Monday morning Blue leaves Gervais to sleep and makes some coffee. He is contemplating baking when there is a knock at the door. He opens it to Robin’s mom.
“I couldn’t leave two teenagers to deal with all this alone so I made Robin give me the address. I hope you don’t mind.” Robin’s mom says.
“Oh gosh, I am so grateful. Come on in, Gervais is still sleeping, do you want coffee?” Blue asks.
“Yes please. Can you grab my bag from the car?” Robin’s mom asks and walks into the kitchen. Blue brings in the bag, fixes the coffee sits at the kitchen table.
“We have an appointment with the undertaker at 2 and the lawyer after. I’ve got one of those lists off the internet but we’ve not really started going through it yet.” Blue says.
“I’ll come to the appointments and make a start on the list. How is he?” Robin’s mom asks.
“Exhausted, bewildered and mostly angry. He feels cheated and betrayed.” Blue says.
“Poor mite all alone. Let him sleep as much as he needs to. Do you want breakfast?” Robin’s mom asks.
“I was just thinking about baking something, I’m not hungry I thought maybe Gervais would like something sweet.” Blue says.
“You start that and talk me through what the plans are.” Robin’s mom says.
“Gervais dad was fully prepared, he has left instructions for the funeral and cremation. He has a list of his insurance and investments and his will all in the safe ready. Its creepy but I suppose useful.” Blue says.
“So this was expected?” Robin’s mom asks.
“I don’t think so for this tour in particular, Gervais says he’s known where everything legal is since he was 8.” Blue says.
“Good grief. What a burden to put on a small child.” Robin’s mom says.
“He should have put me up for adoption when I was born.” Gervais says listening in the doorway.
Robin’s mom gets up and hugs him.
“I’m here to help, practically, emotionally, whatever you need. I couldn’t let you go through this alone. I’m sure Blue is a great help but you two will just be muddling through, I went through this a few years ago, I know how exhausting and frustrating it is.” Robin’s mom says.
“Thank you, we really appreciate it. Are you sure it’s okay to be away from your family?” Gervais asks.
“Yes of course it is. My goodness I hope I’ve taught them well enough to have empathy in this situation.” Robin’s mom says.
“We’re so clueless that we really appreciate the help. There is so much to do, so many forms to fill for the military parts and the legal stuff. It’s a lot.” Blue says putting his food in the oven and handing a coffee to Gervais.
“It is. Let me have a look at the check list, I imagine most of the form filling is for the military, let’s see what we can get done before we need to go out.” Robin’s mom says, Blue sighs in relief that someone is taking charge and he can now concentrate on Gervais.
“I’ll go get a laptop, Gervais go get the things from the safe babe.” Blue says and Gervais nods, also happy that he has help.
They spend the morning working through the list, Blue makes lunch and then they head out.
Gervais can’t handle the undertakers, just being in the office is creeping him out, and he feels like a fraud being there, being asked to make decisions about a man he didn’t know.
“His father had a policy here.” Blue says passing over the papers.
Gervais watches Blue and tries to listen to what the man and Robin’s mom are saying but his fog is back and he just can’t seem to focus.
“As soon as possible, whatever slot we can get.” Gervais pipes up realizing they are discussing timing.
“Your father wanted a private ceremony and not a military one. Are you happy to go along with his wishes? It would be a lower rate to use a national cemetery.” The undertaker says.
“The plan is paid for and he wanted to be with his wife. We can cover anything not included, its not a question of money but expedience.” Blue says when Gervais can’t answer.
Gervais just nods and reaches for Blue’s hand.
“Take Gervais outside and I’ll finish up in here.” Robin’s mom says and Gervais gets up with relief.
“Babe are you okay?” Blue asks outside.
“That place was weird. I’m grateful my dad has everything sorted out I couldn’t deal with coffins and stuff. Is it weird that he was all about his job, his service when he was alive but in death he wants nothing to do with it?” Gervais asks.
