AUTHOR'S NOTE: This fanfic takes place immediately after the Stoked season two finale, "Grom Fest". You will have needed to see that episode to understand this fic, it directly references events in the episode and you'll probably be lost if you haven't seen it.
Reef stood alone on the beach, looking up at the stars as the light from the moon and the faint glow of the campfire off in the distance illuminated the view around him. He'd had quite a day, and quite a summer, definitely the best summer of his life even with all its ups and downs. He'd even found the perfect girl, though it had taken him a while to realize just how perfect she was.
Fin infuriated him, everything about her frustrated Reef to no end. She never backed down from his insults or from any challenge, she was always right there besting him at everything, finding something to say to him that would cut twice as deeply as what he'd just said to her… and he couldn't stop thinking about her. Not even when he was spending so much time with Lo, the beautiful girl who'd been his girlfriend for the past month and a half. Even when Reef had been locking lips with Lo, he couldn't get Fin out of his mind.
But that phase of his life was over. Lo had broken it off, suddenly and for good, only to open the door for that other beautiful girl to walk right through. Reef had Fin, he was sure of that now, and everything was going to be okay. Still, he had two regrets. One was that he had lost Gromfest, though second place by anyone else's standards was still outstanding. The second was still passing through his mind as he turned back toward the campfire and made his way back to his friends.
His attempt to get Fin to kiss him a second time had failed. She was teasing him again, though the smile on her face as she finally pulled away from him and ran toward the staff house showed that she still felt the same way she did when she'd kissed Reef before. But that wasn't his second regret.
"Reef?" came the soft voice from just down the beach, in the direction of the campfire. Reef looked to see Lo walking toward him, a faint smile on her face as the moon reflected off her gorgeous purple eyes. "Can we maybe talk for a second…?"
"Oh…!" Reef said suddenly, a nervous smile crossing his face as his arm came back behind his head. "Uh… sure. Actually, I've been meaning to talk to you too."
Lo continued to smile, glad that Reef was still thinking of her even though the two had broken their relationship earlier in the day.
"Reef, I just… I just wanted to say that the way we broke up, with me yelling at you like that and getting all ticked off, it… wasn't really how I wanted things to end between us, you know?" Lo's smile began to disappear as the first signs of regret entered her voice.
She'd gotten more and more frustrated with Reef's behavior that day and all that frustration came to a head with her screaming at him and breaking it off. At the time she was concerned with the imminent failure of their fledgling surf gear company due to Reef's temporary incompetence at surfing. But after breaking up with Reef, she'd thought about their relationship during the rest of the day and realized that indeed, the two of them were ultimately incompatible, despite her continued feelings for him and her definite attraction to him.
"It's okay, Lo," Reef replied, still rubbing the back of his neck with his hand. "I mean… we weren't really right for each other anyway, were we?"
"No," said Lo, quickly correcting herself. "But it wasn't anything to have to do with you! I mean…"
"I've heard the whole 'it's not you it's me' thing plenty of times before, Lo, you don't have to explain it to me." Reef's eyes narrowed at Lo and it seemed like he was starting to get angry with her, though he in fact was just trying to get her to offer up a reason why she didn't think they could've worked out.
Mostly, he wanted to know if her reason was the same as his.
"I mean… the way I treated you this summer, I'm… I'm sorry," said Lo, looking up into Reef's eyes with unusual sincerity. "Everybody says I'm a spoiled little rich princess and I know there were times we were dating when I kind of proved it. I bossed you around all summer, I was totally scary-"
"Like that time you were gonna kill Emma because you thought I was flirting with her?" said Reef with a smirk.
"Well yeah, and-"
"And the time you went vegetarian and you were forcing me to go veggie with you and you were-"
"Okay, I get it!" Lo shouted, putting her hands to her temples. "What I'm trying to say is… you kind of brought out the worst in me and it was only today that I realized it. I mean… I like you… a lot…. and I was really really afraid to lose you, because you really are the best boyfriend I've ever had, and-"
"The best? Really?" asked Reef, a sort of proud smile forming on his face as he leaned in toward Lo. Lo smiled back and nodded.
"Yeah… I mean… it was so much fun hanging out with you, and you really are cute, and… ugh, I'm having second thoughts about breaking up with him!"
