Shooting on Friday morning starts with a big announcement - Hawaii had finally joined the list of states legalizing gay marriage.
It didn’t take long for the jokes to start on set about how Steve and Danny should make it official, Grace choosing to be the loudest supporter of a Steve/Danny wedding, complete with Wo Fat crashing the ceremony and Kono killing him just before Steve and Danny say ‘I Do’.
Before the day wraps up, Ryan from the Art Department announces that everyone is invited for a night out in the Tropics Bar where he’s picking the tab because he’s finally proposed to his boyfriend, and they’re getting married in a week.
A tidal wave of congratulations and cheers descending, they finish the day’s scenes, and the entire group, including Scott, Alex and Daniel, head out with Ryan to celebrate his engagement.
And that was the last thing Scott remembers before everything goes downhill.
Scott wakes up on Saturday with a headache.
He thinks headache, but even thinking the word sends a fresh stab of pain throughout his throbbing head. He has a vague memory of arriving at the Tropics Bar, and being handed a beer, followed by two, three, four rounds of tequila shots, and then…nothing.
Keeping his eyes screwed shut to bar out the too bright sunlight streaming through the window, Scott tries to get his mental bearings; Bed, good. Birds singing, fuck off. And then he realizes that he’s naked…and he’s not alone.
Oh god, please don’t be a fan, please don’t be a fan. Some bullshit story “Scott Caan’s one-night stand tells all!” would be in every tabloid by next month. Putting his rapidly disintegrating brain cells to work, Scott tries to focus.
He knows that it isn’t Kasey; he had broken up with her a few months ago. He doesn’t remember seeing anyone interesting last night, he’d spent the whole night with Alex by his sid… No, no it can’t be Alex! he opens his eyes slowly and turns to his side and oh shit, it’s Alex!
Maybe Alex had been too drunk and tired to head home, so he had crashed with Scott. Yes, he’ll stick to that story for now. It wasn’t until he brought up his left hand to rub it down his face when he saw the ring.
OKAY now it’s time to freak out he thought as he hit Alex’s arm, “Alex, wake up!”
Alex groaned, rolling over to face Scott, and oh, yes, more nakedness. Scott’s brain felt like it was short-circuiting, and only started to move when Alex finally spoke to him.
“Why are you screaming at me?” As he opened his eyes, Alex began to realize where he was, adding, “And why am I in your bed?”
“Why do I have a ring on my finger, tell me that!” said Scott waving his hand in front of Alex’s face. “What the hell happened last night? Last thing I remember is the damn tequila!”
“I don’t know,” said Alex looking at his own left hand with a silver band on his wedding finger, “We got married?”
“I don’t know! I can’t do this right now! I need water and an Advil, then we can figure this thing out!” And with that, Scott is off to the bathroom as fast as his poor, hung-over body can carry him, bedsheet wrapped around his hips and trailing behind him.
Alex didn’t move; for a few minutes all he can do is stare at the ring now staking its claim on his left hand. He wasn’t freaking out, not the way Scott wanted him to. Unlike Scott, Alex remembers what happened after the shots.
He remembers Scott kissing him and telling him that he doesn’t want to live one more day without him by his side.
He remembers Scott telling him that he wasn’t drunk, that he was not making it up, that the drinks just loosened his tongue.
He remembers Scott dragging him to the small church near the bar and telling him that they should get married right now.
He remembers saying I Do, feeling the adrenalin rush as they signed the papers and placed the rings on their fingers
Alex remembers everything. But now, knowing that Scott had been lying, that it had been the alcohol all along, Alex desperately wanted to forget.
After an Advil and a quick shower, Scott was starting to feel like himself again. Now, he was standing by the sink trying to get the ring off, but it just wouldn’t come off. “Great,” mumbled Scott, while looking for some kind of lotion or lube to try and make the ring give, but it was no use.
He gave up on it before getting dressed, leaving the bathroom only to find his bed empty with a note on the nightstand:
“I’m heading home for a shower and a change, I’ll be back in an hour with breakfast and we’ll figure it out.” A.
“Just great,” said Scott. “Something to look forward to.” After he’s dressed, he heads downstairs to the kitchen. Pouring himself a glass of OJ, he tries to get some work done, check the news, answer a few emails, but gives up.
The pounding in his brain and his heart aren’t letting up. He needs to sort this thing out with Alex. For a while, Scott just sits, his head in his hands, the cool metal of the ring serving as a reminder of just how truly fucked he was. How did this happen?
They were in the bar with Ryan and the crew drinking happily until Daniel suggested the tequila, they did a few shots and that’s the last thing Scott remembers.
