Blue helps Will set up in his apartment. Now that he is able to train more Will is often exhausted in the evenings and although he wishes he was with Blue full time, being closer to the gym is a godsend. He often has physical therapy before or after training, along with coaching his days are long.
Brian has already made himself at home and has loved being away from his obnoxious roommate. Brian loves to spend his evenings with his headset on gaming and some nights Will is barely aware he is there.
Blue stays over the first couple of times but it is clear while Will loves having him there he needs to go to sleep very early, and tries not to when Blue is there. So Blue will come over with food and leave after, often to meet up with Gervais and Robin, sometimes the others too.
Ever since the party Jeremy has taken a closer interest in Gervais at work, and as a by-product Brian too. This isn’t going down too well with their colleagues but neither of them care. They are getting to do more interesting and varied work and included in more of the bigger meetings. It is exactly the sort of challenge and progression Brian had been after.
Like Gervais, Brian had spent a lot of his life as an outsider until college and so isn’t bothered about having friends at work. He and Larry are still having fun if not actually dating and he has Nick and Gervais, Blue and Robin that he can call upon when he needs company. Life is going pretty great.
Gervais didn’t expect to make friends at work, he never expects to make friends, always seeing college as an anomaly. The ego he grew freshman year is long gone and a more humble Gervais has emerged. He is grateful to have made friends with Brian and for the interest Jeremy has shown.
Gervais is still unsure what to do after graduation, he knows he could pick his job back up and be quite happy but the niggle that he doesn’t need it or doesn’t deserve it is strong. The idea of doing his masters and working with Heidi part time is what he is becoming more passionate about.
Gervais knows that if he didn’t have Blue and Robin and their moms he would be living a very different life now. Without them he has no doubt he would have never survived the death of his father and would have likely blown his inheritance on drugs and unsuitable boyfriends. Fergus gave him a taste of that and it was exhilarating, it was only his love of Blue that pulled him to his senses.
“You okay? You’ve totally zoned out.” Robin asks as they three are having dinner together in the city.
“Yeah I have just been thinking about how much I owe you two.” Gervais says.
“You’ve done most of the hard work yourself.” Blue says.
“I wouldn’t have been able to start the hard work without you.” Gervais says.
“You’d have got there eventually. If you hadn’t met us you’d have met someone else, a teacher, boyfriend, someone would have helped you.” Robin says.
“I just feel so lucky that it was you guys. I’m a year away from graduating and I am doing so well in school and I will have options when I leave. Three years ago I planned to go through college not speaking to anyone in person. I was going to hide in my room all year and sneak out to get food and shower in the early hours. Blue you were amazing with me, I threw it all back in your face but you rebuilt everything between us anyway. Robin you pushed me out the door and made sure I built on my progress. You both encouraged me with climbing and cheer and with my studies and dating. I owe you two big time.” Gervais says.
“You two have done a lot for me too. Gervais you have pushed me so much academically, especially this year. You have both shown me different lives and I sure as hell appreciate my parents a whole lot more. My dad and I never had the best relationship because I thought he was disappointed having a feminine son and would rather have Spence. But he wasn’t unhappy with me, he was just happy when he had someone to talk sports with. He is proud of me and was surprised when I told him I thought he’d be disappointed I was back in cheer. He said he’s delighted that I’m doing something with a team.” Robin smiles.
“He loved our gingerbread creations.” Blue grins.
“I know, that helped turn things around for us. I just fell back into my hiding habits when I started cheer again.” Robin says.
“Well you two have caused me loads of pain and loads of joy. Robin taking me to buy clothes and teaching me how to use a smart phone when we started college was such a life saver. You two helped keep me grounded even though we are from different worlds.” Blue says.
“Were from, we’re from the same one now. All three of us.” Gervais says.
“Yeah we’ve blurred the city country lines and found somewhere that works for us as a compromise.” Blue laughs.
“I think I need to be in the city, but I like the idea if I settle here, you guys are not so far away.” Robin says.
“I want to live in the city but I know being out here is so much better for my anxiety. Living at Blue’s place, even when it is full to bursting is more relaxing for me. I can easily go outside and be alone. I can stare out the window at the view and calm down or go and chat with the chickens when I need a rant but can’t face people.” Gervais grins and Blue worries that he’ll never be rid of Gervais but also worries how much he might worry if Gervais moved on before he was ready.
“Speaking of your place being full up. I know I am in no position to ask for a favour. But my family want to come and visit for a week. Mom really wants to be here for Cheryl’s opening and my sisters really want to see the ice-cream parlor. My dad is delighted mom isn’t suggesting a week on the beach and so has no complaints. He’s actually excited about some sports museum in the city.” Robin says.
