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.
Scotty can feel the cold air on his face. The tears won't stop coming and he's almost out of breath. Anger, hurt, humiliation, guilt, all those feelings flow through him. How could he have been so blind to the betrayal? Why had Mark done this to him? And how could he have been so stupid as to reveal his most secret dream to the Walkers?
He bets that, right now, their laughing their heads off at that much ignorance? Who does he think he is anyway? How could he have ....? But he can't finish his thought, because a voice finally reaches his ears.
"Scotty! Wait! Please! Are you trying to kill me or something?"
Scotty turns around, just as Kevin reaches him, making Kevin nearly bump into him. Kevin has to unexpectedly take a step backwards and nearly tumbles, but Scotty manages to grab him just in time and for a moment it occurs to Scotty that this has happened quite a few times between them today.
"Thanks!" Kevin is out of breath. "I should go to the gym more often.... I could hardly keep up with you, let alone catch you."
"Well, you got me. Hope you and your family had a good laugh at my expense. Then at least I've served some purpose." Scotty says bitterly.
"We're not laughing." Kevin immediately replies. Scotty looks at him intensely, as if he's searching for a lie in Kevin's eyes. He doesn't find it and his shoulders sag.
"No. Maybe you don't... It's okay though. I always screw everything up. This is no different from the usual stuff."
"I'm sorry you feel that way. And I'm sorry you found out what the exact extent of Mark's deceit was... It has to hurt like hell... I've had a few months to adjust to the idea. But for you... It still so fresh... I swear I didn't know that he was your ex. I would never have asked you to come with me, if I had known. I don't want you to get hurt."
"I think I know that too. Deep in my heart, I know... It's just ... my head kinda doesn't agree with the rest of me." Suddenly Scotty laughs sarcastically. "I've really been fooled. I've been with Mark for a few years now. It's not easy. He's an artist and he doesn't always manage to sell his paintings. We used to live mostly on the money that I made....
And it's not like he wouldn't take responsibility or something. He once sold a painting for nearly 5000 dollars and he had my car fixed, made sure that bills got paid, so I didn't have to pay for anything and have money stay in my account. He knew he was bad with money, so he always gave it to me, so it would not get wasted on useless things.
But, ... if he sold one painting, it would take months before he would sell the next... It's just how we lived. Never any security, just day by day, from pay-check to pay-check, not able to save much for a future... Early this year I said I could no longer live with like that. I had this one dream left. To go to chef-school. And I wanted to make it come true.
He told me .... He told me that he would paint for me.... He begged me to give him the freedom to do what he needed to do...." Tears form on Scotty's eyelashes. "He said he could stay in the house of a friend... Near the beach.... He said he could paint there... All he needed was time..
He said he loved me.. And I believed him... He said he would make the most beautiful painting ever, sell it for a good price and make sure that my biggest dream would happen... And ... And I believed him." Scotty covers his face with his hands. He doesn't want Kevin to see his tears, but they can't be stopped anymore.
Kevin takes a step forward and puts his arms around Scotty. He holds Scotty and tries to comfort him. He understands the feeling of betrayal that Scotty must feel right now. And he knows that it's something that Scotty will have to go through, before he can move on. And hopefully he can be a person that Scotty can rely on in the meantime.
"It will be alright." He whispers. "I know you don't want to hear this. I sure as hell didn't, but you'll get through this. And you'll come out stronger..." He can feel Scotty nod against his shoulder.
"I know... It just hurts so much.... I trusted him." Scotty cries.
Kevin can't think of the anything to say. When he and Greg had just broken up, he hadn't been interested in well-intended advice either and he guesses that Scotty feels the same.
So, all he can do right now is just hold Scotty and let him cry. But, instead, Scotty moves away from Kevin's arms.
"And then your family was so nice to me.... They are right... I have nothing to be ashamed of. I've always worked for my money. And I'm independent... most of the time..." He smiles cynically.
"No, I'm not going to cry anymore. Not over them. And I want to be there to face Gregory and Mark..." There's an angry determination on Scotty's face and Kevin nods that he agrees. He's not sure if Scotty is really 'done', but if that is what Scotty needs to believe right now, Kevin will let him.
"Good... Can we go back? I'm hungry and my toes are freezing." Kevin smiles. Scotty smiles as well. He's still upset, but no longer crying as they walk back. They don't talk, each man is lost in his own thoughts. Until Scotty suddenly forces Kevin to stop by taking his arm.
"Do you seriously want to pretend that you and I have fallen in love?" Scotty now asks.
"That was kinda the plan. I don't know... Now that his new boyfriend turns out to be your ex... maybe it's not such a good idea? Maybe you want Mark back?"
"Never again." Scotty shakes his head.
"Then do we continue this plan of ours? It's up to you." Kevin looks at Scotty to see what he thinks about it. Scotty nods that he agrees and, out of the blue, he orders:
"What?" Kevin asks.
