“No one is to tell Blue. I am not having this week spoilt by your shenanigans. Everyone has to start being kinder. I’m all for everyone having fun but be mindful of who is here and what makes them hurt.” Spence says coldly.
“Please I was with Gervais long before Blue. I’m not walking on eggshells round him.” Jesse says.
“How would you feel if Elliot was with Gervais last night? Don’t tell me its different because it isn’t, Elliot would know that you would be hurt. This isn’t just about Blue this is about me not sleeping with Deke, Dylan not being with Andy, Elliot not being with Gervais. There are a lot of options here without hurting each other. Whatever you think your claims are. Anyone causing drama has to leave.” Spence says.
“l had no idea Blue would be hurt.” Birch says.
“No but Andy did. And Gervais you should be ashamed of yourself. Going on and on about not being with Blue because you’ll mess it up and then you might as well have punched him in the gut. I honestly think you like hurting him. You strung him along when you were with Blue, you dumped him brutally for my brother, what you did with Chris is unbelievable and now this. You are the worst of the worst. Blue has helped you out more than anyone and all you can do is hurt him. I think you enjoy it. If you do anything else to him here you are gone.” Spence roars.
“I don’t like hurting him. I am not playing with him.” Gervais says.
“So jumping in the tub with him and being all loving and then jumping in to bed with Jesse wasn’t toying with his emotions?” Robin asks.
“Or mine?” Jesse asks turning on Gervais.
“It was two entirely separate events. Blue knows where he stands with me and me with him.” Gervais says and walks out the door.
Birch can’t take anything in. Blue likes him but from everything else is still clearly hung up on
Gervais. He knows this isn’t news, it is why they are both single, Birch has been moving on from Joe and Blue from Gervais and George. Andy just throws a spanner into it, it was always just sex they both knew that and had been upfront about it. It was always last resort, drunk sex. Yes Andy usually stayed over but that was for safety more than anything.
Birch heads out to the beach and tries to clear his head. He jogs down the sand away from the house and spots Blue and sits next to him.
“How’s things?” Birch asks.
“Good. Just wanted some space. I love my friends but they are all drama. How about you?” Blue asks.
“Not great. I didn’t know you were bothered by me sleeping with Andy.” Birch says.
“It always hurts when a crush chooses someone else. I don’t have any claim on you. You’re not doing anything wrong. I just thought we’d been getting so close, that there was hope, it was a surprise that you and Andy were still going on.” Blue says.
“We are close. I’m closer to you than I have ever been to anyone. You know me inside out.” Birch says.
“Are you over Joe?” Blue asks.
“I think so. Are you over Gervais?” Birch asks gently.
“Mostly. I know I don’t want to be with him. It’s hard because sometimes when we’re together and it’s just us I feel like we could make it and then I remember what he did, how he treated me and I back off. He’s been clear right since last summer that he doesn’t want me back. I wouldn’t go back. But he still has the power to ping my jealousy.” Blue explains.
“I guess if I saw someone coming out of Joe’s room I’d feel the same,” Birch says.
“It’s not that it was someone. It was that it was Jesse. I always feel second best to him in Gervais eyes. It might have been healthier for Gervais to go to Jesse for se or comfort rather than me but it dinged me this morning, coming on top of realizing you and Andy still had something going.” Blue says.
“We don’t have a thing. It’s always been just s. Last resort, no other options s.” Birch says.
“Have we missed our chance? While waiting to be ready have we blown it?” Blue asks.
“I think so. I don’t want to come between you and your friends and if we started something I think you would lose Andy. I can’t be a part of that.” Birch says.
“But you did like me?” Blue asks.
“From the day we met I was crazy about you.” Birch admits.
“Same.” Blue says.
“Can we carry on as we were?” Birch asks.
“I don’t want to lose you as a friend.” Blue says and Birch reaches out and squeezes his hand.
“We’ve been totally upfront about everything except our feelings for each other.” Birch sighs.
“Maybe that was a good thing. Now we get to stay friends properly without things getting muddled by a relationship. I’d have hated to lose Willow when we broke up too.” Blue admits.
“Oh she totally loves you more.” Birch laughs feeling a little more positive.
“I suck at Spring break. Last year I had amazing sex with Elliot and asked him on a date. He turned me down flat and then hooked up with Jesse so I went home early. The guys didn’t notice until they were half way home a few days later.” Blue says.
