“Why don’t you come over tomorrow and I’ll cook for you.” Curtis suggests as they leave the restaurant.
“Awesome.” Andy grins. He likes Curtis and is pretty sure they could have a mutually beneficial relationship, he gets the vibe from Curtis that they have a lot in common.
“Want to come home with me?” Birch asks Blue tentatively.
“Tonight was supposed to be my catchup with Robin. I think we’ll be going for coffee.” Blue says.
“You go with Birch. We’ll have lunch tomorrow.” Robin says firmly.
“See you in class. Don’t be too hard on him.” Willow whispers in Blue’s ear.
“Do you want the car?” Blue asks Andy.
“Yes please. I’ll make sure I bring it to school Thursday.” Andy says with a grin he steps forward and hugs Blue.
“He seems lovely.” Blue whispers and Andy grins.
“He’s just my type.” Andy laughs.
“I can see me losing my business partner.” Blue grins.
“Nah he can do dinner, you dessert and wine and we’ll grow everything together.” Andy laughs.
“I love you. Be good.” Blue says kissing his cheek.
“You go get your man back.” Andy says and kisses Blue back.
“I love how you’re so close to your friends.” Birch says.
“What do you want to do?” Blue asks.
“Lets go to mine and talk properly. Please Blue, what we have is too good to throw away.” Birch says.
“So why didn’t you make an effort before?” Blue asks as they get into Birch’s car.
“I didn’t know how long you’d need to cool down and when you took all your stuff I was just confused and tired. I wasn’t sure if I could deal with your drama.” Birch says.
“You were the one who created the drama, suggesting you comfort my ex.” Blue says.
“You just blew up at me and I didn’t get why. Tonight I saw that you look just as worn out as Gervais and I worked out the timeline from when he dumped you to now and all you have gone through and
I can’t believe I wanted to spend one ounce of energy on him when you need me. I’m sorry.” Birch says.
“You think I look rough?” Blue asks.
“Yes. You look grey and tired and you’ve lost weight. It just looks worse on him because he’s tiny, pale and had nothing to lose. Your tan hides it. Why didn’t you let on?” Birch asks.
“I had you. I was happy. The murder was bad but didn’t affect me like the others. Then I lost you.” Blue says. “You never lost me. We are really good together and we were communicating great. You need to not hide your feelings from me. I can be strong for you and you will be when I need you. I know you will.” Birch says. “I don’t want to be the needy one. I know how exhausting it is to prop someone up for too long. I think you are amazing and you made me feel amazing and I loved how I felt like we were equal but I don’t want to drag you down. You deserve so much better than me.” Blue says. “I want you and you are giving me the same lines Gervais used to torture you with. You love me, you take care of me like no one ever has and you give me so much, just as much or more than I give you. So things might be unequal for a while but they’ll swing the other way. You’re going to have to deal with my dark moods when I don’t get chosen for a showing at school or when I come last in class. And I know you will. We don’t need to be equal every step, it evens out in time.” Birch says. “I’m a mess.” Blue says. “You are my mess.” Birch says and reaches for Blue’s hand. They head up to the studio and once inside Birch pulls Blue close and hugs him tightly. “I love you Blue. I started falling for you the second your face lit up in the diner tasting the eggs. I know I’m not always the most present guy and you’ve been incredible making us this home, you never ask for more from me than love and support and I dropped the ball. You’re this superhero who dives in and wrestles a knife wielding maniac, who lifts his ex out of a party and makes him human again and who has to deal with all the expectations that you’ll always be a superhero to everyone. I forgot to see beyond that to my Blue who cries at night when the day has been too much to get through and wakes from bad dreams. My Blue the human. The Blue I love.” Birch says and Blue can’t help but smile and feel filled with joy. “You love me?” Blue asks quietly. “You know I do.” Birch says. “I’m very lucky that you want this idiot juvenile back.” Blue says quietly. “I do very much. Shall we go get your things?” Birch asks. “I think I need to keep my own space. I’ve been getting overwhelmed and need somewhere to decompress I think. We went faster than we wanted to because of Jesse.” Blue says. “No we didn’t. We were happy to have an excuse to live together and we loved