On Monday Blue and George go to meet some of George’s robot club friends for lunch.
“So George’s pretty dumb boyfriend really exists.” Elijah a tall spotty guy says.
“As does George’s offensive friend. Lovely to meet you.” Blue says and Elijah blushes.
“Why did you tell them I’m dumb?” Blue whispers to George.
“I didn’t, I just said you weren’t into gaming or technology. They drew their own conclusions.” George says aloud, clearly playing to his audience.
“I’m very interested in technology in a practical sense, just because I didn’t have a phone until last year doesn’t mean I’m entirely ignorant.” Blue says annoyed.
“Ahh don’t mind us, we’re the smartest guys in the school. Anyone average comes across as dumb to us.” Morgan a scruffy guy says.
Blue laughs to himself at their arrogance and wonders why George hangs out with them at all.
“We hear you’re a great cook though, the world always needs feeding.” Elijah says patronizingly.
“So why did you all decide to go here? If you’re all so much smarter than everyone else, surely you’d be in top engineering schools, not the honors school of a more modest college.” Blue asks.
“Blue don’t be rude.” George hisses.
“I’m curious. They can call me dumb for having different interests to them but I can’t ask about their college choice. Claim to be the smartest guys here yet I have better grades than you. I’m not usually competitive but really being dismissed as just pretty has set me off.” Blue says eyes flashing, he’s channeling Spence and Dylan right now and kind of enjoying not being the nice guy for once.
“You’re in my chemistry class, I highly doubt you are doing better than me.” Morgan says.
“It’s a tough class lots of people are barely hanging on to Cs. Are you ready for next week?” Blue asks he doesn’t recognize the guy but it’s a big class.
“There you go changing the subject, embarrassed? I am so ready for next week, I am going to ace the final.” Morgan says.
“Me too, I got a 99 on the midterm I’m hoping not to drop a mark this time.” Blue says flashing a smile and hoping to shut him up, this is not going well but they’re never going to be friends.
“Bullshit.” Morgan say shocked and Blue shrugs.
“So did you ask Cindy out?” George asks Elijah changing the subject.
“Not yet. She smiled at me yesterday though.” Elijah says and the talk turns to girls and Blue mostly tunes out.
“We’re having a dinner on Sunday in our suite, to feed us up before exams. You guys should come.” Blue says as talk turns back to finals. He’s love to see what his friends would make of these guys.
“Really?” Morgan asks suspecting a trap.
“Sure, its pretty informal just friends cooking and eating together. You guys have never seen our place, its pretty great.” Blue says making an effort, half because he wants to give George’s friends a second chance and half to set Dylan on them if they continue to be jerks. Blue has not felt so annoyed by anyone since he first met Spence. Even Dylan at his most objectionable didn’t get under his skin like these guys.
They try conversations about movies and books but Blue’s views get picked apart and he isn’t having any fun. He and George walk back in silence.
“Why were you so rude tonight?” George asks.
“They called me dumb before I’d said a word, like I was your trophy wife.” Blue says.
“You kind of are.” George smiles trying to make light of it.
“You’re not just with me for my looks.” Blue says.
“I’m not?” George asks gently.
“Seriously?” Blue asks.
“Tonight showed just how little we have in common and I have tried to make an effort with interests, cooking and yoga but this was the first time you tried with mine. I’m not exactly with you for the conversation.” George says.
“That’s not enough for a relationship. Are we just too different?” Blue asks sadly.
“I’m not complaining. I’m just being honest. I don’t think you’re dumb we just have different interests.” George says.
“But I thought that was a good thing, we have things to talk about. If we were only into the same things we couldn’t learn from each other.” Blue says thinking about how he has so little in common with any of his friends and yet is interested in far more things than yoga and cooking.
“If I wanted to learn from my boyfriend I’d date a professor.” George says.
“So what exactly are you getting out of this? I love hearing you talk about games and movies science and engineering. I thought we had enough common interests there even if we have levels of understanding and different views. Whats the point in dating me other than a warm body?” Blue asks.
“I love waking up to you, I love having you in my bed and on my arm.” George shrugs.
“I need some time.” Blue says and leaves the room.
“What’s up?” Robin asks looking up from the sofa.
“Am I just arm candy?” Blue asks feeling utterly lost again. George hasn’t been as directly mean before but he’s being so dismissive and has clearly painted him as some himbo to his friends.
