About: Kevin, Scotty, Alex Grodin (original character), Max Carter (original character)
Disclaimer: I don’t own Brothers & Sisters or Kevin & Scotty, but Alex & Max are mine
Summary: A ghost from Kevin’s past returns.
Max enters the small room Alex is in. Alex has had a few hours of sleep, something to eat, something to drink.
“Hi, Alex. I guess you don’t remember me, but we used to be in high-school together. My name is Max Carter…”
“We had math and French together.” Alex says in a dull voice. Max nods and takes a long look at him. Yes, there is something of a boy in him still, but also something darker. He can understand where Kevin’s and Scotty’s unease a few days ago came from. It’s almost as if Alex isn’t really there, as if, like a chameleon, he adapts to his surroundings… He shivers.
“How is Scotty?” Alex asks.
“I don’t know. I haven’t heard news from the hospital. It is not MY first priority. It is Kevin’s first priority. To be with the man he loves.” Alex looks up, for one moment there’s a look in his eyes as if he plans to contradict Max, but then decides not to and he goes back into his shell.
“I’m more concerned about what happened to Ben.” A little smile curls around Alex’s lips as he listens to Max’s words, but he doesn’t respond. “Did you kill him, Alex? Did you leave him to burn to death like your father?” Alex’s smile disappears, it’s replaced by hate, but he still doesn’t answer to Max.
“What did Ben do that made that he deserved to die? Did he hit you like your father did?” Alex simply stares back at Max, face blank. “Was it for the money? What happened to Ben’s money, Alex?”
“Can you please find out how Scotty is?” Alex asks in return.
“You tried to kill him. What do you care?” Max snaps and Alex winces.
“I just wanted to take Kevin with me. Go away with him. And I knew he wouldn’t come with me, because of Scotty, and if Scotty wasn’t there….”
“Kevin would just fall in love with you,,, after you killed the man he married and loves?”
“I didn’t say my plan was flawless….” Alex mutters. “I didn’t think things through. I know I should use my head. I didn’t want to hurt Scotty, I only wanted Kevin… and I didn’t think of what everything would do to him until it was too late. I need to know that Kevin can one day find it in his heart to forgive me. And that can only happen if Scotty survives.”
Max sits down opposite of Alex, looking at the young man who still stubbornly hangs to Kevin.
“Alex, I don’t know how to tell you this, but Kevin and you are through. Let him go. You’re hanging on to same vague impossible dream that will not come true. You were banished from Kevin’s life, by Kevin, the day you left him with his money in your pocket.”
Alex looks up, disbelief on his face. He ran away to protect Kevin.
“I don’t believe you. He came back to me. He gave me a second chance. He came to the hotel to see me.” Alex shakes his head, unwilling to accept Max’s words and somewhere deep inside Max can master a bit of pity for this man.
“Alex, if you really love Kevin as much as you say, then let him go. You will go to prison for the attempted murder on Scotty Wandell, we have enough evidence to built a case of murder for Ben. Kevin will be asked to testify about what you told him that night. In all we can make a strong case against you. You’re going behind bars for a long time…
But Kevin won’t. So, please, let him go. Your life is over when we’re done with you, but Kevin still has his. A life of happiness with Scotty, free of guilt over things left unsaid. Scotty…. Scotty made it. He will be alright. But you won’t. Let Kevin go. Give him his freedom, because what you did is a shackle around his neck too. One that will tie him to you forever.”
As he speaks his last words, he realizes his stupidity. He just gave Alex a good reason why he still had a hold on Kevin and Alex knows it too. He looks up at Max, straight into his eyes and smiles. He doesn’t answer any further questions. Max will spend several hours trying to break through the wall of silence but remain unsuccessful.
“Kevin, I’m sorry. It was my own stupid fault. I knew it the moment the words had crossed my lips.” Max apologizes. Kevin waves it away, having just watched the tape of the interview and recognizing that Max is right. He feels guilty from all angles. He should have gone to the police not just about the theft, but also about the supposed murder. He should not have befriended him.
He should not have gone to see Alex, but there was a spark of curiosity driving him. He knows he will not be able to get rid of Alex any time soon and neither will Scotty. Yes, Scotty made it, but he’s rather unresponsive, brooding, quiet. Of course, with everything still so fresh Kevin can only hope that things will change, but….
“I want to wring his neck.” He says with hatred in his voice, looking at Alex on the camera.
“But you won’t.” Max answers. “Not now that Scotty is still alive. You have to focus on him and not on Alex….”
“What do you want me to do?”
“Talk to him.”
“Yes, if anyone can persuade him to confess it’s you. He’s still in love with you.”
“A love I can do very well without.”
