About: Nora, Scotty, Tommy, Sarah
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
Extra: This an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so remember : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here are part 01, part 02, part 03, part 04, part 05, part 06, part 07, part 08, part 09, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 13, part 14, part 15, part 16, part 17, part 18, part 19, part 20, part 21, part 22, part 23 and part 24
END OF JANUARY 2008
Looking back Nora would have to say that January just flew by. Fawn’s funeral had been sad and it had erupted into an angry disagreement between Justin and Fawn’s parents, when they had continually talked about Adam, their son, and Justin had flown into a rage, yelling at them that people were there to mourn Fawn and not Adam.
Angrily pointing at the door, he had told them that if they had come to mourn their son only, then they’d better do it elsewhere. It was of course all very uncomfortable and Nora had been glad that Kevin and Sarah calmed everybody down with soothing words and by putting the two different ‘camps’ apart.
William seemed even busier than usual, he kept driving back and forth to Ojai, to their ranch, but he seemed happy and cheerful, so Nora couldn’t really complain. She was worried about Saul, who seemed grumpier than usual. She knew he never liked William much, but lately his aversion for William had seem to grow even bigger.
She had toyed the with idea to talk about it with Saul, but upon hearing from Sarah that it was just very busy at the office and that they were all putting in extra hours, she decided that maybe that was just the reason that Saul was so grumpy. If there was something on his mind, he’d tell her sooner or later.
Kitty seemed happy with her life and with Jonathan in New York. She hardly ever called, but then, she’d always been rather distant. And Nora could keep tabs on her by reading the gossip magazines, where she keeps seeing pictures pop up of Kitty and Jonathan with some celebrity. Damn, she even met Harrison Ford, Nora’s favourite actor.
Kevin was another child she hardly saw these days. Sure, he came for dinner every Thursday and he would talk and smile, but there was something.... Nora couldn’t put her finger on what it was. Kevin had changed in a subtle way. A bit more distant. Not cold or disinterested like Kitty, or ‘too busy’ like Sarah, just ... more ‘discrete’.
Yes, that was the word for it. It was almost as if he weighed every word he said. He didn’t appear to be unhappy though, just reserved, not the usual cheerful Kevin. Maybe he was just ‘growing up’. She cannot help but grin, when she remembers how startled he had looked last week when she had noticed him wearing a gold ring around his finger.
Kevin had laughed and he had explained that someone had told him, it would make him appear married and therefore more dependable. At first he had laughed about it, but then he tried it and that it seemed to work. His words had sparked a heated debate on how people reacted to ‘symbols’ and no one had paid attention to Kevin’s ring anymore.
Of course, Justin was Nora’s biggest concern. Fawn’s death had really hit him hard and he had moved back into his parents' house, because he was afraid that if he were alone, he might start using again. Nora tries to walk that thin line between keeping a vigilant eye on Justin and, at the same time, trying not to smother him too much. And it’s so difficult.
Above all, for some reason, Nora feels like she’s sitting on a ticking time-bomb. Not just with Justin, but there is growing un-ease her. Like looking at a picture and knowing there’s something wrong, but you don’t know what it is. And this restlessness is growing and deep inside herself she just wishes the bomb would go off, so she can move on.
Scotty, on the other hand, hardly had a care in the world. In fact, he cannot remember ever being happier in his life. Kevin didn’t take half measures. Not long after their return to LA, he had kicked into lawyer-mode and started dealing with the papers for their union and Scotty can still laugh at the enormous amount of papers he had to sign.
Scotty had expected that Kevin had wanted some sort of prenup, but Kevin had insisted on make him an equal partner in everything. So now, he owned half the loft and had access to Kevin’s finances. Better even, since early this week they actually had a joint account. To Scotty it truly felt like Kevin and he were sharing everything.
He started to feel like he wasn’t just some ornament in the house, but a partner. Kevin had guided Scotty through each and every single document he had, from copies of his birth-certificate to his will. He had felt that it was important that Scotty knew all about it, in case something happened to him. What a huge difference from Mark, who never told him anything.
Filing for domestic partnership had been so easy. All they had to do was fill out some forms, get them notarized and that was it. Suddenly they were recognized a couple by the state of California. A couple. The words could still put a smile on Scotty’s face whenever he thought of it, and of the fact that he could call Kevin his ‘husband’.
