Ocean has reluctantly moved into the athlete’s dorm. They did find him a single which has caused some resentment with a few of his team mates and he feels on the back foot again, even though they know some of his situation.
His friendship with Garrett cooled as soon as he started seeing Adam again, which of course didn’t work out. Anxious and stressed by all that had happened Adam, encouraged by his parents, dropped out and went home. Ocean feels tremendous guilt about that and coupled with his worry about Blue and Gervais and his relationship with his team mates going south he realizes he’s in a real funk.
Ocean takes after Blue and keeps his head down and works hard, in the gym and in his studies. He gets along okay with his suite mates, but they are all on the same team and so he’ll always be an outsider. Still the food is better and caters to his veggie needs and he can sit with his team mates and their friends, he isn’t shunned, just doesn’t feel embraced and hasn’t the energy to put more effort in.
As Thanksgiving approaches he really isn’t sure whether to stay at school or go home. The guys are in the safe houses and not contactable. Spence has been urging him to come back but he doesn’t feel like sharing his Thanksgiving with Nick and Liberty and their family drama.
Ocean has absolutely no problem with Nick and Liberty living in the house. He laughed like a drain when he heard about Nick taking on Gervais share in the business and the video showing the announcement, that Nick had not only Gervais share but Arnolds too had him chuckling for days.
He is quite relieved that Gervais set him free from it all. Will has offered to increase his rent for the barn but Ocean told him that the upkeep was enough for now. He feels awful for the situation Will is in and suddenly feels a pang that maybe Will needs him home.
Man flights home are going to hurt this late.
“Spence, I’ve been thinking,” Ocean says calling his older friend.
“You want to come home for thanksgiving after all?” Spence asks.
“Yeah. I figure Will needs us all right now.” Ocean says.
“I’ll forward you your ticket reservation. I booked a flexible ticket ages ago, figuring you could use it later if you really didn’t come home. We’d love it if you stayed with us.” Spence says.
“I’ll stay at the house, I like Nick and Liberty is great. I hear you are hosting dinner though, tell me what I need to bring. I’m happy to make an egg dish for the veggies.” Ocean says.
“That would be good and we can never have too many pies.” Spence says.
“Thanks for knowing me so well, and having a ticket booked. I will pay you back.” Ocean says.
“You will not, we just need you home.” Spence says.
“Okay well I best call mom and let her know too.” Ocean says and rings off.
Ocean calls his mom then runs into Garrett as he goes to grab dinner.
“Want to go somewhere? I feel like a change.” Ocean asks feeling a wave of positivity after talking to his mom.
“Yeah, you wanna go for pizza? Get into the thanksgiving food spirit early?” Garrett asks.
“Sure, whats up? Not like you to reach for the junk.” Ocean says.
“Winter blues. I don’t know. Not seen You with Adam for a while, you split again? Garrett asks
“He dropped out. And we only managed like 3 dates when we tried again. It was never going to
“No, I thought something was going to happen and it didn’t.” Garrett says looking at Ocean.
“That blows. What are you doing at thanksgiving?” Ocean asks.
“No plans, staying here I guess. You going home?” Garrett asks.
“Yeah, I wasn’t planning to then I thought I should. Will is going through a hard time and I want to be there. Luckily Spence had got me a ticket just in case.” Ocean says and Garrett looks even more
“Any chance I could tag along?” Garrett asks.
“If you can get a flight for sure, we’d love to have you. I do have to warn you I have a porn star and his mother living in my place right now. If that makes you uncomfortable you can stay with Spence.” Ocean says.
“I’ll see what there is, I may cry at the price.” Garrett grins.
“I’ll call Spence see if any of his rich guy magic can help.” Ocean says.
“I’m not asking to be bought a ticket.” Garrett says.
“I didn’t mean that, he has fancy credit cards with top level concierge services that magic last minute tickets and the like. He’s a super-rich dude.” Ocean laughs.
“You know the right people.” Garrett laughs feeling a bit better. He’s been in a funk too, a slight wrist injury is limiting his training and he was missing hanging out with Ocean.
“Just need to send him your details. He’s on it.” Ocean says passing his phone to Garrett.
“Dude, seriously?” Garrett asks.
“Yes seriously, be good for Ocean to have some company his own age.” Spence says laughing.
“Sorry that was for Ocean. I’ll pay you back.” Garrett says.
“Honestly kid it is fine.” Spence says.
“But usually thanksgiving is blacked out for rewards. I know you’re paying through the nose.” Garrett says.
“We’ll sort it out when you’re here. Ocean has been through a lot recently and I know you were there for him. Let me thank you by not leaving you at school alone.” Spence says and Garrett relents.
“Your old coach is really nice.” Garrett says.
“He’s more like a big brother, always has been.” Ocean grins.
“Your life is so different.” Garrett says.
