Season 6 – Episode 17 – Free your mindBy Marea67
Brothers & Sisters (general)Rate
: Can’t go higher than PG-13, as this is American Television, but I may add a few ‘deleted scenes’ here and there. ;)Disclaimer
: Just escaping from reality here, not created for financial gainSummary
: It is my very own season 6, you guys! Go with it! ;) Don’t complain! If YOU can do better, post your own story! (I dare you!)
***** Part 3/4 *****
“You’ve been quiet all night.” Scotty says, as he puts his clothes on the chair.
“I can’t get it out of my mind. That both the judge and Mateo’s father thought that we would do something to Mateo...”
“Well, we haven’t. I haven’t even considered it.... Have you?” Scotty suddenly gives Kevin a worried look.
“Are you insane?
How can you even ask me that? You know me better than that.... I hope.” Kevin answers. Scotty comes up behind him and wraps his arms around Kevin’s waist.
“I do. Then why does it bother you so much?... We’ve had to fight all kinds of prejudices. This is just another one.”
“Scotty, I can’t believe that anyone would look at me
and think that I could do such a thing. Would that judge have asked that same question if I had been straight? I don’t think so. Just because I fall for men, doesn’t mean I’m so desperate that I would take out my sexual needs on a kid
! That’s not the same.
But the stupidity of it all is that somehow I am the one who feels guilty and who is questioning himself. Why would she think that of me? Why can’t she give me the benefit of the doubt? Was is something I said? Or something I did? Did I give off the wrong vibe? Did I say too much? Not enough?
I‘m proud of Mateo and about how well he’s doing right now, I mean, knowing where he came from. I sometimes believe that I somehow contributed to that and that kind of gives me a good feeling, but did she see that as a sign that I wanted more from Mateo than just ...?” Kevin stops, suddenly not sure what his relationship with Mateo is.
“A few days ago, when Elizabeth woke us up in the middle of the night and we all ended up in our bed,..." Kevin continues. "... I did have some issue with asking Mateo to join us. It felt somehow inappropriate on one side, but on the other side, he is a part of our family and I didn’t want to exclude
him. I didn’t mean anything with it.” Kevin looks miserable.
Scotty sighs and kisses Kevin’s shoulder with a quick and hard kiss.
“Oh, you. I told so many times that you should tell that annoying brain of yours to just shut up. Mateo was just a kid who needed your help and you offered it to him. He learned to trust you. And when he needed help again, he came to you again.
I believe that, in you, he found a father-figure and that you love him like you love all the kids in your family, whether they are ours, Sarah’s, Kitty’s or Tommy’s, with no sexual intention. And, sweetie, maybe the judge simply asked him that question to confirm what she already knew to be true. That we would not
do anything to hurt him.”
With Scotty’s arms around him, Kevin feels a bit comforted.
“Maybe you’re right.” He carefully admits.
“Of course I’m right. You’ll see.” Scotty kisses him once again. Kevin turns in Scotty’s arms to face him and reply to his tenderness.
Luc turns over and looks at Sarah, asleep in the dark. He carefully slips from the bed and leaves the bedroom to go downstairs, where he turns on the computer and he waits for his father’s face to appear on Skype.
“Bonjour, papa.” It does him good to speak French again.
“How are you?” His father looks concerned.
“Not much better.”
“Have you thought about what to do?”
“I accidentally overheard the children talk this afternoon. Cooper hadn’t closed the door properly... Sarah’s ex-husband, Joe Whedon, is coming back. He’s the father of all the three kids and he wants to take them back...”
“Is that good news?” Luc’s father asks.
“Yes. It means that I will no longer have to serve as a buffer between Sarah and the kids. With the kids gone, Sarah can no longer be mean to them.”
“Have you tried talking to Sarah?”
“Yes. It’s like trying to speak to a brick wall.... It doesn’t matter what you say, it won’t budge. The problem is with everyone else. Me, the children, Kevin, Scotty, Nora, Mateo. Nothing makes Sarah take a good long look at herself.
She sees herself as the victim. This is not what I had envisioned when I married her.”
“Do you still love her?”
“I don’t know. She has changed so much. I don’t know who this woman is. She’s certainly not the Sarah she used to be... and I don’t really like this version of her...”
“You know what I told you....?” His father reminds him.
“I know.” Luc nods, suddenly wishing his dad were here to just put an arm around him and tell him that everything would be fine, just like he used to do, when Gabriella had abandoned Luc and his father again. “I’m going to be fine, papa. Don’t worry.” Luc says.
