A Little Secret

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That Sounds Impossible

Chapter 38: That Sounds Impossible

✦Sean✦

“Sasuke!” I shout to close to the back wall to get the racquetball that just hit the floor close to the opposite wall.

“I got it,” He answers back I watch as he dives to try and smack it in time before it hit the floor, but he just misses and it bounces on the floor for the second time ending the round.

“YAY!!” Aaron and Gil exclaimed and high fived each other.

I walk over to Sasuke who’s still laying on the floor, “We’ll get the point back, don’t worry about it,” I chuckle holding out my hand to the back of his head.

He reaches up and missed my hand three times before finally grabbing my wrist and I grab a hold of his and start to pull him up, but he doesn’t even put in any effort to help, “You can put in some effort ya know,” I comment.

“Nope,” He said.

“You’re being a brat,” I sigh.

“I know,” He snickered and looked up at me and put his feet under his body and popped up.

“That was fucking pathetic pipsqueak,” I look up to see Andy standing in the viewing area looking down at us.

“You fucking come down here and give it a try,” I look over at Sasuke and he crosses his arms over his chest, “Or are you afraid a couple of elementals are gonna cream you in a sport muscles?”

I put my hand on Sasuke’s cheek and push him away so he’s looking away from Andy then look back up at Andy who’s pressing his tongue up against one of his lip rings and eye twitching, “What’s up? Did you want to play?” I ask.

“As long as I don’t have pipsqueak on my team with that pathetic performance I don’t care if I hop in. The gingers seem to have their shit together in this game,” Andy

“Everyone misses from time to time jackass,” Sasuke starts walking towards the wall that the viewers stand is at the top of and I grab his shirt holding him still, “Let me at him, I just want to put a light burn on him, that’s it, nothing that can’t heal in a week,”

Aaron started laughing and jumped into my line of view and slapped Sasuke in the back, “Someone’s feisty today,”

“I think the last time I saw you this fired up was when Shiro was trying to teach us how to ice skate,” Gil added in.

“HA! I woulda fuckin’ paid ta see that. How many times did ya fall on yer face pipsqueak?”

“How about I freeze him, that would be fun. Make him an Andysicle,” Sasuke threatened.

“Stop that, you can’t even make a solid line with ice let alone make it travel up a wall to specifically get to someone and freeze them,” that was like hitting the nail on the head from Gil and I can’t help but chuckle.

“Main reason I popped by was because Chris asked me ta find ya guys. And the fact that I had nothing ta do is beside the point,” Andy spun his top piercing on his ear. He just pierced the top holes in his ears so he’s wearing studs.

“What does he want now?” I sigh.

“Wants ya and Sasuke ta come to his office. Told me ta look after the gingers for ya while the two of ya are in his office,” Andy told us before walking away from the cage and I can hear his shoes on the metal stairs that come back down main hall.

“Why does Uncle want to see just us?” Sasuke questions sounding just as confused as I am. Normally when he wants to see any of them it’s the three of them at once. It’s only happened a few times since I brought Sasuke here a month ago.

“Maybe it’s going to finally be your cell count and an okay with vials and what not,” I offered as Andy came in, “Your vitals and everything have been pretty high.”

“They haven’t been that bad. And besides, it’s not that easy to just randomly adjust to a new place,” He mentions huffing a bit.

“I’ll leave your water bottles by the door you two. Try not to suck out his soul while we’re gone please,” I say handing the ball over to Andy.

“Awe, you’re no fun,” Aaron whines his shoulders slumping.

“How else are we supposed to beat him?” Gil questions with a smirk as he pushes up his glasses.

“Ya two ready ta lose? I’ll take ya both on,” Andy askes them confidently.

“I wouldn’t be so cocky Andy. They make a fierce team, but you have fun and don’t do something to tick them off,” I warn holding onto the door, “Or I’ll kick your ass when we get back.”

“Yeah, yeah, go play babysitter pipsqueak,” He shooed me with his hand and I rolled my eyes. I’m glad that he’s getting better with at least Aaron and Gil…still got a long way to go with Sasuke, though. I let the door close and I take Aaron and Gil’s water bottles out of my bag before zipping up my bag and throwing the strap on my shoulder. I pull out Sasuke’s water bottle from the side pocket and hand it to him as we walk down the hall.

