About: Kevin, Scotty, the Walkers – in one way or another…
Disclaimer: 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)
Name: Sarah Whedon
Status: Married to Joe WhedonChildren: Paige, Cooper
“Between 10 pm and 2 am?” Sarah asks. “I was home. I came back from the dinner at the restaurant. Joe had stayed home with the kids, so by the time I came in, the kids were asleep and we had some wine and watched a movie… One of the Pirates of the Caribbean-ones, don’t know which one, I assume the second.
The DVD-player was already on when I joined Joe. He’s usually the one who watches movies, not me. He should be able to tell you…. After that we went to bed… and then we got the call this morning.”
“Mrs… Whedon? Right…. How was your relationship with your father?” Parks asks.
Sarah bows her head and takes a deep breath…
“I know I have to speak the truth… It wasn’t good. Not good at all. Especially lately. My father didn’t approve of my marriage, but it got worse after he talked me into coming to work here, at Ojai. I started to feel like he tried to control every aspect of my life. It drove me mad.
I haven’t worked one single 40-hour week since I started here two years ago. He made it difficult for me to take a few days off during the holiday-period. He shot down every idea I came up with. And… though I tried to apply for other jobs I just didn’t get one, so I couldn’t leave Ojai either.
I really didn’t know anymore what to do. I am the one who brings home the money and I can’t quit just like that, especially not knowing if I have another job to go to. I felt stuck…. But I didn’t kill my father over it… Regardless of what was going on… He was still my father and I wouldn’t hurt him. I just wanted to get away from his control.”
“Can you tell me more about the financial situation of Ojai Foods?”
“We are surviving, though I feel we could do so much better, if we made some necessary changes, modernize, but father didn’t want to hear of it. It took Tommy years to get him to switch over to computers and even now we use dated systems.”
“What can you tell me about your relationship between your parents?”
“You don’t seriously think that my mom killed my dad, do you?” she laughs, but when she sees no smile in return, she becomes more serious. “My parents loved each other, but after nearly 40 years of marriage, maybe the passion lacked a bit…” She shrugs.
“How is your relationship with your siblings?”
“Tommy and I agree on a lot of issues regarding this company, we don’t see each other much outside our workplace. Kevin is the lawyer and the problem-solver in the family. Justin the black sheep and Kitty… is Kitty.
This family doesn’t socialize much. We tend to ignore each other unless we can’t avoid it. Family dinners are never much fun, unless you’re a masochist or unless there’s enough alcohol flowing…. Which is usually the case.”
“Mrs Whedon, who would you say is the biggest trouble-maker in your family?”
“Besides my dad? Justin.” Sarah answers Scotty’s question.
“And is your mother the peacekeeper in this family? ”
“My mom?! … No, she’s usually suffering in silence while the war rages and after that she feels sorry for herself.” Sarah replies with condescension.
Name: Tommy Walker
Status: Married to Julia WalkerChildren: None
Tommy clears his throat and looks insecure at the man opposite of him.
“Mr Thomas Walker… Can you tell me where you were between 10 pm and 2 am last night?”
Tommy nervously shifts on his chair…
“I … I’m not sure…”
“Mr Walker, no one is accusing you of anything…” Scotty soothes.
“I know, but … I don’t know where we were exactly at what time…. It’s not like I was watching the clock…” He rubs his eyes. “After we left the restaurant Julia, my wife, and I got into a fight. You see, … my father didn’t see the necessity in Julia continuing to do her work once she had a baby…”
“Oh, she’s….?” Parks starts to ask, but Tommy immediately shakes his head.
“No, no, not yet… Dad just wanted me to know his point of view.”
“Regardless of how your wife and you feel about this?”
“Yes.” Tommy merely whispers. “And my wife was not happy with his suggestion.”
“You told her?” Parks asks surprised, unable to believe Tommy is such a loser.
“Yes, if I wouldn’t have said something, my dad would have done it… Either way, Julia was not impressed.”
“She was furious?”
