Written for the lgbtfest
Fandom: Brothers & Sisters
Pairing/characters: Scotty Wandell/Bertha Wandell
Disclaimer: B&S doesn’t belong to me, written with love, not for money
Prompt: 299 - Brothers & Sisters, Kevin/Scotty, When Kevin and Scotty are attacked one night on their way home, Scotty's mother sees it as proof that her son's lifestyle is wrong, and tries to convince him to leave Kevin.
Summary: What if your mother has a different opinion of what “home” is?
Author's Notes: Unbeta’d, all mistakes are mine.
She enters the room. There, silent on the bed lies her son, Scotty. Bertha takes a deep breath. She received a phone-call from Kitty McCallister early this morning. The phone-call she dreaded for so long finally came. The one where she would hear that her son was ruthless attacked by some men.
Although the word ‘gay-bashing’ had not fallen, she just knew it. That had to be the reason, why else would anyone attack her son? No, he had been out with Kevin and obviously someone had seen them together and had taken offence. Oh, she knew it had to happen sooner or later. And now....
Now, he lies there, silently, his body black and blue, a cut in his forehead well sown up, his skin pale under the harsh hospital lights.
“Scotty?” her voice is very loud in the silent room and Scotty opens his eyes.
“Mom?” He seems surprised, but he’s too heavily medicated to really respond.
His eyes close again and he drifts back into sleep. At that moment the doctor enters.
“How is my son?” is her first question.
“Responsive. In pain, but he’ll be alright. He doesn’t seem to have anything broken. No trauma to the head. We have given him some strong painkillers, because he just wanted to sit with his husband, and he needed some rest. We want to keep him here a little longer. For observation. Just to make sure. He should look far better in the morning, when he’s awake and he slept a few hours.”
She nods that she understands. She has a million questions, but cannot form one in particular. Wally, her husband, can however and while the doctor continues talking to Wally, Bertha closes off all the superfluous noises to concentrate on her son. Her hand slips into his.
His left hand is empty. They have removed the wedding-ring to make sure that it could not create a swelling. She runs her fingers through her son’s hair. Under the soft touch, Scotty opens his eyes.
“Kevin, where is he? How is he?” Scotty seems worried, but Bertha shushes him.
He closes his eyes again, sleep reclaiming him. Bertha feels devastated because she is unable to help him. Wally walks up to her and softly says:
“Bertha, we can’t stay here. Scotty needs to rest. Kevin’s mother, Nora, has offered us to stay at her place.... We can go with her...” Numbly Bertha nods.
The next day Bertha goes straight to Scotty’s room. When she called the hospital this morning they said that Scotty was fine, he had slept well and that he had seemed coherent when they woke him up. Good. That will make everything a lot easier. In his room she finds him up and very clear.
“How are you?” She asks. He is obviously in pain, judging by the look on his face.
“Good. You didn’t have to come all the way here from Arizona, you know.” Scotty’s voice is a bit impatient. Scotty doesn’t really want this mother here.
“What do you mean? You are my son. I must be here with you.”
She tries to put an arm around him, but he pushes her away.
“I’ve managed without you for almost 9 years, mom. I can take care of myself.”
“Yes, that is why you ended up in hospital, I guess?”
“No,...” Scotty sinks down on his bed. He’s not in the mood for a fight.
“I came here for another reason. I want to take you home.” Bertha starts.
“It’s alright, Sarah will drive me home as soon as I’m allowed to leave.”
“No. Not his loft, but your home in Arizona.” She says.
“My what?” Scotty asks, thinking he misunderstood her.
“You have a room in our house, honey. We have taken all your belongings, the ones you left behind, with us when we moved from Mississippi to Arizona. And the room is ready.”
“Really?” Scotty is astounded. What on Earth....? “Mom, I have a life here. This is where I work, where I have a house with my husband...”
“Oh, stop it..” Bertha reacts irritated.
“I’m not going anywhere.” Scotty says stubbornly.
“Scotty, it is for your own safety.”
“Why? What makes you think I’m safer in Arizona, then here in LA?”
“Isn’t that obvious?”
“Apparently not. Not for me. Care to spell it out?” Bertha is not amused by his sarcasm.
“This wouldn’t have happened, if you hadn’t been with Kevin.”
“You would not have been beaten up, if you hadn’t been involved in a relationship with Kevin. You were in a restaurant. And of course Kevin’s behaviour towards you triggered someone’s anger. You were beaten up moments after you left. It is his fault you are in here.”
“Do you sincerely believe it was something Kevin did to me? What are you thinking of him and me, mom? We had dinner. We flirted a bit. We were having fun. We had our own little booth, with no one looking at us and we behaved completely respectable. It’s not like Kevin and I had sex in the middle of the restaurant...”
“Scotty!” Bertha reprimands her son with one look, but Scotty is not really impressed.