“Thanks,” He says taking it from me, “If I had just moved a bit sooner I could have gotten it.”

“Don’t worry about it. It’s just a game. We didn’t even get to finish the set anyways. Next time,” I take his water bottle that he’s holding out for me to take and get a drink out of it myself before putting it back in the side pouch. I left my water bottle at home and none of them seem to mind when I take a drink from their water bottles.

“Next time for sure,” He said clenching his fists with determination.

“I’m sure you will,” I chuckle as we take the stairs up a flight then take a left out of the stair well to go to Chris’s office. Knocking twice I open the door and we walk in. Chris is over by the book case and he has a book in his hands that he looks like he’s looking for something, “Andy said you asked for us?” I spoke up breaking his concentration from the book to make him look up at us as I shut the door.

“Andrew found you two faster than I expected him to,” Chris commented closing the book that’s in his hands and walking over to his desk.

“It’s not like we go many places in this building,” I said walking over to his desk with Sasuke, “So what’s up?”

“I figure it’s about time that I actually put my plans into motion and in order to do that I figured that it would be nice to let you both know what those plans are considering they involve the two of you,” He sat down in his chair and opened up a random drawer in his desk. So I’m finally going to figure out just what it is that he’s been planning and why he needed Sasuke here in the first place.

“What is it then?” I ask him wanting to get right to the point.

“You remember when I told you how Lucian wrote three volumes of books that are theories do you not?” He looked up at me pulling out two envelopes then a book.

“Yeah I remember,” I answer crossing my arms.

He flips the book that he just brought out open and flips to a page that he has a sticky not as a place holder, “There is something that I’ve always wondered,” He started reading, “I know there are humans that have the gene of an elemental within their DNA, but for some reason their body was able to fight off this virus from spreading, thus making the gene become dormant and them go about their daily lives. What if there was some way to be able to reactivate that gene? There must be some way to do it. I believe if you take the blood from an elemental and get the blood into the human that has the dormant gene that it should be able to activate the gene once more to make the elemental virus to continue to spread and turn the human into an elemental. Of course, this would not be able to be done with any elementals blood. I would have to say the only elemental that would be the best candidate for this objective would have to be a moon elemental. Why a moon elemental? It is the most logical answer if you ask me. A moon elemental is able to copy any element from another elemental that they have prolonged skin contact with for the first time. They are able to switch between the elements that they have acquired at will thus their body would adjust to the new element, but not only their body, but their blood as well. As if the virus is coursing through their blood every time they switch to a different element. Logically, once the moon elemental’s blood is in the system of the human, all the moon elemental would have to do is switch to an element for their blood to activate,” I open my mouth to say something to him but Chris holds his hand up to stop me from talking. He’s not done.

“Now we have to take into account the blood typing of both the human and the elemental. I figure that it would be best if the moon elemental has a universal blood type. Thus the moon elemental must be an O negative blood type considering that is the universal donor of blood types. This would mean that the human can be any blood type and their body would accept the new blood. Now comes into play what elements the moon elemental has required. If the moon elemental has obtained the rare element of time the blood should be drawn during the switch between the moon elementals base element into the time element. I say this because there is a chance that the human has activated the one time use of their dormant element earlier on in life. If the time element blood is used during this I believe that the moon elementals blood should be able to search the human’s DNA to see if it’s ever been activated earlier on in life. Then, just maybe when the virus takes over the human’s DNA to reactivate that gene, it may make the human revert back to the age in which the element was activated.

Once the blood is in the system of the human the moon elemental would then have to switch into the time element with the human within let us say a five to ten-foot radius of them in order for this blood to activate. That is if the blood is still responsive to the moon elemental at the time. Between the time that the blood was drawn from the moon elemental and placed into the human would have to be a very short period of time. If there is a way to directly transfer at least a quarter pint of blood (just to be safe) from the moon elemental into the human that would probably be the most ideal situation. If there is no way to be able to directly transfer that blood into the human, then I would say that it one would only have a day or two to get the elementals blood into said human and activate it. Though, I feel that if one is able to test the moon elementals blood to see if it is still active within the given distance after forty-eight hours of it being drawn out of the elemental then one may be able to slowly give the human the blood to not shock the body as greatly. At the same time, I feel as if no matter what the human would be going through a great deal of pain from the virus once it has reactivated the gene and it changing them from the inside out so to speak. Now thinking about it, I feel the most pain the human would go through is if they have activated their element earlier on in life so the blood may take them back, both in age and appearance to that point in their life. It is as if the blood would be hitting a reset switch. Once this has happened the human would have to readjust to their old body and their new life,” He finished reading and set down the book.

