Fitting In

by Andrew Foote

Chapter 8

Throughout this story real organisations and real people are mentioned by name. Their place in the tale is in the author's imagination. No thoughts, words or deeds attributed to those people or organisations are real, nor have they ever happened. This is a story! It's fiction. The people and organisations, even when they interact with the characters, are presented in an entirely imagined and fictitious manner, and no discourtesy is intended to them by the author nor by the web site.

I was so getting in to everything it was difficult to understand whether training was interfering with studying or the other way round. Liam had been correct in his assumption when he had warned us about the many functions and events we would be expected to attend and these only served to further disrupt our routine but like he'd said, with success comes notoriety and it wasn't possible to have one without the other.

I love him to death but when he's of a mind, damn that boy can goad me into the single most STUPID arguments! They're not like malicious or anything, he just pushes gently at my reasoning to the point where I find myself arguing against my own argument if you can understand that. That last one where he pretended not to know the difference between having sex and making love is a very good example. He knew the difference well enough, for fuck's sake we'd talked about it often enough but he just delights in tormenting me.

He really should go into politics. Maybe that way he can find another outlet for his infuriating habit!

Anyway it was all to the good as I woke up the following morning feeling rather sore, totally happy if very tired.

Dawn was breaking as Lucas turned over and pulled me close and I hoped that, just for once he also wasn't fit for more of the same but quite obviously he was totally played out as he continued to sleep peacefully.

I looked across at him and whilst we were both slowly maturing, he still some very 'boy' like qualities about him. His beautiful full lips, those impossibly long eye lashes and because he was still lacking any kind of beard growth, he looked so unnervingly if deceptively angelic.

The Devil wears a disguise already!

I lifted the duvet noticing two things, neither of which should have come as any great surprise really. The first being just how ripped he was and secondly the smell of sex! I had been leaking, (how did that happen ever?) and we were both crusty from my many orgasms so not wishing to wake the sleeping sex God, I extricated myself from his cuddle and made my way to the shower room.

I lathered myself up and as I washed, I was even more aware of how tender my bum was. Bloody hell! That's the first time since our first ever time I'd felt like this. My God he must've put some effort into loving me last night and as this thought crossed my mind I was aware of another impending hard-on and that I really didn't need so I rinsed off, dried myself and made my way down stairs to the kitchen.

Tea brewed, I took the mugs back upstairs and gave Lucas a shove.

"Wake up donkey dick. Almost time we weren't here."

He muttered something incoherent then drifted back to sleep.

"I said WAKE UP! Come on we've got to go to Christchurch and the guys will be here in about half an hour so rouse yourself!"

"You are kidding me right? I couldn't rouse anything right now. My body is telling me that I ran ten marathons last night and I hurt!"

"Tell me about it. You ran all those marathons in my indoor training area so imagine how I feel, now get yourself out of bed pronto."

Lucas tried to suppress a giggle but failed miserably.

"Nooo! Can't!"

"Wanna drink this tea or wear it? Choice is yours matie-boy, the sheets smell like a Turkish brothel and need laundering anyway, makes no odds to me one way or the other."

"Bully. Tell my Mum on you so I will."

"Not if I tell her first you won't! Now on the count of three………one……..two and three so hands off cocks and on with socks!"

"Okay boot camp boy, you win."


Winter was finally giving way to spring and with the prospect of Paul, Lor and Benny returning from their hectic competition schedules in the next couple of months and the chance for us to bond again was something both of us were actively looking forward to but I had one concern, that of my impending exam results.

Since taking my 'A' level in Sports Sciences at Christmas I hadn't had much to occupy my mind other than training and with my future hanging in the balance like not knowing if I might have to resit the exam was weighing heavily.

I'd done really well with the SCGB courses so Tony was of the opinion that all would be well but without at least gaining a C grade, any thoughts of progressing to physiotherapy were out of the question.

Yes. There was a lot riding on this but then one morning after Lucas had disappeared off to school I had a call from Mr Fairbairn telling me that my results were in.

I changed out of my jeans and jumper and into my school uniform which was weird to say the least as I hadn't had cause to wear it in over four months however I was still officially a pupil at Ashmead High, I thought it right I should collect my results then either punch the air or the nearest wall depending on which way things went, at least correctly attired.

Another strange sensation was that of walking into school at eleven in the morning and not getting detention for being late!

