“So they ambushed you and you couldn’t make any plans? Well other than to give Gervais everything. Why not Will?” Andy asks once Blue and Chris tell their story.
“I trusted Gervais and I didn’t feel like I was tying him to the farm in the way it would have tied Will. I was leaving and I couldn’t ask Will to wait. I begged and begged to be allowed to talk to Will, to see him but I couldn’t. I know I didn’t make the best choices but it was a fucked up situation and I did what I could. And I needed the money and I knew it wasn’t too much to ask from Gervais.” Blue says.
“Don’t you dare judge Blue. He was a mess, we had to peel him off the floor and they were piling the pressure on, telling him you would all die if he didn’t get going right then and if he took Will with him he would be made and they’d both be killed. You guys have no idea what we went through that day and every day since.” Chris says angry at the reaction and thoroughly understanding why Blue didn’t want anyone to know they’d been found.
“Are you coming home?” Spence asks.
“No. It’s not home, not for me and Chris.” Blue says.
“We miss you. We’ve been waiting for you to come back.” Andy says.
“It would be too hard. You’ve all moved on and been a success without me. I’ve done nothing. Nothing worth doing anyway. I’ll never go back.” Blue says.
“If there is anything we can do to help. If you need money, if you need somewhere to stay, we can help. Spence says.
“Thank-you. We might need help that way.” Blue says.
“What happened to Randolf? Is he still around?” Chris asks.
“He and his family went into protection before the trial and relocated after. They are fine and well and we keep in touch occasionally. Randolf started working with vulnerable groups full time.” Gervais says.
“Oh that’s good, awful he had to be a part of the trial. I felt so guilty. He was amazing though. I’m glad he’s okay and doing work he loves. Please let him know I’m okay if you speak to him.” Blue says.
“But we can’t ask him to help, with moving money and sorting our identities, not really. Maybe he can recommend someone.” Chris says.
“Yeah we wouldn’t want to impose on him or put him at risk.” Blue says.
“My lawyer will help. Remember him Blue? He manages a lot of my affairs now and will be able to sort things out for you.” Gervais says.
“I think that should be our next stop. If we want to travel together we can’t have different birthdates and names, it will get us in trouble at some point.” Chris says and Blue nods.
“You just don’t want to be Hugo anymore.” Gervais laughs.
“Oh shut up. Blue gets to be Skye which is his middle name anyway and no big deal for him.” Chris grumbles.
“Hey I was Gregory when I was in college, it hasn’t been all plain sailing.” Blue says.
“l think they let you be Skye to see if danger was over.” Gervais says.
“Agreed. But I still don’t want to be totally in the open.” Chris says.
“Tell us about your wedding. I am so tired of this undercover shit.” Blue says.
“It was amazing. Best day of my life. We had it outside out house, in the front garden. These guys decorated and made it so beautiful and all of Spence’s family came and Katelyn and Ocean shared the best man and bridesmaid duties.” Andy says.
“I’m sorry we didn’t wait.” Spence says feeling sad and guilty. He always thought that he was fine, coping, with Blue gone and that it was Andy who felt the loss more keenly but seeing him here, Spence feels totally overwhelmed with how much he has missed Blue.
“I wouldn’t have wanted you to. Doesn’t stop me wishing I could have been there. Is there video I could watch? Ocean gave me a picture.” Blue asks.
“Yeah we’ll put it somewhere you can watch it.” Spence says wiping away a tear. Blue and Chris have been through so much but they’re still interested in his life with Andy, it is very humbling. Bea hadn’t revealed the half of it or maybe it was easier for her, she moved less and came out the program after college. She never had to be alone like the guys.
“You could have got in touch. You could have. No one would have known. You could have sent something to a work account or called from a payphone and left an email address.” Andy says.
“Fuck you.” Blue says and heads into his bedroom and shuts the door. He though Andy of all people would have understood after all they went through getting Katelyn and Roe safe.
“You two need to leave. We’re here to relax, to let Hugo and Skye have some much needed time together, time to talk and be themselves. You have no right to demand anything, not answers, not time and not love. You could have called me, checked it would be okay. It isn’t okay, you’re putting them at risk and frankly you could fuck up the progress we’d made with Blue.” Gervais says, his voice like steel.