“I think he never got over losing your mom and I imagine he always kept his relationship with her very separate from work.” Blue says.
“1 just don’t know if I am doing what he wanted. He just didn’t talk to me. He never talked to me, its all just legal papers and plans.” Gervais says.
“He’s got most of it planned so you don’t have to make so many choices. He went through all this with your mom and he knew how hard it was. He made sure it was as easy as possible for you. I know he lied about his work and he wasn’t there for you but he’s showing he cared by doing this planning. By having a private Gervais shakes his head.
ceremony you don’t have to host half the military or be polite about a man you didn’t know. He tried, he might have failed over and over but this was clearly him making an effort.” Blue says.
“One conversation, beyond remember everything is in the safe. That’s all I wanted.”
“I know baby, I know.” Blue says holding Gervais close. He knows they will have this conversation over and over and Blue feels less and less inclined to stand up for Gervais dad. I’m sorry we’re supposed to be having a fun summer and you’re stuck helping me.” Gervais says wiping his eyes again.
“This isn’t fun that’s for sure but we’d have had to do it one day. Its just sooner than expected.” Blue says.
“I guess so. I’m so glad its happened when we’re together and now when I was with Jesse.” Gervais says.
“Jesse would have helped and you know it.” Blue says.
“Its easier with you.” Blue says.
“Okay we’ve penciled in the date, I’ll contact the liaison officer again after we speak to the lawyer and firm up the details. The only thing we need to do is supply them with a paragraph about your father for the program. I’ll speak to the liaison officer about his record and use that. I just need his wedding date and your mom’s full name. We’ll use the same for the newspaper.” Robin’s mom says coming outside.
“That sounds nice and easy. Right Gervais?” Blue asks.
“Thank-you. We would be drowning without you. I’m sorry I was no good in there, I just felt so lost.” Gervais says.
“It’s okay, this is a lot to take in and deal with. Lets get some coffee and then go and see the lawyer. This is the hardest part, dealing with all the administration while your head is spinning. I think we should push through but if you want us to slow down we can.” Robin’s mom says.
“I want to get it all done, or as much as we can so I can get up to Blue’s and start the summer. It’s just hard. Its not like I have an opinion on anything. I barely knew my dad, I have to believe what he has set in place is what he wanted.” Gervais says.
“You know I’ll be hugging my kids extra tight when I get home and I’ll be bugging Robin about calling more often but I’ll also be talking to my husband about updating our wills and funeral planning.” Robin’s mom says.
“One of the things that makes me so mad.” Gervais says over coffee.
“What?” Blue asks.
“Is that if my Mom was so amazing and so difficult to get over, wouldn’t she have been mad at him for not being a real dad to me? Wouldn’t she have been disappointed in him?” Gervais asks.
“She’d have been mad at herself for not being here to help him.” Robin’s mom says.
“You’re grieving for her too now. You never had the chance before.” Blue says.
“I don’t feel like myself at all with all this anger in me. When we get to your place I’m going into the woods and screaming.” Gervais laughs.
“You can do it in the car if it’ll help. We’ll turn the music up.” Robin’s mom says.
“1 don’t want to cause an accident.” Gervais smiles.
In the lawyers office Gervais again checks out. He knows he needs to listen but while they’re talking of house appraisals and presenting documents to court he just can’t focus.
“If probate takes so long what should Gervais do for money now? His dad left him some cash and checks for school but it might not last long enough. I can cover him of course but he’ll not be happy about it.” Blue says.
“I deposited the checks with school already, there was a discount for early payment.” Gervais says suddenly looking up worried he’s done something wrong.
“That’s fine, they would have been against your education fund, which you have full access to as you’re the beneficiary. You also have the inheritance from your mother which was to be held in trust until 21 but there is a clause that if the trustee, your father, died after you turned 18 you could have access at that time. I have all the information here. It isn’t enough to retire on but it will more than cover your expenses through school. That along with the veterans benefits when they come in should mean you are all set for a good while yet and probate should be straight forward as you are the sole beneficiary and you’re not expecting any creditors to come forward, the house has no mortgage.” The lawyer says.