"Well, if it means anything, you were a really awesome summer girlfriend, Lo," said Reef, placing a hand on her shoulder. "You were sweet… most of the time… and you are really REALLY hot… and you're also rich but that's not why I liked you, I swear!"
Lo giggled and smiled.
"We are still friends though, right?" asked Reef.
"Of course," said Lo with a nod. "We're all still friends, even after we separate in a couple weeks…"
"Right," said Reef with a heavy sigh. "Summer's almost over…"
"Well, we will see each other again, right? When you guys all come back as senior staff?" asked Lo, excitement beginning to form in her voice.
"Yeah, sure," Reef replied. "This place sucked, but it was still really cool. I mean, hanging out with all you guys was really cool."
"Yay!" Lo said excitedly, clapping her hands. She settled down quickly, the smile remaining on her face as she tapped her toes in the sand, looking for something else to say. "So um, anyway… yeah… just wanted to sort of apologize for breaking up with you like that… I'm glad you and Fin found each other though."
"Me too," said Reef with a bit of a sigh. "Fin's so awesome…"
By now, Reef was practically drooling and Lo had to snap her fingers to get him to come back to earth.
"I thought you said she had a big butt and sucked at surfing," Lo replied with a smirk.
"Well yeah, but maybe I like big butts and bettys who suck at surfing," said Reef, making Lo giggle again. "…so anyway, you planning on seeing anyone now that you're single again?"
"Yeah, I'm gonna hook up with Broseph," Lo said dreamily. "He's so cute, and so nice, and he's suuuuuuuuch a good surfer…"
"Broseph? Really?" Reef said, scratching his head. "I mean, he is pretty awesome, but he's not really the most uh…. clean guy out here, you know?"
"Oh, that's okay," Lo replied. "He's an all natural surf hunk."
"No, really… you know those footrubs you liked to give me sometimes? Well, if you wanted to do that with Broseph you'd have to wear a gas mask."
"…I could make him take showers and stuff," said Lo, rubbing her hands together. "I can change some of the stuff about him."
"Lo, Lo, Lo," Reef replied. "That's where we ran into trouble, when you tried to change stuff you didn't like about me. And Broseph's WAY more stubborn than I am. We tried to make him take baths too, it didn't work. And there's plenty of other stuff about Broseph that would probably freak you out, trust me."
"Well… yeah but… I still really like him," said Lo, placing her hands on her hips. "And once Broseph and I are a couple he'll start seeing things my way, trust me."
"Take it from me, when you're in a relationship the best thing to do is to let the person you're with be themselves. I mean, Fin kicks my butt at a lot of stuff and she's rude and she insults me all the time but I'm still crazy about her! I don't know why, but yeah! Lo… you should hook up with someone you don't have to change anything about. I think the guy you're going to end up with once it's all said and done is someone you haven't even met yet."
"…really?" Lo replied, looking at Reef quizzically. "I haven't really thought about it that way before… but I still really really do like Broseph."
"Well, you give it a shot with him, and if it doesn't work out, remember what I said," Reef replied with a smile. "Just take it from the old Reefster."
"Even though what he said sounded really really smart, he usually doesn't give very good advice," thought Lo. "Still… whatever happens with me and Broseph, there's so many guys out there that there's gotta be one perfect guy for me! I hope it's Broseph, though…"
Lo looked back up at Reef and giggled at how the moonlight reflected off his bald head.
"I really was hoping Reef was that perfect guy… it was so fun getting to be with him and he's such an amazing kisser…."
"So anyway, wanna go back to the campfire with the others?" offered Reef, gesturing toward the glow coming from down the beach.
"Sure," replied Lo, taking Reef by the hand. "And… thanks. For everything."
Lo leaned up and gave Reef a quick kiss on the cheek, knowing it'd probably be the last kiss she'd ever give him. She was happy for Reef, and happy for Fin, and had to admit that their kiss around the campfire had been one of the most beautiful things she'd ever seen. She couldn't want to start spying around the resort with Emma during these last two weeks, looking for any more juicy romantic moments between Reef and Fin.
Reef and Lo walked back to the campfire together, no longer as a couple but as close friends, just as the two of them were with everyone else at that campfire. Their experiences at Surfer's Paradise had forged friendships that Lo hoped would be lifelong, and knew were more valuable to her than every cent of her father's money.