“That’s insane,” I mutter under my breath.

“It’s just a theory uncle,” I look over at Sasuke to see him lightly shaking his head, “That can’t work. That’s one of the most insane theories that I’ve ever heard.”

“Do you know what your blood type is Sasuke?” Chris questioned pushing the book aside and grabbing the two envelopes.

“No, not really,” He said looking away.

Chris pulled out a sheet from each envelop and stood up. He then set the papers down at the end of the desk, “This will work, it can work,” I looked down at the papers, there’s a picture of Sasuke clipped to the paper on the left and my photo attached to the paper on the right. I look where Chris was pointing on the paper. It’s our blood types.

“We’re both O negative,” Escapes me lips.

“Which means that one the moon elemental in this situation has the correct blood type for this and two you will be able to receive this blood because he is the same blood type as yourself,” Chris stands up straight once again.

“I thought I had one of the rare blood types,” I state picking up the sheets and looking at them. It’s all the basic information that would you would get from a physical. Our heights, weights, vision, hair and eye colors, blood types.

“You do,” I look up from the papers at Chris.

“How can you even be sure that this will work?” Sasuke questions.

“Sean has the dormant gene in his DNA. It just needs to be reactivated to finish the job it started before it went dormant,” Chris answered.

“I kinda agree with Sasuke on this one. This is just a theory, a well thought out theory, but a theory none the less, how are you so positive that this will work?” I ask him and a lopsided smirk curls onto Chris’s lips.

“Do you have the time element?” Chris questioned looking over at Sasuke.

“No, the only time elemental that is on Amoura is dad, and I can’t receive any elements from him,” Sasuke responds then instantly backs up, “I don’t want another element right now, thank you.”

“Who said I was going to give you it right now,” I look back over at Chris and he’s resting his chin in his palm, “This will happen. We are going to make this work,” I bite the inside of my cheek and clench my fists.

“What if neither of us agree to it? What then?” I ask him my heart pounding.

“You both don’t have a choice in this matter actually. No matter how long it takes, I’m going to break both of you down till you agree to do it. No one will stop this from happening I can assure you of that. You’re both in check and soon it’ll be check mate,” Chris and I locked eyes and Chris started the chuckle, “I know how determined and strong you are, don’t worry, I like a challenge.”

“You’re dealing with two stubborn assholes so I would like to see you fucking try and break us,” I lean on the desk and glare at him.

“Everyone has a breaking point, and a weakness, so challenge accepted,” He smiled at me, “You two can go now,” He waved me off and my eye twitched.

I push off his desk and turn around, grabbing Sasuke’s wrist with my right I pull him out of the room, “Who the fuck does he think he is anyways. Fucking asshole of a fucking boss, ugh I want to punch him so fucking bad right now,”

“Sean, getting pissed over this isn’t going to help us get out of this situation. We need to logically think about this, if we let him get under our skin then he’s winning,” Sasuke mentions as I drag him down the hall.

“I don’t understand how you can practically be so fucking calm about this right now Sasuke?” I snap stopping in my tracks and looking back at him. “He will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. I’ve been working under him for a few years now, I know what he’s like when he wants something,” I grab the collar of Sasuke’s Shirt and pull him up so his face is inches away from mine, “Don’t you fucking get it? Chris is not someone we should be fucking with, but if we let him win then who the fuck knows what’ll happen to us.”

Sasuke stared at me not saying anything for a solid minute. He then brought his hands up and slapped his hands against both my cheeks really fucking hard, “You need to calm your ass down. We will be fine, we won’t break, we will make it through this. We have Aaron, Gil, and as much as I hate to say it there’s also Andy. You’re not in this alone and neither am I. You stood up to Chris and now we’re going to prove just how much of stubborn assholes we really are, got it?” The look in his eyes were intense I wanted to look away from him but I couldn’t.

