Ocean wakes and finds he’s lying almost entirely on top of Blue. Blue ruffles Ocean’s hair and kisses the top of his head.
“Sorry, I must have made you super hot in the night.” Ocean says rolling away.
“I hate an empty bed. I think it’s being a triplet, sharing a womb means I can’t sleep alone. And you’re such a cute little monkey.” Blue says cuddling Ocean tightly.
“Lets go do our yoga by the lake. Oh Blue this is a dream house for you. I totally get why it is home.” Ocean says.
“I love it. I’m thinking of putting on another story with lots of skylights.” Blue says.
“You deserve it. Spoil yourself Blue. The rest of us have enjoyed the fruit of your labor.” Ocean says.
“Thanks kid. Yeah lets go then have banana pudding for breakfast.” Blue grins.
“Oh Blue. I have missed you.” Ocean grins.
The pair run down to the lake shore in their boxers and work out together with Sunny joining in and trying to help them out. Sunny has missed Blue and won’t leave his side for a second.
“I love this dog. Such a good boy.” Ocean says petting Sunny and being rewarded with licks.
“He loves you too.” Blue grins.
“You worked me hard there. And you cleared my head. I’m not giving up. I am going to call the national head coach and see what I need to do. I need to call my college athletic director too. I can’t believe I was dropped so easily, by text, when I contributed all year. Its too late for me to transfer.” Ocean says.
“Lets go and shower and get started.” Blue says.
“Is your mom leaving today?” Ocean.
“I expect so. So you can have your own bed.” Blue grins.
“I slept pretty great with you. We can save on laundry.” Ocean grins.
“You always wanted to sleep over.” Blue says.
“I loved it. I loved that time when you were in college. You and the guys always treated me like an equal, well not sexually, thank goodness. You guys were such sluts together.” Ocean grins.
“You were my kid brother. And you were always so cheerful. College was a tough adjustment for me and you and your mom kept me going. And how do you know we were sluts?” Blue asks mock outraged.
“I didn’t at the time but Gervais told me your history.” Ocean says.
“And you still took his side in the breakup? That really hurts.” Blue says.
“You treated each other badly.” Ocean says.
“I never deliberately hurt him and I never toyed with his feelings the way he did with mine. I’m surprised your mom didn’t give my side.” Blue says angry that he along with Robin had the selective memory treatment from Gervais.
“That was something we fell out over.” Ocean says honestly.
“I’m not going to bad mouth Gervais to you, I have long forgiven him. But I don’t deserve a slating from him. And your mom didn’t deserve hostility for speaking the truth.” Blue says.
“I know. We’ve talked a lot more recently. Why were you not in the crowd?” Ocean asks suddenly.
“I was told you didn’t want me there and I didn’t want to make it about me. But it meant I could get to you quickly so it worked out.” Blue says.
“I’m sorry. Blue, I am sorry for everything.” Ocean says.
“Oh you’re forgiven. Come on shower while I make the food.” Blue grins.
“Blue this is delicious. I shouldn’t but it is so good.” Clara says once they’re all sat down and Blue is serving up a banana custard.
“I wish you had been around for cheat days. Man Blue, you are always the dessert queen. This takes me straight back.” Ocean grins
“Me too. I loved coming up with new banana recipes for you.” Blue smiles.
“Well this is an unconventional breakfast but delicious and will set me up for my drive.” Clara says.
“Thanks for taking care of Sunny.” Blue grins.
“He missed you, but he’s such a friendly pup that a long walk and a big meal was all he needed.” Clara grins.
“He’s lovely. If I can’t get back on the team at school I’d totally transfer here for January.” Ocean says.
“You are always welcome. Here or at the hotel.” Blue says.
“Give yourself some time. You had great grades and you made friends and have a boyfriend where you are.” Clara says.
“I know. I have some time to think and I need to make these calls.” Ocean says.
Ocean and Blue help Clara pack up her car and just as she heads off Ocean’s phone rings.
“If you are willing to leave the attitude behind we’d like you to come up to camp and a spot has opened up on the trials roster if you show readiness.” The head coach says.
“Woah. I was going to call to see what I could do to put things right. I’ve had one bad day in the gym this year. One, and I worked it out with Will and Spence. Was it that one bad day that kept me out of trials? I am sorry for what happened after, I was just joking, I did not say it in a serious voice.” Ocean asks not sure he wants to commit if he’s just making up the numbers.
“I know, I heard the recording. You have a reputation for being difficult to work with. You always compete well and put up the scores but the committee never want you on the squad. We’re yet to work together and I want to give it a shot, if you turn up with a positive attitude.” The coach says.
“Have you spoken to Will and Spence? Or my team mates from this summer? I’m getting the feeling that my jokey reaction to being cut might have been on the nail. It’s that or because I’m pescatarian and I pissed off the junior coach’s wife at camp when I refused to eat meat and she was the nutritionist. Is that it? My attitude in the dining room is the issue?” Ocean asks and Blue stares at him in disbelief.
“Nutrition is a major part of being a sportsman, you know that.” The coach says.
“And I am really careful with it. I have never had a problem with my weight or energy levels. I eat a predominately plant based diet, I am far from the only sportsperson that does so.
Will and my mom worked really hard with me on it once training got serious. I am not a stranger to alternative proteins and I eat fish when I need to. I am sorry if that counts as attitude.
