“I’m not going anywhere with you. We are done. DONE. I can pay for school myself. I have no idea what you were trying to pull today but Blue saw straight through it and so do l. You best be gone before Blue gets back.” Chris screams at Clara.
“Don’t be hasty Chris.” Bea pleads running after him as he heads to the garden.
“I’m not being hasty. I appreciate what Clara has done for us but she is forcing me to choose between her and Blue and I choose Blue. She is a liar, just like our parents. She knew what she was doing today. Sure Lana threw in a curveball but she had this announcement ready for Blue. Cheryl knew too. No one warned Blue we were coming. She used us to break him and we let her.” Chris says.
“You’re asking me to choose between you and her. You don’t need her but I do.” Bea says running after Chris.
“You won’t lose me if you go with her. I am always your brother and so is Blue. When you’re ready to break free we’ll be here. Go back with her, live at the retreat and get all the help you can. I’ll be okay here.” Chris says.
“You won’t be able to live here but Robin is living in Gladys place at the moment, I think that would work and while it might be hard to get you set up with a vet, Arnold and his nephew will be happy to have you up on the dairy farm.” Andy says and Spence nods.
“Take the chance to break free. We’ve seen Blue go through this over and over. I know she keeps you in line but so does Blue, and he is the better bet.” Spence says.
“Wow, I never expected backing from you two. Thank-you.” Chris says.
“You messing up Andy set him on a path back to me. I can see you are trying, you are both trying. Andy and I know what it is like to have parents with messed up priorities and we both have to fight against our upbringing regularly. You both accept what you did, going to the media was insane and caused Blue a lot of hurt right? And you’re both ready to apologize?” Spence asks.
“I am. I have been trying to work out what to do and how to do it. I’m not very good with apologies.” Bea says quietly.
“I was feeling a bit like Bea last summer that we’re family and I don’t need to apologize more. But I see that I do and I will if he lets me.” Chris says.
“He needs more than words this time. He had a really rough time through all of that and only came through it because this town loves him so much. I know you guys had it rough too but you brought that on yourselves. Not what Paul did, Bea, I would never blame you for that. What Chris says is right though, go and heal up with Willow, Robin, Spence and I will try and be there for you when we’re back at school.” Andy says.
“Easy to forget you two had it rough growing up. Andy told me all about the pair of you living alone as teens, on one hand it sounds so cool on the other outright neglectful. I am pleased for you, that you’re engaged and happy.” Chris says.
“You are back to being you.” Andy smiles.
“Should I be worried?” Spence grins.
“You know you’re the only one for me.” Andy says and kisses Spence.
“I hear there are lots of farm boys for me to choose from.” Chris grins.
“It is a surprisingly rainbow friendly area. Must be something in the water.” Andy laughs.
“Can I stay here tonight?” Chris asks.
“Of course. Do you need a ride to get your things?” Spence asks.
“Yeah I have a room key, lets go now before they do.” Chris says.
“I’ll stay with Bea.” Andy says.
“Thanks Andy.” Bea says quietly.
“Be back soon.” Spence says and kisses Andy.
“She’s always been good to me. Clara. I know she was trying to put a wedge between me and Spence and between Blue and Gervais today. Then suggesting she wills her part of the soup business to you two was just so far over the line. If that business takes off and becomes Blue’s focus then the threat of you two swooping in down the line would take all the shine off.” Andy says.
“I know. I would have been mad as hell if I was Blue. I do see what she does. I always have and I always used it to my advantage. I’m too tired to any more. I don’t want to be fighting with Chris or Blue, I want my brothers to be my brothers. I want to be able to visit Blue here for the holidays. The lake is a magical place and this is too.” Bea says.
“That is exactly how I feel. The lake calmed me the second we arrived. I needed somewhere safe for Katelyn and I knew Blue would provide it and he did. Clara too. But when Spence and I got here for Spring Break we knew straight off it was home for us both. Separately. We both just knew and a few weeks ago we knew it was our home together. It healed our rift.” Andy says.
“You seem very happy and Spence is much better for you than Chris. I love him but we treated you badly. He should never have let me be so bad to you. I am so, so sorry for how I was.” Bea says.
