Disclaimer:The Equalizer and all its characters are property of Universal and are used here without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.
I'll Tell Your Father
Harley Gage was not amused. He was sitting in Robert McCall's car waiting for his friend's son Scott to leave the small music academy that he had recently started attending.
Robert had been called away for the weekend on a case and had asked Harley to meet the lad and explain his father's sudden departure. An act that Harley was not looking forward to as Scott was renowned for not taking his father's sudden absences well. Not to mention the fact that, of late, Harley had been having trouble sleeping and McCall would never have sent him to meet Scott had he only realised that dreams of the boy that had occupied Gage's restless nights.
Seeing a crowd of youngsters begin to pile out of the old red brick building, Gage realised that the lessons must be over for the day and, heaving a resigned sigh he opened the car door and got out, clearly showing himself by McCall's car for Scott's benefit.
Fifteen minutes later Harley was still leaning against the car. Most of the youngsters had left and only a few now dribbled out of the large doors. Gage was just beginning to get concerned, when he spied Scott leave the building, deep in agitated conversation with a fellow student. She was a pretty brunet who seemed to hang intently on to every word that the other was saying. Harley noted that Scott did not seem to be enjoying the conversation as much as she did.
Harley just leant there admiring the boy as he walked. How he got into jeans that tight was a mystery to Gage, but the ex-agent was always one to enjoy the sight of a beautiful body, and he had to admit that Scott McCall was worthy of his admiration. He licked at suddenly dry lips and pushed that thought to the back of his mind, wishing that the fluttering in the pit of his stomach was as easy to quell, as it slowly began to sink lower.
The younger McCall gave a quick agitated look about and pulled up short when he saw his father's car and Gage standing beside it. A strange look pulled at his face, which turned to a sudden smile as he hurried his pace and headed towards Harley, the young woman still dogging his heels.
Before Gage could open his mouth, Scott acknowledged warmly. "Harley, you didn't have to come and meet me..... I told you I'd see you back at the flat," he hurried on, fluttering his eyes at the older man, who just gaped at him in astonishment.
"The flat?" Harley queried in confusion which turned to shock as the younger man slipped his arm about the other's waist pulling him tight against his side, but Scott was hurrying on.
Turning to the young woman he introduced. "Sandy... this is Harley... Harley Gage." he finished pointedly, still hugging the shell shocked man, who had not yet pulled way from him.
Sandy turned venomous eyes upon the man in question, and Gage felt his instincts sharpen under the glare, which he returned in full force. "He's a lot older then you," Sandy offered as she boldly looked Harley up and down, indicating that she could not see what Scott saw in him, "I wonder what you father would think of that?" She sneered, before she span about and fled in the other direction.
Scott watched her disappear round a corner, letting out the breath he hadn't even been aware that he'd been holding. Then, turning his attention back to Gage, he felt it catch again in his throat as he caught sight of Harley's thunderous expression.
"What the hell was all that about?" the ex-agency man demanded as he pulled out of the younger man's grasp and yanked open the driver's door with more force then was necessary. Pushing Scott away, he motioned him around the car towards the passenger side.
"That.... oh nothing," Scott said far to innocently, as he settled himself in his seat, reaching for the safety belt and refusing to meet the other's glance.
Harley started the car and pulled into the traffic. "Nothing?" Gage repeated then added, mimicking Sandy's voice "He's a lot older then you.... I wonder what you father would think of that."
"Look it's nothing... really..." Scott was almost squirming in his seat and that alone caught and held Gage's full attention.
"Scott," he warned in his most deadly tone. "You don't usually hug me in public... come to think of it, you've never hugged me before."
"Your didn't seem to mind too much," Scott shot back, fluttering his eyes at the ex-agency man again.
Gage's eyes narrowed and his nostrils flared, as he turned a burning look on the younger man.
"Look," Scott finally admitted, realising that he just might have gone too far with his growing suspicions, "Sandy's a bit intense... she been bothering me... all right," the words were spat out, and it was obvious to Harley that the boy was upset by the girls actions, "following me about the school, phoning me at home, calling around the flat. You know the sort of thing." Scott was on a roll now and his words were heating up with every breath. "She even sent me flowers. It was getting embarrassing so.... so I told... her that....." Scott paused suddenly realising what he was about to say and to whom.
"So you told her what.... that you were gay?" Harley prompted, concerned by the emotions that Scott was exhibiting, and the knowledge that the younger man was being stalked by a fellow student. Although he doubted if Scott would see it as a stalking.
Scott took a deep breath, clenching his hands together he rushed on. "Well kinda.... I actually told her that you.... that you... were my lover."
