“We have the floor meeting in ten.” Robin says to Blue, the two have been napping on Blue’s bed, snuggled together. Sheer heaven for Blue.
“Okay.” Blue says sitting up. “You go with your friends, I’ll see if I can get Gervais to come.”
“Sure. Thanks for being so comfy.” Robin says with a smile. Blue’s heart soars, maybe there is hope.
The boys get up and shake the sleep off. Just as they’re ready to go Spence and Andy knock on the door. Robin goes with them and Blue walks over to Gervais room.
“Gervais, it’s Blue, time for the floor meeting.” Blue says knocking, hoping Gervais isn’t wearing his headphones.
“Do I have to?” Gervais asks opening the door.
“Yeah, you’re not letting me walk in alone.” Blue jokes.
“As it’s you asking nicely.” Gervais jokes back.
“Been having fun all alone?” Blue asks as they start walking downstairs.
“Well I was partying with my friends but they had to go back to Canada.” Gervais laughs.
They eventually find the right room, this dorm has a lot of facilities including meeting rooms. They quickly sit down behind the other 3. Blue’s fears are realized, they are the only guys. The two RA’s introduce themselves as Anna and Mike and run through the usual rules and practicalities. The boys try and listen but are totally bored. Gervais is wondering why Blue dragged him along, not that he minds hanging with Blue he really likes him and is very excited to already have a friend at school, more than he managed in 4 years at rep school.
The RAs are telling them about all the facilities and how to book them and finally as the boys think they might fall asleep they open up for questions and shit hits the fan.
“I don’t understand why there are men on the floor. It is supposed to be a safe floor. Men on the floor make us feel very unsafe and uncomfortable.” A girl stands and says shocking the 5 guys.
Blue and Spencer stand up.
“We’re gay, we are not interested. There is no need to feel unsafe.” Spence says.
“You are clearly not all gay and you are already causing friction between the girls. You all have penises, you don’t belong here.” The girl spouts on.
“The only straight one in our suite has a girlfriend and we really are no threat to anyone. This is supposed to be an inclusive floor for all of us and you’re making us feel excluded and attacked. There is no reason for us to be causing any friction.” Blue says, He and Spence sit back down.
“You’re so fucking entitled. Everyone should feel safe in their dorm, your presence is making us feel unsafe. You need to go. MEN OUT! MEN OUT!” A second girl stands and says before chanting.
“Let’s go.” Gervais says quietly, Blue nods and the 5 of them walk out shocked at the unexpectedness of a welcome meeting being anything but.
“What even was that? Do those girls know what this floor is supposed to be? There are girls only floors.” Andy says exasperated.
“I really like my room, this is a cool suite and I don’t want to leave.” Robin says.
“I don’t want to deal with a mob of bullies every day.” Gervais says quietly.
Spencer looks up at him for a minute.
“You were at St Brendans with me. It’s Gervais right? I left after the first year. I think we both went through enough bullying to last a life time.” Spence says.
“I had 3 more years of it.” Gervais says quietly.
“Which is why you need your single room and to feel safe. It’s probably why you chose this floor. I’m really sorry you had to stay on, you didn’t deserve any of that shit.” Spence says showing far more sensitivity than Blue expected.
Gervais just nods, Blue reaches out and slips his arm around his new friend. Gervais bites his lip to not flinch, he likes Blue a lot but still feels uncomfortable being too close to anyone.
“So what do we do?” Andy asks.
“What do we want?” Blue asks.
“What are the options?” Robin asks.
“We stay and those girls leave for being intolerant. We stay and they stay. We ask to be moved to an inclusive floor in a different dorm.” Blue begins.
“We move off campus.” Spence suggests.
“We get split up and fit in wherever they have space.” Gervais says quietly.
“I’m not sharing with anyone other than Andy.” Spence says.
“That goes for me about you. I like all you guys I want us to stick together.” Andy says.
“Yes sticking together is important. Gervais needs to be with friendly people, hell so do I. Robin might be straight but he could get a lot of hassle with the wrong roommate.” Spence says.
“I’d be fine.” Robin replies rolling his eyes.
“No you wouldn’t if you were landed with a jerk.” Blue says getting what Spence means.
There is a knock on the door and Anna and Mike come in.
“We are so sorry about what happened downstairs.” Anna says.
“We had no idea the ratio would be so off and cause these issues.” Mikes says.
“That bigoted bitch caused the issues.” Spence says.
“Was there some mix up? Did they get put on this floor by mistake?” Blue asks.
