Blue wakes on Christmas morning in the makeshift bed of blankets on the lounger room floor Gervais is cuddled to his chest. They’ve had a manic week but everything is prepped and they can sleep in a little.
During the week they made and delivered mountains of pies and cheesecakes and the bakery had continued to turn a swift trade. Amidst all this they helped Gladys and Abby move. Once Blue had floated the idea they had gone a step further and admitted their houses were too much to handle.
Abby owns a fairly modern apartment block much closer to the stores and community center and they are mobbing into an apartment together instead. Gladys no longer worried about invading Abby’s space, Blue happy they have more neighbors to keep an eye on them and Abby confident they can manage with minimal help.
“Happy Christmas baby.” Blue says kissing the top of Gervais head as he stirs.
“Happy Christmas my love.” Gervais says and kisses Blue gently.
They are not together. Have done nothing more than kiss since Gervais arrived and they both feel closer than ever.
Blue had a wobble when he went to see Wilson about the house. Signing part away to Gervais felt both right and like failure. He got revised quotes for a basic make it all safe repair and the full top grade that Gervais would like. Although tempted to hide his fears he took all the figures to Gervais and they talked through his feelings and the options. Lying in bed Blue replays the conversation in his head.
“I owe you so much. I want to pay and I want you to see it as a gift. I don’t want you to add me to the title through guilt that I no longer have a home with Clara. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have lasted a month at school. My earning potential is higher thanks to you encouraging me to transfer and I will be paying you back the rest of my life for how you helped when my dad died.” Gervais said sincerely, wishing he’d never messed Blue around so he might accept that he deserves this without anything in return.
“I worry about you.” Blue said.
“I know and I know I always have a room here. If I don’t it’ll be my own fault as I’ve messed up again or you have married and filled the place with kids and nothing would make me happier and I’d buy a place up the street.” Gervais grinned.
“I still feel like I’m ripping you off.” Blue said.
“You’re not. You’re letting me help you like you helped me. You deserve it.” Gervais said.
Blue smiles down at Gervais and feels warm and loved. He isn’t sure if he and Gervais will ever be back together buy he feels like they are in exactly the right place.
“You run the bath and I’ll light the fires.” Blue says after they snuggle a little longer.
Blue grins as he enters the kitchen. They have decorated the tops of the walls with greenery from outside. Blue loves how it looks and smells. They don’t have a tree though have sprayed a little fake snow on the lemon and avocado plants.
The fires are soon lit and Blue joins Gervais in the bathroom. Robin sent them a big box of bath bombs for Christmas and they opened them the night before, called Robin to thanks him and give him and his mom a video tour of their home.
Robin’s mom gave Blue a short lecture on dropping out of school and not calling his mom and then surprised him by telling him he had her full support on both choices and she was proud of him for making decisions that worked for him.
It felt like a huge relief and validation. He no longer needs to live in secret. Cheryl has been fully supportive from day one and now Robin’s mom has added to the validation and Mike, Gladys, Abby and Heidi all support his dreams. Since leaving school no one has belittled or laughed at his dreams.
“This smells so good.” Blue says getting in.
“I love this old bath, I’m glad it was saved.” Gervais says.
“Me too. I really like being in it with you.” Blue says.
“What is happening with us? I feel closer to you than ever but I still don’t see us together. How are you feeling?” Gervais asks.
“Same, I think we’re closer than ever, we’re being truthful to each other and we’re not hiding. I think we should just enjoy being the best of friends.” Blue trails off.
“I never thought we’d get back to this level of closeness. I feel like I’m reading you the way you used to read me, you still do but I need less.” Gervais says.
“You are and you’re talking to me and not doing crazy things. You are calmer, happier, stronger. I think you trust your instincts now and you trust me.” Blue says.
“You’re different too. You’re less boy crazy. You seem content now you are on your path.” Gervais says.
“I am. I still get lonely. When you go and I’m living here alone it will be hard, maybe harder after sharing with you. I don’t want to be single but I don’t trust my instincts with guys. I don’t want to be building my life alone but I don’t think I’ll ever be in another relationship.” Blue says getting down again.
“You won’t be single forever. You make way too good a cheesecake.” Gervais says and splashes Blue to break the tension.
Blue giggles and snaps out of it.
The boys have a leisurely breakfast of pancakes. Blue hasn’t got chickens yet but hopes to in the new year when he can get focused on the land.
“Lets do gifts now before mark arrives with the meat.” Gervais says as they stand on the back stoop with their coffee looking out across the land.