“You need new friends. Though I think Spence and Robin really care.” Birch says.
“They do. Spence and I had a real rough patch but we’re good now.” Blue says.
“You want to see if we can go fishing tomorrow? I’m sure some of the boats take people out. Just us away from everything.” Birch asks.
“Sounds good.” Blue says plastering on a fake grin. He just wants to go to his room and sulk.
They head back towards the house and join the others playing volley ball and trying to tan in the not so sunny weather. Blue slips away after a while, checks on supplies and heads out to the store for milk and eggs and when he returns starts a mammoth baking session. Robin and Spence come in to watch him.
“You doing better?” Robin asks gently.
“I don’t want to talk and bring everyone down.” Blue says.
“I gave all of them what for. I am so mad at them being such jerks.” Spence says.
“I’m not dating anyone. No one did anything wrong. I was just being over sensitive. How are you coping without your man?” Blue asks.
“A little too well. Its only been a day but I’m not checking for texts all the time. He’s a nice guy but he isn’t the guy.” Spence says.
“I was thinking I should stop holding back on Tyler. I need some tips on how to make it work when one of you is super busy.” Blue says and Spence and Robin exchange a look.
“I like Tyler a lot and he treats you really well but I thought you were in to Birch.” Robin says.
“That’s never going to happen. I don’t want to talk about it.” Blue says.
“But he likes you.” Robin says perplexed.
“He does and I like him but we’ve agreed to stay just friends. Please don’t badger me on this. It’s hard but it’ll be okay. I said I didn’t want to talk about it and I meant it.” Blue says.
“Take a cake or sandwich and some coffee to him at rehearsal when he’s staying late. Don’t pressure him for attention, just take it down, hand it to him or leave it on his chair and go. Let him know you’re thinking of him. You’re so good at those things. Go down to walk him home. Just make time for him. Those snatched moments with Andy meant the world to me. More than scheduling date night or more formal things. Him running at the gym while I coached was amazing. He was getting in better shape and thinking of me.” Spence says dreamily.
“You’re not going to get that from Edwin.” Blue says.
“No I thought dating someone equally busy would be good because they understood but I need someone like you. You have your own interests, I wouldn’t worry about leaving you. But you’re not so busy that you wouldn’t be free when I was. That’s the issue with Edwin our schedules rarely mesh already. His shifts change but mine don’t so some weeks it’s okay but others it isn’t and it’ll only get worse next year. I enjoy dating him but it’s never going to be more than that. Still he’s a useful rebound and I won’t be hurt.” Spence says.
“Sounds more and more like you two should be together.” Robin says.
“I’d love a boyfriend like Spence, who would let me take care of his day to day needs and would spoil me when he had the time.” Blue says honestly.
Birch stops and listens from just outside the door. Curious about what Blue wants even if they’re not going to try right now Birch is kind of hopeful for the future once they have a little more distance from current drama.
“You’d have that with Birch.” Robin says.
“I know. He’s been so thoughtful with every date, I mean outing we’ve had. Always things that strengthen our mutual interests and I’ve been able to take care of him a little, he loves my food. So does Tyler though.” Blue says.
“Don’t force it with him. You’re having fun but it is no strings fun for you both, you’ve been sleeping with other guys too which is so out of character for you. I think Tyler is to you as Edwin is to Spence, great on paper but you don’t have enough common ground to move things forward.” Robin says.
“I can try.” Blue says.
“You’ll get hurt. It would be just like John or Austin.” Robin says.
“I want a boyfriend. I want what I had with Gervais.” Blue says.
“You won’t get that again honey. Not easily.” Spence says.
“I know. I know. I thought it could be like that with Birch. I don’t read him so well but pretty close.” Blue says.
“I wish you’d never met Gervais.” Spence says.
“I still think you two should try it.” Robin says.
“We don’t want to mess up our friendship and it would kill Andy.” Blue says.
“We told you ages ago we’d talked about it and anyway we’re both into other people right now and need another man detox.” Spence laughs.
“We do.” Blue grins.
“Something smells good.” Birch says coming in now the conversation has shifted.
“l’ve no idea what I’ve even been baking.” Blue laughs looking round the kitchen.
Birch watches Blue pulling trays out the oven and wiping surfaces and knows he has made a mistake. Andy was absolutely nothing to him and Blue could have been everything. Maybe once things are calmer…
“I bet it all tastes great.” Birch says and sweeps Blue into a hug.
