Disclaimer: I don’t own B&S, just playing with the characters
Summary: Scotty is reminded of something.
Scotty opens the box. At first glance he can only see books. Not what he’s looking for in Nora’s garage, where Kevin and he have stored their belongings, while waiting for their new apartment above the restaurant to be finished. It still feels weird to be in limbo like this.
Kevin’s loft got sold a lot faster than expected, while the apartment above the restaurant hadn’t been finished yet to a degree that they could actually move in there. It means that most of their belongings are stored in Nora’s garage with only the big furniture already in their apartment.
And it means that Scotty is constantly looking for things that are someplace else, than where he is at the moment. Frustrating!… But, and he sighs relaxed, only one more week and then they can start unpacking. This however doesn’t mean that this is the box, that Scotty is looking for.
It’s only now that his eyes catch the title of the book on top and Scotty smiles lovingly. One of the first books he needed for his study at the chef school. The memory of that first day in school comes back to him. How scared he had been that he would fail … And look at him now. He has his own restaurant…
Well, of course, they still have to open and it still a question whether or not people will want to eat there, but ‘Café 429’ is a fact. It’s there. It’s his. And Saul’s and Kevin’s.
Kevin… If it hadn’t been for him, Scotty would never even have considered the step to go back to school…
Scotty stretches out beside Kevin. If he were a cat, he’d purring in delight. The sunlight comes in through the open windows. It’s warm outside, but not too hot and Kevin has just brought him completely satisfaction. Say what you want about Kevin and about him being uptight, he sure is a good lover.
“Good?” Kevin asks, somehow seeking confirmation that he did things right and it’s the insecurity in his voice that reminds Scotty that there’s another side to the confident lawyer. There’s that man who looks to be acknowledged as a lover, as a man. Scotty smiles and tugs on one of Kevin’s curls.
“Life’s perfect right now. No place I’d rather be.” Scotty replies in all honesty and the smile Kevin gives him, makes Scotty’s heart beat faster. These last 3 weeks have been a roller-coaster ride. It’s hard enough to start a relationship without the Walkers, William’s secrets, conflicting work-schedules and contrasting characters involved.
That’s the problem with being with Kevin where Scotty is concerned. One moment Scotty feels like he’s on top of the world, the next he feels completely worthless. And, sure, not all of this is Kevin’s fault. A lot also comes from Scotty’s own insecurities and the mistakes he made his own life, but Kevin’s ups and downs with his own inferiority complex, don’t help matters.
“I just don’t want to get out of bed.” Scotty sighs.
“You don’t have to. You’re not working tonight, right?” Kevin asks.
“No. But I’m hungry.” Scotty replies.
“Oh. Good.” Kevin sounds distracted.
“What do you mean?”
“Just thinking…. Maybe… you’d want to cook again tonight?” Kevin carefully asks. Scotty smiles. Alright. He has to admit it. One of the things he likes about Kevin’s apartment is the kitchen. So much better than that cramped closet his has for a kitchen.
“Do you want me to?” Scotty is pleasantly surprised by Kevin’s request.
“I’d love to. You’re amazing!” Scotty knows Kevin well enough by now to know that Kevin is sincere and he smiles shyly.
“Do you really like my cooking?”
“Yes! I think you should do more with it. Rather than wait on tables, you should be cooking the dishes on them. You’re so creative.”
“More out of necessity and financial tightness.” Scotty shrugs off Kevin’s compliment, but Kevin won’t hear of it.
He turns to his side and rests his head on his elbow.
“No. I do believe some people have a natural touch for certain things and you have that for food…. Even mom recognized that.” Scotty laughs at Kevin’s last words, because they sounds as if they’re supposed to be the only and ultimate proof needed.
But his smile fades and is replaced by a certain feeling of pride, when he has to acknowledge that he had felt special when Nora had allowed him to cook in her own kitchen, a few days ago. Just the mere fact that Nora had complimented him on his work had made feel all nervous but happy..
“If you say so.” Scotty says and Kevin frowns.
“No, seriously, why have you never thought about becoming a chef?”
“Are you crazy? Me? I’m not good enough. I’m just an amateur.”
“A good amateur.” Kevin corrects him.
“But even then…”
“What? Do you think that all those top-chefs came out of their mother’s womb with a ladle in their hands? That their first word was not ‘mommy’, but ‘Beef bourguignon’?” Kevin asks and Scotty shakes with laughter over the image created in his head.
“… no, of course not!” Kevin goes on. “It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, frustration, failures and slip ups to get to that point. It doesn’t ‘just happen’ to anyone. If you really like cooking and you would like to become a chef… then you should try it.”
“But what if I’m not good enough?”
“And what if you turn out to be the best one ever?”
“I’ll probably fail.”
“Or… Shock! Horror!... you could succeed… Maybe you should ask yourself which one scares you more.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Scotty, you’re amazing. You’re not just good-looking, you’re smart as well. You’re so much wiser than you allow us to see… and don’t say that you’re not, because I know you are. That is why I believe you could do this and succeed.
But perhaps, that is not what you want. To be successful comes with its own price. It means hard work, responsibility and taking charge… maybe, just maybe, right now, it suits you more to let other people tell you what to do in your work… You said you’re working on finding your own identity.
So maybe you’re just not ready to take on too many other things and just want to deal with one thing at a time. …. I know you probably will disagree with me, ….”
“No… Not really.”
“Really, Scotty, I believe that you can do anything you want,…”
Scotty opens the letter from Carter, Wright and Dupree. There it is. As promised. The cheque. So much more than he expected. He swallows hard when he quickly reads the standard letter. It has Kevin’s signature. Should he call Kevin? Tell him he received the cheque?
No. That would only make things worse. He would miss Kevin too much if he would actually hear his voice…. He tries to focus his mind back on the incoming mail. Phone-bill. Letter that tells him his job-application had been well received, but the job has gone to someone else….
The next one has Scotty hold his breath for a second. It’s from the Chef’s School he applied to, a while ago. He had forgotten all about it. With trembling fingers he opens the envelop… There’s a spot for him. He can go to school…. The price takes his breath away, once more, this time in more negative way. It’s a lot of money….
But, with the check … and if he’s careful… Scotty’s heart starts to beat faster. What is it they say? One door closes, another one opens? He picks up his phone and soon enough he hears the voice of one of the receptionists at Carter, Wright and Dupree and he wonders if he’s doing the right thing.
“My name is Scotty Wandell. I’m a client of Mr Walker. Can I speak to him? … He’s in a meeting? … I see… No. No, thank you, no message. I will try again later. Bye.” He hangs up. Maybe this is just a sign. He will most likely never see Kevin again, but … maybe this can lead him to another life, …
Scotty sighs. He had sent in the application-form the same day and not long after he had started his lessons. The rest, as they say, is history. He caresses the ring on his finger, suddenly feeling the need to be with Kevin. So, he puts the book aside and gets up. He no longer wants to search. It can wait. A few seconds later he closes Nora’s garage.