Character(s) involved: Scotty/Robert/Julia
Disclaimer: Brothers & sisters is totally someone else’s idea, I admit. But this little thing comes from my own warped mind. Not written for money, just light entertainment.
Summary: The Walkers are arguing again…..
Spoilers: none, I think
The door closed behind him and Scotty let out a sigh of relief. He loved Kevin, he loved the Walkers individually. He got along with Tommy and Julia. The dinners with Robert and Kitty had been amicable. Going out with Justin and Rebecca was fun. He adored Sarah. He envied Kevin for having such a wonderful mother in Nora and he was so grateful that she had accepted him as ‘another son’ and embraced him with as much love as she did Julia, Robert and Rebecca.
But there was something about putting them in ONE room, that was simply asking for trouble. What was it about them that drew them to large quantities of alcohol like moths to a flame? What was it that made it impossible for them not to argue about something, … anything?
This night had been nice, until Tommy had made some favorable remark about Holly, that lead to an unkind remark from Sarah, to Justin reminding Sarah that Holly was Becca’s mother, Rebecca agreeing with Sarah about her mother and disagreeing with Justin and , Nora trying to look at things ‘from both sides’ and an eventual attempt from Kitty and Kevin to ‘negotiate a truce’ squashed by Tommy and Sarah.
And it lead to him slipping into the kitchen. He knew better than to get involved. He wanted to stay out of it.
“.. and they’re off again.” A voice behind him said. Scotty looked up as Robert brought in some plates, obviously looking for a reason of his own to ‘escape’ the battle-zone behind the door.
“Why am I not surprised? Scotty replied cynically.
“What is it about them that every dinner has to either implode or explode?” Robert wondered.
“They are Walkers, they don’t need a reason.” Scotty smiled. “And we are the fools that got sucked into their world.”
“Wouldn’t want to miss it,….”
“… but I could do with a little less of the arguing though.”
“I agree.” Robert said and a little smile curled around Scotty’s lips. It was good to know they at least had an understanding about this.
“Is Julia also coming this way?”
“No, she had this sudden urge to go upstairs and check on Lizzie.” Robert answered.
“Yes, children have their advantages.”
“If you say so.”
Robert watched Scotty clean up plates and glasses with a speed and firmness that showed that he was used to it. The dishwasher got filled almost on automatic pilot. After the noise and arguing in the other room, the quiet kitchen is like a peaceful sanctuary.
Robert puts the table-ware closer to Scotty, so Scotty doesn’t have to walk up and down all the time. For one moment they make eye-contact and he sees Scotty say ‘thank you’ without really hearing it. With one sink and one dish-washer, they could easily be in each other’s way, but Robert is aware that Scotty knows his way around Nora’s kitchen better than he does and he stays out of Scotty’s path.
Silence falls between them. Not an unpleasant one, but one that shows that they live in different places and have different backgrounds. It is easier with Kevin and Kitty around them. The discussions are usually between Robert, Kitty and Kevin, but Robert has to admit that he rarely talks to and with Scotty.
Scotty clears his throat and Robert looks at him.
“Have you heard from Jason lately?” Scotty asks and Robert blinks a few times. Kevin has avoided the topic of Jason. The other Walkers rallied with Kevin. Showing no anger or hatred towards Jason, but not exactly being sympathetic either. But Scotty’s question seems asked with a genuine interest and Robert is surprised by the directness that Scotty uses.
“Yes, he is doing alright. He has his own congregation back, but his experience in Malaysia has changed him…. He seems to be happy though.” Robert answers carefully. He can’t judge how much Scotty really wants to know.
“Is he… still single?” Obviously Scotty is interested.
“Not sure. He seemed a bit more relaxed, last time I saw him. Very cheerful. So I hope he found someone, but isn’t ready to talk about it yet. I mean, after Kevin dumped him..…” Robert sees Scotty sudden guarded attitude, but it doesn’t stop him from finishing: “… he was so hurt that I really wondered if he’d get over it.”
“There was a lot pain going around.” Scotty replies diplomatically.
“Yes.” Robert conceded, not wanting an argument with Scotty. “Jason told me. He completely missed with his relationship with Kevin.” Scotty didn’t reply. He didn’t want to offend Robert, he no longer had problems with Jason or any other lover in Kevin’s past. Kevin’s ring is on his finger, Kevin married him in front of everyone, Kevin made a choice. A choice, Scotty knew, he had not made lightly.
The door opens and Julia walks in, holding Lizzie’s bottle of water.
“Are they still fighting?” is the first thing she asks.
“Yup. Scotty and I decided to stay here and out of the firing range.”
“I can imagine Scotty not wanting to get dragged into a conflict again.” Julia smiled.
“I’m walking away!” Scotty laughed, holding up his hands.
Robert looked from one to the other, not understanding the joke that passed between them and Julia, with a quick look at Scotty, explained:
“When we were at the Ojai ranch, the very last time, Tommy and I asked Kevin to be our … donor, since Tommy is sterile. Kevin refused and it led to some heavy arguing around the table and Sarah dragged Scotty into it and Kevin was rude to Scotty, Scotty left and it resulted in their break up.”
“I guess, I wasn’t entirely used to a family putting their hearts and minds on the table like that.” Scotty said apologetic. “My parents …. Never argued much. They retreated in silence. My mother always felt my father was too lenient with me, my father thought my mom was too rigid. And I was caught in the middle and wanted both of them to stop.” Though Scotty shrugged, it was obvious that it left some deep scars. Robert looked at Scotty and replied:
“I can’t say I’m used to it either. My mom and dad never disagreed. And Jason and I learned very quickly that when your parents speak, you shut up. And if your parents don’t speak, you still shut up. Unless you were spoken to and needed to answer, of course. My mom was the sweetest, but to keep the peace, she would easily agree with my father.
When my father died, my mom became easier with that rule. But Jason never really grew out of it. Silence is very normal thing for him. I prefer heavy debate. I think the silences of my youth made me want to speak up.” Robert smiled apologetic. And Scotty turned away to hide the smile on his face as he remembered Kevin telling him that Jason’s silences would drive him nuts, because he would wonder what it was he said or done wrong to make Jason angry at him.
“With us, we would usually just trip over each other in telling what happened in our lives. I always chattered, my dad always had interesting things to tell, my mom always had something happening to her or one of her friends.” Julia’s soft voice was filled with tenderness as she talked about her parents. And Scotty felt envious that he could not feel the same about his parents.
He sighed as Julia peeked into the room.
“What’s the score?” Robert asked.
“Not sure. The dust has not entirely settled. But I don’t see Rebecca anymore.”
“She usually ‘hides’ in the garden.” Robert knew by now. Scotty nodded to that.
At that moment the door swung open and Nora came in.
“Scotty! Robert! Julia! What are you doing in here? The dinner is over there in the other room. Now, I’m getting the desserts, would you please go back to your seats and stop doing all the work? … Off you go!” She chased them out of the kitchen. Scotty smiled as he saw Robert’s face and after an ‘after you’ sign with his hand he followed Robert back into the dinner-room, with Julia right behind him…