Chapter 5: Poolside

As it had been every day so far the morning was sunny. Lewis and Tyson were at the bottom of the Lemingtons' drive while listening to an apologetic Alan.

"I'm so sorry about 2 days ago, my behaviour was just terrible. It's no excuse but I used to have a drinkin' problem and it's real bad that it resurfaced like that."

"'s'alright Alan," assured Tyson.

"You don't have ta tell us anythin' you're embarrassed about," concurred Lewis.

The redhead cheered up. (The invisible sparkles have returned.) "I'm glad you don't think badly of me. Daniel worried that you might."

This got funny looks from the pair of friends. "Daniel worried?" clarified the soccer coach.

Alan was baffled by this reaction. "Well, he brought this up as a reason to apologise. It's important to explain two 've only been here a short while and I didn't want to give you the wrong impression of what we're like. This is a nice town, really."

Tyson laughed easily. "Don't worry, one drunken moment can't ruin an impression of a nice town."

Alan looked relieved. "That's good. Well, I guess I'll be doin' a lotta visitin', I'd hate to find I offended someone."

"We can assure you didn't offend Edward Elric," Lewis helped.

"Oh that's a relief, one less house to visit. So where are you two headed?" The neighbour puzzled at the bags the two were holding.

Tyson shrugged. "We happen ta be goin' to Ed's place to try out the swimming pool."


The swimming pool was about 30 metres long and the trio enjoyed the leisurely swim up and down it. Sometimes they bobbed and chatted, othertimes they waterfought.

"Hope you liked seeing the motorbike?" asked Ed.

"I did, it's really cool," Tyson immediately replied. "Can I ride it?"

"Only if I drive."

Just before they all got out, Lewis climbed out surreptitiously to dry his hands and take out his digi-camera. He took one photo before Ed noticed and protested. Then Tyson encouraged him to pose and several photos were taken of 2 happy men in a variety of silly poses (such as Ed being grumpy). Then they all dried themselves properly. They all wore swimming cycling shorts of various lengths and colours, though Ed's had a sports designer's logo.

They all wandered inside in various stages of being 'dressed'. Edward left his damp hair loose, wearing a baggy sleeveless T-shirt and baggy shorts. He somehow looked so masculine. After entering the back entrance of the Elric-Mustang household, the first room is the large luxury living room complete with mini bar on the side. There was a seriously large widescreen TV and a sophisticated sound system.

"We need music," Ed announced and promptly picked up a remote to select something from the list of mp3s. "How about Frankie Goes To Hollywood?"

"NO!" shouted the other two in unison.

"Cliched!" protested Tyson.

"Overused," moaned Lewis.

Ed just laughed. "It's a good song. Alright, I'm in the mood for the Bill and Ted soundtrack."

"Which movie?" asked Tyson, mosying to the mini bar.

"The first one." The intro music as performed by Big Pig started and Ed put down the remote. "Go ahead and take a drink."

"Anyone in the mood for vodka?" asked Tyson from where he knelt.

"Vodka?" reacted Lewis. "Too early for that, anythin' lighter? Like...cider?"

"Yeah there's cider, guess I can 'ave that." The guy kneeling brought out 2 bottles. While the pair opened them, Edward got himself a glass of cold water.

"What shall we drink to?" asked the host.

Tyson grinned. "Class!"

"Where d'you get your ideas?" asked Lewis somewhat suspiciously.

"I've got good timing," he answered proudly.

"To class!" announced a smiling Edward. Clinks could be heard and then they sat down.

"So why did you really say that?" asked Lewis seriously.

"I just reckon we're havin' more fun than the Semes Club."

The blonde groaned. "Are they weird or what?"

"Actin' like they own the town," murmured the photographer.

Edward gave a rue smile. "I think they do."

"Why can't us Ukes have a club of our own or somethin'?" demanded Tyson.

This caught the other two off guard.

"Why not indeed," mused the water drinker.

"This is a good place to hold a get-together," said Lewis, looking around. "Don't mind do you Ed?"

"No...but what are you planning? I don't see them as the types to swim."

"I don't think they wanna go out in the evenin' for night-out group dinners either. Why don't we just...all get together and air problems and concerns? Their lives can't be all perfect...right?"

"Sounds like an idea," concurred Edward.

"So could we do it in 2 days then?" asked Tyson. "You can spend the day doin' that interview for the sports magazine while Lou and me find Ukes to come along."

"I like that plan," said Lewis.

"We're not inviting Jack though," declared the coach in all seriousness. "He's scary."

"And he probably wouldn't come anyway," agreed Ed. "But scary? I guess he's a lil' intimidating but I find that if you ask the right question he chats away happily. If not he just says yes, no or doesn't even answer."

Tyson seemed very puzzled by this revelation. "Oh...well, still can't believe he's an Uke."

"He's bisexual too, so's Vamp-or Ivan even."

"Why's 'e called Vamp?" asked Lewis.

Tyson giggled. "He does remind me of a vampire. Aye vont too sarck your blahd!"

"Don't. Ever. Do that again," ordered Edward sternly. "It's Jack's nickname for Ivan. There's a long story behind it." He found 2 pairs of eyes watching him expectantly. He sighed. "Alright. Remember that war in Kosovo? About 10 years ago? They were both fighting in it, but on different sides. Ivan got captured and was held prisoner. Jack was his jailor, but before that assignment his comrades who brought him in somehow found out he was bi and called him Vamp since Ivan wouldn't give his name. Wouldn't even give it to Jack at first."

"What point did Cupid's arrow land?" asked Tyson.

Edward shrugged. "Not sure, Jack didn't tell me anything else about their encounter and...only a lil' bit more about the war itself. Must've been traumatic."

"Who's that?" Lewis suddenly asked.

"I have several photos in here, which one are you looking at?"

"That one with you and a taller guy? He sorta has the same colour hair as you but darker."

The swimmer smiled tenderly. "That's my little brother Alphonse, or Al. I visit him a lot. He proposed recently."

"What's the lucky guy's name?" asked Tyson eagerly.

Ed looked at him in shock. "He's straight."

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©Ruth Amy Louise Hüneke 2008