Disclaimer: Brothers & Sisters is not mine, I know. Stop rubbing it in.
Scotty enters the building and he shivers from the difference between the warmth in the hall and the cold February morning outside. The mail-boxes are immediately at his right and it still feels weird to open up Kevin’s mailbox, no, their mailbox. Their relationship is finally going somewhere, though it still feels so new, so fresh, but Scotty is slowly relaxing into it.
Jason returned, but Scotty is still here, Kevin made a definite choice and for the first time in a long time Scotty finally dares to feel happy again. Kevin couldn’t be sweeter if he tried and two weeks ago Scotty had cancelled his mail-box at the post-office and now officially lived at Kevin’s address. Not that there was that much to move into Kevin’s loft in the first place.
Two days ago, he had received his first mail here and for some reason that had made him feel all warm and fuzzy inside, because he felt so comfortable living here with Kevin… As he takes the elevator up, he browses through the mail. Kevin, Kevin, Kevin…. But then he holds in his hands an envelope addressed to him. It’s from his school….
Kevin looks up from his paperwork when Scotty comes in. He immediately notices the shock on Scotty’s face. He looks panic-stricken.
“Scotty? What is wrong?”
“Kev? Can they do this?” Scotty asks in a small voice, holding out a letter to Kevin.
Kevin, with the attitude of a lawyer, quickly scans it for information to see what it is about and why Scotty is so upset and then he reads it thoroughly, letting every word sink in…
“Well? Can they?” Scotty is anxious for the answer and Kevin folds the letter.
“I’d have to look at the agreement they made with you when you entered the school, but if they are right, which I don’t doubt, then, yes, they can do this.”
“What am I going to do now?”
“I want you to find me your copy of the contract you signed with the school, take a deep breath and a glass of water and let me read the papers.” Kevin says calmly. Scotty nods, and starts to go through his papers, as Kevin shakes his head, seeing all the documents stashed in one folder…
He’ll have to talk about that with Scotty later though, because Scotty hands him some papers and Kevin starts to read. It is as he fears, the school has the right to demand forward payment from Scotty if he doesn’t respect the terms of payment, which has been the case. He reads the letter again and sighs. It is all a bit unfair, Kevin feels.
Sure, Scotty missed some payment dates, but he paid in the end. For the school to now demand the rest of the 5 terms to be paid at once, is a bit much, but understandable. It’s quite a steep amount that Scotty has to pay. Kevin looks at Scotty and sees him looking back with expectation in his eyes and with a silent prayer. Kevin sighs again.
“I’m sorry, Scotty, they are allowed to do this.” He sees the hope fade and suggests. “Why don’t you ask if you can talk to this mister…. ahm… Challing , I’ll go with you and we’ll see what we can do about this.” He says more cheerful than he really feels.
“Would you?” Scotty asks surprised and he calls the school.
“I’m very sorry, Mr Wandell, Mr Walker. I have to uphold the rules we have here. Mr Wandell has missed several payment-dates, which has given the impression that he may not be able to meet his financial obligations.” Mr Challing is emotionless, leaning back in his chair, fingertips of both hands pressed against each other. His entire attitude spreading the notion that ‘rules are rules and they are NOT meant to be broken… ever!’.
Kevin knows old prunes like this and he quickly understands that he not going anywhere in this conversation. Yet he tries carefully, to not make the man angrier for second-guessing his divine authority on this matter:
“Mr Wandell will be the first to agree that he was late as a result of his difficult financial situation….” Kevin looks for words.
“…. However, his life has changed considerably. Looking at the last 3 payments, they were on time, the last one was even early… It proves the progress in Mr Wandell’s life. He has shown himself as a disciplined student, who tried the best he could to meet his financial obligations. Yes, he was late, but he paid…”
“Mr Walker, these last few months will be the most crucial in his education. We cannot spend our valuable time teaching him and fulfilling our obligation, and Mr Wandell not fulfilling his. We must know, that he is a person who is dependable and his financial record shows that he is not.”
“Mr Challing, then may I offer another option?” Kevin tries and Mr Challing nods.
“Mr Wandell will be unable to pay all remaining 5 periods at once. He will however be able to pay every month as he has done so far... I can vouch for that. I can guarantee that. I will personally arrange the payments if he can’t meet them.” Kevin promises. Mr Challing leans backwards in his chair. Calmly looking at a very disciplined Kevin and an upset Scotty.
“I’m sorry, Mr Walker, that is very noble of you, but I cannot change the rules of this school for Mr Wandell…. My hands are tied.” Kevin knows what that means. No negotiating. Kevin looks at the man sitting across him and as Scotty’s world shatters, Kevin’s fists want to wipe that condescending smile right off Mr Challing’s face and it takes all of Kevin’s self-control not to do so.
“Scotty, we need to talk about this….” Kevin starts carefully. Scotty looks up at him, from his place on the couch. His eyes are red and big.
“There is nothing to talk about. I must find a way to either pay or stop my education…”
“Scotty, I can easily give you the money you need.”
“No! I’ll fix it. I’ll find a solution of my own and….”
“Damn it, Scotty! This is not the moment to be too proud. I know….” but before Kevin can go on, Scotty silences him with an angry:
“I don’t want your money…. It is MY problem.” He snaps. Kevin is completely taken by surprise, his concern for Scotty’s studies turning into anger over Scotty’s pride.
“But Scotty, that is ridiculous… Why on Earth don’t you want to accept my money? In spite of what people think about lawyers, I earned my money with hard work, there’s nothing wrong with it.”
“I’m not saying there is. This is MY problem, not yours.” Scotty shrugs it off as if it were unimportant.