“What? You’re the smartest guy I know. You ace every class in wildly diverse subjects and read about everything. You are so much more than your looks.” Robin says, worrying that Gervais is right and George really is a major dick.
“But as a boyfriend is any of that important? Is that what I’m offering?” Blue asks.
“What has he said now?” Robin asks.
‘You date lots of girls and I guess you’d tell me about their looks but you usually would tell me about cute or funny things they did. I met some of George’s friends tonight and they said I was George’s pretty dumb boyfriend.” Blue says.
“They’re just insecure that someone can be smart and attractive. It’s the thing ugly guys tell themselves to feel better.” Robin says.
“They weren’t ugly.” Blue says.
“But they’re not drowning in offers. I get lots of girls because I love talking. I have a lot of interests and know that part of being charming is being interested in anything a girl says. Luckily for me I usually am. Guys like you’re describing are so busy judging everyone and putting everyone in boxes and picking holes in anyone who doesn’t agree with them they turn people off.” Robin says.
“Then make excuses and belittle people.” Blue says.
“Right.” Robin says please Blue is actually talking to him.
“But why would George disparage me to these guys? Why wouldn’t he be proud of me?” Blue asks.
“Maybe he wants to fit in, he’s hit the jackpot but admitting that would alienate him from those guys.” Robin says.
“I guess.” Blue says with a sigh.
“It’s still really mean and you deserve better. I’m sorry we’ve drifted so much. I know why you’ve been mad at me and I guess I was waiting for you to come to me. I shouldn’t have waited, given I was in the wrong.” Robin says.
“You weren’t in the wrong. I kind of hated that I was judging you. I know what you’re like and you were always open with Bea about other girls.” Blue says.
“So why stay away?” Robin asks.
“Can we go in your room?” Blue asks.
“Sure.” Robin says and gathers up his things.
“I agreed with George that I wouldn’t see Gervais anymore and I’d spend less time with Andy. And you were always with one or the other.” Blue says.
“Why would you agree to not see your friends? Especially when you’re trying to deal with the triplet stuff?” Robin asks mad as hell at George.
“You can’t tell anyone this.” Blue says.
“Okay.” Robin says.
“I feel guilty because I had sex with Gervais on Spence’s birthday.” Blue says quietly not making eye contact.
“Does George know? Is that why he’s being like this?” Robin asked.
“He doesn’t know, please, please don’t tell him. I don’t want to hurt him and I really, really don’t want Chris to find out.” Blue says.
“I won’t tell anyone, I’m glad you told me, that you still trust me. Mom gave Gervais and me a talking to this weekend. She told us we should be there for you over the triplet thing and supporting you through it. Not interfering with you and George. You’ve not talked to any of us about it, I bet you don’t even talk to George or Bea about how you’re feeling. Asking Gervais not to go with Chris was the first time you’ve reached out and it shouldn’t have been.” Robin says.
“I didn’t ask him to not go but I was really glad he didn’t. Half glad, part of me wanted him to go and give me low down on my dad. More neutrally than Bea.” Blue says.
“But you let your feelings slip and that’s a good thing. I wish I’d never swapped rooms with George.” Robin says.
“Me too. I miss being able to talk to you alone without worrying.” Blue says.
“Worrying about what?” Robin asks.
“You and George have stopped working on your project. You dropped him just like Gervais and Spence. I feel like spending time with any of you is betraying him. Even now when I’m struggling and need a voice from outside my relationship I feel bad I’m not talking it through with him and know he’ll feel disrespected.” Blue tries to explain not sure how to get the words out.
“Do you feel disrespected when he talks about your relationship to his friends?” Robin asks.
“I didn’t until tonight. But it is more I’m mad at the picture he’s painted not that he talks to them.” Blue says.
“Right, you see it as normal. Because it is. I always talk to you about my relationships and Andy talks to you about Spence. You always spoke to me about Gervais and Austin.” Robin says.
“Why didn’t you include George that night? Why ask Andy and not George?” Blue asks.
“Andy is family to you. He knows your momma the best of all of us and I thought you’d need him.” Robin says.
“But why not ask George too? I get Gervais needed to be there because of Chris but George is who I should have been able to turn to, he should have been there to comfort me. I couldn’t face telling him everything that night, it hurt too much to relive it, so I spent the night with Gervais and that more than anything pushed a wedge between me and George. You guys not respecting our relationship or seeing it as important to me. Me not turning to him when I needed him most.” Blue says.
