Nothing changes but the weather. The air turns much colder and Thanksgiving arrives.
“Blue could we borrow your car for Thanksgiving? I know it’s a big ask but we’re going to Dylan’s house and he has to stay longer as he has some job interviews. We could bring Deke back too.” Elliot says.
“Of course it’s no problem. George’s parents are collecting us and Andy will go in Spence’s car.” Blue says.
“Thanks so much we promise we won’t get run off the road by mad perverts.” Jesse says.
“You better not.” Blue laughs.
“What’s happening?” Andy asks coming in to the room.
“These two want to borrow the car for thanksgiving. I take it you don’t need it.” Blue says.
“It’s fine with me. Are you not driving to George’s house?” Andy asks.
“His parents are coming up, they want a tour.” Blue smiles.
“Your first Thanksgiving.” Andy says.
“Oh wow I forgot you don’t celebrate any holidays.” Jesse says.
“We celebrate new year.” Blue laughs.
“Still it’s a big deal. Hope you enjoy it and thanks for the car.” Elliot says.
“Let me get you the keys.” Blue says going to his room.
“Stay and watch the movie with us.” Jesse says when Blue comes back.
“No I better not.” Blue says.
“We never see you anymore. With no Sunday dinners and you not coming to clubbing and climbing.” Elliot says.
“You never just hang out.” Jesse says.
“I guess I’m just busy.” Blue shrugs.
“Thanks for showing us where we are on your priority list.” Elliot jokes.
“No time for friends, no time to bake, no time for family, no coming out, no group meals. What are you spending your time on?” Andy asks making everyone uncomfortable.
“Study, George, Yoga. I’m sorry I’ve not spoken to Katelyn much. I did send her some clothes and nail stuff a couple of times.” Blue says.
“She feels like you’ve dropped her now you have a real sister.” Andy says.
“I was being spread too thin. I’m struggling to balance things and I need to put study and George first. I’m sorry. I have to go.” Blue says. He hates that George gets jealous even when he talks to Katelyn. Still he’ll be able to spoil her over winter break and spend time with Andy.
Blue sits at his desk in his empty room. George is at his robotics club. Maybe it would be okay to just watch a movie with his friends. Maybe he could make some cookies too. Blue smiles to himself, he has supplies as he planned to bake something for George’s parents but hadn’t got around to it.
George can’t complain about him baking for his parents.
“I’m making some cookies and shortbread for George’s parents. Do you want me to make something for you to take for Dylan’s parents?” Blue asks.
“That would be great, we had no idea what to get them as a gift. We thought any flowers or wine in our budget would be trash to them.” Jesse says.
“So we’ve panicked and have a nice photo of Dylan and DeShawn after a game. Then we worried that not having Deke in it would be rude.” Elliot says.
“Then we worried Dylan’s parents don’t know they’re a thruple.” Jesse says.
“Maybe he invited us so it’s like a group thing.” Elliot says.
“I’ll bake something. I have some nice tins. If you can get some ribbon tomorrow you’ll be all set. Maybe pick up some nice coffee if you see a place.” Blue suggests.
“We really have missed you.” Elliot smiles.
“You’ve saved our asses twice tonight.” Jesse says.
“No problem.” Blue smiles and gets to work.
As soon as the first batch is cooking Andy bursts out.
“He’s back! He is back in the kitchen.” Andy cries out and does a kind of war dance all around the room making Elliot and Jesse cry with laughter.
As Blue lifts the first tray out and slips the next in Andy appears behind him and hugs him tightly.
“Careful we’ll get burned.” Blue says laughing trying not to drop anything.
Andy tries to steal a cookie as Blue moves them to the cooling rack and Blue slaps his hand away.
Andy starts kissing Blue’s neck and pleading just as George comes through the door. Blue tenses instantly. Andy is shocked at the physical reaction and backs straight off.
“What are you doing?” George asks.
“Baking some cookies for Thanksgiving, for your parents and Dylan’s parents.” Blue says.
“And for my belly. Your boyfriend is amazing.” Andy says trying to diffuse the atmosphere and stop himself freaking out inside.
“Did you make shortbread for my mom?” George asks.