“Excuse me?!” Kevin’s voice has become louder. “What nonsense is that? It is our problem.. and we have a solution…” Scotty stays silent, feeling miserable... “Oh, I get it. I’m not really your boyfriend, your lover, or something like that, I’m just the roommate in who’s bed you occasionally get laid !”
“Kevin!” Scotty calls out shocked, suddenly feeling guilty that he turned down Kevin’s suggestion so rudely, as Kevin seems genuinely upset.
“Don’t ‘Kevin’ me. Give me one good reason why you cannot accept my offer!”
“Because it would be the wrong thing to do.”
“Oh, … is that it? Well now it’s all clear to me. Forgive me, you’re absolutely right! Stopping just 5 months before your final exams is a MUCH better strategy… Not to mention that you’ll have to repeat the entire year, if you stop now, again a very logical plan….. As is putting your dream on ice for at least another year and a half, because it would be so wrong to take my money!...”
“Kevin….” Scotty tries, hurt by Kevin’s sarcastic words.
“No, Scotty, forget I mentioned it. You just go on holding on to your pride. Borrow money from your friends who have a tough enough time making ends meets on their own,.. or maybe better, why not take a loan against a good interest-rate… You’re just OUT of debt, time to get back in…”
Scotty shakes his head, tears filling his eyes, Kevin’s harsh words really hurt, but Kevin is not impressed with the pain in Scotty’s eyes.
“Just stop whining about it already. Alright? You want to be a martyr? Fine with me. Suit yourself. Just stop complaining that life is so tough, because it sure doesn’t have to be.
And don’t bother storming out of here like a drama-queen. I am the one who needs a breath of fresh air now….” And grabbing his coat, Kevin leaves the loft, leaving behind an astounded Scotty, who is not sure of what just happened, but he’s rather sure that Kevin is very, very angry with him…
Kevin walks through the little park that is close to his loft. He hardly ever comes here. Usually he has to work and doesn’t have time to really enjoy this place, but today he does. He drops down on a bench and watches the birds, wondering why it is so hard for Scotty to accept help from him. Isn’t one of the purposes of having a relationship that you are there for each other?
Kevin feels sick to his stomach. He hates fighting with Scotty. It’s all fresh and new and he’s afraid that Scotty will run away again, breaking up with Kevin as easily as he did before. He suddenly feels lost, afraid he may have pushed it too much…. Too hard… One of the things he likes so much about Scotty is how independent he is. And how proud he is… he admires Scotty for working so hard to accomplish his life-long dream of becoming a chef-cook.
But Kevin feels caught between having to accept Scotty’s pride and being unable to understand why Scotty is undermining his own efforts by not accepting his help… From the corner of his eye, he sees a young man walk up to him, slowly and deliberately and Kevin cannot help but recognize that he is madly and deeply in love with Scotty.
Scotty drops down beside him on the bench, his hands in pockets.
“I’m sorry.” He says softly. Kevin shakes his head.
“No, Scots, I’m sorry. It’s none of my business. I must let you live your life as you want and let you make your own decisions…. Even if I sometimes don’t agree with them or I don’t understand them. It is your life.”
They sit beside each other, silently, for a while, each in his own thoughts. Scotty nods as if he jus came to a decision and holding on to the bench tightly, he stammers, biting his lip…
“Kevin… I’ve been doing some thinking and … I think you’re right…. It makes no sense.. and …. And.. if your offer still stands… I would…. I would love it if you would help me.”
When Kevin looks at him, he sees the fear of rejection, but also the hope that Kevin will agree.
“Of course it still stands.” Kevin says with a smile. “I’d be glad to help you…. If you’re really sure? … I don’t want to pressure you….”
“You’re not.” Scotty promises….
Seven months later:
Still all giggly because they celebrated a bit too much, Kevin and Scotty stagger into the loft. For once Kevin is more sober then Scotty, which actually says more about the state that Scotty is in, for Kevin is not less drunk than usual. Kevin spins Scotty around, back into his arms and it takes Scotty a few seconds to figure out where exactly in the room he is, but then he kisses Kevin, who‘s hands seem to be all over his body... Not that Scotty minds....
“I’m married to a cook.” Kevin mutters proudly... “Who would have thought?” He says with a mischievous grin.
“Why? Did you doubt that I’d become one?” Scotty feels a bit disappointed, but Kevin grins rather stupidly and replies.
“I never doubted you. I’m baffled that I’m married....” he giggles and Scotty agrees with him whole-heartedly and still laughing they end up in the bedroom. Slowly undressing themselves, because they are rather instable on their feet. Scotty stops to look at Kevin, feeling suddenly so much gratitude.
“I couldn’t have done it without you.” He says and he sounds almost sober.
“Of course you would have. You’re a terrific cook.”
“... with no money... If you hadn’t paid....”
“Shhh, Scotty.” Kevin puts a finger on Scotty’s lips. “You would have found a way. I’m sure.”
“Yeah, but it’s not the same. Now it’s almost as if we did this together...”
“We’re partners. We’re supposed to.” Kevin mutters, crawling in bed.
“Anyway,... just wanted to let you know, that I’m grateful to have you.” Scotty says, getting next to Kevin.
“Really?” Kevin rolls over, Scotty nods.
“You know, that day you were right. It wasn’t about me or about you, it was about us.”
“I was right, huh?” Kevin repeats, a lovely goofy smile on his face and Scotty nods, his face all tender and caring.
“I like being right.” Kevin mutters, closing his eyes as Scotty comes closer to kiss him. But by the end of the kiss, Kevin is sound asleep and Scotty grins.
“I knew you’d like to be right.” He whispers softly, kissing Kevin once again, before he lets his head rest on Kevin’s chest and follows Kevin to the land of dreams.