Driving Mr Wandell 20/21
Warning: This is Alternative Universe-story. If you can't stand to see Kevin/Scotty/Others in situations that are Out Of Character, stay away and don't whine to me about it.
About: Mainly Kevin/Scotty
Rate: Depending on the chapter - This one: G
Disclaimer: Brothers & Sister belongs to ABC, but thanks to this AU Kevin/Scotty can at least kiss.
Summary: walkersfics wondered: "How come even in AUs Kevin is always the one saving Scotty?" And though she has her own great storyline for that, it sure made me think: “What if….?”
Kevin clears his throat and quickly looks at Scotty, who gives him an encouraging nod.
“First of all, I wanted to inform you all on the subject of the San Estephe Wineries….”
“What does that have to with us?” Tommy interrupts annoyed. “… If this is a waste of my time…” And he tries to get up.
“Sit down!” Wally barks and flabbergasted by the command, Tommy lowers himself back on his chair. Kevin bites his lower-lip to not laugh.
“… As I was about to say when I got rudely interrupted… San Estephe Wineries, as some of you may know, is a very influential company on the wine-market.
This company has been a part of our family for a very long time… Father owned it, together with uncle Steven, who, as you all may remember, never returned from Vietnam…”
“Ridiculous!” Sarah now interferes. “We know all there is to know about dad’s business.”
“Wrong!” Saul replies. “You only knew what he allowed you to know.”
“So, Ojai Food will be responsible for San Estephe Wineries? As if the current economy isn’t enough of a burden…” Tommy asks. Holly Harper smirks.
“You really don’t know what you’re talking about, do you? Compared to San Estephe Wineries your precious Ojai Foods is a drop in the ocean.”
Sarah and Tommy both give her an angry look, but Holly doesn’t even blink. She smiles instead and places her hand on Kevin’s arm.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart, here I am, being just as rude as your brother and sister, by interrupting you, please, forgive me.”
She theatrically places her fingertips on her chest in a well-rehearsed symbol of apology and Kevin manages to stoically nod in acceptance of it, though he can see the annoyed glances from his brother and sister. So he looks straight at them and his voice is slightly menacing.
“If you guys keep interrupting me, than this will be a long afternoon. Furthermore, I’d like to warn you that I came in here in a good mood, but it’s sinking fast. The two of you might actually seriously regret pissing me off like this.” Silence falls around the table.
“Remember? Hand that feeds you…?” Kitty quickly whispers to Sarah and Tommy.
Kevin pretends not to have heard her and he takes a deep breath.
“This means that Dad left me in charge of not one, but two companies and he even allowed me to sell both Ojai and San Estephe. I want all of you to understand that I can just as easily do that.
I ‘d have more money than I could ever spend and I could live a life of luxury you can’t begin to imagine and just forget that all of you ever existed...” He sees the shock on a lot of faces. “However… I’ve carefully thought over my options and I’ve come to some decisions.
I don’t want to lose Ojai Foods. Regardless of my personal feelings for dad, I can respect the work he and many others have put into building this company. Furthermore, I don’t want to take away the only source of income for my brother and my sister. At the same time, I can’t trust either of them.
If they were willing and able to try and cheat on dad, they would have no qualms about stabbing me in the back either and, to be honest, I’m tired of the backstabbing in this family… At the same time I’m also troubled by San Estephe Wineries. I don’t know enough about food or wine to be in charge of either company, let alone both.
So, after a few long conversations with Mrs Harper, but also Uncle Saul, Scotty and Wally I’ve come to a solution that, I think, gives me a satisfied feeling.
Let me start by explaining that Mrs Harper owns a successful business with her own winery, Harper’s Landing, but prior to that, she worked for her father, in a small company that sold fruit and vegetables, but when her father died, the business closed and Mrs Harper got married to David Harper, who owned Harper Landing, and there she learned all she needed to know about wine.
It’s her experience in the field of wine, that lead me to ask her for her help. She and I came to the idea that we could have a merger of Harper’s Landing and San Estephe Wineries. She and I will both own 50% of the new company, but the daily running of the new company will be primarily in the hands of Mrs Harper.
I have faith in her abilities and her ambition to make our company the best in the business. In the meantime, she will teach Scotty and me all we need to know about the wine-business, so that, in that long run, Scotty and I can take over the new company. This will be a new challenge for both of us. And, hopefully, we’ll be ready to take over when Mrs Harper decides to step down.
Ojai Foods however is a bigger problem. I don’t care about Ojai Foods. Never have, never will. But dad built it, with the help of Uncle Saul. People have worked there for many years, helping out to make it a successful company. I can’t very well throw all these people on the street, because I have issues with dad and Ojai Foods.
I want those who work at Ojai Foods to have a safe future. However, I don’t trust Tommy and Sarah any more than they trust me. I cannot see a collaboration between the three of us work. I explained my problem to Wally and also Mrs Harper and they are both willing to help me with Ojai Foods.