“The dough is in the fridge, I’ll bake it next.” Blue says.
“How long will you be?” George asks.
“Not long, all the mixes are done, just the baking and cooling to do. I just need to sort out the containers.” Blue says.
George rolls his eyes and goes to their room.
“You two in a fight?” Elliot asks.
“No.” Blue says quietly.
“Chilly.” Jesse says.
“No wonder you didn’t get along when you shared a room.” Elliot says.
“I used to be messy just to annoy him.” Jesse says smiling.
“I’m sorry if I’ve caused an issue.” Andy says quietly.
“You were just being you. I should have known better. I should have done it yesterday when you were out.” Blue says.
“There are weird lines in your relationship.” Andy says.
“Well it is my relationship.” Blue says not wanting to know Andy’s opinion.
“I hope he is worth losing everyone for.” Andy says and goes to his room. He starts to message Gervais and Robin everything that went down.
“You’re making George sound like some abusive monster. It’s GEORGE.” Gervais texts back.
“But something isn’t right.” Robin replies.
“When we get back we’ll force them into some activities.” Gervais says.
“What if its too late?” Andy asks.
“It’s not too late. We can get to the bottom of it over break.” Gervais says.
Andy lies back and replays everything again in his head. Blue was frightened. How can Blue be frightened of George? Why is he with George? Why are Robin and Gervais not that concerned?
Andy has a difficult time coming up. His mom has just moved into her own apartment and has asked him to visit. He really wants to talk to Blue about it. Spence is great but doesn’t understand why he is giving his mom another chance. Blue understands more about why his mom kept picking these types of guys and how hard it is to break away.
Shit the irony of Blue understanding abusive relationships and seemingly falling in to one. George has isolated him and is controlling him. He’s totally setting them up to be them against the world and then the violence starts. What if it already has? No George is half Blue’s side he could never do it.
Andy thinks about all the other bad signs and vows to force Blue to be part of the group when he gets back from Thanksgiving with Spence’s family.
In the morning Blue is excited to see George’s parents again. He gets ready and as he’s putting his coat on George looks at him with disdain.
“You’re not coming. My Gram is going to be there and she doesn’t know about you yet. About me. I don’t want to give her a shock.” George says.
Blue wrinkles his brow.
“Couldn’t you tell me before?” Blue asks.
“What so you could go and fuck Andy or Gervais? I don’t think so. You need to stay here and think about your attitude. Being with Andy like that was disgusting and totally disrespectful.” George says.
“I said sorry a thousand times.” Blue says.
“You still did it.” George says steely.
“But I have leant my car to Jesse and the dining hall will be shut.” Blue says.
“Well you can keep the shortbread. Though you could stand to lose a few pounds. Chris is absolutely the hotter twin.” George says and walks out.
Blue sits back on the bed with a sigh. He knows this can’t go on. He pulls off his coat, grabs the tin of shortbread and goes to see if everyone else has left. All the rooms are empty, no one even said goodbye. He is about to turn on the TV when he hears one of the showers running. Gervais comes out a few minutes later.
“I thought everyone had gone.” Blue says.
“I slept late, I’m about to meet Chris and Bea now.” Gervais says.
“I thought you were going with Robin.” Blue says.
“Chris invited me. I’m meeting with Robin and his mom on Sunday.” Gervais says.
“So you’ll be meeting my dad, before I do.” Blue says surprised at how much it stings.
“Oh Blue I didn’t think.” Gervais says kicking himself. He’s been totally focusing on meeting Chris’s parents and totally didn’t think how it also meant he was meeting Blue’s biological father.
“Here I have a spare tin of shortbread. Maybe they’ll like them, or you can eat them in the car.” Blue says shoving the box at Gervais and running to his room.
Gervais stands rooted to the spot for a second. His phone chirps, Chris is getting impatient. Gervais is sure George’s parents will be here soon and so grabs his bag and runs out the door.
Blue lies back on his bed and cries. Through everything he hasn’t wanted to meet his father, because he sounds awful, until now. Gervais getting to meet him makes him into a real person and he just feels rejected all over again. Why didn’t Bea invite him? His own fault he’s not seen her for a couple of weeks and he never reached out to Chris. He deserves to be alone.