“Thanks, you’re forgiven. I have been awful at times too. To Spence and to Blue. We got through it though and they forgave me. It is hard, accepting love after years of hate. Spence and Robin saved me in high school they really did. You weren’t so lucky to have anyone to turn to when your parents rejected you all the time. I hate everything you’ve done to Blue, the way you’ve lied and the way you manipulate just like Clara but I get it. I get where it comes from. How twisted your brain gets. We all started off on the wrong foot. It is Clara’s fault, totally and you need to remember that she boxed you in to a corner where you had the choice to lie or to not meet Blue.” Andy says.
“I know it is mostly my fault. But thanks for understanding that I made bad choices early on because I had bad options. Bea says.
“Keep up with the therapy. It is clearly doing you a lot of good. You’re a long way away from being you again. I kinda miss your energy.” Andy says.
“Me too. I just have to get through one year and graduate and I don’t know after that. Maybe my lake teaching plan is out.” Bea sighs.
“Sounds like a good idea to me. I’d love you to push Katelyn through the end of high school and get her to a top college. She is so smart and can afford to go anywhere.” Andy says.
“She has plans your little sister. She wants to go to a school where she can shine for undergrad and then hit a top business school with her stellar grades and resume full of small businesses she’s been running. She has dreams, you don’t need to worry about that.” Bea says.
“She is something. I miss her. She can’t wait for the wedding.” Andy says.
“When is it?” Bea asks.
“Next summer. Now we have decided we will we’re in no rush. We both feel settled and happy.” Andy says.
“We’re off. We’ll be back for the rest of Cheryl’s things shortly. Come on Bea help us carry everything.” Clara says and Bea reluctantly gets up. She wishes she was strong enough to say no. She had no idea Andy would forgive her for how she behaved last year or that he would understand.
Between him and Robin she wonders if she has enough support here to stay. Then she thinks of the lake and the space and Willow and gets a move on.
“I don’t want to go, you can’t make me.” Ocean is screaming, tears staining his face.
“We have to go. Blue doesn’t want us to stay.” Cheryl says.
“Blue wants me here, he made me my room. Blue is my bestest friend and he loves me and would never want me to go.” Ocean sobs.
“Neither of you need to go right now. Blue won’t be back tonight and he is far more reasonable than you are painting him as.” Andy says.
“We’ve long outstayed our welcome. We know that.” Cheryl says.
“We love having you here. No question. We all adore Ocean and will miss him terribly. You are making the drama here. Taking Ocean to a hotel for months isn’t going to do anyone any good.” Andy says firmly.
Seizing his opportunity Ocean runs at Andy and throws himself on him, Andy holds him tightly as he sobs.
“I can’t stay here and I won’t be without Ocean. But if he can stay tonight that would help while I make plans.” Cheryl says and Andy nods.
Cheryl tries to kiss Ocean goodbye but he turns away.
“Thanks for everything Andy.” Bea says.
“Call any of us, anytime.” Andy replies and Bea nods.
“Can I call Blue?” Ocean asks in a small voice.
“Of course you can. I’ll go get a tablet while you wash your face.” Andy says gently putting Ocean down.
Ocean plods inside feeling utterly forlorn. He has loved living with all his big brothers and doesn’t want to move out at all. He really doesn’t want to live with Clara.
“Ocean needs careful handling right now. He’s heartbroken. Spence has gone with Chris to get his stuff, hopefully they’ll be done before Cheryl and Clara get there. Are you okay with Chris staying tonight? Robin we jumped the gun and suggested he stay with you for a bit, maybe work with Arnold.” Andy says.
“That sounds a good plan. What about Bea?” Robin asks.
“You sure?” Blue asks.
“It is clear they have both changed. I think we’re all on the same page, which ever page your momma isn’t on.” Robin says.
“Bea is going with them. We had a long chat. She’ll be okay and knows the door is open. Here is Ocean.” Andy says and beckons an unusually shy Ocean from the doorway.
“Do you really want me to move out?” Ocean asks.
“No way buddy. I love having you around you know that. You brighten my day and give me an excuse to make secret banana cookies and you are the best chicken keeper anyone could have. But your mom thinks it is time to move to your own place. I expect we can fix you up a chicken run of your own. I’m going to come home now and give you a big hug, okay?” Blue says and Ocean nods tearily.