“Some of them have been through assaults and having you guys in their living space is causing anxiety. You shouldn’t judge them.” Mike says.
“There are women only floors.” Andy says confused.
“We’ll talk to the housing office for you to manage the move.” Mike says.
“Why? This is the inclusive floor, in the freshmen honors dorm, we’re gay men in the honors college and we qualify to be here.” Spence says raising his voice.
“But we can’t have people feeling uncomfortable in their living space, which includes you guys. Everyone deserves to feel safe and that is especially true for victims of assault.” Mike says raising his voice to match.
“Andy, Gervais and I have all been brutally attacked for who we are. That is why we’re here. That is why I’m at this school. I might not look like someone anyone would mess with anymore but that doesn’t mean all my scars have healed. Fuck Robin is straight and still suffered homophobic name calling throughout high school. We deserve to be free from that shit and to feel safe too.” Spence says.
“We all signed an agreement to be tolerant, we had to when we accepting rooms on this floor. Anyone who isn’t can be removed from the dorm and from school.” Gervais says quietly.
“You want the girls expelled before classes start? That will hardly make this more bearable for you.” Anna says.
“Right now this is all hypothetical. You don’t know what housing is available. Come back when you have a real plan. We need some real reassurance that we won’t be split up.” Blue says.
“No one can guarantee you’ll be able to stay together.” Mike says.
“Until they can we’ll be staying here.” Spence says ending the conversation.
“What a croc of shit.” Andy says once they leave.
“I want to stay even more now just to fuck with them.” Gervais says.
“Me too. Let’s go eat and talk down there.” Blue says feeling hungry.
“Good idea.” Spence says.
“I uh sent a video of earlier to some guy at the paper and he wants to come over and meet us.” Andy says.
“I didn’t notice you doing that.” Blue says.
“No one was looking at me once you two stood up” Andy says.
“When?” Spence asks.
“Now, I’ll meet him downstairs and bring them through to meet you in the dining hall.” Andy says checking his phone.
“Are you okay?” Blue whispers to Gervais as they walk down the stairs.
“Yeah, I’m always pretty anxious but this is crazy shit and I’m surviving. I’ll be okay” Gervais says.
“Is there a veggie option tonight?” Blue asks one of the servers.
“Sure, Tofu burger or Lasagna?” The server replies.
“Lasagna please.” Blue asks with a big smile.
“Sure thing.” The server, a sexy gay senior on workstudy replies and smiles at the cute freshman before he heads back to heat up the meal.
As he waits for his meal Blue spots the girl who started the hassle earlier coming in.
“One veggie lasagna. Always ask if you don’t see something, we always keep more vegetarian and vegan options out back along with the kosher meals and the like.” The server says.
“Thanks so much. I hate to be a pain.” Blue says.
“No problem. Anything to break up the monotony. I’m Brad I’m here Sundays from lunch on and Friday for breakfast.” Brad says.
“I guess I’ll see you Friday then.” Blue says with another broad smile.
Blue swipes his card, grabs some cutlery and walks towards the other guys midway back the trouble girl throws a burger at his tray, it lands smack in the middle of the lasagna. Blue cannot believe someone can be so ridiculous and that he is facing this kind of shit in college.
Brad dumps his meal and sits with the others his appetite gone.
“Did that seriously just happen?” A guy Blue doesn’t recognize says as Blue sits down.
“I guess so.” Blue says bewildered.
“This is John and Rachel from the paper.” Andy says.
“Shame you threw it away. I could have taken a picture. What a cunt.” Rachel says.
“So you’ve been here a day and you’re being victimized for being vegetarian as well as what happened earlier. Are you thinking of dropping out?” John asks.
“I’ve not even been to class yet. This situation is fucking ridiculous.” Blue says.
“It is.” Brad says putting a fresh meal in-front of Blue and sitting down.
“Thanks.” Blue says.
“No problem. What caused this shit?” Brad asked.
Andy hands Brad his phone with the video playing.
“You’re on the inclusive floor and you had to face that your first day? Holy shit.” Brad says.
“All your hard work was in vain.” Rachel says.
The freshmen look at her questioningly.
“Brad was part of the group that pushed for more inclusive floors. Especially in the freshmen dorms.” Rachel says.
“Not for this to happen. I don’t understand, there are and have always been girl’s floors. There are what 2 floors for each sex a, a mixed floor and an inclusive floor in this dorm?” Brad says and everyone nods.
The RAs Mike and Anna arrive and look worried at the sight of Rachel and John. They sit down warily.
“Was it some sort of administrative thing? More honors girls this year so they had to use the floor for them?” Rachel asks.