“I was in a panic and wanted to get you and Gervais to me as quickly as possible before Chris could speak to Gervais. If I did it again I might ask George or Spence as well. But you’re right I haven’t respected your relationship with George. I tried really hard to be supportive, we talked about it a lot because I was totally team Gervais and you convinced me to switch to George but he hasn’t given you the easy going happy relationship I expected.
You guys were so cute at the beach all over each other and all flirty, now the honeymoon is over you’re lost and I just can’t support the two of you together. It’s okay to fail Blue. You are 19 and you have years to work out what works and what doesn’t for you.
What happened with Gervais means you have no confidence in your ability to be a great boyfriend and you’re floundering. Gervais didn’t leave you because of anything you did or anything you lacked. It was just timing. Really, really bad timing.” Robin says.
“So you won’t support me while I’m with George.” Blue says flatly.
“Blue, no, that isn’t what I’m saying. I will always be here for you. It’s just hard when you’re clearly unhappy not to bring up your relationship.” Robin says.
“I want my relationship to work. It might be taking more work than my relationship with Gervais but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth working on. George can be amazing and he is the only one who has truly stuck by me.” Blue says.
“I know I messed up but I am here for you. Any time you need me.” Robin says.
“Thanks. What’s going on with you? Are you and Lucie still together?” Blue asks.
“No, I am single right now. I kind of miss Bea.” Robin admits.
“I’m seeing her tomorrow. You should come too. We’ll make peace and plead your case.” Blue says.
“I would love that.” Robin says with a smile.
Blue goes back to his room feeling lighter. George just wanted to fit in with his friends and that’s okay. He worked things out with Spence he can work things out with Elijah and Morgan for George’s sake.
Robin knocks lightly on Gervais door.
“Come in.” Gervais says.
“What’s the plan?” Robin asks.
“What for?” Gervais asks.
“To split up George and Blue.” Robin says.
“There are two main options. Find someone for Blue who is a better option or make George end it.” Gervais says.
‘Lets have lunch tomorrow with Andy and Spence and hash it out.” Robin says.
“Sure. What got you on board?” Gervais asks.
“George telling his friends Blue is a pretty idiot.” Robin says and Gervais nods his head not at all surprised.
“I’m sorry but none of this feels right.” Andy says at lunch the next day.
“I’m with Andy, George is a friend and I’m happy to talk to him but I am not going to do this to him.” Spence says.
“Or to Blue. He needs to learn for himself and so does George.” Andy says.
“Blue needs our help. He has no idea when to quit.” Gervais says.
“So what? Andy and I should have quit on each other loads of times but we worked through it and are stronger for it. I don’t like George and Blue together any more than you do but I won’t force the issue.” Spence says worried about any fall out.
“Plus we have finals starting next week. In a few weeks we’ll be home and they’ll be apart and we can work on Blue. Not now, not in an underhand way.” Andy says, he wants them to split but will not risk his relationship with Blue, especially as its broken down so much already.
“He’s going to have so much to deal with over break with his momma and he will need us. If he suspects we’re messing with him he’ll be alone.” Spence says.
“He just needs a little push. He was making solid plans to leave this weekend and if it hadn’t been for Dylan we’d have had him moved out and they’d already be over.” Gervais says exasperated.
“Why has he forgiven George for this weekend? It was an awful thing to do.” Andy says.
“He is forgiving everything right now.” Gervais says.
“Yeah well you know why he’s feeling guilty.” Robin digs and Gervais looks at him in shock and then relief that Blue is really confiding in Robin.
“So you two are real friends again.” Gervais says to Robin on the way to class.
“Yes. Sorry for bringing that up, I won’t tell anyone. What happened?” Robin asks.
“It felt right, we’d had a few near misses around then, trying to be friends but feelings getting in the way so we got each other out our system and it was amazing and it worked. Or at least it did for a bit, you saw how we were. Then the triplet thing happened and here we are.” Gervais says.
“Does Chris know?” Robin asks.
“No. I was free to be with whoever that night and Blue wasn’t explicitly off limits. I chose not to fill Chris in on the details.” Gervais says.
“We need to do something. Even without Andy and Spence.” Robin says.
“I know. I feel like it’s my fault he’s stuck with George because I failed him.” Gervais says.
