When his cell rang, Scott answered it mostly by reflex. It wasn't until he'd flipped open the phone that he realised he'd recognised the ringtone and knew who was calling. He grinned and said "Hey, dad."
"Scott, son, is there something you'd like to tell me?"
Scott blinked at the serious tone of his father's voice. He paused in mid-motion where he'd been about to throw himself onto the couch in his trailer -- more of a large-ish recliner, but at his height it was nearly a couch and he took great glee in napping on it while Alex complained about trying to fit onto the bed in his own trailer. Then he sat down anyway, because he was exhausted and it was only Wednesday. He tried frantically to think of what he'd done wrong lately that his father might have heard about.
He hadn't caused any scandals recently, unless you counted pissing off journalists but he'd been doing that for forever and his father didn't seem to think it was that big of a deal. Well, there was the awards thing, but he'd called his dad exactly five seconds after his agent had called him, so unless his dad was suddenly suffering from Alzheimer’s, he didn't think it was that, either.
He could hear the silence on the other end of the phone and knew his dad was waiting. Scott asked, "Is this a recent thing, or that thing when I was fourteen that you don't know about?"
"I know about that incident with you and the police," his dad said, and he sounded only slightly amused.
"You know?" Scott asked, then clamped his jaw shut because he was about to ask which incident? and he'd finally grown up enough to have a few extra brain cells to keep himself out of that much trouble, at least.
Except for the part where his dad was calling him to scold him, so clearly he hadn't.
Scott cleared his throat and figured he might as well bite the bullet. "What are you talking about?"
"I've seen the photos," his dad said and Scott tried frantically to think -- he'd never had a girlfriend take video of them having sex, so nothing could have been uploaded to the 'net. There had been one time with one guy, but those had been polaroid shots and Scott had burned them a few years ago when he'd finally started making something of his career.
Could be paparazzi shots, but Scott couldn't think of anything he'd done that would be worthy of a gossip rag and his father's disappointed tone.
"I don't have a clue what you're talking about," Scott finally said. If he'd done something to be ashamed of, it hadn't been a few years and the last really awful thing he'd done, cheating on his girlfriend and then getting caught, he'd called up his dad the next day, still drunk, and cried over the phone to him about it all. His dad had been on her side, of course, and when he'd sobered up Scott had had to agree he'd been an asshole.
There was a sigh, then a sound like his dad was shifting papers -- flipping through 8x10 glossy photos? What the hell pictures had he seen? Scott opened his mouth to demand answers when his dad said, "I just wish you had told me. I know you don't always tell me these things, but I don't care so much when it isn't serious. But I didn't think you'd keep it from me when it was."
Scott tried not to give in to the urge to bang his head against something solid. "What are you talking about? What photos are you seeing? Are you sure it's even me?"
"Oh, that reminds me," his dad said, and Scott wondered how he'd missed the part of the conversation where his dad had answered his questions. "He's got a kid, doesn't he? What sort of things does he like? Sports, cars?"
Scott tilted his head to one side, wondering if he'd gotten drunk and forgot to notice. "Who's got a--" And suddenly he knew. Because everyone on the crew had been giggling behind their hands -- and in front of Scott's and Alex's faces, and Julie in makeup thought they were adorable and Malcolm kept reminding him he was a licensed minister and no amount of anything Scott could say could convince anybody that he and Alex weren't fucking like bunnies in their trailers between takes.
It was all a huge joke, of course, and he didn't really mind, except now his father was calling him asking why Scott hadn't told him.
He was going to kill Alex, as soon as he got off the phone with his dad, because Scott had never had to deal with this sort of thing before Alex and his complete lack of personal space and self-control. "Dad, that isn't--"
"It is necessary," his dad interrupted and thus misunderstanding Scott's objection. "I figure this will be the closest thing to a grandson I'm gonna get out of you, so I'd like to do my part and spoil him."
Scott had to take a moment and just breathe. There were so many things wrong with what his dad was saying that he couldn't even wrap his head around responding to any of them. Grandson. Scott choked, then wheezed a little, then said, "He likes video games and cricket, which is not a real sport but just try telling Australians that. However, and I want to make this very clear, Saxon is not your grandson. I don't know which photos you've been seeing, but Alex and I are not dating."
"We're not?" came a very unexpected question from behind him, and Scott barely had a chance to whip his head around and glare at Alex, before Alex walked over and said loudly, "Who're you talking to, sweetheart?"
Scott thumped him, hard, but he didn't have very good leverage from where he was sitting and his fist just sort of bounced off Alex's stomach. "My dad," he hissed, glaring at Alex to let him know he should take this seriously and not be an idiot.
