About: Kevin, Scotty, Chad, Jason
Disclaimer: I don’t own Brothers and Sisters, but Alex Grodin is figment of MY sick mind.
Summary: The boys realize that they need to talk. Resistance is futile.
Writer's note: It helps if you know my series: Happy now? and Last Christmas
“So…?” Chad suddenly says, while they have breakfast. “How, where and when did you meet this Alex, Kevin?” Jason nearly drops his fork and Scotty shift uncomfortably on his chair. Chad looks from one to the other. “I’m sorry, but I’m curious. And we did come here for a reason… I… I couldn’t think of any other way to start the topic.” He apologizes.
“It’s alright, Chad.” Kevin replies, his voice more calm than he feels inside. “I met him in high-school. He was the bad kid in class. The one who wouldn’t show up, be disruptive, rude to teachers, but he was also very smart and could learn easily, if he bothered to be interested… which he usually wasn’t.
So, in a nutshell, he was everything I wanted to be, but didn’t dare to be, because of my father … Alex had however a great interest in math and he usually didn’t fail those classes, but once he did, and he asked me to help him. I was flattered, because he came to me and not the other way around.
So, I helped him, thinking that would be the end of it, but Alex started to ask for me more often and I…. I though he wanted my friendship and I was more than willing to give it to him. And slowly, I found out more about him. He had a French father and an English mother, who left him with his dad, when he was around 12 years old. His dad had lost his job and drank heavily and would get abusive. She left, but left her son there, to become the new victim of his dad’s anger."
For a moment Kevin watches the others, there's sympathy on Jason's face, a bit of indifference on Scotty', he's has heard it all before and Chad frowns irritated. Kevin quickly goes on:
Anyway, we changed each other’s lives. He made me feel so special, because he’d always say", that I was the one who saved him from a life of crime.
He was convinced that if I hadn’t come into his life, he would have ended up on the street, in prostitution and on drugs. He was very protective of me. He wouldn’t allow anyone to hurt me. He could be very cruel, very sneaky in a very slippery way. Not someone you’d want to have against you.
Teachers who would cause him trouble ended up with slashed tires, damaged cars or the windows of their home would get broken. They could never tie it to Alex, but he would tell me about it and me, being the loyal friend, I never told anyone else. You know, he had this ability to … I don’t know….
He always managed to convince me that he was the victim and that the others got what they deserved. He made it make sense.” Kevin can see how Jason shivers, he obviously hit a nerve in Jason with his words and he feels sad, that his past could have such a negative impact on an ex-lover.
“Above all,… and this is going to sound weird, with everything we know now…. I felt so sorry for him. He was so unloved, so unwanted and he had so much to offer. He was really the sweetest guy for me. He accepted my being gay without a bad remark, got terribly upset when others teased me with it.
He even got suspended for a week for beating up a guy who had attacked me in the locker-room. The guy had slammed me up against the wall, touched me all over and asked me if I liked it and said something about not minding to have sex with me just to show me how sick I am…
The others stood there and merely laughed, until Alex marched up to him, planted his fist in the guy’s face and nearly strangled him, after he went down…. Off course, Alex got suspended for starting a fight. I got a warning to keep a hold on my unnatural behavior and I had to apologize to the guy, who got a slap on the shoulder and told that he wasn’t to blame…..”
The look in Kevin’s eyes is a far away one, the injustice of the entire situation still affecting him today, he clenches his fist and his lips become a straight line as he tries to swallow away his anger. Scotty remains quiet. Kevin’s story reminds him of something similar happening to him in school.
Jason is caught between feeling sorry for Alex, confusion over Alex’s own violent behavior and curiosity on how Kevin’s story moves on, but Chad shakes his head.
“Awww, poor Alex. A regular unappreciated hero.” He replies sarcastically. “We should really give him a medal, instead of locking him up in prison.”
“That’s not what I meant…” Kevin says, feeling slightly insulted. It is not easy for him to discuss Alex or his own difficult years in high-school, but Chad on the other hand feels as if Kevin is trying to find justification for Alex’s acts.
