Blue and Gervais have had a quiet week, avoiding everyone after Blue blew up at the dinner party. Gervais is still processing what happened. His insecurities were heightened after the dinner but Blue doesn’t seem to be backing off or showing any more interest in Will.
Will has moved into Birch’s room in the main house while he’s on tour. He needs space from Blue and the others. He’s not entirely sure why he’s there but also doesn’t want to leave. He loves knowing Blue is safe and well and just can’t bring himself to leave.
The gym is coming along well and will be equipped soon. Will is helping at the school with Spence, both are happy to take PE but also other classes like biology. Will wonders if teaching is a route he could take. But knows the tiny mountain school with its flexible learning and small multi age classes isn’t what he would get at home.
Leaving the gym early on Friday, Spence has sent them all off early as he has a date or something. Will takes himself down to the lake and sits on a dock with his feet in the water. He loves to imagine Blue growing up here, out on his boat.
“What ya thinking?” Blue asks sitting down.
“About you as a little one, out on the water and how I would never have let Aled’s kids sail on their own. Where’s Gervais?” Will asks.
“He and Robin are doing a café shift. It’s a nice day so I came here to do what you’re doing.” Blue says.
“Robin seems to be doing really well up here.” Will says.
“Yeah he gets his work done early and helps momma out. He’s enjoying his work and being up here. Are you okay?” Blue asks.
“Kind of but not entirely. It was always going to be weird me coming here.” Will says.
“l am glad you got to see it. We never had a chance to see where each other grew up, I barely met your family.” Blue says.
“We never had a chance.” Will sighs.
“No, we didn’t. If things had been different this might have been us, taking a short vacation, visiting my momma and fishing.” Blue says, slipping his arm around Will.
“l wish it was.” Will says leaning his head on to Blue’s chest.
“Me too sometimes, sometimes I do too.” Blue says quietly.
The pair just sit in silence watching the water in the spring sunshine. Comfortable. Blue knows that Gervais would hate this but he can’t seem to stop, to pull away.
“l feel like a total creeper being here, but I like to know you’re safe. Especially after Ocean.” Will says.
“l think that is why I encouraged everyone to come. I like knowing everyone is safe and not too far, even if I am not up to being social. I really want you here, but know it might not be the right thing for you.” Blue says.
“Knowing you want me here is enough. It’s hard you know? I don’t do well being around you and not with you.” Will says.
“l think we can be friends. I think when all the hurt is gone you’ll be happy to be my friend. We’re good for each other. You still think of being a florist?” Blue asks.
“Not specifically. I don’t see me being an agent either. I am burned out from being a coach. I’ll do the summer for Ocean and Garrett and then be ready to move on I think. I won’t just follow Spence doing clinics or whatever, or the summer camp. I mean I might coach summer camps if I need to but I won’t make it my main plan. I couldn’t survive on the pay anyway.” Will says.
“l can help you, if you want to retrain. It’s my fault you are in this mess. All of it is my fault.” Blue says quietly. Years of blocking off thinking of Will, Gervais and the others meant he couldn’t think about what they were facing, that they might have been in limbo too.
“l can’t ask that and I can’t risk getting inbetween you and Gervais. I’m enjoying teaching here but I know the school here isn’t like real life.” Will says.
“Gervais doesn’t have a real plan either. He wasted time too. It does seem romantic him waiting for me but it is a lot of pressure on me.” Blue says.
“But you do love him and he will take care of you.” Will says knowing he has to stay neutral.
“l do love him. I worry he’s wasting his life with me. But I know it is his choice and I’m in no position to push him away.” Blue says.
“It is probably best we’re not together. I’d probably do the same, just be so happy to be with you, I wouldn’t pursue my own dreams.” Will says.
“You think that is what happens with Gervais? He just gets swept in to my dreams and ignores his own?” Blue asks.
“He’s a grown man and knows his mind.” Will says.
“Sorry I get that you don’t want to talk about him and me. I don’t want to talk to you about Aled. Even though he isn’t the monster I cast him as, and he was really great getting us 3 the help we needed.” Blue says.
“Because my marriage was fake it makes it seem like I wasted more time than I did. It is only now we know it was a waste of time with him.” Will says.
“He said you never loved him.” Blue says.
“l would not have married someone I wasn’t in love with. You know me better than that. The man I fell in love with, he was a fantasy, an experiment. And he disappeared after the honeymoon. I had to work hard and keep going because of the kids.” Will says.
“That’s what he said. You’ve had a horrible time recently. I want to make it better for you.” Blue says
“Be happy, be safe and be yourself again. I’ll find something I want to do. We were on the right track with being a florist. Small business in a small town would be ideal but might not be practical. I sank most of my savings into my wedding, the kids and house.” Will says.
“And no divorce means no financial settlement. And you don’t own your home so can’t sell it. I should give you the money back that you spent on it.” Blue says.