Alex blinked and looked genuinely confused. "We're not telling your dad that we're dating?"
In his ear, Scott could hear his dad saying his name, sounding disappointed and serious and oh dear God, somebody needed to come rescue him from his life. Scott just stood up and shoved the phone at Alex and stormed towards the door. "You explain it to him," he said, because maybe if Scott wasn't around to tease, Alex might actually have a real conversation and admit that he only did this sort of thing to harass Scott and no, sir, we're not dating and we didn't deliberately forget to invite you to the wedding.
Scott let the door to his trailer slam shut, then he paced a little before settling into wandering sort of aimlessly around the trailers. He soaked up the heat and wished for a cold beer, and hoped no one called him over to start standing around doing a lot of nothing while Alex draped himself all over Scott's body and making people think they were joined at the hip in the wrong direction.
It was quite awhile before Alex finally came out and handed Scott his phone. He looked sort-of solemn and Scott didn't know what to make of it. "Did you explain to my father that we are not dating and that I haven't been lying to him?"
Alex hesitated, looking slightly guilty. Scott tried to breathe, counted to ten, then waved his fist in front of Alex's face.
"Tell me why I shouldn't punch you in the nose. My dad thinks we're dating and that I've been lying to him--"
"I thought about telling him," Alex said, slowly. Then he grinned. "But I thought it would be easier to do this." And suddenly he was there, in Scott's face, kissing him.
Scott actually froze for several seconds before he shoved Alex back. "You want to start dating so you don't have to tell my dad that we aren't?" he demanded.
"Nothing else was working." Alex was still grinning, but suddenly there was something else in his eyes -- something that was making them go dark and still.
Scott still felt like punching him in the nose, and left his fist in good position for doing so, just in case. "Nothing else was working," he repeated.
Alex nodded, all earnest and solemn, despite the wide grin still on his face.
"Because.. all this...has been you, trying to ask me out?" The hands and the body draped all over and never leaving Scott alone for a second without popping up and asking him whatever weird question had just popped into his brain. Or possibly, it slowly dawned on Scott, Alex had been thinking up questions all along, giving himself an excuse to hang around and talk.
Alex just shrugged.
"Has anyone told you that you are a mental case?" Scott demanded, because in hindsight, yeah, maybe what Alex had been doing was a little more 'sleep with me' and less 'I like you the way I like bagels: occasionally but not more than pancakes.' Scott sighed. "You couldn't have just asked?"
"Oh." Alex frowned, then looked at him. "Hey, Scott, you wanna hang out some time?"
Scott banged his forehead on the nearest wall -- which just so happened to be Alex's chest. He tried to count to ten, then thought maybe a hundred, then thought maybe a Xanax and then count to a hundred. He felt Alex's hand on his head, then realised Alex was patting him.
"Your dad wants us to come visit," Alex said, after a moment of blissful silence. "And I told him Saxon has a PSP and gave him a list of games he doesn't own yet. Do you think your dad will want to come out to Hawai'i in April, when Saxon's visiting?"
"I think I've been cursed," Scott replied. "Somebody out there hates me and decided I needed you in my life, turning everything upside-down and what the hell did I ever do to anybody to deserve this?"
"I think your dad likes me," Alex just said, sounding very faintly smug. "He said you've always been a little slow. Apparently in high school, it took you seven months to ask Shelly out."
Which was all kinds of wrong, because for one thing, Shelly had been going steady with Ryan Masterson, so five of those seven months she hadn't been available. For another thing -- Scott looked up at him, squinting just a little against the glare of the sun off the side of the trailer. "Did you send photos to my dad?" Because yes, he might have found them online somewhere, but his dad had been the one to teach him not to go looking for that kind of thing because you could never un-see what you'd found.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Alex said, but he was smiling, and he looked like a giant goof, and Scott realised that yes, OK, maybe he'd grown to enjoy the view of that somewhere along the way.
"You've never even bought me dinner," he pointed out, then Alex leaned in again and this time the kiss was slow and slightly more graceful on Scott's part. At least this time he knew it wasn't going to end in bloody noses and shouts of surprise from the crew, hiding to jump out and take photos.
The kiss didn't last for long, but they were pressed together in a way that Scott understood far too well. He smiled, and Alex was smiling back, and for all the griping he was going to do later about cricks in his neck, Scott found that he really didn't want to move.
"I'll buy you breakfast," Alex offered, and Scott just nodded.
Then he made a mental note to call his dad, maybe tomorrow, and apologize.