I made my way to the admin block and went to see Mr Fairbairn's secretary. I didn't recognise her nor she me so came the inevitable questions.

"Hi. My name is Andrew Pope. Is Mr Fairbairn available please?"

"That very much depends on why you're here. Which teacher referred you?"

"Pardon me?"

"Which teacher sent you to see him? I'm unaware of any referrals."

"Oh right! Actually no one referred me."

Oh I was having fun!

"This is highly irregular. The Headmaster never sees a student without a referral."

"Um……..if you tell him I'm here he might?"

"And he might not young man!"

Just then Mr Fairbairn appeared from his study.

"Hello Andy! Good to see you! Come on through and Susan? A flask of coffee please, two cups?"

We went through to his study and offered me a chair.

"Sit yourself down Andy. Excited or nervous about your results?"

"A mixture of both I think Sir. I did okay with the SCGB work and I really enjoyed Sports Science as a subject but you know, there's a lot riding on my results and…….."

Just at that point his secretary knocked the door then came in with a tray. She looked at me and I swear I could see 'Cheeky little upstart' written in her eyes then placing the tray on the desk turned to Mr Fairbairn.

"Will there be anything else Headmaster?"

"Not unless there have been any referrals."

"You only had the one who it seems referred himself and he's with you already."

Mr Fairbairn looked blank then roared with laughter.

"Oh yes of course! You won't have met Andrew before. How silly of me! Andy? This is Susan Palmer my secretary and Susan? I'd like to introduce you to Andy Pope. He was……..well officially still is a student here but he took his 'A's at Christmas so he's not been attending school this term."

I stood up and offered my hand which she shook.

"Andrew Pope. I should know that name."

Mr Fairbairn completed the introduction.

"Lucas Carmichael and Andrew Pope. Do those names collectively mean anything to you or even Benjamin Sorensen, Lorain Ifield or Paul Radcliffe?"

"Oh my God! Yes of course they do. Our Olympians!"

"The very same. I think that Andrew is rather hoping that he won't be coming back here except maybe for good will visits after today. He's here to learn of his results."

"Then I wish you good luck Andrew."

After she left Mr Fairbairn picked up where we'd left off.

"Yes I understand but how do you think you did?"

"Given I had fun learning the subject, I think I've probably passed but at what grade? I need a 'C' as an absolute minimum to go on to do physiotherapy and so whether or not I passed sufficiently well remains to be seen."

"Okay then. How do you want to play it? You can open them here or go somewhere quiet like the old lab. It's entirely up to you."

"Here if it's alright Sir."

"Fine. Here you go, your envelope and good luck!"

I took a deep breath and cautiously opened it up. I had difficulty concentrating on the paper I was now holding as my hands were shaking but then I saw it and promptly flopped back down on the chair. Mr Fairbairn looked concerned.

"Well?"

"Could've been better."

I passed the paper to him.

"But you've got an 'A' grade Andy! What could be better than that?"

"Might've been an 'A' merit!! YES, YES, YES!! I DID IT!! I either want to cry or give someone a hug but I don't know which!!"

"Well if you want my opinion, crying is no way to celebrate so the hug is a much better option so why don't I write out a pass and you go and find Lucas!"

"Thank you Sir. Thank you for everything!"

"You're more than welcome Andy. Congratulations on a job very well done. Will we be seeing you at the end of term prom?"

"Definitely Sir!"

"Good. Now go and find Lucas then get out of that uniform as you'll not be needing it now……..that didn't come out quite the way I intended but you know what I mean! Keep in touch, okay?"

"I will Sir, I promise."


Mrs Palmer had told me that Lucas was in English Language with the Dragon-to-be-avoided-at-all-costs-Mrs Archer and here am I about to take Lucas out of school directly from under her nose.

Life is good.

I found the classroom and politely knocked on the door.

"COME!"

Oh my fucking God! Just do it Pope! Get your cute arse in there boy!

I readied myself and walked in directly to her desk studiously not seeking out Lucas.

"Hello Mrs Archer. I have a pass-out for Lucas Carmichael signed by the Headmaster."

"Have you now! Let me see it."

She studied it rather longer than necessary, I guess she was trying to intimidate me which might have worked yesterday but now? I couldn't give a flying fuck.

"Mr Carmichael. It would seem you have a knight in shining armour come to rescue you from this den of nouns, pronouns and whatever else so pack you books and leave."

