About: Chad and Alex
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
While Chad waits outside the room, he wonders if this was a good idea. He doesn’t know what to expect. A nurse walks up to him and says:
“You can see him. Don’t upset him too much. He’s lost a lot of blood and we don’t want him to take a turn for the worst.”
Chad nods, cynically considering that maybe dying is not worst that could happen to Alex under the circumstances. In front of the door he takes a deep breath to calm his nerves. He encourages himself with a ‘Come on, Chad, act!’, before he opens the door with a very calm attitude about him.
The first thing he needs to do is adjust his perception of Alex. Alex is not the agitated and angry man he was in the barn. Chad had somehow expect Alex to be bigger, more formidable. Huge. Solid. Towering over him…. He closes his eyes to lose the memory of Alex hitting him.
However, when he opens his eyes again, he can only see a young man who’s pressed away against the pillows of the bed and looks almost frail. His dark hair curls around his head and he looks pale, bloodless, sick. Vulnerable… To Chad it feels like an anti-climax. He had been prepared for battle, for a fight. He wants, he needs, to … fight!!!
“Chad.” Alex says. He’s calm. Very calm. Beside him is a table filled with bottles with pills. He follows Chad’s stare and laughs humorlessly: “They plan to keep alive. They don’t want me to die, because they will look so much better, if they can put me on trial and throw me in prison first…. And then I can die.
Although,.. I don’t think that I have to explain to you how a well-oiled PR-machine works, do I? I ticked off quite a few people. A lot of ruffled feathers need to be smoothed.”
“Ruffled feathers? … Is that what we are to you? What your victims are to you?” Chad asks and he wishes it didn’t sound so strangled.
“Victims? No…. Just the governor, the police, the man in charge of the prison I escaped from… Not you. You have a good reason to be angry with me. I guess that saying sorry won’t do?”
“It wouldn’t even be a start.” Chad replies, feeling more hate than he thought possible.
“Why are you here then, Chad? If it is not to get an apology from me? … Don’t tell me that you’re concerned about my health.. I don’t think you’d shed a tear if I would die.”
“I wouldn’t.” Chad immediately says and Alex starts to laugh, making him cough.
“Could you….?” Alex asks, pointing at the tissues and Chad is suddenly aware that Alex’s wrists are cuffed to the bed. “Or call a nurse…” Chad steps closer, takes a tissue and wipes Alex’s mouth, not sure what makes him feel sicker. Being so close to Alex or cleaning after him.
But Chad grew up with people like Alice around him and his more nurturing side can’t help but take action to take care of the helpless Alex. It’s not really in Chad’s nature to be cruel on purpose. And though he’s still angry, he cannot refuse lending a helping hand.
He step away from the bed and Alex smiles.
“Thank you.” He says kindly and somehow Chad finds that to be rather upsetting.”You should know that I never meant to leave Jason there… I planned to let someone know where Jason was, so that they’d find him alive, once I had Kevin….
But I really believed I had killed you…” Alex closes his eyes slowly as if the memory pains him. “I felt bad. I knew it would make Kevin angry… I ….” His voice fades away as if he’s falling asleep.
“Alex!” Chad calls out his name and Alex jerks up again.
“I’m here.” He says quietly. “How can I help you?” His voice is docile and Chad shivers. He doesn’t understand why, but this Alex terrifies him more than the angry Alex. This person is like the silence before a storm. Waiting, simmering, seeking the right opportunity to strike you with lightning…
“Kevin, Scotty, Jason and I got together for a few days. We… we are trying to cope and understand with what happened to us… You hurt all four of us and our friendship is suffering for it.”
“Who’s idea was this? Kevin’s?”
“I joked about it, but then Scotty picked it up. And then Jason joined in and that’s why Kevin came on board as well… We talked about you this morning and we noticed how little we know. Kevin no longer trusts his opinion of you. He feels like he never really knew you…”
Chad hesitates when he sees an incredible pain in Alex’s eyes.
“Did he say that?” There are tears that Alex can’t wipe away.
“He said that he was no longer sure if you truly were who you said you were, or if everything was just make-belief, a show you put on for him…”
Feeling that he hit the right nerve in Alex, Chad continues calmly:
“Kevin is very confused and I want … I want to talk to you and see if I can somehow distill what is true and what isn’t. Why you became who you are and what, if any, part Kevin plays it in all.
I need to do this… For Kevin… He’s … he’s hurting, Alex. But he can no longer handle seeing you… Will you help me….? … Help me help Kevin?” Chad asks insistently and it’s almost painful to see how eager Alex is to help Kevin, how tender his face becomes at the mention of Kevin’s name.
It confuses Chad, because nothing goes as he thought it would and he needs to constantly reassess his plan. Chad takes a small tape-recorder, he borrowed from Sheriff Styles, and places it on the table on Alex’s bed, so that it’s standing between them.
“Do you mind if I tape this?” Chad asks and Alex shakes his head.
END OF PART 4