“Okay. Our first Christmas in our dream house.” Blue grins and squeezes Gervais hand.
They go inside and get organized.
Their gifts for each other look near identical. A nicely wrapped gift and a big envelope. They exchange wrapped gifts first.
Gervais has bought Blue a set of cookbooks, all second hand, by various classic chefs. Blue is very happy and hugs Gervais tightly.
Blue has bought Gervais a plant your own herb garden for his kitchen at college. Gervais grins and kisses Blue.
“Thanks so much. I have enjoyed getting back into cooking here and this will motivate me to do more and rely on Cheryl less.” Gervais grins.
“And I can find lots of new things to cook. Thanks.” Blue says and they hug tightly.
“We need to go outside for the next part.” Gervais says.
“What?” Blue asks confused.
“Come on.” Gervais says picking up the envelope and grabbing Blue’s hand and pulling him outside. They walk to the edge of the field.
“See this sloping land that isn’t being used? No good for produce but pretty good for vines?” Gervais asks.
“Yes.” Blue says slowly.
“It’s yours.” Gervais says and hands Blue the envelope.
“What?” Blue asks.
“I spoke with Abby about it as I could see it wasn’t used and she helped negotiate. There is an access road from here anyway as it used to be part of this farm. I love it here, you love it here, I thought it would be good if you could really get started here and not have to move on.” Gervais says.
“You are amazing.” Blue grins.
“You’re happy?” Gervais asks.
“Of course I am happy. You’re amazing. Too amazing.” Blue says and hugs him close.
“We’ll go up tomorrow and see it all. The farmer was really nice and happy for you to have it.” Gervais says.
“I like it here. It’s like home but bigger and there are less hippies.” Blue laughs.
“I like it too, more opportunity than home but the same small town closeness in the community.” Gervais says.
“Come on lets get your other present.” Blue says.
“I don’t understand.” Gervais says opening the envelope as they sit in front the fire to warm up.
“The other house. I’m giving it to you as you won’t go on this one. I agreed with Momma that I wouldn’t sett it, that it could be used by kids from home if they needed somewhere to live. I figured you’d probably stick to that but you don’t have to. I don’t want any ties back there or to her.” Blue says.
“It’ll be nice to tell Chris he has to pay rent.” Gervais grins.
“You have to film that.” Blue laughs.
“Thanks Blue. I love it. I do.” Gervais says unsure then really sure.
“I hope I haven’t just lumbered you with a millstone.” Blue says.
“No way. Robin’s mom and I can deal with both houses between us. I’m happy. I love this place I do but I totally get you wanting it to be yours. I’ve a year and a half at school yet and it gives me somewhere for next school year if Robin wants his girlfriend to live with him or whatever.” Gervais says.
Mike arrives with the meat and they start to work on lunch. They’ve done most of the prep this time and Blue knows to expect lots of food from the guests. As soon as church is over people start arriving. Tad and Larry are giving people rides and the place is soon full of people laughing and joking.
Gervais and Blue sort out drinks and the flowers and gifts people bring and then get back to the cooking. The pair work so well together. Neither has ever been happier. Gervais is so proud of himself that he can manage such a bustling event and stay in control of himself. He also adores seeing Blue so happy in his entertaining mode.
Blue loves making people food and having such a varied group together. Tad is chatting away with the old folk and everyone wants to talk with Heidi. She’s closed the bakery for the renovations and is happy to be having a break.
Larry is following Heidi around like a lovesick pup, it’s cute but probably a bit annoying for her. Not long before they are due to eat Wilson arrives with his family.
“Sorry to just land on you, we’ve a total power cut and its getting too cold for the little ones. I didn’t think you’d mind. We’ve brought chairs.” Wilson says and Mike helps get them set up. Gervais swoops in to hold the baby and soon everyone is sat down eating and drinking and having a lovely time. Like thanksgiving no one makes a move to leave, they all enjoy the warmth and company.
The kids run around outside to let off steam, Blue’s untamed kitchen garden a worry for parents but an adventure to the kids.
Blue is stood watching them out the kitchen window and Gervais slips in front of him.
“Its been a lovely day.” Gervais says and snuggles back into Blue.
“It has. It’ll be your kids we’re watching one day.” Blue says.
“I hope so. I’d love for days like today to be part of my family’s traditions. I love the little ones. All the things I missed out on. Makes me more resentful of my dad, how could he not have enjoyed being with me as a little one you know? Kids are so much fun. I would have been fun.” Gervais says.