“I don’t think any gymnast has a regular life. Why did you ditch me?” Ocean asks.
“You know why.” Garrett says.
“We were good friends when I was with Adam initially.” Ocean says.
“And I was okay with that until he was a controlling ass and you dumped him and I thought you finally saw me as more.” Garrett says.
“I always saw you as potentially more. But isn’t it risky, as we’re team mates?” Ocean asks.
“I’m worth it.” Garrett says.
“And you can deal with my drama and you won’t be bought by fake fbi and you’ll stop me getting kidnapped?” Ocean asks with a gleam in his eye.
“No way with any kidnapper get past me.” Garrett grins and Ocean leans across the table and gives a cheesy kiss.
“Thank you for being forward and asking to join me for thanksgiving.” Ocean says.
“You looked so sad when you asked me to dinner and I’ve been in a funk missing you. Two birds and all that.” Garrett grins.
“We’ll have a great time.” Ocean says.
A few days later they are sat side by side on the plane, Ocean reaches out and takes Garrett’s hand. Other than the kiss while eating pizza they haven’t had any physical contact, they’ve been taking their time to decide if being together is too much of a risk.
Garrett looks at Ocean and smiles.
“Nervous flyer?” Garrett asks.
“Just trying it out.” Ocean says.
“I like it.” Garrett says and give Ocean a smile that melts his heart.
Garrett falls asleep on Ocean’s shoulder and Ocean loves the feel of him being right there. This is so different to Adam. Ocean feels so happy and content. This could be the start of something.
They get to the house and Nick and Liberty are out.
“Want a shower? Get rid of plane funk?” Ocean asks showing Garrett around.
“With you.” Garrett grins.
“You’re moving fast.” Ocean says.
“Too much?” Garrett asks worried.
“No way.” Ocean grins, takes Garrett’s hand again and drags him to the bathroom.
Neither of them is self-conscious about their bodies, they’ve seen each other in underwear and train in tiny shorts most the time. But they still enjoy soaping each other up and getting to see everything up close.
Ocean holds Garrett’s face and moves in to kiss him hard, Garrett puts his arms around Ocean and holds him close. He can’t quite believe this is happening. He’s had a crush on Ocean off and on for years.
Happy and satisfied they towel off and go into Ocean’s room.
They flop down on the bed wanting time alone before letting people know they’ve arrived.
“I’m a virgin.” Garrett says.
“You seemed to know what you wanted in the shower.” Ocean says.
“Oh oral isn’t new, nor hand swapping. But I’ve never done more.” Garrett says.
“I had a lot of fun just now, I didn’t expect anything and it was good. It was a lot given we’ve barely even kissed before.” Ocean grins. He’s a little surprised given Garrett is very cute and pretty popular, but he also knows he takes training super seriously.
“I had fun too. I do want more, with you. I just wanted you to know, just incase I get scared and back off when we’re naked, so you don’t think it is because I am not attracted to you. Because I am crazy in to you.” Garrett says.
“You are super cute. And crazy sexy. That grower of a dick, man I’m jealous, no worries in your leotard and well lots for me to suck on when you get hard.” Ocean grins and Garrett blushes.
“I am so, so glad that gymnastics meant I didn’t have to do PE in school after elementary. It could have been super embarrassing.” Garrett says.
“You’d have beaten almost anyone in a fight with these crazy guns.” Ocean says running his fingers over Garrett’s muscles.
“I wouldn’t have had the first clue. Did you get into fights?” Garrett asks.
“Did I fuck? I’m a veggie, hippy kid. There was a lot of bullying before we moved here, and even after we moved there were some shits on my team but I was such a happy kid that none of it ever got to me. I didn’t ever understand why kids tried stuff but I had my big brothers and friends of all ages who loved me as I am and so I was always super secure.” Ocean says.
“You were always super confident. Or seemed to be. I remember you missing a high bar release a million times at camp and going again with a smile every time. Never seemed phased, took every correction and by the end of the week you were bossing it. You were so positive all the time and whoever was coaching you was always positive too. Even the more hard assed national coaches. I was super jealous of that.” Garrett says.
“Didn’t stop me being totally iced out last year.” Ocean says.
“No that was fucking weird. Still you are easily going to make the lineup come season.” Garrett says.
“You too, your wrist is getting stronger all the time.” Ocean says kissing it gently.
“Might get better faster if you keep doing that.” Garrett grins and kisses Ocean.
Garrett feels really, really good with Ocean. Ocean didn’t make him feel stupid for being a virgin at 20 or under any pressure to change that status.
They make out naked on Ocean’s bed for a while until they hear noise downstairs and get dressed.
“You okay sharing with me or should I show you to a room?” Ocean asks.
“I’m good in here. It’s so cute. I love all your pictures. Is it too fast for you?” Garrett asks aware Ocean thought things went too fast with Adam.
