Behind the mask 28/?
About: Kevin/Scotty and others.
Summary: When Scotty has to deal with too many disasters at once, William offers him a solution that will change his life
“… I’m honored that all of you came to see us this evening. There have been rumors about the relationship between me and this beautiful young man, Scotty Wandell. I know that many of you have been wondering and today, right now, I can confess to having asked Scotty to marry me and he has accepted!”
Jason watches Kevin as he announces the upcoming wedding. Kevin looks radiant. He beams with a happiness that Jason has never seen before. The look on Kevin’s face is matched by the smile on Scotty’s face. The same Scotty who previously seemed tired and quiet is now all aglow with love.
It stings terribly and Jason feels a sadness come over him as he watches how Kevin and Scotty receive congratulations from all directions. They proudly show off their engagement-rings. Golden rings. They remind Jason of the silver ones Kevin had gotten for Jason and himself, even though Kevin would have preferred golden ones.
William and Nora beam with pride. Justin dances around with Tyler. Even Robert seems rejoiced with the news. Jason catches the sour look on uncle Jack’s face and he starts to feel nauseous, because he can see how Kevin and Scotty getting married will only put more strain and negative attention on his own marriage to Chad.
With everyone so focused on Kevin and Scotty and focused on congratulating the Walkers, Jason slips behind the curtain and out through one of the open windows. The cool night-air feels good on his warm skin. He walks until he reaches the platform where Kevin and he had met earlier that night.
Only there, in the belief that he is alone, does he dare to wrap his arms around himself and drop his mask. The tears come easily, because he’s been holding them back for too long, but now they just don’t seem to want to stop either. He rubs the tears from his face, but it’s no use, as the next flow seems to bring even more tears.
At that moment he feels a hand on his back and, when he looks up he’s face-to-face with Chad. Chad doesn’t say anything, he just wraps his arms around Jason. Jason is somewhere aware that Chad has lost someone he loved as well tonight. Jason replies to Chad's hug, with a hug of him own and they hold each other very tight.
“I don’t want to go back to the party.” Jason sighs. He has taken off his shoes and his feet dangle in the cold water. He feels empty, all cried out and Chad isn’t very talkative either.
“I get that. Did you get a chance to talk to Kevin?” Chad asks.
Though Scotty already told him about the kiss between Kevin and Jason, he quietly hopes that it didn’t happen. Jason nods in the dark, then realizes that Chad probably can’t see him.
“Yes. I did.” He therefore answers.
“Did you manage to clear things up between you and Kevin?”
“Yes. Kinda. We… We were talking… About 20 years ago… How he proposed to me… And how it made me… or us … feel… I thought.. that we still had a chance. I asked him to forgive me. I even.. kissed… him....” Jason swallows hard.
“Did that help?” Chad asks, feeling strangely jealous all of a sudden.
“No. Kevin pushed me away. Gently…. But still he pushed me away. He said that he was not angry with me anymore, but that the times he and I had had, were just memories and he wasn’t ready to get back with me.
He said he was totally in love with Scotty and that he was glad with our kiss, because it proved to him that all feelings were gone. As far as he was concerned anyway… He said he was sorry if I felt that he had given me the wrong impression… And that was the end of it.”
“No. It’s good. He gave me a kiss on the cheek and said that he was happy to have seen me again. That he still cared about me, but that he wasn’t in love with me anymore. I still have his friendship and he hoped it would be enough for me…. And I think it will be. I still had some time before I had to join the party and you and Robert.
So, I sat here, enjoying the silence, when it hit me that basically I stopped living 20 years ago as well and that I had been holding on to this image of a perfect Kevin, who was by no means perfect, but in my mind he was the ideal man. I dreamed of the everlasting love I would have had with him, even though we may never have had that to begin with.
Because we broke up, but Kevin never resumed his life and I kept holding on the memories, we sort of never matured. In my mind, Kevin remained forever the 18 year old man I once wanted to marry. But, even if we would have gotten married, there was no guarantee that our marriage would have survived.
You know what it’s like: Prior to the marriage, you think you have it all under control and then you find out that you don’t. Maybe Kevin and I would have irritated the hell out of each other within a year. You can’t say. I put him and what we could
have had on a pedestal.”
“I agree. Maybe you would have found out, in time, that he farts under the blankets, picks his nose in the bathtub or always leaves his toe-nail clippings on the table close to your breakfast.” Chad sums up in a comical tone of voice. Jason looks at him and starts to laugh out loud.
“That’s gross, you idiot!....” But his laughter sounds rather care-free. “But you’re right. Kevin became this image of perfection for me. An unrealizable dream... Or perhaps, as I once heard in a song, it’s also a case of ‘And the one who seeks to pluck the stars, will miss the jewels at his feet’. And I think I have overlooked the jewels.”
“You’ve lost me there. That’s too deep for me. I’m just a dumb actor, you know.” Chad says in his usual way of putting himself down. Jason shakes his head.
“No, you’re not dumb. You’re a nice guy… Somewhere behind that careless mask of yours, you’re a good guy.”
