I think there will be 12 parts, so it will run until the 2-parter of B&S starts on April 11th, but I'm keeping my options open for now... :)
The story is already pretty much in my head. First 3 chapters will be rated G after that we'll move up in the ratings...
Warning: This is an AU (alternate universe) Things can be different or the same, events can have a different impact or not. But in the end, if things are meant to be, they are meant to be.
Forks in the road…. 01/?
What if, …. Kevin does master the art of being faithful?
About: Kevin/Scotty mostly
Disclaimer: Kevin and Scotty don’t belong to me. Written with love, not for money
Summary: AU – Just giving the boys another spin. They meet under different circumstances.
“And, yet, although it’s been nearly two years since Tad died, I still miss him every day.” Kevin plays with the paper tissue, that he’s been holding all along.
“Thank you, Kevin, for telling your story again for our new-comer to this grief-counseling session.” Mrs Hunton nods at Kevin, who gives a watery smile.
He wonders why Mrs Hunton singled him out to tell his story. True, the others grieving are all straight, so perhaps she wanted to see how the newcomer would react to a gay man in the group. If it makes him feel uncomfortable, then it is better he knows about Kevin now, rather than later on…
“Scotty? Do you wish to speak?... You don’t have to, if you wish to stay silent a little longer… but you might feel better if you .. talk?” Her smile is gentle. Scotty looks up at her.
“I… I don’t know. I’m … grateful to Kevin for telling his story… but….”
Scotty’s eyes fill with tears and he covers his mouth with his hand to not reveal that he’s about to cry and he shakes his head. The woman sitting beside him hands him a tissue and Scotty accepts it, not daring to look up at the others.
“It’s alright, Scotty, take your time. There’s no rush.” Mrs Hunton says with a sweet smile.
Scotty nods, still not looking up and Mrs Hunton decides wisely to let him be for a while. She takes the focus away from him by asking the others how their week had been and the others in the group discuss the various degrees of how their lives go on without their partner.
Scotty however remains quietly on his chair, not participating, not looking up, not searching contact with any of the others, not even Kevin, which Mrs Hunton had quietly hoped for. By now, she would not be surprised if he would not show up for another group-session.
Kevin helps Mrs Hunton stack the chairs and clean up the room, that they use for their weekly sessions.
“Thank you, Kevin, I know it was not easy for you, to talk about Tad again, but I had hoped that Scotty would open up a bit more if he saw there was another gay man in the group.”
“Oh! He’s….” Kevin lets the word hang in the air, understanding where Mrs Hunton’s hope came from. “… Well, maybe next time.” Kevin replies on a hopeful tone, but Mrs Hunton shakes her head.
“I doubt he’ll be back…” She sighs.
“You tried… Can’t save them all.” Kevin tries to sheer her up and she smiles at him.
“As long as I have people like you in my group… How are you really?”
“Good. Really good… I’ve sold our house.”
“Wow! That’s a big step… Are you sure you’re ready?”
“I guess… I just realized that the house has so many memories for me. I can still picture him in every room. I am still sleeping more often on the sofa, than in our own bed. Waking up alone on the sofa is not as bad as waking up alone in the bed, that he and I used to share… and that he died in….” Kevin swallows his pain away.
“I know what you mean, Kevin.” Mrs Hunton reacts, caressing his arm. Kevin shrugs.
“That’s why I’m selling the house. I have to. He still controls my everyday life. I know I can’t stay in the past, but I feel like I couldn’t move on either… So, I want a new place, new furniture, another bed, … a new life..”
“If you believe that you have to do this, then go for it, I’d say.”
“I already made an appointment for a house. It will be later today, so wish me luck.”
“Good luck with the house-hunting, Kevin.” Mrs Hunton encourages him, glad that Kevin seems to be willing to take life into his own hands again.
The parking lot is almost empty, when Kevin walks up to his car. He hears another car refusing to start and when he looks around he sees Scotty behind the wheel of an old Ranchero. After a moment of indecisiveness Kevin takes a deep breath and walks up to Scotty.
“Hey! Can I help you?” he asks. Scotty looks up at him, a haunted look on his face, his eyes red and swollen from tears he obviously cried.
