: Chad, Jason Rate
: G Disclaimer
: B&S belongs to ABC Summary
: Remember how Chad proposed to Jason at the end of "Underneath the mistletoe"? Well, Chad and Jason have set the date for their wedding, but will things go as smoothly as Chad/Jason had hoped?
When Jason looks up at him, Chad can see that his eyes are red from crying. Without a word Chad sits down next Jason on the bench and wraps an arm around his shoulders. Jason lets his head rest against Chad’s shoulder. They sit there quietly for a while, neither of them seems to want to be the first to talk, until Chad places a kiss on Jason’s head.
“I’m sorry.” Jason says. “I don’t know what possessed me to call you so early.”
“It wasn’t like I was sleeping that much.” Chad replies.
“I’ve been up almost all night.”
“Me too. Kept thinking about everything you said.”
“I was such a fool.” Jason sighs.
“No, I’ve been trying too hard. I should have given you time to adjust. I knew I wanted to marry you, long before Christmas, but I kept putting off asking you. Didn’t have the nerve.
It took me months
to bring up the courage and to accept that this was what I really wanted and then I expect you to simply be grateful, ready and adjusted to all the changes, no questions asked….” Chad starts to apologize, but Jason shakes his head and places his finger on Chad’s lips.
“That’s not it. I wanted this before you did. I was just waiting for you to be ready too… so that’s not what is bothering me. Do you know what the first thing was, that I wanted to do after your proposal and my acceptance?” Chad shakes his head at Jason’s question. “I wanted to call Robert and tell him…
So, I stood there in the room, searching for his number and then I remembered that I can’t call him because he’s dead. And I felt stupid standing there with that phone in my hand and that is when I started texting Scotty….”
“…. And you suggested I’d text Kevin.” Chad remembers. Jason nods.
Jason sits up straight, so he can look at Chad. He takes Chad’s hand between his own as if to search for some comfort or strength.
“I’m here and I’m listening.” Chad encourages carefully, because he can see that Jason struggles with the thought of what to ask or say.
“When Robert just started with politics, he was doing great, becoming a rising star and all. And when his opponents couldn’t find anything to hit him with, they turned to those close to him. .. Me… I got outed in the newspapers and it momentarily nearly destroyed me. I was just not ready to come out, but I just had
It stopped being ‘my problem’ that I was trying to deal with, while trying to sort out my feelings, searching for my own answers to the questions in my head and how to balance my faith with my sexual orientation. Suddenly the whole world knew and everybody had an opinion.
I have been condemned to hell by one, loved for being brave by the other, a third person found it necessary to remind me that I was going to die of AIDS any time soon if I kept up my unsafe sexual life, mind you I was still a virgin when it came to sleeping with another man, a fourth person responded by coming out to me and that he had always been interested in me and now that I was out, we could be a couple. As if!
It was such a rollercoaster-ride, not really helped by the fact that my mother took it very hard, blaming herself for my ‘deficiency’, which meant that I spent a lot of time trying to comfort her and putting ‘the blame’ on me. I just could not make her see that it was who I AM and not some cold that I caught, because she hadn't reminded me that I should wear a scarf.
I needed my own release in this and the person I blamed the hardest for everything was Robert. Yet, he was the first one to accept me for who and what I was, who told me that I was still his little brother and that he would everything to protect me. He nearly dropped politics altogether, because he didn’t want others to pay for his ambition.
Though the whole business with me getting publically outed was painful and it took Robert and me quite a while to get to the same level of trust, that we had before, but eventually we did… And then Robert voted against same-sex-marriage….” Jason sighs.
“Kevin’s pet argument against Robert.” Chad remembers with a nod all of Kevin’s rants.
“Yes. He was rather unforgiving.” Jason chuckles, but then becomes more seriously again, when he continues: “… But he was not half
as angry as I was, when I found out. I never believed that I would actually get married, but that my own brother would publically deny me the right
to marry the man I love, …. That was painful.
I marched into Robert’s office and we had a fight… The fight of all fights, I put a lot of my anger and resentment about my past with him on the table. I yelled and I argued. I said some rather painful things, that I’d rather not remember. Things you usually don’t confront your brother with unless you’re really pissed off.
I think that what hurt him most of all, was that I called him a hypocrite, for pretending all this time, that he didn’t care about the fact that was I gay, when in fact he resented me and hated me for it. Told him that, just because he had failed at his marriage, he had no right to deny me a marriage of my own and that he should keep his bitterness to himself.
It was quite ugly and my anger certainly silenced any argument from his side. I remember him staring at me as if he had never seen me before.” Jason suddenly smiles at the memory of his brother’s flabbergasted face. “I walked away thinking that there was no way we’d ever be able to mend the fences again.
But that night, he showed up at my church to talk to me. He apologized, explained his reasoning to me, about the other vote that was very important too. Not that I found that much of an excuse…” Jason rubs his face, suddenly sad. “He told me that he loved me, gay or straight.
