The alarm comes too early. Gervais is a huge asset in the kitchen helping both Blue and Heidi out and when the bread is in Heidi shows Gervais how to work the coffee machine so he can open up and leave them baking.
Heidi is brought round to the idea of taking people on once the extension is open and maybe before.
The ones she interviewed so far she’s not sure are what she’s looking for. She knows she’s spoiled by Blue and Gervais who both have good cooking and café experience. She’d take someone with either.
They have a long line again but this time wait until opening time so they are fully prepared. Gervais deals with the first wave efficiently and again most the stock is gone within an hour. They have a lull after the rush, the town is at church. They get ready for lunch and take turns to pop out and serve as people come in.
Tad and Larry turn up to collect the keys from Blue and drop off Gladys and Abby. Tad looks at Gervais and his jaw hits the floor, who is this angel and why have they not met.
“Uh excuse me is Blue here? We need his keys.” Larry says as his brother can’t get any words out.
“Sure do you want a coffee first?” Gervais asks.
“They’ll have soup. Sit down boys there is no hurry.” Abby says firmly.
“I’ll bring it over.” Gervais smiles. He pours out 4 mugs of soup and gathers up soft bread for the ladies and cuts a couple of large sandwiches for the guys, they look like they could eat a truck Gervais thinks.
“This is Gervais Blue’s lovely polite friend from school.” Gladys says as Gervais puts the tray down.
“You must be Abby. Thank you so much for helping Blue with his dream home.” Gervais says with a grin. Tad is still dumbstruck, he rarely has crushes, has never had a boyfriend or dates just encounters and Gervais has taken his breath away.
“These are Mike’s sons Larry and Tad.” Gladys says and Gervais shakes their hands.
“Nice to meet you, I’ll go and grab Blue.” Gervais says with a smile.
“Two hunky farmboys are here for you, very cute.” Gervais says with a grin and Blue giggles Larry and Tad’s looks hadn’t escaped him the other night.
“Here’s the keys, all the furnishings I don’t want are in the old dining room, there’s quite a lot. Gervais and I will be free at three if you need more help.” Blue says.
“We’ll manage. We totally owe you. Coming home to a freezer full of meals, ones that this one will eat was a huge surprise. You’ve done our dad a real good turn sorting the house out too. He was back on his feet at the farm but the house was overwhelming for him.” Larry says.
“Yeah the food is amazing. We though dad had a girlfriend the place smelt so nice.” Tad says grinning.
“Your dad did me a good turn giving me a job this summer. I owed him big time.” Blue says and heads back. They bring the last of the food out front and Blue and Heidi high five. A steady stream of locals and people from further afield come through and they soon run out of soup and sandwiches and Heidi tells Blue and Gervais they can finish.
“Heidi do you want me to come in this week? Not just on Blue’s days?” Gervais asks and Heidi hesitates.
“I don’t cost anything. I just figure with you two needing to get the Christmas orders finished I could help you out.” Gervais says.
“Sure, you don’t need to come in for 4, could you come by an hour before opening?” Heidi asks.
“Sure, see you tomorrow.” Gervais smiles.
On the way to the farmhouse Blue explains Heidi’s plans to expand into next door.
“That sounds perfect, she needs more tables.” Gervais says.
“You enjoyed it didn’t you? I can’t believe the boy who was too frightened to come out of his room at college is now laughing and flirting with strangers.” Blue grins.
“I know. I loved it. I hope you didn’t have plans for me. I thought it would be easier for you if I was occupied.” Gervais says.
“It’s perfect. Here we are.” Blue says as he starts up the long driveway.
“Oh baby it’s the house of our dreams.” Gervais says with a tear in his eye. He hates that Blue left but whatever the universe did to get him here, to this place, it was worth it. This is exactly where Blue should be. This is their home. Gervais feels a huge wave of emotion as they get closer and as he steps out the car.
“You did it baby.” Gervais says quietly squeezing Blue’s hand.
“I wish it was finished before you see it. Go look at the land while I get a fire on.” Blue says and Gervais nods. He explores the kitchen garden and looks at the two fields and imagines the empty one full of vines and kids and he lets the tears fall. He has never had such an emotional attachment to a place before.
Gervais feels peace wash over him. He is so glad he found that article and his hunch was right. That Blue welcomed him, that Gladys and Heidi have accepted him makes him feel good too. He’s not even that far from the city, whether he and Blue are together or roommates Gervais knows this is his home too.
“You okay? Bathroom is through there.” Blue points.
Gervais grins and goes to wash his face. He looks in the mirror and breathes in and out slowly.
“My school encourages us all to get internships in the summers. I am going to get one in the city and live here this summer.” Gervais says.
