Gervais lies back and thinks everything through. He’s so mad at himself and Spence, Andy and Robin for letting things get so far. They knew Blue needed them and they all let him go. They all accepted him drifting off, sure they’ve talked about missing him but none of them have done anything.
“Come on we’re going to Cheryl’s place for lunch and then going to see if the stores have any food left. Then maybe a movie.” Gervais says pushing open Blue’s door.
“You won’t tell George.” Blue says.
“No Blue Sky I won’t.” Gervais says.
“I’m starving.” Blue says smiling.
“Me too.” Gervais says pulling Blue up off his bed and holding him close. For a minute Gervais feels like he can feel all of Blue’s fears. Still he’ll do as Clara suggested and not bring it up. A fun day is what Blue needs.
“Do I look fat in these jeans?” Blue asks as they head out the door.
“No and since when did you have body issues?” Gervais asks.
“Since you started dating the thinner twin. Hotter twin.” Blue says and Gervais gasps.
“You don’t seriously compare yourself to him like that? And you think I’m that shallow?” Gervais asks devastated to think Blue is having such low thoughts.
“I know it’s true. I don’t know how he looks better thinner. I look awful when my weight drops.” Blue says.
“Because you are all muscle and have nothing to lose. You’re equally hot just a little different and you know I didn’t choose him over you. He chose me.” Gervais says.
“But he does get called the hotter twin.” Blue says.
“Yeah, by himself.” Gervais laughs.
“And the others.” Blue says.
“No one has ever said it, ever. Now stop getting me to boost your ego and lets get some food.” Gervais says.
Ocean throws himself at the boys the second they step through the door.
“Are you boyfriends again?” Ocean asks hopefully.
“No we’re just friends. Want to join us for lunch?” Gervais asks knowing having the little one around will help keep the mood light.
“Yes please I am having bananas with bananas.” Ocean says.
“Bananas with bananas eh? That’ll give you banana poo.” Blue says.
“And banana farts.” Ocean giggles still not tired of toilet humor.
The order at the counter and give Cheryl a wave before sitting down. Blue looks relaxed and comfortable in safe surroundings. The café has always been somewhere he can be himself. Gervais just worries more at just how tense Blue was before they got here.
Even though he’s getting too big Ocean climbs onto Blue’s lap and starts playing with Blue’s ears and hair. Gervais watches them for a minute, he can’t wait to see Blue as a dad.
Cheryl brings the food over and sits down herself.
“See bananas and bananas.” Ocean says with a big grin looking at his bowl of plantain and rice and his banana smoothie.
“Looks good. I might have your lunch instead of mine.” Blue says with a grin.
“Nooooo.” Ocean cries out trying to cover the bowl with his arms.
“I bet I could eat it in one bite.” Blue says waving his fork.
Ocean scrambles off Blue’s lap and moves his lunch to the far end of the table.
Cheryl and Gervais laugh at the pair and Gervais relaxes seeing the real Blue is still in there.
“We are closed tonight until Tuesday so I have a fair amount of leftovers you can take. We’ve been quiet today.” Cheryl says.
“I love you. We have nothing to eat as we both planned to be away.” Blue says.
“It was a lovely surprise to see you. This one has been going stir crazy under my feet.” Cheryl says.
“Are you going away?” Gervais asks.
“Yes up to stay with his paternal grandparents.” Cheryl says.
“Ouch.” Blue says.
“They adore him, though I have to watch them like hawks as they try and give him hotdogs and pastrami sandwiches.” Cheryl rolls her eyes.
“I don’t eat stinky meat, only stinky feet.” Ocean sings to himself.
“I think he’s old enough to say no.” Gervais smiles.
“You’d think they’d learn after giving him a corndog telling him it was a tofu dog and having to deal with him throwing up all night.” Cheryl sighs.
“It was icky sicky.” Ocean says poking out his tongue.
“What happened to your plans?” Cheryl asks.
“I was going to go home with Chris and Bea until Blue pointed out that would mean I met his family before he did. So I stayed home.” Gervais says.
“I didn’t mean to ruin your weekend.” Blue says.