“She could have killed him…” Tommy replies thoughtlessly, then, upon realizing his mistake he stammers: “N-not that she would have.. I was just speaking figuratively, Jules wouldn’t hurt anyone.” Tommy laughs, but the smile is undone by the fear in his eyes.
“Mr Walker, you seem overly concerned…?”
“I have no alibi. I have no answers. You’ll think it’s me and it wasn’t. I would never hurt my dad. I hated him, yes, but he was also my dad and I wouldn’t hurt him… I wouldn’t…” and Parks understands Tommy’s fear and tells him to leave and watches as Tommy nearly runs to leave the office.
But Parks can see no reason for Tommy to be concerned. He’s obviously a coward and somehow Parks cannot imagine Tommy walking up to his dad and shooting him... It is unlikely. But stranger things have happened and he shouldn’t exclude the possibility either. He rubs his eyes, turning to Scotty.
“What do you think?” he asks, but Scotty shrugs, tapping on his notepad with the back of his pen.
“He’s terribly nervous… but so would I be, if my father got murdered and I wouldn’t have an alibi. He seems to have been under his father’s thumb in the most terrible way.”
“If I would have told my wife that she had to quit her job, because ‘my daddy said so’, my wife would have sued for divorce….”
“Maybe that was what their fight was about?”
“We have to talk to his wife as well.”
“Two more to go. Kitty and Kevin… Which one first?” Parks asks.
“Kitty. She has asked when she could leave, she has a television show tonight and needs to be on time for rehearsals… But still has a window of two hours…. Just.. perhaps we shouldn’t let her wait.
Plus, Kevin Walker is a lawyer… And I know how much you dislike to interrogate those, so perhaps first deal with the prima donna and then with the lawyer?” Scotty suggests and Parks nods. He doesn’t look forward to either discussions, but he takes as deep breath and followed by Scotty, he moves to office where Kitty is.
Name: Kitty Walker
Parks expects Kitty to be some diva, being demanding and making a spectacle of herself, but instead he sees opposite of him a woman who’s visibly shocked that her father is dead, but not exactly devastated by the news.
“Detective Parks? I’m Kitty Walker. How can I help you?”
“I will keep this as short as possible, I understand that you have other appointments for today.”
“Those can wait. Take all the time you need. I already called to say that I might be late. Or in prison. Depending on how innocent you think I am.”
She smiles and immediately Parks realizes that this woman may not have killed her father, she’s certainly not ‘innocent’ either.
“First. Can you tell me where you where last night between 10 pm and 2 am?”
“After we left the restaurant, I went into town. I had a date….”
“A date? Would you care to tell us his name?”
“How presumptuous.” Kitty laughs.
“To think it’s a ‘he’. What makes you jump to that conclusion? Could have been a ‘she’.”
Scotty hides his smile when he sees his boss’s stunned face. Kitty shrugs.
“But you’re right. It was a ‘he’ and … I’ve left him a message and explained the situation to him, asking him if I can give his name. He’s rather a public figure and I don’t want to see him in trouble.” Kitty’s reply is sincere and Parks recognizes it.
“What if he doesn’t agree?” he asks anyway.
“I’ll give it to you anyway.” Kitty replies immediately. “Of course that will mean that, last night was the last time he would have seen me, because I’ll never talk to him again, but if he agrees … I can go public with my secret relationship….” She winks.
Parks hesitates, but decides to give Kitty some space on this. She isn't going anywhere.
“Can you tell me about the relationship with your father?”
“Strained. Only way to describe it. He tried to keep a choke-hold on all of us. Mom, Sarah, Tommy, Kevin, Justin. Me. I hated him. But I loved him too.
He wanted the best, but could not understand that with all his forceful trying to shove it down our throats, we just couldn’t swallow it. Tommy was hit the hardest, I think. Sarah and I were irrelevant to dad, because we were girls and therefore, in his eyes, not smart enough to take over the family-name and business.
In a way, it is also contradictory. He gave us the best education money could buy and then expects us to go barefoot into the kitchen to raise 11 children for the American dream. Pretty stupid if you ask me. Sarah still regrets getting pregnant so soon. She loves her kids, mind you. Loves them.