Sighing, he starts looking around for his phone to call Alex and see where he is. He can’t find it in the living room so he goes back to the bedroom to look for it, finally finding it on Alex’s side of the bed - shit… the other side of the bed, lying on top of a pile of papers – the marriage license and other papers that he and Alex must’ve signed the previous night.
So we’re actually married? Huh… this should feel weirder than it is. thought Scott to himself. He took his phone and the papers and went back to the living room, where he finds Alex on his couch, sitting with a bag of malsadas in front of him.
“You’re back! I was just about to call you,” said Scott, leaning against the doorframe. “I thought you ditched me.”
“I figured that if we were going to have our first marital spat, I’d better come back with a peace offering.” Alex smiled, nodding towards the malsadas.
“Don’t joke about it,” Scott rolled his eyes, sitting next to Alex and grabbing a sugary pastry. “I just don’t know. Are you sure you don’t remember anything from last night?”
Alex shifted uncomfortably, leaning back and bracing his arm on the back of the couch. “I-I don’t really know mate, there was so much going on. It was just a mess of a night.”
“Listen man, I can’t remember a fucking thing, and I feel like shit here. You on the other hand either have an exceptional drinking tolerance, or you’re not telling me the whole story.”
“Of course I have an exceptional drinking tolerance, I’m Australian!”
“Not really the point dude,” Scott sighs, throwing up his hands and flopping back on the couch, his head inches from Alex’s fingertips. Alex can’t bring himself to admit to it. Avoiding Scott’s eyes, Alex chooses instead to stare at his hands in his lap, the sunlight glinting off the new silver ring over and over again.
Scott turns his head and stares at his friend his…husband?, following his gaze, darting back and forth between Alex’s face and his hand.
“Alex,” he says, careful not to use a buddy term like “dude” or “man” again; “Please. You do know something; otherwise you wouldn’t be acting like this. Just tell me what happened babe.”
Scott really did care for Alex. He cared for him just a little too much sometimes, in spite of himself. But right now, Scott felt left out of the loop, and he had to get to the bottom of it.
Alex sighed, sitting up enough to rest his head in his hands. When he spoke, he confessed everything – that he hadn’t been that drunk, that Scott’s declaration of “love” had been a welcome one, and that saying “I Do” whilst putting the ring on Scott’s finger had been one of the best moments of his life.
Scott was speechless. What do you say when your best friend, your coworker, your partner announces that for all intents and purposes, he’s in love with you? You say I love you back He couldn’t take it in. He thought he might still be drunk. But really, he knew, this had happened for a reason. It wasn’t about the marriage, not now.
If they wanted, they could march down to city hall and get it annulled right now. Scott sat there, his thumb running over the ring again and again, the smooth metal still refusing to give. He couldn’t help but wonder whether it was the universe’s way of forcing him to face his feelings. Because no matter how many times he went over it, he was well and truly in love with Alex O’Loughlin, stuck on him like the ring stuck to his skin.
Alex noticed the movement in Scott’s fingers, finally chancing a glance up to his face. It looked as though his mind was in overdrive, his face calm, but his eyes confused and overwhelmed. Nervously, Alex asked, “What’s wrong? Say something, please.”
Scott turned; his blue eyes meeting Alex’s light brown, sparkling in the sunlight. “My ring is stuck.”
Alex’s heart leapt. Was there a chance? Swallowing thickly, he reached over to touch Scott’s hand, pulling it towards him. He loved Scott’s hands; they were the source of Scott’s creativity, strong and callused, able to wield a camera and deliver a punch equally as powerfully. Now, he held it in his own, the left hand where the blessed, offending ring now lived. Maybe not forever, Alex thought. But for now. For now.
Alex could feel Scott’s breathing increase, his pulse speeding up under his touch. Allowing his fingers to explore, he caressed the ring, and staring into Scott’s eyes, gently began to pull, twisting and turning until the metal gave way, sliding up the fourth finger and off. Questioning, Alex stared at Scott. “Happy?”
Scott looked down, the release of the ring from his skin leaving him cold and empty. This was too sudden, like a dream. But Scott had lived in Hollywood long enough, seen his own parents’ love disintegrate and so many people marry for image rather than love, that all he could think was: Fuck it.
So, sitting up to face Alex, he took Alex’s hand with his right, and whispered, “No.” With that, Scott guided Alex’s hand so that the ring was being pushed back into place, where it belonged on Scott’s left hand. Alex, wide-eyed, could only smile and say, “With this ring, I thee wed?” Scott felt his heart lodge in his throat, and, bringing his hand to cup Alex’s cheek, he pulled his husband in for their first true kiss.
Alex trembled, Scott’s lips tentatively pressing against his own. As the kiss deepened with so many years of wasted time and unresolved passion, neither man could remember a time when they’d felt so happy. It would be a challenge, but one they were ready to face together.