it. I love having you here all the time and you love being here. How about we make sure I stay late at school one night a week so you can have some time to yourself and maybe for part of the weekend I can visit friends or something.” Birch says. “That sounds great but can you humor me for a week or two and let me not officially live here, even if I sleep here near every night?” Blue asks. “I can do that. Stay tonight?” Birch asks hopefully. “Let’s see how it goes.” Blue grins and kisses Birch who sensing his man melting takes full advantage. “You are looking very cute today, you have really pretty eyes.” Andy says as Curtis opens the door the following evening. “Thank-you.” Curtis stutters, blushing like crazy. He is not used to guys treating him like this, he hopes it is sincere. “Awww the pink cheeks really make your eyes pop. You must be quite the sight after sex.” Andy says. “You are so confident. It is so hot.” Curtis says. “Something smells nice. What are you making me?” Andy says walking into the kitchen. “There is lasagna in the oven, uh Blue said you sometimes miss having the real kind and I was about to make a scallop appetizer with wilted spinach.” Curtis says. “What is this?” Andy asks about the pot that Curtis has cooking. “It’s a sauce I was making.” Curtis says turning to give it a stir. Andy hugs Curtis from behind and runs his hands over his body “You can turn this lasagna down and it won’t be ruined. I know you want me. Are you all clean like a good boy?” Andy asks. “Yes.” Curtis barely whispers adjusting the stove. “And what do you want?” Andy asks “You.” Curtis breathes. “Use your words.” Andy says sternly. “I want your cock inside me.” Curtis groans. Andy nods and pushes Curtis to his knees. Curtis has always been enthusiastic about sucking cock but the confidence Andy shows means he’s feeling nervous and anxious to really please. Andy relaxes and enjoys the enthusiasm and then pulls out abruptly, got to keep Curtis on his toes. “Bedroom.” Andy says curtly. Curtis leads the way not sure if he should speak, not sure if he’s done right or wrong. Man he want’s Andy’s cock back in his mouth. “Clothes off, ass up.” Andy says and Curtis trembles and does as he’s told, waiting, aching for it. “My, my, that is one ample cake you have for me. I fucking love dessert.” Andy says and slaps Curtis on the butt before diving in. Curtis groans in appreciation, Andy knows how to open him up. Andy lines up and pushes in and Curtis groans turn to full on cries of delight as Andy takes him to the moon. “Now you must feed me.” Andy says lying next to Curtis once they’re done. “Give me one minute.” Curtis pants. No one has made him feel that good before and he needs some time to steady himself. Andy kisses Curtis cheek and admires his handy work. Curtis is pink and glowing just as he’s hoped. He loves Curtis squishy bits as much as he loved Spence’s muscles. Both appeal to him equally. Both putty in his hands when he wants them to be. He runs his hand over Curtis body and grins. “We are going to have so much fun.” Andy says. “You’re amazing.” Curtis says. “I am and starving.” Andy grins. Curtis grabs at a t-shirt and Andy pulls it away. “Do you really need that?” Andy asks eyeing Curtis body again as if it were an ice-cream. “I don’t want to get burned.” Curtis says feeling desired and self-conscious at the same time. He has never had much body confidence and it’s been worse since his stepdad died and he gained more weight. He just doesn’t enjoy exercise and feels too fat to go to the gym. “I mean it when I say I like to look at you.” Andy says. “I know I’m not in good shape.” Curtis says. “You have a glorious behind. Magnificent. I just want to squeeze all day.” Andy says standing behind Curtis as he cooks the scallops and putting his hands down the back of his shorts for another good feel. “You are crazy.” Curtis says feeling good. “I know I don’t have the best body or handsomest face but guys are attracted to me. I like how you look and I’m going to keep telling you til you believe me.” Andy says. “You got me h in the restaurant yesterday just talking.” Curtis admits. “Good.” Andy grins loving the rush of power. “Here we go.” Curtis says plating up. “This is sooo good.” Andy says making short work of the dish and Curtis grins seeing Andy’s enthusiasm for food is equal to his enthusiasm for his body. He relaxes and enjoys the rest of the evening, good food and conversation. After yoga on Thursday Gervais is just picking at his food. Blue takes a good hard stare at him then goes