“You’ll be doubly sure to get it right with yours.” Blue says wishing he could say ours.
“Yeah. I will.” Gervais smiles and swoops to pick up a toddler that is grabbing his leg.
Blue looks around and sees Larry alone.
“You okay?” Blue asks.
“Yeah, it is weird without mom. She would have loved this. Dad seems happy though. You’ve helped bring him back to life.” Larry says.
“I don’t think it was me. He was well on his way when I got here. He’s making sure he’s less of a worry to you guys.” Blue says.
“He is and I appreciate it. Looks like Tad and Gervais are getting along. They do look cute together.” Larry says. Blue looks at Gervais and Tad both holding a little one and chatting away.
“They do look like a family.” Blue says not jealous exactly but not happy.
“Tad always gets what he wants. He’s always been the hot one. The charismatic one.” Larry says.
“I thought he never had a boyfriend.” Blue says.
“No but he has whoever he wants, man or woman. I don’t even get the scraps.” Larry says.
“You’re fucking hot. You’re too busy worrying about Tad to see who is looking at you.” Blue says and totally out of character runs his hand over Larry’s ass and then slips his hand into the back of Larry’s jeans to get a really good feel of the gorgeous muscular ass. Blue keeps his eyes on Larry’s face, ready for a bad reaction. But Larry leans towards him and grins, his full mouth widening and showing off his perfect teeth.
“Lets go for a walk.” Larry says.
“Okay.” Blue says smiling.
“How did you know?” Larry asks when they get a distance from the house.
“Something about the way you follow Heidi about knowing she’s out of reach and the way you talked about Tad the other night. You were describing you more than him. He might like Gervais but you’re desperation on his behalf was your own.” Blue says.
“I was all ready to come out and then Tad did and I just couldn’t be back in his shadow. I got shit for him being gay no way I could tell anyone I was too. I don’t know. Sometimes I think he did it to spite me. That he knew my porn habit or something.” Larry says.
“Are you out at school?” Blue asks.
“Yeah. I had a boyfriend most of last year. Please don’t tell anyone. I am happy in my skin but it will be hard for dad to have two gay sons.” Larry says.
“I can keep secrets.” Blue says and they walk back to the house talking about other things.
“Robin will be here soon.” Blue says as he and Gervais sit by the fire after everyone has gone.
“Yeah we get a lazy day tomorrow, just us, first.” Gervais says.
“Cuddles and leftovers.” Blue smiles looking forward to a real day of rest. He thought about starting the outside work but knows he needs a couple of days break.
“Perfect.” Gervais says and kisses Blue.
They sleep well and share a lovely lazy morning together and then make some holiday calls. They talk to Robin and his mom and Gervais calls up W and AB so he can see what the kids got for Christmas. Fortunately Spence isn’t there so Blue can watch too.
“Spence is out with Danny. Those two really hit it off.” W says.
“I expected that. I meant to have Danny visit but it just never happened.” Gervais says.
“Vase, Vase. I got a bike.” Tommy says grinning away.
Gervais grins and focuses on the kid and they forget all talk of Spence.
They round out the catch up with a call to Ocean and Cheryl.
“Wow you’re looking strong.” Blue says as Ocean flexes his muscles.
“Can you come and visit soon? Maybe I can visit you.” Ocean asks hopefully.
“I might need to pop back to sort one thing out with Gervais. So I will see you then for sure.” Blue says and Ocean grins.
“Yay!” Ocean cries out and hugs his mom.
“I miss you too buddy.” Blue grins happy to see the kid smile, he’s become quite serious in the last few calls.
“Blue it is a huge as but do you think we could come and stay for the summer? There is a camp that does high level gymnastics not too far from you and I think I could pick up some classes and work too. We need a change of scene.” Cheryl asks.
“Is this about momma?” Blue asks.
“More about Willow. I don’t fancy a summer at the retreat when it will be hers and Ocean won’t want to be away from training so long.” Cheryl says.
“That would be awesome. I’m hoping to intern in the city here. It would be cool to have you guys here too though it means you won’t be able to house seasonal workers. At least not so many.” Gervais says.
“That is no issue, not now. I’d much rather have you three here. I’ll talk to Gladys about finding you some workshop options.” Blue says.
“I can help in your garden Blue and I will be good.” Ocean says.
“For sure and we’ll find somewhere to go fishing.” Blue says.
“Woooo summer with my big Blue woooooo.” Ocean grins and keeps on singing to himself.
“Well that is something to look forward to.” Gervais says after.