“I’m sorry guys I can’t come.” Gervais says to Chris and Bea.
“Why not? You’re all packed.” Chris says indicating Gervais bag.
“It doesn’t feel right, meeting your parents before Blue meets them. I’m sorry I couldn’t live with it.” Gervais says.
“I didn’t even think of that. I’ve been so focused on meeting Clara. Blue has never mentioned wanting to meet them.” Bea says.
“I didn’t think at all. I kind of forget he exists given we never see him.” Chris says.
“So you’re not mad?” Gervais asks.
“No you’re right it wouldn’t be right. I’ll miss you like crazy. Call me every minute.” Chris says hugging Gervais close.
“See you in a few days.” Bea smiles and Gervais waves them both off before turning to go back inside.
He puts coffee on then sits down and takes a piece of shortbread and smiles as he eats it waiting for his drink to brew.
Blue stops crying for a second hearing a noise, wipes his face hastily and goes into the main room.
“What happened?” Blue asks.
“Coffee is just made and your cookies are amazing. Come join me.” Gervais says.
Blue smiles and pours two cups and brings them over.
“I couldn’t do it. I’d have spent all weekend seeing your shocked face in my head. They understood your siblings are good guys.” Gervais says.
“l like Bea, I haven’t been able to get to know Chris yet. Things are good with you two?” Blue asks.
“Yeah really good. Thanks for giving us some space that really helped us work through this. Are George’s parents stuck in traffic?” Gervais asks.
“They left ages ago.” Blue says.
“And you are still here because?” Gervais asks.
“George disinvited me when it was too late to make other plans.” Blue says calmly.
“He was going to leave you here alone?” Gervais asks.
“You thought you were going to be here alone.” Blue says.
“We are destined to spend Thanksgiving together.” Gervais says.
“Please don’t tell George.” Blue says.
“Please dump George.” Gervais says.
“And be all alone?” Blue says.
“You’re the one who dropped everyone.” Gervais says.
“I had to put my relationship first and running to you or Andy or Robin with my problems was disrespectful to George.” Blue says quietly.
“Andy said you were terrified last night when George came in when he was hugging you.” Gervais says.
“I shouldn’t have been around Andy.” Blue says quietly.
“If you don’t dump him I am going to call your momma to come and get you. You’re a mess. You’ve completely lost yourself. You’re not doing anything you love or spending time with those of us who love you. College shouldn’t be like this.” Gervais says.
“If I break up with George I’ll have to move out of the suite, I’d be living in Jesse’s room away from you all with slobby roommates and a microwave that looks like it contains a science experiment. I’ll be alone every weekend because you are all in relationships. You’ll only call when you have a problem or want me to cater a meal. I don’t want my sty life but I really don’t see why I should have a worse one.” Blue says.
“So you’ve been doing all this to cling to a guy you don’t even care for just so you’re not alone? Why would you move out? You got us all in here. Just have George and Robin switch rooms again.” Gervais says.
“If we both stayed you’d all take sides and the atmosphere would be awful.” Blue says.
“We’d all be on your side.” Gervais shrugs.
“And George would be miserable. I couldn’t do that to him. It was awful for me when everyone was on your side. I wouldn’t wish that on George, he doesn’t deserve that, whatever you think of him. You used to be good friends.” Blue says.
“So you are staying with him to what, have a clean room?” Gervais asks.
“You could take Dylan’s room.” Gervais says.
“And have to deal with Miles? I’d worry he’d kill me in his sleep.” Blue says.
“Now he has John I doubt he’d care.” Gervais says.
“I’m not your problem to solve. You never accept me for who I am. I always have to be who you expect me to be.” Blue says.
“Blue please don’t stay with him when he treats you like this. You of all people know what it takes to recover from this sort of relationship. He has isolated you textbook style. He fucked around and you are the one punished for it, you know what’s coming. Get out now while we all still care enough to help.” Gervais says.
“We fucked around.” Blue says quietly.
“But George has no idea about that.” Gervais says.
“But I know and I know that I deserve to be treated badly because what we did meant something.” Blue says quietly before leaving for his room.
