Blue comes into the room with the professor from the ethics committee and her little girl.
“Who is your friend Gervais?” She asks.
“Shit.” Blue and Gervais mutter.
“Hi lady I’m Ocean. Are you Ava’s mommy?” Ocean asks saving the day.
“Get out back.” Gervais whispers to George.
“I am Ava’s mommy.” She says with a smile and Gervais and Blue exhale.
“Did you like class Ava? You were really good. Do you do gymnastics?” Ocean ever confident asks.
“I do ballet. You were good too.” Ava says shyly.
“Blue we loved the classes. You boys are doing great community work.” She says.
“Thanks. I hope you both come back.” Blue says.
“That was close.” Gervais says once they leave.
“She would never have recognized George from that picture.” Blue says.
George comes back out and Cheryl, Birch, Willow and Deke join them for dinner.
“Nice to see you George.” Cheryl says.
“Thanks its been too long. Your food is always amazing.” George says with a smile.
“Who was the woman with the pretty little girl?” Cheryl asks.
“She was on the ethics tribunal that Blue and I were at yesterday. She’s pretty nice.” Gervais says.
“I like Ava. She has pointy toes.” Ocean says with a smile.
“Your toes are getting pretty good too. You’re so strong now we’re going to have to make you work harder.” Blue says.
“I love gymnastics and yoga. My gymnastics teacher says my yoga body is helpful but I need to get stronger arms. Spence makes me do a million dips.” Ocean grumbles.
“Dips?” Willow asks.
“On parallel bars. I don’t mind. I hate circles thought if you’re bad you have to do circles and they make you sore and my butt sore when I fall off.” Ocean says making them all laugh.
“Are you coming out with us tomorrow?” Blue asks Birch.
“Yeah of course. Its so great to have a social life away from school.” Birch says.
“Will you still make it to class on Saturday?” Willow asks.
“Yes, I don’t drink when we’re out. I am loving your class its really getting all my flexibility back.” Blue says.
“Blue you are basically saying you wont hookup Friday night.” Gervais says.
“Look I’m getting over my latest disaster.” Blue says.
“We broke up ages ago.” George says.
“I had a disaster much more recently. I met someone and it was so quick I wasn’t sure it had started.” Blue says.
“Mind your words.” Cheryl laughs.
“I’m trying.” Blue laughs.
“You really need to get to the sales office for the houses this weekend. I have had your momma on the phone asking why you didn’t get there yet.” Clara says.
“I clean forgot. Willow please remind me on Saturday.” Blue says.
“Are you coming to brunch? I could come with you after.” Birch says.
“Yes and that would be perfect. Thank-you.” Blue says.
“Is there Sunday dinner this week?” Willow asks.
“Yeah I’m cooking with Robin.” Gervais says.
“Can I help?” George asks.
“That sounds good.” Gervais says.
“Cheryl you and Ocean are always welcome too.” Blue says.
“Thank you but Ocean is competing on Sunday and will be going out with his team after.” Cheryl says.
“Best of luck buddy.” Blue asks.
“How come you’re not building robots?” Blue asks George on the way home,
“Needed to tell you something that couldn’t wait, but couldn’t say as the lady from the tribunal arrived.” George says and Blue nods,
They say goodnight to Deke and go to the suite, Elliot and Jesse are there watching TV with Robin and Andy.
“Come to my room a minute: George says.
“Since when were they hanging out again?” Jesse asks.
“Blue and his endless capacity to forgive.” Robin grins.
“Unless you are me,” Andy
“You have to apologize to be forgiven,” Robin says and Andy scowls.
Blue, George and Gervais come back out, Blue is white and shaking.
“You Okay?” Robin asks.
“Ask Elliot.” Blue says.
“Did you decide what you’re going to do?” Elliot asks.
“George only just told me.” Blue says,
“You have to Jesse or I will.” Gervais says,
“Tell me what?” Jesse asks,
Elliot looks at Gervais with pleading eyes.
“I’m not going to tell school but I cannot speak these two.” Blue says.
“I’d hate for you to lose everything for one mistake.” George says.
“It was him?” Robin asks shocked
“My brother paid him.” Blue says.
“Paid him for what?” Andy asks.
