2.35 Adventure Time! (Part 1)

Tensions were running high in the Gray household. Ambrose was as rebellious as ever. Even though it had been a month since his birthday party, he still didn’t want Noah in his house. Their relationship wasn’t getting any better in the slightest. He’d always booby trap the house when he knew Noah was coming over. Ambrose thought it was the funniest thing when Noah sat down on the whoopie cushion, but Caleb wasn’t having any of it. Noah didn’t mind that much, hoping it would get Ambrose to somehow lighten up with him.

Things remained unchanged. Noah decided to do something a little more ambitious than trying to just talk to Ambrose. He approached Caleb one day with a brilliant idea.

“France?” Caleb asked aloud. “The four of you guys in a different country, together?”

“Yes, it’s the perfect time for the boys to go on one last vacation before they have to start school again. I think it’ll be great bonding time.”

“What can the boys do in France? Drink nectar?”

Noah shook his head. “I don’t know yet, but staying in a foreign country might just be exciting enough for Ambrose to actually want to talk to me.”

“I guess it’s worth a shot,” Caleb shrugged. “You want me to house sit?”

Not just that, I have another surprise for the boys when we get back. I need your help to carry out this plan or it’ll never work, what do you say?”

“I’m up for anything that’ll help get the family back together,” Caleb agreed.

Phase one of Noah’s big plan was through. Now he had to convince Leia that this was the right thing to do. He really thought it’d be much easier.

“That’s a terrible idea, Noah. I’m sorry. I’ve been throwing you into this family relentlessly for an entire month and a half, but it’s getting kind of ridiculous now. Ambrose isn’t going to adjust by just being around you, he’s not ready. I think bringing him to a foreign country and forcing you two to hang out together might just do more damage,” Leia admitted.

Leia…you know I love you right?” She nodded. “Trust me on this one, it might just work. Besides, you don’t have to do anything but relax in beautiful Champs Le Sims with the finest liquor, food and spas. An entire weekend by yourself, away from the kids. Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?”

“Don’t try to bribe me!” She crossed her arms defiantly. “We’re not going.”

Time to turn on the charm. He grabbed Leia’s waist and swiftly dipped her. When he was inches away from her face, he put on the best puppy dog eyes he could muster, “please babe?” This drove Leia insane. Being away from Noah’s touch for so long had made her long for him. She couldn’t exactly do anything romantic around the kids and today was the only day that Apollo and Ambrose weren’t home.  “I’ll make it worth your while.”

“Fine…” She mumbled into his lips as he kissed her passionately. “But if the family splits even more, it’s on you.”

“It won’t, I promise,” Noah vowed, “I’ve got a plan.”

Phase three was getting the boys on board. He knew Apollo would go willingly, but Ambrose would be even more of a challenge than his mother. He left that up to Leia.

“I’m not going!” Ambrose cried by the door. “I refuse to leave this house!”

“Come on, we’ve never left Sunlit Tides before Ambrose. This is going to be so much fun!” Apollo tried to convince him,

“I’m happy in Sunlit Tides.”

“We can’t leave you home alone,” Leia told him.

“I can stay with Uncle Caleb.”

No can do, buddy,” Caleb said as he walked into the room. “Got a date this weekend. Need to prepare.”

“You’re leaving me for a woman!?” Ambrose hit his arm. “Bros first dude!”

“What? I would have been so excited if my dad took me to Champ Le Sims. I’m kind of jealous. Just go and have fun.”

No.”

That’s it Ambrose, I didn’t want to have to do this,” Apollo shrugged. He grabbed his legs and threw him over his shoulder.

Hey! Let me go!” He began to kick and punch Apollo frantically.

It didn’t seem to phase Apollo at all at first. “You brought this on yourself.” He carried him outside of the house and stopped in front of the limousine. “Seriously dad!? A limo!”

Noah smirked as he leaned against it. “We’ll be riding to the airport in style.”