Gervais finishes his drink and leaves messages for Andy and Robin to call when they can. Thank goodness he changed his mind and stayed here, Blue should not be alone right now, he’s a complete mess.
“You know one way to break them up but it risks you and Chris.” Robin says later.
“What?” Gervais asks knowing what Robin will say.
“Tell him you want him back. Tell him you won’t do anything until your boyfriends are back and you can breakup with them in person and once he’s rid of George tell him you can’t do it to Chris.” Robin says.
“I couldn’t do that. If Chris found out he would leave me and he and Blue would never have a chance to be friends.” Gervais says.
“I knew it was a long shot. I feel sick about it. Since everything came out and I broke up with Bea its been too awkward between us. I go to yoga with him and Deke each week but he barely talks to either of us and never stays for dinner with Cheryl anymore.” Robin says.
“Seriously? So that’s why he hasn’t been leaving me food. Why didn’t any of you try and stop me going home with Chris and Bea?” Gervais asks.
“I honestly didn’t think of it. I still don’t think of Chris your boyfriend being Kit Blue’s brother.” Robin says.
“Same, his face when he said it. I just wanted to hold him tight and make it better. I could just see the shock and rejection flowing through him. Do you think I should call Clara?” Gervais asks.
“Do it right now or I will. Are you still coming on Sunday? Will you bring Blue?” Robin asks.
“If I have to drug him and drag him.” Gervais says.
“See you then. I’ll call him now and keep him talking while you talk to Clara.” Robin says.
“Gervais how lovely to hear from you. How is everything?” Clara asks.
“With me its great but not with Blue.” Gervais says and outlines everything.
“He refused to go to therapy, the official qualified sort or one of Cheryl’s friends. He barely talks to me, he doesn’t talk to Katelyn and Roe and now you’re saying he has no support network at all and is in the depths of an emotionally abusive relationship.” Clara clarifies.
“He does his yoga classes but that is it. Yesterday was the first time he’d done any cooking in ages and Andy said he was terrified of George. What can I do?” Gervais asks.
“You know I wasn’t that supportive of your relationship. Felt that you were both far too consumed by it for it to be healthy. I was relieved when you left I thought it was the best thing for both of you. Thank you for being there for him even when you’re not together. You’ve grown a lot since the summer and whilst I am sad that Blue isn’t the one to benefit from your new maturity I am glad Kit is and it’s clear your relationship with him isn’t quite so all encompassing, you both have space for others.” Clara says.
“Yeah it is a lot less intense with Chris. I love him though. But what should I do for Blue?” Gervais asks.
“Take him to Cheryl’s get some good homely food in him and don’t talk about George for the rest of the holiday. Do fun things together, go to a movie, make yourselves some lovely meals, play your ridiculous videogames with him and just remind him what a good friend you are and how to have fun. It’s only a couple of weeks and you’ll be up here and I can deal with it. I take it you’re still coming.” Clara says.
“I am and I can do all that. Bea wants to come for part of winter break.” Gervais says and Clara’s face is filled with sunshine.
“Tell her she is always welcome. I’ll arrange transport if she needs to come later than you boys. What about Kit? What’s he like?” Clara asks in a moment of unguardedness.
“Chris looks so like Blue it’s unreal, I can’t believe I didn’t realize or chose not to. They have some similar traits, humor, they laugh in the exact same way. Chris is money driven in a way Blue will never be and he can be cold and he can be entitled. But mostly he is easy to be with and I think he’s a good guy. He’s not as smart as Blue and Bea and he doesn’t have the same drive they have. I think maybe life is easier for him because he isn’t hard on himself like those two are.” Gervais says.
“So other than the money he isn’t like his father.” Cheryl says.
“And the height, but you knew that from Blue.” Gervais laughs.
“You can call me any time, I hope you consider me a friend. This really is your home as long as you need it.” Clara says.
“Believe me I am very grateful. You have given me roots.” Gervais says.
“I’m glad. Now go and show my son a good time. If all else fails take him for ice-cream, or buy him an ice-cream maker, I’ll reimburse you.” Clara laughs.
“I will. He nursed me through last thanksgiving. I will do my best to take care of him.” Gervais says.