A chest filled with memories.
Disclaimer: B&S is not mine, unfortunately
Summary: Justin helps Scotty and gets to know him better.
“Thank you so much for your help.” Scotty says as he watches Justin wipe the sweat of his forehead. He pours a glass of water for him and hands it over to Justin.
“Thanks.” Justin replies as the cool water seems to evaporate on his tongue. “What is in there anyway?... If you don’t mind my asking?”
The ‘in there’ Justin is referring to is a huge wooden chest, that he and Scotty just carried to Kevin’s loft. He doesn’t want to as rude as to ask personal questions about Scotty’s life, but being a Walker, he can’t help but extremely curious. Scotty notices the line that Justin is trying to draw between being curious and being friendly and he smiles.
“Oh, I don’t mind. That thing has been with me wherever I was. It is filled all sorts of knick-knacks, pictures, letters, things. When I lost my own place, I took it to Jordan and it stayed there a while and now I have it back. I wanted to clean it up, before Kevin gets back from his trip with Robert.”
“You know Kevin. He starts to see pictures of my ex-boyfriends and he’ll have a fit.” Scotty laughs, Kevin can be a bit jealous, but also insecure. “I think that 30% of what is in here, can be thrown away.”
He opens the chest with a key and before Justin's eyes appears a random pile of …. Things.
“Wow! What a mess.” Scotty comments with a frown.
“Looks like it’s been tossed around or something.”
“Yes…. I hope that nothing is broken…” Scotty sounds worried.
Justin can’t help but look as well and he finds a picture of Scotty with a young man, blond, with a moustache. Scotty gives the picture one look and grins:
“He looks nice.” Justin says, trying to be optimistic and Scotty laughs.
“He was. He was nice. He was generous. We went out on a couple of dates and had quite a lot of fun. That picture was taken at a fair…. I thought he was really my type... Good income too.….
“He took me home after our 5th, ….or was it the 6th?.... date. He had this lovely home. Nice. Spotless.” Scotty reminiscence with a little smile.
“I could imagine myself living there. Then he confessed he had not been entirely honest with me. He had those little fantasies, he said.” Justin raises an eyebrow, not sure he wants to know, but Scotty grins and says: “So he showed me his bedroom, that had this huge bed with all sorts of straps attached to it…. And if that wasn’t enough, he also opened one of his closets and in there were more toys in all shapes and sizes, than any mail-order catalogue can provide.”
“And suddenly he was no longer your type.” Justin jokes.
“No, not really, I mean, I have no idea where he planned to put some of those toys, but it wasn’t going to be anywhere near me.” Scotty says resolutely. “But, once he saw he I was not as interested as he hoped, and we got over that embarrassment, we had a good laugh. He did try to make me change my mind, as we had a few more dates, but somehow it was no longer the same… Some impressions can’t be erased.
But he is still a friend of mine, he lives in Florida now, with his new boyfriend, who shares his passion. They recently bought a new house…. Probably with more shelf-space or something.”
Justin can’t help but laugh out loud. Rummaging through the paper-work he finds another picture.
Scotty sees it as he gets up to get a bag and there is a sweet smile on his face again:
“Frank…. Didn’t survive my ‘bitching’ phase.”
“I couldn’t keep a relationship with a boy, no matter how hard I tried. Then there was this guy, who, when he dumped me, explained that if I acted so easy to get, so sweet and docile, then I would continue to be used like a doormat, just like he had used me…..
… I needed to get tougher, and I did. Dressed with more leather and dyed my hair black…”
“Wow, …that sounds like ….. really not you.” Justin laughs and Scotty shakes his head.
“No. I felt empowered for a while, swearing, drinking, acting like a real rat, doing to others what had been done to me…. And then came Frank. He was way too sweet and also boring. Like the me I used to be.
When I broke up with him, he fell to pieces. I heard him ask the same question I had always asked myself. Why? It was like looking at my own life. I broke up with him and moved on. But dropped the ‘tough guy’ act. ‘t Wasn’t me.”
