Ronan pulled into the parking lot outside Monmouth Manufacturing, sending up a cloud of dust behind the BMW. He slammed the car door shut and stomped up the stairs, almost running into Gansey on the way.
"Hello, Ronan." Gansey readjusted his grip on the box in his arms. "Everyone else is upstairs."
"I figured." Ronan moved as far out of the way as he was able, and Gansey squeezed past on his way down to the Pig.
Ronan climbed up the rest of the stairs, with slightly less stomping this time, and opened the door to Gansey's former apartment.
Blue didn't look up from her spot on the floor, where she was carefully packing up Gansey's model of Henrietta. Henry cried, "What's up, Lynch!" and hopped off the sofa. "No one went in your room, if that's what you're wondering."
"Good," Ronan sneered. Adam moved away from the bookshelves he'd been disassembling to kiss Ronan on the cheek.
Ronan dropped onto the floor next to Blue, who handed him an empty box and said, "Do me a favor and make yourself useful."
"Fuck off," Ronan said kindly, reaching for the next building.
Gansey appeared in the doorway and smiled at them all. "Ronan, I need your room cleared out at some point."
Ronan flipped him off, his eyes going to the door next to his own. For a moment, he could have sworn…
But that room had always been empty. Ronan went back to watching the others pack up the apartment, only helping when Blue poked him in the side with the handle of a tape gun.
Gansey pulled the Pig up to the curb at 300 Fox Way and struggled with the window. It made it about halfway down before giving up, so Gansey opened the driver's side door and stepped out into the street.
The neighborhood was quiet. Everyone was inside, sheltering from the August heat. Through the kitchen window, Gansey could see Blue, gathering her things. She'd insisted he wait outside, so he stayed put.
Gansey felt a little weird, just standing there, watching, and he opened his mouth to say so. Then he remembered that he was alone.
It was the strangest feeling. For a moment, Gansey had known that there was someone there with him. But there wasn't.
The front door opened, and Blue jogged down the driveway to the Pig.
Gansey shook off the sensation and smiled at her. "Ready to go?"
Adam stood outside of the Barns, his arm looped casually around Ronan's waist. He was watching Blue, Henry, and Gansey argue over the rights to the aux cord, and therefore the music.
"If you shitheads aren't leaving," Ronan said, "you might as well stay for dinner."
"We're leaving," Blue said. She ducked in between the boys, snatched the aux cord and plugged her phone in. "There. Deejay gets shotgun."
This prompted another round of complaints from Henry; Gansey just raised his hands in surrender. Adam knew there was no way he was letting anyone else drive the dreamt-up Pig, anyway.
"Alright," Gansey said. He bumped fists with Adam and clapped Ronan on the back. "Take care."
"Don't die," Ronan said. He and Blue high-fived, and then Blue walked over to hug Adam. Adam wrapped his arms around her briefly, then let go.
"Hands off, Sargent," Ronan said. "You had your chance."
Blue rolled her eyes. "I can murder him for you," she said to Adam. "Shouldn't take long."
Everyone laughed, and for a moment, Adam thought he could hear someone else laughing with them. But it was only the five of them, just the way it had always been.
Adam smiled and shook his head. "I think I'll keep him, thanks."
"Your loss." Blue swung herself into the passenger seat. Henry saluted Adam and Ronan from his place next to the car.
Adam waved back as Henry scrambled into the backseat. Blue rolled down her window, and whistled appreciatively when it didn't stick.
Gansey drove away down the Barn's long driveway. Adam and Ronan watched the car until it was out of sight.
"Finally," Ronan said. "I thought those fuckers would never leave."
Adam elbowed his boyfriend in the ribs and led the way back to the Barns.
Blue was leaning against the Pig with Henry, waiting for Gansey to get back from the restroom. They were at a rest station somewhere in Maryland, and Blue was drinking water out of a metal bottle. Henry had a large iced coffee in a plastic cup, and she had already chewed him out for it.
"So," Henry said. "Twenty questions?"
"Sure," Blue said. "You first." She took another sip of water.
"Biggest pet peeve."
Blue looked at his iced coffee, then raised her eyebrows.
Blue tipped her head back and studied the clouds. "Stupidest thing you've ever done."
"That's a long list." Out of the corner of her eye, Blue saw Henry smile. "Once, when I was… oh, seven, maybe, I tried to jump out of a tree. I was convinced I could fly."
"First kiss?" Henry asked. "Gansey, I'm guessing."
For a moment, Blue hesitated. Her first kiss…
"Yeah," Blue said. "It kind of sucked. You were there."
"As first kisses go," Henry said, "I thought it seemed memorable."
"Oh my god." Blue sighed. "What about you?"
Henry shrugged. "Kissing's not really my thing."
Blue spotted Gansey crossing the parking lot towards them, and she raised her hand in greeting. Henry smiled.
"Let's get this show back on the road, shall we?"