Rate: for now G, if it changes I'll let you know ;)
Disclaimer: Written with love not for money
Summary: Guy meets guy and, well, you know how it goes....
Just remember: This is an AU, so the usual applies; Things can/will be different. Don't like it? Don't read it.
Within a few hours a lot of the boxes are gone. Books find their place into the bookcases. CDs are placed alphabetically on the shelves and Scotty has to appreciate Kevin's good choice in music. Little knick-knacks fill the remaining space in front of the books and the music.
In the kitchen, the kitchenware finds a logical place, even though Kevin and Scotty don't always agree on what 'logical' would be. Kevin however discovers that Scotty has good ideas and that he himself is often stuck on how 'Gregory used to do it' and now that he's open to new ways of seeing the world, he finds himself often conceding to Scotty's choice. If he doesn't like it he can always change things around, once Scotty is gone.
Finally Scotty can take in more of the details of the house. The bathroom is luxurious and is obviously suited for a couple, with a double sink, a large bath that can easily handle two people and a huge shower-cubicle, big enough for two. Scotty wouldn't mind trying it out.
While freshening up that morning he had allowed himself a little day-dream about being there with another man. Body to body, skin to skin, soaped up, hands travelling.... It had all been most satisfying, even if the fantasy-man had been rather faceless, because Scotty hadn't been able to picture who this man could be...
Scotty likes Kevin's bedroom, which is beautifully decorated in green colours, and in all it looks like a very calm and serene place. Kevin had explained that his main focus had been his own bedroom. He had expected to be alone in organizing his place, so he had wanted to finish one room, the bedroom, so he could close the door and be in a place that is peaceful and where he could get a good night's sleep.
Scotty's room, on the contrary, is mostly white. Kevin has to admit that he hasn't put much thought in the guest-room yet. He has no idea he wants to do with it, admitting that he rarely has guests staying over anyway, but if Scotty had any bright ideas, he'd love to hear them?
"I don't know about you, but ... how about pizza tonight? Glass of wine? I have plenty of wine, thanks to my ever-loving family...." Then, realizing that maybe Scotty would have other plans, Kevin continues: "I don't want to hog your time, so if you have other plans, please, say so, otherwise I'll order for the both of us."
"I think I'm too tired to leave..." Scotty has to admit.
"I'm sorry. I had really not expected that you would stay and help me."
"You gave me plenty of chances to opt out, but ... you were kind enough to let me stay with you last night and you offered me a place to stay for the coming nights.. so, I figured I'd better do something in return."
"Well, thanks anyway.... Oh, by the way, Scotty, I forgot about your car. I had two guys have a look at your car this morning. You were still asleep, so I gave them your car-keys, which you had left on the table. They took care of the flat tire and one of them drove your car back here. It's safely in the garage of this building. Won't cost you anything. They work for my dad. We'll settle this between us."
"Seriously?" Scotty asks. Kevin nods and a happy smile comes to Scotty's face. "I'm very happy to hear that."
"Good. Why don't I order pizza?" Kevin smiles.
"That would be great.." Scotty answers, but he's bothered that he seems to be even more indebted to Kevin now.
"So, have you thought of what to do next with your life?" Kevin asks. Scotty plays with his slice of pizza before he answers.
"I've been doing some thinking while we cleaning. After some soul-searching I have to admit that I'm not too broken up by my boyfriend dumping me after all.
I noticed, these last few months, that things had began to change between us. I guess, I should have realized that he was in love with someone else. What bugs me to no end is that it's been going on for several months apparently, but he only told me this week... It's like I wasn't worthy to be told the truth sooner..
If I had known sooner, I would have had more time to adjust. Now.... It was boyfriend gone, job gone, house gone, car gone.... I just ... I couldn't take a step back and make an educated decision. I felt so overwhelmed by it all."
"Obviously... I'm glad that you seem more calm now. So, what are you going to do about your boyfriend?"
"Nothing. I'm done."
"Sounds like a good approach." Kevin nods in appreciation. "What about your job?"
"I don't know yet. I could look around for another part-time job at a restaurant, but to be honest, I think that, with Christmas coming up, my ex-boss will need me. I'm good at my job and he knows it... So, I'm going to give him two more days to change his mind... It wouldn't be the first time that he comes back to me. I can only hope that he'll do it again... Otherwise, I have to look for something else..."
"Your car's fixed, so that's no longer a reason for concern."
"Thank you for that.... And unless you plan to revoke your offer to me, I have a roof over my head for two weeks.... Have you changed your mind?" Scotty suddenly seems a little worried, so Kevin smiles.
"No, I haven't. I'm just wondering,... The house is a mess, and I hadn't counted on a guest... I feel like a terrible host for not... I don't know.. I don't know what you're supposed to do here all day."
"I can continue to help you unpack, if that's what you want.... I don't mean to be a bother...."
"You're not... I'm glad you're here. I just don't want you think that I'm only asking you to stay with me to help me clean up my mess... or something like that..." Kevin seems a little embarrassed with himself. Scotty can see what he means.
