Fiction Story
Author's note: I realize some of the history may be a little off, but I guess it's close enough for government work! Much thanks to "KISS Alive Forever" with some of the other information. KISS does not belong to me as they are real people--no harm is intended with this piece of fiction. All other characters are the property of the author.
It was a cold afternoon in December when Stan Eisen pulled into the employee parking lot of Yellow Cab service. He parked his car and got out into the cold snowy afternoon, locking his door behind him. He flipped the collar of his long coat up against the wind as light snow dusted his shoulders. The tall young man almost collided with the slim dark haired girl coming out of the door he was trying to enter.
"Hey hey handsome, when I said to sweep me off my feet I didn't mean that literally. Besides, I wouldn't want my hubby to mess up that face!" she laughed.
"Hey Angie, headed home huh?" Stan said with a chuckle.
"Yeah, hey how's your band doing??" she asked.
"We finally found a guitarist,." Stan said as he leaned halfway in the door "He seems a bit flaky but he can wail on the six string."
Before Angie could reply, a loud yell came from inside the shop.
"EISEN!!!!!!!!!! CLOSE THE DAMN DOOR!! I'M NOT PAYIN' TO HEAT ALL OF QUEENS!!!"
"Oops duty calls! Later!," he said as he hurried inside."Sorry boss."
"Kid, I need you to go out to LaGuardia and pick up a couple of guys. Their flight should be in by the time you get out there if the weather holds and the traffic don't go to hell. I need to warn you though, they're coming in from 'Nam.One of 'em's my brother's kid. Name's Tony. Just look for the name tag. I know I can trust you Eisen, and maybe if there are protesters they won't bother you." Mr. DiStefano said, indicating Stan's long hair.
"Ok. Let me clock in and I'll roll on outta here." Stan said, walking over to the time clock.
"Hey, Eisen,." Mr. DiStefano called. "When you pick these guys up....don't turn on the meter, I'll pay you for this one."
Stan replaced his time card and gave his boss a thumbs up as he headed out to his cab.
The large steel door clattered noisily up its track as he started the engine. Within minutes he was on his way across town.
The snow was steadily increasing as he drove west on the LIE. Traffic was heavy for mid-afternoon and he hoped to make it in time to pick up his fare. Stan looked off to the side at the twin towers of the World Trade Center, due to be dedicated in about six months. Soon he found himself in the lane to turn off to go to the airport. He pulled into the pick up lane at the front of the terminal and put on the hazard lights. Stan pulled his battered fedora down to shield his face in the thickening snow. He nodded to the porter stationed near the door. The porter nodded back before leaning back against the concrete post he was standing near. Stan gave the small group of young people huddled off to one side a passing glance before heading for the doors leading to the terminal. He walked into the terminal and quickly made his way to information desk to see what gate he needed to find. Once he obtained the information, he made his way to the proper gate to pick up his fare.
Stan arrived at the gate as the plane was pulling up to the terminal. He leaned against the railing separating the waiting area from the rest of the terminal. He was spinning his hat on his hand as the first passengers made their way into the terminal. It wasn't long before three young men around his age came through the door, all dressed in khaki uniforms. The tallest of the three had two duffle bags while his friend carried a third as he followed with another soldier hobbling along on crutches. Stan could see the young man on crutches had the name "DiStefano" stenciled above the left breast pocket. Taking a deep breath, he put his hat back on and approached them.
"Excuse me." he said when he got closer.
"Whadda you want hairball?" the tall black soldier said. glaring at him.
Stan sighed, this wasn't going to be easy. He ignored the other soldiers burning gaze.
"Are you Tony?" he asked the young man on crutches.
"Yeah? What’s it to ya?" he half snarled.
"Well, your Uncle Vinnie sent me to pick you guys up. He thought if you were with me, any protesters might leave us alone,"
The three soldiers exchanged glances. "For what it's worth, let me be the first to say welcome home"
"Well, what are we waitin' for kid. Lead the way!" Tony's friend said, ignoring the looks his friends gave him.
"Want me to take one of those for you?" Stan offered, indicating one of the duffles the tall soldier carried.
"Nah, I got it, just get us to the car." he replied, his gaze still hard.
"Come on 'Boom Boom' lighten up. This kid's ok."
"I'll believe that, Bobby when I see it!" the black soldier snapped.
