If there was one thing that Spot had always loved about Racetrack's house it was that there was always food. Now that was what he had missed most during his freshman year at college. He had practically lived at Race's house for the four years of high school, and immediately after the school year had ended this year his parents had dragged him along on a miserable vacation.

On the fourth of July he stepped through the front door to the Higgins home for the first time in nine months and was greeted with the smell of the barbecue going out back.

His mouth watered.


He was enveloped in Mrs. Higgins' arms before he even saw her. When he did he saw her dressed completely in the brightest red shirt and skirt he had ever seen. Inwardly he sighed; Mrs. Higgins liked themes. He could only imagine the number of American flags draped over everything and everyone in the backyard.

"Good to see you," he told her when she finally released him.

"Oh honey, you too," she smiled warmly, "Tony's right out back."

Spot nodded and headed out back. The Higgins family had a gigantic backyard, and it was crowded with people, family and friends. How the hell was he going to find Race in all of this mess?

He spotted Mr. Higgins right away. As usual the man was a foot from the grill, poking at the steak, and kebobs, and everything else he was trying not to burn.

Spot smirked, the bright red of Mrs. Higgins' outfit paled in comparison to the embarrassingly bright blue Hawaiian shirt that adorned Racetrack's father.

"Sean!" the graying man greeted him.

"Mr. H." Spot waved back, "You seen your son?"

"Which one?" he laughed.

"The one I tend to cause trouble with," Spot smirked. Race's brothers were cool, but he and Race… there had been more than one lecture aimed at solely the two of them.

"I'm not sure," he shrugged before looking up and bellowing, "Tony!"


The yell came from somewhere farther into the yard, among a crowd of people. Great, just what Spot needed. Well, at least now he had a general direction. He nodded a thank you to Mr. Higgins and began pushing his way through the crowd.

The problem with being so involved with Racetrack's family was that everyone knew him by now, and that meant everyone stopped him to say hello. Before he had even caught sight of Race his cheeks hurt from being pinched and he swore if he heard he had grown one more time he was going to snap.

Finally he burst through the crowd around the pool and spotted Racetrack, and suddenly Mrs. Higgins' red, white, and blue theme made sense.

Race's color was white, white shorts and a white shirt unbuttoned over his well defined chest and abs. He had certainly been hitting the gym in the three months since Spot had last seen him. He was also extremely tan.

Jackass, Spot thought. Race had never worked a day in his life and had probably spent every day since he'd gotten home sitting outside by the pool. Nevertheless it wasn't a bad look for him.

"Fuck, you look hot," he said collapsing on the chaise lounge next to Race.

"I know," he shrugged, cocky grin covering his face, "You don't look so bad yourself."

"So, how goes the annual Higgins family barbecue?"

"My dad's only burned a few burgers so far. But then, it's not even noon yet."

Spot snorted, "It's only a matter of time before your mother chases him away from that grill."

"Happens every year," he agreed, sagging back against the cushions.

"I'm waiting to hear the fire engines," Spot agreed, "But, if memory serves me correctly, a certain pair of miscreants play some sort of practical joke on your older brothers."

He motioned to the twins, dressed in nearly identical (and tacky) American flag themed shirts, as they stood chatting by the pool. Summer was a time of prank wars, and Michael and Matthew had won last summer.

"I promised my mother we wouldn't do anything to disrupt the party."

Spot rolled his eyes, "Since when has that ever stopped us? Everyone expects it."

"Since I was threatened with grounding for the entire summer- no car, no cell phone, no computer." Race put things in perspective.

"Well, let me give you the alternate results," Spot poked Race hard in the chest, "I want to get them for the whipped cream incident last summer and if you don't help me you won't be getting laid this summer."

Race gaped at him for a moment.

"My mother is going to kill you."

"It's been threatened before."

"What did you have in mind?"

"Football," Spot said the word as though it explained everything.

Race smirked, because his and Spot's brains worked far too similarly.


"Mike! Heads up!" Tony shouted.

The football soared through the air and Michael's hands immediately went up, as four years of varsity football had conditioned him. He caught the ball, but at the same time he was tackled from behind by Spot, who knocked him into Matthew, sending all three of them, fully clothed, into the pool.

There was silence for only a few seconds before laughter erupted. Among the noise he could hear Mrs. Higgins shrill voice, "Tony! Sean!"

"Shit," Spot laughed, as Race pulled him out of the pool, "Go, go!"

Michael and Matthew were just surfacing, both sputtering and yelling threats after them as they raced into the house like a couple of teenagers.

Once they reached the safety of Racetrack's bedroom spot collapsed on his bed, ignoring the fact that he was soaking wet.

"My mom is going to kill you."

Spot laughed, "It was worth it. Did you see their faces? Oh, it was great."

Race tried very hard not to smile and failed miserably, "Yeah it was."

"Finally you see my point of view," Spot grinned. He relaxed on the bed and closed his eyes. Now that he was back he was seriously looking forward to spending the entire summer at the Higgins residence, despite their horrible red, white and blue themed barbecues, and Mr. Higgins' horrible cooking. His wife was an excellent cook and Spot could stand to put on a few pounds before he went back to school in the fall.

He opened his eyes as the mattress shifted and Race settled onto the bed next to him.

"I missed you, you know," he said.

"I know." Spot smirked.

As Racetrack rolled his eyes Spot grabbed him by the front of the shirt and pulled him in for the kiss he'd been waiting to give him all day.

"I missed you too."