Harley was a professional, trained to absorb the unexpected and although he was half suspecting it, it still came as a shock to actually hear the kid say it but he was able to regain control of the car before it hit the on coming traffic. "You told her what?" he yelled.
Scott physically cringed at the tone of voice and gamely hurried on to explain, "Well, Mickey would have killed me if I'd told her it was him, and anyway, he sometimes come to the school to hear me play, but you....." Scott paused and threw Gage an accusing look, "you've never come to the school, never that is... until today." Harley got the distinct feeling that Scott was implying that it was Gage's own fault.
"Why did you have to introduce us then?" he asked, trying to keep the sound of reason in his voice. "I mean... you made it pretty obvious Scott."
Scott threw up his arms, answering with growing frustration, "I don't know... she'd been hustling me again, and the shock of seeing you waiting for me just kind threw me."
Gage cast him a look and realised that the boy was quite upset by the turn of events and, taking pity upon him, said, "Alright, I don't really mind the fact that you told her we were lovers. After all," he continued with a smile, "it wouldn't do my reputation any harm to let anyone think that I'm capable of capturing a young handsome man into my bed but," he added in deadly seriousness, "I would suggest that you tell your father about her and tell him soon."
Harley actually saw the colour seep from the boy's face at that piece of advice. "Scott," Gage began, his tone firm once more, "you've got to tell Robert. She might be dangerous.... and in any case, if word of this ever got back to him..." Harley paused shuddering at the thought of what McCall would do to him for seducing his son. Even if it was only imaginary he doubted Robert would let him live long enough to explain.
"Yes," Scott said looking down at his hands, his hair falling forward over his face shielding his good looks. "I guess you're right, I'll tell him as soon as I see him." Then, giving Harley that heart ripping smile, he added, "I promise."
"OK," Harley was willing to accept the boy's words but added anyway, "but remember Scott, if you don't, he will shoot me first before he asks you." Harley warned, his tone now holding a slight hint of humour.
"So where is my dad?" The younger McCall suddenly asked.
"Now there lies another tale," Harley informed the younger McCall as he began to explain his father's sudden trip, and advised him that he would be away for the weekend. This didn't seem to upset Scott too much and matters soon ventured onto other pathways as the sped along the crowded streets of New York.
* * *
The invitation to dinner at his dad's that evening caught Scott by surprise when he got home from school that Monday afternoon. The message on the answerphone was short and to the point, merely stating that dinner was at eight and he had better be there.
So now he stood nervously outside his father's door, waiting for the older man to answer, trying to imagine what he had done to upset his father, and not relishing the fulfilment of the promise that he had made to Gage the previous Friday.
Robert smiled broadly when he opened the door and seeing his son, he motioned him further into the room. The smell of Italian wafted about the flat and Scott licked his lips in anticipation. His father was a good cook. The feeling died, turning to an icy coldness that swept up from the pit of his stomach when saw Harley Gage lounging on the comfortable sofa, supporting a very large drink in his hand.
"Hi Scott," he said lifting the glass in silent salute.
For some reason Scott knew absolute fear. His mouth went dry and his throat constricted until he felt that he would not be able to breathe.
"Do you want a drink, Scott?" Robert asked as he tried to move pass his immobile son, towards the kitchen.
"No.." squeaked the younger man, not taking his eyes of Gage.
"Make yourself comfortable then," McCall said pushing his son further into the room, from the spot that he had become rooted to. "I've got something I want you to hear." As he spoke he headed towards the answering machine and, pushing the playback button, he lent against the counter and watched the other's reaction.
Sandy's voice filtered into the room. "Mr. McCall, you don't know me... but I attend Scott's school, and I just thought that you ought to know that your son is having a very sordid affair with a man... a much older man, who I believe is a friend of yours.....Harley Gage." A deadly silence filled the air after the tape had finished until McCall finally said.
"Would either one of you care to explain that?"
Both of the shocked men before him began to talk at once and McCall finally held up his hand and demanded rather loudly. "Please, just one of you explain."
Now both of them stopped and looked at the other until Gage motioned the floor to Scott saying, "I said you'd have to explain it to your dad. I guess now's as
good a time as any." With that he settled back in his seat and watched as the younger man hesitantly explained the actions behind vindictive Sandy's words.
At the end McCall asked, "So I can take it that you," he pointed at his son, "are not having a sordid affair with him," he moved his index finger in Gage's direction.
"No dad." Scott said with deep feeling, fighting back the urge to add that he wouldn't mind having one if Gage offered.
McCall looked from his son to his friend then back for a few minutes before he finally said, "Scott, you and I are going to have a very long talk about this Sandy tomorrow morning, but for now dinner should be ready in a few minutes, so why don't you re-fill Harley's glass for him." With those words the matter was settled, at least for the time being.
