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.
"Family gathering! In the kitchen!" Saul announces, just as everyone is back in from their afternoon off. Kevin turns to Scotty.
"I'm afraid that will have to leave you alone for a little while. We need to discuss a few family-things, usually about our businesses...." Kevin explains.
"Oh, okay." Scotty nods. He feels a little nod in his stomach. So far he had been included in every conversation. He had spent the afternoon with Saul, Nora and Jonathan, helping them make the appetizers for the Christmas-dinner tonight. It had been so much fun to do. He had felt so much a part of the family.
"Hey, don't give me that lost puppy-dog look." Kevin smiles sweetly. "Robert, Julia, Tyler and Jonathan aren't invited either and Sarah's ex was never present for these talks either. Besides, if I think that they will discuss, what I think they will discuss, you'll hear the results soon enough..." Kevin tells him.
It does Scotty some good to know that the others are excluded as well. Even Jonathan. But it still makes him feel uneasy. Kevin takes his face between his hands and he kisses Scotty with tenderness.
"I love you. No one is excluding you, I swear. But this is between us first."
"Okay." Scotty nods that he's just fine with it. "I trust you. And your family has, so far, never purposely kept me away of something... I just..." But he doesn't want to explain any further and so he kisses Kevin gently on the lips. "I love you too." He says instead. Kevin lets go Scotty and joins the others in the kitchen.
"As you all know, Nora, Jonathan and I have had Scotty help us this afternoon and we're most satisfied with the results. It's been a while since I saw someone who's not only interested in food, but has this gift for quality. As Nora already suspected, he's a natural and we want to stimulate this.
We, that is Jonathan and I, plan to propose to Scotty to send him to chef-school, to teach him further once he's done and to slowly hand over control of Café 429 to him." There's a slight gasp of surprise. They all know that Jonathan and Saul want to retire in the long run.
But the two men also been so concerned about their precious baby, Café 429, that it had seemed almost impossible to find a replacement they could agree on. Each attempt so far had resulted in a 'thank, but thanks' from both men and people being gently coached to other restaurants.
"That is a radical decision." Kitty slowly reacts the first.
"Are you sure about this?" Tommy asks, which earns him an angry look from Kevin, so he continues: "It's not I dislike the idea, but you're offering a lot to Scotty, based on hardly 2 days.
In all honesty, I like Scotty a lot, I think he would do great, but I'd hate for you guys to offer him the world, or at least his dream, on a silver platter and then find out that he's not who you wanted for the job in the end." Tommy quickly looks at Kevin and he sees that a softer look has come to Kevin's face.
"I agree with Tommy. Scotty is a nice guy and I think he'll work like crazy to get this job and to make you guys happy, but ... man, Scotty told us his dream, and I think we can help him make it come true, but we have no right to mess it up." Justin adds. Saul smiles at the reactions from their family.
"It's funny how you're all concerned for Scotty... I can see that at least Kevin feels the same way... which means a lot. Within a few days he's become part of the family. Our family. Now, no one here is interested in taking over Café 429 and we've looked outside the family for a while now, but Scotty is too precious a gift to turn down."
"That may be so, but whatever Kevin and Scotty have is still very young. What will happen if they do break up.... Not that I'm saying they will..." Sarah immediately corrects herself to Kevin, who only nods. It is a legitimate question. He wouldn't want Scotty to lose his dream in case of a break up.
"It will make no difference to us. We will continue to support Scotty. Unless Scotty had done something that would violate what we stand for and what we believe in. If it turns out he's a thief or behaves inappropriately with staff or customers, for instance, but then we'll fire him as well, regardless if he's Kevin's boyfriend or not." Saul says.
"Is this just an announcement or must we vote on this?" Kitty asks.
"Is a vote necessary?" Saul asks in return. "Or let's put it like this: Does someone object? Is one of you interested in taking over Café 429 yourself? Because this is your time to either speak up... or forever hold your peace."
Saul looks from one to the other, but no one seems in a hurry to jump up and come with a better suggestion.
"... Then it's settled. Jonathan and I will take matters up with Scotty as soon as possible." He can't help but notice the smug little grin that momentarily swipes over Kevin's face.
"In other matters...." William now picks up. "I've had some private conversations with Sarah and Tommy these last few weeks, because Tommy has requested to pull away from Ojai Food and move away from Los Angeles, to permanently move here and start running the family-business here from now on."
"Now that Jules is pregnant, we've decided to move here. It's a great place for kids to grow up. We all have wonderful memories of this place."
"Will you take over this house?" Kevin asks, not sure if he would appreciate it if his grandfather's place would become Tommy's, but Tommy shakes his head.
