I've been quiet lately, I know, this one has taken me forever to write, and above all to rewrite
, because I kept changing my mind on this one. This story is different, because, contrary to my usual way of writing/posting my multi-chapter-stories, this one is (practically) finished. I had to so I would not discover in the end that I had goofed in chapter 2...
It's different from what you're used to read from me, but it's something I've been wanting to do for a while, and discovered is FAR more difficult than I thought. You've followed me down some weird paths before, so, I hope you're ready for another strange hike. Whodunit? 1/9 By Marea67About
: Kevin, Scotty, the Walkers – in one way or another…Rate
: Brothers & Sisters doesn’t belong to me. Written with love, not for money.Summary
: This is an AU, based on B&S, anything can be different, nothing is as it may seem, and yet, …. (evil chuckle)
“No, Sarah, and that is final.”
“But, dad! This is one of the best ideas in a long time.” Tommy Walker tries to interject. William Walker looks over his glasses at his son, who immediately quiets down again.
“I’ve always run this business in my own way. I don’t need new, silly ideas.”
“Then why did you bring me in here, dad?” Sarah asks exasperated. “Every idea I put in front of you gets shot down.”
“You need consistency in your life. Financially. Ojai will provide that.”
“You shouldn’t even have to work, if you hadn’t gotten yourself knocked up by this good-for-nothing Joe.”
“Let’s not have this conversation again. I work because I LIKE to work and Joe loves to be at home with the kids and write his jingles.”
“A grown man writing little nothings no one wants? What sort of a provider is that?”
“He’s my husband
. And a man who’s confident enough to not feel threatened by me.”
“He’s a loser!” William replies. Sarah jumps up, her eyes on fire, but before she can take a step closer to her father, Tommy grabs her arm.
“Let it go, sis. Nothing to be done.” He says softly. Sarah breathes audibly, her lips becoming a straight line. One moment it seems that she will not listen to Tommy, but then she turns around and storms out of her dad’s office, slamming the door behind her so hard, that there’s dust falling off the ceiling.
“Why do you always have to antagonize her?” Tommy asks tiredly.
“Because I can.” William answers with a smile. “Now go on with your own work. And Tommy… ?” Tommy, doorknob still in hand, turns to his dad, wondering what he wants now.
“I know, you and Julia are newlyweds, but I expect to be a grandfather soon…. Once Julia has her child, there can, of course, be no way that she can continue working. Tell her to give up working at that horrendous school, will you?”
“Dad, Julia loves her work. She’s been a teacher for three years now and….”
“Whatever, Tommy, you
are the man, you
are the provider. God knows, it’s bad enough that I have two sons who are useless, I will not let my last son be a loser as well. Understood?” William waves him out the door. Though Tommy refrains from slamming the door as well, his sentiments upon leaving William’s office aren’t better than Sarah’s.
“Over here, bro.” Justin slurs and Kevin sighs, when he sees Justin hanging at the bar. Two months clean and now this…. Why?
“Justin, it’s only two o’clock in the afternoon,….”
“He entered drunk as skunk… Thought I call you.” The bartender says.
“Thanks, Dave, .. two of your strongest coffee, please, make one of them real black asphalt, I need to sober him up for tonight.”
, I need to be sober for a family dinner tonight. One of those dinners where you usually need
to drink yourself half drunk, just to get you through it..”
“True, Justin, but usually you get drunk during
dinner and take a cab home. You don’t get drunk 5 hours prior
to the dinner, to step in your car with your drunken head and drive there.”
“Hey, maybe I get lucky and wrap my car around a pole…”
“With your luck, you won’t kill yourself, but someone else.”
“Yeah, I see your point, that would be unfair.” Justin agrees.
“Even more unfair. I’d have to listen to you whining about it for years to come. So do yourself, the citizens of Pasadena, but above all me, a huge favor and drink your freaking coffee.” Kevin replies cynically.
He would like to know why Justin went back to drinking, but he’s afraid to ask, because he fears the answer will be something regarding his father. And if there’s one person Kevin doesn’t want to discuss it’s William Walker. So, he watches Justin drink his coffee and keeps his question to himself.
Holly closes her eyes. On top of her William is grunting and moaning, but aside from the occasional verbal encouragement, she keeps quiet. The times that she looked forward to these, their clandestine afternoons off, is long, long gone. Now she only hopes it will be over soon.
“Oh, yessss, don’t stop.” She moans, wondering if she should order spaghetti or a pizza for tonight. If only Rebecca had let her know, if she was coming or not. She sighs and lets out a little noise. “Oh, William!” He moves faster and is completely lost in the moment and she rolls her eyes. Men!
She sighs again, managing to make it sound as if she’s really enjoying it and finally Williams comes. She holds on to him, her fingernails scratch his back. Oh, isn’t she being … passionate
? Yeah, whatever. Quietly however she figures she deserves an Oscar for her performance.
By the time he looks at her, she puts a smile on her face, moaning how sad she is, that it’s already over. William smiles with a content face when he gets out of bed. Once he finally leaves her house she finds the envelop with the cheque. She can pay her bills again.
Nora closes her eyes, feeling another headache coming up. One of the tension-headaches, that starts in her neck and ends up with giving her the desire to slam her head against a wall. And she knows where the tension comes from. It’s William and her kids, all sitting at the same table.