“Nah its good. Just didn’t want you to be uncomfortable.” Ocean says.
They go down and Ocean introduces Garrett to Liberty and Nick. Andy and Spence arrive shortly after and Ocean makes dinner with help from Liberty and Andy. Ocean is a little cold with Andy after what happened with Blue.
“I loved how you guys stole the business.” Ocean grins.
“We purchased it and holy shit it felt good to tell Robin where to go.” Nick says.
“What is he doing now?” Ocean asks.
“No one has seen him. Expect he’s gone to his parents for Thanksgiving.” Spence says.
“Has anyone checked he’s okay?” Ocean asks.
“Like he ever checks in with anyone.” Andy says.
“I’d hate him to be alone.” Ocean says.
“You’ve spent too much time with Blue recently.” Andy says.
Ocean stares at Andy shocked and suddenly seeing how things went to wrong in Hawaii.
“Babe, seriously, start engaging your brain.” Spence says shaking his head.
The meal is kind of tense. Andy doesn’t apologize and Ocean is totally shaken that Andy can be so casual about him seeing Blue and possibly believe than the few days they had together made up for the last seven years.
“How is Will doing?” Garrett asks.
“Aled has been suspended from work and so had to leave. So Will has his hands full with the kids.” Spence says.
“Aled just left the kids here? Wow.” Ocean says.
“Abandonment issues are just going to be the start of their issues.” Nick says shaking his head.
“Are you guys okay to clean up? I want to show Garrett around town and get some last minute baking stuff for tomorrow.” Ocean asks.
“That’s fine.” Liberty smiles. She is curious about how Robin is doing too. He was upset but didn’t seem that surprised at the coup. She has a few theories about why Robin ended up where he did and Ella is at the root of all of them. She always vowed revenge when he dumped her just before Blue left and Liberty was surprised they started up again a few years later.
“You okay? That dinner was intense.” Garrett asks as they drive in to town.
“I am sorry, not the relaxing break we need. There is so much going on.” Ocean says.
“So are we going to check on that Robin dude?” Garrett asks.
“Is that okay? We do need to shop after.” Ocean says.
“I am all for it. I love seeing you in this determined caring mode. We don’t use you in the right way with the team.” Garrett says.
“Everyone hates me.” Ocean shrugs.
“Nah, they’re just scared of you. FBI and all that. Makes you seem a badass.” Garrett says.
“I feel like I have to try so hard and no one likes a try hard.” Ocean sighs.
“You have me.” Garrett says.
“I do. We official or what?” Ocean asks.
“Oh we are so totally boyfriends.” Garrett says and kisses Ocean’s cheek as he parks outside Robin’s house.
“He might not be there. He might have gone home like the others said.” Ocean says.
“And he might be here alone and you won’t rest until you know either way.” Garrett says.
“Hey Ocean. Home for break?” Robin asks quietly looking awful as he opens the door.
“Yeah. Can we come in?” Ocean asks.
“Why? We’ve not spoken in years. Come to gloat?” Robin asks.
“No, come to check you’re okay. I saw what happened and while I did laugh, I also saw your reaction was totally different to Arnold. You knew something was coming, it was like you were waiting for it. I guess I am saying I’m sorry about how it went down and that I never, ever asked you for your side. I’ve seen Blue. A few times recently and I guess it has brought back to me just how close you two were once.” Ocean says honestly. He has spent a long time thinking about things and feels like he and Gervais cut Robin off too quickly.
“You’ve seen Blue? Come in.” Robin says knowing they can’t talk on the doorstep.
“Do you want me to leave you to talk? This feels like its going to be heavy.” Garrett asks.
“Are you Ocean’s boyfriend? You look so like Will at your age.” Robin says noticing Garrett for the first time.
“I am yes.” Garrett says blushing.
“I have a games room out back, multiple consoles, movies, everything. You’re welcome to go play.” Robin says.
“Is that okay Ocean?” Garrett asks.
“Yeah this will be kind of boring for you.” Ocean says.
Robin gets Garrett set up and takes a deep breath before facing Ocean.
“How is Blue? How did you see him? Is he coming back? Send him my love if you hear from him again.” Robin says in a rush and the guilt inside Ocean bubbles up a bit more.
“He, hell I can’t say he’s doing well. He’s survived. He’s had a shit, shit time since he left. He’s a mess but he’s going to be okay. He has Gervais with him now. They’ll be starting over as new people but together this time.” Ocean says omitting the info about Chris and Larry.
“How did you find him?” Robin asks and Ocean gives a potted outline of the last few weeks.
“So he’s seen everyone but me before leaving again. I guess I deserved that but it hurts. I missed him too. I missed him too.” Robin says.
“So why did you do what you did?” Ocean asks.