I turned to see my boyfriend doubled up with laughter but then he packed his books away and made towards the door with me in hot pursuit.

A passing shot from the Dragon.

"I trust we will be honoured with your presence tomorrow Mr Carmichael?"

"Too damn right! I don't really want to go now but I must. To miss out being in your company tomorrow would break my heart."

Did I detect the slightest of smiles from her? Yes I reckon I did.

"Get out!"


"Sooo……..what's with this pass-out then? Did Mr Fairbairn really authorise it or did you forge his signature?"

"No it's kosher."

"Yeah okay but why?"

I stood back flourishing my result paper.

"Tad-darr!"

"Your results? Lemme see!"

"No way! Their mine, all mine!"

"Hey! Fucking well SHOW ME!! "

"Oh okay but only because you asked me so nicely."

I handed him the paper and he went crazy!

"An 'A'?? That's just fucking awesome Andy!"

Just as those words fell from his mouth, a year ten prefect overheard.

"Watch with the foul language you!"

I was still very much up there so I made the reply.

"Go fuck yourself little boy."

"Right. That does it! What's your name?" pointing at me.

"Me? I'm Henry the homo and you can still go fuck yourself!"

"Henry the what? "

"Homo. That's spelt H.O.M.O and is an abbreviation for…….."

"Yes I do understand what it means! Anyway, you're on report…….. Henry!"

"You'll have a job. I'm no longer a student here little boy. I've graduated so piss off!"

I ushered Lucas down the stairs and off the school grounds.

"What's with that outburst then? You're normally the quiet one."

"Today isn't like normal. My first priority is to obey Mr Fairbairn's final instruction to me."

"And that is?"

"To go and find you then get out of my clothes."

"Yeah right!"

"He did, honest! Listen up Lucas. I'm about to pray. You listen up as well God. If my next statement isn't the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, you have my full permission to rip off my dick and seal up my arse. Amen. Now……..what he said was……..I'll write out a pass, you go and find Lucas then get out of that uniform cos you won't be needing it anymore. Happy? Still got my willy and my bum is the same as it's always been!"

"Fucking better be or you're in serious bother!"

"He did try to correct himself though! So bloody funny!"

"Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why did he try to correct himself you dummy?"

"Well obviously he knows about us and the implication as to what he said implied that I was to find you, strip naked and surrender myself to you!"

"Sweet! And are you?"

"Am I what?"

"Surrendering yourself to me!! Grrrr!"

"Totally, completely and utterly but you'll have to wait until we get home."


We did make it to training.

Note to self: Buy lube. Olive oil doesn't cut it.

Actually I had completely forgotten to find Tony before we left school so I was pleased to see him turn up at Christchurch.

"Hey Tony. I managed to get an 'A' grade in Sports Sciences! Thank you sooo much for all your help!"

"Actually I heard already but congratulations pal! Yes Mr Fairbairn was on the phone to me the second after you left his office. He told me he'd signed a pass for Lucas and correctly guessed you'd both want out of school pretty sharpish. So it's Birmingham for you next term then?"

"Yes. Going to be really strange not being in school especially as Lucas will be. I never did anything about driving lessons though. The thought of getting behind the wheel gives me the shits, you know, way outside of my comfort zone. I'd much rather hurl myself off that high table in Guam than ever I would drive."

"Well you know all about how to conquer fear don't you? Once you've had a go then you might well find you enjoy it."

"I suppose so. I'll give it my best shot."


Sooo……..that was bombshell number two, me passing an 'A' Level exam and getting an 'A' grade and only nine months after starting the course!

So what was bombshell number three?

Maybe that last one was three or was it four……..I've lost count. There's been so much going down recently it's hard to tell what sodding month it is let alone work out bombshell numbers.

I suppose the first one was all that tarara-diddle about secret serums that make terrorists give out their plans. Yes that serum I'm not allowed to tell you about.

SHIT!

Number two has to be the owls, three the sprigs of mistletoe, four……..there has been a lot happening! Four was the writing in the dust so my exam result must be number five!

Sooo……..six is coming up right now.

It all happened on a Tuesday evening. There we were quietly eating supper with my Mum and Dad when Jo returned from work and fairly barged into the house. She'd obviously run from the bus stop as her breathing was more of a pant, laboured and deep.

"Thank God you're still up! I did intend to phone you but my poxxy mobile ran out of battery."

"What's up sis? Why all the panic mode?"