Their table is in the middle of the restaurant and she feels like everyone is staring at them, like she’s on display all the time. She tries the breathing-techniques to relax her body, just like she learned at yoga, but they are not working. She simply hates these dinners and no amount of 'breathing properly' can take away the tension in the air.
William talks and greets everyone with his usual jokes, the ones that Nora, their friends and acquaintances have heard a million time before. His jovial tone of voice seem to get on her nerves even more than ever tonight and when she looks around the table she realizes that she’s not the only one feeling that way.
Sarah is quiet and her eyes shoot poisoned darts at William. Nora heard from William what had happened at the office and once again she had begged William to stay out
of Sarah’s marriage, but William has made up his mind that Joe is not good enough for his daughter and he’s more than willing to disregard Sarah’s feelings.
Tommy plays absentmindedly with his fork, Julia’s wearing too much eye-liner and blinks too often, as if she trying her best to not burst into tears. William had proudly told Nora about the ultimatum he had given Tommy about Julia. And slowly the anger in Nora grows.
Look at poor Kevin. There have been tensions between Kevin and William since Kevin came out 15 years ago, but these last 6 months they had only gotten worse. Kevin doesn’t talk to his father, unless spoken to by him, and that hardly ever happens. They don’t even say hello to each other tonight.
She also knows, from Kevin, that Justin was drunk this afternoon. She pushes away her concern for her youngest son. She is aware that William and Justin argued over something yesterday, but she’s not sure what and neither William nor Justin wanted to talk about it.
And then there’s Kitty. Another reason why she wonders what she’s doing here. Kitty and William just had words and now Kitty is in a foul mood as well. And for once she had been on Kitty’s side. Why should Kitty be some housewife to cater to her boyfriend’s career? Kitty had every right to break up with him. Why can’t William be proud that they raised two independent and strong-willed women?
Nora sighs. She wishes that once
, just once
, they could have a nice dinner like everyone else. William nearly jumps up beside her as a few people get up from their table and he recognizes them.
“Hey Wally!!! God, how long has it been? Wally Wandell….” William’s voice roars through the restaurant making everyone look at him.
The man in question seems startled at first, but then, shyly replies to William’s hollering by walking up to William and shaking his hand.
“Are those your wife and son?” William asks, as the two others approach.
“Yes.” Wally’s voice is soft and he’s clearly embarrassed of being in everyone’s view.
“Are you celebrating something?” William asks. “Seeing that you’re dressed as if it’s Sunday and you have to go church.”
“My son invited us. He works for the police.” Wally replies and William takes a longer look at the young man, who has a friendly face, just like Wally.
“In what? Traffic control?” William then sneers, before he laughs out loud at his own joke, not noticing he’s the only one laughing.
“Our son is a detective.” Wally replies slightly insulted.
“Really? Well, congratulations! .. Isn’t your son gay? Maybe we should hook him up with my son Kevin. About time that son of mine got laid…. Maybe he could become a bit more cheerful then. Hahaha!” Kevin, mortified, wishes that there’s a hole under his chair that he can sink in. The young man, Scotty, gives Kevin one quick look. Kevin looks away. Embarrased.
“No, thank you.” Scotty replies coldly. “Come on, mom, dad, I think we’re done here.” And he turns his back on William and walks away, followed quickly by Wally and his wife. For a moment William is dumbfounded, unaware that behind his back most of his family members carry a huge grin on their faces.
It’s not the first time someone walks away from him, but there’s something in the young man’s attitude that makes him feel so
reprimanded, as if he’s some kid in school again. It surprises him how much it bothers him, but then he chucks it up on the boy having to look impressive, if he’s a detective and forgets about it.
“Well, this has been a great evening, dad.” Justin says sarcastically. “Now, if no one minds, I’m out of here. There are far better places to get drunk.”
“Yeah, I’m gone as well.” Kevin says, getting up. As if this is everyone’s cue to get up, the table is suddenly almost empty.
The disastrous end of a miserable evening. They gather at the door, waiting until William has paid and Nora takes a deep breath to mentally prepares herself for the drive back home, when William tells her:
“I can’t go, I have work to do. Can you take a cab?”
“Yes, of course.” Nora replies. Sarah offers to drive her home, but she says no to her offer, it would be out of Sarah’s way. In the parking lot, the Walker-children and their mother watch as William drives away, towards Ojai Foods, the family company.
Nora looks on as her other children, one by one, say goodbye to her and each other. They all go in different directions and once again Nora feels sad, wishing that there could be more unity in her family…
William checks the accounts one more time, feeling happy with the results of this month. Yes, he’s confident that this will be a good year after all. He turns around to search for a file, when he hears a noise further in the office, which surprises him. There shouldn’t be anyone else here.
“Hello?” Maybe it’s Sarah or Tommy coming to check on him. “Hello? Anyone there?” He yells, but it remains quiet, until he sees someone walking up to him in the corridor. He looks and looks again, but at first, it’s too dark and then the light falls on the face and it takes William a few seconds to realize who it is.
“What are you doing here?” He asks surprised.
Then his eyes see the gun being held very tightly and confidently.
“What is this?” William asks, laughing insecurely. There’s no other reply than the loud bang as the gun goes off. Surprised William grabs his chest. He spreads his hands and his blood-covered fingers are the last thing he sees. He never hears the other two shots.
END OF PART 1