Blue wakes with Robin and Gervais sleeping on his chest and smiles. He lies looking at them thinking about the crushes he had and how they have become brothers to him. He feels bad for a moment, knowing Robin has had a tough summer and he hasn’t had time for him. Blue feels like he’s been the emotional vampire this summer, taking far too much from everyone. He knows Gervais has been extra worried and that has probably held Gervais back this summer.
“What are you worrying about?” Gervais asks sleepily.
“How did you know?” Blue asks.
“I always know.” Gervais says.
“You, I am worried I have ruined your summer. You’ve spent too long on Bluewatch.” Blue says.
“Babe you haven’t ruined my summer. You have done the same for me and it is nice to be able to pay you back a little. I don’t consider looking out for you a chore, just as you don’t for me.” Gervais says.
“Trouble is, Blue is looking out for everyone right now, people who would never do the same for him.” Robin says snuggling deeper into Blue’s pit and trying not to be obvious about taking a sniff.
“I tried to push everyone away and I tried to keep Chris and Bea out. I never imagined I would have to deal with Lana, like, ever. At least momma is leaving today.” Blue says.
“Leaving you with her mess to clean up.” Robin says.
“Seriously, Lana is all her problem, Bea and Chris too.” Gervais says.
“Ugh, talk about something else.” Blue says.
“I think Jeremy tried to take my picture when I was peeing. Gervais says.
“Seriously? Is he a major perv?” Robin asks.
“It might have been nothing. Worst thing is I love the art project so much that even if he had, I’d let it go.” Gervais says.
“Okay it is creepy af but you do have a beautiful penis so I don’t blame him.” Blue says and gives it a tweak.
“Oy, hands off.” Gervais says and snuggles closer, rubbing against Blue.
“Man I have missed this.” Robin says rolling on top of Blue and kissing him before leaning over and kissing Gervais.
“Maybe we should get up before we go any further.” Blue says.
“Why do you two have to be coupled up? Actually Blue I take it all back, you totally ruined my summer.” Gervais jokes.
“You’ve not really told us how things went with Joe.” Blue says.
“It was amazing. He was so willing and so much fun. I mean you saw how he moved on the dance floor. Well that body wave while naked was something.” Gervais says.
“I am so glad you had some fun.” Blue says.
“Its been a year of me getting my shit together. I am glad to have made the sacrifice, we’re better friends than ever. I don’t worry about letting you guys down, I don’t worry about being abandoned and I don’t worry that I will be single forever. Plus I can handle a one night stand so much better now. For a long time after Justin, well you know, it was hard not to worry.” Gervais says.
“This is a lot to ask. I know you both love my parents.” Robin says slowly and stalls.
“Spit it out.” Blue says.
“How would you guys feel if I lied to my parents and told them I took the job with Jeremy while I actually carried on doing my apps and working for Blue? I might even hold the job with Jeremy for the year too, to limit my lying.” Robin says.
“I would support you. The new woman is great but she is part time too and I know you’ve been learning lots and your app is doing okay. I am sorry about the parlor, wasted a lot of your time but I know that lots of people use it at the deli and bakery. I never wanted you to leave and I know you don’t want to work in gaming.” Blue says.
“Yeah, bros before moms. Or something.” Gervais laughs.
“I think I’ll apply to masters courses here too. I didn’t expect Jeremy to offer me a job, he hated me earlier in the summer. I think he only did it to get Gervais.” Robin says.
“I think he was short sighted firing Brian as the replacement isn’t so good. He knows you have the skills and creativity. I am doing 4 days a week that could well become 3. I don’t need to work fulltime. And if Blue says it is okay I think we should covert the barn for us. Make it a flexible space so it can be one or two homes. Maybe your half could be your graduation gift from me and Blue.” Gervais says.
“What about Spence and Andy?” Blue asks.
“Andy will be doing the same over at Abby’s. There are a couple of great old outbuildings that could be converted to homes. He said you guys want more modern storage for the produce.” Gervais says.