“We’ll leave you for the day. We’re sorry we messed things up. I was just so excited I didn’t think about it from your side. I should have known you kept quiet for a reason. I hope we can talk with him again before you go.” Spence says gently. He has no idea why Andy was so pushy and hopes today wasn’t the last time they ever see Blue.
The pair get up and go for a walk before returning to their own villa.
“Why were you so hard on him?” Spence asks.
“I just don’t get why they stayed hidden. They could have done something. It was like they didn’t care about us. Didn’t want to see us. Will did the right thing moving on.” Andy rants.
“Did you not listen to a word they said? They’ve been through hell. They’ve had to move and move and move. They have lost everything over and over. They were told we were in danger if they resurfaced. They have been pushed down and down by this process and are in a state where they don’t believe they will ever find any happiness. They are both totally beaten and all you could do was make it worse. I don’t know who you were today, I didn’t recognize my husband.” Spence says.
“I just needed answers, I didn’t understand why they didn’t even try to let us know they were safe. If Ocean had gone to a different school we might never have seen them again. And if you hadn’t had a hunch we wouldn’t have found out that Gervais knew where they were.” Andy says still angry.
“It needed to be in their own time.” Gervais says in the doorway.
“Why didn’t you tell us? We wouldn’t have told anyone. Why couldn’t you have let us know they were safe?” Andy asks.
“Because they were my priority and not you. They needed someone to put them first for once and to show them that they haven’t been forgotten and that they are loved. You have everything they don’t and are sounded incredibly selfish right now.” Gervais says.
“I completely understand. Blue looks terrible. Is his health okay?” Spence asks.
“He was sick last week and is still tired, he is struggling with a few things. He was relaxing until you two turned up, now he’s talking about us moving on. Chris is talking him out of that right now. Please tread more carefully with him. He will want to see you, maybe one on one would be best at first.” Gervais says.
“Have you told Clara they are okay?” Andy asks.
“No and you better not either. Geeze Andy what is your problem? Why are you so mad?” Gervais asks.
“He was my best friend, he disappears for years and had no intention for seeing me, ever. I’m pretty hurt. I’ve worked hard keeping the business going, letting you take your share for him and it was a waste of time if he isn’t coming back.” Andy says.
“Blue would have loved to have run the business with you. You love running it, don’t put your choices on to him. Andy, babe, we’ve been living our dream life, yes it had a hole in it and yes we’ve made a few decisions based on the hope that Blue would be back one day but babe, we have been living. We have a really, really great life. Blue has not done anything to hurt us, not on purpose. We owe him, we owe him big and you know it. We need to do everything Gervais says. We need to do all we can to help our friend and you know it. Get with it and stop moping because we have so much to be thankful for.” Spence says surprising Gervais with his empathy and insight.
“It just feels like he gave up on us.” Andy says.
“He did, he locked all thoughts of all of us away as much as he could. He is a zombie sleepwalking through life, not making friends, never dating, not even eating the foods he loves. He gave up on himself too. He has a lot of disappointment, hate and resentment inside and so does Chris, those two are doing all they can to keep those feelings from bubbling over.” Gervais explains.
“But why you and not me?” Andy asks.
“That was Ocean’s call. He wanted to get us together. Chris saw us and showed up the next day, I think he was close to going home, but holding back until he found Blue. I think the handlers were harsher on Chris, they lied to him about Bea. He never stopped pushing for answers and information and all he got was lies. Neither of them believe they are safe and I don’t know if they are or if they are just paranoid. We all have to follow their lead. They need some control back.” Gervais says.
“I’m sorry, I really need to work through this. It is such a shock and to hear him say he isn’t coming home. I never, ever imagined he would be gone forever and it is hard to comprehend. I can’t deal with that. Especially when he is choosing to stay away. We’re all there because of him and he’s just dropped us all,” Andy says.
“He was ripped from us. Andy, he hasn’t made a single choice for himself in seven years. He can’t even have a favorite store because he worries that he will be found and followed. Blue is a victim and you need to start thinking about this differently.” Spence says exasperated that Andy just isn’t understanding, he isn’t usually like this and Spence is worried about the walls Andy is building.