Elliot looks at Blue again, tears streaming from his eyes.
Gervais starts at the beginning and tells the whole story right through. Andy and Jesse sit there shocked end Robin gasps when he tells of what George overheard.
“What is going on?” Spence asks coming in to a room in silence.
“Chris paid Elliot to try and get Blue, Gervais and George kicked out of school.” Andy says.
“Is money really that tight for you two? With your scholarships and jobs I thought you were doing okay.” Spence says.
“We do okay but we barely live. You guys have seen that and moving was a mistake.” Jesse says.
“But it was such an extreme thing to do.” Blue says.
“Can we talk privately?’ Jesse asks Blue.
“Use my room,” Spence says.
“Gervais come too,” Blue says.
“I had no idea at all. If he had told me I never, ever would have gone along with it, I would have stopped him, I think George is a jerk but I’ve nothing against you two. You’ve both helped us out loads and I really, really appreciate it. Will you hold it against me if I stay with him?” Jesse asks.
“No but I will think less of you, I know if we don’t graduate it isn’t the end of the world. But he has put his own place here at risk. Even if we don’t tell Chris might. It’s your future he was messing with.” Gervais says.
“I can share with Spence for a few days if you want to use my room for some space.” Blue says.
“I honestly don’t know how I can trust him now. Things have been rough. Moving out was such a bad move. I’m a slob which is why us sharing a single here any longer was out but those guys are animals. I hate it. He hates it. His grades have dropped since we’re working extra jobs and he’s barely clinging to his scholarship. We’re fighting all the time and now this. If we break up we can’t afford to move out. I don’t know what to do.” Jesse cries.
“We won’t pressure you. It’s not fair that you are being punished too.” Blue says.
“Thanks, it is so frustrating. I hate that our families have given up on us. We really tried to reconcile but both of us are fully cut off now and he’ll have nothing without me. I told him he should drop one of his jobs and concentrate on his grades and I guess he saw a shortcut, man we only had to get through this semester, Dylan’s mom has offered me a really well paid summer job and I could live with them and so save almost everything. Next year would have been easier.” Jesse says,
“My mom is buying 2 houses now so there is a room for you next year, its near a bus route and with so many of us you’d be able to get rides most days. You don’t have to decide anything now, And congrats on the job that is so cool.” Blue says.
“You mean it about a room for me next year?” Jesse asks,
“Yeah. If you’re free Saturday Birch and I are going over there.” Blue says.
“I’ll see if I can swap my shift, Thanks Blue I can’t believe you’re thinking of me when this is going on.” Jesse says,
“It’s easier than thinking about what to do about Chris. We can’t tell school without Elliot being sprung and none of us want that.” Blue says.
“I’d like to kill him in cold blood.” Gervais says and Jesse smiles through his tears.
“He’s awful.” Jesse says.
“I’m sorry you found out in public.” Gervais says,
“It’s fine. I’m glad it was you. I trust you, I knew you weren’t lying.” Jesse says.
The three stand and hug before going back through.
“Is it okay for me to come in with you for a couple of nights?” Blue asks Spence.
“I’d love that,” Spence smiles, he really wants to hug his friend close and talk to him about Chris.
“I’ll go and get some things now. Jesse shall we go via yours?” Blue asks.
“That would be great, just give me a minute with Elliot outside.” Jesse says.
“What a shit storm.” Andy says.
“I cannot wait for tomorrow night. I might skip climbing and pregame here.” Blue says with a grin.
“I’ll get the beers in.” Spence says.
“Sounds good.” Andy says.
“Maybe not. I have early yoga Saturday, I don’t want to stink the place up.” Blue says.
“Because of me?” Andy asks and Blue ignores him.
Robin moves to sit by Blue and puts his arm around him and Gervais and George are cuddled up in a chair. Chris might have tried to blast the group apart but they came out stronger.
“Are you going to tell Clara?” George asks.
“I don’t know. I need to think. Are we all agreed we are not telling school?” Blue asks.
“Yeah I don’t think we need to fuck up Elliot’s life.” George says.
“They might not believe us anyway.” Gervais says.
“I’m ready.” Jesse says opening the door.
“What can we do about Chris?” George asks when Blue has gone.