“Uh I have your room spare and if you ask him really nicely Gervais might go back to the office, or stay with you for the week. If your sisters are okay to share.” Blue says.
“I’ll be fine in the office or outside on the hammock. I’d love to be able to spend some time with your mom.” Gervais says.
“She would love to see you. More than me I expect. Blue be warned she is bound to be on at you about school.” Robin grins.
“She was supportive before.” Blue says.
“She thought you would have re-enrolled by now.” Robin grins.
“Wel maybe if she sees how well I’m doing she’ll back off.” Blue smiles.
“Is your middle sister starting college after the summer?” Gervais asks.
“Yes, she’s at our old school, doing dance. My dad is grumbling, he didn’t think she’d get in anywhere. But she did with a nice scholarship so they couldn’t say no.” Robin grins.
“That school owes you, get more money for her.” Blue grins.
“I did wonder if our situation helped her get a place but with arts auditions I don’t think they have much influence, she got another offer and a waitlist too but they were more expensive so I hope she got the spot on merit.” Robin says.
“Your mom is okay with her going there?” Gervais asks.
“Yeah, they are better for arts and she shouldn’t have the issues we had. Things must be better since Justin….” Robin says.
“Austin might have been a jerk but he was amazingly talented and was getting great training. That dorm he had with the practice rooms and everything was great too.” Blue says.
“Right and Tyler and Antonio did pretty amazing. They didn’t graduate but they are doing great, both on different national tours.” Robin says.
“Just us lot that got messed about with classes and the rest. Still we’re all in a good place now.” Gervais says.
“I will come and see you two cheer this year.” Blue grins and Gervais beams at the thought of Blue visiting without Will, then checks himself.
“You’ll both finally be 21 and we can party all weekend.” Robin grins.
“Speaking of. If the opening goes okay Cheryl is going to take Ocean to see his grandparents around my birthday, so that we can party in peace. If she works it right she’ll be away for both our birthdays.” Blue says.
“We should have a party for your birthday and all go out for mine.” Gervais says not wanting to miss out on anything.
“Well that’s the surprise out the window.” Robin laughs.
“Gervais would have a heart attack.” Blue grins.
“I would full on panic and we’d spend the night locked away from everyone else.” Gervais laughs and Blue smiles. He hates that Gervais suffered, but has such warm memories of looking after him.
“You two got that trick down so well we rarely noticed.” Robin says.
“Blue could feel me searching for escape 5 minutes before I blew. He was my superman.” Gervais says.
“And yet he still wouldn’t date me.” Blue grins.
“Night after night I had to put up with Blue complaining that you wouldn’t date him, that you chose Jesse, did I think you liked him because you had breakfast together.” Robin says rolling his eyes.
“I loved you from the second we met. Never stopped. I was the most stupid, dense, immature idiot to not be with you the second you liked me back.” Gervais says.
“You were a prize idiot. You are so lucky that after everything, I still love you.” Blue grins.
“Sleepover tonight. Pancakes tomorrow.” Robin grins.
“As long as you both clear off before Will gets back at 2.” Blue says.
The three drag their meal out for as long as they can. Talking and joking and having a lovely time. Blue is missing Will dreadfully but his friends are doing their best to take his mind off it.
The three climb into Blue’s bed and Blue hugs his two friends to his chest like old times.
They talk long into the night, the gulf between them mended and it feels like old times for all of them. Gervais lies awake as the other two drift off feeling very bereft for all he has lost. He spent the last semester picking through his more recent history and that combined with seeing Blue with Will has really hammered home just what he has lost.
He has kicked himself a million times for not properly reuniting with Blue at Christmas. He always knew it was a risk. He always thought it was the right thing, for Blue to experience a good relationship before they got back together. He still thinks it is the right thing for Blue but he knows Will isn’t going to give Blue up easily and Blue won’t either.
Gervais nuzzles up to Blue and enjoys the moment. Blue stirs a little and cuddles Gervais closer. Blue has been blocking out Gervais feelings for the last couple of weeks. He knows that Gervais is doing amazingly at work but is feeling alone and worried about the future. Blue is worried too. He will always put Will first but it is hard to ignore his friend’s needs.
Robin unexpectedly wakes first and looks at his two friends and worries. Blue has confided more than once about extracting himself from Gervais but seeing the two of them together like old times it is hard to imagine either of them coping without the other. It has never worked in the past, one of them is always unhappy when they are apart for whatever reason.
