Set immediately following "Fireworks", the following is an examination of what could happen if one stupid mistake and a series of misunderstandings spun out of control:
Pounding his way down the stairs, Bradin did his best to rein in his frustration at his younger brother's persistence. It had been a good day for them so far; there was no reason to go and spoil it at this late hour.

"Why can't we send it off now?" Derrick looked up at his older brother expectantly, more than a little excited at the possible distance his newest rocket could go.

Rolling his eyes, Bradin continued down the stairs. The kid sure could test his patience at times. "The paint isn't even dry, Derrick. Besides, it's still pretty light out. It's cooler at night."

"The other one flew at night." The nine-year-old retorted. It made perfect sense to him. He had seen the other one go off at night. Maybe this one would go better in the daytime.

"Derrick," The older boy turned on his heals to face his brother, nearly colliding with the boy who was following closely behind him. "We'll launch it. I promise."

The answer didn't exactly appease Derrick, though. He knew from experience that a vague promise from his older brother wasn't always a guarantee. He needed more than that. "When?"

"Soon!" Bradin gritted out, turning once more to head down the stairs.

Derrick was ready for the abrupt attempt at escape, though. He stayed right on his brother's heals. "Where are you going?"

"Surfing." The teen answered shortly, briefly looking over his shoulder at his younger brother. As Derrick opened his mouth, Bradin quickly responded to the plea he knew was coming. "No, you can't come."

"Fine." The younger boy replied poutily, as he stomped off through the house in the opposite direction. Who needed Bradin anyways? He'd find Johnny or Jay. They always let him do cool things with them.

Shaking his head at the pouting form, Bradin snatched up his surfboard and headed for the patio. As he reached out for the handle to the sliding glass door, he found himself frozen in place as he watched the scene playing out before his eyes.
As she slipped past him to make her way out of the boathouse, Jay leaned through the doorway and pulled her to him for one final, passionate kiss. Wordlessly, Erika pulled away. But not before openly returning the sign of affection. Sliding across the patio, she cast one last longing look back at her fellow surfer before making her way out onto the beach.

With one hand attached to the handle and the other the doorframe, Jay leaned out of the boathouse to watch her retreating figure. As Erika made her way down the beach, his eyes remained glued on the brunette until she was no more than a distant blur. It was minutes after she had disappeared all together before the young Australian sighed longingly and slowly closed himself back into his room, completely unaware that his tender exchange with the woman had not been a private affair.
Watching Jay retreat into the boathouse, Bradin remained paralyzed at the door.

He'd been punched in the gut before. He knew what it felt like to have the wind knocked out of him. He just never knew that he could feel that way without anyone laying a hand on him.

Minutes past between the time Jay's door finally closed and Bradin found the presence of mind to pull the patio door open. Throwing it back with a resounding thud, the teen charged towards the beach, board in hand. Hurt and anger coursed through him. He wanted the feelings to stop. Sprinting hard across the sand, he more than recognized his need to escape.
Making his way across the patio as quietly as he could manage, Bradin was already innerly kicking himself for his stupidity. He should have just stuck to surfing. It hadn't exactly quenched his need to free himself of the emotions that plagued him, but it helped. And it was definitely a lot less risky than losing himself in a bottle. Sure the fix had helped. But it was only temporary. And if he was caught, he knew the cost would be high. Ava had been more than clear: stay away from alcohol or find somewhere else to live.

He'd assumed it was a bluff when she'd said it; but now he wasn't so sure. He'd angered Johnny by breaking that stupid rocket. And Jay sure wasn't his staunchest supported after the whole incident with Erika at the beach.

Irritating her closest friends. Breaking the only rule she'd set. He was definitely pushing the limits.

He just hoped he didn't push her too far.

His greatest hope was that no one had noticed his absence from the house. After all, there were six other people living there. Maybe no one had missed him. He would just slip in and crash for the night. He wasn't drunk, really. He'd only had a couple of beers. By morning, no one would even notice. He would just slide right in, play it cool and maybe he could stay below her radar.

As the light in the living room snapped on and both Ava and Johnny's angry faces came into view, the teen knew he was dead. Sighing heavily, he made his way through the screen door to the expectant pair.

This was definitely not his night.