The dinner was a great success, the food was cooked to perfection and the wine was chilled to just the right level. Harley was, totally against character, drinking heavily, but it didn't seem to prevent him from being a very entertaining guest.
By the end of the evening Scott was feeling very mellow himself although he had not had more the one glass of wine. The company was all that he needed to enjoy the meal.
"I bet your relieved that Harley and I aren't lovers.... er dad?" Scott asked, only realising what he'd said after he had spoken. All motion at the table stopped and Scott swallowed hard as he was pinned by two intent set of eyes.
McCall suddenly smiled, relaxing back in his chair as he contemplated the question. "To tell the truth, Scott, you could do a lot worse then Harley." Seeing the aghast look this earned him from the man in question, he added in a quite tone, "If you were Scott's lover, Harley, it would be because you loved him."
Gage looked totally overwhelmed and ventured. "With my track record, Robert... you've got a strange way of protecting your son, McCall."
"Oh I know you might treat woman like a deck of cards, to be shuffled from one hand to the other," McCall said in his own defence, "but" he added firmly "you never, ever betrayed a person you loved.... Stephen proved that," he finished in a quieter tone.
Harley swallowed hard and suddenly took his brandy glass in both hands as it began to shake. "That was different," he replied in a strained tone, before he drained the brandy from his glass.
"I'm sorry, Harley," McCall spoke with genuine regret "I didn't mean to....".
"Hey." Gage butted in, "No problem... anyway... that was a long time ago." As he spoke he held out his glass towards Scott who hurried to refill it with a generous helping, a strange look on his face as he watched the emotions that crossed Harley's features.
McCall, realising that he had indeed opened up a raw wound, strove to change the subject, but the mood of the evening had been broken and soon the conversation began to dwindle.
As Robert saw his guess to the door he said, "Harley, let me call you a cab. You've had far to much to drink."
"No." Harley replied drunkenly, turning slightly to clasp the other man on the shoulder, that mere action showing just how much drink the man had consumed.
"Don't worry, dad," Scott advised, "I'll give him a lift home and he can pick up his car tomorrow." As he spoke he made a grab for one of Harley's arms as the man began to slide along the wall, his balance none to steady.
"See Robert...." Harley grinned back at his friend, "your good looking son is going to give me a lift home," he lurched back up and headed out the door, closely followed by Scott.
"Scott," Robert called, catching hold of his son's arm. "Call me tomorrow... we really need to talk about this Sandy."
Scott opened his mouth to deny it but then, seeing the determined look in his father's eyes, he closed it with a nod. "Call you tomorrow," he agreed before he chased after Harley who was stumbling out of control down the stairs.
* * *
The drive to Harley Gage's new apartment went without a hitch as the drunken man had fallen into a stupor upon settling in the car. Scott kept throwing him side-long glances, wondering if the vibes he had been getting from the ex-agency man for the last few weeks had been real. Learning of his past history, Scott was more determined then ever to find out if he was correct. He licked at his dry lips. He had a plan and only felt slightly guilty about implementing it. If he was right he would be the happiest man in the world. If he was wrong, he might very well wake up in the hospital, eating through a straw.
"Where are your keys?" he asked as he half helped, half dragged Harley from his small car.
"What's matter?" Gage demanded as the fresh air hit him and the world tilted. He really had drunk quite a lot at McCall's but then the pre-dinner subject had woken too many old memories that the scotch, wine and brandy hadn't seemed to diminished.
"Your keys.... to your apartment?" Scott repeated as he patted the other man down looking for the items in question.
"Pocket," Harley spluttered fumbling about trying to help find the keys.
"It's alright I've got them," Scott announced as he took longer then was necessary to remove his hand from the trouser pocket, a slight smile upon his face.
The trip up to the flat was amusing for Scott, as Harley was trying to explain that he could make it on his own at the same time as his legs refused to co-operate.
The sofa was reached safely and Harley crumpled on to it with a sigh of "Thanks kid," before he closed his eyes and let his mind drift back.
A few minutes later it slowly began to register that he was not alone in his flat. Opening one bleary eye he spied Scott sitting in the chair opposite him, a steaming cup of coffee in his hand, a pleasant smile plastered across his face.
"Can I help you?" Harley asked as he struggled into a sitting position, not sure why Scott was still there, but getting an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach.
"Who was Stephen?" Scott suddenly asked, feeling the tension in the room heighten.
"None of you damn business," Gage spat as the name rippled over him like a pail of cold water. He suddenly didn't feel so drunk anymore and, with a sinking feeling, he knew that he never had been really. "Is there some more coffee in that pot?" he finally asked as it became obvious that Scott was not about to leave.
