About: The whole gang
Disclaimer: Absolutely NO idea where this inspiration came from, because I haven't seen/read any of the 10 million variations on the topic. Written with love, and for fun, not for money.
Summary: Kevin Walker is a man without much feelings… Oh, and there are some ghosts, something or other about Christmas and then there's his handsome assistant Scotty Wandell…. Other than that, not many surprises and you can probably guess the ending too. But ... whatever... It's Christmas, right? ;)
Oh, yeah, it's an AU so characters can be different than you'd expect. And it's completely bogus, not meant to be consistent and so allow for some 'artistic freedom'. I've written this in 4 days, so I might have the lost the plot here and there. :D
“I’m sorry, but Christmas or not, you’ll have to pay your bills and if not, I’ll have no choice but to take other measures.” Kevin Walker’s threatens on the phone. For some reason people always seem to think that Christmas is a reason to shy away from taking responsibility for their actions.
The door of the office opens and a young man gets swept in, together with a gust of cold wind.
“You’re 7 minutes late, Mr. Wandell.” Kevin can barely look up from this computer.
“I know, my car wouldn’t start…” Scotty starts.
“You could have known that it would take more time to get here. You could have left earlier. I did. I was on time.” Kevin points out. Scotty opens his mouth to say something, but he realizes that it’s pointless to talk to Kevin.
“Yes, Mr. Walker.”
“Computer is slow again.”
“That’s what you get for working with Vista.”
“Are you asking for an upgrade? Again?”
“No, Sir. Just saying that a more recent computer might work better.”
“Nothing wrong with the ones we have.”
“They’re 10 years old.”
“And still working.”
“Yes, Mr. Walker.” Scotty’s too tired for this and he doesn’t get paid enough to care.
As usual the thermostat gets turned off at around three in the afternoon, so by four thirty Scotty can really not feel his fingers anymore. He wishes he could be home and get a hot bath and just defrost his feet somewhat. He wonders for the millionth time why he continues to work for Mister Walker anyway.
Then Kevin walks in, glasses on the tip of his nose and a stern look on his face, and the butterflies in Scotty's stomach remind him of why he stays. He can't help it, he's totally in love with the man. For God-knows-what reason he fell in love with the Mr. Walker from the first time he saw him and that was 4 years ago.
Since then he's been working his ass off for that slave-driver. It's absurd that a man as rich as Kevin Walker would be so on the penny but what could be done about it? Scotty does question his feelings more and more. How can he fall in love with a man who is this cold and uncaring?
The door opens and a young man enters. Scotty smiles. He immediately recognizes Jason McCallister, the minister at the local church. Jason gives him a quick nod to acknowledge that he has seen Scotty, but turns his attention to Kevin Walker.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Walker." Jason says politely.
"What do you want? Come to pay me the rent for the orphanage? You're already two months late…"
"I know. I was hoping to rely on your kindness and give us some extra time to come up with the payment..."
"What am I? The Salvation Army? If you don't pay before the end of this month I'll have you evicted by the 1st of January."
"But we have nearly 40 children in our care. Where would we go?"
"You should have thought about that before you took in those brats."
"They are not brats. And that house is all we have. I know we're late, we're trying, but Christmas is coming and we would like to give the children a few little gifts for under the tree... We need just a little more time. There's a charity-event coming up in January...."
"December 31st is your last day. Or you're out."
"Mr. Walker! Please!" Jason begs. Scotty's heart nearly breaks.
"No." Unwaveringly Kevin practically shows Jason the door. Scotty quickly checks his books, trying not to show how shocked he is and as he sees Jason walk away, shoulders slumping in distress and he feels too upset for words.
"Mr. Walker? I wanted to leave 15 minutes earlier today. I still have to pick up a gift and..."
"15 minutes earlier? But you already came in late this morning. I will deduct an hour from your wages, I'm not paying you good money to just do nothing..."
