“Finally have you all to myself.” Will says with a grin as Blue comes in.
“Sorry it has been crazy.” Blue says.
“I don’t mind. I know you love having a welcoming home.” Will says.
“We need to balance it though.” Blue says.
“Yes. I need you.” Will grins.
“That’s usually my line.” Blue says.
“I can’t help it, being around you makes me so horny, all the time. You’re so hot.” Will says.
“You too baby. I’m all yours.” Blue grins and they kiss. Making love ferociously for hours, enjoying every inch of each other.
Gervais wakes with a start forgetting he’s in a hammock and then is confused for a minute at the drooling head on his chest. He looks down and it’s Ocean, climbed in in the night.
“I thought you loved your room.” Gervais says.
“I saw you out the window and you looked lonely. I like it in nature.” Ocean says.
“Me too. Best night sleep in ages.” Gervais says.
“Bit cold.” Oceans says snuggling Gervais totally unselfconsciously.
“Lets get in and find some breakfast.” Gervais says.
“I’ll get Blue to do yoga first.” Ocean says.
“Lets do yoga together today, let Blue sleep.” Gervais says figuring Will and Blue will appreciate a few extra minutes together.
“Cool, come on.” Ocean says rolling out of the hammock and knocking Gervais to the ground in the process.
They both giggle and start their morning routine with Blue joining them after a few minutes. Will watches them and smiles. He still isn’t sure how much he ought to trust Gervais but he knows he loves Blue and Ocean and that is good enough.
Will helps Cheryl and Clara with breakfast and people start to head off for work.
“Blue, I know it’s a pain for Gervais and Robin but we’ll be staying until Saturday. We thought Friday would be good for the graduation party for Tad and Will. Is that okay?” Clara asks.
“That sounds great. I have asked Robin to leave so he might not come but everyone else should.” Blue says.
“Why?” Clara asks.
“He hates being here, feels too restricted, like he can’t party as he works for me and Cheryl. We fought.” Blue says.
“You’ve managed to juggle all the others. One fall out was probably to be expected.” Clara says.
“I’m being hard on him but I can’t deal right now.” Blue says.
“I’ll get Cheryl to talk to him. We are all squashed in and I expected Spence to complain but he has been great.” Clara says.
“He is making an effort. It’s nice. I best get going to get Ollie, when is his car arriving?” Blue asks.
“Thursday, another reason to stay a few more days. Your siblings have had meetings about their book and various things I don’t want to know about. I’ll take them both up Sunday.” Clara says.
“Bea not going away?” Blue asks.
“No, Willow and I have organized a couple of therapists to come to the retreat for the summer anyway and Bea seems to like Willow and Birch.” Clara says.
“The lake can be pretty restorative.” Blue says.
“Exactly. You’ll be okay with Will.” Clara says.
“I will and the others. No one can stay down with Ocean around. Keep Bea away from Katelyn.” Blue says.
“Andy asked the same. Willow will work it out.” Clara says.
“You want to come up to Arnold’s with me and Ollie?” Blue asks.
“No I have a few things to do. You get on. I’ll make dinner tonight.” Clara says.
Blue sends out a message to his friends about Friday. Will is really touched and asks a few people at the gym.
Gervais smiles at the message and asks Brian if he’s free.
“Sure, well it’s my birthday but I don’t have plans. I was just going for drinks with Nick. I take it Nick will be invited.” Brian says.
“For sure he and Ella will be there.” Gervais says.
“Awesome. I get a free party.” Brian laughs.
“With Blue’s best food. Hey I’ll ask if he can make some extra to bring in here Friday.” Gervais says.
“Cool. I suck at stuff like that.” Brian says.
“I would too if it wasn’t for my friends. I have no social background really. Boarding school and an anti-social father means most social etiquette passes me by. But I think we can make you some cookies and brownies.” Gervais says.
“I am so lucky Nick took my side after the breakup and all you guys have welcomed me. I am not really cool enough to fit in with a lot of the guys here. I tend to go for drinks with the girls.” Brian says.
“I never really had any girlfriends until this year when Robin and I joined cheer. It’s been nice.” Gervais says.
“I bet you look so cute in your outfit. OMG I so should not have said that at work.” Brian says blushing bright pink.
“I’m hardly likely to report you for harassment. I bet you’d look good in a cheer outfit too.” Gervais says and Brian relaxes.
The pair get on really well and are enjoying working together. Gervais is learning from Brian and Brian is happy to have some competent help. Some of the staff appear to Brian to have been hired as they are cool and not for their skills which is frustrating.
After opening the parlor Cheryl heads to the office above the deli, she is meeting the builders there and then wants to check in on Robin. Ella is working in the parlor and Cheryl doesn’t expect it to get busy for a while.
“Blue says you’re moving out.” Cheryl says.
“He’s kicking me out.” Robin says.
“Why?” Cheryl asks.
“I’m not talking with you about it. You’re my boss now and personal issues are personal.” Robin says.
“Gladys old house is free. Shall I ask her if you can use it? It would be a short walk to here each day. If you are planning on staying.” Cheryl says ignoring the petulance in Robin’s tone.