I finally close my eyes and take in a deep breath, I feel Sasuke hands pull away from my face and I open my eyes and exhale, “Okay,” I let go of Sasuke’s shirt and let him go back down to his feet so he wasn’t standing on his toes, “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to start to break down like that,”

He pats my shoulder and smiles then gives me a thumbs up, “We’re in this together,” His hand that he was using for a thumbs up he opened up and held his palm out to me.

“No giving up,” I nod and take his hand locking my thumb with his and grabbing his hand between his thumb and pointer finger with my fingers. He did the same to the side of my hand. It may have been years that we’ve been apart, but nothing’s changed about our friendship, “Now let’s go make sure Aaron and Gil haven’t killed Andy,” I motion behind me and let go of Sasuke’s hand.

“Sounds like a plan,” He chuckled and we continued down the hall to get to the stair well.

We go down the flight of stairs and make a right. Aaron, Gil, and Andy are all outside the court. Aaron is sitting on the floor, Gil is squatting, and Andy’s just flat out sprawled out on the floor.

“Well, you guys did it, you killed Andy, “I comment as we walk up to them and I look down at Andy.

“Thanks ass wipe,” Andy glared up at me and I chuckled.

“It was fun!” Aaron said with excitement but still sounding a bit tired.

“Andrew gave us a run for our money that’s for sure,” Gil smiled staying at his quite pitch that he normally uses.

“I told ya I could take ya both on,” Andy said confidently taking my hand and sitting up.

“Yeah, but you still lost,” Aaron snickered and Andy instantly glared at my freckled covered, red-haired friend.

“Watch it child,” Andy threatened letting go of my hand and just sitting on the floor.

“So, what did Chris want?” Gil asked and my heart starts to ache.

“It wasn’t good was it? I can tell by the look on yer face Sean,” Andy hit the nail on the head.

“Aaron, Gil, have you two ever head of one of Lucian’s theory about turning a human into an elemental?” Sasuke asks and I look over at him.

“I know that theory, it’s called the Heroes of the Curse,” Gil nodded, he stood up and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Turning a human in an elemental can’t possibly fuckin’ happen,” Andy chuckled.

“It can if the human has the correct gene in their DNA. This gene actually has the dormant virus inside of it. In other words, they were supposed to be an elemental, but somehow their body was able to fight it off and make it become dormant because the virus could go into full swing,” Aaron spoke up to explain a little bit about it to Andy.

“So yer tryin’ ta tell me my best friend has somethin’ in his DNA that proves he was supposed ta be an elemental?” Andy commented pointing his thumb at me.

“That’s about it yeah,” I hook my thumb in my pocket and lean my weight on one leg.

“This can only logically work if you have a moon elemental and the moon elementals blood is that of a universal donor blood type,” Gil said further.

“What’s your blood type Sasuke?” Aaron asked.

“O-negative,” He answers I bit quiet.

“What about yours?” Andy asked and I hum and look down at him to see he directed the question at me.

“O-negative,” I said and everyone looks shocked.

“Damn,” Andy whistles and leans back on his hands, “So you’re both the universal donor.”

“It’s a very well thought out theory, but the synopsis of it is, some blood of a moon elemental needs to be transferred into the human with the gene and then the moon elemental needs to switch to whatever elemental they switched to while the blood was taken to activate the blood in the human. This ultimately gives the dormant gene a jump start, and makes it more powerful so, in theory, it won’t be able to be stopped and virus will take over turning the human into an elemental that they should have been in the first place.” Gil explained taking off his glasses and cleaning them, “There’s an extra bit to it that I can’t remember, but that’s the general idea of the theory.”

“Why is it called heroes of the curse if it’s about turning a human into an elemental and it deals with a virus?” Andy questioned them. He’s actually interested, I’m impressed.

“I have no idea, I think the Author just have fun coming up with weird titles,” Aaron chuckled flopping his arms over his legs.

“The point is neither of us want to go through with it, but Chris says we have no choice in the matter,” Sasuke said and I looked down at the floor.

“He doesn’t care, he’s determined to break both of us and see this theory through,” I sigh.

“What’ll happen if it does work?” Andrew questioned deadly serious.

“It means just what the theory is about, it means that Sean will become an elemental. If all these requirements are met, maybe,” Aaron answers his question before the rest of us can.