“You didn’t, I now get to have a big catch up with you. We can hang out in our underwear and eat junk and watch the movies that we pretend we don’t like to our boyfriends. Plus it was much too soon for me to meet the parents.” Gervais says and is rewarded with a huge smile from Blue.
“That sounds wonderful though you might want to wear clothes, snow is on the way.” Cheryl says.
“We’ll wrap up in our comforters.” Blue smiles and Gervais feels like he’s won his friend back already.
“Then on Sunday if the roads are okay we’re driving down to see Robin and his mom for lunch. She wants to catch up on the research she has done into my mom.” Gervais says.
“Oh wonderful. I hope she has tracked down some old friends. You should know more about her.” Cheryl says.
“That sounds really good. I hope the snow stays away.” Blue says quietly.
Later when Blue goes to the bathroom and Ocean is engrossed in some coloring at another table Cheryl takes Gervais hand.
“Clara called after you spoke to her. I’ve been disappointed that he’d not been sticking around for dinner on Thursdays but I thought it was because he was tired from 3 classes.” Cheryl says.
“He’s himself here so I’m really glad George hasn’t worked out how to stop him coming.” Gervais says.
“He seems happy to go along with your plans. Try and make him choose something, get him to remember how.” Cheryl says.
“Good call he needs to remember he makes great choices and plans.” Gervais says.
Cheryl packs them off with lots of food and they head to the store less worried than before.
“I just need to get a couple more things. I’ll meet you at the car.” Gervais says sneaking off.
Blue shrugs and smiles after him. It feels so good to be doing normal things, to not be worrying at George coming in and disapproving. Blue hurriedly checks his phone in case there is a message from George but nothing, Blue adds a few more things to the cart and lines up to pay.
“What’s that?” Blue motions to the large bag Gervais has.
“It’s a surprise. Come on we best get going the snow is starting.” Gervais says distracting Blue.
The get home and indoors quickly.
“I am prepared to forgive you for dropping me if you bake me something awesome this weekend. I’m thinking some cobbler or apple pie, something warm and delicious with homemade ice cream.” Gervais says.
“Ice cream is hard and I didn’t buy anything to make it with. We have store bought though.” Blue says.
“Well I don’t want store bought.” Gervais says handing blue the heavy bag.
“Oh, oh Gervais I always wanted one.” Blue grins from ear to ear at the machine.
“I thought you needed cheering up.” Gervais says.
“But I don’t have the right ingredients.” Blue says not wanting to go back outside.
“Do you really think I’d do that to you?” Gervais smiles and gives him the last bag of groceries.
“How fun! I could kiss you.” Blue smiles and hugs Gervais close.
“I’m expecting big things, big tasty things.” Gervais says.
“Oh man can you imagine Andy’s face when…” Blue tails off knowing he won’t be cooking for Andy any time soon.
“Why did you stop coming to Sunday dinners?” Gervais asks ignoring Clara’s directions.
“I agreed not to see you and that included the dinners.” Blue says quietly.
“If you had told me we could have worked out a system, coming up with excuses on alternate weeks or something.” Gervais says.
“He isn’t stupid he’s have worked out that we’d been talking to arrange it. Plus I agreed to see Andy less too.” Blue says.
“Why?” Gervais asks.
“Because you don’t respect our relationship. You always rub George’s nose in it that you know me better and it makes him feel insecure, disrespected and I didn’t want him to feel that way. You were staying with Chris and things were better with Andy and Spence, you didn’t need me and so I could focus on him.” Blue says.
“So you couldn’t get to know Chris because that would have meant seeing me?” Gervais asks and Blue nods.
“I thought once George saw I was putting him first it would be okay, I’d be able to see you. But I keep messing up. I think we should have a big meal next Sunday to fuel us for exams.” Blue says changing the subject.
“I think that sounds a great idea. I’ll message Spence to bring back some good wine.” Gervais says ignoring Blue’s line about messing up and concentrating on building him up.
“Ocean was funny today. You’re really good with him.” Blue says.
“I’ve taken him on a few days out. Cheryl is worried he’s getting a bit too serious about his gymnastics.” Gervais says.
“Has he met Chris?” Blue asks.