“No thanks. I’ve lined up a few places to see.” Robin says curtly.
“Can we trust you? If you and Blue are not friends, will you stay professional?” Cheryl asks concerned.
“Fuck this. Seriously I’m not staying if I’m not trusted.” Robin says getting up.
“Stop being a diva. You are trusted and the work you have done so far is terrific. You know we’re delighted and feel very lucky to have you for the summer. You also know that Blue seems to attract revenge attacks. I have to be vigilant.” Cheryl says.
“Sorry to be such a little bitch. I really want this job. Did you get my app proposal for the menu?” Robin asks.
“Yes, I’ll run it by everyone for budget. I would like the same for the deli. It would be helpful for our party platters and other pre order items. Bit of an overhead to get everything entered, you’ll want an assistant.” Cheryl says.
“Yes. Can I look?” Robin asks.
“I have someone in mind, the mother of Freddie the bakery assistant. I take it they can work flexible part time hours.” Cheryl says.
“Yes, and from home, if you let me set it up.” Robin says.
“I’ll send her in this afternoon. Do have a think about Gladys house, it would be doing her a favor.” Cheryl says.
“I’ll go see her after work.” Robin smiles sheepishly. He has no idea what has got in to him. He feels so much on the outside and a total loser right now. He knows he’s doing a good job but it still feels like he’s in a pity job, on the outside.
“Robin you and Blue have fallen out countless times, you’ll find a way back. He’s had a pig of a year again. He’ll have more to give once Clara is gone, she zaps a lot of his energy, physical and emotional.” Cheryl says.
“I know. I now I should give him a break but he has changed so much and not all of it is good.” Robin says.
“He’s surviving. Without Will I don’t know that he would have come through this.” Cheryl says.
“And you and Mike.” Robin says.
“Yes we are there for him but Will gives him strength. He needs that shell right now however much it hurts.” Cheryl says and Robin nods.
“Maybe a bit of personal talk is okay.” Robin says with a shy smile.
“Just so long as the boss doesn’t catch us gossiping about him.” Cheryl grins.
“You don’t see Blue as your boss.” Robin laughs.
“He hired me. Blue’s the head of this company however much Arnold would disagree.” Cheryl smiles.
Robin thinks a lot that afternoon about Blue and how to fix things but he still feels sore and unhappy about how things are. Separating business and friendship will be hard.
“Hey Blue. I need a favor.” Gervais says as he gets in from work.
“Sure. Things are a little quieter now.” Blue says.
“It’s Brian’s birthday Friday, as you’ll be baking up a storm can we make some extra to take to the office. Maybe some cookies and brownies.” Gervais asks.
“Sure, if I make a list can you get the supplies on the way home tomorrow?” Blue asks.
“Of course. I can go to one of the bigger stores in the city. Email all you need.” Gervais says.
“Okay. What do you think of a pina colada cheesecake? For your office?” Blue asks.
“OMG amazing.” Gervais says and kisses Blue’s cheek.
“I miss experimenting.” Blue says.
“Have you seen Robin? Are you really kicking him out?” Gervais asks.
“Yeah I am. I think we need to live apart. T’s okay if you go with him.” Blue says.
“You don’t get rid of me so easily. What do you think of Brian?” Gervais asks.
“You like him?” Blue asks.
“Kinda but we’re working together. He’s so smart and cute. He likes Andy though.” Gervais sighs.
“Let him know about your python and he might change his mind.” Blue grins.
“Blue! I want him to like me for me.” Gervais says.
“He probably does like you for you. But he might like you like you if he knows how great you are in bed.” Blue grins.
“Well I work with him so it isn’t going to happen.” Gervais says.
“You could work with Robin instead if it came to it.” Blue says.
“I need this job, show I can do it for myself.” Gervais says.
“You can and I am so proud of you.” Blue says.
“I’m proud of you too. You are inspiring so many people.” Gervais says.
“What was that?” Blue asks as they hear a crash upstairs.
“I can take a guess.” Gervais says and they go upstairs.
“What’s going on?” Blue asks.
“I’m moving to Gladys old place.” Robin says.
“Now?” Blue asks surprised. He didn’t think Robin would actually go.
“Yes now.” Robin says grabbing the last of his things.
“If you think that’s best.” Blue says and goes back downstairs.
“Are you mad?” Gervais asks.
“I need some space. This place is too crowded and Blue has turned into a tyrant.” Robin says.
“I don’t get you.” Gervais says.
“I want to let loose and have fun. I can’t do that here. Hell I don’t even have a bed to bring anyone back to.” Robin grumps.
“You want me to help with your things?” Gervais asks.
“No, I don’t have much.” Robin says.
“Will you come by on Friday for Will and Tad? It is Brian’s birthday too.” Gervais asks.
“I don’t know. I need a few days.” Robin says and leaves.
Dinner is subdued with Robin gone. Blue feels both guilty and relieved.
“He needs to do his own thing. We can’t let him ruin our summer.” Gervais says.
