Season 6 – Episode 5 – A FRACTION TOO MUCH FRICTIONBy Marea67
Brothers & Sisters (general)Rate
: Can’t go higher than PG-13, as this is American Television, but I may add a few ‘deleted scenes’ here and there. ;)Disclaimer
: Just escaping from reality here, not created for financial gainSummary
: It is my very own season 6, you guys! Go with it! ;) Don’t complain! If YOU can do better, post your own story! (I dare you!)***** PART 4/4 *****
Tommy picks up a few invoices and exits his small office, looking for Saul, when he stops with a shock. From his position, he can see the front-door of the restaurant and he can see who just entered. Unexpected as it may be to see her, he can recognize his daughter’s curls from a mile away.
A happy smile spreads across his face. Elizabeth is back! He’s not sure why, or how, or for how long, but she’s here and that’s all that matters to him. He considers greeting her, but presses himself against the wall, a bit in the shadow, when he sees Julia enter the restaurant as well.
“Uncle Kevin!” Kevin spins around, like he always does, when his name falls together with the word ‘uncle’. He’s just in time to catch Elizabeth and she plants a firm kiss on his cheek.
“Elizabeth? What are you doing here? How did you get here?” Kevin asks, stunned.
“We flew here.” Julia says.
“Julia!” The hug between Kevin and Julia is warm and sincere. “You should have told us that you were coming. Scotty would have been here to see you.”
“No worries. Elizabeth and I have moved back here. Elizabeth starts to school next Monday, same school as Cooper and Olivia. So, we’ll probably see more of each other.”
“Really? Jules, I don’t know if you know this, but Tommy works at Café 429 these days.”
“Well, it’s not like can avoid Tommy forever, can I?”
“I just don’t want any uncomfortable situations here.”
“Don’t worry. I’m fully aware of it now and I won’t hold it against you.” Julia laughs.
Tommy leans forward a bit, but remains in the shadows. He can see Elizabeth on Kevin’s arm. She actually growing too tall for this, but she has wrapped her arms tightly around her uncle’s neck and she smiles down on him. Tommy can clearly see her face, her eyes focused on Kevin.
“You know, Elizabeth, your dad is Scotty’s office, why don’t you go find him? He’ll be so surprised to see you.”
“In a bit.” She promises, holding on to Kevin. Kevin looks at her face and she lets her index-finger slide along his cheek. A sweet little caress. Kevin quickly puts her on the floor.
“Okay, know what? Angie is in the kitchen, tell her that you want Scotty’s special chocolate chip cookies, and take one for your dad as well.”
“Yes!” Elizabeth applauds and she runs off.
“Kevin, I’m sorry to drop in on you like that…”
“It’s okay.” Kevin assures Julia.
“… Elizabeth has been nagging at my head for days now that she wants to see her uncle Kevin. I think, she’s starting to suspect….”
“There’s nothing to suspect.” Kevin says coldly. “I’m glad she wants to see her uncle, but her father is in there.” Kevin points in the general direction of Scotty’s office.
“Jules, don’t do this to me, please. I’m her uncle. Tommy is her father.” Tommy nods at Kevin’s words.
“Good… I will get ready to speak to Tommy then.” Julia replies equally in control. She can see however, that Kevin’s coldness is just a front. She knows how he feels about Elizabeth, but also that he tries to remain respectful towards his brother. She places her hand on Kevin’s arm, squeezes softly to let him know that she gets it and turns away.
“Elizabeth! Come here, we’ll find your father.” Julia says. Tommy moves away from the wall and he quickly returns to his office. He’s glad with Kevin’s words. Glad that Kevin keeps to his part of the agreement that Elizabeth is to never know who her real father is. To Tommy, Kevin is just an uncle and of no importance to Elizabeth.
“Are the newspapers in yet?” Luc asks, coming down the stairs and Sarah shakes her head.
“Haven’t seen them.”
“I just got them. They are on the kitchen table.” Paige says.
“I can’t wait to read the reviews of the exhibition. I do hope it was well received.”
“Must have been. The paintings were so beautiful, weren’t then, Paige?” Sarah replies.
“If you say so.” Paige shrugs.
“Teenagers!” Sarah apologizes to Luc, handing over the papers to him.
Luc quickly opens to art-section, but his smile of anticipation fades slowly when he reads the review. There comes a confused look on his face and he takes the second newspaper and looks in that one as well. Sarah carefully studies his face as the earlier glow slowly disappears from his face.
“Is everything alright?” Sarah asks.
“No.” Luc replies, shocked almost by her question.
“What is it, honey?”
“Forget it, Sarah. I’m obviously not important enough to you. So, what do you care?”