"Follow me then, let's get you guys home. Where to?" Stan asked, looking over his shoulder.
"Verona's, know where that is?" Tony asked as he hobbled along.
"Yeah, that’s just down from your uncles cab company. Let's get you guys outta here." Stan opened the door and let a blast of frigid air into the terminal.
"Damn!! I forgot how cold it gets here in December!!" Bobby said, shivering.
"Watch for the ice." Stan said, moving over to Tony's other side.
Before anyone knew what was happening, they found themselves surrounded by roughly five or six young people, shouting at them.
"BABYKILLERS!!! RAPISTS!!!!!" and swearing at them. Stan felt spit hitting him in the face before he felt himself starting to fall. He tried to steady the young man on his right but it was a losing battle. A strong hand reached out to stop his downward progress, but before he could regain his balance, a hand swam toward his face, connecting with his nose. Shouts filled the air as Stan lashed out with his own punch. He felt immense satisfaction when he felt it connect and heard a male voice curse.
Come on kid, get us the hell out of here!! Where's the damn car??" he heard Boom Boom yell.
"Over there. C'mon!" Stan grabbed on of Tony's arms while Boom Boom grabbed the other. Bobby followed with Tony's crutches, which had fallen to the pavement. The porter, having witnessed the whole incident, held open the door for the three soldiers. Stan gave him the thumbs up as he ran around the front of the car to jump in the driver's seat. A few of the protesters pounded the back of the car just as Stan pulled away from the curb. Stan reached into his coat pocket looking for a handkerchief to try to stop his nose from bleeding. He felt a hand on his shoulder as he came to the end of the block and a traffic light.
"Here kid, you dropped this,." Boom Boom said, indicating his hat. "Here's my bandanna, it's clean and I think you need it more than me right now."
"Thanks. " Stan said, taking both the hat and the bandanna from the young soldier.
"What's your name kid?," Bobby asked "You've got one hell of a right hand that's for sure!"
"Stan Eisen. Tony, don't I know you from somewhere? " he asked, looking at his passengers in the rearview mirror.
"I don't think so. I know we didn't go to high school together. No, wait, didn't we go to Jr High together?" Tony said, taking off his cap and scratching his head. "I think so. Remember Mrs.Ames? American History?" Stan asked.
"Yeah I think I do. Wait, you were the guy who sat in the back doodling all the time right?" Tony said, recognition dawning on his face. "You drew that picture of three soldiers right? One of them on crutches?"
"Yeah that was me, Man talk about a blast from the past! Well, let me say it again, welcome home guys." Stan said.
"Let me tell you guys, Stan here is a very talented artist. Didn't that picture take what was it, first place in that year's art show?" Tony said.
"Yeah I think it did. Im flattered you remember that. " Stan said with a grin.
"How did you not get drafted?" Tony asked.
"I'm 4-F because of my ear." Stan said.
"What's wrong with your ear?" Boom Boom asked, curious.
"I was born deaf in one ear." Stan said.
"Lucky for you kid." Bobby said.
"I know, my mom says that all the time. One of my cousins is still over there." Stan said quietly.
Stan felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Hopefully he'll be home soon kid." Bobby said.
KISS Onstage in 1973
The remainder of the trip they were silent, each of them caught up in their own thoughts. Twenty minutes later, Stan pulled up in front of Verona's, a working class bar down the street from the cab company.
"Do you guys want to lock your duffles in the trunk? I can drop them off at your uncle's cab company if you want Tony."
"Only if you come in and have a beer with us Stan, I think we owe ya one for gettin us outta that mess back there."
"Uh Tony, I don’t think the patrons here would appreciate me coming in there., " Stan said, indicating his long hair. "To them I probably look like one of those protesters, I don't want to cause any trouble."
"No is not an option young man, " Boom Boom said, draping an arm across Stan's shoulders " You helped us out back there, now let us thank you. You're all right--for a hairball."
"Ok, I know when I'm out numbered!!" Stan laughed, throwing up his hands in surrender before he stowed the duffles in the car's large trunk.
"You play?" Bobby asked, indicating the scuffed guitar case stored there.
"Yeah, I've got a band, we've had a few gigs. In fact, we've got one coming up at the Academy of Music on New Years Eve. You guys should come check it out." Stan said.