“We do. I am all for it. I know I wasn’t earlier in the summer and felt taken advantage of. I was in a bad place and so were you Robin and I am sorry I wasn’t there for you in the way I should have been. I should have known you being mean to me was because you were going through stuff.” Blue says.
“We fight, we make up and that is how we are. We always love each other. I don’t want to take money from either of you, or property but man I would love it. I have some savings and would contribute, even if I can only cover legal fees. I would like the option to pay you back.” Robin says.
“We can work something out. Your family has done so much for me. I would never have known about my family background without your mom and I want you to be happy. We excluded you at the start of the summer, always thought you’d be the one to move away and I am sorry we made you feel pushed out. I need both you guys around and my mom’s money should go towards enabling that.” Gervais says and Blue wipes a tear.
“I am so glad we’re in a good place now. Just because I have Will doesn’t mean I don’t need you guys. I am going to miss you like crazy when you’re back at school.” Blue says.
“You should consider visiting us when Will is away training.” Gervais says.
“I might. Tad would probably appreciate having this place for him and Ollie for a few nights and so would look after the chickens.” Blue says.
“I am so mad at Ollie for taking away my booty call before I even got to call him.” Gervais says.
“You could always call Nick. Although he seems to be staying with Brian a lot.” Robin says.
“Nick just isn’t my type. I am into rugged over pretty. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I do have a type, and my physical type is not always going to be compatible with me in bed. I mean I have been with other types of guys and had fun but my future husband is tall and broad and practical. Maybe it is shallow and limiting and I’ll end up with a short blonde geek.” Gervais laughs.
“I want someone less perfect than Ella. She is great and has been good for me but isn’t the one. The funny thing is because she is so beautiful and natural she spends so much less time getting ready which I love. She always looks good though, so I feel on edge. Like a sloppy Sunday in front the tv, she looks like a magazine cover and I just want to be a smelly stubbly mess but feel like shit next t to her and end up preening and not being myself.” Robin says.
“What a problem, a girlfriend who is too perfect. She isn’t smart enough for you. She is lovely and great in her role in the company now but you are so creative and self-starting and she would support you in everything she wouldn’t be someone you could come home and bounce ideas off. Not like you could with Bea or Emma and you need that. Not saying you need a batshit girlfriend.” Blue laughs.
“That’s it. I need a smart nerd who gets me. Don’t care if it is a man or woman or inbetween. Jenna was a theatre nerd and that worked, I don’t care what their passion is. I’ll go to pretty much anything if they’ll come with me to my events, whether that is a cheer comp or ComicCon.” Robin says.
“When are you dumping Ella?” Gervais asks.
“Soon. Oh hell that sounds awful, today, I’ll do it today. I mean look at me, I am in bed with my two besties and didn’t even see her home last night.” Robin says.
“She’s a great girl and deserves honesty. I’ll bake something she likes for you to take with you.” Blue grins.
“You know what it means if I’m single.” Robin says snuggling.
“I’ll ask Will. But not for a week as I want him all to myself.” Blue says.
“You better include me. Gervais says.
“Uh 3 tops to my one bottom? Let me think. Oh hell yeah.” Blue says laughing and kisses them both.
“Just two days of you all to ourselves before Will gets back. I vote that today we loaf.” Gervais says.
“I would love to but…” Blue begins.
“Overruled.” Robin says butting in.
“Yup we are keeping you trapped here until Clara goes.” Gervais says clinging to Blue’s arm.
“Thanks babes. I’ve had a few days off recently, I’m not burned out from work.” Blue protests.
“No but you are totally tapped out emotionally and throwing yourself into work to hide from your feelings is not happening on my watch. Once Clara goes we are putting you in the tub for a long soak and bringing you tea and cookies.” Gervais says and Blue can’t help but groan at the thought.
“Ice-cream sandwich.” Blue says.