to talk to Cheryl in the kitchen. “I know it’s off menu but can you make a banana milk like ocean has? And a big green juice with shots of everything.” Blue grins. Cheryl looks over at Gervais and nods. “I’ve taken him back to the doctors and they’ve adjusted his medication again in light of the murder but it looks like it’s going to take a few more trips to get it right.” Cheryl says. “Thank-you.” Blue says humbled that Cheryl who has such a full life with far more responsibilities than him and has taken the time to help Gervais. “And you and Birch are okay again?” Cheryl asks. “We will be, I’ve kind of slowed us down.” Blue says with a smile. “He’s good for you. Don’t push him away.” Cheryl says and Blue nods. “Here drink.” Blue says setting two tall glasses in front of Gervais. Robin looks over at them and breathes a huge sigh of relief. However much Gervais shouldn’t be Blue’s problem Blue is always the best solution. Birch looks with a mix of pride and jealousy. He is glad Blue is doing what is right and wishes he hadn’t tried to force the issue before. But he also feels worried and a little insecure. Gervais looks up with eyes filled with love. He’s been grateful his friends have been trying to help but he’s needed Blue and he hates that he can’t manage without him, that he can’t let Blue go. “Thank-you.” Gervais says. “You better drink it all up.” Blue says. “I’ll race you.” Ocean says with a grin as his mom puts a glass in front of him. “No.” Cheryl says sternly and Ocean gulps it down regardless. For a second Cheryl’s hand rests on Willows shoulder and Blue looks at the two of them and grins. Cheryl smiles and shakes her head at Blue’s look. “Can DeShawn come to class?” Ocean asks. “He doesn’t do yoga but as it is warmer now would you like to come swim on the roof the weekend? I bet DeShawn would come too.” Blue says. “Can I mom?” Ocean asks with a smile. “Yes you may, Sunday morning would be perfect.” Cheryl says. “Yeah. Can we have another sleepover? I like having my big brothers sleep over but Blue didn’t come yet.” Ocean says. “Not this weekend buddy. Maybe in a few weeks.” Blue says. “Aww you’re no fun.” Ocean pouts. Gervais reaches under the table and squeezes Blue’s hand. For the first time in a while Blue doesn’t pull away immediately but squeezes back first giving Gervais the strength to eat a few more mouthfuls. “You need to eat too.” Birch whispers from the other side and Blue looks down guiltily at the bowl in front of him and picks up his fork. Birch smiles at him and gives him a squeeze. Andy invites everyone to Sunday dinner and Blue and Birch go together after dropping Ocean home and collecting the desserts Blue has made. Curtis is cooking and meeting the rest of the crew. Blue has made a chocolate cheesecake that Birch has been craving ever since Blue uttered the suggestion. He’s done some chocolate dipped fruits too knowing Andy will want more than one dessert. “Ocean has so much energy. He wore me out today.” Birch says. “Me too. Can we leave early? I’d love to just skip this and laze at home but I made these desserts.” Blue laughs. “Which I could eat all by myself, and you would have to work me out for hours after.” Birch grins and Blue is sorely tempted. Blue and Birch are not back to where they were, both too wary to dive back in with both feet but wishing the other would give them the sign they are ready. They are happy to be at least working on it and Blue feels stupid for almost letting it all go. Everyone but Gervais is around and Willow who wasn’t free. Blue suspects spending the day with Cheryl. Blue puts the desserts in the fridge and looks at what Curtis is cooking curiously. Feeling a little pushed out at not being the main cook any more. “Where’s G?” Blue asks. “Sick.” Andy says happy that Blue is at least asking. Blue heads in to see him. He’s burning up and shivering. “You have the flu again. Did you not get a shot?” Blue asks. “I think so. Must be another one.” Gervais says clearly barely able to move. “What do you want to drink? You’re sweating like crazy.” Blue asks and Gervais looks at him blankly. “I made cheesecake will you want some later?” Blue asks gently. “My throat is scratchy.” Gervais says. “I’ll see if you have some juice and yogurt or ice cream okay? I’ll be back.” Blue says gently stroking his forehead. Blue asks Andy for supplies. “Okay it is too weird you asking like this.” Andy laughs. “I don’t live here.” Blue says, “Just help yourself.” Andy laughs but feels really sad that Blue doesn’t feel at home. He goes back to