"No. It's too big and it's too far from the city. We have an option on a smaller place. We would prefer it if this remains as a place for the entire family rather than it getting passed on to one family-member in particular." Tommy answers. "I hope no one objects to me taking over business here and Sarah running LA by herself?"
Again silence. No objections.
"Well, this is the shortest family-meeting we've had in decades." Nora sighs. "Let's talk to the others... I'm sure that Julia will be happy with the news."
"I wonder how Scotty will react." Kevin suddenly feels a bit worried.
With a bored look Gregory opens his laptop. He had tried to spend us much time with Mark as he could, but Clean Water Springs is more boring than ever before, now that he doesn't have to Walkers to laugh about and look down on. Mark is about as comfortable with snow and ice as Gregory is, which is not at all, so he's no help either.
Though it pleases Gregory that he can avoid 'fun' things like skiing, skating and anything involving snow. Mark hates the cold maybe even more than he does. Mark has asked him repeatedly, why he bothered to come here if he hates it so much. If Mark was half as smart as he was good-looking he would have figured out the answer for himself.
Gregory had come here with the intention to rub it in that he is happy with Mark and without Kevin. But barely two days in this godforsaken little town and he had heard the first rumors of Kevin coming to celebrate Christmas up at the lodge, ... with a new boyfriend in tow.
But of course the ladies Jackson, McCord and Winter had to have been wrong. Those old bats clearly misunderstood something along the line. There is no way that Kevin could have found someone else on such short notice. Yet, Gregory has stayed away from the places where he could run into Kevin.
He wants tonight, the yearly local Christmas party, to be the place for the show-down. That is where he plans to give Kevin the final blow. Greg looks over shoulder to the sleeping Mark, naked and only half covered by the sheets. The only good thing about being here is that neither of them wants to go out, so they have sex very often.
Mark is a typical tall, blonde, muscular surfer-boy, although he's actually not a boy, but a man, because he's 30 years old. From the moment Greg had seen Mark, painting on the beach, he had wanted Mark. He had offered Mark his place at the beach to paint from and Mark had accepted without much further thought to it.
Gregory would soon find out that Mark never questioned much. He just took life as it came and he had very little direction. Just bobbing along is probably the best way to describe his attitude to life. Yet, it had intrigued Greg that Mark had not wanted to sleep with him because he was still married to Kevin.
It had been the extra push that Greg had needed to divorce Kevin. He was done with Kevin and he was done with the Walkers in general. Kevin had served his purpose, when Greg was still struggling. Kevin had always been the one to work harder, work longer and give that extra effort.
But now that there was enough money, and his name was established, so there was no need to work so hard anymore and it was time to enjoy life somewhat. However, Greg may have reached that new stage in his life, but Kevin hadn't. So, it had been time to cut his losses and cut the ties with Kevin, who was only slowing him down.
He had expected that it would cost him half of everything, but in the end it hadn't been as bad as he had feared. Kevin had let him have their 2 houses, most the furniture and three of the four cars.
All he has asked for in return was a large chunk of the money 'to start over'. Greg had laughed out loud. The houses and cars were worth more than what Kevin asked. For a smart lawyer, Kevin had certainly made some stupid choices.
And Gregory assumes that Kevin didn't really have any plans to actually give up on Greg, but that he just wanted to 'fight back' in his own pathetic way. Wait until he realizes that Greg had a good reason to move from boring old Kevin to delicious Mark. Wait until Kevin sees Mark. He'll be so envious...
Gregory is still grinning as he opens up Facebook and starts scrolling down his timeline. But the grin slowly fades as he sees Nora's posts. And the pictures. And the mistletoe hanging over Kevin's head as he kisses another man...
Gregory blinks. He looks at the pictures. Nora only wrote 'wonderful family-time' with the pictures that shows the young stranger with Justin and Tommy, with Paige, Cooper and a snowman, with Julia and Tyler. And with Kevin. Just him and Kevin, apparently oblivious the fact that they're being photographed.
And there's two more pictures. One says 'The women of the family' and shows Nora, Kitty, Sarah, Julia, Tyler and Paige. The other one says 'the men of the family'.... It's shows them all in a huge fun-filled group. William, Tommy, Justin, Saul, Jonathan, Robert and Cooper ....
Kevin and that young man are nearly the centre of the group as if all the fun revolves around them. Kevin looks good. Kevin is more handsome than ever before. Kevin looks healthy. Kevin looks happy. Kevin is all smiles and laughter. And Greg is not sure that he's still looking forward to tonight.