“I didn’t know about the inheritance from my mom. How do I have that when she died when I was born?” Gervais asks.
“She made a will once she knew she was pregnant, she had some family money put aside for you and your dad added the hospital settlement to it, didn’t want to touch it himself.” The lawyer says.
“Did you know her?” Gervais asks. “Yes, she worked right up the street and we often had lunch together. She and my late wife were very close, pregnant together.” The lawyer says.
“I’m sorry about your wife.” Gervais says.
“I lost her a week after your mother died, similar circumstances but we lost the child too. I’ve been lucky I found love again and have 3 boys.” The lawyer says and Gervais smiles.
“I remember that scandal, a spate of women dying in childbirth, the hospital at fault. It was a few months after I had Robin and I felt so much grief for those families. I didn’t know you were one of those children Gervais.” Robin’s mom says.
“Neither did l. I always thought it was my fault, I mean I knew not on purpose but I thought my dad hated me for killing my mom.” Gervais says.
“Your father never blamed you not at all. You were the only good thing in his life.” The lawyer says.
“My father didn’t care about me one bit, not at all, he never, ever put me first until he died.” Gervais says angrily and the lawyer looks shocked.
“He did his best.” The lawyer says.
“I think we’ll all disagree on that one. What else do you need from us? What does Gervais need to sign? What about these accounts?” Blue asks pushing things back on track and they soon get back to work.
“I have some pictures of your mom if you’d like them.” The lawyer says as they stand to leave.
“I would love to get some copies made. I’m sorry if I was rude before but it is difficult to reconcile the man everyone else knew and loved with the one who was so cruel to me.” Gervais says.
“I understand. No one outside a family knows what its like inside. I’ll press ahead with everything and be in touch when I need you again.” The lawyer says.
“Thank-you.” Blue says and ushers Gervais outside.
“Well that was a shock.” Robin’s mom says.
“I don’t know much about myself do l?” Gervais says with a laugh.
“You’re so strong. I was so proud of you standing up for yourself today.” Blue says.
“Its hard to believe your mom didn’t have other friends looking out for you.” Robin’s mom puzzles. “I don’t remember anyone, but I hardly went out when I had nannies. I went to school here for a few years but I don’t remember playdates or anything. Its all in the past, I have you guys now and the rest of my college fam. Once we sort everything here I never have to come back ever.” Gervais says.
“I’ve been so worried about you but underneath all that anger you have a lot of positivity. Lets get to the bank before it closes. Do you have your id and everything? Blue do you have all the documents?” Robin’s mom asks chivvying them along.
“What a crazy day.” Blue says as he hands Robin’s mom and Gervais bowls of pasta.
“We got a lot done. You must be exhausted Gervais.” Robin’s mom says.
“I am. I need to go to bed after this. Its really tasty. Why did we never go to Italian places with you?” Gervais asks.
“Because you all wanted diners and burgers and pizza. Noodles if I was lucky.” Blue laughs.
“We could have gone for sushi too.” Gervais says.
‘Robin loves sushi but could eat the whole menu and want more, not ideal on his student budget.” Robin’s mom says.
“I bet there is somewhere good near Spence’s beach house.” Blue says.
“I’m so glad you boys have arranged a vacation, you’ll all need it.” Robin’s mom says.
“I’m really excited and I don’t like beaches much.” Gervais says.
The next few days are a whirlwind of making arrangements and dealing with the legal side. Gervais dad was fully prepared and once probate is granted and everything comes through Gervais will be financially secure for a long time. Makes no impact on Gervais, he wishes his dad could have shown he cared about him half as much when he was alive.
It’s difficult for Gervais every time he hears what a good man his dad was and how proud they are to meet his son. When his effects are returned he had a pictures of his dead wife but none of Gervais and Gervais finds it harder and harder to believe anyone his dad worked with even knew he existed.