"It seems like we're both in a strange place at the moment. Helping you helps me to get my own thoughts organised. I like cleaning up. It clears away the clutter, the cobwebs.. and as long as I can't clear my own mess, let me help you clean up yours. I don't mind helping you. If you want me to." Scotty explains and he sees a grateful smile come to Kevin's face.
"Shall we take on some more boxes?" Scotty asks.
"No, I'm done for now. I just want some more wine and just relax..." Kevin sighs.
"I have to admit.. you have excellent taste." Scotty smiles teasingly.
"Glad you appreciate it." Kevin lifts his wineglass and they toast to their good meal.
But whatever Kevin planned to say next gets silenced by the ringing phone.
"Let it go, it will go to the answering-machine." Kevin leans back, too satisfied with his good day to pick up the phone and be confronted with possible inconvenient phone-calls.
“This is the answering machine of Kevin Walker. Leave a message.” It’s more an order than a request.
"Kevin..." A woman's voice makes Kevin sit up.
He scrambles to his feet and make an effort to find his phone before she continues, but he's too late. Both he and Scotty can hear the message that is being left.
“Hon, are you there? If you are, pick up. We’re at grandpa's lodge and I think it’s better if you don’t come here for Christmas. It's not that I don't want to see you, but I don’t want to see you hurt, sweetie. Gregory is here too. With his little skunk. They’ve rented the house of the Jennings....
We walked into them last night, flaunting their relationship. Of all the places on this planet he could have gone to, to celebrate Christmas, he just had to go to the only place he knew you would be, so you could see him and his piece of trash? ... I’m so upset about this. Call me back once you’ve heard this....”
Silence hangs between the two men after the click and the line going dead. Kevin is as white as a sheet. He doesn’t move and Scotty wonders if he’s even breathing. He carefully places his hand on Kevin’s.
“Are you okay?”
“No. I’m not... Did my mom just say that Gregory is at Clean Water Springs?”
“I don’t know... but he is where they are...”
“Clean Water Springs. That’s where they are. That’s where we go every year to celebrate Christmas... Ever since I was a kid. I’ve never missed a year... And now he’s there?”
Scotty sees tears glistening in Kevin’s eyes and Kevin turns away, supposedly to fill his glass again.
“He is. With the new boyfriend. Assuming the ‘skunk’ and ‘trash’ are referrals to him.”
“No.” Scotty hears Kevin say. “No, that is not acceptable! I’m not going to hide...” He turns back to Scotty. “That’s my place to celebrate Christmas. I’m not going to let him chase me away.”
"I thought you didn't plan to go." Scotty wonders.
"Now I do." Kevin answers. Panic rises in Scotty. He had just found a secure place for two weeks, but of course, if Kevin plans to leave, he will not leave the place to Scotty. They don't know each other well enough to have that much trust. He'll be back on the street!
"What are you going to do?" Scotty asks. "You're seriously going away for Christmas?"
"I don't know. I don't want to go there. But at the same time, my family is there. And they'll have fun and I'm here, sulking... Gregory isn't worth missing Christmas at the lodge for."
Then, as if finally getting his senses back, Kevin asks:
"But what about you? I promised you that you could stay with me for Christmas.... I can't bail out on you. ..."
"I'll be fine. I'll find a solution.... Family trumps some 'vague acquaintance'."
"Don't be silly. That's not an option." Kevin shakes his head and he pours another glass of red wine for Scotty, who isn't too sure that he should have more wine, because he already feels light-headed. But the wine sure tastes good. None of that cheap stuff, that he's used to drink with his friends.
Kevin has told him that his family makes their own wine and so he has his wine for free, but Scotty has recognized the name and label and he remembers what the restaurants, that he worked for, charge for a bottle of this wine. It's definitely over his budget.
"Would you like to come with me?"
"Wouldn't that be weird? We hardly know each other."
"What if we would let my family spread the gossip that we're a couple? Just to get back at Gregory? So I can show him that I'm not grieving over him anymore?... We could say that our relationship is still 'early stages'...?" Kevin seems to think out loud.
"You want me to pretend that I'm sorta, kinda, but not entirely your boyfriend?" Scotty speaks very slowly as if the idea is still forming in his head. "To get back at Gregory?"
"Yes!" Kevin replies enthusiastically, but then he sees that the idea isn't received with open arms and he suddenly sobers up a bit. "You're right. It's a stupid idea."
"Yes. No. I don't know. I mean, I wouldn't consider myself an 'obvious' choice to be your new boyfriend. Can we even pull it off? I'm not against you getting back at your ex. It's just... I need to adjust to the idea?" Scotty seems to sincerely play with the idea and Kevin realizes that he needs something to make it all more enticing for Scotty:
"Look at it from the bright side. You wouldn't have to work over Christmas. Housing and food is free. My mom's a very good cook and she would receive you with open arms..." Kevin promises. Scotty has heard those words before. It usually means spending Christmas with drunk uncle George being the only one mumbling to him....