“Maybe, but I still want him in prison and not just for what he did to Scotty, but also for his father and Ben.” Max’s voice is calm and explanatory and Kevin feels his own anger subside a bit.
“I want to watch the tape again and then I’ll think about it.” Kevin answers, although he his mind is already made up, he will do it, he just wants time to dissuade himself.
Alex looks up as the door opens. He expects Max or one of the other officers. Instead it is Kevin who walks in. Impeccable in suit and tie, calm and collected. He sits down opposite of Alex and remains quiet, while he looks at Alex. Alex starts to tremble. He had expected Kevin to be lived, furious, well, resentful at least.
But this calm behavior was not what Alex counted on. It’s unsettling. At the other side of the wall, Max watches Kevin and Alex. He still believes that Kevin is the only one who can get to Alex’s core. He knows he’s taking a chance, but Alex has nothing to gain, nothing to lose and he will not talk… at all. A lot now depends on Kevin and Max starts to feel nervous.
“How is Scotty?” Alex nervously asks. Kevin places his elbows on the table, his fingertips together before calmly answering:
“Alive… Shocked… Scared…. Troubled…. Unresponsive…. Hurt… Terribly, terribly hurt.”
“I’m sorry.” Alex whispers under Kevin’s stare.
“You’re sorry?” Kevin’s laughter is sarcastic. “Yeah, right. That makes it all right, I assume?”
Alex shakes his head.
“No, it doesn’t, but I never meant to hurt you.”
“Well you did a bad job.” Kevin shoots back.
Alex bows his head, feeling terrible. Kevin leans over the table.
“Tell me about your dad, Alex. Did you really kill him? And what about Ben?” Alex looks back up at Kevin, suddenly understanding why Kevin is here. Kevin isn’t here for him, he’s here to get a confession. His face gets the stubborn streak Kevin knows so well.
“Is this place bugged? Are you wired? Are you trying to set me up?” he asks, disbelief on his face. He cannot imagine that Kevin would hurt him like this.
“Yes, there’s a camera filming you and behind that wall are three officers looking at us.” Kevin says pointing at a blind wall.
“SHIT!!!” Max yells out. “How can he do that?” As if Kevin can hear him, he bends over to Alex.
“Wanna know why I tell you this?” He replies in a low voice. Alex looks up. Alex knows it’s ridiculous, but he’s afraid of Kevin at this moment, although he knows that Kevin would never hurt anyone. And though he doesn’t want to know, he nods anyway.
“Because I’m an idiot. An idiot who, in spite of what happened to Scotty, still cannot believe that you would hurt me. Because this fool still believes that you would cheat and lie to anyone else, but not me. Because you say you love me. And you know what? I believed you then and I believed you when you came back.
So, go ahead, here I am. Tell me your truth. How you didn’t kill your father. That you didn’t kill Ben. That you didn’t mean to kill Scotty. Tell me how it’s their fault and not yours, because you always make it right for yourself at the expense of others. Tell me what terrible things Ben did to you... and make it right. Make me believe.
And at the same time, tell me what atrocity Scotty inflicted on you that somehow justifies your nearly killing my husband? It must have been the horrendously kind way he opened the door to our loft you when you knocked on it. Or was it the cruelty he exposed you to when he politely talked to you at the restaurant?
Perhaps the horror of him talking me into giving you a second chance, though I felt you didn’t deserve one? Or was it perhaps the evil crime of extending the hand of friendship to you? No, it must have been the way he shamelessly regretted your death and how he had the audacity to allow me to morn your death. Right? What exact ‘crime’ was it that Scotty committed?
Or was it about me? About how screwing me over, stealing my money and making me feel like an moron wasn’t’ enough punishment for whatever it is I did. But the way, what did I do to you, that I deserved to come home to find the man I love murdered. Huh?”
“Nothing.” Alex whispers.
Alex looks at him, big eyes, confused by the measured anger. The words are painful to hear, because, while Kevin is incredibly angry, there is also a look of pity in Kevin’s eyes. He cannot ‘read’ Kevin and he feels unsure about what is going on. Kevin does not fulfill Alex’s expectations and it unnerves him.
“Nothing? Come on, there had to be something.”
“I just wanted you to leave America with me and go away with me….” Alex says softly. “I thought that if Scotty was gone, you’d stay with me…. But you wouldn’t have.” Alex’s voice breaks and he wipes away his tears. Kevin bends forward to him.
“Don’t you know I would have gone with you if you had simply asked me?” he confesses, without taking his eyes off Alex. In the other room Max drops the pen he’s holding, baffled by Kevin’s words that come in loud and clear. What the h…? Max watches with growing fascination how the chaos in Alex’s head starts to show itself on his face.