Every night Blue tries to help him calm the anger and work through his pain. Robin’s mom gets more and more concerned, she desperately hopes the funeral will help him let his emotion out, draw a line and move on.
She can’t believe what a heartless man Gervais dad was, she remembers how Spence was when he returned from boarding school and how even his parents were moved enough to pull him out. That someone as gentle as Gervais was left there is unfathomable to her and despite not knowing Gervais back then she still feels some guilt that she did nothing to raise awareness of what Spence went through.
Whilst Gervais is still brimming with anger he is aware just how lucky he is to have people here helping him. He wouldn’t survive without Blue in his bed holding him close every night and Robin’s mom dealing with all the practicalities. He’s angry with his dad and with the hand he’s been dealt but he’s also deeply happy that his boyfriend and college family have all shown how much they care.
Gervais knows the pain he is feeling is temporary and his friends will be there a lot longer.
The morning of the funeral is bright and sunny. The college guys start arriving early, Robin arrives with his dad first followed by Spence, Andy and George. Jesse and Elliot show up surprising Gervais who didn’t expect any of them, already there are twice the number of people he expected.
Robin’s mom anticipated Gervais support as well as they military representation and a few neighbors, curious as much as anything file into the largest chapel at the crematorium. Clara arrives with Cheryl and Ocean just before it starts surprising both Gervais and Blue.
The service is over quickly and Gervais looks up at Blue and feels his fog lifting. The worst has happened and Blue is still here right beside him.
“Thank you for sticking with me. For helping me so much.” Gervais whispers.
“You’d do the same for me. No I don’t do it because of that I’m here because I love you, it’s the right thing to do and I want to do all I can to lessen your pain.” Blue says.
“I know. I’m just making sure you know I don’t take it for granted.” Gervais says.
“I know you don’t.” Blue says squeezing Gervais hand tightly.
“Back in their own world.” Robin says to Spence.
“I’m just grateful that they had seen sense and were together before this happened.” Spence says.
“Yeah. They’re so good together. Mom said they’re like a couple who have been married 20 years they know each other so well.” Robin says.
“Pretty incredible of her to drop everything and come up here.” Andy says.
“Dad said she started packing before I was off the phone telling her about it. As far as she’s concerned she was the closest adult relative and had a duty to help.” Robin says.
“I am so glad I have older brothers.” Spence says.
Back at the house once the majority of the guests have left, Robin and his parents, Clara, Cheryl Ocean, the suite guys and George are in the kitchen.
“Hey Ocean come in the yard and show me your handstands, I want to see how well your press is going.” Spence says sensing serious talk coming.
“Hey I’ve not seen your gymnastics at all, I want to see too.” Andy says getting up and Ocean gladly leaves with them.
“I want you to know you always have a home with us Gervais, any school breaks you can come to us, we have room.” Robin’s dad says.
“Are you sure about selling the house? I’m happy to handle it but I’m also happy if you want to wait.” Robin’s mom says.
“This was never my home, look at it, there is nothing of me here.” Gervais says.
“Could we maybe house sit for you? While you’re trying to sell it. We can keep the lawn in shape and it clean and you’ll be less at risk of vandalism.” Jesse says tentatively.
“I thought you were working.” Blue says.
“I am but its just a country club waiting a couple of days a week. It might be easier to get work here and Elliot is having a rough time at home.” Jesse says.
“Being back in the closet, having a fake girlfriend, having to go to church groups and sneaking calls to Jesse is killing me. Sorry. It’s much harder than last summer when sneaking around was fun. Hiding who I am and what I have with Jesse is miserable.” Elliot says.
“It sounds like a fine idea to me. We’ve not shut off the utilities yet. As long as you keep the place super clean and tidy and clear off for the open house.” Robin’s mom says.
“Blue’s been worried about the lawn for weeks and I’d not thought of security. It would be a real weight off our minds. If you’re sure and it won’t cause more conflict for you Elliot.” Gervais says. “No, my family and I get on great when we’re only in contact by phone.” Elliot says.