"... The place is gorgeous. White Christmas and cosiness guaranteed. My family is the sweetest. I can swear that you’ll have a great time. All you have to do is come with me and allow my family to pass you off as my new boyfriend. They will be on it and we'll keep you safe." Kevin can see that Scotty is still not completely convinced.
"You'd love it! You can have walks in the snow, the town's close enough if you wish to escape from us. I don't know if you ski, but you can do that as well. There will be sleigh-rides. We could take one of those. There's a little lake where people go ice-skating...."
"Ice-skating?" Scotty can't hide his interest. He used to love it when he was a child.
"Ice-skating." Kevin confirms feeling that he has Scotty interest now. "Do you like that?"
"My brothers and brothers-in-law used to play ice-hockey games against each other." Kevin remembers.
"Really? I haven't done it in years. Not sure if I can still skate." Something in Scotty stirs. Why should he stay here and be miserable alone, if he can be miserable in company?
"So, what do you think? Do we have a plan?" Kevin asks.
"Pretend that we're considering a relationship, but we're not sure yet?"
"How long will we have to stay?"
"At least until after Christmas. Maybe we can stretch it out until New Year...?" Kevin tries. Scotty takes a deep breath.
Should he do it? Should he make that jump? What if it turns out to be yet another disaster? ... But what if it doesn't?...
"Alright. Deal." He decides, before he can change his mind again, but then his smile fades from his face.
“That’s all nice and good, but... I can’t even afford a bus-ticked to the station at the moment, let alone...” Though he's exaggerating, he can’t finish his sentence, because Kevin cuts him off.
“I’ll take care of everything.”
“I’m not sure. I feel like I couldn’t impose on you even more...”
“You’re not imposing. I may not have much in this house, there’s more than enough on my bank-account. We can go shopping tomorrow, if you want. I want to fight back. Fight with me?”
“Oh.. if you put it like that...”
Scotty can’t help but giggle at the suddenly strange situation. Something in Kevin’s enthusiasm moves him to go along with this insane idea. And it's not like he has anything important to lose anyway.
“Okay. I’ll go with you.” Scotty nods with certainty this time.
Back in his wonderful bed and cocooned in pleasant warmth, balancing between sleep and being awake, Scotty remembers the only good Christmases he had. Back when he had still been a child and he got sent to his grandfather in Canada every winter. His parents had always made him feel like he was a burden to them.
They both worked hard in the family company and he was just an inconvenience that they had to deal with. And Christmas was a time for expensive gifts to show your friends how well you did and for this huge Christmas party where all 'important' people got invited and... No fun. Ever.
Being sent to his grandfather was a blessing. He knew a few kids that lived in the same area and they would run up the mountain and sleigh down, skate, play in the snow, create snowmen, and in general laugh and have fun. He'd be cold when he got in and his grand-father would have a mug of hot milk or self-made soup for him.
But his grandfather died when Scotty was 12 and from then on, Christmases became dull and boring again. Even after he came out, got kicked out by his parents and moved on with his life and with new boyfriends, Christmas would never have that same care-free feeling again.
He would either spend them alone, or with at a friend's house with people he didn't really know, or as the 'plus one' or 'new boyfriend' and be about as welcome as a tsunami. So he's taking all Kevin's promises of 'being welcome', 'cosiness' and 'great time' with a grain of salt.
As happy as the memories of Christmas at his grandfather makes him, it's laced with a bit of sadness over having lost the man.
"Granddad, I wish that, just for once, I could have a wonderful Christmas again, like we used to have... I'm so tired of being alone and feeling unwanted." He whispers.
Scotty shivers at the sudden feeling of cold air that seems to go through his room. It reminds him that he hadn't full closed the window tonight. He knows that he should get out of bed and close it, but he doesn't feel like getting up. He's too tired, but also too sad about his grandfather and too excited for the days to come...
He fears he'll never be able to get to sleep this way. He hides deeper under the covers, remembering that his grandfather had always insisted that it was good to sleep in a warm bed in a cold room. Scotty smiles despite himself and he closes his eyes. He can no longer see the stars that twinkle in the night-sky and that one star that slowly falls down.
Scotty turns from left to right and then from right to left in front of the mirror. The suit, that he has been ordered to put on, fits him like a glove and it looks amazing on him.
“Wow, like it was made for you.” Kevin seems to approve of what he sees.
“Have you seen the price-tag?” Scotty whispers.
“Lovely shade of ivory, isn’t it?” Kevin grins as if he doesn’t know what Scotty means.
“I mean: The price!” Scotty says between clenched teeth. “I could never, ever, not in million years, afford this.”
“Well, good thing that you don’t have to buy it then.” Kevin answers cheerfully.
Scotty feels a bit of regret that he will have to take the suit off again, because it HAD felt as if it had been made for him.... Then he hears Kevin order the store-manager:
“Wrap it up, get me a suitable tie to go with it.... We still need shoes as well. You can’t wear sneakers under that suit.” His last words are directed at Scotty.
END OF CHAPTER THREE