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...
I want to thank semisweetsoul for giving me the idea for the 'what if...'s, even if that was perhaps not what she had in mind... :)
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…. 03/?
What if… Scotty is the one who longer has reason to believe that you can’t be faithful to anyone unless you know why you should…
About: Kevin and Scotty mostly.
Disclaimer: Kevin and Scotty don’t belong to me. Written with love, not for money
Summary: AU – Kevin finds out more about Scotty and decides to help him.
It is small and dark, but it smells of fresh coffee and when Scotty finally gets his chicken sandwich, it actually tastes like chicken to Scotty. Kevin takes the time to watch Scotty eat. He's above all fascinated by those long, strong hands. They remind him of Tad’s hands and he looks away from them, to not get lost in his own pain again.
He quietly plays with his coffee-cup until Scotty is done eating.
“Thanks. For the sandwich. You must think I’m such a loser..” Those are Scotty’s first words since they walked in here and Kevin shakes his head. ‘
“I don’t. But it would seem to me like you’re close to falling apart…”
“These last two weeks I feel like I’m in some horror-movie, where everything that can go wrong actually goes wrong.. big time!” Scotty replies absentmindedly. Kevin bends a bit more over to him and places his hand on Scotty’s wrist.
“Talk to me. Tell me what is going on. Maybe it will not help, but maybe it will.”
“I guess I owe you that much… Very well then… I was born in Oxford, Mississippi, as the son of Wally and Bertha Wandell….”
“There’s a Wally Wandell?... Wow.” Kevin can’t help but comment and Scotty manages a little smile.
“I’ve lived there for many years. When I found out I was gay, it was quite a shock. It was very hard for me to deal with it, especially when I got kicked out of the house by my parents, who didn’t know how to fit me into their strict, religious lives. I wanted to finish my studies so I found a job. I worked hard to have my own place.
I dated a bit, but not much. It was my life-longue ambition to become a chef-cook, but to pay for it all… It was a lot of hard work. I worked at a local restaurant as a waiter… That’s how I met Frank. His company was based here in LA, but also had an office in Oxford and he travelled a lot between those two offices…
I .. I didn’t plan anything. It was quiet at the restaurant one afternoon, when he came in. We had just a little chat. The next time he came in, we talked a bit more. Three trips later he reluctantly asked me out on a date. We.. We ended up in his hotel-bed… I was gradually falling in love with him.
It wasn’t one of those ‘love at first sight’ things. No violins. No candle-lights. No lightning when we kissed. No Earth-quakes either…. We were careful about expressing our feelings for each other. I didn’t trust that many people, especially not after the way my family let me down. I didn’t have many friends, because I always worked whenever I could.
And he had his own reasons for being careful. Turned out that he had an ex-wife and two young sons. He divorced his wife when he found out he was gay and his children were only 5 and 7 and they would perhaps not understand why daddy is with another man…. I accepted that.
They were in LA and we had our own lives in Oxford. Whenever he was there, he would stay with me. I had him a few days a month and I loved being with him…. It worked for nearly 3 years. Then came the news that the Oxford-office would be closed and… he talked me into coming to LA. That was 6 months ago.”
Scotty’s hands start to tremble, he bites his lip, runs his hands through his hair, all signs of sudden distress. Kevin sighs quietly, wondering if he should really get Scotty some more coffee
“I’m so stupid. How could I have been so stupid?” Scotty whispers.
“You said that before, yet, you seem to me quite a smart guy. Why do you put yourself down like that? What happened?”
“Two weeks ago, Frank left our apartment, saying he had a lot of work to do and… that we wouldn’t see each other for a week or two. That was Friday-afternoon…
He… He just came by for about an hour to quickly spend some time with me before meeting his ex-wife. He would have the kids that weekend and he wasn’t ready to introduce me to them, he said…. He always said that .. one hour with me would get him through a weekend without me…” Scotty blushes lightly and Kevin smiles.
“So he left, 'satisfied' and ready for his weekend?”
“Yes,… Monday morning there’s a knock on our door and when I open up, a woman storms into our apartment, asks me if I’m Scotty Wandell and when I confirm,she tells me that …
… that Frank is dead, that she’s his wife, that the apartment belongs to her father’s company and I have no right to be there in the first place and that I have to get out, because she has no intention to support Frank’s little whore and if I so much as breathe a word that Frank was gay, she would make sure that her father would wreck my life…”
The words crash over Kevin like an avalanche. Kevin stares at Scotty, feeling dumbfounded and, at the same time, he can see why Scotty must have felt like living in a horror-movie for the last two weeks. He doesn’t know either Frank or Scotty that well, but even he feels overrun. Scotty continues.