It falls silent between all of us, “We’re not going to break, we’re too stubborn to break,” Sasuke speaks up.

“Ha, ain’t that the truth,” Aaron laughs, “You two can be so fricking stubborn,”

“Especially when you set your mind to something,” Gil adds in.

Andy gets back up to his feet and stretches, “It’s not like Chris can fuckin’ do anything. So I don’t know why ya two are fussin’ over it.” I can’t bring myself to say anything to him, “I’m gonna get going. I’ll see ya later.”

“Later Andy,” I said and he slaps my back as he walks past me, “So what do you three want to do now?”

“I’m ready for a shower and food,” Aaron stated standing up and stretching.

“Did you guys stretch?” I rose an eye brow.

“Yes, yes, we stretched,” Aaron waved me off grabbing the ball and water bottle from the ground.

“I want a more in depth explanation from the two of you about what the conversation with Chris was about,” Gil said with a dead serious expression on his face.

“We’ll talk while you guys are eating,” I told them taking the ball from Aaron and putting it back in my bag.

“There’s not much to talk about. We pretty much told you guys everything we were told,” Sasuke mentioned as I walk them back to the stair well so we can get back to the room.

“That’s seriously all he talked about?” Gil questioned.

“Pretty much. He read us the obnoxiously long theory without giving us said name of the theory then proceeded to tell us that Sean and I are the ones that are going to be the main part of proving this theory right. We said no, he says he’ll make us break, still said no, told us we were in check like we’re playing chess or some shit, then Sean drug me out of the room,” That’s pretty much putting it in short play by play.

“So no for explanation as to what he plans to do to “break” you two?” Aaron asked using air quotes.

“Please, what is this an anime or cartoon? Chris is more cunning than that and he wouldn’t just simply let something like that slip out,” I sigh pulling out the card and sliding it through the lock to open the door.

“We’ll figure things out,” Gil said walking into the room and Sasuke and Aaron following him.

“I’ll get you guys food. You guys take a shower,” I sigh running my fingers through my hair and pulling the random strands that flopped over the short part of my hair back over.

“You better get something to eat too,” Sasuke looks at me.

“I will, I will,” I wave effortlessly turning around and letting the door close between us as I walk away.

What did Chris mean by breaking us? I don’t understand…does he mean to torture us? Or use our weaknesses against us? How would he know our weaknesses to begin with? Is there some way that he’s able to peer into people’s minds? No, now I’m just being paranoid. He’s a time elemental for fucks sake… I rub my temples as I walk.

“You look stressed, something on your mind?” I jump when I hear someone next to me.

I look down to see Laila walking next to me, “Hey, I guess I’m a bit stressed,”

“Is it the boys? Need me to yell at them to not be trouble for you? You know they listen to me,” She said with a thumb up and a cat like smirk.

“It’s not them, and are you just trying to figure out a way to see them?” I raise an eyebrow with a slight smirk.

“Darn, you saw right through my evil plan,” She giggled and snapped her fingers, “So what’s really on your mind?”

“It’s nothing major,” I lie looking away from her and sliding my hands into my pockets.

“I hate to see you upset. You look so much better when you smile,” I sigh at her words.

“Have you ever been conflicted with yourself? Like you want something bad, but if it involves hurting a friend do you still try to go for it or do you fight it?” I look back down at her.

She looks ahead of us and puts her hands behind her back. Her pony-tail lightly bouncing with her steps, “I want to say go for what you’ve always wanted, but if it involves a friend getting hurt from it, what’s more important to you?”

“My friends,” I answer as we walk into the kitchen.

“Then you’ve already figured out the answer, then haven’t you?” I stopped walking as she continued around the counter.

She’s right, I value my friends over anything else. So, in the end I was just doubting myself and what I said to Chris earlier. That was stupid of me to do. “Thanks Laila,”

“Don’t doubt yourself. Whatever happens, happens. It means that it was supposed to happen for a reason so don’t back down and keep moving forward,” She smiled at me and placed her left hand on her right bicep with her right hand in a fist.

I smile back at her, “The kiddies are hungry.”

“You’re a kid yourself so who are you talking about?” She snickered at me leaning on the counter.