Alright, so it hadn’t been a fairytale wedding, with friends and family, nice suits, a cake, flowers, a party and people throwing rice, but they had their picture taken together as a memory of that moment and they had celebrated quietly with lobster and champagne and that is where Kevin had put a ring on his finger, again stating his devotion to Scotty.
So, Scotty seriously doubts that a fairytale wedding would have added anything to how happy and satisfied he feels now. Not only with his marriage, but also with his job. With his excellent grades in New York and with the help of one of his teachers there, he had gotten an apprentice-ship at San Estephe’s, a prestigious 5-star restaurant.
They demand a lot of him, but he learns fast, works hard and he notices with growing confidence that he is quickly moving up. His chef has even told him, that if he keeps up his excellent work, he would one day be a head-chef too, so Scotty now feels he has something to work towards and he is more determined than ever to succeed.
Of course, their relationship is still a secret. Well, no so much a secret. At San Estephe’s they know he’s married to a man. They even met Kevin. Some people at Kevin’s work have been told. But no one in Kevin’s family knows, Scotty hasn’t told his own family either. Kevin and he live in their own little bubble of happiness and Scotty knows it cannot last, but for now, he just enjoys it.
Tommy stares at the calendar. Nearly a month. That is how long he knows that he is sterile. Yet, he hasn’t had the courage to tell Julia about it. When she came home after her stay in Arizona, she had first been very happy, then she heard about Fawn and she had been upset. She had liked Fawn.
Tommy had somehow not been able to also tell her the news about himself. He just couldn’t. He thought he’d wait until Julia was calmer, then he thought he’d wait until after the funeral, then until the 15th, when he’d have more time to talk to her, but it was nearing the end of the month, and he still hadn’t brought up the courage to tell her.
And he had to, because sooner or later Julia would want to know why it didn’t work. If she would then find out, that he knew all along, she’d be livid. But he also is not fooling himself. He knows what his biggest fear is. Not her anger, but her disappointment that he cannot do what he is supposed to do. What if she leaves him? That is his biggest fear.
Sarah parks her car in front of the building, in which Kevin lives. She would rather not do this, but she feels the need to talk to him. She can no longer ignore the fact that these last few months he’s been pushing her away and it worries her. She could understand that he wasn’t in the mood to talk to her right after Scotty left.
But he seems to be doing fine, though he’s not the old Kevin she used to know. She wonders what happened between Kevin and Scotty that was so bad that Kevin has withdrawn himself from everybody. She needs to know how she can reclaim her brother, because she misses him like crazy.
Sarah is about to press the button for the doorbell, when the door of the hallway swings open and someone bumps into her.
“Oh, sorry, I hadn’t seen you.” The woman mumbles, but then she takes a closer look at Sarah. “You’re Sarah. Sarah Walker. Kevin’s sister. So pretty. I saw it immediately.”
“Mrs Berryman.” Sarah replies with a gentle smile, seeing no need to tell Kevin’s lovely neighbour that her name is actually Sarah Whedon. “How good it is to see you again. I heard you got really hurt, when you slipped last week?”
“Oh, Kevin told you about me?” Mrs Berryman beams.
She adores Kevin. And she’s so flattered he told his family about her. She has so little people of her own, but Kevin and Scotty are the sweetest neighbours she could ask for. Never trouble, never loud noise, never slamming doors and always polite and friendly to her. Not like those awful brats at 306 who called her a nosy, old woman, just because the mailman had put a letter for them in her mailbox.
“Yes, he did. He was concerned about you.” Sarah continues to smile.
“I don’t know what I would have done without the boys. They were both so helpful. Kevin is so lucky to have such a sweet partner.” A partner? “Yes, he is.” Sarah fakes her smile. What is that woman talking about?
“Are you going upstairs to see them? Better be a bit quiet. It was so late when that poor boy came home last night. Nearly two.... Works too hard, I think. But then he’s fortunate to have found such a good restaurant.” Kevin had dinner until two o’clock in the morning? Sarah starts to wonder if Mrs Berryman hasn’t struck her head in the fall.
“I knew from the day I saw him, he was the one for Kevin...” For Kevin? He? Wait! There’s two of them? Kevin is seeing someone? Sarah is about to ask more, when Mrs Berryman says: “I can’t stay here chatting. I have a bus to catch. You can find your own way up, can’t you, dear?” And Sarah nods. She sure can!
END OF PART 25