“You’re hardly a mountain mate, more a molehill.” Larry says, Will is still muscular but doesn’t have the bulk he had as a gymnast and next to Larry is tiny.
They all giggle and it breaks the tension.
“Would you like some food?” Blue asks getting up to get a plate of pancakes he left warming in the oven.
You didn’t say there was more.” Chris complains.
“I would love some.” Will says and accepts a plate from Blue before Chris and Larry grab the rest.
“It feels quite rude to say I missed your cooking but I really did. The soup isn’t your soup. I get that it is mass produced and all but it isn’t the same. And Heidi does pasta or chili pots now at the bakery. Not that I come back often.” Larry says.
“I wish you would have, I missed you. You were always welcome here.” Gervais says.
“I know but it was just too hard. I totally get why Blue doesn’t want to come back. This wonderful house just isn’t enough.” Larry says and Blue nods.
“So you’re not coming back? Not ever?” Will asks.
“This is the last time. Oh if Ocean gets married here then we’ll come. Please don’t tell your husband that.” Blue says.
“You can’t think that I would ever betray you. And heck Aled might be a liar but he is on the right side.” Will says.
“I think there are more than two sides.” Blue says coldly.
“You were okay with me last time we spoke. With my choices.” Will says.
“We’ll leave you two to talk. Thanks for breakfast bro.” Chris says getting up.
“You be okay?” Gervais asks.
“I don’t get much choice do l? As usual I don’t get to make any decisions and get blamed regardless.” Blue says angrily.
“You seriously don’t want to talk?” Will asks.
“No I don’t. I have a couple of hours left here and I have things I want to do. I thought we had closure. I hadn’t factored in talking to you. If you and your husband hadn’t been here last night you wouldn’t have even known I’d been here.” Blue says.
“Bro that’s cold.” Chris says hovering by the door and looking worried.
“So is marrying someone to create an instant family.” Blue says, pushes past Chris and walks out the door. He just can’t deal with this. Not now. He needs to look forward and not back.
“Go after him.” Chris urges Will, to a death stare from Gervais.
“He needs time to process. I should have known. He knows me better than I know him.” Will says and heads home glumly.
“Why did you do that?” Gervais asks Chris.
“I love you with my bro, but man you saw their reaction to each other. You have sparks but they have something else.” Chris says.
“Blue is leaving and Will can’t, won’t leave those kids. They won’t be getting back together. There are no winners.” Larry says.
“Blue isn’t with me just because he can’t be with Will.” Gervais says.
“No I get that. I do. I’m sorry. I need to remember how to behave around people.” Chris says.
“lts okay. I know you’re struggling too. I’m really glad you’re coming too Larry. Not just to lighten the load, you were always a good friend to Blue.” Gervais says.
“You showed true loyalty to Blue by not muscling in like Robin. I know your family situation were the major factor but I hope in part you were uncomfortable about what was going down.” Chris says.
“Abby tried to convince me to stay and take something on. She wanted the projects to help locals not outsiders. But I have done okay on my own. Shall we get over to mine now and pack up? I’ll take my car back to the dealer and see what I can get for cash.” Larry says.
“Yeah. You’ll be okay here?” Chris checks with Gervais.
“I’ll check on Blue soon. We have so much to do. We’ll meet you at the airport?” Gervais asks.
“Yeah I’ll take my things I don’t have much.” Chris says.
“Be careful. Larry text me often.” Gervais says.
“For sure.” Larry says.
Gervais cleans up the kitchen. Sad that this is the last meal he’ll clear here. He then goes outside to check on Blue.
“I just don’t get why he stayed here after he found Aled. Like he was waiting for me, to rub my face in it.” Blue says.
“I wanted him to stay. He was a piece of you.” Gervais says.
“He could have moved to the city, be near his gym. Importing his instant family was cruel. He knew I’d find out one day.” Blue says.
“He thought you’d left him forever, that you didn’t want to come back to him.” Gervais says.
“I know and I was okay with everything until I found out that the kids were Aled’s blood. That has just rattled me. I was okay, slightly annoyed yesterday but today I am mad. I’m also mad that he was in my house at all.” Blue admits.
“It wasn’t ideal. They were just checking up on the place. He didn’t mean anything by it.” Gervais says.
“Aled did for sure. He will have known we were coming here. He stole my life. He took it. All of it.” Blue rants.
Gervais is delighted Blue’s showing his feelings but unsure what they mean. He knows he can’t rush Blue and he expected things to be up and down. But he didn’t expect to feel quite so jealous of Will.
“I’m going to the city to see Nick and speak to a couple of real estate agents and call my lawyer from the city. Go and talk to Will. Really talk to him. Don’t be nice or accommodating, tell him the truth and let him tell you the truth about Aled. I need you to have a clean slate before we start anything.” Gervais says.
Blue sits in the garden and thinks. He has no idea why his feelings have shifted. Mostly he thinks seeing Aled in his home is what triggered it. He knew in theory the house belonged to Gervais and he could have whoever he wanted in it. And of course Gervais was an ex that Will wasn’t always comfortable having around.
Seeing Aled in his home, his ex-home, was showing him exactly what he had missed out on. Seeing the man who swooped in and stole his life, used Chris’s memories to become the perfect guy for
Will. Oh god, poor Will, Blue suddenly thinks about how Will was preyed upon when vulnerable and how the kids mean he will never be free to be with Blue even if they both wanted it. Not really.
Blue’s realization pushes him out of his funk and he heads towards Will’s house.
“Do you want to come in?” Will asks.
“No, can you come over. Do you not have work?” Blue asks.
“No, I uh cancelled today.” Will says.