“And my family will appreciate not having to house and feed me for the summer.” Jesse says.
“You should have said, you could have house sat for my parents.” Spence says coming in to grab some water.
“We only thought of it today when we realized how real everything is for Gervais.” Elliot says.
“I don’t want you to have a miserable summer.” Gervais says quietly.
“If the sale happens fast and you need somewhere else Robin can show you to my place.” Spence says.
“Thanks Spence.” Jesse says.
“You found your Mom’s things?” Momma asks.
“Yeah a sewing box and some photo albums in the attic, that’s it. I was hoping maybe there was something else, clothes, jewelery, something personal, every day you know?” Gervais says.
“The sewing box may have been every day. She might have been making clothes to get ready for you.” Momma says.
“If she did I don’t think my dad kept them. There are no pictures of me in them, or at all.” Gervais says breaking everyone’s hearts.
“And yet you turned out a fine young man who can do anything.” Robin’s dad says.
“So you’re able to come home today?” Momma asks.
“Yes, I’ve packed up all I want, which isn’t much.” Gervais says.
“Don’t worry about a thing, we’ll sort the clearance and sale. If we find anything that might have been your moms we’ll save it.” Robin’s mom says.
“I’ll drive your mom back, we’re making a few stops on the way and we’ll get the bulk order as your car will be so full.” Cheryl says.
“Cool, we need to get Andy’s things from Spence’s car then we’ll be ready. If you’re up to it?” Blue asks Gervais.
“I want to get out of here. We’ve done as much as we can on the legal and financial side. Thanks to all of you for helping out. I didn’t expect any of you to be here today, my dad certainly didn’t deserve so many people there, he might have been a military hero but he wasn’t mine.” Gervais says.
“We’ll work on that resentment this summer.” Momma warns.
“Blue warned me you’d be fixing me without me knowing.” Gervais laughs lightening the mood.
“Take care and call me when you get there. I’ll be in touch about the house.” Robin’s mom says pulling Gervais into a big hug.
“I can never thank you enough. Showing up like you did was amazing. We would never have managed it without you.” Gervais says hugging her hard.
They get the cars packed, Robin and his family set off first, then Jesse and Elliot followed by Cheryl, Ocean and Momma leaving.
“George I’m so glad you’re here. I’m sorry I didn’t really get to speak to you after you know.” Blue says as he’s loading the trunk.
“Its fine you were busy being superman.” George says blushing, he’s so excited to see Blue again.
“I wanted to let you know you were amazing and I enjoyed every moment. You are going to make some man really happy.” Blue says giving him a huge hug.
“Thanks for everything, for letting me be with you both and for being so gentle and helpful. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better first time.” George says quietly, stuttering out the words.
“You are adorable. I hope you find someone this summer to have some fun with at least.” Blue says.
George watches Blue walk back to Gervais and sighs, he can’t imagine anyone but Blue in his future.
He loved how soft Gervais skin was and how he controlled everything but it has not brought on a deeper attraction, Blue still holds his full attention. He feels terrible for being jealous of Gervais right now but he is.
“Gervais when you’re up to it get in touch about the game, Robin and I started this week and we’ll need you.” George says.
“For sure, I’ll be pretty busy, like you I guess but it’ll be good to have something to focus on.” Gervais says.
“Call any time. I’ll miss seeing your sweet face around the place.” Blue says hugging his nerdy friend.
Gervais hugs George too and they both give Spence long hugs. He and George are going straight to camp.
“You okay?” Blue asks Andy once they set off.
“Yeah I am going to miss him like crazy, some nights you two might get a visitor in bed when I’m lonely and need a hug. But I’m ready for some family time and freedom from classes.” Andy says.
“Totally. No need to study, no classes, no homework, bliss.” Gervais says sounding like himself again.
“No more drama.” Blue says.
“This year has been enough for 10 lifetimes.” Gervais says smiling at Blue.