“Sounds good. If Andy has left us any ice-cream.” Robin laughs.
“You should get him to join us.” Blue says.
“Yeah like we could keep Andy away from fresh cookies.” Gervais grins.
They hear Clara call out her goodbye and Robin and Gervais watch some of the tension leave Blue’s shoulders. The pair exchange a worried look, Blue is bottling up way too much.
“You need a massage before getting in the tub.” Robin says and motions for Blue to turn over.
“I’ll go get started on the cookies.” Gervais says.
“No, stay.” Blue says and grabs Gervais hand.
Gervais smiles and lies by knowing he’s going to enjoy watching this a little too much. Robin gets to work on Blue’s back and Blue sighs in delight. Gervais watches and smiles happily. When Blue dozes a little he gets up and grabs some shorts and heads to make the cookies.
Andy is woken by the smell of baking, and smiles. Opens his eyes and is horrified to realize he is sleeping on Chris’s chest. His head starts to thump and he closes his eyes again, hoping it is a bad dream. What has he done?
The night before Larry was the sober one so offered to drive Bea, Lana and Cheryl home. As Clara was staying the night Chris suggested they have a night apart and Larry was fine with it. He and Chris are free agents and although they have been spending a lot of nights together neither is too attached.
Once they had left and Clara had gone to bed Chris and Andy opened another bottle of wine, and another. Andy opens his eyes again full of shame and regret.
“I have missed you so much.” Chris murmurs.
“This never happened.” Andy says.
“No it didn’t. We were both wasted. And I wouldn’t have taken advantage, however much I wanted to.” Chris says.
“It didn’t? You wouldn’t?” Andy asks.
“No, I wouldn’t. I wanted to. I miss you so much. I know it was my fault and I messed up and I am happy for you being engaged. I know Spence is good for you. But I miss you, I miss being with you and having you sleep on me last night was amazing and I am not sorry. I would never do anything about how I feel. I don’t want to mess up your life again and I can’t put my relationship with Blue at risk. I know he would always take your side.” Chris says.
“There is a time when you would have taken pictures and blackmailed me.” Andy says.
“Andy, we’re friends now. I know I can’t expect your trust right now, but you must know I am trying. Blue is my priority and you are a close second.” Chris says and Andy can’t help but hug him tightly.
“I do kind of trust you. Stupid as that makes me. I know you have good intentions right now. Not to say that I won’t be keeping an eye on you.” Andy says.
“And I need that.” Chris says.
“So it isn’t love with Larry?” Andy asks.
“No. Just a bit of fun. He’s not a patch on you.” Chris says.
“I keep hearing that. I need to give the poor guy some pointers.” Andy laughs.
“He’s fun, a lot of fun and he has moves he just doesn’t have your finesse yet. You are the best, you know that.” Chris smiles.
“Thank-you. Come on lets go see what the guys are baking.” Andy says with a huge smile on his face.
“They best have tripled the recipe with us both here.” Chris says trying to race Andy to the door.
“And then some.” Andy grins.
Gervais laughs at the pair, slightly worried that they have both just appeared in their underwear and hands them both a cookie.
“Where’s my ice-cream?” Andy asks as he watches Gervais build a sandwich for Blue.
“Get it yourself. Once I’ve finished these for Blue and Robin.” Gervais says.
“Clara gone?” Andy asks.
“She shouted goodbye. Expect she didn’t want to look in and see something she shouldn’t.” Gervais says.
“And would she have?” Chris asks.
“I don’t know, would she?” Gervais counters with a raised brow.
“Same arrangement you had. Chris needed a friendly ear, just like Blue did.” Andy says.
“Good.” Gervais says and heads up with the food.
“You were great last night, before we got sloppy drunk. I am finding all the family stuff hard and you gave great advice. You and Blue are the only people who see who I could be, you both know me so well. Thanks for being there for me.” Chris says.