“You’re not that much older than I am so don’t start,” I say trying to sound offended.

“Sweetie I’m turning twenty-eight in six months; I think I’m a wee bit older than you and can call you a child Mr. twenty-year-old,” She puffs out her cheeks and I can’t help but laugh, “This is where you go, oh Laila you’re over exaggerating, you don’t look a day over eighteen,” She said in a deep voice then jumped a little ways from where she was standing, “Then I go, oh stop it you tease, I have a loving fiancé, but thank you for the complement.” She laughed waving her right hand at the empty spot where she was standing and had her fingers of her left hand slightly hovering over her mouth, but not touching it.

I start laughing and so does she, “Thanks for that.”

“So, do you know what the boys want or do I get to pick?” Laila asked putting on her apron once again.

“Hm…I think we’ll do a ginger stir-fry today!” She said happily.

“Ginger stir-fry? That sounds spicy,” I comment.

“I’ll make you some too. That way you don’t have to just watch them eat it. I don’t think it’s bad. I make it with chicken and bell peppers over a brown rice. I think you’ll like it!”

“I’m not doubting that it’ll be good. Thank you,” I smile at her and wander to the other side of the kitchen and start making smoothies for everyone. I made extra so that Laila could have one as well.

No one was in the kitchen by the time she was done cooking so Laila helped me take everything up to the room. Once we get everything out to them I go and clock out before going back to the room. Laila stays and talks with us for a while till she gets a call and let her out of the room so she can talk in private. We end up talking about random things and somehow they managed to get the conversation to go to Disney. They’ve been trying for a while now to get me to bring my laptop and for us to have a Disney day. Still haven’t agreed to it and I keep telling them I’ll think about it. I grab everything and take them back down to the kitchen. Laila must have gone home because the night cook was in. I never remember his name…Nate…maybe, I don’t know, he never talks to anyone really. I go back up and get my stuff, say bye to them and then head out for the night.

“What’s this? You’re actually leaving on time for once?” I stop when I head Andy’s voice behind me.

He runs up to me then we continue to walk out to the parking lot, “Yeah fancy that,” I chuckle a little.

“That shit that happened earlier still bothering ya?” He asked.

“A bit, but it’s not a big deal. Sleep normally helps with shit like this for me anyways,”

“Want a ride home then?” He offered spinning his keys around his finger.

We open the doors to the parking lot and it’s down pouring, “Sure, a ride home would be nice,” I accept the offer.

We sprint to his car and get in. He takes me back to my apartment and it just seems like it’s raining even harder when I get out. I’m soaked by the time I get to my door and get in the apartment. At least it’s a warm rain. I throw my keys on the hook by the door and take off my shoes at the door before walking in the rest of the way. Why do I feel so tired? “Ugh, this sucks,” I mumble to myself dragging my ass to my bedroom and grabbing my towel and a pair of shorts to go and take a shower.

After my shower, I sit down on the couch with a bottle of water and look at where I have my book open. I’m working on ice elementals and taking notes on them. I’m going to get throttled by snowflake if we ever see each other again. Even if I was an elemental I don’t know if I would stand a chance. He was already strong when I last watched him fight, he’s probably a hell of a lot stronger now. And the fact that he’s the prodigy is terrifying. I wonder if they give prodigies a nickname. That would be stupid, I won’t ask them that. I run my fingers through my hair before grabbing my pen and notebook and start working. I’m still fucking pissed with Chris; I don’t even know why I’m working on this. That’s a lie, I know why. I want to learn…I lean back in into the back of the couch. “Logically, I should just relax after today’s events,” I tell myself.

I just sit there and stare up at the ceiling for what feels like a solid ten minutes before I just decide to close the book and put everything to the side. I flip open my laptop, turn on Netflix and start watching Hercules. I pull my legs up and wrap my arms around my legs then rest my chin on my knees. I sing the songs quietly to myself when they come up. Normally I’m all for singing the songs confidently, but tonight I just can’t bring myself to do it. When it ends, I turn everything off and lock my door then go to bed.