"Come on. Do you wish to convince that Greg and Mark that we're a couple, without kissing, touching or other forms of PDA? Mark knows me too well for that."
"Oh. Okay. Hadn't thought of that. Hadn't really thought that far ahead. But.. yes. I guess you're right.... Are you really okay with this?" Kevin asks moving a little closer.
"Yes." Scotty answers. A bit awkwardly Kevin puts his arms around Scotty's neck and, after a little hesitation, he lets his lips brush against Scotty. He almost immediately lets go again and takes a step back. "Well, .. that was... "Scotty looks for a word to say and adds: "not very convincing..."
"You want more?" Kevin seems stunned.
"If we want to make this look convincing enough to somehow lash back at them, then, yes, it should be 'more'." Scotty answers. "Did you used to kiss Greg like that too?"
"No! Of course not!" Kevin seems almost insulted at the suggestion.
"Well, kiss me like you would kiss him." Scotty orders. When he sees Kevin hesitate, he adds. "Or is it really too hard for you to imagine that you could have feelings for me?"
Kevin shakes his head and once again puts his arms around Scotty. This time he doesn't even blink. Instead he kisses Scotty.
When Kevin and Scotty enter through the kitchen, nobody really pays attention to them. If their noses and cheeks seem red, anyone would suspect it's from the cold and leave it at that. Everyone's eating, talking and laughing. Nora is the first to notice that the two men are back.
"Oh, Scotty, are you alright?" There's so much sympathy in her voice. Though everyone gives Scotty a curious look, no one else asks for anything more.
"Yes, Nora, I'm fine. I've had a long talk with Kevin... And I feel a lot better knowing he's not angry at me. "Scotty answers. "It was a bit of a shock and ... I'm still processing ... but Kevin and I have agreed that everything will continue according to plan."
"That's right. We will now face both Greg and Mark together and we will act like we're a couple. And I'm hoping you'll all play along." Kevin says.
"Of course, we will." Tommy says with a big grin. He's ready to take on Kevin's ex, a man he never liked anyway.
"Well, don't waste any more time, sit down and eat." Nora hands them trays with food and Kevin serves Scotty first. "And I have news.. I've called Saul and Jonathan and pleaded with them to join for Christmas.... and they have agreed." A loud cheer rises up from the others and Scotty gives Kevin a questioning look.
"My uncle and his husband." Kevin quickly says. "We love them to bits. Despite their age, both nearing their 70s, they still work and they're both lead very busy lives and have a huge circle of friends. I'm very happy they'll be here."
"It will be very busy in this house." Scotty can't help but say.
"Don't worry, mom has everything under control." Kevin is so matter-of-factly that Scotty wouldn't dare to doubt this and within a few seconds Scotty forgets his concern and he is emerged in the conversation that's going on.
Kevin is more quiet. He keeps an eye on Scotty, who's in debate with Justin, and he's again surprised by how comfortable he feels about Scotty. He remembers how he'd be on needles and pins during Christmas, knowing all too well that Greg didn't like his family and that the feeling was mutual. This time everything is so different. It's as if Kevin has known Scotty all his life.
Even their kiss... Just thinking back at that moment, he can still feel his lips burn. It had felt so good. It had felt so real. Those lips on his, the way that Scotty had put his arms around Kevin and had pulled him closer, the intensity of the kiss. The way he had remained breathless when Scotty had let him go....
For a moment Kevin had almost wished that Scotty would never stop kissing him. Even now, just thinking about it, he gets hot. He tries to ignore the feeling that is stirring up in him, but, at this point, he can't deny it anymore. He sure wouldn't have mind if Scotty would repeat that kiss...
"Kevin? ... Where are you with your thoughts? Tommy asked you a question?" Nora breaks his thought.
"What? Uhm... I'm sorry. I ... I guess I'm just a little tired. It's been a long day. I think I'll be going to bed early tonight..."
"Until then, stay awake, sleepyhead." Tommy warns and while he repeats his question, Scotty takes the time to sit back, get out of the conversation and watch how Kevin answers Tommy's question. He's not really paying attention to what is said. He simply wants to quietly observe Kevin.
The moment Kevin had truly put some effort into the kiss, it had taken Scotty by surprise how excited how he got. The kiss had stirred something inside him. Something that isn't quite gone yet. The kiss had been everything he had ever dreamed of and more. Never before, not even with Mark, had a kiss made him so feel this aroused.
It was as if Kevin had pushed every button that could be pushed. He had sent Scotty's head spinning and Scotty had definitely felt his knees buckle. And he wasn't entirely sure how he would react if Kevin would kiss him like that again. Trying not to move ahead of himself he looks away from Kevin, only to notice that Nora is looking at him.