“No, I think that it would be too weird for him to see me with Chris, given how difficult he is finding it to let us go as a couple.” Gervais says.
“You’re going to be such a good dad. If we live off campus next year we could get a dog.” Blue says totally ignoring the fact that he and Gervais sharing a pet is a bad idea.
“I don’t know that we could give a dog enough attention. Are you wanting to live with me next year? We have a nice setup here thanks to DeShawn.” Gervais says.
“I was thinking the 5 originals, I guess Chris too. I was thinking we could buy somewhere between us for the last 2 years. Spence can afford it and I know Robin’s parents have been thinking about it. I think Momma would go for it.” Blue says.
“No George.” Gervais says.
“He wouldn’t be able to afford it and I don’t think we’ll last the summer.” Blue says and Gervais breathes a sigh of relief, worst case they have to deal until May.
“Well I’d like a room big enough for Chris to be able to stay but I’d be happy if he didn’t live in. We don’t sleep over every night yet, as you know I need lots of downtime.” Gervais says.
“It is hard living with so many people and sharing a room. I never get any space. That’s why I swim in the freezing cold, its my alone time.” Blue says.
“You used to chill with Robin when you needed a break.” Gervais says.
“Things are awkward with Robin now, he’s on my shit list rather than Georges. I think he should have shown Bea more compassion once he got over the shock and treated her and Lucie better in the first place.” Blue says.
“I thought it might be something like that. Maybe you could add another night of yoga or maybe you could babysit Ocean one night a week. He’d love it if you took him to practice and stayed to watch and helped him with his homework after or took him for dinner.” Gervais says, leaving the thought that George couldn’t be jealous of a little kid unsaid.
“I’d love it too.” Blue says thinking it through.
“Shall we watch a movie or look at real estate listings?” Gervais asks.
“Put some music on and look at houses. We can fantasy shop until we work out a budget.” Blue says.
They grab their comforters and laptops, wrap themselves up and sit on the couch together looking at listings and chatting away just like normal.
“This one looks good, bigger than we need and it has an annex, maybe Bea could live in it. Then she’s with me but has her own separate girl space.” Blue says.
“Is it in a nasty area? Its cheap.” Gervais says.
“Maybe.” Blue says pulling up street view and showing Gervais and they laugh at the state of the street.
“We need to think of resale value and that ain’t going to make us a cent.” Gervais laughs.
“How about apple pie and cinnamon ice cream?” Blue says jumping up. He knows if he stays sat with Gervais much longer he won’t be able to resist hugging and kissing him.
“I wish I could send a text with smell. Andy is going to spit that he missed this.” Gervais says jumping up to help.
“Oh I am going to send him a video of you taking your first bite and he will cry.” Blue says.
They work together just as they used to with barely a word said. Gervais feels nostalgic for how things used to be between them and Blue is just happy not to be watching the door.
They are both delighted at their first try making ice-cream and as usual Blue’s baking is top quality.
“This is the best gift ever. Thank-you so much.” Blue says and throws his arms round Gervais and lifts him off the floor in a tight hug.
“I’m happy to see you happy.” Gervais says.
“Lets eat. Wait, I wasn’t kidding about filming you.” Blue says.
Gervais makes a big show of taking his first mouthful and almost spits it out for being too hot. Blue laughs and laughs and sends it to Andy and Robin.
“This is on the menu for our dinner.” Gervais says.
“I am so good at this. I don’t care if I am fat.” Blue says.
“Where have all these comments come from? Has he been on at you about your weight?” Gervais asks and kicks himself for bringing up George again.
“He said I could lose a few pounds. I think he likes how Chris looks better.” Blue says.
“George has a face only his mother could love and he is picking on your body, the best I have ever seen. You are perfect Blue, body, soul, mind. Don’t let us idiots bring you down.” Gervais says quietly.
“You know me, I never cared what I looked like. Until the haircut episode I didn’t even know what I did would affect anyone. I mean I love how you look and told you all the time but I would still have loved you if you changed. I guess I don’t know how much I should be caring about it and if George says I could improve something if I should work on it to be the best I can for him. Like with us if the other suggested a book or article we should read, we’d do it so we could talk about it and to improve our knowledge.” Blue says.