“That guy is not some poor broken person, but a callous bastard ready to kill both me and Jason….”
“I’m just trying to explain….” Kevin starts.
“…. How you can become interested in some psychopath? Bet that a lot of if has to do with his abilities between the sheets…”
“.. No, it wasn’t like that.” Kevin defends himself.
“No? You’re depicting him as an sensitive, caring person, when I can personally tell you, that the one who nearly beat me to death didn’t have a sensitive bone in his body.”
“I’m sorry for….”
“Don’t apologize. And don’t apologize for him!” Chad’s anger spills out and he continues:
“Let’s face it, Kevin, you’re being a sad, lonely boy nearly had me killed.”
“Chad!” Chad’s words are painful and Jason looks up at him, shocked. Kevin feels as if Chad just hit him in the face. Any feeling of sorrow immediately leaves his body and angrily he replies:
“Well, maybe you had it coming!”
“Kevin!” This time it’s Scotty who replies with shock.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Chad ask, getting up, trying to appear to tower over Kevin, who immediately takes the challenge and gets up as well.
“Maybe it wouldn’t have happened, if you hadn’t tried to play the hero.”
“What?!” Chad is too stunned for anything else.
“This wasn’t one of your silly action-movies, this was a real murderer, you idiot. And you knew what he was capable of. You knew he nearly killed Scotty.
But yet, you just had to antagonize him. Didn’t you? And I’ll bet that, that want was more fueled by your desire to impress a defenseless Jason, then by trying to be logical. I would not at all have been surprised if you let your actions be steered by those brains between your legs, rather than the ones in your head!”
“You have no idea what made me do what I did. You weren’t there!”
“And you weren’t there when I was 16 and alone and scared. And you’re right! I needed Alex, like he needed me. I had no one else!!!!” Kevin cries out, as tears fill his eyes and he can’t even bother to stop them.
“I’m sorry. I know. This is all my fault.” He then says and without another word he turns around and storms out of the kitchen. They hear him go up the stairs and then the door of the bedroom slams closed. Chad feels disturbed. This was not supposed to happen. He never meant to hurt Kevin….
“I’m going for a walk. I need to cool off…” He replies, his voice is very raw, as he tries to find some way to feel ‘normal’. He grabs his coat and leaves through the kitchen-door without another word. Jason and Scotty remain at the table, frozen to their chairs and not knowing what to do next.
“Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.” Scotty eventually says, knowing he’s giving Jason an excellent opportunity to make him look like an idiot, but Jason shakes his head.
“I think it was. There’s a lot of anger in Chad and of guilt in Kevin. You and I are not untouched either….”
“Are we going to fight as well?” Scotty asks, half-jokingly, half-serious.
“Should we?” Jason replies in the same tone. “Do you really disagree with what I said? Because I didn’t disagree with you, that we should talk…” Scotty shakes his head.
“No. We agree with each other…” he confirms… “Chad and Kevin however….”
“Funny. I hadn’t expected them to have such a strong reaction… I would have expected either or you or me to ‘crack’ first. Don’t take this as a bad comment, but you seem very upfront about how you feel and capable to express yourself...
And I…. to be honest, I wanted to do this, because this all has disrupted my life so intensely, I feel like I’m constantly on the verge of a hysterical outburst…. … not exactly ‘me’ either…
It just takes all my self-control all the time to just get through the day without either feeling I want to wring someone’s neck or just sit in the corner and cry like a baby…. And neither of those sides are ‘me’. I’m not violent, I’m not much of crier either…” Then he realizes who he’s talking to and, suddenly embarrassed , he gets up.
“I’m sorry, I’m… it’s not your problem…” he says, but Scotty takes his hand.
“Talk to me, Jason. You’re so filled with confusion. Right now Kevin and Chad can’t do anything. They just have to deal with what they have deal with. Let them simmer for a while. But I worry about you too.”