She smiles and Scotty feels a blush rise to his cheeks. Does she know? Has she guessed that something has happened between them? Or does she really still think that they just talked? Her smile seems so knowing. Yet, rather than feeling uncomfortable, he would somehow feel relieved if she would know.
Scotty stares at his hands for a few seconds and then focuses his attention back on Kevin, who is looking at him with a certain curiosity too. When their eyes meet, they both realize that they are looking at each other and they simultaneously look away, putting their attention on someone else. From the other side of the table, Nora smiles again.
"I'm glad the kids are finally off to bed." Nora sighs and she hands William his drink. "I had the impression that something has happened between Kevin and Scotty. They were both rather quiet around each other tonight."
"I'm sure that it has something to do with this whole business with Scotty's ex."
Nora would like to believe that that is all, but she's not convinced.
"I don't know. They kept looking at each other and then look away. I sincerely believe that Kevin is getting real feelings for Scotty."
"Please, my love, not too much wishful thinking. I don't want you to get disappointed."
"I know. I know. I should not jump to conclusions, but wouldn't it be fun if Kevin and Scotty would fall in love with each other. I like Scotty so much. He's so kind and charming and funny and he'd be exactly what Kevin needs after that dreadful Gregory."
Nora's enthusiasm isn't shared by William.
"I don't know, honey. They are very different people. Don't get me wrong, I admire Scotty and I would like it if something would grow between those two, but Scotty is emotionally, financially and socially on a completely different level than Kevin. I'm not saying that it's wrong, ... just that you should take off your pink glasses and be real."
Nora's shoulders sink. Of course, William is right. Scotty is so different from Gregory and the difference between him and Kevin is quite big as well. And just because she likes Scotty and Kevin seems to like Scotty, it doesn't mean that they would be great partners for each other. William sees Nora's reaction and, after a brief hesitation, he adds:
"Doesn't mean we can't - gently - help Scotty to climb the social ladder, earn more money and fulfil his dreams though, does it?" He gives Nora a conspiring smile and Nora reacts with a little nod.
"Let's see what tomorrow will bring us, when Saul and Jonathan get here..." She agrees.
With a sigh Scotty turns on his back. He can't catch his sleep. Each time he closes his eyes, the memory of Mark's picture comes back to him and it fuses with the memory of holding Kevin in his arms and kissing him and being kissed by him....
"Can't sleep?... Are you still upset about Mark?"
Kevin is just a voice in the dark now, so Scotty feels as if he can be more honest somehow.
"Yes and no. I'm just so surprised that I don't care more about the deception. I should be angry, furious and all that, but... I don't really care that he's with Greg."
"Are you sure that you're not just pretending? You don't have to fake feelings for me..."
Kevin's voice is soft and caring, so Scotty quickly examines his feelings again.
"Yes. I'm sure. I just don't care." He does sound surprised at his own words and with a sigh Kevin sits up and turns on the light.
"Can we be honest with each other, please?" Kevin asks. Scotty sits up as well.
"What was your relationship with him like? And I don't need every intimate detail, just.... what is he like? What makes him so different from me?"
"I think I can ask you the same thing. I think that there's a bigger difference between Greg and me than there is between Mark and you. You're both kind, caring, driven by what you like to do... So Mark is not a lawyer, but he's a very good artist. He has eye for detail and he's creative and he has a lot of imagination.
And he's loyal. I know that it's weird to say, but we've been together for 5 years and he has always been honest to me. He gave me access to his bank, to his papers, to everything. He trusted me to run our lives, knowing that with my steady income, even if it wasn't much, and my organizing skills, I'd keep us afloat.
And whenever he managed to sell a painting for a good price, he'd immediately get the money to me and we'd decide together how much we'd spend it, or on how much we needed to keep, what took priority and what could wait. We were always open with each other,... well, until this year, apparently, or at least these last few months.
He said that putting his trust on me meant that he could paint to his heart's desire. It gave him spiritual freedom, he said...."Scotty chokes up suddenly. "That is also why I don't understand why things ended the way it did, why he felt he had to be so dishonest to me. It so.... undeserved.
However, I can't say that I miss him. I've spent so much time alone in my life, separated from him, because he wanted to be on the beach and paint... To be honest, looking back, I must have noticed some 'cooling off' between us in the last few months, because I was distancing myself from him as well... And I would have been fine with moving on alone.
I would have been better at getting my life organized again, if I hadn't had blow after blow in a short period of time. I felt like I couldn't breathe... And then there was you, and there was coming here, and meeting your family and it was the breath of fresh air I needed. I needed to clear my head and have a good laugh and teach you how to skate and throw snowballs just because it was fun to do...
And I feel so much stronger now. I really do. Because I'm here, I don't have time to indulge in self-pity and wallowing in sorrow. I don't have time to miss Mark and that is fine with me, because I'm just having too much fun. And your family, and you, you're all amazing and... Kevin?..."