“Be brave buddy, we’ll be there soon.” Gervais says feeling awful that Ocean is collateral damage.
“Hurry up.” Ocean says.
“Go with Andy and have some milk and cookies.” Blue says.
“Okay.” Ocean breaks into a huge smile, matched by Andy who despite eating a huge dinner realizes he is hungry again.
“I hate to abandon you but I have an early session tomorrow so need to stay here tonight, will you be okay?” Will asks.
“Yeah Ocean needs me and that is all I’ll concentrate on. If you could spend some time with him at the gym tomorrow, that would be perfect.” Blue says.
“Of course I will. Are you okay with Chris though?” Will asks.
“Yeah I think he and Bea learned their lesson when they got burned so badly. I know Chris wants a relationship with me and we need a chance to really talk.” Blue says.
“Call if you need me.” Will says and Robin and Gervais leave to give them some privacy for goodbyes.
“Thanks so much for my party last weekend. Today would have been really bad if it was my only celebration.” Blue laughs.
“I’m so sorry it turned out this way. You did really well and everyone is on your side. Even Bea. That is a big deal.” Will says.
“I know. No one ever follows me on my storm out and you all came today.” Blue says.
“We all love you.” Will says and they share a last hug and kiss.
“It is going to be okay.” Gervais says in the car.
“Oh we’ll be okay but Ocean might not, I mean short term. He’ll be okay and we’ll all make sure to still see him. I’ll be lonely though when Will is away. I expected Cheryl and Ocean to move up to Mikes at some point I didn’t expect this.” Blue says.
“I’ve been out the loop but I talk to Cheryl most days and she never mentioned a thing. I guess this is what she was up to when Ocean was with his grandparents.” Robin says.
“I just don’t get what Clara was thinking. It wasn’t what Chris and Bea wanted. You could see while Chris wanted something for himself that wasn’t it and it doesn’t fit what Bea needs at all.” Gervais says.
“Bea needs a lot of focus and attention. I’m not jealous any more. I’ve been where she is and it hurts. I know she was a catalyst for me ending up there and I probably shouldn’t care but I do. I have spent the last year thickening my skin and stopping myself from taking on other people’s problems. I worked hard at shutting my siblings and their antics out but there was just something so pathetic about Bea today. I didn’t believe she was acting, it felt very, very real. Her reaction to Lana was real but also how much she appreciated the sundae, loved that I remembered things she likes, it felt like it was a big deal to her and that was so strange. But I got it, Will complains at me for having low expectations of you guys and being too nice about the smallest things.” Blue says.
“You are very like that and I thought she was real. Chris was a pain and was about 20 steps ahead of you. But he seemed very genuine too. I was thinking back to when we were studying together for finals that time and how he calmed down and became human again. Like he was at times with me. I always think he’s your twin he has to be good in there. But then he disses you to a magazine or tries to get us chucked out of school or uses Andy and I don’t know what to think.” Gervais says.
“Proceed with caution, with both of them. Set the pace and if you get something out of it then carry on. If you don’t then pull back.” Robin says.
“I don’t get why Chris can’t see that. He doesn’t see my side at all still, just what he wants from me. He doesn’t get that I have you two and Andy and don’t need more brothers.” Blue says.
“That was clear today. What was also clear was that the pair of you quickly slipped into a close sibling relationship, you shared jokes, you hit each other and wound each other up, in a thoroughly good natured fashion. It was very like watching you and Andy. You do get something from it.” Robin says.
“But I have Andy. I don’t feel I am missing out by not having Chris around. I just don’t miss them. I don’t feel lost without them. I don’t feel I am missing something like I do when I am without you two or Will.” Blue says.
“I ache when you’re not in my life, always. You missed me when you moved out here even though you resisted letting me back in.” Gervais says.
“That is it. We can’t not be in each other’s lives, we know that and Will understands. Chris and I have a connection but it isn’t that same ache we have.” Blue says.
“But you’re in a forgiving mood. Chris is giving up on his last parent for you. That means something.” Robin says.
“Right. How do I get rid of him after that?” Blue asks.