This means that I will keep the company, that daily operations will stay in the hands of Sarah and Tommy, but there will be extra monitoring through Holly Harper and Wally Wandell, who'll keep me informed. From now on, the bookkeeping will go done by Wandell Industries’ bookkeeping department, to make sure that no one will try to cheat anyone out of anything.”
“That is unacceptable.” Tommy objects. “I will not work for that Harper woman.”
“Protest noted. I’m expecting you letter of resignation on my desk as soon as possible, so I can start looking for someone else.” Kevin replies coldly. He had anticipated this reaction from his brother.
“Oh, come on! I deserve more than that. I’ve worked for Ojai for years and I’ve never had to report to anyone other than dad. I should run that company and you know it. It’s what dad would have wanted.”
“Yeah, right. He left everything to me, because he wanted you to run it. That makes sense.”
“You know it’s what he wanted.” Tommy argues angrily. “Now that he’s gone, I’m the man in this household!” In a fraction of a second Kevin notices the way Justin looks at his lap and then shakes his head, at the same time he sees the fury in Sarah, but also the smirk on Kitty’s face and the way Julia suddenly stares at her hands.
“I will refrain from acting like a 5-year old by asking you for a show of proof.” Kevin replies dryly and makes a note on the sheet before him. “So, your letter of resignation on my desk, first thing, Monday morning… Let’s just get it over with… Sarah?” He now turns to his sister who’s obviously furious at Tommy.
But even more funny than watching her anger is the sheer panic on Luc’s face and Kevin understands, with a sudden clarity, how used Luc is to have Sarah do all the work. Sarah quitting her job as well, would be a serious change to Luc’s easy life-style. Kevin is curious about how Sarah will react.
“I think…” Sarah replies stiffly. “That you made a good decision, Kevin. I can see where your worries are and I also believe that, if dad had wanted Tommy or me to run Ojai Foods, he would have left if to either Tommy or me, but he did not do so. That is regrettable, but I still love my work and I agree, that those who work for us, deserve to have security.
I’m sure that Mrs Harper and I can come to a good collaboration. Maybe there’s something that can be said about seeing Ojai Foods run by a woman instead of that bag of testosterone.” Her thumb points at Tommy.
“What?!!...” Tommy turns to Sarah, but Kevin immediately blocks.
“Good! Sarah is in, Tommy is out. Problem solved…”
“You can’t fire me.” Tommy protests,
“I’m not firing you. I never told you to leave.…. You’re leaving out of your own free will. You are the one, who finds the new situation unacceptable.”
“But…. I love Ojai Foods…. It’s dad’s company. It’s... my life.” Tommy’s voice is very quiet and Kevin’s is softer as well.
“Then stay, … but accept that Mrs Harper and Mr Wandell will be the ones ultimately in charge.”
Kevin almost feels sorry for his brother as he sees him struggle with the decision he has to take. Tommy’s entire face betrays his inability to accept, but then he takes a deep breath.
“Alright… I’ll stay.” Tommy says between clenched teeth.
“I always loved your spontaneity.” Kevin replies sarcastically. “But changes will not be limited to Ojai Foods only... Mom?” Nora nearly jumps when Kevin focuses the attention on her and she looks around, momentarily terrified, then slowly relaxing as she shreds a paper handkerchief between her hands.
“As you may have noticed…” She says. “My brother Saul in here. Years ago he left, after a huge fight with William and I’ve missed my brother…. A lot… Saul and I had a chance to catch up last night. Over dinner… And he has asked me to go with him to San Francisco and meet his partner…. And I’m going… Permanently.”
“Permanently?!” Kitty, Sarah and Tommy echo.
“Yes. I haven’t been very happy with your father these last few years. None of you needs me. You all know better than me and you all think you are better than me. And I’ve missed my brother. I want a fresh start, a new life, a second change.
And thanks to Saul and Kevin, I can do it. Kevin and Scotty will arrange the sale of this house. With that money and the money your father left me, I can live for many years.”
“I don’t believe this.” Tommy replies astonished. “You can’t do that. You can’t seriously consider selling our home? ”
“You have a ‘home’ with Julia. Sarah has one with Luc. Justin with Tyler and Kevin with Scotty. Everyone has his or her own place. What am I supposed to do here on my own? No, I’ve thought it over since Justin and Tyler mentioned it at William’s funeral and I’m going ahead with it. Sell it all and find a new place of my own.”
“Go, mom!” Justin laughs, happy for his mother. “I’m sure that you’ll meet a lot a nice men through uncle Saul.”
“Most of them are gay, Justin.” Saul laughs.
“Ah, but only ‘most’ of them, not ‘all’ of them.” Justin replies.