"Well, good luck with it Maybe we will."
"Thanks. Keep an eye out for KISS."
"I will, I like the name." Bobby said with a grin.
Bobby and Stan joined Boom Boom and Tony at the door to the bar and went inside.
The bar was warm and inviting after the cold wind outside.
"Don't bring that dirty hippie in here!!!" they heard a voice yell from behind the bar and over the swing music playing on the jukebox.
The patrons here were mostly older working men and Stan could feel their dislike radiating like the heat from the vents in the street outside.
"Look man, maybe I'd better just take the cab and go back to the shop. You can call me when you need a ride." Stan said quietly to Boom Boom.
"Nope, not gonna happen kid.," Boom Boom said just as quietly to Stan."Do you guys see the blood on this guys shirt? On his face? He got that defending US at the airport. We wanna buy this man a beer? Gotta problem with that?"
"Hey kid, you did make it!," a familiar voice boomed behind them. "I know this kid, he's a good egg. Let him stay--for one beer at least."
Stan turned around to see Mr. DiStefano standing behind them, just as he hugged Tony to him slapping him on the back. He turned away because he didn't think his boss wanted Stan to see that his eyes were shiny with tears of joy.
Bobby found an empty table and motioned the others over. Stan could still sense that he wasn't entirely welcome, but he sat with the others for one round before excusing himself to go on his run.
"Tell these guys I dropped their duffles at the shop. I'm sure Nick will lock them in your office. I need to get busy." Stan said to his boss.
"Sure kid, thanks I really appreciate it." Mr. DiStefano said, offering his hand. Stan gave it a firm shake and with a jaunty salute, he placed his hat back on his head and left the bar.
After a quick stop at the shop to lock up the duffles, Stan picked up a few fares until around nine that evening before making his way to the loft for practice. He had been able to clean most of the blood from his face, but he still had some on his shirt. He'd been able to hide it from his customers by buttoning his coat a little more than usual, but when he got to the loft and removed his coat, the questions started.
"Hey Stan, what the hell happened to you?" Peter asked from behind the drum set.
"Yeah it is. It's nothing Pete don't worry about it." Stan said, waving the question away. "Where is everyone else?"
"Don't change the subject--it doesn't look like nothin'...what happened to your nose man?" Peter said as he walked around his kit.
"Peter, its no big deal. I had to pick up some guys comin home from Vietnam at the airport, and we had a run in with some protesters. One of them hit me. No big deal." Stan said.
"Did you deck the SOB?" Peter asked.
"Don't know if I got the one who hit me but I decked someone."
"Good for you. Hey I think there's a clean shirt here if you wanna change." Peter said, walking over to the dilapidated couch in one corner. He found what he was looking for and tossed Stan the shirt. Gene and Ace walked in as he was changing and the questions started again. The story was re-told and after much good natured teasing, rehearsal began.
- KISS Online
Official KISS site for all things KISS
- KISS FAQ
Great resource site on the Hottest Band in The World by some dedicated fans!
- Gene Simmons' personal website
Genes own website.
- Paul Stanley.com
Paul Stanley's personal site
- Peter Criss.net
Peter Criss' personal site
- Space Ace Online
A fan site dedicated to Ace Frehley
Epilogue, December 31, 1973:
Academy of Music, NYC
"Tony, I hope you know what the hell you're doing bringing us here!!!" Bobby said, his arm around his girlfriend Jenny. "There's some pretty wild looking people here. Are you sure this is the right place???"
"I'm positive. This is the kid's band. C'mon let's go in!" Tony said, leaning lightly on his crutches.
The three of them made their way inside to the deafening rock music. Three out of this world figures dominated the stage.
After a few songs, Tony pulled Bobby close enough for him to yell in his ear.
"This guys are going somewhere, mark my words." Bobby just looked at him like he was nuts before turning to his girlfriend and twirling his finger next to his ear.
Tony went on to finish law school and become a successful attorney. He moved to White Plains with his wife and son. Bobby started his own business and lives out on Long Island with his wife and three kids. John "Boom Boom" Washington died in 1980 of Agent Orange related cancer. He left behind a wife and daughter.
As for the band?
Well, as they say,
"YOU WANTED THE BEST!!! YOU GOT THE BEST!! THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD!!