“Stop lying to get me to go!” Ambrose said. He was still over Apollo’s shoulder and could only see the house.

“I’m not lying, look!” Apollo spun around and Ambrose’s jaw dropped. Before he could say anything, Apollo tossed him in and locked the door. He stretched out his shoulder, “jeez Ambrose, do you have to be so rough? You’re the only person in the world we have to force to go on vacation.”

He slumped in his chair, arms crossed over his chest. “I do want to go on vacation, just not with him.”

“Give him a chance, he’s trying.”

“That’s what you’re all saying, but it’s too late for all of that,” He looked towards the window as Noah and Leia piled in the back.

“This is kind of extravagant, don’t you think?” Leia asked.

“Not for my family. This trip is going to be memorable.”

“Thanks dad, this is awesome,” Apollo grinned and Noah smiled in return. He hoped that France would win over Ambrose’s attention too.

The plane ride was hectic. Ambrose didn’t even want to sit in the same row as his father. There were three seats in a row and Leia offered to sit by herself. Ambrose wasn’t thrilled and instead of making Noah sit by himself, Leia bargained with another passenger so that it was her and Noah in one row and Ambrose and Apollo behind them. She didn’t see what the big deal was anyway, because Ambrose fell asleep as soon as the plane took off!

When they arrived in France, Leia stopped them by the board. “After we rest up and have dinner, you guys are going on an adventure.”

“Wait, Leia what? This wasn’t part of the plan…” Noah began but Leia cut him off.

“I think this is a better plan. What other opportunity will you have to explore the hidden tombs of France? Besides, you might find some buried treasure. It could be fun!”

If you’re not going, neither am I,” Ambrose said.

Yes you are,” Leia put her foot down. “This is something you’d enjoy. You’re not going to stay cooped up in our hotel room because you don’t want to be near Noah. Whether you like it or not, he’s your father. He put this entire trip together for us, and you’re going to enjoy it. I have the keys right here, and none of you are going to get into the room and get your stuff until you come back from that adventure. I was going to give you guys time to rest up, but since you want to make things difficult all the time Ambrose, you three will go now.”

“Now?” Apollo asked.

“This is so unfair,” Ambrose groaned, but did not dare defy his mother when she was like this.

“It’s going to be fun,” Noah grinned. “We just have to get some supplies first like food, shower in a can, and some tents.”

“Tents!? We have to sleep there? No way mom! I’ll do anything!” Ambrose begged.

“No way, you’re going. Don’t come back until you finish the quest.” With that Leia left to their room. It was tough love, but maybe nothing was working because she was babying Ambrose too much. She wasn’t sure how everything would work out between Ambrose and Noah, but Apollo would be there to be the mediator if need be.

“Is that all you need, sir?” The merchant asked.

“You know what, on second thought, I’ll take more pieces of food, oh and a disposable camera,” Noah ordered.

“Dad, we don’t really need that much food.”

“Get the high quality food, your king can’t eat the stuff made for peasants!” Ambrose demanded.

“Is that really necessary?” Apollo sighed, looking over Ambrose.”Kings send out their knights to go on adventures while they keep all the loot.”

“Not in the Gray kingdom,” Noah intervened. “The king always does all of his own work. That’s why we’re here, to see to it that the King gets to his destination safely.”

“Oh come on, you’re not playing in to this are you?” Apollo groaned. Seriously, Ambrose needed to grow up. How could someone who acted so maturely in his hatred for his father, still be playing pretend?

“Playing in to what? Don’t disrespect the king like that. As the head of knights, you should know that!” Noah bowed down in front of Ambrose. “I’m sorry my liege, don’t punish us.” 

As much as Ambrose wanted to resist, he was loving it. “Hmmph, if you carry my stuff for me Apollo, I’ll forgive you! He took off his large backpack and piled it into Apollo’s hands.

“What the heck is in this thing!?” Apollo whined.

“Don’t question the king,” Noah said.