“I have an idea. I will talk to Blue about it tonight. Sorry to be evasive but I feel like I should run it by him first.” Spence says.
“I’m telling Clara.” Andy says.
“Can we not make that choice together?” Gervais complains.
“I’m telling her now before Chris spins her some other Story. She will believe me, she might not you two, given your breakup and Blue’s general dislike.” Andy says.
“What about me?” Elliot asks, he’s been stood in the doorway listening.
“Fucking come to me if you’re that desperate for cash. I thought your jobs covered you.” Spence says.
“I’m worried about summer. I’ll need money upfront for a Place, even if it’s a cheap sublet. I don’t want to always sponge off you guys.” Elliot says.
“You could work at camp, it’s not much but your room is covered.” George says.
“It isn’t enough. My grades were down last semester, work has got harder and I’ve less time to study. I don’t have a fallback and unless I go back in the closet and show my parents I’m straight and begging god for forgiveness I won’t have one.” Elliot complains.
“My brother needs a summer nanny. If you’re good with taking my nephew to the park, the pool and to kids events then I’ll let them know you’ll do it. You’d live in, do long hours, and sometimes have to deal with the baby but given your family I imagine it would be easy for you. They’d also be more than willing to pay cash if it makes you a bit cheaper.” Spence says.
“Why would you do him a favor?” Andy asks.
“Because he’s sorry and he wouldn’t have done it if he wasn’t a mess. We didn’t help and let him and Jesse leave when we should have been more understanding.” Spence says.
“Wow Blue has really changed you.” George says.
“What’s wrong with that?’ Spence asks.
“Nothing, it’s really nice.” Gervais says his crush growing.
“Can I sleep here tonight? On the couch.” Elliot asks.
“Sure. I hate Chris for doing this to you. He knew how hard up you were.” George says.
“I think Jesse knowing is enough.” Gervais says.
“Agreed, trying to drop me in it was malicious but I’m certain you wouldn’t have tried to get at me if it hadn’t been for Chris.” George says.
“You guys are nuts.” Andy says.
“What because you are a terrible friend we should be too?” Spence asks.
“Whatever.” Andy says and goes to his room.
“Man I know it took me some time to admit what I did to Blue was wrong but what is his problem with just saying sorry?” George asks.
“I have no idea. He seems to think Blue hasn’t made time for him over his family issues but whenever anyone suggests it’s because he dropped Blue when things improved with Spence and he has his own shit to deal with Andy just denies it.” Robin says.
Blue comes back a few minutes later.
“Is Jesse okay?” Elliot asks and Blue shrugs.
“Let’s go talk, I have an idea.” Spence says.
“What is it?” Blue asks when they are in Spence’s room.
“What if I paid Chris to go away?” Spence asks.
“What do you mean?” Blue asks.
“I offer him one sum of money to leave you and alone the rest of this semester and a second sum to transfer at the end of the year.” Spence says.
“Why should he be rewarded for what he’s done?” Blue asks.
“Because he’d be out of your hair. I want to make you feel safe!” Spence says.
“I didn’t do anything to him. I was born and that’s it. I was rejected by his family and so he’s mad at me for being brought up by momma. None of that was under my control.” Blue sighs.
“No and it isn’t under your control that he’s a nasty, vindictive, psychopath. But he is. He is awful. He has been awful to you from the start. Chris went after Gervais before you knew he existed, He planned that and he can only have planned it to hurt you.” Spence says.
“He’d come back for more. He wouldn’t go away and stay away.” Blue says.
“I’d make the second payment contingent on him staying away until you graduate.” Spence says.
“I’d pay you back. It might take a while, I couldn’t use momma’s money to do it.” Blue says.
“I want to do this for you. You do so much for everyone. Let me take care of you.” Spence says.
They hold each other for a long time before they start to kiss each other gently. Turning to each other for comfort has become natural to the pair.
They kiss for a long, long time and slowly undress each other. They make love slowly and carefully wanting to make it last. Spence’s gentle moans intensify as Blue pushes harder and deeper. They cling to each other and ride the wave.
After they keep holding each other and kiss gently. Spence loves being in Blue’s strong arms. Something has shifted between them and for the first time they both feel they have an equal in their bed and it feels good.