“I hope so. Why are you three indoors anyway?” Blue asks.
“Wanted to see you.” Spence says.
“I was heading out to the pool but I totally wanted to beat Andy to the food when I saw you were baking.” Robin grins.
“And I booked us a trip in the morning and was coming to tell you.” Birch says.
“Cool that will be fun.” Blue says giving Birch a big grin.
“What are you doing?” Robin asks curious as the chemistry between the two is sparking higher than before.
“Going fishing. They have more spots if anyone else wants to come. I have their number.” Birch says.
“What time?” Robin asks.
“Have to be at the jetty for 7.” Birch says.
“That’s not so bad.” Blue says with a smile.
“It’s the middle of the night.” Robin says and grabs a brownie from the cooling rack.
“Too early for me.” Spence says.
“Your loss.” Blue says.
“Look I get that you two have talked and I wouldn’t usually interfere, especially after I pushed you and George together. I feel like I have to. You two could be really special and it seems a shame not to take a chance.” Spence says quietly.
“I didn’t ask him to say that.” Blue says embarrassed.
“I can see that. Your friends really care about you.” Birch says.
“Not enough to butt out.” Blue laughs.
“Dammit Blue its time you had what you wanted.” Robin bursts out.
“I can’t make him date me. I know in your world you ask a girl and it’s all easy but I’m not cute and charming like you. Stop highlighting the fact that yet again I have fallen for someone who isn’t choosing me.” Blue says and runs out embarrassed as hell.
“Why don’t you want him?” Spence asks.
“I do want him but it would mess things up between him and Andy. I didn’t think I was leading Andy on at all, there were no feelings there as far as I was concerned and I always made that clear. But he won’t like me dating Blue just like Blue doesn’t like me being with Andy.” Birch says.
“Do not lose your chance to be with Blue because of my ex. Andy isn’t in to you, he likes Blue. He thinks Blue is his happy ever after and doesn’t accept it when Blue explains why he isn’t. Anyone Blue dates will come between him and Andy.” Spence says.
“You told us all to be mindful of who we are with this morning and that is what I’m doing. Maybe we’ll take our shot later but it won’t be now.” Birch says and walks through to the pool.
“It’s like fucking Gervais all over again.” Robin says angrily.
“I know I don’t get it. I understood them taking it slow before because they’d been hurt but now I don’t get it. Before today I was on the reunite Blue and Gervais train but now I am done with Gervais. I’ll be done with Birch too if he can’t get it together.” Spence spits.
“Best get this food out before it burns.” Robin says.
“Is this how it was when Gervais was dating Jesse?” Spence asks.
“Pretty much. Blue went for it then. He asked Gervais to dump Jesse and be with him instead but he always said no. That is why Blue is so messed up. He makes guys fall for him and then they just won’t commit. The Tyler situation is the same, even if Blue thinks he is on the same level of casual he isn’t with all this talk of trying to make it into more.” Robin says shaking his head.
“Tyler seems in to Blue. He seemed to put up more fight than Andy and Birch. Ugh I need to butt out.” Spence laughs.
“Yeah you always butt in when you’re trying to forget your own issues.” Robin says.
“True.” Spence giggles.
“So Edwin isn’t Mr. Everything?” Robin asks.
“No. I’ll end it when I get home. I need to get some here. Tomorrow I’m finding me a sexy beach boy.” Spence grins.
“I think we need to comfort Blue tonight.” Robin says.
“Agreed. I don’t know what it is about Blue that makes me want to save him. I think it’s the way he saved Andy’s family I want to repay him now that I’m over my jealousy.” Spence says.
“Is there a chance for you and Andy?” Robin asks.
“No. Not how he’s fucking up right now. We were at our best before break, best in ages and I don’t know how much what he’s doing now is due to the breakup and what is him being his true self.” Spence says.
“I think that is exactly how Blue feels about him right now.” Robin says.
That evening everyone is cautious around Blue and Spence not wanting to cause an issue and get thrown out. Despite everything they all love being here and want to have fun once things settle down.
Blue tries to slip away, aware his mood isn’t good enough, he needs a night to get over his disappointment with Birch and contemplate where he is going with Tyler, if anywhere.
Spence and Robin notice him go and follow him.
“Blue come to my room. You need people tonight.” Spence says and Robin nods in agreement.
“I don’t want to bring you down.” Blue says.
“We want to bring you up.” Robin says with a big grin.