Blue stirs and smiles at Robin.
“Nice to wake up to you again.” Blue grins.
“Been too long.” Robin says.
“Yeah, isn’t G so cute asleep?” Blue says.
“Cuter than Will?” Robin asks.
“Nah, just different.” Blue says.
“Nothing has to be forever.” Robin says.
“Will is mine forever, or as long as he’ll have me. Things will be hard for the next two years but he is so worth it.” Blue says.
Gervais listening knows he has to finally move on. It is just so hard.
The three get up and make pancakes. Ocean soon joins them and Cheryl asks of they can mind him while she goes to the deli and parlor. They agree as they never have a problem with it.
“I might stay with Robin when his family are here.” Gervais says.
“Cool that works for me.” Robin says.
“You don’t have to. I know things are hard but I don’t want you to feel pushed out.” Blue says.
“I don’t. I really don’t. It is hard living with a bunch of couples. I’ve been thinking about it for a while.” Gervais lies.
“You will come back? After.” Blue asks bereft.
“We’ll see how it goes.” Gervais says and Blue nods, relieved and bereft at the same time.
Blue cheers up when Will gets back, a night away feels too much for Blue and they head out to the garden to laze in the hammock.
“Robin’s family are coming to visit and Gervais is going to move in with Robin, I’m not sure he’ll come back.” Blue says.
“That sounds healthy.” Will says.
“You think? I am happy as we need the space and sad because I do miss him.” Blue says.
“I sometimes feel like he’s a shadow, watching us. I trust you completely. I know you won’t leave me for him. But I feel like we can’t even have a minor disagreement with him around because he’ll be watching for us to make a mistake.” Will says.
“I get it, I do. I love you both and I do miss him when he’s back at school. I feel like I’m losing out on the short time he’s here if we don’t see each other for dinner and just casual hanging out. But I want you to be happy.” Blue says.
“I am happy. Go round there on nights I’m away. Get quality time together. You get more time with Ocean just hanging out. Goodness knows he has missed you too.” Will says.
“I love having him around. He brightens all of us. He and Andy are a right pair when they get going in the kitchen.” Blue says.
“I don’t know if he’ll miss Andy or Spence more.” Will says.
“Are you really worried about Spence going? Might you follow him to train?” Blue asks.
“I don’t think I could survive away from you long term. But I can’t ask him to stay and miss school and be away from Andy.” Will says.
“Hopefully you’ll gel with the other coaches soon. Spence hasn’t the experience to get you back from injury and give you a long term plan.” Blue says.
“He’s giving it a good go. He’s been talking with coaches all over the world about it, along with the national staff. Plus he motivates me. I think coming from wrestling he has a far different take on the mental game and it works for me.” Will says.
“You think. You won’t know until you’re competing.” Blue says.
“Oh sure. I’m just saying Spence is fully invested and committed to working on the best plan for me.” Will says.
“Well I am sure you can talk to each other all the time when he’s back at school.” Blue says.
“Yeah and he can come up during breaks, I don’t think we’ll be able to keep Andy away.” Will grins and Blue smiles.
The next morning Blue and Andy are off early to work a market in a neighboring town. They are working with Claud and Nick and Ella will be there with an ice-cream stand.
“We overheard you and Will talking yesterday. Spence is on cloud nine and I’m kinda terrified.” Andy says.
“Will would never ask Spence to stay.” Blue says.
“Spence knows that and he wants to offer.” Andy says.
“How do you feel about that?” Blue asks.
“I want Spence to graduate. He hasn’t got many credits to go, he could do it in a semester I think.” Andy says.
“You’d hate him being away for a semester even.” Blue says.
“He would fly me up regularly. I’d want to anyway.” Andy says.
“Would you stay faithful?” Blue asks.
“Yes. No question. I’m marrying Spence and if he is my only for ever more then I’ll be happy. I don’t need anyone else. Sure we’ll probably play around with others now and then but I’m so ready for it to be just us. He means everything to me. Chris and Magnus they were nothing, just nothing compared to what I have with Spence.” Andy says.
“You’ve grown up so much. You are ready to support Spence’s dreams now, or you’re both willing to support each other and you know you’ll have some compromises to make but you’re willing to do that now.” Blue says.
“Yeah. That’s it. You finding this place, a town and city that suit our needs. F we have to be apart for a semester or two, we’ll cope when we know forever is just around the corner.” Andy says.
“That’s how I feel about the next two years with Will. It is going to be hard but man it will pay off.” Blue says.
“Who would have thought even a few months ago that the pair of us would be settling down?” Andy grins.