“I don’t know. I don’t want to trap you into this life. You would be risking not being able to see Ocean again.” Blue says.
“Ocean is grown up and in college and ready to lead his own life. And if he and I will be able to work out some communication. He might even join us.” Gervais says.
“It can’t be that easy.” Blue says.
“Yes it can. We talk to your handlers you tell them they need to help transfer the money and you’ll leave the program. You buy the vineyard in your new name and I move in with you. Maybe I can get a new identity too. Blue, I’m not going home. I’m not letting you be alone again.” Gervais says and Blue looks at him in wonder. Knowing he really means it and there might finally be a way out.
“Let me tell you about my life since I left. I want to take you up on this, I really do. But you need to have your eyes wide open.” Blue says and tells Gervais about everything. Filling in the rougher times that he hadn’t told Ocean about.
“I hate that you went through all that. All without me or Will or the others to take care of you. No more Blue. No more. You don’t have to be alone. Hell I’d not be giving anything up.” Gervais says.
“I have to get to work. We’ve been talking all night.” Blue says.
“What do you do? Its 2 in the morning.” Gervais asks.
“I have a bakery.” Blue laughs.
“That is funny. You promise to come back here after and not disappear? Or can I come by with Ocean for breakfast?” Gervais asks.
“No café or shop, we supply hotels and the like wholesale.” Blue says.
“Well save me a loaf anyway and I’ll meet you here when you finish.” Gervais says.
“I can be here by 4 but I’ll be exhausted.” Blue says.
“And so you will sleep here. Blue I am here for you, for always. Go to work and think over my proposal.” Gervais says.
“Okay. I will. It has been so long since anything good. I was thinking all that Blue luck when I left college was my lot for life.” Blue says.
“We’re just starting.” Gervais says.
“Thanks Gervais. I have been so lost without you. I tried to pretend my whole life before was a dream.” Blue says.
“It was very real and we’re going to make it right. I love you Blue, my feelings have never really changed, just how I respond to them. I always loved you from the moment you treated me so kindly at school. Right now you need me to treat you how you treated me. I thought I was alone with no hope and then there was you.” Gervais says.
“Then there was you.” Blue says and hugs Gervais tightly.
Gervais worries from the second Blue leaves that he won’t come back. But he knows he can’t go to Blue’s workplace. Gervais strips off and goes to sleep.
Ocean sleeps soundly, the worry that he has held for the last seven years about Blue and Gervais is ebbing away. He loves both of them and has hated what the separation has done to them. Ocean loved Will and Blue together but he never, ever met anyone who he thought was right for Gervais the way Blue was.
Ocean isn’t sure about college, he loves gymnastics and he actually enjoys class more than he lets on to Gervais and George but ever since Blue suggested he could teach yoga he’s been re-evaluating. He knows it wouldn’t be a big income but living as he has he never developed expensive tastes, even with Spence around.
He’ll talk to Gervais over breakfast, maybe he’ll have some ideas.
“You look rested, not too late a night?” Gervais asks as he meets Ocean for breakfast.
“Nah we were all tired. I got the pictures sorted. There would have been a few crowd shots on the live feed too but you were on the edge and not too close.” Ocean says.
“We’ll get Cloudy Day into sunshine soon. I’ll take him somewhere while we look for a place to live. Don’t worry.” Gervais says.
“I am so glad I called you, and you came without asking questions.” Ocean says.
“You don’t ask for much. I wanted to come anyway. You did the right thing. The best thing.” Gervais says.
“I understand if I don’t get to see you for a while.” Ocean says.
“I will email you or message you. We’ll come up with something. We won’t be without contact.” Gervais says.
“Yeah I already set up a new profile. So you can always fine me.” Ocean says with a grin showing Gervais.
“Good thinking. I think we need to go tomorrow. Blue is too paranoid not to. I’ll need you to bring some things here to send on to me later. I don’t want anything to go direct from home. Can you ask Spence and Andy to keep an eye on the house and garden? Blue and I will sort it long term later.” Gervais says.
“What about the businesses?” Ocean asks.
“We’ll decide, the three of us. Nothing has to happen right now, I have more than enough put aside.” Gervais says.