“Good. I think that everything that needed to be said, has been said. I thank you all for being here.” Kevin gets up, making it clear that the meeting is over. Scotty immediately gets up as well, taking Kevin by the elbow.
“You did great.” His compliment is honest and Kevin smiles nervously.
“I was terrified.”
“I know, but still you did an amazing job.”
“Thank you.” Kevin replies, suddenly shy. Wally, Jack McCallister and Holly join Kevin and Scotty.
“Well done, Kevin.” Wally says. “You didn’t lose control, …. And I’m starting to see what you meant when you said your family is terrible…”
“Yes, me too.” Holly nods. “But I agree with Wally, well done.” Kevin blushes even more and Scotty can only think of how adorable Kevin looks.
“Listen, Holly, you’ve been such a great help with San Estephe. If you want out of our little deal regarding Ojai Foods, I’ll understand. It’s going to be busy enough for you with the merger and all.” Kevin offers, feeling a bit guilty and also like maybe he uses Holly’s interest for San Estephe as a way to secure the future of Ojai.
“Are you crazy? No. This is going to be fun…. I sincerely don’t like either of them and they already hate me too. I’m going to love antagonizing them.” She grins. “I haven’t felt this alive since David died.”
“Well, as long as you’re sure about it?”
“I am and it’s not as if this deal will last forever.” She smiles and then she turns to Jack McCallister and accepts his offer to walk her to her car. Meanwhile, Kevin sees Sarah go to the kitchen and Kevin and Scotty grab the opportunity to walk up to Luc Laurent and talk to him.
“Luc, I have arranged for you to participate in that new reality-show.” Kevin starts.
“Reality-show?” Luc asks.
“Yes. The one hosted by Chad Barry? About those has-been ‘celebrities’ that want to make a come-back by putting themselves in shape again.”
“I am not some ‘has-been’.” Luc protest.
“Yes, you are.” Scotty replies, without much sympathy. “Fortunately, thanks through a friend of mine, we could have you put on Chad’s show. You’re going to love it. Fifteen weeks in a private place to get bullied into shape again.”
“I don’t wish to do this.” Luc says.
“You don’t have a choice. You see, ...I had a private investigator follow you.. and I don’t think my sister will be too pleased with the outcome of his research.” Kevin quietly warns. Luc freezes visibly.
“I see….” Luc replies, trying to maintain a certain a dignity. “Naturally, I will be pleased to participate on such an excellent show. Anything for Sarah.”
“That’s what I thought.” Kevin smiles friendly at Luc’s sour face.
“What are guys talking about?” Sarah joins the three men.
“Nothing in particular. Luc has a surprise for you…” Kevin answers. Sarah looks suspiciously at all three of them.
“Ahmm, thanks to Kevin and Scotty, I could get a place on that new show Chad Barry will be presenting… You know…”
“Ah, yes, that new reality show, something about …” She catches herself just in time. “ … previously well-known persons trying to come back. Are you planning to go back to work?” She asks dumbfounded.
“Yes, of course.” Luc smiles and Sarah becomes even more suspicious.
“I have to leave you. I want to speak to Julia, before she leaves.” Kevin apologizes and he quickly adds action to his words, taking Scotty with him.
“Julia? Leaving already?”
“Yes.” Julia replies tiredly.
“Ahm, Julia, I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but… If you need a friend, someone to talk to, we’re here.” Kevin starts. Julia looks up, not understanding. “I’ve lived in the same house with Tommy… I don’t believe he treats his wife any better than his other family-members…?”
The shock, of finding recognition, is on Julia’s face. For one moment she’s so startled that she can’t even hide it, like she hides all her other feelings behind her permanently bored façade.
“It’s getting harder, isn’t it? To not hate him?” Kevin asks. Julia nods.
She lets out a soft sigh, as if she’s been holding her breath for a long time.
“I don’t know what to do.” She replies. “I used to love him so much… but he always finds exactly the right words to hurt me and he makes feel useless and worthless.”
“Trust me. He had years of practice, before he met you.”
“I’ll bet.” Julia replies and suddenly she smiles a very genuine smile.
“I’ve taken the liberty to find out more about you… Not to spy on you or anything, just… I know nothing about you and I guess, my brother never talked much about me either?”
“Not in terms that I wish to repeat, no.” Julia replies.
“I just want you to know, that if you need someone to rely on.. I’m here.” Kevin sees the hesitation on her face. “Money? A job? …. A good divorce-attorney?” She gasps at his words, but he can see the words are not unwelcome to her. Kevin leans a little closer to his sister-in-law.
“According to the head-master of your school, you’re wasting your talent as a teacher by being a stay-at-home wife. He says that you could easily get another job. Tyler, Justin’s wife, says that they could use someone like you in New York. Justin leaves in two days. Why don’t you go with him?”
“I can’t come between Justin and Tommy….” Julia says, shocked at the suggestion.
