Title: The Job, the Fool and the Bribe.
Rating: PG -Slash implied
Summary: Seth has a confession to make and Kirsten is not all that surprised.
Disclaimer: I own nothing...
Notes: This is just a little scene I wrote to get the juices flowing again.
It was his extreme guilt that led Seth to follow in his Mother's footsteps and enter the family business. It was either that or killing himself and Seth had always had a hard time swallowing pills; they tended to get lodged in his throat and choking wasn't a very dignified way to end one's life in his opinion. There was always slashing his wrists, but that was a little too cliched even for him and there was the whole pain factor to contend with. Hanging himself was always an option, but then again, that wouldn't be so good for the funeral, especially if they wanted to have an open casket, there was only so much that make-up could do for a corpse.
With all those options nixed, there was really only one thing left to do: live, be the model son and help build grand, overindulgent, fully furnished, rich mens' wet dreams style homes with his mother until he had an early heart attack and retired to Palm Springs at thirty-five. It had seemed like a brilliant plan, but slowly he was going insane. He hated it and couldn't take it anymore.
And all because once when he was fourteen, he promised his mother grandchildren to get her off his back about taking out the trash. Who takes those sort of promises to heart? Now, unless Ryan suddenly grew an uterus or medical science advanced really far in the next few years, there were going to be no grand-babies for the Cohen's. So, yeah, guilt. Add to that the fact that he refused to acknowledge that he and Ryan were practically an old married couple and refused to hold his hand in public or tell his parents of their Very Gay goings-on in the bedroom and Seth was practically drowning in guilt. Ha! Drowning. Drowning was a viable, somewhat respectable way to kill oneself, wasn't it?
Oy, he was in trouble. Especially since he had promised Ryan that he was going to finally come out of the closet to his mother and tell her he was quitting and break her heart about the no grandchildren thing. It was going to be a long day. He loosened his tie and checked his watch. It was only 9 a.m. and he was already looking like he'd put in a full day's work. Then again, lying to everyone he knew was a tough job.
"Hey honey, you're early this morning."
Seth perked up and swived around in his custom made, leather chair. "Not early, just on time for once," he answered lightly, cringing as she tousled his hair on the way to her desk. "Huh, suddenly I feel eight again."
Kirsten set her briefcase on her desk and took a sip from a coffee cup - which more than likely held tea rather than actual coffee. "Hmm? What's that?"
"Nothing," Seth grumbled, sorting through papers that littered his desk without actually being able to focus long enough to read anything. "The contractor bailed on the Fruitland Estates, but I called Barry and he's willing to do it for his usual fee," he recited like it was second-nature.
Kirsten looked up from a blue print, furrowing her eyebrows. "Which one's Barry? Short guy with big glasses?"
Seth raised his hand above his head. "No, tall guy with short fuse. You're thinking of Allen."
"Ah," she said and went back to looking at the blue prints.
Seth took a deep breath, stood and walked over to his mother's desk. He leaned against the side of it, pulling out a pen from a cup full of them and twirled it between his fingers. "So, Mom...uh, I was thinking-"
Kirsten looked up, smiling warmly. "Should I be worried?"
"You have so little faith in me," Seth answered, feigning hurt.
"I have lots of faith in you, sweetie, it's just that last time you started something with 'I was thinking', I ended up with a house full of guard dogs and a big mess to clean."
Seth set the pen on the desk and held his hands up in front of himself. "Okay, so that wasn't the brightest idea I've ever had, but at least no one got hurt... Much."
Kirsten sat back in her chair, crossed her legs, giving Seth her full attention. "Okay, tell me this idea you have."
Seth scratched behind his ear, his face scrunching up like one of those adorable bull dogs with all the wrinkles. "Don't get mad."
Kirsten nodded, gesturing for him to continue.
She rolled her eyes, humouring him. "Okay."
Seth was silent for a long time, his finger absently traced the edge of the desk. Finally, he looked up and met his mother's eye. "I don't want to work here anymore. I want to go back to school."
Seth shrugged. "I don't know."
Kirsten laughed, leaning forward. "Sounds like a good plan you have there."
Standing straight, Seth rubbed his hand over his face in frustration. "Mom, this is serious. I'm being serious. I hate working here. I hate the long hours. I hate the bad take-out. I hate schmoozing potential clients. I hate sitting here day after day and pretending I'm okay, because I'm not."
Kirsten stood, touching his shoulder, but Seth backed away. "Seth?"
"I'm not finished." Looking up, he saw the distress in his mother's eyes and swallowed hard. "No, I am finished. I think that's enough for today."
"You know your father and I will support anything you want to do. I didn't know you were so unhappy here, sweetheart. Why didn't you tell me?" Her eyes swam with affection and love and it made Seth wonder why he'd waited to tell her how he really felt.
Seth shrugged. "I don't know."
"Didn't you think I'd understand?" She took a step closer.
"I just wanted to make you happy."
"Seth, everyday that you're alive I'm happy. You don't have to do anything that you don't want just to impress me."
Seth let out a low guffaw. "What about grandkids? You and dad want grandchildren, don't you?"
Kirsten's eyes widened, her smile bright. "Are you and Ryan thinking of adopting?"
Seth's eyebrows narrowed, he blinked, shook his head and blinked again. "What!? Say that again, my ears are numb, I don't think I heard you right."
"Seth, you didn't honestly think you were fooling me, did you? I'm your mother and I know when my baby is in love and I know when he's grown up." Her voice was a little smug and if Seth hadn't been so relieved, he might have found it a bit annoying.
"You knew? All along you knew?" he asked, incredulous.
Kirsten laughed softly. "Since the day Ryan walked through the door and I saw your eyes light up."
"That's impressive. I didn't even know until months after that."
"You're happy, though? Ryan makes you happy?"
Seth smiled lopsidedly. "Yeah."
Kirsten wrapped her arms around her son and gave him a tight hug. "Then that's all that matters."
Seth pulled away slightly, his eyes unsure. "So, we're cool."
"We'll always be cool, honey."
"Mom, about calling me honey, and sweetie, and sweetheart... I mean, I'm twenty-three, don't you think-"
"You're grown up, but you'll always be my baby, just let me have this one thing, Seth."
Kirsten hugged him again and even though it made Seth feel like he was a little kid again, it was also reassuring. Letting go of her son, Kirsten dabbed at her eyes and smiled gently. "Honey?"
"If you and Ryan did adopt, I'm sure I could be persuaded to drop the cute names."
Seth's eyes widened. "My own mother is bribing me, what has the world come to?"
"You did promise me grandchildren."
Seth threw his hands up in the air. "I was fourteen!"