“Ready to go?” Blue asks Robin, who has been working in the office above the new deli.
“Sure thing boss,” Robin says.
“I’m not your boss.” Blue says.
“You are.” Robin says.
“Hungry?” Blue asks.
“Is there a bar we can go to?” Robin asks.
“Sure I guess.” Blue says and drives them out to a student bar that Jett had mentioned as being lax. It is pretty quiet and Robin gets Blue a coke and himself a beer, cola being Blue’s one happy foray into junk food.
“Thanks.” Blue says as Robin sits down.
“Been a long time since we had a conversation alone.” Robin says.
“You only call when Gervais is around too.” Blue says.
“True.” Robin says.
“I miss our chats at night.” Blue says.
“Me too. Gervais isn’t so good at it.” Robin says.
“No more girlfriends?” Blue asks.
“Not really. I’ve dated a little but nothing I wanted to put more effort into. No more jumping in too fast. Seeing all that Bea has done and looking back on Emilie. I guess I just don’t trust my own judgement right now.” Robin says.
“Is that the problem? Are you jealous of me for having Will?” Blue asks.
“No. I am super happy for you. I really, really am. You two are amazing together and am happy that you are happy.” Robin says.
“So why do you hate me so much? Why all the animosity and rudeness?” Blue asks.
“This is my last college summer. I planned to work hard and play hard. Then my job fell through.” Robin says.
“And I offered you a job and you’ve been amazing so far. Are we not paying you enough? We can review it.” Blue says.
“Don’t get me wrong I am really grateful for the job. I loved working for you during semester. I just didn’t realize the reality of this summer and I didn’t really expect to be living with Cheryl. I’m going to be living with you and Cheryl and I am working for you and Cheryl.” Robin says.
“And you feel stressed that you have to be on your best behavior at all times so you are rebelling and being rude and belligerent.” Blue says,
“I guess. I can’t have any fun this summer unless I move out. But then I’d not be with you guys. So I’d feel I was missing out on fun if I did, but I can’t have any fun if I stay. If I find somewhere else to live I won’t see you and I won’t save any money.” Robin says.
“You knew Cheryl would be here. You and Gervais bought things for Ocean’s room. I’ve helped you get a job and given you somewhere to live and yet you’re still being totally obnoxious and complaining it isn’t enough. Not good enough for you. I’m too boring. It might be your last college summer but it isn’t mine, This is my life year round. You can’t be mad at me, rude to me for not supplying you with drugs and dancing girls.” Blue explodes, fed up with the whining of his friend.
“See I knew you wouldn’t understand.” Robin says.
“Are you asking me to fire you? So you can go home and blame me? Live off your parents and have fun?” Blue asks.
“No. I don’t know.” Robin admits.
“You need to move out by the weekend.” Blue says.
“No way.” Robin says.
“Yes way. Clearly our friendship isn’t going to survive living and working together. It’s on its last legs as it is. If it means you quit then so what, I don’t need hung over employees who want me to wipe their ass.” Blue says, he would love to have Robin back as a friend but he isn’t prepared to do all the work.
“You are so short tempered and unreasonable. Why can’t we meet half way? Why is it your way or being cut off? You’ve turned into your momma.” Robin says and Blue recoils.
“Robin I’m not telling you what to do, or how to behave. You didn’t have to take the job or live with me. I thought I was pretty nice offering both but you’ve sat here and told me that nice thing I did has ruined your summer. You also hate my personality and expect me to change to fit with what you want. But I am the controlling one. I am not going to beg you to stay friends. It is clear we have grown apart.” Blue sighs.
“Maybe. I just think you are totally unreasonable basing our friendship on whether I work for you or not.” Robin says.
“I’m not. I’m basing our lack of friendship on me not coming to your birthday, and you not coming to the parlor opening. We’re not there for the big events and we’ve not been making time for each other and I don’t see that changing. It isn’t all me.” Blue says.
“So I have to spend the summer away from all my friends.” Robin says annoyed.
“Well I’m not moving out.” Blue says.
“I have been there for you so many times. Two summers I have changed my plans for you and you are trying to ruin the third.” Robin says.
“You could have left me alone in Australia. I am always grateful that you came after Gervais left me but it hasn’t been all one way. I have been there for you many, many times. I love you Robin and I hate that we’ve drifted so far apart. I just don’t see why I should make the effort when your attitude stinks.” Blue says,
“Yours stinks too. You bend over backwards for Gervais, Spence and Andy. Pushing me out.” Robin says.
“You are pushing yourself out. j am not kicking Cheryl and Ocean out to facilitate your lifestyle. All of us in the house will be working this summer and so we won’t be having mid-week parties or much drinking. We all need steep to function. You knew that before coming here.” Blue says not sure what else he can do, or rather what else he wants to do. He hoped to clear the air but it is clear that Robin is expecting special treatment. He really hopes he can talk to Gervais later and find out if anything else is up.
“I don’t even know you anymore.” Robin says and they drive home in silence.
Blue shuts himself in his room to think and promptly falls asleep.
“You okay baby?” Will asks kissing him awake.
“How did things go with G?” Blue asks.
“Really well. We both love you and want what is best for you. Us being friends is a start and I have rethought my objections to him living here next year.” Will says.
“Good. I need to chat to him about stuff. It did not go well with Robin.” Blue says.
