The next day Blue, Gervais and George all get summoned by the ethics committee. When they get there they see Elliot, Chris and Bea there too.
“We didn’t report it.” George says to Elliot.
“Thanks. They still know though.” Elliot says despondent.
“Why are you here?” Blue asks Bea.
“The invite said Chris could bring someone for support.” Bea says.
“Has he confessed to you?” Blue asks.
“I’m here for him not to give your friends ammunition against him.” Bea says.
“That’s fair. I know Robin told you our side and I know you believed him. Anyway I need to talk to you about something else, can we go for dinner after this? Or meet tomorrow sometime?” Blue asks.
“Yeah. I have been meaning to call you. Just got harder every day.” Bea admits and Blue smiles.
They are all called in at once.
The panel is the same as before the dean, Brad and 3 faculty members including Julia who came to yoga with her kid.
“This is another informal session think of it as mediation rather than a formal hearing. You can reject the findings and move to the formal process if you wish once we have concluded.” The dean says.
Brad stares at Blue and then Chris. The similarity is eerie. He cannot work out how they have the exact same eyes and yet Blues are full of warmth and Chris’s are ice cold.
“A false accusation was made against Blue Day and we are here to understand who made it and why. We have had a call from the guardian of another student who gave us the details of what she believed happened and our initial investigation supports at least part of her version of events.” The dean says.
“Guardian. So Roe and not my mother?” Blue asks.
“She didn’t ask for anonymity yes it was Roe. I take it you all know who that is?” Julia asks and they ail nod.
“Chris do you have anything to say?” The dean asks.
“I have no idea why I’m here.” Chris says.
“Elliot?” The dean asks.
“What Roe would have told you is true. I took money from Chris, I handed in his complaint and I made a fake id using Gervais details and George’s picture.” Elliot admits.
“Liar.” Chris says and Bea rolls her eyes.
“Why did you two lie about not knowing who the picture was of?” Brad asks.
“I knew George wouldn’t have done it. I didn’t want him to get caught up in an issue between me and my brother in the way that Gervais was. George is super smart, he’s probably one of the few students who could have done as well if not better than me in those surprise exams. He would have had a much better plan if he wanted me out of here. It made no sense.” Blue says.
“Are you saying my plan was stupid?” Chris says shooting himself in the foot.
George starts to giggle at the idiot and Bea catches his eye and does the same.
“He’s admitted it all to me. Sorry bro but you did it. You knew Elliot was hard up and you took advantage. Sorry I’m supposed to be here supporting Chris but this whole thing is a joke.” Bea says and Chris goes purple with rage knowing he’s cornered.
“Can I say something on behalf of Elliot?” Blue asks.
“Go on.” The dean says at a loss as to what to do next.
Elliot made a mistake but he isn’t malicious. His parents have disowned him since he came out as gay and while his tuition is covered by his scholarship he is struggling for money. We help him out but obviously this is somewhat humiliating. He’s working several campus jobs to get the funds together for summer accommodation as he has nowhere to go, because he is working so much his grades have dropped and he saw this cash as a way to save his scholarship. The money from Chris would have meant he could have dropped one of his jobs. If you take away his scholarship he will have to leave and he will be homeless. Please take into consideration that I do not wish to see him punished harshly.” Blue says.
“Same I know why Elliot used my picture and I understand. We’ve talked it out and he has apologized.” George says.
“To me too. That is why we didn’t tell you when we found out what happened. Although we knew it was a risk that Chris would escalate his campaign against us we didn’t want Elliot to lose everything for a stupid, desperate mistake.” Gervais says.
“Chris, Beatrice do you have anything to say?” Julia asks.
“It has been really hard for us to get used to Blue being a real person and not just some storybook character like Snow White. I’m not using that as an excuse but for Chris especially to have a twin in reality and not in theory has been a huge adjustment.” Bea says.
“For me too but I didn’t pull something like this.” Blue says.
“But you never knew we existed at all. We knew but we didn’t have to share our parents or lives with you and now we do and it hasn’t gone well.” Bea says.
“It’s been a picnic for me.” Blue spits.
“Chris?” The dean asks giving him a final chance.
“It’s their word against mine and this is a joke of a kangaroo court. I want the formal process and I want it noted that Blue has been harassing me since I got here.” Chris says.
“All of you go and wait outside.” The dean says.
“We cannot let Elliot become another homeless gay teen. He’ll be a prostitute by the end of the week.” Brad says as the guys close the door.
“You guys can go.” Elliot says.
“We’ll wait with you. We might be in trouble any way for lying about knowing George.” Blue says.
“I doubt it. They already made you do those exams which is way more than either of these two will get.” George says. He’s still so pissed on Blue’s behalf that they doubted his grades so easily and he worries that they could do the same to him one day.
“You were the idiot to do that.” Chris says.