He said that he was very sorry for his decision. He acknowledged that he had looked at the same-sex marriage issue from a purely statistic point of view and the numbers didn’t warrant the loss of a vote on another subject. He was ashamed that he lost perspective of what was going on.
He said, he had forgotten that he was not dealing with numbers, but with the people that make up that statistic. He had gotten lost in the political game and he had lost sight of what really important to him as well. That he was called to serve the people, not some random statistics…
He vowed that night, that he would do everything in his power to make sure that I would get the right to marry the person I love, just like he had been able to marry the woman he loved…. And that… if I would get married… he’d arrange the entire wedding-day, or have it arranged more likely,…” Jason jokes half-heartedly.
“He promised me that he’d be right by my side… and support me… and be happy for me… And be… p-p-proud of me...” Jason’s eyes fill with tears.
“… And now, he won’t be there.” Chad understands, pulling Jason closer to comfort him. Jason silently shakes his head.
“He was the only family I still had left. An now there’s something missing
and I don’t know how to fill that void. I was used to not seeing Robert around. He was always busy and so was I. It always felt natural to me to not see or hear Robert for a prolonged period of time.
But, in the end, there would always be this moment, where I’d call him or he’d call me… When I couldn’t call him when you proposed, I ignored my disappointment. I didn’t want to whine about it. I know that Robert is dead. There’s nothing that you or I or anyone else can do about that.
I tried to not let his death stop me. I should not stop living or loving just because my brother is dead. Robert wouldn’t have wanted that either. He would have wanted me to marry you and be happy. But at the same time, I guess, I’ve been dealing with Robert’s death by pretending he was just ‘busy elsewhere’ and I’m somehow waiting for his call….
I’ve been waiting
for him… and I think that the fact that I was so reluctant and unresponsive was mostly because I was trying to ignore what was really going on in my head. I looked for all sorts of other reasons, anything, as long as it wasn’t about missing my brother like crazy, ….”
“Can’t you ask someone else in your family?”
“No…. I guess I can finally see that I love my family, but they were always more a part of Robert, than a part of me, if that makes any sense. Since coming out, I feel disconnected from them. I guess I had hoped that our wedding would …. ”
Jason stops mid-sentence, because he remembers Uncle Jack’s words. Chad stares at the ground, wondering what to do next. He’s glad that Jason seems to have found the reason behind his inaction of late, and he can’t really say he’s surprised. He had always felt that Jason had stepped away from Robert’s death way too casually.
Chad however also sees that it’s an issue that he can’t solve and that Jason will have to deal with on his own, perhaps with Chad to hold his hand when things get really rough…
“Jason… I hate to start this again, but … are you sure you wanted to marry me?”
“Yes. One hundred percent sure.”
“So, you don’t want to cancel, just … postpone until you sort out your feelings?”
“No?” Chad stomach tightens, just the thought that Jason doesn’t want to marry him after all, makes him sick.
“No. I want to marry you. I don’t care how, I don’t care where, I don’t care what flowers there will be, I don’t care how many of your fans are allowed to see it or who will take the pictures of us… Just … marry me
.” Jason sighs and Chad’s face lights up as a relieved smile shows itself.
“Are you absolutely sure?” He asks, afraid that he somehow misunderstood.
“Yes. It’s only now that I start to see that, by being with you, I have a family again.”
“Funny you say that.” Chad says and he takes a piece of paper from his pocket. Jason takes it, unfolds the sheet, to read what is written.
Once he’s done, he looks up at Chad with a mixture of surprise, awe and tenderness.
“What is this?” He asks with a little laughter.
“They were supposed to be my vows.” Chad replies timidly, believing Jason is making fun of him.
“Yes. So sincere. So real.”
“Didn’t want anyone to see them until I was ready.” Chad admits shyly.
Jason looks at the embarrassed smile on Chad’s face.
“So, no one has seen this? Ever?”
“Only Kevin. I thought he’d might want to make it better, but he said to keep it like that. My words, my feelings, my vows, … my love for you.”
“Kevin is right. This is very much .. you..” Jason leans in and kisses Chad, amused when Chad pulls back and looking around him at the empty cemetery and clearly wondering if this is the appropriate place to be kissing. Jason laughs suddenly, feeling like a heavy burden has been lifted from him.
“So, what do we do now? Can you still un-cancel everything?”
“I just uninvited everyone, sending a nice card saying that we appreciated their wish to be a witness to our ceremony, but that the whole ceremony was cancelled…” Chad says, but when he sees the remorse on Jason’s face, he continues:
“But … I’ll re-invite everyone, if that is truly what you want.”
“I‘ll help you.” Jason promises.
“What about your brother? How will you deal with him not being around?”
“I’ll ask Kevin for support or Scotty. Or Nora or Kitty. I’ll find a solution.” Jason put on a brave face.
Chad, however, isn't fooled by it and he takes Jason in his arms once again, he holds him close, whispers sweet words and kisses his hair until he feels that Jason’s defense come down and Jason finally starts to cry once again.
“I won’t let you go, baby.” Chad promises softly.
END OF CHAPTER 11