Confused, Gregory scrolls on. He tries to forget what he just saw, but then he returns to Nora's posts. They are undeniably there. Greg closes his laptop, suddenly unable to look at the pictures any longer. What he expected will not happen. Kevin seems to have moved on.... Greg still can't believe it.
Scotty opens the door to the bedroom and he's glad to see that Kevin isn't in. He slowly sits down on the bed, glad that he can finally process the offer from Saul and Jonathan in silence. A thousand thoughts and questions tumble around in his head. The biggest one being: should he accept this?
Saul had sat him down. He had told Scotty that he and Jonathan owned Café 429, something Scotty hadn't known. He had explained how it had all started with Jonathan and Saul looking for something fun to do to counter their hard work at their respective offices. They had taken cooking-classes for fun.
However, they discovered that the more they learned, the more they wanted to learn. And also they wanted to use what skills they had learned and somehow family and friends were no longer sufficient. They needed more. Nora had jokingly suggested that they'd start their own restaurant.
What had started as a joke, became an idea. They carefully played with it, and it had still taken several years to muster the courage to quit their jobs and start something on their own. It had lead to Café 429, which had turned into the most important object in their lives.
They had created a precious diamond, one they wanted to give to him ... in time, when he was ready... And that is too much for Scotty to comprehend. Why him? They swore up and down that it was not because of Kevin. But apparently he had passed their test this afternoon... But all he had done was follow their lead...
It would be hard work, they had said. Scotty knows that he wouldn't mind to work hard, but what about Kevin? Kevin might want to have a boyfriend who's home more often... This is however everything Scotty could have dreamed of, would Kevin really make trouble for him?
Then the memory of the first evening with Kevin, at Café 429, comes back. The place had looked so beautiful and warm and clean and ... wonderful... Scotty fears he couldn't do it justice... but if he wouldn't try, he would definitely not succeed.... 'It's too much' his head tells him. 'Take it' his heart tells him.
"Hey! Heard my uncles talked to you?" Kevin barges in, startling Scotty.
"Yes. They did."
"Will you do it?"
"I'd love to, but ... what if I'm no good enough?"
"Trust me, by the time they're done with you, you will be."
"What about you?"
"Me? I'm not going to work for Café 429. I stick to being a lawyer. A lot safer for everyone." Kevin jokes.
"I mean, if I take this, I'll have to work hard. I may not have much time to be with you?"
"Well, then we'll have to make the moments that we are together count, don't we?"
"You really think it will be that easy?" Scotty asks, wondering if Kevin sincere. Kevin recognizes that Scotty needs more than snappy answers
He sits down next to Scotty.
"No. It won't be easy. It will ask a lot. From both of us. But I believe we can make this work."
"You don't?" Kevin asks. The question surprises Scotty. "I'll be there for you. And so will my family be. So, between us we have a house, two cars, enough money and a large family-size safety-net. It's all we need. The family will be there for both of us. No, it won't be easy... but it will be doable." Kevin says.
When Kevin and Scotty descend the stairs most of the family is already gathered. Justin whistles when he sees them.
"Wow, you guys have clearly decided to make the rest of us look like Neanderthals who just crawled out of their caves...." Jonathan smiles.
Both men are impeccably dressed. Scotty in the blue-grey suit that Kevin had bought for him earlier. If Scotty had loved the suit in the store, he feels even better in it now and his confidence shows. He seems even taller than usual. Kevin's grey suit catches everyone's attention as well. It makes the men look amazingly well as a couple.
"We all look great." Nora points out with a proud nod. "Come on, let's go to the party and show them that we're a united family and that no one can bring us down."
"Sounds like a plan to me." William nods. "To our cars...!" He announces.
They all go the barn where the cars are and where they decide how to fit the 15 of them in 3 cars. Or if they'll take the 4th car too.
"Who's driving back home tonight?" Robert asks. "Justin? William?"
"Naturally. I'm not drinking." Justin, Tyler, Tommy and Julia decide on one car, taking Cooper with them. William drives the second car with Nora, Saul, Jonathan and Paige. Robert looks disappointed. He had hoped that someone else would drive tonight.
"I'll drive." Kevin says, upon seeing Robert's face.
"Knowing you, Kitty and Sarah? Unlikely." Robert grins.
"I'm turning over a new page." Kevin says.
"Nice try." Robert still doesn't believe it though.
"Give me the keys. I'll drive. I hate drinking alcohol anyway." Scotty says. Robert hesitates for a second, but then hands Scotty the keys to his car.
And with Robert, Kitty, Sarah and Kevin with him in the car, Scotty drives off as well. He's partially tensed because he's driving Robert's rather expensive car, and partially because they'll finally face Greg and Mark.
END OF CHAPTER ELEVEN