“I have to be out of the apartment by Sunday-night and … I don’t know what to do. I left everything behind in Oxford to join Frank here. I have nothing or no one here. He managed to get me into an apprentice-ship here and all my time was divided between him and my work.
I can’t help but feel like this is completely unreal, that any moment I ‘m going to wake up from this nightmare and that everything will be back to normal and Frank and I will have a good laugh about this….” He looks away and Kevin is relieved because Scotty doesn’t start to cry again.
“That is quite a story. And a lot of stress….” Kevin’s plays with his coffee-spoon and tabs softly on the table, trying to come a decision of some kind. He takes another look at Scotty, who, demoralized, stares out of the window into the night. Kevin has some mixed emotions because he doesn’t want to get involved in someone else’s trouble.
However, he knows that he can’t walk away now either. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself. But what can he do?
“Do you know what you need? … A time-out.”
“You’re coming home with me…” Kevin says. Scotty frowns. He opens his mouth to let Kevin know he’s not interested in some one-night thing, but before he can say a word, Kevin calmly goes on: “Just one night. You’ll sleep in the guestroom. Alone. It is just to get you out of this vicious circle you’re in.
Just to be in another place can perhaps give you another perspective and… I have the feeling I have a solution, but I’m too tired to see it. But a good night’s rest and a strong break-fast will certainly help. So, how about it? Why not come with me? At least you won’t have to spend another night alone in your own apartment.
You said so yourself. You can’t stand to be there. Well, for one night. Just get out…. I hear the bed in the spare-room is pretty good…. Breakfast is included… And I make one heck of a good breakfast…” Kevin teases and slowly a smile appears on Scotty’s face.
Kevin hadn’t exaggerated about making a good breakfast. In fact he hadn’t lied about anything. The bed had been good. Scotty had slept extremely well. The shower this morning had made him feel like waking up from some winter-sleep and, now, the smell of coffee and frying eggs makes him hungry.
“Here you go.” Kevin says cheerful.
“Thanks. This is great. Thank you.” Scotty is overwhelmed by Kevin’s kindness. These last few days Scotty had felt like living in a very hostile place and the simple ways in which Kevin reaches out to help him are received with gratitude.
“I was up at six this morning… Kept going back to your problem…. I assume you have no legal way to keep your apartment.”
“No. Frank told me it was his, but it turned out to belong the company he worked for. They have these little apartments for representatives of their firm.
They train new people every several months and these people stay in these apartments. Frank was, amongst other things, responsible for assigning apartments. Nobody asked questions and he put me in one. He said that he didn’t want to buy a house for us, until I was with him here in LA and I could weigh in on the decision on where we would live….”
“How do you know that? Didn’t you say, that you didn’t find out the truth until after Frank’s wife stormed in?”
“Yes, she told me to get out of the apartment straight away… Later that day, … her father came to see me… Frank’s father-in-law. He had heard about me from his daughter.
He was much calmer and allowed me to explain that I had let Frank handle everything. Frank knew this town, Frank knew the right people, Frank was ready for me to come live with him... Or so he said… The father-in-law was the one who explained to me that Frank didn’t own anything, that I officially didn’t live there, that I had no business being there and that I should find another place to stay….
I was very upset and Frank’s father-in-law took pity on me and allowed me to stay for two weeks. He couldn’t keep me there any longer. I didn’t work for the company. If something happened to me or the apartment there would be trouble with insurance… And he needs the place by Monday, for when the new batch of representatives are in town…”
“I see. How much do you have? How much storage space would you need?”
“Not much. I didn’t bring much. I sold almost everything I had in Oxford, so I’d have some cash when I came here. And almost everything I had fitted into my car. There are a few pieces of furniture I bought since I got here."
Kevin nods and writes a few thing down.
“A small truck would suffice to put all you properties in?”
“Yes, but I can’t afford….”
“We have a family-business. I can ask my brother if we can borrow one of the trucks…”
Scotty gets a weird feeling in his stomach. He feels more awake than he has felt in these last two weeks and Kevin’s enthusiasm is contagious.
“If you think they will do it…. I’d love to get help…”
“I think I might even have a place for you to stay, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”
Together with Kevin, Scotty goes from room to room in the apartment. They empty cupboards, put back in place what isn’t Scotty’s and see the pile of crates near the front-door grow steadily. Kevin had picked them up from Ojai Food while they were on their way up to Scotty’s place.