“I’m going to do some jogging.” Luc says and without another word he runs off, leaving Sarah behind, all astounded. Meanwhile, Paige has picked up the newspaper and makes a little sound of disbelief.
“Mom, listen to this: “The gallery’s new wing is indeed very impressive and many an artist will proud to see his or her work there. Unfortunately, the first exhibition shown, paintings by French artist Luc Laurent, was rather disappointing. The gallery had used his works earlier and with much success.
However, where Mr Laurent’s work had once been interesting, colorful, energetic, open for interpretation and just a pure joy to look at, his latest work is bland and uninspired. One wonders if the recently married Laurent has seen his wings clipped to the point that he has lost his complete ‘joie de vivre’.
Either marriage bores him to tears or takes too much energy from him, because the paintings lack the vivaciousness they used to have. It is a difference of night and day. If his earlier work were a breath of fresh air on a spring-day, his latest paintings seem more like a drizzly sad fogbank of despair….
“Oh, my God.” Sarah whispers. “The other review must be better….?”
“Not much.” Paige replies after a quick scan of the article. “She says that Luc has lost his touch and she also calls the paintings uninspired. And she wonders if Luc shouldn’t go back to France.Perhaps a closer look at a good glass of ‘Bordeaux’ and a few croissants will put some life into his work again
, she suggests….” Paige gives her mother a painful look. “Luc cannot be very happy with this.”
“I don’t thinks so either, honey.” Sarah answers, slowly shaking her head as she reads the rest of the article.
“Hi.” Julia says, entering the small office-space where Tommy works.
“Julia?” Tommy acts surprised. “And there is my lovely Elizabeth…” He wants to pick her up, but Julia takes a step back.
“I’m too old for that.” She laughs.
She gives her father a quick hug and sits down on the chair and hold up her cookies.
“This one is for me and that one is for you. From Angie. Uncle Scotty keeps them in a special jar, that is only meant for kids.”
Tommy smiles, but it doesn’t reach his eyes. He remembers how warm and sweet Elizabeth had been with Kevin, it somehow stings that she brushed him off so easily. He looks up at Julia.
“So, are you here for a holiday?”
“No, I’ve moved back to Pasadena, staying temporarily in the house of a friend, who’s been trying to sell her house for a while now, with no luck. I’m renting it, while I’m looking for a place to stay for real and for a job…” The following silence between them is painful until Tommy is the first to speak.
“Perhaps I can see Elizabeth more often now? I’ve paid you what I still owed you in child-support. My lawyer did explain how sorry I was, right?”
“He did.” Julia replies, clenching her fist.
“Again I’m sorry. I was… unreasonable.”
Julia agrees, but doesn’t say anything, she just listens.
“I was mad that I couldn‘t see Elizabeth more often, but Kevin managed to make me understand that I was only making matters worse.” Tommy explains. Julia nods. Kevin. Of course.
“That was nice of him." Julia says. "Anyway, Elizabeth and I have to leave again. We only dropped by quickly so Elizabeth could see Kevin.” Realizing how this must sound to Tommy, Julia adds: “I had no idea where you were. I planned to ask Kevin while I was here.” It’s a lie, but it must do for now.
“For what it’s worth, I’m glad you two are back. Seattle is far away and you have no idea how it feels to not know how your daughter is doing….”
“No, I don’t…. Maybe it comes close to having your husband shrug his responsibilities, run off to Mexico and not letting a lot of very worried people know where he is?
And being left behind hurt and confused and not realizing in how much shit I’m in, until they put up that sign that said ‘foreclosure’ in the front-garden? And being ashamed and humiliated that my own husband didn’t really care, that I depended his brother and brother-in-law to deal with the financial aftermath?....”
The moment the words of anger leave her lips, she regrets them. She’s hadn’t planned on fighting with Tommy, not with Elizabeth in the room, but Tommy’s self-pity gets under her skin. And it shouldn’t, not in front of their child. She raises her hands in surrender.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t come here to pick a fight. Water under the bridge. Over and done.” Her words sound so cold and it seems to Tommy that he never before saw the incredible anger in Julia over what happened.
“Yes. Listen. I know I screwed up. Made big mistakes. Lost your love, and rightfully so, but … can you perhaps make some time for me, so we can just talk a bit.”
“I just want to talk. I’m not the same person I was 3-4 years ago. I’ve changed. I’m not asking to get back together with you, or for you to forgive and forget. You have every right to mad, but I …. I just want to talk.” Tommy promises.