“Sounds like you really had an interesting journey to get here.”
“Yeah…. Could have done without some of those hurdles though.”
Putting action to words he picks up a picture, that he just found, from the table, and puts a burning match to it.
“Burn in hell, baby.” He says as he watches the pictures shrivel up and he throws it in the ashtray.
Justin watches with fascination, because there suddenly seems to be so much hatred on Scotty’s usually so gentle face.
“Not a friend?”
“Mark. First boyfriend. The only time I ever want to see him again is after he is run over by a bus.” Justin can relate to that, he has girlfriends like that.
Justin picks up a photo-frame, carefully wrapped in a cloth, so it won’t break. He turns it around and sees a picture of Kevin and Scotty two years ago. He even remembers taking that picture. The one time that Scotty went with them to the beach when Tommy, Kevin and he went surfing.
“I taught you to surf that day.” Justin remembers. “Well, the basics anyway. You did manage to stay on the board once…. I took that picture of you and Kev.”
“Yes, you did. It was such a beautiful one and I had such good memories of that day. I couldn’t throw it away. Oh, I am better at surfing now. I can actually stay on the board for … oh … 20 seconds.”
“Wow! More progress! That would make it 15 seconds longer than when I saw you at the beach.”
They now both laugh and after a long look at Scotty while Scotty goes on unpacking the chest, Justin come to a decision and asks:
“You know, if you have a day off and Kevin doesn’t.. why don’t we go to the beach and I’ll teach some more surfing…”
Surprised by the sudden offer Scotty thinks it over and then replies:
“I’d love that.” Justin nods in silent agreement. It sounds like a good idea.
Then Justin sees a box. Curious, he opens it and there are a lot of pictures in there.
“My exes-collection.” Scotty says. Justin can’t help but quickly browse, there must be at least 15-20 different pictures.
“That is …. A lot…” he remarks carefully, not wanting to insult Scotty.
“Yeah… my past… not very proud of it, but it led to Kevin, so I’m glad for it… but I must admit I was never very careful with giving away my love and affection. I fell in love easily and in all honesty, I fell out of love easily too. I was just looking for a place where I felt loved and respected and …. you know, ... My own little niche.”
“So when did you give up your dream and move in with Kevin?” Justin jokes. And Scotty cannot help but laugh also as he takes the box from Justin and throws it in the garbage bag, contents and all and Justin cannot help but wonder:
“Radical. You’re not going to keep any those pics? You know for old time’s sake?”
“Nah, it’s all history, water under the bridge, mostly forgiven, now attempting to be forgotten. I am happy with my life now, with Kevin. And the past may have brought me here, there is no reason to dwell on the matter. Those I want to remember are in my heart and those I forgot…. They deserve to be forgotten about…” Scotty shrugs.
“Deep thoughts.” Justin replies. Scotty gets up.
“Hungry?” he asks. “I could make us some sandwiches and then go on cleaning out this thing.”
“I could use something to eat.” Justin admits, listening to his complaining stomach.
“Good. Will you then later help me get all the garbage downstairs again?” Scotty asks, giving Justin his most charming smile.
"For a sandwich? No. Add coffee and you have a deal.” Justin grins. He wonders what more he will find out about Scotty…. He realizes they don’t know much about their brother-in-law. His sisters are so going to hate it when he’ll call them tonight… He wonders if it is ethical to gossip about things his own brother doesn’t even seem to know about his husband, but then, Kevin could have asked Scotty himself.
Scotty sees Justin’s frown as he goes to the kitchen. He smiles. The Walker-gossip-lines will open tonight, he’s sure of that. He made a calculated plan of what exactly he was going to tell Justin. The Walkers don’t need to know everything about him. Just some small dosage to keep them happy. That is why he asked Justin to help him in the first place. And he has to admit it… This well coordinated strategy is one of Kevin’s better ideas.