The task is made easier for Scotty by Kevin’s analytical approach. Because there are no emotions invested in this apartment for Kevin, it is easier for him to put things back. There is not so much space to cover. A bedroom, a study, a small living/dining-room-area and a functional kitchen, small bathroom, toilet.
The delay is more in Scotty dealing with emotions ranging from anger to pain, but Kevin doesn’t let him drift away too far into negatives thoughts. Scotty had noticed Kevin making some phone-calls and heard Kevin drop a few lines about being 'ready' and Scotty wonders who Kevin called.
The answer comes soon enough, when Scotty’s doorbell rings and Kevin quickly goes to open the door. Scotty has some mixed emotions when he sees a few men enter. Jordan, Mario, Quinn,… Richard. Scotty feels uneasy and when Kevin asks him, if he can make some coffee while they’re waiting for Kevin’s brothers, Scotty quickly escapes to the kitchen.
He’s about to check the remaining cupboard, when he hears a little cough behind him. Scotty turns around and is face to face with Richard.
“Hey, Scotty.” He starts.
“Listen… I… uh… Kevin told what happened to you and I’m sorry. I should never have slept with you that night. It was really wrong…” Richard apologizes.
“It’s not like you drugged me.” Scotty replies, realizing full well that he did most of his drinking by himself that night.
“I won’t mention it to anyone again. Let’s forget it happened.”
“Thank you… I’d like that. I made a big mistake that night and…”
“I took advantage of the fact that you were in a bad place…”
“You didn't ask. I didn't tell.... Topic closed?” Scotty offers. Richard holds out his hand and Scotty accepts it.
The doorbell rings again and Scotty returns with Richard to the hallway, where he meets Kevin’s brothers Tommy and Justin. They are both immediately nice to him and obviously not bothered about having several gay men around them. They know Kevin’s friends and treat them as if they were their own friends.
And for a moment it makes Scotty sad, because he never found that sort of acceptance in his own family or between the few straight and gay friends he had had in Oxford, but at the same time, it feels like getting a warm coat around your shoulders on a cold day. The friendship and laughter is so genuine.
“So, are we set to go?” Kevin asks, but the first reply he gets is a knock on the door.
“Need an extra pair of hands?” a voice asks.
“Jason!” Kevin hugs the newcomer tightly and introduces him to Scotty, who figures that Jason must mean a lot to Kevin, seeing how warm the relationship between them is.
“Hi, nice to meet you.” Jason says with a friendly smile.
“You too.” Scotty replies shyly.
“Kev, your mom told me to tell you to hurry up. Everything’s ready. She’s expecting everyone to stay for lunch and … she made apple-pie.”
There’s a cheer amongst the men and Scotty is amused by how Jason’s news seems to set them on fire. The crates and furniture belonging to Scotty quickly fill the Ojai-truck and after about an hour’s work Scotty is ready to leave the apartment behind him, so Kevin discretely leaves him alone, with the words that he’ll be waiting down-stairs.
Scotty wanders from room to room, checks cabinets and shelves, but eventually there’s nothing left to do. In the small hall he looks around one last time, his eyes burn, but he has no tears left to cry and with a soft “goodbye Frank” he closes the door behind him and goes downstairs to find Kevin.
“You haven’t answered my question yet, Kevin.”
“Where are you taking me? You refuse to answer every time I ask. All you keep saying is that I should have faith in you…” Scotty laughs.
He doesn’t know why, but somehow he feels that he can trust Kevin.
“I’m going to take you to my parents’ house. We grew up in this big home. Mom, dad, 5 kids and several pets. We’ve always had countless friend dropping in, staying over, making a mess and a lot of noise, but then…
My sisters, brother and I moved out. My father died and only my youngest brother still lives there, more out of necessity, because he came back from Iraq with an injured leg…”
“I already wondered about the limp.” Scotty replies, thinking back of how careful the others had been with Justin.
“… When I told mom about what happened to you, she immediately agreed to let you stay. You can stay in my old room. Your belongings can go to the garage. She won’t mind if you stay until after you finished your exams…. So, you’re secure about a roof over your head for a little while…”
“I-I-I don’t what to say..” Scotty stammers.
“Be good to my mom. She’s the most important woman in my life. She’s always been there for me. She has a big heart and is more than happy to welcome you, don’t misuse that trust…
Together, as the Walker-family, we have a lot of friends and acquaintances in Pasadena. If you hurt my mom, you’ll have a big Walker posse on your back and you seriously don’t want that.”
“I don’t think so either.” Scotty laughs. “Don’t worry, I’m too happy with all the help I get..”
END OF PART 3