“You owe me, big time,” Apollo told Noah.

“Woah!” Ambrose exclaimed in awe. “This is so cool!”
“It’s kind of like a video game,” Apollo added.
“But in real life!” Ambrose cheered. “Awesome!”
“What exactly do we have to do, Dad?” Apollo asked.
Ambrose lowered his eyes at the name he used to refer to Noah. “Well, the task says to find his treasure. It isn’t a relic, gold coins or nectar. It says we should know when we find it. Anything else we find here is ours to keep.”
“That shouldn’t be too hard, hopefully.”
What are we waiting for squires! Let’s get to it!”
“Oh come on, I got demoted to a squire?”
“What do we do first?” Ambrose looked around.
“Let’s clear out that rubble over there, looks like there could be a door behind it.” Noah pulled out a pick ax and began to hit the pile of rocks in front of him.
Ambrose stood next to Noah and watched in amazement. “Just like in Sim Miner!”
“Stand back,” Apollo held his shoulder. “You don’t want to get hit.”

“There’s no door, now what?” Ambrose deflated. “Are we stuck in here?”
Apollo stepped toward the door and began to inspect it. “What if it’s a hidden door? You know, like in the movies? The person who built this wouldn’t want us to find the treasure so easily.”
That’s brilliant!” Noah praised Apollo. Ambrose could feel himself getting jealous, but he tried to fight it off.  Everyone thought Apollo was so smart. Wait, why did he care what this guy thought anyway? He didn’t need Noah’s opinion.
Apollo looked over at Ambrose and saw him sulking. Though Apollo loved the recognition from Noah, he could see the same look of defeat as he did when the two were working on their summer homework. “What do you think, King? How can we open this hidden door?”
Ambrose looked up at Apollo and placed his hands on his hips, “Of course, move aside squire. let the king handle this.” Ambrose had no idea what to do, so he just began to bang on the wall. To his surprise, it actually opened!
Noah patted his shoulder affectionately, “Good job, your excellency!” Ambrose didn’t even know he was smiling, but Noah saw it and it filled his heart with so much joy. Finally, he thought to himself. 
“How about now, King Ambrose? What should we do?” Noah asked.
Ambrose put a finger to his chin and began to look around. He had no idea what to do next. “The king thinks he shouldn’t have to do all the work! Squire Apollo, what do you say?”
Apollo took a moment to look around. “What about that tile over there? It’s got some footprints on it, maybe someone should stand on it?”
Ambrose stepped forward to do it, but Noah gently shoved him back. “Your highness, let me. What if it isn’t safe?”
Apollo rolled his eyes. Seriously, was this going to go on the entire expedition? He didn’t know how much longer he could deal with Ambrose’s expectations. “You’re right, go ahead Squire number 2.” Noah stepped on the tile and the lock on the door flung open. 
“Lead the way squires!” Ambrose said triumphantly, as if it was he who thought of the idea in the first place.
In the next room, there was a similar tile which Noah stepped on again. Rather than the door unlocking, a hole opened in the wall. 