“Don’t you understand? That is why I felt so betrayed. I love you with everything I have an that is why I was so hurt when you left me.”
“What about Scotty?” Alex asks confused and Max agrees it’s a good question.
“I thought I lost you. That you didn’t want me. I would never have told anyone what you told me. I wouldn’t have betrayed you.”
Alex’s hands disappear into his curls and his face clearly shows his distress.
“I always wanted you. You meant everything to me.” Alex says softly.
Their eyes meet and after a long look at each other, as if they try to understand what is going on in each other’s heads, Kevin shakes his head and replies in a rough voice:
“I don’t believe you…. Alex, I’m so confused…” he starts to whine. “I don’t understand. Everything I hear about you is so contradictory that I no longer know what to believe.
You told me that you killed your dad, but I don’t believe you. I don’t think you could have. And I don’t understand why you are lying to me about something that important, when you say that you love me and then turn against me by messing with my head like that.” Kevin’s voice is somewhat higher now, whiny, he’s close to tears and Max feels like he’s in alternate world.
Kevin bows his head, but Alex sees the tears on his eyelashes. Alex sees the growing distress in Kevin and his need to protect Kevin kicks in. He reaches out and his hands cover Kevin’s. His action is so gentle that Max chokes up. Kevin is the one who is messing with Alex’s head and to watch Alex fall apart is scary.
Because Alex’s face is now an open book, where confusion, care, love and an inability to come to terms with the conflicting messages Kevin is sending, is so clearly on display that it hurts to watch it.
“I know you, Alex. You would never hurt anyone. So why do they say you do? I’m confused.” Kevin’s voice is soft like that of a child not understanding why it’s being punished.
And the cracks in Alex’s defense start to form. He brings Kevin’s hand to his mouth. The touch is intimate and Alex completely forgets where he is.
“You don’t really know me, Kevin. I only showed you what I wanted you to see.” He says quietly and bracing himself he continues:
“I did kill my father. I went back to the house to get some of my belongings. It was late, but I couldn’t wait anymore. I so wanted him out of my life…. He and I ran into each other in the kitchen. … And he started calling me names, telling me how useless and worthless I was to him … And he hit me and I fell against the stove …
And I felt that pan in my hand and I just hit back… Over and over again… until he stopped moving.” Alex assures Kevin, with a tender smile on his face, glad that he can take Kevin’s insecurity away by explaining what happened. But then Kevin looks up at him again… His eyes calm and focused and calculated. Alex blinks a few times as he realizes what he has just done.
“You weren’t confused, were you?” Alex shakes his head, unable to grasp that Kevin fooled him and had driven him to confessing a murder. Kevin shakes his head.
“I know people like you. Like a chameleon you adapt to your surroundings, but I thought, that if I could throw you out of your game long enough…. And I hoped I could… Didn’t know IF I could…" Kevin is silent for a moment, but then continues:
"I am walking out of here, Alex. With my head held high. I am going to walk into the sun and I will see the stars. I will share my life with a wonderful man, who loves me and who owns my heart. I’m going back to a loft that is cozy. I have a warm and caring family. I have it all, Alex. I cannot imagine that you really believed I would give that all up for you.
Tell me, Alex. Do you now feel as stupid as I did then? When I woke up? And looked for you? And you were gone? With my money?... Well? Do you? Do you have any idea what you did to me? I had to stand there in front of my father and explain to him how I lost 5000 dollars. I had to see William Walker’s face when I explained to him that it was stolen by the man I had sex with.
A man I thought was my friend. A man who I allowed closer than anyone else. Do you know what I saw in father’s face? Disgust! Recognition of what a loser I was…. You made me ashamed of my being gay and of my feelings for you… You made me ashamed of me.”
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Alex cries, his words are barely audible.
Kevin cups Alex’s face in his hands in an almost tender touch. For a moment it looks as if he’s going to kiss Alex, but then he whispers into Alex’s ear.
“I… Don’t… Care.” He lets go of Alex’s face, looks intensely into those brown eyes he once loved to gaze in. Then he turns around and leaves the small room.
Max eventually finds Kevin by the toilets, throwing up… he grabs some tissues, puts them under the cold water and hands them to Kevin.
“Think so.” Kevin answers, his back against the wall.
He slides down until he’s on the floor and Max sits down beside him.
“Alex is talking. He admits the murder of his dad, the murder of Ben and his attempt on Scotty, with a little luck, this will be good enough and we don’t have to bother Scotty anymore. You did a very good job in there.”
“Thanks. I really feel sick about what I did in there.” Kevin’s eyes are still red. Max puts his hand on Kevin’s shoulder.
“Kevin take my advice. Walk away. Go to your husband and leave this miserable piece of human being here and let it go.”