“Those words don’t stop me from worrying.” Luc’s father says with a gentle smile.
“Oh, wow.” Scotty replies softly.
“Make that a double ‘wow’.” Kevin says when he enters the hall as well.
“I usually get this reaction, when people enter here.” Mrs Winters answers proudly and she guides Kevin, Scotty, Mateo, Olivia and Elizabeth to the large kitchen.
“I see that you didn’t bring your youngest?” Mrs Winters asks.
“No, my mother is baby-sitting him right now.” Scotty answers. “Walking around a house with a child on your arm can be a bit tiring after a while.” Mrs Winters nods that she agrees with him.
“So, this is the kitchen...” She explains and Kevin can see that Scotty immediately falls in love with it. He smiles. How could Scotty not love it? It’s large, has a lot of wooden cabinets, so that everything can be kept away from Daniel’s little hands. However, the wood has been painted in a shade of light-blue, that isn’t really their taste.
Kevin can already see ‘new layer of painting’ added to Scotty’s mental ‘to-do’ list. The kitchen has a big table in the middle that could easily fit all six of them.
“This kitchen is gorgeous.” Kevin has to agree and Mrs Winters is visibly proud with the compliment.
“If we go back to the hall, then we have our living-room here...” She shows them a large room, that is almost empty, but it looks well-maintained and Kevin and Scotty both feel this room hardly needs anything fixed. “Through here, we have another large room, that we used as a study, but can also be used as a play-room for the kids.”
Kevin and Scotty both wonder which options would be the best for them. They can see the practicality of both options.
“These doors lead to the garden, but I’ll show that later. I suggest we first go upstairs to see the bedrooms.”
The staircase reminds Kevin of the one his mother has and, though the walls are empty, he can envision all the pictures that could be put up there. Upstairs they can find 4 bedrooms for the children, 1 bedroom with en-suite, which will obviously become the master-bedroom. And there’s a large bathroom.
Mrs. Winters’ phone rings and she apologizes:
“I’m sorry, I have to take this call. Why don’t you have look around and we’ll meet each other again downstairs?”
“Perfect.” Scotty smiles and he watches her go downstairs, while answering to her phone-call. He turns to Kevin.
“What do you think?”
“This place is just... perfect.”
“I know, scary, right? I heard about it and I thought it might be something for us, but that would be too weird. Then I saw the pictures on the blog and I fell in love with it. I just kept thinking however that it would probably disappoint, if I saw it for real...”
“... but it doesn’t... This house is has our names written all over it.”
“I agree. I just hope that we’re not so starry-eyed that we can’t see the faults that place has.” Scotty seems to doubt.
“Hey, you know me, I’m Mr Practical... And, yes, I’ve seen a few things that could be better, but I can see us
“Plus... we’d have our own bathroom...” Scotty gives Kevin a suggestive glance and Kevin grins mischievously.
“I was thinking exactly the same thing.” Their smiles don’t really hide their desire for some intimacy.
“Kevin! Scotty! This room is amazing!” Olivia yells and with a little regretful smile they enter the room Olivia is in. It’s as large as the one she has at the apartment, but this room has a view of the garden and its beautiful flowers. “I could draw those...” Olivia says mesmerised.
“Kevin! Scotty! There’s a pool! This house seems to have a pool! Almost as big as Nora’s.” Mateo grabs Kevin’s arms and doesn’t notice the way Kevin nearly recoils from the touch. They follow Mateo to the other room. They can see a pool from the window. “For the price she’s asking for this house, I doubt that the pool is included.” Scotty quietly says.
Mateo seems a bit disappointed and Kevin offers with a smile:
“This room does have a little balcony though...”
“Oh, I suppose that Olivia or Elizabeth would love have this room.” Mateo says, realising that he’s not in a position to claim anything.
“Not me.” Olivia immediately says. “If I could chose, I’d want that one.” She points at the room they just came from.
“I think we should leave it up to the kids to divide the rooms then.” Scotty laughs and Kevin checks the master-bedroom again, realising that it feels as if it were his own already.
He turns around to check the room next door. One look at Scotty tells him, that they would like to have that large room for Daniel, but when he looks behind him, he sees Elizabeth standing in the smallest of the four bedrooms and he wonders if perhaps Daniel should wait a bit for the room.
“This would be a nice room for you.” Kevin says gently, pointing at the room he had originally designated to his son. Elizabeth looks up and shakes her head.
“I think it should be for Daniel. It’s right next door to you two and he needs most of the attention.”