“I’ll think about it.” She replies. “Come on, Elizabeth, we’re leaving.” Elizabeth quickly rushes over to Tommy, gives him a hug and a kiss and then she runs off. Julia follows her in a slower pace. Tommy stays in his office for a few seconds, but then he leaves his office as well.
When he looks into the restaurant. He sees Elizabeth, again in Kevin’s arms. Kevin and Julia speak to each other in a very animated way, but they are too far away this time to hear what they are talking about. Julia laughs, probably some joke Kevin made and Tommy feels a sting of jealousy come up.
He still loves Julia and he loves his daughter and seeing both of them so much more interested in Kevin than him, hurts him and it cuts deeper than he believed it would. He can see how Elizabeth kisses the tip of Kevin’s nose, before she leaves with Julia and Tommy feels bitterness come up.
Holly stares at the pictures that are scattered all over her table. Pictures of her alone, some with William, some with Rebecca. It reminds her of that night on the beach when she had created a bonfire with Nora and where she had burned so much of her past, but one of the things she had kept had been a box of pictures.
They had opened the box and Nora had seen the pictures of Holly and William together. Holly had seen the pain on Nora’s face. It had only been there briefly, like a passing memory and then Nora had told Holly to keep the pictures and not to burn them. And now they stare back at her, as Holly tries to understand who that woman in the pictures is.
What had attracted her so to William? Why had she been so accepting to play the mistress? What had been the hold that he had had over her? How could she have let him play with her like that? Where had been her dignity? Had she really felt she wasn’t worth some respect?
There’s movement on the screen of her computer. Her notifier, a cute little barking dog, informs her that she has just received an email. She opens it. It’s from Rebecca, she tries to read, tries to share in Rebecca’s enthusiasm, but it’s just not working. Holly looks back at the picture of William.
She tries to remember his voice, the scent of his after-shave, but there’s nothing there. She focuses on one the pictures, tries to remember a day, a year, a house… She closes her eyes, she can still see the picture before her when she does, but other than that… absolutely nothing.
Frustrated she wipes all the pictures off the table and she starts to cry. This man was a part of her life for 20 years…. She knows the memories are there, sometimes they overtake her, but they are usually too brief to hold on to. Sometimes she can almost touch the memory, touch William, but then… faded away again.
And she knows she can’t talk to anyone about it, other than her psychiatrist. To David William is a closed chapter in Holly’s life. To Rebecca a reminder of what she what once had and then lost, Justin, the Walkers. There’s no one she can talk to about William. He’s her dirty little secret….
Tommy enters Kevin’s office and starts to applaud him.
“That was well-played.” He says sarcastically.
“What do you mean?” Kevin asks, not sure what Tommy is talking about.
“If you can’t have it in one way, then you use another…?”
“Elizabeth. Wow. I never realized what game you were playing until today.”
“Game? What are you talking about?”
“Get this, Kevin, you will never
be her father. I am.”
“I know that.”
“Do you?” Tommy asks. “Because it sure seems to me like you’re trying to be more important to her than I am.”
“What did I do wrong?” Kevin wonders.
“Nobody knows that Julia is back in LA. Guess who’s the first one she decides to visit?”
“That is not my
fault. I was just as surprised by all this as you must have been.”
“You’ve been trying to undermine my relationship with Elizabeth since the day you found you were her biological father.”
“I did what
“You sweet-talked you way into the lives of Julia and Elizabeth and try to make me look bad.”
“Like I’d have to make an effort.” Kevin replies condescendingly.
“That is exactly it. Saint Kevin coming to rescue whenever damsel-in-distress Julia needs him to.”
“That would be a knight a shining armor.” Kevin corrects him, anger starting to bubble up at Tommy’s ridiculous accusation.
“Always making yourself look better than you really are.”
“Excuse me? How does giving up a piece of my liver make ‘look better than I am’? Have you actually seen my scar lately, it’s still there, you know.”
“Oh, sure, make jokes. You can’t even admit it.”
? You’re her father, I’m nothing more than her uncle. It would seem to me like, that the only who has issues with this, is you
and not me.”
“I want you stay away from Elizabeth from now on.”
“If Julia needs someone to look after Elizabeth she can come to me
“She doesn’t want you near Elizabeth.”
“And I don’t want you
“I’m not dumping Julia and Elizabeth for you.”
“Julia? This has nothing to do with Julia. All you
want is Elizabeth.”
“Am I? I actually think that I’m the only one that sees through your act of playing good ol’ reliable Kevin.”
“Who sees through ‘my act’? Really, Tommy? Stick your head in the cooler for a while, will you? Your brains are in overload. And, now, get out. I have work to do. Come back when you’re more reasonable.” Kevin turns away and he hears Tommy walk away angry and Kevin suddenly feels sad and tired.
