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.
The large gymnastic-hall of the town has been turned into a beautiful and festive room. Large Christmas-decorations filled with lights hang from the ceiling. Along the walls are large tables filled with food. It starts with the trays with the appetizers that Nora, Saul, Jonathan and Scotty have made.
But there's are also tables with vegetable-soup and tomato-soup. There are trays with sausages and hamburgers that are being made outside on barbecues and brought in, hot and fresh. There's a huge 'salad-bar' (tupperware-boxes filled with vegetables) and even a seafood section. Scotty takes it all in with eyes wide open.
There are large tables and smaller ones. Most have family-names on them. Yet, no one is seated yet, because not everyone has arrived yet. The music isn't too loud so people can have normal conversations and there's chatter everywhere. The Walkers run into neighbors, say hello left and right and exchange the latest news and gossip.
They introduce Scotty to neighbors as Kevin's new partner as if it's the most normal thing in the world and if anyone would have issues with a gay couple they know better than to discuss this with the Walkers. Kevin doesn't leave Scotty's side and grins at the appreciative looks that Scotty gets.
And Kevin has to admit that Scotty looks very handsome and sophisticated. He clearly leaves a positive impression with the people he meets, he's kind and polite, offers the women he meet a smile and a compliment where he can, especially with the Ladies Jackson, McCord and Winter, which leaves the three gossip-sharks to nearly faint with delight.
Maybe it's his years of working as a waiter, but he has a knack for knowing exactly how to deal with people. And though he's at Kevin's side, Scotty knows that he's being judged for how he behaves, by people who are important to the Walkers and to Kevin. Neighbours, friends and people they do business with in the small community.
And, as much as Scotty would hate to admit it, it's a testament to the many times his mother had drilled manners into him. He almost automatically defaults to that little nagging voice in his head that sounds familiarly like his mother. Smile. Behave. Make compliment. Be attentive. Don't slouch. Smile. Smile. Smile.
Aside from this, he's also aware of two sets of eyes burning on his back. Scotty has seen Mark from the corner of his eye when they had entered. And he has guessed that the sour-looking man next to Mark must be Greg, but he and Kevin have so far managed to ignore them openly.
The Walkers move to the table that has their name on in and proceed to find a place to sit down, when William deals out a wonderful insult to Gregory.
"Scotty, here, take this chair next to me." He says with a warm inviting voice. Though Scotty notices a slight shock in the group he has no idea why.
He quickly gives Kevin an inquiring look, but Kevin only smiles and motions Scotty to sit down next to his father, while he takes the seat next to Scotty.
"Is everything alright?" Scotty quickly whispers to Kevin, still not sure that he hadn't committed some faux pas.
"No. Private joke. Dad never wanted Greg anywhere near him. The fact that he invites you to sit next to him, will most likely not sit well with Greg." Kevin grins. Scotty nods that he gets it. Meanwhile Saul moves to the microphone to officially open the party. He clears his throat and the noise dies down.
"Good evening, everyone. It's good to see that once again so many of you have found your way here, looking handsome and pretty as every year. As usual it's an open buffet. We can take what we want and as often as we want. There is more than enough for everyone.
I would like to thank the Burgess, the Smiths, the McCords and the Reeses in particular. As our local butcher, baker, fish store and greengrocer we couldn't have done this without their help...." There's a loud applause. "... I also wish to say thank you to the Raven-family of our local ice-cream parlor for creating 4 different mouth-watering desserts."
Again the applause is deafening. But Saul goes on:
"Our thanks also goes out the many volunteers who helped to set up everything for the party tonight..." Considering that almost everyone volunteered, there's even more applause and stomping of feet.
"I'm told that our local DJ will once again help us burn the calories after dinner. He was a great success last year. We can only hope that he will surprise again this year...." The applause is somewhat quieter, but still genuine. "And I wish to say thank you to the newest member of our family.
Scotty Wandell is not just Kevin's new partner, but will also, in the long run, take over Café 429 from us. It has taken us a long time to find someone we considered suitable and we've finally found him. You will hopefully see more of him and be able to enjoy his cooking in the years to come."
William and Kevin push Scotty to stand up and accept the applause. Beet-red and clearly shy, Scotty accepts it with grace, but he's very relieved to be able to sit down again. From the other side of the table he can see Tommy and Justin raise their glasses to him. A silent compliment and he's more than happy to take it.
Less happy, at the other side of the room, Gregory goes from one bad surprise to the next. He had planned to shine here, but the memory of the posts on Facebook had put him in bad mood. And despite the fact that Mark looks stunning in his suit, he doesn't have the same calm sophistication that Scotty has.
And no one has spoken to them that much, almost as if they were being ignored. Though this is unfair of Greg. He had never shown much interest for the people in this town and they haven't forgotten that. He was never popular, he was only tolerated because he was with Kevin, who is a Walker.
He's annoyed because he can't remember ever being introduced the same way Scotty is, conveniently forgetting here that he has always considered this Christmas-party as something silly, provincial and beneath him. He looks at Mark, whose eyes seem to be glued to Scotty.
"Is it really necessary that you're practically drooling over that guy?" He asks.
"I never knew that Scotty could look so good in suit. I mean, I'd seen him dress as a waiter several times, when he had to go to some fancy party, but this..."
"You know him?" Greg asks.
"He's my ex." Mark shrugs. Greg is astounded.
"Your ex?" he repeats.
"Yeah, I didn't know he was seeing someone else as well." Mark seems clearly happy for Scotty though and Greg gives him a foul look.
"Your ex is dating my ex... Who is that guy and what does he do for a living anyway?"
"Scotty is a waiter. He works part-time for a catering company and part-time for a cleaning company. At night he either caters or cleans."
"You're kidding me? What on Earth would Kevin do with a cleaner/waiter?"
Mark would love to point out that there are quite a few things he would love to do with Scotty right now, but he feels that now is not the right moment for silly jokes.
"Scotty is nice." He therefore says.
"Not that much is it, then?" Greg replies with a shrug.
"Scotty works hard for his money, he's nice. And he cares about people. And he's organized and...."
"Those are nice things when applying for a job." Greg points out. Mark is tempted to say that Scotty is whole lot better in bed than Greg is, but he wisely keeps his mouth shut.
He's already feeling that this is something he's not going to win and he's not even sure what the problem is. So what if Kevin is here with Scotty? Greg is here with him. And Mark has no ill feelings towards either Scotty or Kevin and he can't quite understand what Greg is so angry about.
As people start to fill their plates with food Mark can see Scotty heading over to a table as well. He takes the opportunity to quickly cross the room and move over to Scotty.
"Hi, Scotty." He says cheerfully.
"Mark." Scotty acknowledges his presence with a small nod of his head.
"I'm so surprised to see you here. I didn't know that you knew Kevin Walker."
"He works as a lawyer in one of the building I clean. We often talk." Scotty replies coolly.
"I see. Love at first sight?"
"Not really. He was married, I had a relationship... Or so we both thought."
The charming smile disappears from Mark's face.
"Look, I never meant to hurt your feelings." Mark says.
"Well, thank you. I feel so much better knowing that you cheated on me and broke up with me out of kindness. Really. Makes a lot of difference." Scotty reacts sarcastically.
"Please, Scotty, don't be like that. It took me quite some nerve to break up with you. I really loved you and I kept changing my mind about you all the time."
"Kevin and Greg took 4 months to get divorced. This means that you had 4 months to tell me you were in love with someone else."
Mark looks at Scotty's face, reading the anger and disappointment he had had refused to stick around for nearly two weeks earlier. He had simply unloaded everything on Scotty and he had been gone before Scotty had been able to reply. Mark doesn't like fighting or arguments, so he had avoided having one with Scotty.
"I don't want us to fight." He says softly. Scotty's face becomes somewhat softer. This is the Mark he knows.
"I know. That doesn't make the shit you dumped on me any easier to deal with. I was suddenly without a boyfriend, without one of my jobs and without a house...."
"Whoa! Wait! What are you talking about? Without a house? I've paid every month."
"Our landlord hadn't been paid in 4 months and I couldn't fork over that amount of money either and he didn't want to give me more time... He said he had tried to call you repeatedly but you never answered your phone. And he was done waiting for his money."
"But..." Mark looks completely lost. "I don't get it. I've given Greg a cheque every month to give to our landlord, because Greg had to be in town anyway."
"Did you ever ask him for the receipts like I told you to do?" Scotty had started asking for those because Mark would often pay in cash, when he had sold a painting.
"Greg is a former lawyer. I'm sure that..." Mark's voice trails off. He can remember that Greg had said something about considering it a waste of money that Mark would pay for an apartment where he didn't live anymore, now that he was living with Greg. But Mark had pointed out that it was the deal between Scotty and him.
He would pay the rent, Scotty would take care of the rest.... And he begins to realize that Scotty must think that somehow he hadn't kept his end of the deal.
"You have no receipts..." Scotty understands. "So, there's no proof that rent was paid." Scotty doesn't says more, but the accusation hangs between them.
"I'm going to talk to Greg." Mark says, his voice trembling with anxiety, because he sure hates to fight, but if someone wants a fight, he can get it.
"Yes, why don't you." Scotty nods, obviously not believing that Mark will actually confront Greg. At that moment Kevin joins them.
"Is everything alright?" He asks.
"Yes, Kev, nothing to worry about."
"I'm going to talk to Greg and fix this, I promise." Mark says with conviction.
"Don't bother. I've moved in with Kevin." Scotty lies.
"You have? ... Wait! What about my things? Where are they?" Mark asks.
"I don't know. I took what was mine, put it in my car and left. The rest is up to you, I suppose." Scotty says with a shrug. "Sorry, Mark, but you made your choice to be Greg. I'm not responsible for your belongings anymore. Take it up with Greg."
Mark is visibly shocked at Scotty's coldness and walks away. Scotty quickly turns to Kevin.
"Can I get in trouble because I left the apartment?" He asks, suddenly worried.
"No. The place was in Mark's name. If you left what was his, then he's responsible for his own belongings."
Scotty lets out a sigh of relief, but then realizes something else he said.
"I said that I had moved in with you, I know that it was presumptuous to assume..."
"I'm fine with that. In fact, I already wanted to suggest that, once we're back home, you move in with me permanently. You beat me to it." Kevin smiles.
"Really? You think we can do that? I mean, don't you want or need more time to get over Greg?" Scotty asks. Kevin sees Mark and Greg argue and he has to admit that seeing Greg leaves him stone-cold.
"Nah, I'm over him." Kevin grins, leaning in, nearly kissing Scotty, but then deciding it's too public.
"Kevin? I'm sometimes afraid we're moving too fast..." Scotty says softly, standing close to Kevin so only Kevin can hear him.
"Yes, me too, but... to be honest... I can't see how else we're supposed to do this. I don't want to waste another minute on them. I'd rather be with you."
Kevin would prefer to put action to his words, but at that moment Greg marches through the room, straight at Kevin. The look on his face prompt Tommy and Justin to put down their plates and move closer to Kevin, just in case Kevin needs defending. Greg grabs Kevin's arm and turns him around with quite some strength.
Tommy is about to step between them, but Kevin raises his hands and Justin grabs Tommy's arm to pull him back.
"Really? A waiter? That's the best you can come up with? That is so pathetic. You can't handle losing me and you think you can me jealous with a nobody like him?"
Greg points at Scotty and Kevin is ready to point out to Greg that Mark isn't all that either, but then he sees the angry look on Mark's face. And Kevin decides not to go after Mark.
"Let go of me." Kevin says in a low voice, twitching his arm out of Greg's grip. "And stop making a scene."
"I'll make a fucking scene if I have to." Greg shouts. More and more people now stop talking.
"You're not doing yourself any favors." Kevin points out. "I don't understand why you're making a scene. You're here with your new boyfriend, I am with mine. What is the problem?"
"You! You are the problem! Coming here with him.." He points at Scotty.
"Well, excuse me, but last time I checked I've been coming for nearly 35 years, because my family owns half this valley. And I know the people here from since I was a kid. The odd one out here is you and not me."
"What do you think that this will accomplish? Are you really so pathetic as to think that either of us would get jealous? Do you really think that we believe that your relationship is real? You never even spoke of him before!"
"You haven't spoken directly with me in 4 months. You have no idea what I've done, who I've been with..."
"I know you. You'd never just sleep with him. You were still hoping that you and I would get back together." There's so much certainty in Greg's voice, that Kevin can't help but laugh.
"Not exactly. Within a month after you had left, I finally got rid of the grip you had on me and my life. It was so wonderful to not have someone criticize me all the time. It was great to be with my family again. It was magnificent to meet up with old friends, those you thought were so beneath you. So, no, I do not want you back. Mark can have you.
And not that I owe you any explanation, but you were right, Scotty and I didn't happen straightaway. Because Scotty foolishly thought that he still had a boyfriend. But once Mark confessed that he was a cheater, there was nothing standing between Scotty and me anymore. I didn't know that his ex was my ex's new boy-friend. Nor do we care.
And I'm happy. And so is Scotty. I hope the two of you will be happy too. And if you're not, then it's your problem and not mine." Kevin makes an effort to leave the conversation at this, and walk away, but Greg decides to throw out one more low blow.
"I know the real reason for your so-called relationship with him. You're jealous because I'm happy with a younger lover..." Kevin slowly turns around, to face Greg again.
"Alright. Didn't want to discuss this in public, but since you're bringing up the subject of sex... You're right. It was an eye-opener.
I'm having much better sex now. Trust me, a vibrator that is low on batteries, has more life in it between the sheets than you do, so imagine the culture-shock I got when I was with Scotty and rediscovered how great sex could be. I pity Mark for the step back the poor guy had to take with you, but ... well, .. to each his own.
And now, the show is over, I'm going to eat and have fun and have a great time with Scotty, and my family and my friends. And if you don't like it.... Tough!" And this time Kevin does walk away, leaving Greg to just stand there looking like a fool, with an angry Mark behind him.
Scotty takes up a few appetizers, puts then on a dish and hands them to Greg, who, still a bit confused, takes the dish.
"I guess, sometimes size does matter, doesn't it?" Scotty says with the sweetest smile ever and a big fat wink, before taking his own already filled plate and following Kevin.
"I'm so sorry, that Greg was so rude about you." Kevin says, as he and Scotty walk up to Robert's car. The party is dying down, people are slowly leaving home and the Walkers are gathering themselves to get back to their cars, but every time someone is missing. And this time it's Robert who went looking for Kitty and Sarah.
"I'm fine." Scotty smiles. "I was glad though that he and Mark left nearly immediately after his fight with you, so he couldn't ruin the party even more."
"Me too. I was afraid he'd come back for more.... and was it just my impression or was Mark not entirely happy either?"
"No. I think that this night will have consequences..." Scotty nods.
"If they break up, Mark might want you back?"
"Sweet, but no thanks. Never again, I'd rather be alone then... What if Greg wants you back?"
"He can choke on that wish for all I care. I'm done too." Kevin can hear Scotty laugh. Scotty quickly looks around and pulls Kevin into the shadows near the wall.
"And what if I want you?" Scotty whispers, playing with the zipper of Kevin's coat.
"You can unwrap me once we get back to our room." Kevin grins sweetly.
"I have to wait that long?" Scotty pouts.
"Babe, it's way too cold...." Kevin is the voice of reason. " ... but I'll make the wait worth your while. Trust me." He kisses Scotty gently on the lips.
"Now where are Kevin and Scotty?" They can hear Robert ask.
"Here." They quickly join Robert who has found Kitty and Sarah and who has trouble getting the two drunk women in the back.
"You better get between them." Scotty says. "And keep them away from the doors... Right. Just like that." He slams the door closed. "I'll drive."
Both doors in the back are now closed, but Scotty grabs Kevin's arm before allowing Kevin to go back in.
"We will lock the bedroom-door, right?" He asks
"Naturally." Kevin answers.
"Okay... hey, Kev? ... This is the best Christmas I've ever had." Scotty pulls Kevin in for kiss before they have to split up again to drive back to the lodge.
"Merry Christmas." Kevin says, as the clock strikes midnight.
"Merry Christmas." Scotty replies.
END OF CHAPTER TWELVE