“No we checked. Do you have to run this? We are trying to contain things.” Anna says.
“Did you really ask them to move?” John asks.
“It was a mistake, we panicked. We thought we’d have a week before people started demanding new roommates and tried sneaking in too much booze.” Mike says.
“I really hope things calm down and the worst are asked to leave. Here is my number call me if anything else happens or if you just need to talk.” Brad says to Blue handing him a napkin.
“Thanks.” Brad says smiling.
“There is a LGBTQ society meeting on Tuesday evening. You should all come.” Brad says before heading back to his job.
“We’re going to talk to some of the girls, see if we can get the full story.” Rachel says and she leaves with John.
“Is it true about the burger?” Mike asks.
“News travels fast.” Robin says.
“We need you to make a formal complaint. I’ll come by with some forms later.” Mike says.
“Please know that things are not usually like this. I’m gay and never had any of this sort of hassle.” Anna says and they leave.
“So we really are going to stay.” Gervais says.
“Storm in a teacup.” Andy says.
“Burger in a veggie lasagna.” Blue laughs.
“You handled that so well. Especially as you didn’t have that shit at your high school.” Gervais says.
“I was too shocked to react. What a waste of food.” Blue laughs.
“And you got a cute guys number.” Robin teases.
“He was just being friendly.” Blue says blushing a little.
“He is cute.” Gervais says looking over at Brad.
“Will you call him?” Andy asks.
“I’m sure he didn’t mean it like that.” Blue says.
“Let’s go explore. They said there were rec rooms as well as the gym.” Spencer suggests.
The five leave and do just that. Spencer and Robin like the look of the gym. They all have a laugh at Blue who claims to only ever have swum in a lake and never a pool and hates the smell. They find the study rooms, library and finally a rec room with pool tables, big screen TVs and comfy couches.
“Now we are for sure not leaving.” Spencer says turning on a TV.
The guys play pool together, the room to themselves. Spence and Blue keep checking Gervais is okay.
“Stop babying me. Yes I had a shit time at prep, far worse than either of you can imagine. Yes I often want to be alone. Yes I have anxiety and find a lot of situations difficult. But I am able to take myself away when I’m not happy. When I agree to do things with you or spend time in the living area upstairs then I am feeling social, let me be and don’t act like I’ll break. When I need to be alone I will be. You are the first people to treat me as human since I was 13 and I don’t want that to change.” Gervais says.
“Sorry, I hate to think of you being unhappy or uncomfortable.” Blue says.
“I feel so guilty leaving you at that school. I know we weren’t friend and it wasn’t like I could actually get you out of there. I know how hard it was to get over one year, 4 must have been hell.” Spencer says.
“It wasn’t your fault. Just please don’t treat me differently.” Gervais says and the others nod.
Tired, its been a super long day they head upstairs only to find their door has been covered in homophobic slurs and even the word rapist. Andy takes a picture and calls Mike.
A few girls hear the noise and come out to see them.
“We are really sorry and want you to know it really isn’t everyone against you.” The first girl Cassie says.
“We think it’s sick, especially on this floor.” The second girl Alesha says.
“We’re all uncomfortable now at what the religious whack jobs will do when they see us with girlfriends.” The third girl Simone says.
“Yeah we’ll be the next target if you leave.” Alesha says.
“Thanks, we honestly had no idea what we’d done or why this was happening. Glad to know not everyone hates us.” Blue says.
“Did anyone see who did it?” Mike says coming down the hall.
Everyone shakes their heads.
“I have the incident forms, can you each do one for the meeting, the canteen incident and I guess just a joint one for the door. Then just drop them under my door it’s late.” Mike says.
“Sure. Hey at least sorting out drunks and room swaps will be easy after this.” Robin jokes.
“I wish.” Mike laughs as he leaves.
The guys say goodnight to the girls and head inside they all make their way to bed.
“I’m glad Gervais isn’t actually a ghost.” Robin says to Blue as he gets undressed.
“Me too. I really like him.” Blue says.
“You two could be cute together or are you holding out for Brad?” Robin laughs.
“I think you are way too invested in my love life, which actually doesn’t exist.” Blue laughs.
“Hey mine is 3 hours away.” Robin protests.
“Climb in if you need a substitute cuddle.” Blue says surprising himself but needed contact himself after the weird day.
Robin gets into bed with Blue straight away and curls in front of him, little spoon to Blue’s big. Blue squeezes Robin tight for a second and laughs before loosening up. They snuggle together and soon drift off.