“I fought against you being any part of this but here you are, already part of the furniture and moving in. Come on let me show you round.” Blue laughs knowing he’s beaten. Gervais is part of him and he needs to stop fighting it.
“Can this be my study?” Gervais asks in the smallest room overlooking the back. It’s a bright room with a lovely view.
“Won’t you get distracted when I’m shirtless and working in the garden?” Blue asks.
“Sounds gooooood to me.” Gervais grins.
“I’m glad you didn’t let me go. I’m giving you a fresh start here. I won’t tell anyone how you treated me in the past or about your parents. I’ve told some people a little about momma and my siblings but it isn’t common knowledge. I suggest if you are serious about paying for the repairs we get you on the title, I’ll call Wilson and we can get things done right and not budget. Maybe do the attic at the same time.” Blue says.
“That sounds amazing Blue. But you don’t have to do that.” Gervais says.
“I owe you a home. You’ve given up mommas because of me. You need a base away from school. I need the cash injection and this place is too big for just me.” Blue says.
“Until you fill it with babies.” Gervais laughs.
“We’ll need some sort of rules about bringing people back so we don’t get hurt. Neither of us wants to live with a couple when we’re single.” Blue says.
“I have hurt you enough to know what hurts you. I have grown enough to know not to, but I still do sometimes. Like with Spence. I knew that would hurt but I never imagined you’d find out. I need to give myself higher standards.” Gervais says.
“I’m glad I found out. Worth the pain to get here.” Blue says.
They sit in the armchairs by the fire and relax feeling content to just sit. Gervais gets up and sits in Blue’s lap and they cuddle for a good while. They have both dozed off when there is a knock at the kitchen door.
“We brought the keys back. Uncle Wilson loves all the stuff and you’ve scored me a job away from the farm helping him.” Larry says with a grin.
“Yeah numbnuts gets to work in a nice warm barn while I toil away.” Tad says.
“Do you want a coffee?” Blue asks remembering his manners.
“Nah we’re good. Can we stay for a bit? Dad has his farmer’s poker night tonight and we do not want to get sucked in.” Larry says.
“It is totally sexist the male farmers are at ours drinking and pretending to play poker and the women are at another farm baking cookies and wrapping gifts.” Tad says.
“I bet they are drinking wine and gossiping about their husbands more like.” Blue laughs.
“Oh true, true.” Larry laughs.
“So are you two a couple? Looked all snug when we got here.” Tad asks.
“Nah we’re best friends.” Blue says with a smile.
“I can’t believe Tad isn’t the only gay in the village anymore. Options big bro, options.” Larry teases.
“Blue grew up as the only gay in his area, or so he thought, there was a guy a year younger and a carpenter but he came along later.” Gervais says.
“When did you come out?” Blue asks.
“Day I went to college. I told the three of them as we unpacked my room. It was no surprise to Mom she said she always knew but Larry and Dad were a bit stunned.” Tad says.
“He had the hottest girlfriend in high school and I know they were having sex. I was so shocked he liked boys.” Larry says
“I was thinking of Elijah Wood while doing her. She liked that I didn’t pressure her to do it often.” Tad says
“You didn’t think it was cruel? Stopping her from finding someone who would love her back? Who didn’t have to pretend?” Gervais asks appalled.
“It was just high school, not marriage.” Tad shrugs.
“Were things that bad you needed to hide? Everyone has been nice to me.” Blue asks.
“It would have been fine. I’d have killed anyone who tried anything.” Larry says.
“Which was reason to keep it quiet, I didn’t want my little bro kicked out of school.” Tad says.
“Are you planning to work for your dad when you’re done with school?” Blue asks hoping to shift things.
“Not me. No way will I be outdoors in all weathers.” Larry says.
“What about you Tad?” Blue asks.
“I don’t know. I don’t want to spend my life working the land for him to swoop in and take half. It’s a sore point between us. Dad told us your plans, I wish I could do the same, just start over small and build it all myself but it would be churlish when Dad has a huge farm.” Tad says.
“I told you I’d happily do haulage, distribution, logistics or marketing.” Larry says.
“Sit on your ass and do nothing.” Tad grumbles.
“So is there something safer we can talk about?” Blue asks laughing.
“We are coming here for Christmas dinner. What about new years? Any plans?” Larry asks.
“We might have another friend come visit. Does anything happen here? What do you usually do?” Blue asks.
“Usually we get wasted in someone’s barn. But last year the barn burned down, nothing to do with us, we were long gone but it means no one is willing to host….” Larry wiggles his eyebrows.
“We are not hosting a party in the middle of renovations.” Gervais says and Blue nods.