"No panic but I had some fantastic news today and I wanted to tell you now before you went to bed."

"........And?"

"Christchurch……..no not Christchurch……..it's replacement! The Council have agreed to locate the replacement pool on your land but hang on cos it doesn't stop there. That in itself is great news and they've signed the agreement to wait for it…….. buy the plot nearest to the road entrance and discussions are underway with a view to buying the adjacent plot where they'd like to build a state of the art gymnasium and indoor games arena like for Basketball, Indoor Hockey, Badminton and the like.

Further to that, did you know that Swinton Sports Club have to relocate? No probably not but they want to sell their existing premises in order that they can expand. Currently or so I'm lead to believe, they have two Hockey / footie pitches which double as a cricket pitch during the summer, a licenced bar and a bowling lane and two Squash courts. They want to double up on the Squash courts to four and have a completely separate cricket pitch.

Now they're not interested in buying outright but would consider a shared ownership agreement meaning they stump up half the purchase price and lease the remainder from Sporting Endeavours.

Money? I'll have to work it out but the pool alone comes in at a shade under two million quid, probably a touch more for the gymnasium / games arena that is if they go ahead with it so……..that's my news! Well almost all of it anyway."

"Bloody hell!"

That was the sum total of my Dad's input.

"Fuck!"

That was me by the way while Lucas and my dear Mum simultaneously shouted "Jesus Christ!"

"Is that it then? Bloody hell, fuck and Jesus Christ? I thought all my hard work might've at least warranted slightly more than two swear words and a joint profanity?"

Dad offered up something by way of an apology.

"Yes well……..I think we're all in shock Jo. No offence intended."

"You're allowed to do shock given the circumstances. I almost wet my knickers when I heard! Wanna know the rest?"

"You mean there's more? Spill sister spill!"

"In the greater scheme of things its toy money but what has been proposed will definitely enhance the place so there's one for Andy and Lucas and one for Dad and Gregg. Sorry Mum but so far there are no plans to build a theatre……..yet."

"Okay then. What is toy money and where's it coming from Jo?"

"Lucas, dear hunky Lucas. You must learn patience boy! Right okay. The first is a treat for the boys as opposed to the big boys okay? There's a restaurant chain which has its home in deepest darkest Japan except they have an outlet in London. They want to lease two of the smaller plots in order that they can build two restaurants. One a Sushi-type place, not wholly or exclusively sushi but that would be their main thing but then the second restaurant would be exclusively for something I'm not familiar with, something that sounded like shabby-shabby?"

Lucas punched the air!

"Shabboo-Shabboo! Oh bloody fantastic!!"

"I'll second that! When they open up, we'll both treat you all and I'll promise you, you'll be in for a taste sensation!"

"Raw fish?"

"No. Everything freshly cooked!"

Lucas was creased up.

"By you!!"

Jo looked horrified.

"By me??"

"No shit for brains, all of us!"

"Oh right! Like a fondue or something?"

"Very similar but different. I guarantee you'll love it and not only that, you'll be going back there again and again."

My Dad spoke up next.

"Alright so the boys have two ticks on their wish list, what was all this about Gregg and me then?"

"A pub. No ordinary pub though. You blokes love your real ale right?"

"Can't do without it!"

"You'll love this then! CAMRA, Campaign for Real Ale guys want to open a pub, their first ever pub and all the proper beers like bitters, mild's and so on will all be hand pulled. All guest ales as they're not brewers in their own right but also they will serve shit like lager, cider and stuff so catering for all tastes. They have expressed a real interest in opening this pub on the boy's land, a sizable plot which they would need to lease. This is great news because not only will they have basically cash customers like the council and the rugby club, there will also be an income from the various lease agreements. One other thing. They don't intend to promote themselves as a food outlet. No one eats a gourmet meal alongside real ale do they?"

"I would!"

"Yeah but you're weird Dad! What they want to do is serve basic stuff like ploughman's lunches, things that'll sit nicely with the beers. One last thing and you can swing a punch if you think I was out of order but we were also approached by a certain fast food chain. We basically told them to fuck off as we didn't think it fitted in with the whole sporting and fitness thing. Obese families wandering around chewing on shit food is hardly the message you guys want to send is it?"

Lucas looked at me and we both burst out laughing.

"Way to go Jo! Mediterranean style food, Mexican, even French but never a fast food outlet!"

"Phew! For a moment there I thought I was dead Lucas!"

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