Scotty suddenly notices that Kevin's eyes fill with tears.
"Did I say something wrong?" He asks.
"No.. No, you didn't. It's just so good to hear my family being appreciated. They've always been there for me, even when I sided with Greg and became more distant to them.
I would sometimes not speak to them unless they contacted me... And, yet, when I showed up at my mom's house and told her that Greg wanted to divorce... She could have told me 'told you he was bad', she could have said so many awful things or she could have pointed out how badly I had behaved towards them.
But she didn't. All she said was 'Get in, I'll made some tea.' and that was it. She held me when I cried and she said nothing, she was just there for me. Like she always had been. And I had let Greg put them down, as if they weren't good enough... I'll never do that again, I can tell you that. Not for anyone."
Scotty's fingers entwine with Kevin's.
"And you shouldn't. They are amazing.. And so are you." Scotty can see Kevin shrug at his last words, so he takes Kevin by the chin, forcing him to look at Scotty. "You are. You are amazing. Don't let anyone tell you differently."
Slowly a smile spreads across Kevin's face. Scotty wipes away a tear, leans in and gives Kevin a very little kiss on his lips, just a mere brushing, barely noticeable. For a moment they look at each other, and Scotty considers kissing Kevin again, but instead he backs away. It's too soon for him and he thinks it's too soon for Kevin as well.
"I'm sorry. I don't want to complicate things." Scotty says and Kevin nods that he understands. Scotty lies down again and Kevin does the same. Kevin turns off the light. Neither of them moves too much, but they both stay awake, staring at the ceiling, until Scotty can't take it anymore.
"Kevin,..." His voice is soft in now dark room. "... why do you think that Mark fell for Gregory? Is he that handsome? That funny? That rich? .... That good in bed?" Scotty hates how little his voice sounds with the last question. He hears a sarcastic laughter coming from Kevin.
"If Mark isn't too demanding, then Greg will do just fine.... Oh, who am I kidding? He was a great guy once. He was driven, focused, but funny and entertaining too... Then he became a more well-known lawyer and he started to look down on others, started to feel that he was so much better than everybody around him.
I don't believe that I really noticed it before. I mean, it's not like he went from nice to snooty in one day, it was a process of years. And the longer our relationship lasted the less involved we were with each other. Eventually, about two years ago, he threw a party for my birthday....
And then he stole the spotlight when he surprised everyone, including me, with the news that he would quit his job a lawyer. He simply informed me that he had taken over a gallery from a friend and that he wanted to start selling art. Just like that." Kevin snaps his fingers.
"I think that was the beginning of the end. At first, when we were still both working as lawyers , we'd still see a lot of each other. But with him working on one side of town and me on the other, it became more difficult for us to be together. He made other friends and his old friends were suddenly not 'classy' enough.
I worked so many hours and I wasn't feel comfortable at the parties he threw to highlight the artwork that he was selling or the artist he was representing. I just didn't care. So, we drifted apart even further, but I hadn't realised how far until he told that he wanted to divorce me because he had fallen in love with someone else...."
"It's not your fault..." Kevin answers. "To tell you the truth, I have no idea why Mark would want to be with Greg. Not anymore. I could of course be bitchy and say that it's Greg's money, ... He has plenty of that....
As for how he is in bed... I'd say 'dominant'. Not very patient. Not very engaging. He takes what he wants and then goes to sleep." There's a bitterness in Kevin's voice.
"Dominant? Then he wouldn't be Mark's type at all." Scotty frowns in the dark.
"Well, that is how he was with me. And after all these years, perhaps I couldn't be bothered to ask for something else. Maybe he changed his attitude with Mark. But with me he was taker and not much of a giver."
"That sounds very lonely..." Scotty says with sympathy.
"It was." Kevin's answer is short and it makes it clear to Scotty that he no longer wants to talk about it. He turns on his side towards Kevin.
"Well, there's one thing though. You're a better kisser than Mark is." Scotty grins. He hears Kevin gasp and something that sounds like a laughter. Kevin turns to his side as well, now unknowingly facing Scotty.
"You're not so bad either."
"This is the weirdest conversation I've had in a long time." Scotty giggles.
"Me too." Kevin laughs with him.
In the dark Scotty reaches out for Kevin, places his hand behind Kevin's head to pull him closer. In the dark they kiss. Softly. Carefully. They both feel the silent need for more, but then they both break the kiss. Kevin gently places his finger on Scotty's lips.
"It's too soon. We're not ready." He whispers in the dark.
He can feel Scotty nod at his words. They are not ready to surrender to anything more than what they've done so far.
"Alright." Scotty says, feeling fortunate that Kevin can't see how much he regrets it.
END OF CHAPTER SEVEN