Scotty is tempted to lash out that he was only 7 minutes late this morning and that it's ridiculous to take one whole hour off his wages for missing out 22 minutes. This while he is almost never late. Usually he's early and stays longer than 5 o'clock. Instead, he bites his tongue and he starts clearing his desk. The phone rings and Kevin picks up.
"Hello, mother. No I won't be there... No, I don't care.... Sarah's kids are brats anyway. I have never seen, nor do I need to see Elizabeth. And I heard from Kitty that Tommy got fired. I'm sure, that if I would come, he will ask me to borrow him money and I won't help that moron anymore. He'd better get another job... I don't care if he's wrongly accused... He's not my problem."
Scotty tries not to listen in, but it's hard. If he would still have family he'd treasure them and not treat them so bad. Unfortunately his parents are no longer alive. He can hear Kevin slam down the phone. He gets up.
"I wish you a merry Christmas, Mr. Walker." He says stiffly.
But Kevin waves him away, impatiently, while re-checking his books.
"I hope you will have a great time." Scotty tries again. Kevin looks at him.
"It's all a load of nonsense, fake joyfulness, hypocrisy at the highest level and a total waste of everyone's time. I'll be glad when it's over."
Scotty gets up and leaves the office. The snow has started to fall and he's cold to the bone. And he's tired. And he's in love. And it hurts to be in love. He looks behind him at the windows of the office where he works. He sees one small figure, half in the dark to save on the energy-bill. He feels a little lost.
He would love to drag that man home and just love him, but he knows it wouldn't be appreciated. Sometimes he wonders what could have made him such a cold person, but he'll never get an answer... Maybe he should seriously reconsider his future and accept the advice of his friends and go look for another job. One that brings him more joy.
Kevin enters his house. It's a huge place, with more rooms and bathrooms than he cares to remember, but most of the house is dark and empty. He enters the hall and goes straight to the left where his kitchen is. His whole living-space exists of the kitchen, a small bathroom and large room that functions as bedroom, study and library for all his books.
Some people may think it's strange that one man lives in such a spacious house, but for him it makes sense. He bought it 10 years ago of his business-partner, Browne Carter, when the man got in financial problems and could no longer pay his medical bills. Back then, the house had been the most beautiful house that Kevin had ever seen.
It had been tastefully decorated, every room had a wonderful symmetry and this warm feeling due to the lovely colors that had been picked by Carter's wife. And the house had shown that they had had money to spend. They had been a golden couple. All luxury and style. That is: until he got terminally sick.
That is when Mrs Carter found out that she loved spending her husband's money but that she wasn't interested in nursing a sick man. She divorced him, took most of his money and left with a lot of possessions in tow. And Carter had begged Kevin to buy the house so she wouldn't get her greedy claws into that one as well.
So, now the luxurious couches are covered in white drapes. The beds have been cleared, the sheets and duvets stuck in the closets. None of the bathrooms have been cleaned in years. The rooms remain empty and unused. The doors are all locked and the entire house feels like a ghost-house. Not that Kevin is afraid of ghosts. He lacks the imagination for that.
Kevin doesn't care much about how the house has withered away. He likes that he has one of the most expensive houses in town. He had bought it for a fair price. Then, to annoy his family, Carter had made Kevin inherit what remained of Carter's possessions. It all there had been enough money to cover Carter's medical bills and funeral.
There had been a time where he had been proud of his good purchase, but then he realized that some people just felt that he had 'stolen' the house from Browne. On top of that, people hadn't been too impressed with the cheap yet adequate funeral Kevin had arranged and it had made him bitter. People always complain and expect everything for nothing.
Kevin turns on one of the small lights in the kitchen. He has just enough light to not have to bump into things. One meal travels from the freezer to the micro-wave and while he waits for the ping, he turns on his TV. Another good buy. Bought it from his brother Tommy when he needed cash. He had paid not even half of what it was worth. But Tommy desperately needed the money.. So, yes, a good buy.