“I’m seeing him and Bea tonight. I told him I missed Bea, and I do but I really want to ask what she thinks.” Robin says.
“Come find me after. I feel bad talking about him behind his back and plotting but I am so worried about him.” Gervais says.
“Me too. I don’t know if we need to stand back and wait and catch him or push ahead I really don’t.” Robin says.
“Clara told me to lay off the George stuff and just let him have fun. I messed up.” Gervais says.
“Come to yoga Thursday and we’ll have dinner after, telling him we need to plan Sunday’s dinner.” Robin says.
“Okay. We’ll have no talk of George or Chris or anything just food and winter break plans.” Gervais says.
“Exactly.” Robin says.
Blue feels a little unsettled as he heads to Bea’s dorm, Robin is chatting away but he’s not really listening. He hasn’t told George that Robin is joining him and he doesn’t know why he’s hiding it. Is he worried that George isn’t prepared to go back to how things were and would object? He feels bad that he thinks that. He knows its over, he’ll get through finals then end it. Blue suddenly feels really calm and gives Robin a huge grin.
“You’ve not heard a word have you?” Robin asks.
“Nope sorry, deep in thought.” Blue says.
“You look different.” Robin says.
“I feel good.” Blue says and hugs Robin close before calling Bea to come down.
“I neeeeeeed coffee.” Bea says coming out the door.
“Lets go.” Blue says and they hit a coffee shop just off campus.
“So where are the flowers and candy?” Bea asks as they sit down.
“Oh you’ve high expectations.” Robin says with a smile.
“Blue do you object if we start dating again?” Bea asks the chemistry between her and Robin hanging in the air.
“If Robin plans to be exclusive this time I’m all for it. You deserve a guy who treats you right.” Blue says.
“I do.” Bea says with a smile.
“I am happy to give it a try and this is really weird discussing this with Blue here.” Robin laughs.
“You want me to leave?” Blue asks.
“Yeah, your work is done. Now get lost big bro.” Bea says.
“Am I older than you?” Blue asks.
“Yes, you’re the oldest, I’m the youngest.” Bea says.
“Now everything makes sense.” Robin says.
“Before I go Bea please come to dinner on Sunday, bring your friends. We’re having a pre exams feast.” Blue says with a smile.
“For sure. I’d love to, I’ll let you know how many, and can we have chocolate pie please?” Bea asks.
“I think I’ll be baking all weekend, everyone is making requests.” Blue grins.
“Well you won’t deny your favorite sister.” Bea says and Blue laughs loving that he has a sister who is so happy to have him as a brother.
“Have fun and be good.” Blue says and leaves.
“I was going to talk to you about him but I think he’s figuring it all out himself.” Robin says.
“He is excited for finals. I never met anyone who enjoyed exams the way he does.” Bea says.
“Oh I seem to remember you being pretty excited about a paper once or twice.” Robin grins.
“I never felt I fit in my family, I always though Clara was the missing piece but if I don’t get on with her I know I will always have Blue.” Bea says.
“Clara is incredibly excited to meet you. Gervais spoke to her at the weekend.” Robin says.
“I’m so nervous she sounds so intimidating.” Bea says.
“She’s lovely too. She’s so smart and kind and generous. It’s only Blue she gives a hard time.” Robin says.
“I just can’t believe I finally get to meet her.” Bea says.
“You look so beautiful when you’re excited. The rest of the time too but you get this extra glow.” Robin says.
“Thank-you.” Bea says blushing.
“I’m really glad you want to try again.” Robin says.
“I guess I have forgiven you for being a ho and you’ve forgiven me for concealing the truth.” Bea says.
“I was way too hasty, I’ve missed you.” Robin says.
“I know.” Bea says and Robin grins.
“You need to go for Robin’s plan. It’s the only way.” Chris says to Gervais as they lie in bed.
“I’d lose him forever.” Gervais says.
“Which is worse, him staying with George or you losing a friend?” Chris asks.
“I just can’t imagine him not being in my life.” Gervais says.
“But he won’t be if he stays with George.” Chris says.
“I know. I know.” Gervais says.
“So there is no reason not to. Look I can’t come on Sunday I really have to study. I’m not like you guys I can’t take a break.” Chris says.
“I’ll save you some pie. Come by for dessert at least.” Gervais says.
“I was thinking you could do it then.” Chris says.
“Right before exams?” Gervais asks.