“It’s exciting. And a relief, I slept better than I have in years last night, not having that seed of worry about him in the back of my mind.” Ocean says.
“Knowing he is alive and safe is a huge relief. Now we need to get him well and happy.” Gervais says.
“It won’t take much. Blue was often down but always found something good. Cookies, a flower, yoga or me. I could always cheer him up.” Ocean says.
“Yes you did, you were team mascot and got us all through tough times. Come to the hotel at 4. I will see you then. I’m going shopping for basics. Anything you need?” Gervais asks.
“Veggie protein bars and cookies? Bananas and good nut butter? If you have time.” Ocean asks.
“Dorm food getting you down?” Gervais grins.
“Breakfast is good, I’m monitored by coach which takes getting used to. There are some good veggie options but it is already tedious. I’d much rather have bananas and almond butter on a protein cookie or rye cracker. You know me.” Ocean grins.
“I remember when DeShawn visited and taught you to make Blue’s protein cookies. I thought you would have brought a good stash with you.” Gervais says.
“My team found them.” Ocean shrugs.
“Okay I will see what I can find for you. Are you free to hang out tonight?” Gervais asks.
“Yes, I am all up to date on my studies, you guys trained me too well. What do you think about me doing physical therapy?” Ocean asks.
“Sounds like a much better idea than small town accountant.” Gervais says.
“I think so too. Fits with yoga too.” Ocean says.
“Yes. Your mom will be less worried too.” Gervais says and Ocean shrugs. Ocean’s relationship with Cheryl took a huge knock when she moved him out of Blue’s house that nights row stayed with Ocean for years and although he knows his mom made a lot of sacrifices for him and he loves her, they were never quite as close again.
Ocean always felt a little guilt too that his sport stopped Cheryl from moving back to the lake and being with Willow. He didn’t know until much later that Willow was still a possibility and much as he likes Marsha with his mom he knows Willow was a better match.
Still his mom never asked for his input and he’s not sad he got to grow up with Gervais, Andy, Spence and Will all four of them had a big influence on his life and made him who he is.
Ocean gets through classes and afternoon practice and heads to the hotel.
Gervais isn’t sure whether it is Blue’s paranoia but he feels like he’s being followed. After shopping he popped out to some local stores to find some bananas for Ocean and he gets the feeling he’s being watched.
Gervais wonders if he should tell Blue not to come, or to meet elsewhere but also knows that f Blue is spooked he might not come at all. He gets back to the hotel room and messages Ocean to make sure he’s on time.
“On my way to meet Cloudy from the bus.” Ocean replies and Gervais heads down to the lobby to meet them still feeling a bit anxious. He’s booked flights for him and Blue for the next morning. They are going to Chicago next while they look at places to buy and work out what to do with the house and business.
Gervais walks outside in a panic as he sees someone running at Blue. He sets off trying to intercept them and then stops still and squeals in delight.
“Bro?” Blue cries out and runs to meet Chris is a huge hug. Ocean and Gervais run and join in.
“How? What?” Blue asks worried, happy and confused all at once.
“I think we should get inside.” Gervais says.
“Yes.” Chris says.
“Were you following me earlier?” Gervais asks in the elevator.
“Yes, sorry. I needed to be sure it was you and this was safe.” Chris says.
“You two have never looked more alike.” Ocean says.
“Skinny with bad hair.” Chris says and Blue giggles.
“How did you find me?” Blue asks when they get in the room.
“I watched Ocean’s meet the team online, great job kid and I saw Gervais hair in a crowd shot, I rewound and rewatched and for a split second I saw you, I knew it was you. Don’t worry in real time no one would have noticed.” Chris says.
“And you got on a plane?” Blue asks.
“I had to try. I didn’t know if you were out the program and visiting Ocean together or what. I had to take the chance that you might be here, or that Ocean could tell me where you were.” Chris says.
“Ocean got Gervais and I in the same room. First time we’d seen each other in seven years and I didn’t even think about it being streamed. Feel an idiot but worth the risk. Bea left the program and lives at the lake. Maybe we’re safe too.” Blue says.