get more cuddles from Curtis, they’ve seen each other every night and are well on the way to being boyfriends. Blue struggles to find anything that Gervais likes and will tolerate. “I’m just going to the store, I’ll not be long, anyone need anything?” Blue asks and they shake their heads. Blue picks up a few things that Gervais might manage. He can’t believe no one called him to deal and then smiles that no one called him. He grabs a glass and spoon and goes to Gervais room. “I’ll heat you some soup later. Here’s some yogurt, try a few bites. I’m going to put juice and a bottle of water right here on your nightstand.” Blue says and Gervais smiles weakly he aches to his core and is so grateful Blue is back taking charge. “Thank-you.” Gervais whispers. “One more bite and some juice then back to sleep.” Blue says gently. Blue helps Gervais sit enough to drink and when he’s managed some lets him get back to sleep. “Is he okay?” Birch asks. “No, he’s really sick poor thing.” Blue says. “Are you okay?” Birch asks. “Not really, but I can’t ignore him when he’s like this.” Blue says. “You shouldn’t have to.” Antonio says. “Well I’d really get it in the neck from Momma if he ended up in hospital with pneumonia or dehydration.” Blue sighs. “You take on too much.” Birch says worried Blue will make himself ill too. “Foods ready.” Curtis says and Andy grins at him for changing the subject knowing Blue is likely on a knife edge. Blue and Birch see there is bacon and sausage in the pasta that Curtis has served so just grab themselves some salad not bothered they know they will fill up on dessert. Curtis looks at them annoyed but doesn’t say anything. “Should I put some aside for your sick friend?” Curtis asks. “No he won’t eat it.” Blue says in a friendly way not meaning to cause offence. “Rude.” Curtis says. “He’s vegetarian.” Antonio says. “It’s delicious though.” DeShawn says. And the others offer thanks. Blue puts the cheesecake and fruit out and Curtis has made a chocolate pie, it isn’t very good. Not bad but nowhere near Blue’s or Robin’s version. Blue puts some of each on a plate for Gervais and takes it through. “Hey buddy, I brought dessert in. I’ll put it here with some more juice.” Blue says gently. “I feel shit.” Gervais mumbles. “You’re sick. Drink and eat a few bites if you can. You like these strawberries and they won’t hurt your throat.” Blue says. “Wow. I miss chef Blue.” Gervais says. “I’ll ask the guys to check in on you later. Do you need the bathroom?” Blue asks. “No I’m good. I miss you Blue.” Gervais whispers. “We just need to get you better.” Blue says and ruffles his hair. “You’re too good to me.” Gervais says. “Yes I am.” Blue says. “That was so humiliating.” Curtis says in the car as he drives Andy to his place. “What?” Andy asks confused. “They didn’t eat my pie and you didn’t tell me they were vegetarians.” Curtis says. “I told you I’d asked Blue to bring dessert.” Andy says. “I wanted to impress your friends.” Curtis says. “You did, your pasta was amazing. We just didn’t expect you to do a meat dish as you work at Cheryls and I am sorry if I didn’t tell you that Blue and Birch were veggie, I thought you knew from dinner the other night.” Andy says. “I was so nervous that night I have no clue what I ordered myself.” Curtis says. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you explicitly. They were happy with salad, neither complained.” Andy says. “Where does he get that cheesecake?” Curtis asks. “He made it.” Andy says confused. “No fucking way.” Curtis says impressed and even more embarrassed. “I have seen him make a hundred desserts he made it himself. Just because you’re in culinary school doesn’t mean that you’re better than anyone else. Just means you’ve had some lessons.” Andy says. “Fuck you.” Curtis says. “What’s the problem? Why are you so arrogant about it? Blue has been working for years on his baking.” Andy says. “Cooking is my vocation, its my life. You’re belittling it and it hurts.” Curtis says. “So no one else is allowed to be good at it? Surely its good to have competition to make you better?” Andy asks. “I guess. It was just a wake up call that I have a really long way to go. Sorry. I was pissed.” Curtis says. “I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass. I love food and other than the pie, which sucked, everything you’ve made me has been amazing. You have to take criticism with praise.” Andy says. “Not from my boyfriend.” Curtis says. “Hmm so if I want you to cook for me again I can’t be your boyfriend. Interesting.” Andy says.