But I think that in hindsight she wishes she hadn’t had them so soon. I never wanted them. Period. My father hated me for that. For being independent. …” For a moment she’s quiet, then she changes the topic. “But as I started to say, it was harder on the boys. I know I said Tommy, but I seriously wonder about Kevin and Justin too, come to think of it.
Tommy tried his best to be the heir to the Walker-throne, but he doesn’t have dad’s vision – I’m afraid Sarah has inherited that – Kevin was, is, will continue to be gay. So he was not top of dad’s list of favorites either. Poignantly enough, where dad always wanted Tommy to be ‘the man’ , Kevin was the one with the strongest spine of all of us.”
She laughs sarcastically. “Regardless of how hard Tommy worked, Kevin had the highest grades, the best ideas – together with Sarah, he’s unbeatable – And Kevin is the one we all turn to in times of trouble. He knows all of us the best. Better than mom and dad or sometimes even ourselves….
But he won’t give you the information, because he’s as closed as an oyster. He hates to gossip and never spills a secret, unless it’s a life or death situation. We hardly know anything about him…” For a moment she’s quiet as if she ponders on her last words and then she continues:
“And most of our dependency on Kevin is the fault of my father. Between his choke-hold and mom’s inability to stand up to him and her way of sticking her head in the sand when there’s trouble, we quickly learned that we could not put our faith in one of them… Sarah and Kevin became surrogate parents to Tommy, Justin and me.”
Parks frowns at how odd those words sound to him.
“Surrogate…? I can understand that from your sister Sarah. She’s the eldest and became a mother quickly after she left the house, but Kevin?”
Kitty smiles dreamily, her mind lost in memories, but then she blinks and replies calmly:
“Kevin stood up to dad. No, that is wrong. Kevin ignored dad and went his own way. Yes, that’s it. Dad wanted Kevin to solely work for Ojai, but Kevin turned it down. He’s very successful because he did not do what dad wanted… And we all know that the door to Kevin’s office stands open wider than the door at my parents’ house.”
“It is sad when a younger sibling becomes a better parent than your own parent.” Parks says and again Kitty shrugs indifferently. At that moment, her phone beeps. A text-message comes in and she reads it, while a smile appears on her face.
“He says it’s alright…. Last night.... I had a date with Robert McCallister.” She announces.
“The senator?” Scotty asks, Kitty nods with an even bigger smile. “But… isn’t he a Democrat? And you a Republican?” Scotty stammers. Kitty laughs out loud and then confesses with a wink.
“Political debate is best foreplay in the world for me and Robert is a master at it!”
Standing in front of the last door, Parks tries to take in the information given to him this day.
“I can’t get over it. Robert McCallister and Kitty Walker…” he says, shaking his head.
“It was a shock.” Scotty admits, stopping in front of the office where Kevin Walker patiently waits.
Parks takes a long look at the young lawyer. He fears this will be the toughest interrogation this morning. He looks at Scotty, who signals him to go in first. But before Parks can do that, he has to ask:
“What happened between you and him last night?”
“Nothing.” Scotty replies. “I took my parents to dinner and we ran into the Walkers. My father apparently knows William Walker,… .knew him.” Scotty corrects himself. “In my view, William was rude and obnoxious. And Kevin Walker seemed completely embarrassed with his father’s behavior.”
“Enough to want to kill his father?” Parks asks.
“I wanted to kill his father.” Scotty replies, rolling his eyes.
“Good. Let’s see what he has to say for himself then…” And Parks opens the door to the office where Kevin is.
Name: Kevin Walker
“Mr Kevin Walker?”
“I understand you’re a lawyer, so I don’t have to explain anything to you.”
“You have to understand that this is just to help me understand the dynamics in this family. I don’t believe I have a suspect yet.”
“Can you tell me where you were between 10 pm and 2 am last night?”
“What is that time-frame based on?” Kevin asks.
“Your father switched off the alarm at 9.54 last night and it seems that he couldn’t have died after about 2 o’clock based on body temperature and rigor mortis.”