“I thought that would be the end of it. I didn’t know it would drag Gervais and George in too. Why do it that way? Why not just tell momma you wanted me gone? She’d have told me to transfer if you two had asked.” Blue says.
“Yeah right.” Chris says.
“Clara would have bent over backwards for you before you fucked it up by doing this.” Gervais says.
“Your mistake was trying to fuck Gervais over. Momma won’t put up with that.” Blue says.
“It’s true she favors me over Blue.” Gervais says.
“She really does.” Bea says with a snort.
“But it was Roe not momma who called school.” Blue muses.
“Elliot can you come back in?” Brad asks.
“Good luck bro.” Blue says as he goes inside.
“You think he’ll be okay?” George asks.
“No harm happened did it? I mean we’re all okay. Well apart from having to share a school with a psycho.” Blue says.
“If I’m a psycho, so are you.” Chris says.
And Blue sits there and thinks about it for a moment. Could he be as malicious and selfish as Chris? If he had grown up with Bea would he have spent all his time trying to get what she had? Would he have been so against sharing? He cannot imagine a world where any of that could happen and wonders what really happened to Bea and Chris growing up.
Elliot comes out a few minutes later and before Blue can hear what happened he and Chris are called in.
“Well?” George asked.
“I’m on probation. I lose the office job and the dining hall but can carry on in the library. I’m screwed financially but if Spence comes through with the job I’ll be okay.” Elliot says.
“Look I’m sorry that Chris screwed you out of the rest of the cash. Here.” Bea says handing him some money.
“No. I know you’re not flush yourself.” Elliot says.
“Interesting you’ve both got money to throw around.” George says.
“Yeah without Clara I thought things were tight for you.” Gervais says and Bea reddens.
“Our grandparents sent us some money.” Bea says.
“Why do you think they wanted Blue in with Chris?” George asks.
“More questions I guess.” Elliot says.
They wait for a good while longer. Blue comes out and doesn’t say a word just heads straight for his room. Jesse will have to find his own space tonight.
Chris comes out with a smirk on his face and walks straight off too.
“Let’s go.” Elliot says.
“I’ll go see Blue.” Gervais says and heads to Blue’s room guessing he headed there and not the suite.
“Can you just fuck off and leave me alone.” Blue says as he opens the door to Gervais.
“What happened?” Gervais asks trying to keep the door open.
“Nothing. We were in there for ages while he was allowed to ream me out and go on about how inferior I make him feel and how I’ve been trying to rip his family apart and how he just lost it when Clara started playing favorites between him and Bea. They let him go on and on and on. I don’t understand any of it but he is let off. We’re being told to avoid each other and would I consider changing my classes to avoid his, saying it will be easier for me to pick up something new. This is my last semester here. There are other schools.” Blue says.
“You want me to leave you to cool off?” Gervais asks.
“Please.” Blue says and shuts the door.
He’s angry and fired up and no way in hell is he making Chris’s life easier. He sends emails to the professors of the classes he’s being pressured to drop and looks at other schools and their transfer requirements hoping he hasn’t missed all the deadlines. Once he calms down he calls Clara to get her blessing.
“I think it’s a good idea. You can live with your friends but go elsewhere. I should have pulled you at the start when that meat was thrown at you.” Clara says.
“That feels like nothing compared to everything since.” Blue says.
“If you want to withdraw this semester then I’m okay with that.” Clara says.
“No it’ll make more sense to finish the year. I’ll avoid him as much as I can. He can’t live in either house. At all.” Blue says.
“No he can’t and I’m not paying beyond this semester for him. If school won’t do anything then I will. I’m mad at Roe for calling them at all. It wasn’t her fight.” Clara says.
“Its easier for all of us not to have it hanging over us.” Blue says.
“Send through the school info. Don’t worry about budget we have had a very good year, the retreat aside, you were right about the maintenance issues.” Clara says.
“I think Willow and Birch would like to come up for the summer. Birch to paint and Willow to see the retreat and be a part of things. I think she would be a good person to take over if you’re thinking of changing things up.” Blue says.
“I got the same impression. She’s incredibly interesting.” Clara says.
“This feels like the most normal conversation we’ve had in forever.” Blue says.
“You must feel like you finally have your mother back.” Clara laughs.
“Something like that. Thanks Momma for supporting me on this.” Blue says.
“One condition. If you make up with Andy I’ll even consider letting you go to wherever you choose if you get in.” Clara says.
“Really?” Blue asks.
“Yes. So find some compassion and remember that Andy is going through a lot right now and needs more support. I think you are ready to put our family drama aside.” Clara says.
“I was going to offer Bea a room.” Blue says.
“That’s fine. I just got an email from her. She’s making an effort.” Clara says.
“She dropped Chris in it today. Well he dropped himself in it and she blew the doors off. Didn’t help though.” Blue says.
“Well I hope it was for the right reasons. Well done for talking to me and not hiding away. We are both doing a lot better.” Clara says.