“I never had any confidence in my body or looks until you. Oh other guys had worshiped me in parts in the physical sense and Jesse loved me but you gave me real confidence in myself. It was the combination of the yoga giving me control over my muscles and limbs and you being very specific about what you found cute, what you found sexy or hot and showing me. Whether it was my neck or my toes you made me feel amazing about myself and it was never sleazy. I’ll always be grateful to you for that.” Gervais says.
“You are so beautiful. All of you.” Blue says softly.
“Because of what happened to me at school it took me a long time to accept it. The thought that George is doing the opposite to you kills me. I was in a rage when he called you ugly after you got your hair cut, it was a lie, you looked amazing, super short hair showed off your jaw line and made you look incredible, like a model. Everyone commented because it looked good. George couldn’t control the story, he couldn’t undermine you while we gave you support so he isolated you and started manufacturing other flaws. George hates that he’s a 3 and you’re a 10. He never should have got you. I used to think peel off the layer of nerd and George would be pretty cute, he had a nice body under those stupid clothes. But unluckily for him he isn’t. I know I’m being a hypocrite judging him when I’m telling you he shouldn’t be judging you but you need to wake up and admit that he is systematically breaking you. Just like the boys at school did to me.” Gervais says unable to keep it in any more.
“I know. I know what he’s doing, I know the moves, I’ve heard about these red flags a million times. I know the script he is following and I know I am responding just like all those women my momma has helped. I know I need to break out, to get away before he crushes me but I just can’t. I feel myself being sucked in to wanting to please him, to walking on eggshells around him, to doing everything for him. I keep thinking I can change him. If I can just give him the perfect backrub, the perfect orgasm, or have the perfect body for him then he’ll love me again. I know its fucked up and I feel totally powerless.” Blue says the words tumbling out.
“How can I help? You’ve done so much for me.” Gervais asks gently.
“I need to do this myself. Right now I don’t have anything to leave for. I know that sounds ridiculous but it feels true. Like I said earlier I would have to start over and go back to being alone and lets face it if I’m alone I’ll be inappropriate with you which will ruin any chance of a friendship with Chris and I’d probably lose Bea. Right now leaving feels worse than staying.” Blue says utterly defeated.
“I called Clara earlier because I was so worried about you. She suggested the ice cream maker and us having a fun weekend. I would have tried the fun stuff but probably not the ice-cream. I think you should call her. Maybe she’ll let you get an apartment next semester. You know she’s been through this with a thousand people who were in much deeper than you. She’ll know how to help.” Gervais says gently bracing himself for backlash.
“Thanks. You really do care. I don’t think anyone else would have taken her suggestion seriously and you took the time to buy the machine. I’m not getting on so well with momma right now and I’d feel a bit of a fraud asking for help. Like I was doing it for attention when there are people who really need help to deal with.” Blue says breaking Gervais heart.
“Well then one of Cheryl’s friends. They have helped me so much. You need to deal with your sibling issue anyway. I bet you could even swap some therapy for a yoga class. I’ve heard how popular your advanced class is.” Gervais says.
“I’m really glad you’ve been helped. I can see how confident you are and how well you’re doing. I’m not ready and I don’t think things are as bad as you say. Can we drop it for now?” Blue asks.
“We can. Can I have seconds?” Gervais says with a grin.
“If I can. Hey if I get spectacularly fat and do all the tings George hates then he might dump me anyway. Can we be naked when he gets back? You can warn Chris it’s a joke.” Blue laughs.
“If you think it would work I’d do it in a heartbeat.” Gervais says.
“I’m just trying to get you naked.” Blue grins like his old self.
“I forgot about leery Blue, can’t say I’ve missed him.” Gervais says.
“Andy has uploaded the video. I’m switching my phone off, I don’t want George to spoil our fun day.” Blue says.
“That sounds like a big step.” Gervais says.
“Yeah easy when he’s not here.” Blue smiles sadly.
“I am going to be on you when he gets back and so will the others. We are going to make sure he has no choice but to dump you. Then we’ll pick you back up and put you together again.” Gervais says.