“It’s not starting…. I forgot my wallet and phone at home and … Oh, God, I forget everything…Everything is such a mess…..” And then tears start to flow again.
Kevin breathes out slowly. He’s been there, he’s done that. All he can do now is reach out to Scotty.
“Alright, calm down. I know, I know, everything seems like a total mess… It takes a while for things to ‘get better’…. Listen, I have the entire afternoon off, I can take you home if you want…”
“I don’t want to trouble you.” Scotty replies.
“You won’t. I don’t mind driving…”
“I could call at home and get back here on my bike….” Scotty thinks out loud.
“See, that’s a plan. Now, come on, lock up and get in my car…”
Scotty hesitates, but then decides to trust Kevin. A few seconds later he’s sitting next to Kevin.
“Kevin. Kevin Walker.” Kevin introduces himself.
“Scotty Wandell.” There’s a slight accent in his voice, that Kevin can’t place right away.
A few minutes go by in silence and just as Kevin wants to start talking, his phone rings.
“Sorry, my secretary, I have to take this.” Kevin apologizes and Scotty nods. “Hi, speak to me, beauty. And be decent, I have someone in the car with me.” Kevin says cheerful.
“You’re in a good mood.” A gentle voice says.
“Yes, a good cry can accomplish that..” Kevin replies cynically. “Did you call for a reason, or just to hear my voice?”
“As much as I love to hear your voice, sweetheart, the real estate lady called about your meeting this afternoon. Wonders if you two can meet in half an hour. She has to cancel for four o’clock. If you can’t, she’ll have to re-schedule for next Monday.” Kevin frowns and looks at Scotty.
“Would you mind terribly if we went by the house first? I am looking to buy a house and it’s not very far away from here. …”
“No, no, it’s no problem.” Scotty replies quickly. He can see that Kevin is rather eager to see the place.
“Are you sure?” Kevin insists and Scotty nods. “Good, Lisa, call her, tell her I’m on my way right now.”
Lisa promises that she will and once the connection is broken, Kevin smiles at Scotty.
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity. I wouldn’t have made it to your place and back in time. And if I reschedule to Monday, I might lose courage over the weekend. I-I have sold the house Tad and I lived in and I want to buy another one. You know, no memories, new things. Put the past behind me. Look towards the future… And more of these lovely catch-phrases.”
“Yeah, I know. That’s what I want to do as well, but it’s not easy to find a suitable place.”
“I agree, but I saw the description of this house, I just … I don’t know… Wanted it.”
“I drove by it. It doesn’t seem to be that big, but it’s difficult to guess how deep the house is, because there are high trees and high bushes, so you can’t really see the side of the house.… So, I’m curious to see it on the inside.”
“I can imagine.” Scotty replies, feeling slightly excited, it’s been so long since he went house-hunting. He leans back in the car-chairs and enjoys the feel of Kevin’s car. So much better and more silent than his own bucket-of-rust. He watches how casual Kevin drives. Calm, focused, safe… He relaxes, feeling the tension of earlier slipping away.
Kevin takes another turn and stops in front of a house.
“That’s it.” Kevin says and Scotty has a good look. It doesn’t look that big on the outside. It has a few steps up to a nice porch. A solid, strong looking door. Scotty can see two large windows that look out over the street.
“Coming with me? Or are you staying in the car?” Kevin asks
“If you don’t mind my coming along?… It’s been a while since I’ve been looking at houses.” Scotty smiles and Kevin is pleasantly surprised by how good Scotty looks when he smiles.
They walk up to the house and a woman in her 40s opens the door.
“Mr Walker, it’s good to see you again.” They shake hands and then she turns to Scotty, who introduces himself. Her smile becomes even bigger. “Naturally, naturally… I get it.” She says. She opens the door and Kevin and Scotty enter the place.
It has a small hall and a lovely staircase, going to the next level. Scotty can’t help but be surprised by how lovely it looks. As per Kevin’s request, the real estate agent first shows him the huge study and explains that the previous owner collected books, which explained the endless bookshelves on the wall.