“I get it I do. I just don’t get why he is pushing us away.” Andy says.
“He doesn’t want to intrude on your perfect life.” Gervais says and that hits home.
“He thinks we don’t need him in our life? That we just went on happily without him? That we just forgot him?” Andy asks sadly.
“Yeah, you have your marriage with your first love, your true love. The farm, the perfect house, your family, friends, all the things Blue wanted and he thinks coming home will interrupt what you two have, what Will has and what Robin has. He knows I don’t have that and I don’t have a family and so bringing me along for the ride is starting to be acceptable to him. In time he will reach out.” Gervais says.
“I hate that he’s been so alone. I’ve been so mad at him that he left me to deal with the farm alone. I love Tad and he’s amazing but it was never the same, we were never equal in this. I missed Blue so much and I could never talk to you or Will because you were so hurt yourselves. I am so mad at Blue for everything, I am crazy angry and I don’t know why. I will cool down and process this and I really hope you don’t leave before I’m ready to talk to him.” Andy says.
“You need to tell him that. We’re having dinner now, you should come by in an hour or so.” Gervais says.
“G wait up.” Spence says running after him.
“What is it?” Gervais asks.
“Are you okay? It is a lot to deal with and you’ve not been in the best shape, mentally.” Spence says gently.
“Blue is back in my life. It is all my Christmases at once. He loves me, we’re not together, he is not in a place to make those sort of decisions but there is hope. Chris is being an absolute rock too. He has his own issues and he’s ignoring them and we three are all aware of that but hopefully we have time.” Gervais says.
“Just reach out when you need us. I mean it about money and places to stay, My extended family have houses in Europe you could use. W has just bought a place at Tahoe which he would be happy for you to use.” Spence says.
“Thanks Spence. See you later, if Andy is in a better mood.” Gervais says hugging his friend.
“Yeah I’m not letting him near Blue when he’s angry and petulant like this. Blue is in no state for that, I don’t know why Andy doesn’t see it.” Spence says.
Gervais takes himself on a walk before going back for dinner. He knows Andy loves Blue and doesn’t mean any harm but it is hard to see Blue being so sensitive and easily hurt.
Gervais is worried. He’s worried he’ll wake and the twins will be gone. He doesn’t know how to reassure them that he isn’t a risk to their safety. He knows now never to send anyone but Ocean pictures.
“Bro why do you keep ordering that rice and not eating it?” Chris asks as he watches Blue push his food around again.
“I dunno. I find it hard to make decisions.” Blue sighs.
“Want my baked potato? I got it with the fixings on the side. Maybe steal one of Chris’s grilled tomatoes to put in it instead of butter or sour cream.” Gervais asks.
“That sounds nice.” Blue says and Chris and Gervais make Blue a meal from their plates and split the rice between them.
“Bit of a shock today. Not known Andy to be such an ass.” Chris says.
“He and I fell out quite often. I expect he’s threatened that I might come back and try and muscle in on his business.” Blue says.
“He would love you to do that Blue. He’s mad at you for not wanting to go home.” Gervais says.
“He’s not Robin. But he was a dick today.” Chris says.
“Too many people know. We are going to have to come up with a plan, we need to move fast if we have to.” Blue says.
“Spence said W has bought a place at Lake Tahoe. I think that sounds like a good idea for our next stop. I can talk to W, tell him I’m taking my new boyfriend.” Gervais says.
“No. I don’t feel that would be safe. Lets stick to hotels for a bit. Sorry I shouldn’t just spend your cash like that.” Chris says.
“I like it here. Can we just try another resort here. I think I need some more rest.” Blue says.
“I think maybe a house or apartment with proper cooking facilities would be best. I want to cook together.” Gervais says.
“Sounds good. Put Skye to work. See if he can still make that vegan ice-cream.” Chris says.
“That would be fun with all the beautiful fruits here.” Blue says.
“Perfect. We need a vacation to get over this vacation. We’re all pretty tense still.” Gervais says.
“Love it.” Blue grins.