“You have no idea what you’re talking about. Kevin and I....”
“Kevin is the reason why you are in this hospital.’’ Bertha presses her lips together.
“No, a few gay-bashers are the reason why Kevin and I BOTH ended up in the hospital.”
“If you would not so foolishly flaunt your relationship in front of others....”
“Flaunting?! Kevin is so reserved about PDAs, that it’s scary and I respect that he is more reserved in this than I am. Stop acting like Kevin and I provoked them or gave them the idea that we deserve to get beaten up. In fact, Kevin...” Bertha doesn’t let Scotty finish.
“Don’t be ridiculous! Don’t act as if I’m anything like those monsters who did this to you. I don’t think that you deserve what happened to you. No one does. Don’t you understand that by staying with Kevin this can happen to you again? Can you not see how dangerous it is? People have died because they are gay.
“They didn’t die because they were gay, mom, they died because they were not accepted for who they are, by the same people that you are now trying to protect. You want me to pass as straight with people like that, so I will not get hurt again. But they are the ones who are wrong and should just keep their hands off of me.”
Bertha shakes her head and tries softer and gentler approach.
“I love you, honey. Your safety is my most important concern in this. Your choice to live a gay life with Kevin exposes you to the hatred of people. You cannot expect people to change for you. ”
“Yes, it exposes me to people like you, who cannot accept who and what I am and expect me to change for them and their peace of mind. And I didn’t chose to be gay, I am gay. Do you sincerely believe that I would chose for a life where I’m an outsider by the standards of those I grew up with? Those who claim to love me... regardsless? Like my own mother?”
Scotty bites his lip as he sees the hurt expression on his mother's face, but he refuses to apologize.
“Honey, I just want you to be safe. You have no idea how afraid I was.” Bertha says softly.
“Let me see, I get beaten up by 5 men for no other reason, than that they think it would be “fun” to beat me half to death ... no, you’re right, I have no idea whatsoever what it feels like to be scared. You don’t want me to be safe. You just don’t want me to be gay. You want me back in closet, pretending to be someone that I’m not. And I’m sorry but I cannot cater to your issues with my homosexuality.”
Bertha bows her head, a tear in her eyes. Scotty softens a bit.
“I can understand that you love me and you want me safe. But this can happen to me if I move to Arizona too. Moving to Arizona wouldn’t make me any less gay and there would still be people who cannot stomach me because of it.
And rather than punishing them for hurting Kevin and me, you punish Kevin and me by splitting us up. Just so we can appease your unease over my sexual orientation. I am not uneasy with it, neither is Kevin, neither are our friends, whether they are gay or straight. We are accepted by those who love us.
I love my life here, mom, being with Kevin has made my life complete. I found my soul-mate. And I’ve discovered that I love being me. And I’m not letting anyone take it away from me. I’m not going back in the closet. And I will not get intimidated by those who hate me, because I don’t fit their ideals.”
For a moment there’s a tense silence between them, that’s broken when suddenly Justin, Kevin’s younger brother storms into the room.
“Scotty!! Kevin’s awake!! He’s asking for you!! He’s awake!!” Justin flings his arms around Scotty and for a few seconds they hold each other in a tight embrace.
“I’ll be right with you.” Scotty says, tapping Justin on the shoulder. Justin leaves again and Scotty turns to his mother. “In case you were even remotely interested, mom. Kevin was severely injured, more than me, because he used his body to protect me. He tried to keep me safe, by covering my head and body.
It left him unprotected. It would have been useless against 5 men anyway, but him getting the first punches and kicks, protected me from further injury. He tried, mom. He tried to protect me. Keep ME safe and not that it’s really any problem of yours, but they could have killed him. They could have killed my husband...
And that never even entered your mind. That while you were standing here telling me how bad Kevin is for me, my husband is in the other room fighting for his life because he felt the strong need to protect me. Your concern for my life’s partner is really overwhelming, mom. Now, if you will forgive me... My husband needs me...”
Bertha remains in Scotty’s room, her fists clenched, unable to let go of this anger and hurt she feels. She had been so worried, so scared, how can he dismiss her like that? She takes a deep breath and goes to find Scotty. Two rooms further, through the glass, she can see her son.
She sees Kevin’s family around Kevin’s bed. She sees Nora hug Scotty. She can see how Justin gives him a pat on the shoulder as Scotty approaches Kevin’s bed. She can see how Sarah puts a hand his shoulder. Another hug. Robert and Kitty wait just outside the room. They all leave the room to give Kevin and Scotty some privacy.
She can see Kevin open his eyes, his face lights up as he sees Scotty. He’s still not fully conscious yet, for he closes his eyes almost immediately. And she sees the love on Scotty’s face and knows that he will not be coming home. Because he doesn’t need her protection. He feels invincible in his love for Kevin. She cannot win this....