“I’m sorry babe.” Will says and hugs Blue tightly.
“Nothing I can do. I just don’t have the patience any more or the inclination to make the effort. I feel like it is always me who makes the compromises with my friends. I’m probably wrong and just being selfish but right now I have nothing to give.” Blue says.
“Yes you do. Just not to spoiled, entitled brats. A free place to stay and he doesn’t even bring you flowers or wine. Or offer to cook or buy you dinner.” Will says.
“You sound madder at Robin than the others.” Blue says.
“Andy has pitched in from the start, he hasn’t got much money of his own so I never expected a gift but he is helping in the garden and cooking. Spence was lovely in apologizing for dropping in and he helps with Ocean, will do the brunt of the driving in the mornings and pays way more than his share for groceries and took Katelyn shopping. Gervais, well he pre-paid, no one would have anywhere to sleep without him and I need to work on acknowledging what a big thing he did for you on getting the house in shape and the extra land. He also pitches in with the kids and wants to make an effort with me. Which incidentally Andy and Spence already do. It’s just princess Robin who is yet to lift a finger,” Will says.
“I asked him to leave. Let me go talk to Gervais. Try not to be mad. My friends can be annoying but they have been there for me,” Blue says.
“Not enough. I’ll take a bath while you are chatting.” Will says.
Gervais is in the kitchen taking a drink of water and Blue pulls him into a big hug, water spills over them both making them laugh,
“Come lounge with me a bit.” Blue says pulling Gervais outside to the hammock.
“This feels nice.” Gervais says putting his head on Blue’s chest.
“I am glad you and Will cleared the air, I totally failed with Robin. He just seems to be being a brat.” Blue says.
“He is. He just is. We were all wiped from finals and travel and I totally own up to being an equal brat too. But get it now and won’t be a bother. And Will was so nice tonight really making an effort with me. None of your other boyfriends have done that. He really ‘loves you and accepts that we will always be in each other’s lives. Spence and Andy are happy and we’re looking at converting the barn flexibly for the three of us. Which admittedly is leaving Robin out.” Gervais says.
“Andy and I are in business together, separate from the community businesses and you bought the land we use. Spence i take it would be splitting the cost of the conversion with you. And he and Andy will end up married.” Blue says.
“They had a really good talk tonight. You’re right, they are going to end up married. I’d put money on it happening before the barn is converted. You are okay with us doing it?” Gervais asks.
“I really am. I think of it as yours not mine in a way. Are we okay?” Blue asks not wanting to lose another friend.
“We really are. I’m coming in with you tonight, if Andy is sharing with Spence.” Gervais says.
“And risk Robin being mad at you too? I asked him to leave, he probably needs someone to talk to.” Blue says.
“You could have just said you need some alone time with Will.” Gervais giggles.
“I do, Andy has crashed too long but I would have enjoyed you staying over. I want you and Wilt to be friends.” Blue says.
“I’ll give you tonight and I’ll talk to Robin for you. But honestly he has been trying my patience and much as I love him and have enjoyed studying and cheering with him I have had my fill.” Gervais says.
“He’s mad that Cheryl and I live here and he works for us, so he feels he can’t party all summer.” Blue says.
“Yup total brat. You’re paying him well, have been all semester. I’m not saying he hasn’t worked for it, he feels underappreciated. But he’s being a brat. We all have jobs, none of us planned to party that much, other than our birthdays. Spence has been calling it our get serious summer.” Gervais smiles.
“I like that. Get serious summer.” Blue says and kisses Gervais forehead.
“I’m gonna sleep out here. It is super comfy.” Gervais says feeling loved and secure. He knows Blue will only be a friend unless something happens with Will. But Blue is making him feel just as loved and secure as if they were together and it is nice to be able to accept it. Finally accepting that he is lovable in a platonic way.
“Make sure Ocean doesn’t see or he’ll join you.” Blue laughs.
“That wouldn’t be so bad. I really missed him since he moved.” Gervais says.
“He’s our little bro and he needs us both in his life. Just like we need him and each other.” Blue says.
“I’ve been terrified I’ll lose you as my friend.” Gervais says honestly.
“I’m sorry I’ve been harsh. With all that has happened with Chris and Bea I have a crazy hard shell now. Like you used to,” Blue says.
“It’s hard for us to get it. Not seeing you and how it affected you day to day. It’s just something from TV, Will told me a little of what happened and how much you have grown. I uh, I told him all about me tonight.” Gervais says.
“That was brave.” Blue says gently.
“You trust Will, so I trust him. I needed him to understand why we need to live close to each other. You are okay with me being around, after graduation?” Gervais asks.
“Yes of course. All this was our dream and j don’t want to kick you out of the dream even though you walked out on us.” Blue says.
“I’m gonna bring my kids up here, next door to Uncle Blue and Uncle Will. With Andy and Spence down the road. It’s a new dream. I’m going to try and do my masters here.” Gervais says.
“That sounds like a good idea. Especially if you can keep on interning where you are.” Blue says.
“I feel kind of guilty having a job that is coveted when I don’t need to work.” Gervais says.
“You do need to work. Maybe you don’t need to be paid but you need the challenge and the validation.” Blue says.
“How do you always say the perfect thing?” Gervais asks.
“Years of practice, trying to make you happy.” Blue says.
“And now you have Will to make you happy.