“Like how?” Blue asks.
“Andy will ask you to bake something in particular for him in front of everyone. No Spence will offer to pay you to make something for Andy in front of the others so you can’t say no, something for their anniversary. I’ll get Bea to invite you to dinner and Chris and I will be there. We’ll go and do something as a 4 without George and post loads of pictures. I’m going to get everyone to call you all the time, Roe and Katelyn, Ocean, the guys from the retreat, Deke’s brothers, W and AB, all the girls from climbing who miss you. I’m going to partner you in a project for a made up class and so will Andy. I’m going to get Elliot to draw you for his life drawing practice. We are all going to ask the two of you on double dates all the time. And Robin is going to ask you for lots of help about his fake concerns about his sexuality.” Gervais says in a rush.
“I love you.” Blue says quietly.
“And I love you and that is why I am not losing you. You’re my best friend and I am fighting for you.” Gervais says.
“Tomorrow I am looking after you all day. Prepare to be pampered. I’ll just clean up then we can watch movies or play one of your games if you want. You barely seem to play now that you’re with Chris.” Blue says and Gervais smiles at Blue finally taking the lead a little.
They clean up and spend the afternoon playing games, both of them laughing at Blue’s total lack of prowess and having a lot of fun. Gervais stops to talk to Chris a few times. They both agree it was too soon for meet the parents anyway, especially as it Chris’s first visit home since starting college.
“Sleep in the same bed, I trust you, snap a pick of him asleep and label it sleepover with the bestie.” Chris says.
“You sure?” Gervais asks.
“Yeah I am. That cunt has stopped me getting to know my brother.” Chris says.
“Thanks. He’s pretty messed up.” Gervais says.
“You have a key to my room, move Blue in there, I can stay with you for a few nights and then we’ll set him up in Dylan or Jesse’s room like you said. Or go with Robin’s plan.” Chris says.
“Then I’ll lose him.” Gervais says.
“Only short term, you’ve done worse to him and he’s forgiven you.” Chris says.
“He needs me right now. Thanks for being understanding.” Gervais says.
“Blue and I might not have bonded but I really hate George and I’d love to bring him down.” Chris says.
“I love you so much.” Gervais says.
“You too baby, you too.” Chris says.
“All still blissful with you two?” Blue asks.
“Its good.” Gervais says.
“I do want you to be happy:” Blue says.
“Sleepover tonight.” Gervais says.
“Silly movies in your bed. Yes please it is too cold to sleep alone.” Blue says. The stand by the window together watching the snow. Blue slips his arm round Gervais who rests his head on Blue. They both feel pretty happy.
In bed Gervais takes a bunch of pictures, silly faces the two of them kissing and another pretending to sleep. They look good together and Gervais gets messages from all their friends saying how good Blue looks and to keep it up.
And just as they’re falling asleep, Blue spooning round Gervais making him feel safe and loved Gervais allows himself to remember all he’s missing and he pulls Blue’s arms tighter. Gervais dreams his favorite dream of Blue, running between the vines with the kids, racing back to the house for dinner, Blue scooping the youngest up onto his back. But Blue and Chris keep changing places and he wakes himself up more confused than comforted.
“Are you okay? You’ve been squirming around.” Blue asks gently nuzzling at Gervais ear.
“I’m good. Weird dream is all.” Gervais says.
“You’ve not been having nightmares again?” Blue asks holding Gervais tighter.
“No, not for a long time. I’m fine.” Gervais says locking shut his feelings for Blue and going back to sleep.
Blue stays awake loving the feel of Gervais in his arms and not wanting to sleep and miss out on feeling so good. Gervais has been great today. He’s going to text John and see how he’d feel about him moving into Dylan’s room. Find out if Miles would object.
Finally feeling strong and positive Blue drifts off to sleep.
Gervais wakes and forgetting it is Blue and not Chris holding him, he moves his mouth up to meet Blue and kisses him gently.
“That’s beautiful but I think you’ve confused me with your man.” Blue says gently.
“Sorry.” Gervais laughs.
“Never apologize for kissing me.” Blue says.