“Last summer he was the only one there for me.” Blue says.
“We made up before you left.” Gervais says.
“I know we did and you were super sweet with the headphones and everything. But Robin sheltered me from Birch and Bea and I really owe him for that. I should never have told him to leave.” Blue says.
“Nonsense. He doesn’t want to be here with you and Cheryl. You telling him to leave gave him an out and he took it. He just acted like a dick to make you look like the bad guy chucking him out.” Spence says.
“If he had said up front he wanted to live elsewhere I would have been fine with it. Spence you and he could have got somewhere closer to the city so he could party and you’d be closer to the gym. I am really glad you want to live here, I’m not suggesting you go too.” Blue says.
“You’re right though. We could have worked something out if he’d spoken out before we got here. Even though we’re cramped right now we all love being here, want to be here. I don’t think any of us planned a summer of partying. Sure we needed a little kick over house rules but nights like tonight us all eating together and relaxing makes making an effort to be clean and tidy worth it.” Spence says.
“He had a chance to party at spring break, but chose to come here uninvited.” Will says.
“l am still sorry about that.” Gervais says blushing.
“Maybe he misses his family. I get grumpy when I miss all of you.” Katelyn says.
“I think it is because he isn’t top dog. He has always been the one of us who expected to do well in school and get a great job. I think losing his internship and working for Blue is a huge knock to his ego. That Gervais is working for a cool company doesn’t help. The final gut punch being that I am doing well in partnership with Blue. Robin might be doing a great job, but he is working for his dropout roommate.” Andy says.
“I’m just a junior coach, an unpaid one at that.” Spence says.
“Training a world medalist.” Andy grins.
“Spence is the best coach.” Ocean confirms and Will smiles.
“It was just bad luck his internship didn’t come off. He’s learning loads working for you guys and will have a lot more to offer than coding skills when he graduates. But I can see it might be getting him down. I’ll go see him after dinner.” Gervais says.
“Gervais is going shopping after work for baking goods so I need all requests for Friday in tonight so I can make a list.” Blue says changing the subject.
“We finish early tomorrow, we can all go together.” Will says.
“I want secret banana cookies. I will carry the bananas, we best go to a big store.” Ocean says.
“I’ll pick up the alcohol at the same time.” Spence says.
The talk turns to food and the mood lifts, Gervais heads out to see Robin as the others clean up and migrate to the garden to enjoy the warm evening outdoors.
Spence and Andy are sharing a lounger and Blue smiles. The pair are baa to being super close and the happiest they’ve been in a long time. Blue can’t see them waiting a month let alone a year to make it official.
Blue and Will relax in the hammock, enjoying being close. Both too tired to do much chatting themselves so just listen to Clara, Cheryl and Roe sharing a bottle of wine.
“Are we sleeping outside tonight?” Ocean asks Gervais when he gets back.
“What’s this?” Cheryl asks.
“I slept in the hammock last night and Ocean joined me at some point in the night.” Gervais says.
“Ocean you have your own special room all to yourself.” Cheryl says.
“I love my room but outside is an adventure.” Ocean says.
“I think we’ll be inside tonight buddy. If your mom says it is okay we’ll do one night a week outside.” Gervais says and Cheryl grins.
“Only if you are sure, know what a wriggler he can be.” Cheryl says with a smile. She is happy
Ocean is enjoying himself so much and the boys are happy to indulge him but aware that she needs to make sure he doesn’t push his luck.
“Was Robin okay? Does he need kitchen things?” Blue asks.
“Yeah he will need cups and plates and other basics. Bedding and towels too. He has a sleeping bag for tonight.” Gervais says.
“I’ll sort that tomorrow.” Cheryl says with a sigh.
“I’ll round up some things now.” Blue says.
“No, leave him to work it out, both of you. He is capable of getting to the store and buying what he needs.” Clara says firmly.
“Not usually one to agree with your mom but come on he’s 21 and can work out he needs more than clothes and a toothbrush.” Will says and Andy nods in agreement.
“Stop feeling bad Blue. God knows we left you to your own devices often enough.” Spence says.
“We’re going to cure you of your need to rescue even the most well off of people.” Gervais grins.
“Oy we have all benefitted from that.” Andy grins.
“Yes we have.” Roe says with a smile.
“Worth it every time. We might all fall out but over the last three years we’ve developed such strong bonds that we all know we’ll always have someone to rely on even in the darkest times.” Blue says.
“We’re all family here. We need to be there for each other always, not just at the worst times.” Katelyn speaks up.
“I think we will. I know I’ve grown a lot in the last year, Andy and Gervais have too. I do think of all of you as family, far more so than my biological family. Even you Clara, though I resisted that for a long time. I do see Katelyn and Ocean as my younger siblings, I can’t imagine them not being my life.” Spence says.
“Do you ever think that if Spence and hadn’t been bullied and beaten at boarding we might never have met Andy. Robin and Blue.” Gervais says.
“We might have ended up together.” Spence laughs.
“Nooooooo.” Ocean laughs and everyone joins in.