Kevin’s eyes light up. Just what he needs. He has so many books and it’s been a life-long dream to give all his books their own place and now he has found a room where he can do just that. And much to his surprise the study has doors opening up to the garden and with spring in the air, Kevin momentarily dreams away.
There's an image of billowing curtains, a soft breeze through this old room, the walls painted a few shades lighter, so that it would appear fresh and clean again…. He can imagine it... until the real estate agent’s voice takes him out of his fantasies.
“This here is the dining room area…” She explains.
Kevin quickly follows Scotty across the hall and is surprised by the big room that leads to a huge square kitchen that has Scotty gasping.
“You like it?” Kevin asks, seeing the look on Scotty’s face.
“Like it? I love it!” Scotty replies astounded, unaware that the real estate agent smiles.
She shows them the garden, which is smaller than Kevin expected. Not that he minds, because he’s not much of a gardener anyway. It does however have a swimming-pool. Not a big one, but big enough for serious exercising and Kevin can imagine himself swimming there.
Upstairs are four big rooms, two of those having an adjoined bathroomw, they were obviously the bedrooms of parents and a child or perhaps a guest-room. There seems to be enough space to put away Tad’s belongings for the time being. For a moment it cuts through Kevin’s heart that he has to do this without Tad, but he swallows his pain away.
He knows it’s time to move on. Tad would have wanted him to…
“Are you alright?” A voice beside him asks quietly. He gives Scotty a smile.
“Yes, I was just thinking, that I want Tad with me right now and … of course, if he were with me now, I wouldn’t be looking at another house…”
The sad truth about those words stays with Scotty as he follows Kevin down the stairs. He hears the real-estate woman explain to Kevin that if Kevin wants this house, he'll have to wait until early June before being able to move into it. Kevin agrees with her that he will think it over during the weekend and get back to her first thing Monday morning.
Still in deep thoughts he sits down next to Kevin in the car.
“Kevin? Would it be a big inconvenience to you to drop me off in town, at my work?” he then asks softly.
“No. Of course not. But.. are you sure?”
“Yes. I just realized that I dread going back to my apartment…”
“I get that.” Kevin mumbles, having his own bad memories of entering his empty house after Tad’s death.
“And, being with you in that house… It made me realize that I’d rather be at my work, put in some extra hours and earn a bit more money….”
Kevin merely nods, feeling that Scotty doesn’t really owe him an explanation. He is however surprised when Scotty asks him to stop at San Estephe, one of the most expensive restaurants in town.
“You work here?” Kevin asks astounded.
“Apprentice sous-chef…” Scotty says with pride, his face lighting up with a genuine smile, when he sees, that Kevin is impressed. “Though sometimes, when I need extra cash, I take on dayshifts in the lunch-area as well… Work is about the only thing that still makes sense….” His smile fades again to be replaced by sadness.
“How long ago? ... Since you lost your partner?”
“Nearly two weeks… Very soon to start counseling, I know, but Mrs Hunton lives at the same building as me and she knows that I recently moved to Pasadena and I don’t know anyone here…. She thought that maybe… it would give me safety-net to fall back on..”
“I see… And now you know one more person in this town…” Kevin smiles gently and he takes out one of his business-cards.
“Listen, if you need someone to talk to… This is my private number. Feel free to call, you’re not alone…”
Scotty’s finger slides over the card. So, Kevin Walker is an lawyer…
“Thank you…” He says, holding on tightly to the card. “… not just for helping and for the ride, but also …” he doesn’t know how to finish his sentence, as tears start to come again. Kevin leans over and his hand covers Scotty’s.
“Hey! Been there, done that… Don’t worry… Call me if you need someone to talk to or just cry with… You’re helping me too. And, please, come to next counseling session. Next week… You’re not alone. There are others, who can help you and whom you could help. ”
“No promises…” Scotty replies, but there’s a little smile around his lips.
“Next Friday-morning. I will personally pick you up, if I have to.” Kevin mockingly threats and there’s an accepting nod from Scotty. Kevin smiles at him and he takes one last look at Scotty, as he drives off. He waves at him, and after a short moment, he sees Scotty raise his hand and wave back.
END OF PART 1