“Thank you"... " Kevin nods. "I left the restaurant with the others and went to a party of a friend of mine.”
“Can we verify that?”
“Here are the names of a few of my friends who can corroborate my story. There were more people at the party, but these are the persons I know I talked to and maybe they can help you get the names and addresses of others. There were nearly 30 people there.”
He hands Parks a piece of paper with 8 names, addresses and telephone numbers and Parks can’t think of another word but ‘thorough’.
“And you stayed until very late?”
“Yes, it was very early in the morning when I left.”
“Can someone testify at which time you came home? ... A partner, for instance.”
“No.” Kevin shakes his head.
“How was your relationship with your father?”
“Non-existent.” Kevin replies, but when he sees Parks’ face he elaborates: “He was a huge negative influence in my life. He hated me for being gay, never stopped reminding me the fact that, in his eyes, I was no longer a man.”
The words aren’t spoken in anger, but in resignation and Scotty keeps his eyes on his paper and pen to not have to see the pain, that Kevin hides so well, but Scotty knows is there.
“That must have been terrible.” Parks says quietly.
“It was. For the first seven years. I felt like a loser, worthless and depressed.”
“What changed?” Parks asks.
“When I started to work for my current law-firm, one of my colleagues helped me to break free, expand my circle of friends, she took me to the right places and introduced me to the right people. I made new friends.
Not just other gay men, but also straight. And amongst those new friends I found some peace of mind, because they showed me that I was worth living and that I had a lot to contribute to life. And that knowledge helped me to take distance from my father.” Kevin’s words are so calm it makes Parks feel uneasy. As if there’s more to them than meets the eye.
“Yet, you decided to work for him?”
“The lawfirm I work for, works for Ojai Foods, it’s not me working for William Walker. I deal mostly with Tommy and Sarah. I avoid my father as much as I can.”
“And that was mutual?”
“What about your relationship to your mother and other siblings?”
“I love my mom unconditionally. She’s the reason I didn’t go to New York like Kitty did. And I think my siblings know where to find me.”
"But can you tell me more about their relationships with your parents?"
"That information would all be hear-say and of no help to you. I hear only what my siblings tell me, I rarely ask for the story from my mother's side and definately never from my father's side.
And we both know how one person's version can be different from the other. Plus, I would obviously add my own perception to the facts making me an unreliable witness. I think it best if you would ask it straight from them." Polite. Friendly. Parks can't help but be amused by this conversation.
“They are all in praise about you.” Parks replies with a gentle smile, feeling a bit vindicated when Kevin momentarily drops the mask of indifference to be surprised, only to immediately go into hiding again… It makes Parks wonder what this man has to hide.
“Thank you for your time, Mr Walker. I’m done…. for now.” Parks says.
At that moment Kevin looks right at Scotty and softly says:
“I’m sorry… about last night… in the restaurant…”
“I believe I wasn’t half as embarrassed as you…” Scotty nods with a smile.
“I’m used to my father humiliating me ….” Kevin shrugs.
“Just because you’re used to it, doesn’t make it less painful.” Parks says in an understanding voice, repeating Scotty’s words to Nora. There’s a peculiar look on Kevin’s face. Surprise? As if he had not expected this compassion and Parks sees what Scotty’s meant earlier. It seems that kindness or a compliment makes this young man feel uncomfortable.
“Well, anyway, ahm… if you no longer need me, then I would like to … leave?” He stammers and Parks nods that he’s alright with it. Kevin gets up and moves to the door, but before he can open the door, Scotty’s hand is already on the doorknob and he opens the door for Kevin. Their eyes meet, there’s a quick nod from Scotty and Kevin seems to relax.
Just when Kevin wants to leave the office, Parks calls him back.
“Oh, just one more question, do you have any idea where I can find your brother Justin?”
“Haven’t seen him since last night. I’ve tried to reach him, but he’s not picking up his phone.” Kevin replies and he seems worried. Parks signals Kevin that he can leave.
END OF PART 3