“Sir?” one of the other officers comes in. “Mr Grodin is talking. He confessed to the murder of his father, on Ben, he confesses to the attempted murder on Mr Wandell, but also two others we didn’t know anything about.”
“That is wonderful news.” Kevin says softly. Max nods.
“Go home, Kevin. You’re not needed here anymore.”
“I know I should go home. I’m just still so mad.”
“I know that. But really… turn away… walk away.. What you have with Scotty is all you need.”
“Scotty.” Kevin suddenly smiles, remembering that he’s supposed to pick him up at the hospital, because he got released. “I have to go. Scotty can go home.”
“Good. Then go get him. Walk away and forget about Alex… It may be hard, but he is insane and beyond your help.”
Kevin walks into Scotty’s room. Scotty is dressed and ready. He is however still a bit shaky.
“Come on, honey, let’s go home.” He says gently and Scotty nods.
“Where have you been? You like exhausted.”
“I was at the police-station…. I talked to Alex….”
Scotty winces. He doesn’t want to hear that name. He hasn’t told much about that afternoon and he doesn’t want to either. He just wants to forget.
“Why on Earth for?” he asks.
“To get him to talk… He confessed to the murder of his dad, of Ben and his attempt on you.”
“Good.” Scotty replies curtly, but Kevin does not let it bother him.
“Let’s go.” He says with a smile, wanting to take Scotty’s arm, but Scotty shoves him away.
“I’m sorry.” Scotty apologizes immediately and embarrassed. “It’s just that….”
“I know, the doctor warned me. It will take some time for you to get over it.”
Max comes in with the written testimony. Alex reads and signs it. Max reaches out to grab the paper, but Alex pulls it back.
“Tell me one thing, Max. Please.”
“Did you see Kevin leave?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Was he free? Did I do it right?” Alex asks is a little voice. “Did I set him free? Was it enough?”
“Alex?” Max takes a long look at Alex. “Alex? What did you do?”
“You think I’m crazy, don’t you?” Alex return-question surprises Max. “But I’m not.”
“Never said you were.”
“I knew what I was doing. When I killed my dad. I knew what I was doing. You see, my dad was garbage and the world is a better place without him.
Ben, in reality wasn’t much of loss either. He didn’t love anyone, not even me. He used me and I used him. It worked. But I got tired of him and I wanted his money and so I killed him. I knew what I was doing. But that thing with Scotty was a mistake. I got trapped in my fantasy and now I have to face the penalty for that.
Because I can justify the others to myself, but not Scotty. I crossed the line there. I was wrong there. But you know, I’ll get a higher sentence for killing my dad or Ben, who are worthless, then I would get for attempted murder on Scotty, who didn’t deserve to die and is a better person than the other two put together….. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?”
Max can hear Kevin say that Alex always makes things seem right and he feels confused by Alex’s statement.
“You could try pleading temporary insanity.” He tries, not understanding what Alex wants, but Alex starts to laugh, which, in a way, scares Max. Alex seems on the edge of his sanity.
“No! They might give me a lesser sentence and I don’t want that. I must protect Kevin. I didn’t tell him the whole truth, you know.” he now giggles. “There’s something that you and him don’t know about me."
“It’s my little secret….” And Alex nearly chokes on his laughter.
“Awww, please, tell me.” Ben coaxes him, as if Alex is a little child. And Alex concedes.
“That night….. when I realized that I had told Kevin the truth about my dad, I knew I was in trouble. Kevin is relentless in these things.
I…. I had to get rid of Kevin…. I had to kill my best friend.” His look becomes dreamy, as if the memory is pleasant. “I took one of his ties and made a noose… Put it around his neck…. Kevin was knocked out by the drinking and the pills I gave him…. It should have been so easy…. He couldn’t defend himself… All I had to do was just pull hard…. Very, very hard.”
Max recognizes that Alex’s look and mind are very far away. Alex’s calm, hesitant words send shivers down his spine. He bets Kevin never knew how close he came to dying.
“What happened? Why did you stop?” Max carefully asks.
“You wouldn’t understand.” Alex replies, suddenly very serious.
“He… When I touched his skin, he turned to me and smiled… He smiled when I touched him….” Alex’s right hand goes up and he stretches his arm. His hand makes some movement as if he’s tracing a face. In his mind Alex can still see Kevin’s face before him.
“He smiled at me…. He was the only one who was ever happy to see me… I couldn’t destroy the only beautiful thing my life has ever had….” Then he looks Max straight in the eyes.. “… you know, I love him. I would pay any price for him. You were right this afternoon. He still has a wonderful life ahead of him….. So…. I gave him back his freedom … I let him go…. I made it right.”
END OF PART 11