Blue and Robin arrange a dinner with all their local friends and invite Jeremy and Saul for the night of the deli opening. Robin is hopeful that Arnold and Abby will put in good words for him and Jeremy’s background will placate his parents some.
Will is not impressed. He has bugged Spence into organizing a cleaner to come twice a week but Will feels Blue is still doing more than his share and another big dinner when he’s been working flat out is a step too far. Especially when it is for Robin’s benefit more than Cheryl and Marsha.
Blue knows Will is mad but wants to throw the party and given Will was happy enough to have his graduation party can’t see why this is so different. Sometimes he thinks it is great that Will didn’t know him when he went through crap and sometimes it is frustrating that Will doesn’t really know his back story, how his friends have each pulled him back from the edge.
“You could have had someone cater.” Will says.
“No way, this is all advertising for me, we grew the salads, almost everything in the chilled soups, and we need to keep the ice-cream in everyone’s minds.” Blue says.
“But this is too much. All of it.” Will says.
“No, you know I love doing this, it is what I live for. It isn’t too much.” Blue says.
“I don’t mean the cooking but the cleaning and everything getting ready and no doubt clearing up.” Will says.
“It is my house, my home of course I am going to be the one to make sure it is ready. Drop this. I get that you want me to have more time for myself but you need to accept because you don’t enjoy something doesn’t mean I hate it too.” Blue says.
“It still feels like you are taken advantage of. Even when other help they expect you to organize. You are the one issuing invites and organizing rides for people. I hate that everyone relies on you so much, it is extra pressure that you don’t need.” Will says finally getting through to Blue.
“I get it. I swear next party, which is my birthday, I’ll let you all organize.” Blue grins.
“I love you baby, and I just want you to be happy. I am struggling with this.” Will says.
“You need to get over it. I think us being apart at night isn’t helping. You don’t see the others pitching in and you don’t see me relaxing. Let me stay over, I am happy to just lie next to you and read while you sleep. I don’t need you to stay awake.” Blue says.
“I don’t think it is just that. Though yeah it isn’t helping. I see how easily people disregard your feelings and don’t value your time. Whether it is something small like doing the dishes or much bigger, like swooping you in to these businesses. Everyone calls on you and gives so little back and you are so used to that. It’s like you’re lending people a hundred bucks and getting super excited and grateful if they give you a buck back and no one ever, ever gives you much more than 10. I hate that is causing friction between us but it bugs me so, so much. You are so great and amazing and deserve so much better from everyone.” Will says.
“I think my friends like me for more than what I do for them.” Blue says.
“I’m not saying you are buying friendships. I am saying that you should have much higher expectations for your friends.” Will says.
“Will is right. I’m trying to make things up to you and I know I have a long, long way to go. Everyone takes you for granted, from cooking to providing a home to your businesses, everything. You can’t let Spence and Andy steal the restaurant from you either. You let me invest half which covers our share and we get rent from them if they live above the property.” Gervais says, he couldn’t help listening in when he thought the pair were fighting. That Will was trying to get Blue to see things clearly was pretty exhilarating.
“I’m not going to object, or expect a share in your business. When I retire I still hope to train as a florist and if you let me use some land to grow flower I for sure will pay you for it.” Will says and smiles at Gervais. He and Gervais might only have a tentative relationship but they really are on the same page regarding Blue.
“With both of you on my side I feel pretty loved and protected. I know what you are both saying and I know I frustrate you both when I say I don’t mind.” Blue says.
“But then we all go too far and neglect you and your resentment builds and we all end up covered in shit.” Gervais says.
“Except Will. He knows how to pull things back, he knows how to make me feel appreciated. I even appreciate him talking all this through with me, however defensive and mad I get.” Blue says.
“I like you getting defensive and standing up for yourself against me. It shows I am getting through and I know you’ll go and think about things. We push each other is a good way.” Will says.
“We do.” Blue smiles realizing his frustration isn’t in not being able to please Will or in what Will has been saying but his own frustration and helplessness at putting it right.
“You do.” Gervais smiles.
“You need to move back in and do your share.” Blue grins.
“I do. It is hard seeing you two together. Not because I threw away my chance but because he is so much better for you than I am. He is everything I always wanted you to have,” Gervais says and the pair share a hug.
“Lets get this food out.” Blue grins and the three are soon carrying dishes out, serving up cold soups and drinks.
“Gervais, Blue wants me to plan his birthday party. I have some ideas, can I run them by you?” Will asks.
“Sure. Blue and I had agreed we’d have his party as a house party and go out for mine, so I’m not left out.” Gervais says.
“That sounds good. I have this idea and it’s a bit wild but I think he’d love it.” Will says and gives his plan to Gervais.
“Wow, well I am going to need a few minutes alone.” Gervais grins his underwear straining.
“Too much. I don’t want him to feel like I am exploiting him or don’t want him. Will says.
“He will love it. He loves it outdoors. He loves it with his friends and that doesn’t mean he enjoys you any less. He won’t want to be shared often but birthdays are a time he enjoys it, seriously enjoys it.” Gervais says.
“Then the next night he can have a party with everyone. This way we’re not making any of the girls leave early or anything. I figure it’ll start like tonight and run on until the early hours.” Will grins.
“Sounds perfect. Will you not be bored with everyone drinking?” Gervais asks.
“Nah. It’s for Blue. Have you a gift planned?” Will asks.
“Yes but it’s not exactly right. You know Blue has got some of the vines in and Claud and Mike have offered to get it all in. I thought I’d ask them to do it as a surprise if you can keep Blue out the way. I’ve been talking to Andy about ordering the rest and the posts and things.” Gervais says.