“You sound happier.” Gervais says.
“I’m going to mail John and Dylan and ask about that room. John and I were friends and I think he owes me even if things didn’t work out long term for him.” Blue says.
“Good. Chris said you could use his room, I have a key. If you need to move out temporarily.” Gervais says.
“You are so cute and cuddly in the morning. What do you want for breakfast? You stay in bed and I’ll bring it through.” Blue asks.
“Leftover pie and coffee.” Gervais giggles.
“Shall I warm it up?” Blue asks.
“Yes but its too early for ice cream.” Gervais giggles again.
“Thank-you for everything yesterday. You gave me so many solutions, so many options that I couldn’t stay defeated. You gave me so much strength.” Blue says.
“You taught me how. You have done so much for me. I owe you big time and this is just a little bit of payback.” Gervais says happily.
Gervais struggles with his feelings as Blue goes to the kitchen. He knows deep in his heart that Blue is still the one. The longer things run with Chris the further out of reach Blue becomes and he has no idea how to handle that. He loves Chris, his feelings are real, their feelings are real and he’s actually a great boyfriend. Arrrrrgh why does Chris have to be Blue’s long lost brother? It is so unfair.
Why can’t he get over Blue? Why are they drawn so strongly to each other? It feels like Blue is a submarine with its distress signal going and Gervais is the only one who can switch it off. Just as Blue has done for Gervais over and over.
Gervais has been seeing 2 different therapists since coming back to school and both have been impressed with how far he has come before he got to them.
Dealing with everything that happened at school hasn’t been so bad, he never blamed himself for any of that but unpicking the relationship with his dead parents has been much harder. The therapy is partly why he doesn’t have Chris over every night, he is exhausted after each session and just needs to sleep.
He knows the next thing he needs to face is his relationships with Chris and Blue and why he is going against his true feelings and if he can give in. No not yet. Blue needs time to recover from George.
How did they all get it so wrong about George? Sure the guy was a little obsessive and he was always quite strong in his opinions and a bit judgmental but he was always really, really sweet with Blue.
Blue interrupts his thoughts by bringing through a breakfast tray with pie and coffee just like he asked for.
“Smells so good. You are spoiling me.” Gervais says.
“You deserve it. You’ve given me a good shake and a real boost of confidence.” Blue says.
“I learned from the best.” Gervais smiles.
“George was never the right guy for me. Not just because I wasn’t over you but because he wasn’t the right guy. I need to learn that because I’d like to have sex with someone doesn’t mean that I want a relationship with them.” Blue says.
“That’s right Mr asked Elliot on a date.” Gervais says.
“Hey we had an amazing night. Only you have him beat.” Blue says.
“Ever since you told me about George not being a guy you could look after I’ve wanted to break you guys up. I knew he was wrong for you but I felt helpless. We need to work out a signal, that says I think he’s wrong for you and its not because I’m jealous and want you back.” Gervais says.
“Agreed but I think Chris is a good boyfriend for you. I know it means we’re over forever and that hurts my heart almost beyond what I can stand but I can see you’re happy.” Blue says blinking back tears.
“I suppose that has contributed to your lack of strength to stand up to George.” Gervais says.
“I just wanted a relationship that worked out. I thought if I worked hard enough and compromised enough I’d finally get it right. We got on well right up until Spence’s party and we’ve been a mess ever since. I’ve been trying so hard to save the relationship that I totally lost myself and all of you.” Blue says.
“We always think of your talent as seeing what people need emotionally and helping fill it, swooping in like superman. But you also have a talent for bringing out the worst in people and I mean this in a nice way. You expose people’s true selves good and bad. You did it with Dylan, with Austin, with me, Robin, Miles, Spence and now George. You strip people back to their core and then push them in the right direction to rebuild. Not everyone Miles and Austin didn’t stick around. Forget the vineyard you should be a head shrinker.” Gervais says.
“Maybe I should be a barman.” Blue laughs.
“Hahaha is that why you want to make alcohol for a living. You are funny.” Gervais smiles.
“Was the pie good on day 2?” Blue asks.
“You know it was. What shall we do today?” Gervais asks.