“Nora, I need a favor. And, trust me, I had to gather all my courage for this, but….” Holly grips the telephone tightly.
“Oh, Holly, if I can help you with something….” Somehow Holly had expected this reaction from Nora. Their relationship no longer felt so terribly awkward as before. They had been emailing each other and even had an occasional phone call between them.
But as well as it all had been, Holly is also afraid to lose that little link she has with Nora, which makes her question even harder for her to ask.
“You can, but I don’t know if you want to, if you’d be willing to do it.”
“That sounds rather mysterious. I’m not supposed to kill someone for you, am I?”
Holly laughs at the sound of Nora’s worried voice.
“No, I think it’s more a question of bringing someone back to life.”
“William?” Nora asks, not sure if she understands Holly.
“I know, I’m asking a lot, especially considering our past, but I have so many questions on my mind that Rebecca and David cannot answer. Rebecca never knew him and David doesn’t want
to know. And …. I have no one else to turn to…”
“What did you have in mind?”
“I want to fly to LA and go back to what I remember, but so many things are still a bit blurry for me and … I can’t explain it to you. And I know, it sound too weird, but I need someone who can tell me more about him, fill in gaps…”
“I don’t know how I can help you. It’s not exactly like William told me about you and before the accident we never really discussed him either. … It’s not that I don’t want
to help you, I just don’t see how
I can do that.”
“Will you at least meet me?” Holly asks.
“Sure. Of course. Just tell me when and where.” Nora replies.
“I have to book a hotel, get a flight…”
“Hotel? You can stay here if you want.”
“That didn’t exactly work out the last time either.” Holly answers.
“No, but then I wanted to you to leave for New York… Now, it will be good to see you. It’s been more than a year. And… we’ll see what we can do about William… Your request took me by surprise, but I need to think it over…”
“Fine, let’s set a date.” Holly reacts cheerfully.
“There’s my little boy….” Scotty coos and Jordan gives him a frown.
“I know I’m shorter than you, but calling me your ‘little boy’….” He says quasi-offended.
“I was talking about my son, Einstein.” Scotty replies with a grin, taking Daniel over from Jordan.
With Kevin in court that afternoon, Jordan was looking after Daniel, which he did more often. Scotty had asked Jordan to take Daniel to the “June flower”, because he wanted to see his son and he missed him. Jordan had obliged and had driven over with all of Daniel’s things in tow.
“I’m surprised Kevin let him go with you.” He says.
“You told him to do it… If that hadn’t been the case, I would have had to take him out of Kevin’s dead hands,… Kevin gave me an entire lecture on how not to drive too fast, not to brake too late, like I’ve never driven a car before.”
“He’s just overly cautious.” Scotty smiles, holding his son tenderly and laughing when Daniel laughs as well. “I miss him.”
“Who? Kevin? Or Daniel?” Jordan asks and Scotty has to say that that is a good question to ask.
“Both…. I’m so busy, I barely get to see them. I need some fresh air. Can we go to that little park outside.” Scotty asks and Jordan nods, though ‘park’ is a too big a word for the few trees, a bench and a little pond with a few ducks, but it’s a little green place amongst the buildings, so ‘park’ will have to do.
They walk to the bench to sit down and watch how Daniel walks unsteadily on his feet. Eventually he falls down. It doesn’t stop him from trying again though.
“He doesn’t give up quick, does he?” Jordan says and Scotty shakes his head.
“I think he’s trying to say his first words. He called me da-da the other day…”
“I don’t mean to offend you, but he said to same to me…” Jordan grins. Scotty is not offended at all, he laughs instead and lets his head rest on Jordan’s shoulder for a few seconds.
“I’m so incredibly tired.” Scotty says softly.
“Are you sure you’re not working too much?” Jordan asks.
too much, but it will work out. It will be worth it. I’m just glad that Kevin is there to look after Daniel… Most of the time, anyway… And I’m glad that I have you to fall back on when Kevin and I both have to work….”
“Hey, you’re welcome. He’s a great kid and fun too.”
“Thanks.” Scotty says and both he and Jordan watch quietly how Daniel makes another attempt to walk a few steps.
They are unaware that, on the other side of the road, someone is watching them. Her long fingers with the red nails grip around the steering-wheel in her car. Her face is half-hidden behind her dark curls and her blue eyes are fixed on the little boy playing on the grass.
“Daniel, my baby, don’t worry. Mommy is here. And I’m going to take you back home, where you belong….” Michelle whispers.
END OF EPISODE FIVE
See you next week, around the same time, for episode 606: " Just like a pill ." ;)