“But this is the smallest room. Daniel doesn’t need that much space yet.” Scotty points out logically. She now looks at him and sighs heavily. She can see what Kevin and Scotty are doing, trying to make her feel like there’s a choice for her, when in fact, there’s not. This will not be her
“This is better as a guest-room. I am a guest... until mom or dad or both come home. That room should go to Daniel. If you move in here, this is where he’ll grow up...” There’s a loneliness to the words that breaks Kevin’s heart. Once again, he realises that, at this moment, Elizabeth doesn’t really belong anywhere.
Scotty feels equally mixed. Like Kevin, he had felt that the room next to theirs should be Daniel’s. Like Kevin he had felt a bit guilty about having the smallest room for Elizabeth and he does feel a bit satisfied that she considers herself a quest and at the same time he feels bad about feeling that way. This situation is still so confusing sometimes.
Scotty kneels down in front of Elizabeth and his thumb caresses her face, placing one of her curls behind her ear, he suggests:
“If you insist to take this room... we could perhaps paint the walls in lavender. I know how much love that colour, and, like that, you’d have the feeling that the room is yours after all. You can bring all the shades of purple you like.”
“I can?” Elizabeth asks with a hopeful look on her face.
“Yes.” Scotty answers and she wraps her arms around him. Kevin has to look away to not show how choked up he is. He knows that Elizabeth is here mainly because he can’t let her go and he also feels that Scotty is still overwhelmed by it all sometimes. So to see Scotty make such an effort towards Elizabeth touches him deeply.
He quickly wipes away a tear, that clings to his eye-lashes, puts on his best smile again, before calling out to gather the other kids, so they can downstairs. The kids are so excited that they nearly tumble down the stairs. Scotty and Kevin follow more slowly, both their minds filled with the possibilities this house could offer them.
Mrs Winters show them the garden. They are shocked to find out that the pool actually does belong to the house, which makes Olivia and Mateo even more happy with the garden. Even Elizabeth starts to smile. While Mrs Winters show the kids around, Scotty takes Kevin by the arm, so that they fall behind.
“This place is so perfect...” Scotty whispers to Kevin.
“I know. Scotty, there has
to be something wrong with it. This is everything we could possibly dream of.” Kevin sighs. “We should probably look at other houses too. Not go for the first one we see...”
“... but this one is all we need...” Scotty points out desperately, confused by his own strong feelings for the house. “I have a million and one ideas for this house and how we could make it ours and ....”
“Me too.” Kevin confesses.
An excited smile slides over both their faces, now that they know that they are on the same page about the house. Kevin takes a deep breath.
“Let’s not get carried away.” He then says carefully, forever the practical lawyer. “It’s unwise to decide now and ...”
Mrs Winter joins them again at this point.
“You two really like the house, don’t you?” She asks with a smile. “Don’t lie. I can see it on your faces...”
like the house.” Scotty admits.
“... But we would like to postpone the decision until after Monday morning. We have an important meeting on Monday morning that could have a huge influence on our decision.”
“I see. Why don’t call you Monday afternoon? And let me know what you decide?”
“Hey, girl. Busy?” Justin kisses Tyler quickly on the lips. She pushes him away.
“Stay away from me. My head is about to explode, my throat feels as if it’s filled with sand. I can’t stop coughing and I could sleep where I stand.” Justin feels her forhead.
“You have a fever.”
“Something about the feeling of being hot and cold at the same time, gave that away.” Tyler tries to joke.
“You should be in bed.”
“I know that you’d love to get me there, but no, I have to work.”
“Tyler, you’re ‘hanging’ against the reception-desk so you won’t fall down... You have to stop and think about yourself.”
“No! No excuses. I’m taking you upstairs and off to bed.”
“Tyler, you have the flu. Let me take care of you.”
“I don’t want to hear it.”
He orders one of the receptionists to take over from Tyler and without delay he drags her to the elevator and off to bed. Tyler isn’t complaining over Justin’s skills. When her warm body hits the cool sheets, she sighs with relief. She tired and exhausted and asleep in less than 2 minutes.
“I noticed, you know. And so did he.” Scotty says and Kevin turns to him. They’re back in their own bedroom, getting undressed and Scotty’s words just seemed to come from out of nowhere.
“What do you mean?”
“Mateo. You. You nearly shrugged him off twice at the house. And, tonight, during dinner, when his hand accidentally touched yours because he was reaching out for the salt at the same time you were, you retracted as if you’d got bitten by a snake. And while we were washing the dishes, you didn’t even want to stand on his
side of the table.”
