“You seem a lot better.” Clara says to Blue the next morning over breakfast.
“I am. Everyone is getting on with their lives, not waiting or relying on me and it is a huge relief. I have had a lot of thinking time and I’m doing okay now. I’ve a home and so don’t need to run.” Blue says.
“I’m glad to hear it. You and Will are getting along well.” Clara says.
“Yes. We’ll never be more than friends, I hurt him too much when I left. We just can’t work.” Blue says.
“And you seem to have come to terms with that.” Clara says.
“I have to. I think it will hit me harder later. For now, I love having him as a close friend.” Blue says.
“Be careful Blue.” Clara says.
“I’ve lost Gervais and Ocean and most likely Robin and Birch. I can’t afford to lose any more friends.” Blue says.
“Ocean?” Clara asks.
“Well of course I am going to try and right that while he’s here but he won’t take my calls and has clearly sided with Gervais. Which I suppose is fair.” Blue says.
“He would never have met Gervais if it wasn’t for you. Cheryl wouldn’t have aa string of delis and Ocean wouldn’t be a gymnast. I’m very sad that he could let a lifetime bond go over the breakup of a short-term relationship.” Clara says.
“He always wanted us together and he loves Gervais. I’ve not been in his life in the same way.” Blue says.
“Hardly your fault. It is never easy to make new friends, especially not living up here. I’m not saying you should drop Spence or Will but maybe you should go and start your new life now. I’ll miss you but there is no good reason for you to be here.” Clara says.
“I want to support Will and Spence, at least initially.” Blue says.
“Well don’t neglect your own social life or your love life.” Clara says.
“I won’t stay as long as I planned. Not now we’re not all here. I’ll go with Chris and Larry when they go.” Blue says.
“Good. And well done for sorting a place for them. I think it will work for all three of you.” Clara says.
“And hopefully Andy too.” Blue says.
“You seem to be jumping in there, doing what you said you wouldn’t.” Clara says.
“Yes. I need to step back and not try and work it, not pressure Larry to work with Andy. But if another farm comes up… Well now we’re friends again I’d quite like to have Andy around. Maybe you, Katelyn and Roe will visit more.” Blue smiles.
“Andy knows how to make you have fun. I have to go out now. There is an order due at the store for
bedding for Ocean and his pals. Can you check for it and take it to their bunkhouse? Make the place more homely before they arrive?” Clara asks.
“Sure I can do that.” Blue smiles and gets up to clear up the breakfast things.
Blue meets Spence and Will at the bunkhouse, they do they best they can to make it comfortable for the guys. Check out the gym one last time.
“I guess we should cook up a storm, have a party at the lake to welcome them tonight. Get the local kids out too.” Blue says.
“Yeah, they’ll need to unwind. Lets do that.” Spence says and Blue smiles, step one in his plan to reconcile with Ocean is set.
The trio and Heidi prep the food and put word out of the party. Most the town turns up curious about the gymnasts and the project. Many remembering Ocean from when he was younger.
Blue tries to initiate a conversation but is blanked and goes home early, not wanting to make things awkward.
Blue leaves it a few days, works up at the retreat, takes some classes and talks to Willow and Heidi about how things are going.
Spence and Will are getting stuck in to coaching, working out what each guy needs and running fun sessions for locals, young and old.
One day after morning training with Ocean and his friends has ended a young local lad comes in to the gym.
“Open gym is at 3 if you want to come back.” Spence says.
“My dad says you were the best high school wrestler and it was a crime you didn’t compete in college.” The kid says.
“I was pretty good. I did compete in college, I was undefeated.” Spence grins.
“I saw the match on youtube. You were awesome. Will you coach me?” The kid asks.
“You come back tomorrow with some kids around your weight and sure we can get started. You want a strength work out today?” Spence asks.
“Can I?” The kid asks wide eyed.
“Sure, let’s get going.” Spence says and Will laughs and shakes his head.
“I’ll drop you off a sandwich.” Will laughs.
“Thanks.” Spence grins.
Will meets up with Blue for a picnic, it is something they’ve been doing to make sure they see each other frequently. Sometimes Larry and Chris and Bea join them too. Today it’s just the two of them.
“No siblings today?” Will asks.
“No, they are up with Deke and his sister being shown some new technique they’ve been trying up there for tomatoes.” Blue says.
“Yawn.” Will grins.
“I don’t miss it. Andy called me and went on about something the other night and I just let him talk. He and Larry are hitting it off though. Andy says much better than he works with Tad.” Blue says.
“Andy has always been great on the sales side. That charisma is something Larry could use.” Will says.
“Agreed. How are things going in the gym?” Blue asks.
“Great, I am working like crazy with the elite lads, local kids and trying out some of my ideas at the retreat. It is full on but fun.” Will says.
“You look happy. I am glad you can fit me in for lunch. You make me feel so lazy.” Blue grins.
“You are working hard too.” Will says.
“I feel better. I want to fix things with Ocean. His rejection hurts worse than anything to be honest. I mean Gervais and I will make up at some point, we always hurt each other and then get over it and become good friends. Ocean I think could carry a grudge forever.” Blue says.
“You don’t know what Gervais has said to him.” Will says.
“He wouldn’t bad mouth me. Not to Ocean.” Blue says.
“Do you want me to try and talk to Ocean?” Will asks.
“No, he won’t take well to that. We’ll talk when he’s ready, I need to stop forcing it.” Blue says.
“If you’re sure.” Will says.