The news offers him the latest messages from the world around him as he slowly and meticulously eats his dinner in front of the tv. Not a crump gets lost and after the rather bland meal, he eats his dessert. As usual he has bought the cheapest yoghurt he could find, this time because it's over its expiration date, but still eatable.
As the night falls he moves to his chair in the living room.. well, the room where he does the rest of his living outside the kitchen. His bed is in the corner, waiting for him, but he's not tired enough yet. And, strictly against his usual routine, he takes half a glass of bourbon that he had inherited from Carter. It is Christmas after all, why not be extravagant?
He tries to read his book in his chair, but the heating is turned down low and it's getting chilly in the room. He undresses himself and goes to bed, where it's warmer anyway. With his book in front of him and his bourbon close, he tries to pick up where he left off with his book, but his eyes fall shut and his chin sinks to his chest....
BANG!! BANG!! BANG!! The noise is so loud that Kevin nearly falls out of bed.
"What the....?" He pushes aside his duvet and grabs his gun. He's ready for whomever is stupid enough to enter his house. But then something lights up the room and much to his amazement he can see a silhouette appear through his door. His closed door.
His eyes widen. He has no idea what is going on. He turns around back to his bed, but he has to realize that his glass of Bourbon is still mostly untouched, so he can't be drunk.
"Carter? Browne Carter?" He asks.
The silhouette now takes shape and it is indeed Browne Carter, his late business partner. His face looks awfully white with lines of old age running criss-cross over this his face. On his wrists are cuffed and on those cuffs he can see large chains that Brown has to drag behind him wherever he goes.
"W-w-what are you doing here?" Kevin wonders, afraid and curious at the same time.
"I come to warn you-ou-ou..." Carter howls.
"Tonight... You shall be visited by three ghosts...." Carter starts.
"Why?" Kevin asks. Carter seems a bit puzzled by the question. He's not used to people asking questions.
"Well, because... you will be visited by three ghosts... Don't interrupt me again..."
"You're excused. So, tonight, you shall be visited by three ghosts..."
"You already said that... alright, sorry... move on..." Kevin quickly apologizes after a death-stare from Carter.
"The ghost of Christmas Past, the ghost of Christmas Present and the ghost of Christmas Future."
"Why would they do that?" Kevin wonders.
"Because you are at the risk of turning out to be like me."
"Why would that be bad? I've always strived to be more like you."
"Kevin, it's not that easy. What is fair about taking people's last dime?"
"It it's owed, it's owed, and should be paid. That's what you taught me."
"I know. And I was wrong."
"No, you were not." Kevin shakes his head, unable to understand how everything he had known to be true would suddenly be wrong.
"Kevin, we would buy old buildings and homes. Then we would allow people to stay in the houses against too high a rent. And we evicted them so easily when they could no longer pay..."
"So? If they can't afford to pay, they should get out."
"Where's the humanity, Kevin? The woman who became a widow, we put her on the street, with her baby."
"She could not pay..."
"We could have given her more time."
"Ridiculous! She knew the deal. She knew she had to pay up..." Kevin shrugs.
"Kevin, I'm damned to walk the Earth for all eternity because of my greed. I don't want the same thing to happen to you."
"Your greed? What greed? You worked hard for your money."
"I bought art for ridiculously low prices from people who desperately needed cash."
"So what? They shouldn't have allowed themselves to get in financial problems."
"It didn't make it right. It's practically stealing from people."
"I disagree." Kevin shakes his head.
For a moment Browne seems to want to argue with him, but then he shrugs.
"Whatever. I'm beyond help. You can still be saved."
"I don't need to be saved. I'm fine as I am." Kevin replies overly confident. Browne has to recognize that Kevin had always been a cocky guy.
"Yeah. Sure. Whatever. Don't mind me then... Well, anyway, do with it as you please. You're warned. The ghosts will appear at the stroke of 10, 11 and at midnight. You can't stop it."
"Thanks for the warning. I will be ready and I will give them a piece of my mind."
End of Part 1/5