Chad remains silent, waiting for the punch-line, the sentence that tries to ridicule or humiliate him, which usually follows after he’s been given a compliment. But Jason is done talking and Chad is somewhere pleasantly surprised that the compliment is still standing…
“Thank you. I think.” Chad says quietly. In the darkness, Jason’s hand searches for Chad’s and when he finds it, it’s a warm and gentle hand that wraps around his and gives him comfort somehow.
“For what?” Chad asks.
“You must be so hurt that Scotty is getting married to Kevin. Here I am crying over Kevin, while you’re in pain too.”
“It’s my own stupid fault. For what it’s worth. Scotty made the right decision by marrying Kevin. Sorry to say that, I know you'll probably feel differently about this..”
“No. I agree. Kevin loves him to death.”
“Scotty loves Kevin too.” Chad feels the need to defend Scotty.
“I never thought otherwise.." Jason smiles gently. "Just one look at him and the way he looks at Kevin,… And how Kevin gets lost in Scotty….” Jason sighs sadly and asks. “Can we change the subject?”
“Sure…. Gladly even…. Do you want me to drive you home?” Chad asks. “I came by separate car, so Robert and Jack can stay… and we can leave.”
““Yes. That would be a great idea.” Jason gets up and helps Chad up as well. Once Chad is face-to-face with him, he suddenly kisses Chad in a warm and tender way.
“What have I done to deserve that
?” Chad reacts surprised.
“You’re amazing.” Jason says and he cannot remember ever having been this sincere to Chad before. Chad laughs softly.
“I don’t what you’ve been drinking tonight, but I’m going to get more bottles of the stuff.”
Jason’s laughter is sweet and honest.
“I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders… and … I feel so much more alive
…” Jason explains. “And somehow I want to share that with you. Isn’t that stupid?” Chad doesn’t answer Jason’s question. Instead, he takes Jason in his arms and kisses him.
The kiss becomes more demanding, more needy, and Jason moans when Chad’s hands caress their way down his spine. Chad’s lips part, he lets Jason in and to both of them their kiss feels real and genuine and Chad starts to feel like he’s intoxicated.
His head spins and he wants nothing more than just push Jason down on the cold hard floor and have his way with his husband, but approaching voices makes them break their kiss.
“You really believe they’re here?” It’s unmistakably Scotty’s voice.
“Yes. Jason most likely will be, don't know about Chad though....” Kevin answers. "Jason!" Kevin yells and a light shines down the platform. It’s a torchlight that suddenly shines on the bodies of Jason and Chad, who are still semi-entangled in their kiss.
“Hey!” Jason protests as the light shines in his eyes.’
“Sorry.” It’s Kevin’s voice.
“What are you two doing here?” Chad wants to know.
“Looking for you. Or rather Jason.” Kevin answers.
“What’s wrong?” Jason asks.
“We need to talk. There’s something I forgot to tell you.” Kevin sounds tense.
“What is it?” Jason wonders about what Kevin could possibly have to tell him.
“Do you remember how I used to say that I would love to take you away from here. Take you to Wales? And how you wanted to live there too…?”
“Yes. I remember. We had a lot of plans with that house…” Jason doesn’t understand what Kevin is driving at.
“I used to joke that I wanted to elope with you and take you away from the McCallisters and make you feel safe…” Kevin continues and for the first time Chad raises his head, suddenly all interested. “I used to think that I was being overly romantic, but … I’ve come to realize that … maybe I wasn’t.”
“I have no clue as to what it is that you’re talking about.”
“Jase… I need to tell you something that my brother Tommy told me, about your uncle Jack. I know there are reasons to mistrust Tommy, but … I think he’s telling the truth about this… And if he is, then maybe it would be better if you and Chad would just get away from your family….”
“Why?” Chad asks, not that he’s disagreeing with Kevin. “What did your brother tell you?” Kevin signalas them to come closer.
“Let’s go the boat-house. Voices travel far over water.” He whispers. He waits for Jason to put his shoes back on and then they move to a small shack at the end of the platform. Kevin finds an old oil-lamp and soon enough the little shack bathes in light.
Now that there’s just the four of them, Kevin reaches out to Jason and caresses his face. “Jase, I still care tremendously for you. You’re an amazing man and you deserve love and tenderness. And, Chad, I know that Scotty still cares for you too.
Regardless of what you and Jason plan to do with what I'm about to tell you. Whether you move on together or decide to break up. Whether you love each other or simply decide to settle for what you have, it’s none of our business, but we do
care for you both and I believe that you two, or at least Chad, may be in danger…” Jason’s eyes widen and Chad gives Scotty an uncertain look, but Scotty doesn’t know what’s going on either.
“This is just between the four of us. I must protect Tommy. He must remain safe. Jack cannot know what Tommy told me.”
“You got it.” Jason promises and Chad nods, equally concerned. Kevin takes a deep breath and then slowly starts to tell Jason what Tommy had told him about Jack and Aaron.
END OF CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT