Disclaimer: written with love, not for money
Summary: Kevin shows Scotty that he can be just a friend (Set between 2.07 and 2.08)
“You’re leaving?” Kevin asks, seeing Scotty looking all dressed up for a night out.
“Yeah… I … I have a date.” Scotty smiles nervously.
“Really? With who?”
“No one you’d know.”
“That’s okay. How did you meet him? How long has this been going on?” Kevin asks.
“It’s no big deal… The other day, three of our waiters were sick, and because they know that I have experience as a waiter, they asked me to step in… At the bar I met this guy… I thought he looked kinda cute. It seemed he felt the same way about me…”
Scotty moves his hands about as if his words should be enought to explain the whole story and Kevin can’t help but grin. Apparently Scotty isn’t ready to talk about it.
“I hope you have a great night.” He manages to say with just enough sincerity. “Is he coming to pick you up?”
“No. I agreed to meet with him at the Northern Lights…” Scotty smiles. “At least we’ll have good coffee before we go any further….”
“Good luck.” Kevin nods. Scotty’s smile seems to be a happy one and he leaves Kevin’s apartment.
For a moment, Kevin has no idea what to do. In fact, since that night, when he and Tommy had helped Justin to get off the drugs, and where he had confessed to Tommy that his relationship with Jason was rather non-existent, he feels a bit in limbo on what to do with the rest of his life.
Despite several messages to Jason, Jason still hasn’t contacted him and Kevin is starting to feel a little lost. He fills his time with work, worrying about Justin, having dinner with Nora or Tommy and occasionally his free hours coincide with Scotty’s, so he has Scotty to talk to, but still he feels lonely.
He picks up his phone and, after a moment’s hesitation, he calls Jason again. Again he can hear the same old tape, followed by the usual beep.
“Hi, Jase, it’s Kevin… Sorry I didn’t call yesterday. It had been such a busy day, I fell asleep on the couch…
Justin is doing good. He’s still clean. I won’t complain about your brother…” Kevin tries to put a smile in his voice. “… I have accepted the fact that I will have a Republican for a brother-in-law… In general, my family is fine…. Ahm… I’d really like to hear from you… I miss your voice… That answering machine is not enough…”
He doesn’t know what else to say. He feels too disconnected from Jason. He can’t even bring himself to make his ‘Goodbye’ sound less depressing. Kevin puts his phone in place and looks around. The urge to get out of the apartment is enormous, but he has nowhere to go.
He’s tired of all the problems that Nora, Sarah, Kitty, Tommy and Justin have. He just wants some time to himself. Perhaps he should get something to eat and drink outside his house. He has even given up hope that Jason will call him… Suddenly feeling annoyed, Kevin gets up, grabs his coat and keys and he leaves.
Kevin hesitates, wondering if he should go in or not. He has no idea why he had so desperately wanted to go ‘The Northern Light’ as well. Though he believes that Scotty will be long gone by now, if Scotty is still there, he wouldn’t want Scotty to think that he’s spying on him.
On the other hand, the terrace is big enough, so Scotty wouldn’t have to see him. He can easily go to the other side and take a table far away from Scotty. His eyes scan the place for where Scotty is sitting. Much to his surprise, Scotty is still sitting alone, coffee in front of him, his finger drawing circles around the cup.
“Scotty?” Kevin approaches Scotty’s table.
“Kev?” Scotty seems surprised to see him.
“I’m sorry. I thought you’d be long gone…”
“Yes, me too… but… he’s not coming…”
“Did he say why?”
“Something came up. I don’t know. Maybe he had to wash his hair or something…” Scotty tries to joke. Kevin nods that he gets it. No definite reason, just something vague and unconvincing. And Scotty is hurt, he can see that.
“Mind if I join you?”
“No. Not at all.” Scotty says, but his heart isn’t entirely in it.
“I’m not spying on you. Or stalking you. I just…. I called Jason, and after that, I just had this urge to get out of the place….
It’s been a while since I’ve been here. I came here often with you… And later on I’d meet Chad here… and when you mentioned the place… I got curious to see what it looks like these days and, like I said before, I thought you’d be long gone.”
“It’s fine. Last time I checked this is still a free country.” Scotty says. It’s calm but not inviting.
“I’m sorry your plans fell through, but … maybe we can do something together? Go to a movie? Or a play? Or.. I don’t know… something?”
“No thanks.” Scotty shakes his head.
“Come on Scotty… I don’t want to sit home alone either…” Kevin’s voice is soft.
Scotty looks up at him, seemingly annoyed.
“This isn’t about you, this is about me.” He says. “I really wanted to have this date. I thought he was interested in me. I looked forward to this… And I’m happy for you. And Jason. I really am… so don’t take this the wrong way….
But, right now, I’m not in the mood to listen to you go on and on about ‘The Amazing Jason McCallister’…” Scotty makes quotation-marks in the air. “… My pride is hurt…. I’m hurt… I just want to be miserable and feel bad without having to babysit on your feelings.”
The moment his words leave his mouth he regrets them. He can see that Kevin is taken aback. He bites his lower lip.
“I’m sorry, Kev. I really am. I don’t want to be catty, but… right now, I can’t handle your happiness versus my being stood up, okay?”
Kevin remains seated for a few seconds and Scotty is really worried that he might have offended Kevin to no end, but then Kevin nods.
“Fair enough. I’ll make you a deal. I will not discuss the topic of Jason… I swear. We will not discuss our love-lives… or rather: the lack thereof.
I’ll take you out to dinner or something and we will talk about anything else. The weather, for instance… with what we had this week… rain, drizzle, more rain, more drizzle, I’m sure we’ll have plenty to discuss…. And there’s politics… though Robert has pretty much staked his claim on discussing that with me…
We can always talk about our jobs, my place, your friends, my car… your Ranchero… And if we really run out of topics.. I’ll talk about my family….” Kevin promises, grinning and making it sound like a deal too impossible to pass up on. Scotty can’t help but laugh. He remembers how much he had used to like it when Kevin got sarcastic.
“Okay, any other topic… And, let’s avoid talking about your family, or we’ll be up all night…” Scotty laughs sweetly and Kevin is clearly not insulted.
“Good!” Kevin agrees. “then I’ll first take you to one of my favorite places ‘The Moldy Hamburger’….”
“The what?” Scotty laughs.
“I’m sure the place has a proper name, but if you really want to feel miserable tonight, I will make you feel miserable. The hamburgers there are fat and, I’m never entirely sure if they’re fresh or if the cook just scrapes off the mold before preparing it.”
“Gross!” Scotty’s smile becomes even bigger. He doesn’t believe Kevin.
“The coffee is made out of melted rubber and you’ll never have to worry about the salad they serve, it’s usually already mummified by the time they serve it..” Kevin is clearly exaggerating and Scotty laughs out loud.
The place where Kevin has taken him to, is nice, cozy and gives off the air of a family place. They serve simple food and contrary to Kevin’s earlier depictions the hamburger is tasty, the coffee hot and delicious and the salad crisp and fresh.
“They must have changed the menu… Or owners…” Kevin mumbles in explanation.
“I’m glad. I got worried about my health there.”
“Sorry, no five star restaurant tonight.” Kevin then says. Scotty shrugs.
“It’s okay. I love this too. It’s good food and well prepared. Besides, I’m kinda done with salmon, caviar and quail anyway.”
As promised, Kevin doesn’t talk about Jason at all, and it’s not even as hard as he feared it might be. Their conversation flows naturally from one subject to the next. They tease, they ask, they listen to each other and slowly this same old feeling of togetherness comes back to both of them.
They have huge ice-creams for desert and they let it follow by coffee.
“I don’t think I could eat or drink any other thing…” Scotty smiles, leaning back and rubbing his stomach and belly. “… or I’ll explode.”
"I'm glad you had a good time." Kevin says.
"I had more than a good time. It almost felt like we used to be when we still together. You know, ... we'd talk about just anything, have fun, laugh..." Scotty stops mid-sentence and Kevin knows why.
"I remember the rest of those nights as extremely interesting as well."
For a second their eyes meet and they both know that Kevin is talking about the hot sex they used to have. They both look away. Kevin plays with his coffee-cup. Scotty stares out the window. The silence hangs between them, but it's not really an uncomfortable one.
"We... We had good times too, didn't we? I mean, I wasn't always the easiest person to be with, but... it wasn't all bad, was it?" Kevin's voice is hesitant. Scotty shakes his head.
"No, it wasn't all bad. Most of it was actually pretty good." Scotty places his hand on Kevin's to stop him from fiddling with the coffee-cup.
Their fingers entangle for a few seconds, but then they break free again, both aware that it's not appropriate.
"Kev, I had a wonderful night, but I'm exhausted and I really want to go...." Home. Except Kevin's place is not his home. "... back to your place."
"Will you be working long?" Scotty asks. He really wants to get some sleep, but with the air-mattress in the living-room and Kevin needing his desk and light, there's not much chance for Scotty to get some sleep early if Kevin plans to keep working. But Kevin shakes his head.
"I'm taking the file with me to the bedroom and read it there. Like that, you can get some sleep and if I'm tired, all I have to do is just shove everything aside, turn of the light and close my eyes." He replies. Scotty gives him a grateful smile.
"Goodnight." He says as Kevin prepares to take his briefcase with him.
Scotty walks over to Kevin and he gives Kevin a little kiss on the cheek.
"Thank you. For tonight. .. I'm glad we're friends." Scotty smile is sweet and Kevin raises his hand to just caress Scotty's cheek with the back of his fingers.
"I'm glad we're friends too."
Kevin can feel it in his stomach. He just wants to lean in and kiss Scotty. It would be an easy line to cross, Kevin realizes, they're so close. But he'd be ruin the friendship between them. Worse, Scotty might leave again and right now he desperately needs Scotty to stay in his life. With all his strength he manages to turn away from Scotty.
"Goodnight. Sleep well." He says and he leaves the room with as much calm dignity as he can master. Scotty remains in the living-room. He could have sworn for a few seconds that Kevin was about to kiss him. And if Scotty is honest with himself he'd have to admit that a kiss, or more, wouldn't be unwelcome.
This realization makes him nervous. He quickly undresses and prepares for the night, but the thought of wanting Kevin to kiss him, doesn't go away that easily. Yet he knows that it would be wrong. It could only lead to heart-break. Kevin is in love with someone else and Scotty is trying to make his own life better.
They're just friends. That's it. That's all there must be to it. He takes a deep breath and lies down. He adjusts his alarm. He turns off the light and he vows that he will try to put Kevin out of his mind and focus on his work, instead of on some romance that cannot happen.
He'll have a busy week ahead and he will need his sleep. There's a wedding-party with over a 100 guests and later this week some chi-chi children's party. Mermaid-theme. Scotty turns to his side and he considers how silly it actually is. Who on earth throws their kid a birthday-party with lobster and champagne anyway?