“Just tell him and he’ll break up with George, then string him along and tell him when you’re home that you chose me. He wants you back. He got you to stay at the weekend and looked so happy in your arms. We are the same and we both want you. I would never go for George but other than that we have the same taste in guys and neither of us has ever wanted anyone more than we’ve wanted you.” Chris says.
“I’ll think about it.” Gervais says.
“What pies are you making?” Chris asks.
“We’re deciding Thursday. What’s your favorite ice-cream?” Gervais asks.
“I can’t believe you bought him that machine. How much did it cost?” Chris asks.
“It was like Eighty bucks. But Clara offered to pay.” Gervais says.
“But you could afford to just drop that much on some guy who barely gives you the time of day.” Chris says.
“Yes I could.” Gervais says.
“You never buy me gifts.” Chris says.
“I give you plenty.” Gervais says running his hand over Chris’s butt and kissing his neck.
“How would you feel if I spent that much on an ex?” Chris asks moving slightly away.
“I’d be okay as long as it wasn’t because you were trying to get them back.” Gervais says.
“Would you spend that much on Jesse?” Chris asks.
“I spot Jesse and Elliot if they need something, so do Blue and Spence. And Andy cheated on Spence with Elliot and Blue and Jesse used to hate each other. There is nothing to be jealous of.” Gervais says.
“I’m not jealous I’m feeling hard done by.” Chris says.
“I had my fill of gold diggers this summer. I’m not the sugar daddy type.” Gervais says.
“But you’re not hurting for cash.” Chris says.
“But I’m not Blue or Spence.” Gervais says.
“Are you sure?” Chris asks.
“I have the money for school and some money put away that I don’t touch for when I graduate. I’ll need it. Clara has given me a home but that is too far away from the sort of companies I want to work for. I am sorry that you feel hard done by. Blue has helped me out several times when my allowance has been late. I wanted to cheer him up and his momma suggested something and I got it.
To see the look on his face I’d do the same again regardless of how you feel. I don’t know why you are so reluctant to get to know Blue but you are missing out.” Gervais says.
“Well maybe you should buy me something and see the look on my face.” Chris says.
“Maybe all this badgering is making me less inclined to buy you anything for Christmas.” Gervais says.
“What have you got Blue?” Chris asks.
“Nothing, he doesn’t celebrate. Which you’d know if you got to know him.” Gervais says.
On Thursday at yoga Robin brokers a tense peace between Blue and Gervais and the three then spend Saturday shopping and prepping for the next day. They’ve invited others from their building and from climbing and are excited to be having a big party.
“I need to save some dessert for Chris.” Gervais says as Blue takes a pie out the oven.
“Robin do you still have a mini fridge?” Blue asks.
“Sure.” Robin says.
“Can we use it to keep some food aside? George might be late too, he has a study group tomorrow afternoon.” Blue asks.
“Sure and I’ll save a piece of chocolate pie for Bea, she’ll love it if I produce an extra piece when everyone has gone.” Robin says blushing.
“Of course this is all so long as Andy doesn’t eat the entire fridge in the middle of the night. We might wake up to crumbs.” Gervais says.
“Why do you think I made a pile of cookies at the start? Andy knows they are all he is allowed to touch before tomorrow night.” Blue laughs.
“This has been great. I needed a proper break before finals. I’ll be totally focused for studying next week now.” Gervais says.
“Me too. Thanks both of you for helping.” Blue says.
“I’ve loved it. I’m going to make cheesecake and chocolate pie for Christmas at home and my mom will be bowled over.” Robin says.
“I know you don’t celebrate Christmas but I should get Clara something for having me. Any suggestions?” Gervais asks.
“There are some books she would love which would make a good gift, and if you have some pictures of Chris. I can’t think of anything she’d like more than some pictures and stories about him.” Blue says quietly.
“I can do that.” Gervais says softly knowing this is so hard for Blue, for all of them to comprehend.
“I have some of Bea and Chris together, I’ll send them to you both.” Robin says. He can’t imagine what Clara has been through, why she left the kids, how she lived without them. They’ve all thought of Blue but not of her other than her secrecy.
“I think we’re all prepped, just need to assemble things tomorrow and cook the hot things.” Blue says.
“Awesome. It is amazing.” Robin says.
“I’m so glad you didn’t change your mind.” Gervais says squeezing Blue’s hand.