“I don’t believe you can do much harm there… but you can go on harming yourself… Tommy is coming our way…. Laugh!” Kevin orders and Julia obeys. “Well, it was nice talking to you, Julia.” Kevin nods at her and turns away, taking Scotty with him.
Justin joins Kevin and Scotty.
“Did you talk to her?”
“Yes. She’s not saying no.” Kevin grins.
“Tyler is waiting for her call. She knows exactly what to say.”
“Just remember, Julia is not supposed to find out that I’m the one paying her salary.”
“Don’t worry, she won’t… Julia is actually a very sweet person who loves kids. It was so sad to see her wither away over the years that she’s been with Tommy. I hope she takes this chance.” Justin replies.
“Well, sometimes all you need is someone who gives you a chance.” Kevin replies, looking up at Scotty, clearly showing his love for Scotty. “I can only hope she’ll be as happy as I am.” This time it’s Scotty who starts to blush over Kevin’s words.
“You two, get a room.” Justin scolds, with a smile on his face.
“Oh, Scotty!” Nora walks up to him. “Please, thank your father, that he allowed us the use of his garage, to put everything I want to keep and for helping me find someone who was willing to offer a good price for the rest of the furniture. According to Saul I can easily redecorate another house with what I keep… I’m very grateful. To both of you.”
She smiles at Kevin and Scotty and Kevin cannot remember the last time he saw his mother so excited.
“When are Saul and you leaving?”
“In a few days.” She replies.
“Nervous?” Scotty asks.
“A bit. It will be so busy. Tomorrow everything I wish to keep will go to storage. The day after, they come to empty the house. In two days I’ll have an empty house and an uncertain future in a city where I’ve never been… I’m terrified… And I can’t wait!”
They all laugh over Nora’s child-like excitement and then Kitty joins them.
“I heard from Luc that you guys know Chad Barry?” She asks without much subtlety.
“Actually we don’t. Not yet anyway. Chad Barry is involved with my ex-fiancé , Jason McCallister, it’s all early stages…” Scotty answers.
“Jason McCallister? As in Senator Robert McCallister’s brother?” Kitty is breathless.
“I’d love to meet Robert McCallister, he’s so handsome….”
“Yes, he is. And I bet you’d love to get to know him better, but … he’s very busy… Anywhere else.” Scotty laughs friendly, needing only half a word to realize what Kitty is asking for, but he has no intention to introduce Robert and Kitty to each other. He respects Robert too much for that.
Kitty gives Scotty a foul look, but Scotty is unimpressed and actually grins when she walks away.
“Kevin? Can we go home now?”
“Yes, sure.” Kevin smiles, wrapping his arm around Scotty and together they say their goodbyes.
They walk up the car, where Scotty stops Kevin.
“Are you sure about all this?” He asks.
“We’ve gone over everything. You agreed with my choices…”
“I don’t know. That was theory. Paperwork.”
“What we’re doing to Sarah and Luc, but also Tommy and Julia… It’s a bit mean, isn’t it?” Kevin frowns, surprised that Scotty would come back on the decisions, they both talked about incessantly, these last two days.
“I agree and I don’t like it, but… Luc is a jerk, who doesn’t do anything else but live off my sister and cheating on her behind her back. My sister deserves better and maybe she’ll see that too, when there’s some distance between them.”
“And Tommy and Julia?”
“You know as well as I do, that I seriously wondered if I wasn’t letting my personal dislike for Tommy get in the way. But, we both talked to Justin, to Saul, to Julia’s former head-master, they all agree that Julia is slowly wasting away. Besides, Julia can chose to stay. I’m not forcing her to go anywhere.
I’m hoping that she’ll take a chance at something, that she’ll know that her situation isn’t hopeless, that she can take up the reigns again and control her own life.”
“I know. And I’m also aware that you’ve taken every step with careful consideration and that you talked to a lot people… I’m sorry. It makes me nervous.”
“Me too.” Kevin confesses. “These are human beings we’re talking about. I am concerned that Holly is taking on too much work. I’m still not sure if I shouldn’t just get rid of Ojai. I am worried that you and I will not be good enough to eventually take over Holly’s work once she steps down.
I don’t want Sarah to get hurt, but I think, in the long run, Luc will hurt her. And I hope that Mom will be happy in San Francisco, but I doubt that she’ll ever get out the door. I’m not sure if I want Julia to leave or not, because I think it will have a huge impact on Tommy is she does…
And of course I’m worried about the impact on the difficult relationship between Tommy and Justin. But … I’ve talked and talked again with Holly, Saul, Mom, Wally, Justin and also with you. And… I believe that I’ve made the right decisions…” Kevin defends himself.
“Then, stand by your decisions and I’ll stand by you.” Scotty answers and he seals his promise with a kiss.
END OF PART 20