“You never wanted to coach fulltime.” Blue says.
“No, but it is flexible and the kids can hang out at the gym.” Will says.
“You don’t feel in Spence’s shadow?” Blue asks.
“Yeah but that is okay, he’s an amazing coach and I am lucky to work with him.” Will says.
“Your heart isn’t in it.” Blue says bluntly.
“You are one to talk. Hiding in the shadows for seven years not pursuing any of your dreams.” Will says.
“It was futile to try. I didn’t dare to dream because anything I started could be over in a moment. Honestly I barely made it this far.” Blue says quietly.
“I know, I’m sorry to be so defensive. I’ve forgotten what it is like to have someone who pushes me, not just as a gymnast.” Will says.
“I am so sorry about Aled. Does he love you?” Blue asks.
“I don’t know. He has totally shut down. Effectively he’s been compromised here and will have to go. Just as we all likely need more protection with you guys being a little more open.” Will says.
“So you won’t go with him?” Blue asks.
“I will get the marriage annulled or something. I mean it wasn’t real was it? Not for him and it isn’t like I’m still in love with him.” Will says.
“And the kids?” Blue asks.
“I don’t know. Blue, I don’t know what the right thing to do is. I can’t take them from their dad but losing me after losing their mom will be huge. I am their main carer and he has put them in harms way by bringing them here. I know I could fight and I want to with all my heart but I don’t think that is best for them and it breaks my heart.” Will says.
“Aled did what he did, knowing this could happen. That was unbelievable cruel and I am sorry that yet again my stupid life has done this to you. You were so unlucky ever meeting me.” Blue says.
“You didn’t make him do this. None of this, nothing is your responsibility. None of it and it isn’t even your family, not really. Stop taking all the blame and get angry at the right people.” Will says.
“I’m mad at you. I’m mad at you for living here on my land, for bringing that man here and for making yourself an instant family. I am mad at you for everything. But I would never, ever have wished for this outcome. Hearing you were married with kids actually gave me some joy, I was pleased for you. Pleased I hadn’t wasted two lives. But I have and while you are right, I am not responsible for Aled’s actions but if we had not have dated you would not be going through this and your kids would not be facing this. I feel bad for that. I always will.
Birch and I broke up because he couldn’t handle the drama I attracted. Drama that wasn’t my fault but affected it still affected him. I was mad at him for so long about it and when we got together it was amazing that my troubles were your troubles and you always had my back, always. It was so different to anything I had known and I loved you, utterly and completely for it.
I should have let you go earlier. I shouldn’t have dragged you in to everything. I felt so good and so loved by you and I was always aware the issues I was causing you but I couldn’t let you go and I wish
I had. I wish I had stopped us before all of this.” Blue says.
“I would have given anything for another day with you and I wouldn’t give up a single moment. The only thing I would change is sending you away after our fight. I wouldn’t have let you go, if you’d tried to dump me for my own good. You know that Blue. We don’t need to romanticize our relationship as it was solid. I pushed you and you pushed me and we fought and disagreed but we resolved things, we worked at it. We wanted to work at it, no outside factors would have changed that.” Will says.
“And now? Do you think I’m right trying with Gervais?” Blue asks.
“He is a very good man and he loves you just as much as I do. I spent a long time jealous that you left him in charge of your house and businesses. But I grew to understand that you didn’t want to tie me to here or give me the stress. That you knew Gervais would treat me well and I would have a home here if I needed it. You gave me security and him a role. He is one of my dearest friends and I want the world for him.” Will says.
“But is that me?” Blue asks.
“For him it would be, much as that breaks my heart. I won’t fight for you if you are choosing him.” Will says.
“But you thought about it?” Blue asks.
“From the second I saw you on screen I’ve been thinking about it. My marriage was already dead. I’d been hiding that from everyone. We would have broken up, maybe we already had. We’re just two guys raising some kids together. Thanks to Chris I have a reason to make it official. I hate that he slept with Chris. Makes my skin crawl. I know he’s changed but I just remember the entitled ssst he was when I met him and how he treated you back then. That Aled was with him, ugh.” Will says.
“I totally understand. Honestly it took a lot for me to get over Gervais dating Chris.” Blue says.
“I’m meeting a lawyer this afternoon. I just wish I knew what was best for custody. Or the house, I mean Aled can’t live here without me.” Will says.
“I’d rather he didn’t live here either way but I understand it is the kids home, so I won’t dictate he has to live right away.” Blue says.
“Would you hold off with G? Wait for me?” Will asks.
“I couldn’t ask Gervais to give up his life and not be with him.” Blue says.
“No you couldn’t and you love him, you always loved him. For a while you loved me more but not now.” Will says and Blue nods.
“I have to go. I have to pack up and get to the airport.” Blue says.
“I’ll help you pack and load the car. I have time before I see my lawyer.” Will says.
“That’s why you took the day off.” Blue says.
“Have to move quickly. Even though I’m not in the right headspace over the kids I need to know my rights and options.” Will says.
“Do you need money?” Blue asks.
“Nah. Thanks to you my living expenses have been tiny for years and so everything I made post Olympics I could save. The gym is small change, keeps me in gas and clothes but I do summer clinics and camps that pay good money.” Will says.
“I really am sorry this has happened. If I could push him off a cliff I would.” Blue says.
Will stands up with Blue and they hug tightly.
“Keep following your heart. Don’t feel you have to stay with Gervais if it doesn’t work out. He will survive. You will both get through this. You are so strong.” Will whispers and kisses Blue hard. Blue lets him for a second before stepping back.
“You best go.” Blue says.
“Take care.” Will says gently and leaves.