I was a kid, struggling away from home and yes, I was probably a little ruder than I could have been. I wrote a letter of apology after that camp, my mom explained to me where I went wrong. I wish someone had told me that the apology wasn’t accepted and what I needed to do to make things right. I can’t believe this has festered.” Ocean says in a tumble.
“Will and Spence said the exact same. I wanted to hear your reaction. You’re defensive but open to being wrong. I am sorry this has trailed you for so long. Others have done far worse. Between you and me I wouldn’t be surprised if the first issue was part of it, you’re not a sponsor’s dream, gay, veggie and atheist and I suspect that is why no one looked too closely about why such a high scorer was left off of teams so frequently. I don’t give a fig about any of that, if you respect me and put up the scores.” The coach says.
“I can so that.” Ocean says.
“Spence is driving out to collect you, pack up and get ready.” The coach says.
“Thanks for giving me another shot. Do I need to make a public apology for the other night?” Ocean asks.
“No, let it die away. If you make the team we’ll address it then.” The coach says.
“They want you?” Blue asks.
“The last two years have been all due to a total cunt who hated me because I rejected her food.” Ocean says.
“Crazy situation. Your mom spent a lot of time telling your coaches to back off on the nutrition front. Always said they couldn’t have a say until you were through puberty. I guess by then Spence and Will were your coaches and it wasn’t an issue in the same way.” Blue says.
“Exactly. I best rinse out my kit. Can you call Spence and find out how much time I have?” Ocean asks.
“Sure.” Blue grins.
“I’m nervous.” Ocean says.
“I will bag up some nuts and make a quick batch of protein cookies.” Blue says.
“I love you so much.” Ocean grins and gets on with sorting his things.
“Hey Spence, how far are you? Ocean is in a bit of a spin. What happened?” Blue asks.
“It was a total shit storm when they got here. The coach was spitting mad, it was clear he had been overruled but he committee. There are guys here who have never score close to Ocean on any event who are clearly not going to be any good. One of the guys rehabbing is clearly months away from being ready. Will bluntly asked why Ocean wasn’t there and if we could appeal. When a kid went down in practice this morning coach told me to come get Ocean and he’d sort it.” Spence says.
“Apparently all the trouble was over his eating. Some nutritionist was the wife of the junior coach and has been badmouthing him ever since.” Blue says.
“Fucking bitch. Fuck that shit. She’s a homophobic cunt too. Two strikes and Ocean was out. Well he’s going to do great at trials and win a bunch of medals and no one will be able to stop him.” Spence says.
“The funny thing is. I’ve uh been feeding him like non-stop since he thought it was all over.” Blue grins.
“He’ll be fine. Honestly. Thanks for calling Blue.” Spence says.
“What else can I put together for you?” Blue asks as he puts the cookies in the oven.
“I’ll clean you out of fruit and any veggies I can eat raw. I’ll be fine with the rest. I mean, its only a couple of nights. Then everyone has a few days at home before trials.” Ocean says.
“Will you go to your moms?” Blue asks.
“Would it be okay if I asked mom here? I figure Will will know somewhere I can train. I want to avoid the drama and I love it here. This is perfect. You were always able to make a home.” Ocean says.
“I knew you’d love it. I will call Chris and get him to bring down some fruit and veggies. Actually I’ll pop up there and raid his kitchen. You have 2 hours until Spence gets here, it’s hot so hang your things out. Put the cookies on a cooling rack when the buzzer goes.” Blue says.
“Thanks Blue. Thanks for remembering I am family.” Ocean says feeling so well looked after and supported.
“I never forgot. I’m just sad we didn’t get to spend time fishing and camping this summer.” Blue says.
“Me too. Next summer for sure.” Ocean grins and Blue smiles. Making up with Ocean is the best thing ever.
“Hey bro, I have come by to raid your fridge.” Blue grins.
“Whats mine is yours. Andy has pulled stuff out of everywhere. We need you up here to make sauces and get canning.” Chris says.
“Tomorrow. I need to sort Ocean out now and a night to decompress from everything.” Blue says.
“Good. I like the new Blue who doesn’t freak out, just tells me what he needs.” Chris grins.
“I am not freaking out any more. I am setting boundaries and doing so much better.” Blue says and he and Chris share a hug, Andy comes through the door and joins in.
“So how is it going with the exes living in the same house?” Blue asks.
“Pretty good. We three have a similar level of slobby ness. Larry and I actually work together better than I did with Tad.” Andy says.
“It isn’t awkward that way at all. I like having Andy around. I wish you were up here more but I know you love that view.” Chris says.
“I do, and my dog and my morning yoga and evenings on my porch. Thanks for the veggies. I will see you tomorrow. Get loads ready, I’ll shop in the morning for jars and we’ll get canning and freezing in the afternoon.” Blue grins.
“Perfect.” Chris says.
That evening Blue sits on his porch with Sunny and looks at the water while drinking a beer. He loves how calm he feels. How well he has coped with a rollercoaster few days. Well aside from holing up in his room and drinking like crazy, that was bad. But he’s coping with the latest Gervais betrayal well. He needs to talk to Cheryl again and get her side. But it can wait until she visits.
Things are good. Calm. He’s going to survive and start living.
Blue smiles to himself, grabs his laptop and starts planning the addition to his home.