About: Kevin, Scotty, and Max Carter (original character)
Disclaimer: I don’t own Brothers & Sisters or Kevin & Scotty, but Max is mine
Summary: A ghost from Kevin’s past returns.
The elevator door opens and Scotty, holding his grocery-bag close to him, walks over to the door of their loft. His mind is on tonight’s dinner. He will make Kevin something with pasta. He’s not sure yet what exactly it will be, but he knows it will be pasta, because Kevin could use some ‘comfort-food’ right now, with everything that has happened.
Kevin called him earlier to tell him that he will drop by at Max Carter’s office first, to talk about Alex after all, and this will give Scotty somewhat more time to create a delicious meal, open up a bottle of wine, light the candles and, in all, create a more romantic mood for tonight. He grabs his keys to open the door and at that moment the world fades to black.
“Hi, Kevin, come in.” Max invites and Kevin enters the small office Max calls his. “I was surprised by your phone-call. Can I get you some coffee?”
“Yes, please.” Kevin answers, his throat is dry. “Or no, I prefer some water instead.”
“Coming up.” Max leaves Kevin alone and Kevin wonders what he is doing here. This is a bad idea.
When Max comes back, he can see Kevin is on needles and pins.
“Alright. I’m listening.” He invites Kevin to talk. Kevin gets up and starts to pace.
“I don’t know what to do. A part of me thinks it’s ridiculous, but Scotty feels strongly, as in 'orders me', I should tell you about it anyway.”
Max smiles, slowly getting an idea of what conversation they must have had last night. He has always known Kevin to be argumentative, but it seemed like Scotty was articulate too. Must have been quite a clash. He scratches his neck, bowing his head to make sure that Kevin doesn’t see him laugh. When he looks up again, his face has it usual seriousness.
“Kevin, why don’t you tell me what is going on and I’ll judge if I can use it or not? It’s just a suggestion. I can’t make you tell me something. You’re a lawyer and I guess you know for yourself where the limits are. Yours and mine.”
“Alright, but it’s off the record, Alex is dead, I cannot prove anything one way or the other.”
For one moment Max is tempted to say that he’ll be the judge of that too, but he only nods.
“The night he left me 17 years ago…. We got drunk… Very drunk… And we got philosophical about life after death, the way only drunks can get.. He … He was convinced that I would go to heaven, but that he would go to hell. I was surprised by his certainty.
When I asked him why he believed this so strongly, he told me that he would not go to heaven, because he killed his father. His father died earlier in a fire that burnt down their house. Alex wasn’t there when it happened. He was at our house recuperating from being beaten by his dad. He was on medication at the time.
That night I strangely believed it, but when I got to think about it, I didn’t believe it anymore. And now I don’t know anymore what to think. You see, the more I think about last Saturday, the more I have the feeling we were watching an act.” Max sits up. That is interesting. “It is nothing more than hunch, I know. But I feel like I’d be lying if I say that everything was peaches.”
Kevin stays quiet for a few seconds and then continues: “Of course, I don’t think I have to tell you that it happens more often, that people in hind side create their own memories of how they think the evening went, and that their perception can change once they get other input about what could have happened….”
Max grins again. If he would get a hundred bucks for every time he heard some woman or man tell him that they ‘always knew there was something strange about that person’… Then his smile fades. Kevin is right to be careful with what he says. Kevin has no real proof, but Kevin also doesn’t know what Max has found out by now…. Max weighs his next words carefully.
“Kevin, did Alex tell you how he killed his dad?”
“He hit him over and over again with some frying pan. He was too drunk to defend himself.” Kevin answers immediately…
“Are you sure? That is what he told you?”
Max swallows hard, not knowing what to say to Kevin.
“I am actually not allowed to tell you anything about the investigation, but Alex is dead, so …” he begins. “I’ve dug up the file about his father’s death. Did you know that his father had severe head-injury? The skull had been hit hard.
It was suspected that he fell and that he was unconscious, but still alive, when the fire started. The story about hitting his father is consistent with the damage to the body.”
“You’re not serious. You have to be wrong.” Kevin says, shocked to the core. Max slowly shakes his head.
“But then…” Kevin now tries. “...He was told about the damage to his dad’s head? And spun it into a story of his own?”
“No. The file clearly states that in the best interest of Alex it was considered wise to NOT tell the truth.
His grandmother and Alex didn’t know any better or Alex’s father was drunk and died in the fire. Not a word about the head-injuries… They never saw any reason to investigate the matter further. Case closed.”
“So, he couldn’t have known, unless…?” Kevin doesn’t dare to finish the question.
“There’s more. We checked the hotel they were in. We found two tickets for Rio as you said, they planned to go there. Then we checked their financial situation. Ben’s account is almost empty, last withdrawal was the 5000 dollars he gave you. We couldn’t find anything on Alex’s account either. Seems like they were planning to run off and leave a lot of unpaid bills.”
To Kevin the room starts to spin. This is not really happening. Max feels sorry for Kevin, he looks sick. He’s pale and holding firmly on to his cup of water. His eyes are big and incredibly blue. He looks as if he’s about to faint, but if Max assesses his situation right, he doesn’t think Kevin actually will. He’s stronger then he appears.
Kevin gets up and walks to the window. He stares out of it, for a few seconds. Then, more recomposed, he softly asks:
“Is there more?”
“Yes, there is.”
“What?” Kevin dreads the answer.
“We spoke to Ben’s physician and he informed us that Ben did not have cancer for the last few years. He had a check-up 2 months ago and was in perfect condition. Not a trace of any disease whatsoever. We have no idea if Alex had it, we don’t know what doctor he saw.”
“I need to process this.” Kevin says weakly.
“I have to get some paper-work. It might take…oh… 5 minutes?” Max offers and Kevin nods in acceptance. As Max walks away, he spends one more look on Kevin, who sits in his office, confused, worried and defeated.
END OF PART 8