“Okay, well I can certainly keep him out the way for a day. Or Ollie and I between us. That sounds amazing. I think I’ll get him some more books on winemaking to go with it.” Will says.
“Perfect. Spence is gifting Blue some wines from his collection and some others. Talk to him as maybe some racks for the basement would be good.” Gervais says.
“Thanks I’ll do that. I’m glad you all have it in hand.” Will grins.
“We can be awful and thoughtless and we do ask for way, way more from him than we should but we do all love him and care very deeply what happens to him. We’ve all, been through hard times and it has been hard for us to be there at the right times. Blue always seems to manage it, it is his gift. Since things have settled down for me and Spence and Andy we are trying to be there for Blue, that Andy and I dated Chris for sure complicates things, neither of us can be neutral in our advice on his siblings.” Gervais says.
“You don’t need to be neutral. I am on Blue’s side against them and his mother no matter what. It’s quite easy. Try it. The way I see it Blue is a good man, he isn’t perfect he gets things wrong but he is a good man and so supporting him, taking his side it’s going to be the right side ninety-nine times out of a hundred. And the one time maybe his family are in the right, well fuck them and see how they like it.” Will says and Gervais falls about laughing.
“That is good but when he needs advice about seeing them or exploring about his parents, then it is hard.” Gervais says.
“No it isn’t. I get that being an orphan colors your view but if he wants to see his family I’ll be there, but we both know he doesn’t, and he just needs us to say that is okay.” Will says.
“You’re right, I don’t think she should leave the door open at all. Man it has taken a lot for me to get over my dad, especially as we were closer by the end but he didn’t want to spend time with me. He cancelled on me over and over and I was the child, it wasn’t up to me to keep the relationship going. It isn’t for Blue to make any effort or any concessions.” Gervais says.
“I am so glad you are open to us being friends. From what I know of his family I fully expect them to strike when I’m away.” Will says.
“That would be Chris’s style for sure.” Gervais nods.
“Do you think they’d pull anything on their birthday?” Will asks.
“No, Bea won’t want to share Clara with more people and Chris will be being good in the hope of a good gift.” Gervais says.
“Sounds about right. So selfish but helpful.” Will grins.
“I need to go and help Robin out, get Jeremy talking to Robin’s parents. Thanks for everything Will. If it takes my whole life I will make up for all I’ve done to Blue and all he has done for me.” Gervais says.
“I believe you.” Will grins and hugs Gervais.
Blue is chatting away with Saul and Marsha.
“I adore the parlor, the staff are doing great, I was able to not work tonight and I’ve not had any calls of doom.” Saul says.
“I think everyone is more relaxed without any of the owners there.” Blue says.
“Yes quite possibly. Though Ella and Nick still do a few shifts. Adorable pair.” Saul says.
“They are lovely. Slow but getting there.” Blue says.
“Yes, but once they get something they become experts, adorable.” Saul says.
“And Jeremy is okay with it?” Blue asks.
“He comes in and works in the corner, he loves the coffee and will pick at a fruit salad which is better than the pizza he’d be having in the office. It’s nice we get to see each other and I don’t feel like I’m stopping him working or nagging him too much about coming home. I think he’s proud of me.” Saul says with a grin.
“Of course he is. Cheryl and I worried we’d be causing an issue but you are still the lovely happy Saul.” Blue grins.
“Can I ask about Gervais?” Saul asks.
“Uh sure.” Blue says confused.
“He’s single right? Would he be up for a setup do you know? I have a friend who I think would adore him I wouldn’t be stepping on anyone’s toes?” Saul asks.
“No, he and Brian were, I thought on their way to something but Brian is dating Larry now, Gervais has been single for a good while and he is totally in the right place to date. If you have a friend who might spoil him a little, well he could do with that right now,” Blue grins,
“The person I have in mind fits that entirely. I’ll sort something, maybe you and Will would come to dinner the same night?” Saul asks.
“I would love that. Let me know if I can bring dessert.” Blue grins.
“Oh darling you never need to ask that.” Saul grins.
“I love baking. I wish I was able to do more of the things for the parlor. Ollie and I have spent some time perfecting the meringues.” Blue says.
“Oh the youngsters love those candy striped ones, the parents despair at the extra sugar but they barely eat them really, just lick the strips and abandon them in a sticky mess.” Saul grins.
“All that hard work for nothing.” Blue grins.
“Ah no, when we have jars of toppings like that the orders upsell themselves. No need for hard sell at all. The only time I’m in sales mode is the birthday parties. Nick and Ella manage the kids and I sit and gossip with the moms. Mocktails and cake and I can sell another half a dozen parties.” Saul laughs.
“Ahh exploiting the GBF angle. Good for you.” Blue smiles.
“I love it. I love sitting and gossiping with the girls. We need to work some healthy options on to the menu for them, basic salads, maybe these chilled soups which are amazing. I enjoyed a cup of each tonight. I have no idea how you come up with your ideas, I always think oh it’ll be like the one I had in some place but it never is.” Saul grins.
“Thank-you. Have you and Andy met properly? He loves food too. You could ask him about salads, we’d love to supply everything, although maybe getting things in from the deli would work better for stock control.” Blue says.
“The deli makes sense but I do love the idea of you two supplying the ingredients for say a batch of slaw, a beet salad, some grains and some greens from here. Just a few options for a snack or light lunch. Once it’s gone its gone, like the bakery soup.” Saul says.
“Come on let me introduce you to Andy.” Blue says having a think.