“There’s nothing to talk about…” Jason says and he gets up and walks to the door, but when his hand feels the doorknob, it’s almost as if there’s a resistance. He knows, he has come this far to saying something, which is more than he has said these last few days. He feels that if doesn’t talk now, he’ll lose the momentum and maybe his best opportunity.
He turns back to face Scotty, who waits patiently and lets him struggle to make up his mind. Scotty can see how Jason swallows away whatever he’s dealing with.
“I can’t do this anymore. I feel like such a fake. I am a priest. I have to preach forgiveness and how to turn the other cheek.. And yet…
I hate Alex and I want to kill him. I’m so mad at Kevin, even though I know he’s not to blame.... I just want to tell certain members of my congregation to go to hell and stop complaining about all their petty problems and issues all the time.... I don’t even have enough patience anymore to be with the children….
This whole kidnap seems to have unleashed a lot of anger in me and I don’t know where to go with my frustration about it. I talked with others around me, other priests, who tell me to pray and ask God for patience and understanding and forgiveness. But I can’t! I just can’t get over it.”
Jason sinks back down on the kitchen-chair and runs his fingers through his hair.
“Have you told Robert about this?” Scotty asks. His voice is soft, yet, Jason jerks up as if he had completely forgotten Scotty was there as well.
“I tried… but he can’t put himself in my place. Can’t imagine what I went through…”
“Maybe I can. You’re battling feelings of what you could have, should have done. Maybe you should have called his bluff in the church, try to overtake him on the way to the car, put up more of a fight. Maybe not have told him about Chad…? You feel like a coward, while deep your heart you know that you did what you could.
You knew that playing the hero would get you killed. Or perhaps get others injured or killed.” Jason looks up at Scotty, a bit confused. “At the same time you’re angry with Kevin and Chad, maybe even me, because you got thrust into this and you got exposed to some horror you weren’t prepared for.
And a part of you knows you should be grateful that Chad managed to get you rescued, but you also feel like he makes you look weak? And though you know that you shouldn’t agree with Kevin on this, you do feel that Chad owed it to himself that he got beaten up, because he ticked off Alex.
And you know that that is wrong, because no one ‘deserves’ to get beaten nearly to death…?” Jason looks away and Scotty smiles, knowing he guessed right. “I’ve been there, Jason. Not in the same way as you did, but this roller-coaster ride of emotions haunted me for a while.
The worst is the contradictions in it. The conflict in how I should feel, what was politically correct, and how I really felt. I didn’t die, but sometimes wished I had. I got mad at Kevin, because Alex was Kevin’s friend, but Kevin was not the one who wanted the friendship back, the person who talked him into it was me.
I only had myself to blame and I didn’t want to blame myself, I wanted to blame someone else…. I resented Kevin for trying to be loving and understanding with me, for trying to be there for me. I just wanted him gone. And then he’d leave to go to work and I’d get terrified and I wanted him to get back home immediately and hold me.
It was so frustrating to not know what I wanted from him, from myself, from my future…. I’m not saying you feel the same way I did. Your frustrations are on another level and about other things than mine were, a year ago. I just think that you should vent that frustration or it’s going to eat you alive.”
“I don’t know how.” Jason replies. “I can’t find some peace of mind in any way.”
“I don’t have the answer. You’ll have to find your own trigger, I’m afraid.. but if you really need to shout at someone, know that I’m here.”
“But I’m not angry at you.” Jason suddenly smiles.
“Thank you… Unfortunately, there’s little chance we’ll be able to yell at Alex, so I’m afraid we’ll have to find another way…” Scotty grins in return. They both remain quiet for about a minute. Not yet friends, no longer strangers either. “… and now… what do we do with Kevin and Chad?” Scotty asks.
“I suggest that I talk to Kevin, since I know how the situation was in the barn. Maybe you can go to Chad and talk a bit more about what happened here…? And get both of them to cool off a bit and see the pain the other one is in?” Scotty weighs Jason’s words, before deciding it’s a good idea…
END OF PART 2