“Holy shit. I ask, every quarter I meet with those fucks and they lie saying you two are both still in the program and no I can’t see you.” Chris says angry.
“Who are you now and what do you do? Are you a vet?” Blue asks.
“Am I fuck? I was advised against it. I do landscaping. For about 2 years now I’ve been Hugo, can you believe it? I guess we both had to move on whenever the other did? So we both had to move after Will’s stunt, so romantic bro, I cried. It was a total pain moving on but I thought that one was worth it.” Chris says.
“He’s married with kids now.” Blue says.
“I’m sorry. I thought you two would make it. Two years ago it was my fault, I was working on a farm back then. I saw Claud and Andy at a market.” Chris says.
“They never said.” Gervais says.
“I didn’t approach them. One of the guys pointed Claud out and said he was a big deal soup guy and before I knew it I was saying, I know and my brother started the company. I near shit my pants as the words came out and went straight away and made the call.” Chris says shaking his head.
“Guess we’re about even. The second move after the Olympics was me.” Blue says.
“You seem a bit more together than Blue.” Ocean says.
“Blue lost a lot more than I did.” Chris says.
“We both lost everything. I am really sorry you didn’t get to be a vet. I think you’d have been good.” Blue says.
“Me too.” Gervais says.
“Yeah you would have been awesome. Maybe you could go back to school now.” Ocean says.
“I thought we weren’t safe. Could I talk to Bea? On one of your phones?” Chris asks.
“Sure. She’s called Nicola now.” Gervais says.
“Wait. I don’t know if that’s a good idea.” Blue says.
“I don’t know your plans yet. I can’t spill anything. I won’t even tell her we met.” Chris says.
“If we’re safe now she’d be Bea. I want to get gone from here as soon as possible. Can you call her from somewhere else?” Blue asks.
“We’re leaving in the morning. I figured you wouldn’t have anything you wanted to keep.” Gervais says.
“I own my bakery.” Blue says.
“We can sort that later.” Gervais says.
“I will call Bea last minute tomorrow before we leave for the airport. Can you get me a flight? I’m coming with you.” Chris says.
“If it isn’t safe we can’t be together.” Blue says.
“Fuck that. We can spend a couple of days in a hotel catching up. I get I might be interrupting some love fest but come on bro.” Chris pleads.
“I want to spend time with you. Gervais and I are not together, well not yet, not officially. I just don’t trust Bea not to fuck things up for us in order to keep her life.” Blue says.
“Okay, that I understand. Fuck yeah I wouldn’t put it past her. You were always the smart one.” Chris says.
“We never got to do that study to find out the truth on that.” Blue says.
“Its funny to see you both together again. After time apart you’re more in tune than ever.” Ocean says.
“Ahh little Bro, you and G always could read us both.” Chris says and Ocean beams like a little kid again.
“You watched me online. Did you keep up with my gym?” Ocean asks.
“Yes. Of course I did. I wanted to sneak in to nationals and watch but I was too paranoid. I kept up on everything. Robin being CEO, I was so WTF on that one bro. So not cool.” Chris says.
“How could you without it being too painful? I just couldn’t even think of these guys.” Blue says.
“I needed to, to keep grounded, to stay human and not do something stupid. You didn’t need that Blue. It was the only thing that kept me going. I didn’t search for the siblings but I kept up in your world. So proud of you Ocean getting a scholarship and I can’t wait to watch when you’re on the team.” Chris says.
“You don’t have someone?” Blue asks.
“Nah, no way I could drag anyone in to this shit. Bet you’re the same. But if we’re leaving together I might have a chance.” Chris says.
“You always cycled between being good Chris and evil Chris, like some sort of comic book character. You’re good Chris again.” Ocean says.
“Is that how you always saw it?” Blue asks.
“Yeah, sometimes Chris was great and other times scared me shitless, even though he was always nice to me.” Ocean says.
“So what is your gut feeling on Bea?” Chris asks.
“What Blue said. I wouldn’t trust her not to grass you up to keep her life the way it is.” Ocean says.
“So tomorrow we leave? And start over and Ocean is our messenger.” Chris says and the three nod.
“Tomorrow we start over, again.” Blue says.
“Together.” Gervais says and hugs them all.