Scott leapt up and, heading into the kitchen, returned a few moments later with a steaming cup. Silence filled the room for a few moments while each man contemplated the other.
"Stephen," Harley finally began, realising that Scott would not leave until he knew, but his tone slow and halting, the memory still very painful, "was my... partner, we met the day I joined up with the agency." He stopped as the recollection he had tried so hard to bury surfaced. "He was a lot like you, Scott..." Seeing the look this earned him, he explained, "Too innocent for his own good, he wanted to keep America free, untainted and clean." He spoke the words as if the other man had been a fool to keep such ideals. "He was so full of fire and I... I was like the doomed moth drawn to his light." He stopped again, this time swallowing hard as the pressure in his chest rose and threatened to choke him.
"You were lovers?" Scott promoted, his tone gentle, eyes wide as he offered his support for the telling of the story.
"Yeah, we were lovers. Not at first... it just seemed to happen." Gage closed his eyes as the memory of the hands and mouth of a lover who was no longer alive, moved to touch him once more. "If the agency had found out... They would have dumped us so fast our heads would still be spinning."
"Dad knew though?" Scott lent forward in his seat and rested a hand upon the other's knee.
Gage looked from the young man to the hand and wondered when Scott had begun to look so handsome to him. "Yeah, your dad knew and Control... you can't really keep something like that from people you work that closely with... and when Stephen..." He stopped, fighting to get the words past the lump in his throat, "when Stephen died... it was your father... that helped pull me through it... I just wanted to give up, but your dad wouldn't let me."
Gage felt the sofa dip and an arm reached about him, and he was pulled into a warm, gentle embrace. He surrendered, knowing that he could no longer fight the young man who had filled his dreams for the past few weeks, and let his head fall into the curved neck. The scent of Scott was so good, so clean. His appearance bore no resemblance to Stephen, yet Harley had known from the first that if he was not careful he could fall in love with Robert McCall's son. He started to pull back when he felt the gentle caress of lips upon his forehead, but the lips followed and when he opened his mouth to protest his words were stolen from him as his mouth was covered and captured.
Minutes passed. Time began to free fall as passions rose and clothes were removed with growing haste. Breathing had become erratic and emotions were charged. The sight of the naked young supple body before him was too much for Gage, and he groaned deep in his throat as he reached for the tender flesh and accepted the loving kisses and caresses that Scott placed along his taunt body.
The climax, when it came, was everything that Harley knew it would be, and he lay gasping for breath. Scott's body rested limply upon his own, Gage's legs spread wider to allow the younger man to settle between his. Somehow they had ended up upon the floor and Harley realised with a smile that he would suffer for this act in the morning.
The thought of morning and its consequences caused Harley to close his eyes as reality flooded back. He had just made love to Robert McCall's son. His very young, only son. What on earth had he been thinking off to seduce the boy in such a manner.
Tilting his head, he glanced at the boy and saw the rich blue eyes looking up at him, not a ounce of regret in them. "That was very nice Harley... can we do it again sometime soon," Scott said as he slowly kissed along Gage's collar bone between each word.
"This should not have happened," Harley stated firmly as he began to struggle out of Scott's secure, warm embrace.
"What..." Scott began taken totally be surprise by the other obvious rejection. In once swift movement he had slipped off Gage's body and moving off to once side he sat hugging his knees as he began to apologise, his tone that of a lost child, "I'm sorry... I thought you wanted it... I mean... ." he stopped as he rested his head upon his knees, and finally confessed, "I guess I got the signals wrong."
He had no idea what a sight he presented to Harley who watched his bent head, letting his glaze slowly travel down the curved back that glistened with the sweat of their recent activity, narrow hips that tapered down to a well formed backside. Gage licked at his lips as he felt a long forgotten flutter in his stomach that travelled down to his loins with amazing speed. "Scott, you father's going to kill me," he offered up lamely.
Scott turned tear bright eyes towards him as he countered with a slight smile, "Not if you said that you loved me." There was so much hope in the eyes that watched him that Harley felt at a loss how to lie to the man/child that sat before him.
Gage opened his mouth to deny the other's words, then paused as he realised that both of the McCall's must have seen the truth in his eyes and actions before he had even been aware of it. Slowly climbing to his feet he considered his options, looking down at the desperately unhappy eyes of his new lover. Slowly, almost hesitatingly he reached out a hand and offered, "I think we'd be a lot more comfortable in the bedroom."
Surprise then bright joy filtered across Scott's face as the realisation of the words began to sink in. He gave Harley a questioning look as he accepted the helping hand up.
"Like your father said, I don't enter into this type of relationships lightly," Harley offered as he pulled the eager body up and into his arms for another long, lingering kiss. "And" he continued as their lips parted, "this time Scott, I'll tell your father."