“Thanks momma.” Blue says and smiles.
He sighs and gets back to his research.
On Wednesday Blue has a great time at the opening with Birch. He loves Birch’s paintings and is half tempted to buy one.
“We’re going on to party. Will you come?” Birch asks.
“No I need my sleep with all that yoga tomorrow. You have fun and we’ll celebrate on Sunday.” Blue says.
“Okay well I’ll see you tomorrow.” Birch says.
“Hey my neighbor’s play is next week. Want to go on Wednesday?” Blue asks.
“Yeah for sure. Thanks for the support tonight.” Birch says hugging Blue.
“I loved every minute. So proud of you.” Blue says and they both give each other goofy grins.
Blue is on such a high on the way back he forgets where he’s going and goes to the suite not his room.
Andy is sat on the couch alone watching TV looking kind of bored and unhappy. Blue is having a total dilemma. He would love to just say fuck it and hug Andy but he knows Andy would see straight through it. Still he looks so lonely and vulnerable.
Blue goes to the kitchen and checks supplies. He smiles and quickly knocks up a batch of cookies. He dances around while waiting for them to be done and thinks about what he’s going to say. He misses Andy a lot. He needs to accept that Andy was just as full up with issues as he was. Neither of them had the capacity to help each other in the way they wanted so they both shut off.
“I’m sorry about Birch. I should have backed off when you started having sex with him. I’m sorry for that. I should have respected that you liked him too. Also I was a total bitch when I turned you down. I should have respected you a lot more. I know you’ve liked me for a long while and I could have been a lot more sensitive.” Blue says sitting as close to Andy as he can holding the plate of still hot cookies.
“Do I get a cookie now or are you going to tease me all night?” Andy asks.
“Are you sorry too?” Blue asks.
“I am. I hate that we keep fighting. I am so mad at you. Not over Birch, I’m not in to him I just didn’t want you falling for him when I wanted us to be together. It was a big deal you rejecting me right after my breakup. Like my plan A and B were over.” Andy says.
“I don’t want to be anyone’s plan B.” Blue says.
“You wouldn’t have been. You became plan A long ago, you know that. I fell for you this summer and I would have left Spence for you if you’d given me any encouragement. I’m sorry about the orchard thing. I really saw it as a plan for us, not for me. I didn’t know Clara would go for it. And leaving you to drive back alone was so shitty. I’ve been too embarrassed to face up to it. I am sorry about everything. It’s hard getting over you and Spence all at once. Seeing Birch go for you just muddled everything.” Andy says.
“I have a lot of fun with him. Like we used to. Saturday all day I’m yours. I’ll skip my class and brunch and we can do whatever you want.” Blue says.
“I take it sex isn’t included.” Andy laughs.
“No, I think its too complicated for us to be fucking. Why don’t we go shopping? I feel like you need treating to some spring clothes and your sneakers are dead.” Blue says.
“Okay. I wish it was hiking weather. I never thought I’d say that.” Andy says.
“I’m up for trying if you are? Get out of the city and walk in some cleaner air. Even if we only manage 30 minutes.” Blue says.
“Then we can shop. Fuck Blue are you sure you can forgive me?” Andy asks.
“If you can forgive me. I think we were both maxed out with issues and oth mad at each other for not stepping up. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you.” Blue says.
“I’m sorry for dumping you when things were on an upturn with Spence. We were closer to each other than to George and Spence and I dropped you and hid from the crazy. I totally get why you don’t want to be married to me. I need to do better and show you what we could have. I’m not giving up.” Andy says.
“I’m transferring after this semester. Well if I can get in somewhere local.” Blue says and tells Andy his version of what happened with Chris and the tribunal.
“I could kill him.” Andy says.
“Spence offered to pay him off for me. I feel like I need a fresh start.” Blue says.
“They should have been kissing your ass after you aced those papers. I fucking hate how Chris always ends up smelling of roses. I fucking hate him.” Andy says.
“Me too. But as we have to avoid each other I can’t tell him he is not living in my house next semester.” Blue grins.
“Oh can I be there when he drives up in August with all his stuff and you tell him to fuck off?” Andy laughs cookie crumbs going everywhere.
“You like the cookies?” Blue asks.
“So good. I promise no more shit. I can’t live without your baking.” Andy grins.
“I miss your cuddles in the kitchen.” Blue says.
“I miss it too. I love you Blue and I fucked up over and over and I don’t get why at all.” Andy says.
“You needed me and I couldn’t be there. Fucking Chris.” Blue says.
“My fucking mother fucking coming back into my life. I can’t even deal with her.” Andy says.
“Want me to stay over so we can talk tonight? Not wait for the weekend?” Blue asks.
“Can we make more cookies?” Andy asks.
“There is just about enough for another batch.” Blue says.
“Kitchen cuddles coming up.” Andy says and jumps onto Blue’s back.