“I am. I think I’ll stay another month here and then go with you to nationals and head home after that. If you won’t be too lonely.” Blue giggles.
“I’ll be fine, it is annoying everyone is in couples but Heidi and Willow don’t object to me being around and Wyatt and Spence are great too. I expect Wyatt will be joining you a fair bit too. So Spence and I will keep each other company.” Will says.
“I’ll miss you. I know I’m not what you want and I get why we wouldn’t work. I just want you to know I really do wish I had done things differently. I can’t bear that I left you hurt, damaged. I know I’m missing out on what a great guy you are.” Blue says in a whisper.
“I’m sorry I can’t get over it all. I know in my heart it wasn’t your fault.” Will says gently.
“Ugh we’re going to have to stop doing this. Maybe the break will be good for us too. Get us out of this cycle of regret.” Blue says.
“It isn’t all this. I’ve had some great fun with you.” Will says.
“Same. Want to swim later?” Blue asks.
“Have the kids after this but I am totally up for a late-night swim.” Will grins getting up.
The pair hug and kiss, observed by Ocean before Will heads back inside for the afternoon session.
Will and Spence are working routines with the guys in two groups. As Ocean’s group moves to Will for parallel bars Will senses the attitude from Ocean. Surprised that he’s bringing it in to the gym he tries his best to ignore it.
“Try that again.” Will says giving a few corrections, no different to how he has been with the other guys.
“Don’t tell me what to do.” Ocean says.
“Come on you’re so close to getting this combo.” Will says encouragingly.
Ocean rolls his eyes and Garrett looks surprised, Ocean usually has a great attitude in the gym and Will is a great coach.
Ocean puts in a half-hearted attempt, bails on a skill and walks off.
“Don’t act the fool. It’s not safe for any of us.” Will says shaking his head.
“Fuck off.” Ocean mutters as he tries to shake it off. He can’t get the thought of Will and Blue together out of his head. Fucking shits, all over each other when Gervais has to stay away.
“Get out.” Spence says seeing him mouth the words.
“I just can’t work with that cunt.” Ocean says and all the guys gasp.
“I didn’t ask for excuses. Get out. I don’t want your attitude in the gym.” Spence shouts.
Will carries on with his group. Every one of them has been thrown out the gym at some time or another, though most not for years.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Garrett asks Ocean when he gets back.
“I hate Will. He acts all moral when he’s a total shit, splitting Blue and Gervais up and flaunting it.” Garrett says.
“They’re not together.” Orzo one of the gymnasts says.
“I saw them at lunch and there was no other reason for Blue to dump Gervais so brutally.” Ocean seethes.
“You don’t know that. No one really knows a relationship from the outside.” Garrett says.
“And I heard him talking to Spence about it, they are not together, Will was complaining it will only be couples around when Blue leaves and he hates being single.” Orzo says.
“You have to apologise and shake it off. Or just fuck off. Will and Spence are great coaches and doing us such a favour coaching us up here for a low rate. They built us a damn gym, you cannot fuck this up for us.” Raj one of the gymnasts rants.
“I’m not apologising to him.” Ocean says.
“Well don’t mess it up for the rest of us. They did all this for you.” Orzo says.
“Will and Spence are great guys, they won’t let us down. Even if Ocean is being a cock.” Garrett says.
“Thanks.” Ocean says.
“Well I have never seen you like this. You are usually so happy and positive. Your friends broke up. So what? They don’t owe you a relationship.” Garrett says.
Will gets out of the kids session exhausted but knows he has to clear the air with Ocean.
“Ocean blew up in the gym today, can we take a rain check on the swim?” Will asks.
“Sounds like you need to destress. Meet me up there when you’re done. Even if you just take a dunk to wash the chalk off.” Blue says.
“Are you sure? That actually sounds good.” Will says.
“Don’t be too hard on him.” Blue says.
“I might have to be.” Will says.
“See you later.” Blue says and sets to making some cookies to cheer Will up with before heading to the lake.
“Hey Garrett, is Ocean inside?” Will asks.
“Yeah. I’m sorry for today, the rest of us think you’re great. I know I’m improving every day. Going to smash nationals.” Garrett says.
“Okay if I go in?” Will asks.
“Of course. We all want this sorted out.” Garrett says.
“Thanks.” Will says and heads indoors.
“I don’t want to talk.” Ocean says.
“I didn’t break up Gervais and Blue. I am not with Blue. Even if I had, and I was with Blue you do not get to talk to me like that in the gym. I’ve not seen you act in such a dangerous way since you were a pre-teen. You have to respect me as a coach or this isn’t going to work. This isn’t a me or you situation either, I have to be here, for insurance purposes if nothing else.” Will says.
“You split them up. You did. They were fine until you filled Blue’s head with bad things about Gervais, twisting the knife. I cannot respect you in the gym or out of it.” Ocean says.
“I am really sorry you feel that way. Give yourself a couple of days to be sure.” Will says and leaves.
“Cookie?” Blue asks when Will comes in to view.
“You are the best. It did not go well.” Will says.
“I am sorry. I’ll talk to him. This anger is at me and not you.” Blue says.
“He blames me for your breakup. I’ve never seen him like this, with the bad attitude.” Will says.
“It’s all my fault. The kidnap changed him. And he always wanted me and G together.” Blue says.
“You can’t be with G to appease Ocean.” Will says.
“Lets swim and then eat more cookies.” Blue grins and the strip off and run in to the water.
Ocean watches the pair and seethes.