“I know. It’ll feel like a real home with us all here. And they’ll be chaperones for us.” Blue says.
“Like Robin will be. We’re so close to being back together. I think I’m more ready than you right now.” Gervais says.
“Neither of us want the stress of long distance but it’s hard to think about being with anyone else when things are going so well. But we’re not tied to each other in any way but 1 feel like one of us is going to be hurt when the other stars dating someone.” Blue says.
“Best Christmas ever.” Gervais says as they sit by the fire in the kitchen enjoying the quiet.
“I worried it would be too much for you but you were great.” Blue says.
“I know I’m safe with you and I know I can manage Without you. The first few weeks at school were hard. Robin was great but I was pretty overloaded with all the new. Cheer has been great. I cannot imagine what my dad would have said about me doing it.” Gervais grins.
“He’d have been secretly proud of you and not said a word.” Blue says.
“I hope so. It’s been hard trying to forgive him when I keep finding new things to hate him for. But I’ve been having little breakthroughs.” Gervais says,
“It shows. You don’t get angry at me anymore, don’t lash out so much.” Blue says.
“I’m sorry. All those times I pushed you away. The whole Jesse and Chris things. I am so embarrassed
“I was so ready to be back together. Maybe Birch really was a rebound.” Blue muses.
“Your next one won’t be. You can’t give up just because you’ve had a rough run.” Gervais says.
“You have.” Blue says.
“No, I haven’t. I’ve taken a good break because I needed to work on myself but I have not given up on finding my husband. The search is just on hold.” Gervais says with a grin.
Blue nods. He’s panicking about Gervais leaving and being alone.
“Blue you will be okay. You can call me a hundred times a day if you need to and Robin. Everyone here loves you too, don’t forget that.” Gervais says.
“I just miss having someone. Waking up with you has been lovely. I’ll be okay, I’m going to be busy and too tired to notice probably but right now I am dreading you leaving.” Blue says.
“It has been wonderful.” Gervais grins.
Blue wants to push for more but knows there will be certain rejection so keeps the words to himself.
They talk long into the night about Blue’s business and getting started with wine and other produce. They talk about the bakery and cooking until neither of them can stay awake.
They have a lovely lazy day eating leftovers and watching movies on Gervais laptop. It’s snowing and it feels pretty romantic but they keep their hands to themselves. They both seem to have forgotten that Larry and Tad exist.
The next day Robin arrives and they spend the next few days showing him the town and the house.
They explore Blue’s extra land and go into the city for movies and to eat. They have a great time and Blue is glad his true friends have stuck by him.
“My mom wanted to reassure you she won’t tell Clara where you are. She’s pretty conflicted about it but can see you need to go your own way.” Robin says one evening over dinner.
“I was pretty shocked when she said she was supporting me in this.” Blue says.
“She said if Gervais found you Clara could find you but has chosen not to and so it’s all on her. She would like you to visit sometime when you can.” Robin says.
“Momma replaced me every chance she could. I get being pushed out for Bea and Chris, even for Katelyn but not G and Andy. Having had distance and Perspective I just don’t get it. Not after what you did. Not after how Andy behaved last winter.” Blue says.
“I totally agree. It was nice to have someone on side and I wanted your momma to be my momma. But the way she treated you, has treated you even before we met was bad. Just as bad as my dad at times. It was really hard to let her go, we had a strong connection more than I have with Robin’s mom and Cheryl.” Gervais explains.
“My mom acknowledged that she was neglecting us to look after you when your dad died but we had dad and we didn’t need her like you did. It made our relationship stronger. We all respected her for doing what was right. Clara just bullies and belittles you and tears you down and expects you to still be perfect.” Robin says and Gervais nods.
“She’s out of my life now. Maybe forever and it hurts but it’s honestly easier to deal with cutting her off than trying to be what she wants me to be whilst rejecting me for being me.” Blue says quietly.
“You’ve grown so much since being here. I love your place and I love the people. This is like your home but more functional.” Robin says.
“I know right?” Gervais grins.
“I feel at home. I will miss you guys like crazy when you go back.” Blue admits.
“We’ll be back for the summer.” Robin says.
“Both of you?” Blue asks with a grin.
“Yeah. I’ve been applying for internships out here all break. If I don’t get anything I’ll work for you.” Robin says simply.
“And we’ll work on our game.” Gervais grins.
“You two best send me links of what furniture you want in that study.” Blue laughs feeling incredibly content. The best parts of his old life have made it to his new.