“We can have a small group and some good music, food and wine. Can we let fireworks off here?” Blue asks.
“Legally yes but after last year, with the barn burning and the animals lost we’ve agreed not to.” Tad says quietly.
“But not more than like 10 people. We don’t have the space or the working bathrooms and I don’t want people pissing all over the garden.” Gervais says and Blue grins.
“I’d love something low key but Larry wants something livelier.” Tad says, his ideal would be him and Gervais, alone and naked.
“Well we’ll host low key, it’s not like you have to go to the same party.” Blue says.
“I can’t persuade you to host a rave in your field?” Larry asks.
“No.” Blue and Gervais say together.
“Is Heidi still single? Dad said you worked with her.” Larry asks.
“Yes she is and you’re too young for her.” Blue says with a grin feeling protective.
“I thought you had a girlfriend.” Tad says.
“Meh broke up before coming home. Didn’t want to deal with Christmas gifts or texting every day.” Larry says and Gervais snorts.
“You are very like our friend Andy, he tells his boyfriends he won’t be faithful over break so they either dump him or let him play around, he does what he wants either way.” Gervais says.
“You make him sound awful.” Blue says.
“In the way he treats guys he is.” Gervais says and Blue shrugs.
“Are you single Tad?” Blue asks.
“Never had a boyfriend. I graduate in the spring and I still have no game with guys.” Tad says depressed.
“I’ve been single for a while, G too.” Blue says.
“But you don’t struggle to get guys.” Tad says.
“I did when I first got to school, took me a while to get my first boyfriend. I struggle to keep anyone, I’m too much, smother them.” Blue says.
“I’m taking some time to be single. I had a bunch of relationships in a row and need some time to work on me.” Gervais says and Blue grins.
“You’re doing great.” Blue says.
“So you two used to date?” Larry asks.
“Yeah freshman year. I’m a junior now.” Gervais says.
“How come you’ve not gone home for the holidays?” Tad asks.
“This is home.” Gervais says simply.
“But you’re not getting back together?” Tad asks.
“No. I don’t have any family, Blue is my closest friend, I’d rather spend the holidays with him than anyone else.” Gervais says.
“We worry about each other, so spending the holidays together is a lot less stressful than being apart.” Blue says.
“Is there any other work you need doing here? If I get a job dad won’t find jobs for me to do.” Tad asks.
“Not here but if you’re free and can deliver pies and cheesecakes for us at the bakery that would be great. You’re not officially delivering them, just uh picking them up on a friend’s behalf. I’d tip you very generously.” Blue says with a wink.
“Really? I would love to and it would mean I could catch up with everyone.” Tad says.
“Perfect.” Blue says with a smile.
“Aww man that sounds a lot better than being Uncle Wilson’s bitch.” Larry says.
“I am starving. Have you any food?” Gervais asks.
“Let’s get pizza and some beers in. It’s so nice and cozy in here.” Tad says.
“Do you eat meat Gervais?” Larry asks.
“No, just fish.” Gervais says.
“Score, I get a pepperoni pie to myself.” Larry grins.
“One of you come with me to get the pizza while I get the beers.” Tad says.
“I’ll come. Blue do you want me to pick you up something else?” Gervais asks.
“Yeah some salad or something. I have ice cream here.” Blue says.
“The pizza place does a terrific Greek salad.” Tad says.
“That would be great. Thanks.” Blue says and the two head out.
“My brother likes your friend.” Larry says.
“I thought so.” Blue smiles not sure how he feels.
“He doesn’t normally show much interest in anyone. It’s a really big deal for him.” Larry says.
“As long as you don’t think Gervais is obligated to return the feelings that’s fine.” Blue says a little wary.
“What’s wrong with Tad? Why wouldn’t Gervais like him?” Larry asks defensive.
“I have no idea if Gervais likes him or not but he’s not kidding when he says he’s staying single for now. If he decides to have a Christmas fling your brother might be in luck.” Blue smiles trying to diffuse the aggression.
“So this isn’t about you wanting him for yourself?” Larry asks.
“No. Gervais is one of my closest friends and I’d love him to find love when he’s ready.” Blue says.
“Okay, sorry if I came off as harsh. He’s my big brother but I’m pretty protective. He hasn’t had a relationship in nearly 4 years and he deserves one. He’s a great guy and despite Gervais views on him having a girlfriend he did treat her really well. He just needs someone to give him a shot.” Larry says.
“I know it isn’t easy, I know what it’s like to have not been around many men, to not know who your type is and then finding someone and them not like you back. It takes effort. I was so defeated at the start trying to even get a date. It’s a lot, lot, lot easier for you.” Blue says.
“Which is why I am anxious that Gervais likes him back.” Larry says.