Why don’t we see if there’s a key in there,” Apollo suggested.
Good idea, I’ll stay standing here in case the hole closes again.” 
“Go ahead Apollo,” Ambrose urged.
“Why do I have to do it?” Apollo sighed. At this point, all Ambrose was doing was ordering him around. Noah was treating Ambrose as a real king. Apollo tried to go along with it, to help Ambrose loosen up a bit with their dad, but he still felt a bit jealous.
“It was your idea,” Noah shrugged, silently pleading with Apollo to just go along with all of this. 
Apollo, not wanting to disappoint his dad, sighed and stuck his arm in the hole. He pulled it back suddenly and let out a loud shriek. “What the heck!?” He began to shake his arm frantically. Ambrose began to laugh, thinking it was the funniest thing ever and Noah rushed over to help Apollo shake off the bugs. “That’s not funny!”
From then on, Noah decided he would do the digging and pulled out a heart keystone. Apollo was still angry at Ambrose, so Noah figured out how to get out of the room on his own. He placed the stone into the hole in the wall and the door flung open.
The next room had two piles of rocks, and Ambrose was too small to hold the massive sledgehammer. Noah asked Apollo politely if he would help to remove the rubble, quickly adding he’d do it himself if Apollo didn’t want to help.
Apollo had quickly cooled off. He figured he couldn’t stay mad forever, especially if they would be spending the night down there. Noah cleared his pile pretty quickly, and Ambrose decided he’d be the one to investigate this time. There was no door, but gold coins instead.“Treasure!” He cheered. 
“Is that gold?” Apollo asked. “Real gold?”
Noah leaned down and picked one up. He tossed it around in his hand. “It seems pretty heavy and solid. It looks like it.”
“Oh man, this is so awesome!” 
Ambrose loaded the coins into his bag and handed it back to Apollo. “Work with me here man,” Apollo said, “couldn’t you put it in dad’s bag?”
Noah took the bag from Apollo’s arms. “I’ve got it. Now, let’s see what’s under that pile.” It was another keystone and doing the same thing as in the other room, they were able to get into the next room. 
 Eventually, the guys got tired and they decided to call it a night. 
“I’ll set one tent up, you guys set up the other, alright?” Noah said, taking the tents out of his bag.
“We could have probably squeezed into one,” Apollo said. It probably would have saved some money, space and extra effort.
“Don’t worry about it,” Noah shook his head. he didn’t want to make Ambrose uncomfortable especially since he wasn’t so keen to come in the first place. 
After about a half hour of struggling, Noah was able to set up his tent. Apollo and Ambrose was already done with theirs. “Mom said you were a genius,” Apollo joked.
“Well, I never went camping before!” Noah tried to defend himself.
“Neither have we,” Apollo motioned to him and Ambrose.
“There’s two of you.”
“Our tent is bigger than yours,” Ambrose joined in on the banter.
“Well…let’s just go to bed,” Noah said in defeat.
Ambrose pulled the door flap open and stumbled backwards. “I’m not sleeping in there!”
“Why not?” Noah asked.
“There’s a monster in there!” He exclaimed. 
“Oh come on Ambrose. I’ll be in there with you.” Apollo tried to reason.
“If you want to be eaten, then go ahead! I’m not going in there!”
“Well, then where are you going to sleep, out here by yourself?”
Yes, the monster isn’t going to leave the tent!”
Apollo hit his head with the palm of his hand. He was way too exhausted to be dealing with this right now. “How about you sleep in my tent, and I stay with Apollo?” Noah offered, rubbing his eyes.
Ambrose looked around and thought for a minute. “What if there’s a monster in there too?”
“There’s not, I was just in there.”
“They like to hide. Go check Apollo.”
Apollo sighed and pulled the flap of Noah’s tent open. “See? Nothing.”
Ambrose peeked over his brother’s shoulder and let out a sigh of relief. “Good luck fighting off the monster guys.” Ambrose crawled into his tent and placed the crown next to him. If there really was a monster, it’d never dare to eat the king. He stretched his arms out and let himself drift to sleep. He actually had fun today, even if he didn’t want to admit it. Noah hoped this expedition would prove his loyalty to Ambrose and Apollo. 

3 thoughts on “2.35 Adventure Time! (Part 1)

  1. Well so far so good! Seems like Noah's plan is working, with an added boost from Leia by forcing them to go on this adventure together. I like Ambrose's over active imagination. By playing along with it maybe Noah will be able to form a bond with him. At least something they can build on later.

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  2. Poor Apollo. Haha! He’s having to survive the king’s wrath and judgement. But, it does seem to be going well, so far. I think this will help a little as Ambrose continues to get used to his dad being around. I do kind of feel like Noah will owe Apollo big time, though. Honestly, so will Ambrose. Hehe

    Liked by 1 person

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