About: The Walkers and a few others.
Disclaimer: They don’t belong to me. Written with love, not for money.
Summary: The effect that Kevin has had… in the life of others. Starting with William.
Written for the Love-Bingo prompt: Indifference
CHAPTER ONE: WILLIAM : INDIFFERENCE
Early November 2002
William lowers his file and looks to the right. There, head leaning against the window of the plane, Kevin sleeps. And William sighs as he recalls his earlier conversation with Kevin:
“Are you seeing anyone?” He had asked and Kevin had seemed surprised and confused by the question.
“I… Did mom put you up to this?” That had been so like Kevin. Direct. To the point. No holding back. William had laughed.
“No. The friend that died, she left behind a husband and 3 kids. There must have been so many things she would liked to have said…”
William had tried to reach to a point, where he could talk to Kevin about how he felt, but Kevin had seemed to pull away.
“Right.” Kevin had nodded. He had cleared his throat. “No, I’m single. I’m not seeing anyone.” Kevin had looked uncomfortable.
“Is that common?” William had wondered and Kevin had seemed to become even more distant and embarrassed.
“You know, I think this is getting a little awkward for the two of us…Why don’t we get back to the contract?” Kevin had suggested, clearly wishing to drop the conversation.
“I’m trying to talk here.” William had tried to explain.
“I’ve been trying to do that with you with quite a few years.”
“And I just wasn’t ready to talk about it." William had acknowledged.
“So maybe I’m not ready now.” All barriers had gone up. William had almost been able to feel it.
“Kevin, I know I didn’t handle things to well back then…”
“You wouldn’t even look at me.” The hurt and resentment had been clearly on Kevin’s face. “You didn’t want anyone at work to know.”
“I was struggling to find some…” William had tried to explain, but Kevin had cut him off.
“And I wasn’t? I was a kid. I just needed you to know that you loved me the same way that you loved Kitty, Sarah, Justin or Tommy, but…” Kevin had looked away. “… you were to busy being ashamed.”
“And I have to live with how I reacted. Now, you can get past this and accept my apology.” William had said, hoping for some sign of forgiveness, but one look at Kevin’s face had told him that forgiveness would not be there….
“I’m not sure I can.” Kevnin had confirmed.
William looks at his son and he wishes that he could somehow make Kevin understand that he’s not as indifferent to Kevin’s fate as everyone thinks. He has reasons to worry about each of his sons. Tommy for taking life too serious, Justin for not taking life serious at all and Kevin…
He worries about Kevin because Kevin is gay and it makes him vulnerable to abuse and pain. And a terrible disease with a little name. He knows that Kevin is careful. Nora had made sure of that. But it doesn't stop William from worrying. When he hears of a young man beaten half to death or even killed because he's gay, his first thought is with Kevin. Always.
And he has to admit that Kevin has good reasons to be mad at him, because William knows that he hadn’t taken the news that Kevin was gay, too well. He still regrets that every day. Over the years he had grown to depend more on Kevin and yet somehow this wall between them is so solid, that he can’t break it down.
Truth is that Kevin knows his father better than William likes. He had asked Kevin about his personal life, even though he’s not sure he wanted to hear the answer. It still feels weird to him that Kevin would prefer to be with another man. He just does not understand Kevin.
And he had not believed to get an answer from Kevin, … because William knows his son better than his son believes… and William had known that Kevin would rather bite his tongue off than reveal any emotion to his father… unfortunately. William frowns, wondering where the after-thought ‘unfortunately’ comes from.
Again he looks at Kevin and he has his answer. Though he cannot imagine why Kevin would prefer a man over a woman, he would love to see Kevin happy and in a strong relationship, with someone who deserves him…. In a weird way he would like he would have accomplished even more in life, if Kevin would have a partner too. It would make the picture... perfect.
It’s warm in the plane and sweat has formed on Kevin’s forehead. And one his curls had gone back to its original state and falls over his forehead. William smiles and he remembers the time when Kevin was just a 7-year old, coming back from the beach, tired and sleepy on the back-seat of William’s car.
Nora’s window would be open and the warm wind would make those curls move around Kevin’s head on the breeze. In a movement long not performed, William clumsily tries to move the curl so it won’t tickle Kevin too much and wake him up. Kevin breathes deeply and wakes up a bit, surprised to see William’s hand so close to his face.
The back on William’s hand caresses Kevin’s face and Kevin can’t help but smile, still half asleep.
“I am seeing someone.” He whispers carefully, expecting William to take his hand back, but William doesn’t. Instead his expression become inquisitive, so Kevin dares to continue what he started.
“His name is Hank. It’s very early… I didn’t know at first if he was… like me… That’s the hardest part, you know… It is sometimes so hard to guess…” Kevin softly says, William nods him to go on. “Don’t tell mom just yet…. I’m not ready to introduce him…” Kevin whispers.
“But when you are…. I can’t wait to meet him.” William is as sincere as he can be.
He can feel Kevin nod under his hand and William’s thumb slides over his son’s cheek.
“Go back to sleep. You look like you could need some more rest….” William says. Kevin blinks against the sleep, but loses the fight because his eyes are still tired and heavy and William watches Kevin go back to sleep.
He feels amazed by what just happened, but his happiness is quickly gone, when Kevin wakes up not long after that. He obviously cannot remember their little conversation or maybe he believed it to be some dream, because William can feel the wall is up again and Kevin is distant once again.
William accepts this. Kevin had to wait a long time for him to come around and now he has to wait for Kevin to forgive him… Maybe Hank would be the one to bring that peace? Perhaps if he would let his guard down a bit when Kevin would bring him into their lives? Who knows….