My alarm clock on my phone starts buzzing sooner then I want it to and I get up. I rub my face trying to wake up. I shouldn’t have gone to bed so early. I feel like I didn’t sleep. I roll out of bed. I got through my normal routine. Put on under armor shorts before putting on a pair of my running shorts and a muscle shirt. Then I throw jeans and a shirt in my bag and make sure to take out my clothes from yesterday, grab my extra pair of running shoes before putting my socks on then I put my backpack on make sure that the straps are secure and the buckles won’t come undone, grab my keys, lock the door behind me, make sure I have my cell phone, then start my run to work. The run wakes me up and I’m sweating by the time I get to work. I clock in then go down to the weight room and just go into my workout. When I finish the deep stretching that I needed because I didn’t stretch before I went to bed last night I go and take a shower quick, get changed into my jeans and tank top that I thought was a t-shirt this morning then I go and get Aaron, Gil, and Sasuke’s breakfast and grab myself a banana and an apple before going and waking the three of them up.

“Rise and shine dorks, foods here,” I yell and flip on the light. Sasuke is already sitting up as usual because of how he is such a light sleeper. Aaron does his normal pillow over his head, then Gil’s arm pokes out from under his covers on a hunt for his glasses that are on his nightstand.

“Morning,” Sasuke greets looking half asleep as I set the plate on his night stand so he won’t kick it.

“I have to pee,” Aaron grumbles out loud and gracefully falls out of bed onto the floor because his feet got caught in his blankets. He pulls the blankets down with him, “Blankets don’t fight me, I love you, but I must leave you so I can relieve myself.” I snort because of what he says and quickly cover my mouth and continue laughing. My snort got Sasuke laughing and the burrito that is Gil on the bed laughing as well.

“That was so fucking graceful Aaron,” I wheeze out as he gets out of his blankets as runs to the bathroom.

I’m laughing so hard I’m crying and I wipe the tears out of my eyes. Aaron comes out of the bathroom and grabs his bundle of blankets, tosses them on the bed, then hops onto the bed himself and grabs his food. Gil’s gotten out of his burrito and grabbed his food and Sasuke has his own. I take my backpack off and pull the banana out of my bag and flip it to the bottom and open it from there. After I pluck off the little black spot on the very tip of the banana and squish it against the peel I break off a chunk of the banana and pop it into my mouth.

“That’s not how you eat a banana,” Aaron protests.

“I’m not going to eat it properly so you guys can make sexual noises as I eat it. I learned my lesson the first time I ate one around you guys,” I answer breaking off another piece, “What do you three want to do today? I already did my work out this morning when I got here.”

“Could we play racquetball again?” Sasuke asks.

“We did that yesterday, I wanna go swimming today,” Aaron speaks up.

“Same, I would like to go swimming,” Gil agreed.

“Guess we’re going swimming,” I shrug and eat more of my banana. He’s stayed in the room every time we’ve gone to the pool. Said that he had a headache or wasn’t feeling well each time. “You’re coming this time,”

“Fantastic,” I hear Sasuke grumble so quiet I almost didn’t catch it.

“It’s good to do different activities Sasuke,” I mention but he doesn’t look up from his plate, “I have extra swimming trunks you can use, like what I did with Aaron and Gil, I’ll get you your own pair so you don’t have to wear mine.”

He doesn’t say anything else and just answers with hums and nods or an “I’m fine,” When they are all done eating I take everything back down like normal then go back up, get them, end up talking for a solid half an hour before we leave the room and then go down to the locker rooms. Aaron and Gil grab their swimming trunks and get changed. I pull out the normal swimming trunks for Sasuke and hand them to him.

“Do I have to?” He sighs looking down at them.

“It won’t be that bad,” I pat his shoulder and then grab my jammers and put them on.

Sasuke got the swimming trunks on and tied them on tight so they wouldn’t fall then we went out to the pool, “Morning Abel,” Aaron chirped bringing the towels over to the normal bench and putting them down.

“Morning boys,” Abel greeted. Gil was close behind Aaron and took off his glasses then both hopped into the pool, “I haven’t met you before,” Abel said looking at Sasuke.

“This is Sasuke, Sasuke this is Abel,” I motion between the two of them.

“It’s nice to meet you,” Sasuke says kinda quiet and takes Abel’s hand and shakes it.

“Another quiet one?” Abel smiles.

“He’s not really quiet, he’s more of a loud mouth when he wants to be,” I answer as Sasuke lets go of Abel’s hand and sits down on the bench next to Gil’s glasses.

“Come on Sasuke,” Aaron calls from the pool.

“It’s a heated pool so it’s not that bad,” Gil adds in.

“Sasuke,” I say and get him to look up at me.

He looks away after he makes eye contact with me, “I’m good just sitting here.”

“Are you going to tell me what’s wrong?” I raise an eyebrow at him.

“I’m fine,” He quickly says still not looking at me.

“Then come on,” I grab his wrist and he grabs onto the bench with his other hand so I can’t pull him up. “Sasuke,”

“I can’t…” He’s starting to breath heavily, “I can’t do it…” He looked up at me and there are tears in his eyes, “I still can’t swim, don’t make me go into the pool,” His voice cracks.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath, “Sasuke, I’m not going to let you drown. You need to let go of the bench. If you want to face your fear, you need to let go of that bench,” I tell him and he sits there with his head down for a few minutes. I hear him swallow and he lets go of the bench. I pick him up bridal style.

“Sean, for fucks sake, put me down I’ll go in myself,” He protests.

“Hold your breath,” I tell him and take the few running strides it takes to get to the edge of the pool and jump in. We’re in the shallower part of the pool. It’s just over five feet deep where I jump in. My feet hit the bottom of the pool and I push back up so I’m standing up.

“Let me go, letmegoletmegoletmego,” Sasuke panics and pushes himself out of my arms and falls into the water.

I reach back into the water and grab his arm and pull him back up, “Sasuke calm down, it’s only five feet here, you can stand,” I tell him. He pulls his arm away and instantly goes to the side of the pool and pulls himself so his upper body is lying on the tile floor.

“I can’t do it,” He breaks down, “I can’t swim, I’m terrified of the water. Ever since that day…I can’t do it...” It clicks, the day I saved him from the pool when we were in high school. He’s never gotten over it. He’s just let it boil up in him till it became this huge fear. “I’m sorry,” His voice cracks, “Water is my biggest fear, I can’t get over it,”

I go over to him and get up so hips are against the corner of the pool as well and I keep myself propped up with my left arm and put my right hand on his back, “You say you can’t get over it, but you came out of the room when the times that we’ve come before you stayed behind. You put on the swimming trunks when you could have just stayed in your clothes, you let go of the bench when you could have kept holding on,” He looks at me, tears running down his face, “You’re making progress, that’s a hell of a lot of progress. Even now you’re not completely out of the pool,” I took my hand off his back, switch arms, and moved some of his bangs out of his face, “The offer still stands if you want me to teach you how to swim.”

“I can’t even float, it feels like there’s always something pulling me down,” He’s starting to calm down. That’s good, at least it’s a start.

“That should be the first thing that we figure out what’s wrong then. Figure out what’s dragging you down, once that’s solved you should be able to float,” I suggest.

“I don’t think it’ll be that easy,” His nose is plugged from crying.

“Well for now, just sit on the side of the pool and relax. I’m sorry for dragging you in,” I apologize and he shakes his head.

“It’s fine, maybe next time I’ll try to get in myself,” He turned around and sat, but kept his legs in the pool.

I got back into the pool and Aaron and Gil were right there, “Sasuke,” Aaron whined, “Why didn’t you ever tell us that you couldn’t swim?”

“We can help you learn how to swim, when you feel up to it,” Gil offered and I look over at Sasuke and he’s smiling a little.

“Thanks guys, I think it’s going to take me a while to want to learn how to swim again,” He says.

“Take your time, we’ll know when you’re ready when you get into the pool yourself,” I tell him and smile.

Able walks over with a towel and puts it over Sasuke’s shoulders. Aaron and Gil drag me off to goof around with them as Abel talks with Sasuke. “You act like a big brother with Sasuke,” Aaron mentions as I look over at him.

“Why do you say that?” I question.

“Because, you stayed there with him and talked to him till you could get him to calm down,” Aaron answered getting onto his back and floating.

“You also encouraged him and told him what he was able to do and that he was on the right track. You’re not pushing him to do things that he doesn’t want to do.” Gil explains further.

“I never really thought about it that way,” I look over at Sasuke and Abel and they seem to be in a deep conversation. I’ve looked at Sasuke as family since I can remember. I hope he’ll be okay.

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