“Aren’t you exaggerating?” Kevin jokes.
“I’m not. I’ve never seen you so jumpy around him before....?” Scotty’s words end with the question he doesn’t dare to ask.
“I don’t have feelings for him, if that’s what you’re thinking of?”
“I’m not. Are you afraid that I think you have?”
“I don’t know.” Kevin admits. “I never thought about it before, but ever since the topic was brought up, I feel almost like I’m under scrutiny... Like I’ve done something wrong, even when I haven’t. Or that they’re just waiting for me to screw up.”
“Who? Who’s waiting for that?”
“Them. Whoever ‘them’ is.” Kevin sighs. “I never meant to do anything, but now I feel like everything I say and do can
be seen in a different light. An innocent hug, touch or remark can suddenly be interpreted in another way and be filthy, even if it was never my intention.”
“Kev, you’ll have to deal with this. You’re putting up a wall between yourself and Mateo. And that kid loves you, trusts you...”
“I know.” Kevin tiredly rubs his eyes. “If you don’t mind I’m going to warm up some milk for myself. I need to think...”
He gives Scotty a quick kiss and he goes to the kitchen-area where he pours some milk in a cup and puts it in them microwave.
“Can’t sleep?” Mateo’s voice comes so unexpectedly that Kevin nearly drops the bottle of milk.
“No. A few things on my mind. Milk?”
“Yes. Please... You know, I never used to drink that, until Scotty gave it to me to help me calm down when I had nightmares about my dad...”
“There’s something very calming about holding that warm cup in your hands.”
The loud ping from the micro-wave startles both of them and suddenly they both start to laugh at their nervousness. Kevin warms up some milk for Mateo as well. Mateo approaches him carefully. He places his closed hand on Kevin’s and Kevin freezes, fighting the urge to pull away from Mateo.
Mateo can feel Kevin tense up and then slowly relax.
“You’re spooked by what we discussed yesterday, no?” He asks.
“A bit.” Kevin admits.
“Please, don’t be. My dad is stupid and the judge just wanted to see my reaction.”
“Logically I know that as well.” Kevin says, still not moving a muscle, while Mateo’s fingers spread out over his hand.
“Please, Kevin, don’t let my father ruin everything. He never gave me much love or kisses or hugs, not even when was I a child.
I was always jealous of other kids who had fathers who’d take them to the park to play, or to the beach, or hiking. All my father ever did was work, get drunk and pass out on the couch. He never made me feel welcome. It was easier to be on the street, where I had no expectations that could be crushed.
Meeting you changed so much. You were a stranger, yet you cared more about me than my own father did. When you and Scotty took me in that night, I was scared. Scared of what you might want from me, but neither of you tried. I felt... safe.
” Mateo stops, his breathing is heavier, as if it’s hard for him to talk.
“The second time, it was even easier. And I really like it to be here. I’m not afraid, I’m not unwanted, I feel good. And you have no idea what it means to me when I hear you say my name in one breath of those of Daniel and Olivia. And Elizabeth. It tells me how you see me. Not as an outsider, but as a part of your family.”
Mateo’s fingers slowly slide up Kevin’s arm.
“The first time you hugged me, it felt strange. Not threatening, but just something I wasn’t used to. But you hug Cooper and Paige and Evan and your own kids and I didn’t feel that you did because ...”
He searches for words that can take away Kevin’s fear and Kevin smiles softly.
“Because I just like to hug and hugging is normal in this family?”
“Exactly. Your mom does it, I’ve seen it from Seth towards Evan, Sarah and Cooper and no one seems to think about it twice.... So, don’t let us be the exception. I mean, will you stop hugging or holding Daniel, when he becomes fifteen?”
“Hey! You made your case.” Kevin smiles. “Come here.” He pulls Mateo close and holds him tightly.
For a few seconds, it feels uncomfortable and then, slowly, Kevin starts to relax. There’s nothing there. No strange desires, no weird thoughts. Mateo is just a kid like Cooper or Paige or Olivia. Mateo breaks the hug and grins.
“Can I finish my milk now before it gets cold?” He asks and Kevin starts to laugh as well.
Neither of them have seen Scotty, who sneaks back to the bedroom, having witnessed the whole conversation. He’s glad that Kevin and Mateo have discussed it and he hopes that now all uncomfortable feelings can fade away again. He pulls the blankets up and waits for his husband to come back to bed.
End of part 3/4
**** COMMERCIAL BREAK****