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“Hey, Cas, are you alright?”
“Huh? Yeah, just tired.”
“I’m a little worried about you to be honest. You’ve been pushing yourself really hard lately in the pool. I get you want us to help win the competition, but it’s not worth your health being compromised.”
Cas sighs and sets his bottle down. He turns off the water. I hand him a towel. “I have been pushing myself, but my lap times aren’t getting that much better.”
“You’re wearing your body out. Give yourself time to rest. This isn’t the Olympics remember? Just a hobby swim league for gay dudes. The only thing we’re really competing for is dick size really.”

That makes Cas chuckle. “There is some truth to that.” He pulls off his Speedo and wrings it out. “How am I doing on that front?”
“Better than most,” I admit as I enjoy the view.  “Better than me. Although I’m going to chalk it up to the water being cool, ignoring the fact the water in the shower is warm.”
Cas gives me a half smile. He has put his Speedo on the hook and is finishing drying off. “I can see your bulge, I’m sure you got plenty to entertain someone in bed.”
“Aw Cas, that’s so sweet. See, this is why we need you around. You’re one of the nicest people on the team.”
“I appreciate you saying that Sean. No reason we all have to be catty to each other.” Cas puffs out his cheeks and exhales. “I don’t know why I’m pushing myself so hard latel. I still can’t see to outswim the feeling I’m getting older. I think I’m seeing my stagnating times as failure of my body.”

I immediately scoff. “No way. You’re in better shape than some 21 year old babies I know who survive off Starbucks and vaping and live at the gym. Seriously, your set times are fine. The race is a relay, we win as a team. And we want you on that team. Alive, ideally.”
“Thanks, Sean, I appreciate that. I like being on that team. Alive, that is. I just want to help us win.”  Cas rubs some lotion on his skin.
“You will.” I chew on lower lip. Do I go for it? I decide to go for it. “Hey, you got some time after this?”
“Yeah I got a free afternoon, what’s up?”
“Why don’t I take you out for a burger? I bet that rabbit diet you’re on is why you’re so tired, you need some real heavy calories.”
Cas pulls on some dry clothes. “My knee jerk reaction is to say no to that, because I’m scared an extra ounce will impact my times but – I’m starving. Like, I have been sort of noticing lately I am just constantly hungry. Maybe you’re right. Got a place in mind?”
I gasp so softly I’m not sure Cas even heard it. I clasp my hands together against my chest. “Um, yeah I do. I can drive, and drop you off here to pick up your car later?”
“That sounds fine to me.” Cas finishing buttoning his shirt and searches his bag for a comb to run through his hair. “We don’t really hang out much as team members outside practice do we?”
“We really don’t,” I say.
Cas’s stomach grumbles loudly and I giggle. “Come on, let’s go put some meat on your bones.”
Cas folds his towel in his hands. “Yeah yeah, but first. One thing.”
He hooks an arm around my waist like a side hug, but adds a peck to my cheek. “I’m really glad you’re on my team, Sean. Thank you.”
I can feel my skin flush and the residual trace of warmth from his lips. “Ah-I’m, I’m glad we’ve met too.” Cas pets my hip twice and parts to go finish packing his bag. 
“Say, do they have milkshakes at this place?” he asks.
“Giant ones.”

Captions are fictional.


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