“No, you owe me nothing. My rent was minimal, doing work on the place was the deal. I was careless and thought my marriage was forever and never thought about leaving or doing anything else. I am still young, I have my health, a degree, an Olympic medal. Doors will open if I knock hard enough. I just need a rest to get up the strength to start knocking.” Will says.
“There you are. I guess we are at the same stage, functioning but not trusting our choices.” Blue says.
“That’s a good way to put it. Maybe we should take one of Roe’s art classes together.” Will laughs.
“The talking one where people paint and bitch about their exes and things? If you don’t have classes or have to be at the gym. Lets go see Roe now.” Blue says.
“l was kind of joking.” Will says.
“It would still be fun. Gervais and I are probably spending too much time together. We love it but we need some time apart. Like today him doing the shift with Robin. I think we need some friendship time. We were friends as well as boyfriends.” Blue says.
“Lets go see Roe then. Do you have a car?” Will asks.
“No, I came on my bike.” Blue says.
“We can put it in the back.” Will grins.
“Thanks Will, for trying to be neutral. I need friends right now.” Blue says.
“Me too. And you can be as biased about Aled as you like.” Will laughs.
“Did Gervais encourage you to get married?” Blue asks needing to know.
“l dove right in. Once I decided to date I was all in for a relationship. I didn’t need anyone to say go for it, Blue isn’t coming back.” Will says.
“But he didn’t discourage it?” Blue asks.
“No, no one did. Not really. Well maybe Birch.” Will says.
“Birch tried to break me and Gervais up but his heart was in the right place. Other than you I think Birch knew me best.” Blue says.
“Not Robin and Gervais?” Will asks.
“I’m closest with those two, but I think you and Birch knew my character better. Birch messed up with me, big time but when I saw him a few weeks ago he knew how to help me and was honest with me. I can’t quite explain. He messed up too, exposed me to people around me but he really stepped up too.” Blue says.
“He was incredibly worried about you. I think that is why he told Robin and me where you were. He thought you needed more support. He didn’t really think it all through.” Will says.
“He wasn’t to blame for Ocean, that plot had been in the works for months. Us being taken away had nothing to do with him. He was right I needed more support, not just me, the others did too. We messed up.” Blue says.
“l don’t think you did. I think it sounded like you were a success, a big success. Too much too soon.” Will says.
“I don’t want to do it again. I want to make wine as a hobby. I want to write and paint and live somewhere with a great view. Throw great dinner parties and host my friends. Can I retire when I’m 30?” Blue asks with a laugh.
“Yes. You could do worse than look at some of the things your momma does. Be an investor, a business angel, whatever. You’d win some, lose some and it might make you feel like you were
working. Katelyn does it too. I guess Abby did in her way. For sure, travel and paint and grow your wine and spend your money on yourself, goodness knows you rarely did. But in time think about using it too.” Will says.
“l am a lot more like my momma than I realize. And I was right about you knowing me well. You didn’t tell me to make cheesecake.” Blue grins.
“It would give Gervais a role too. He could source companies for the two of you to invest in. He has real estate experience too.” Will says.
“l don’t know if I can manage even that level of stress. I crumbled fast at the old dairy.” Blue says.
“You don’t need to do it all at once. I’d never suggest that. I meant over time.” Will says.
“That might work. I need to learn how to pace myself.” Blue says.
“Yes you do. Come on lets see Roe about this class.” Will grins.
Having made up they all, minus Spence have dinner together at Clara’s place, all pitching in. No major expectations.
Blue and Chris are dressed almost the same, same shorts, tshirts the same pattern but different colors. They are looking more alike day by day.
“If you had brought them both up would you have dressed them the same?” Robin asks.
“Uh with two shopping trips a year, Chris would have pinched all the new clothes, left Blue with the worn ones and Blue would barely have noticed.” Bea grins.
“That is so true. We’re only dressed alike as I shopped for us both. Blue wasn’t really up to it.” Chris says.
“And I don’t mind what I wear. I do try and take more care for proper dates but otherwise I am happy being me.” Blue grins.
“I remember taking you shopping first week of school. You were so clueless and so easy to dress up and make hot. I was super straight back then but I loved that I had a hand in making people’s heads turn to look at you.” Robin says.
“It was really fun.” Blue grins.
“We signed up for an art class with Roe today.” Will says.
“The bitching session one.” Blue grins.
“Is that a good idea?” Clara asks.
“Like fuck are you going to break his pencils again. I treasure those pictures Blue drew.” Gervais says.
“Will and I have a lot of feelings to get out, neither of us can face therapy, not really.” Blue says.
“I am going to bitch about my husband and Blue is going to cry about missing us all.” Will grins.
“I think it sounds perfect. Gives me a chance to get started on a project with Willow.” Gervais says.
“And means you don’t have to listen to Blue’s sob stories so often.” Chris laughs.
“True, true.” Gervais grins.
Blue feels perfectly relaxed. His friends love and support him. He is getting on okay with his mother and his army are making sure she can’t get under his skin. Everything is good.