“This isn’t like you, this gratitude, Blue has been there for me through the worst of my family issues. You know how he and Clara took Katelyn and Roe in just because I asked and I will never forget that. I try, I try so hard to be more like him and be there for people because I can be.” Andy says.
“And I am trying to be more like him, and be thankful and now we sound like we’re in some weird religious cult.” Chris laughs and they tease each other as they munch the cookies.
Blue, Robin and Gervais come in, Blue pink from his soak. Blue hugs Andy and Chris where they sit and kisses them on the cheek.
“These two are making me take a slob day. I feel like baking gingerbread, I don’t care that it is hot out. I think hanging out in here and the garden in our undies, eating tasty things is a good idea. If you don’t object I’m going to invite Ocean over as I think he would love it and he needs a break too. He is super stressed for a little kid. We had a long chat last night.” Blue says.
“I will pull on some sweats and go and get him, explain to Katelyn that it is boy’s day.” Andy says,
“Thanks. Any requests?” Blue asks.
“Gingerbread sounds awesome. I will take Ocean to get juice and soda, do we need anything else?” Andy asks.
“Milk and cream, I want to make some ice-cream.” Blue grins.
“And bananas as Ocean is coming.” Gervais says.
“And Cheetos. Can’t have a slob day without orange fingers.” Robin grins.
“Cheryl will kill us when she hears what Ocean is having.” Gervais grins.
“See you all soon.” Andy says once half dressed.
“Thanks for not booting me out for your bonding day.” Chris says.
“Don’t tempt me bro.” Blue says and they all grin.
“Two things, what are we building? And can we put a pool in? Now you’ll have Abby’s farm surely you could sacrifice some space by the barn.” Robin asks.
“You two are going to have a real bachelor pad. Love it.” Blue grins.
“I think we should build spaceships.” Gervais says grabbing a pad and pencil and sketching ideas.
“You guys are nuts.” Chris laughs.
“We made a whole gingerbread city once.” Robin says.
“When I first came here I made kits for gingerbread houses and sold them. Those, cheesecake and pies helped me get through my first winter.” Blue says.
“So spaceships it is.” Chris smiles and joins in.
Ocean is delighted to be included. He helps Andy clear the snack aisle in the supermarket and clean them out of bananas.
“We should get boiled candy to make windows in the gingerbread.” Ocean says.
“You’re the boss.” Andy grins. He’s made a fair amount of money this summer and it feels good to have a little splurge after being so careful all year.
“My goodness, are you having a party?” The checkout girl asks.
“Boys slob out day.” Andy grins.
“It is like a party but we don’t have to dance.” Ocean says.
“But we can if we want to. In our undies.” Andy says and throws a move, Ocean laughs his biggest laugh.
Back at the house they strip off and wash their hands and get stuck in.
They put some music on and dance around, inside and out, enjoying themselves, goofing off. Blue and Ocean are both properly relaxed which makes the others relax and worry less. They have varying success with the spaceships. Some work, some crumble and some don’t fit together at all.
They have an absolute blast and squabble over who gets to eat what. Blue gathers up some of the broken parts and incorporates them into a ginger caramel ice-cream he has been churning and they declare it his best ever before he’s been able to put it in the freezer for its final freeze.
“What you thinking?” Andy asks.
“Ollie and I were mourning for the parlor the other day. While I was happy to drop something when the diner idea first came up I am now feeling pushed out. And we both miss our crazy creating sessions. I don’t miss the hard work of the birthday parties but I miss the feedback, the smiling kids.” Blue says.
“Maybe I can have an ice-cream party here some time. For back to school?” Ocean says.
“I would love that. You just tell me when and how many.” Blue says hugging his young friend.
“Are you going to school?” Gervais asks.
“I have to wait and talk to Will and Spence. I don’t want to go to Jane’s school as there are smelly bullies.” Ocean says.
“That sounds bad. I will have more time to give you classes once summer is over.” Blue says.
“I would like that. Can I have fried bananas?” Ocean asks moving swiftly on.