Fandom: The Young and the Restless
Rating/Classification: SAC, Kevin/Colleen, some innuendo, humor and blasphemy, 915 words.
Disclaimer: The characters do not belong to me.
Summary: Kevin and God have never been on good terms, so what happens when he walks in on the Carlton-Kaplans celebrating Purim?
Notes: Any mistakes are all mine. I did some quick searches on the holiday and pulled from my own memories of the Book of Esther.
He makes it down the hall to her room without being stopped. It's a miracle, considering he's limping (thank you, J.T. Go-to-Hellstrom) and trying to hold the flaps of his stupid hospital gown closed at the same time. But whenever he pushed the call-button, no one would tell him how Colleen's doing. So, he's decided to be industrious and find out on his own. A reformed arsonist's gotta do what he's gotta do.
He lifts his hand to knock on the half-open door but then stops. Her grandmother is reading from a book in a language that definitely isn't English and Brad is wearing a yarmulke. Brad Carlton. In a yarmulke. He looks ridiculous, but Kevin's not about to give that thought any voice. Not when they're clearly doing God stuff.
Kevin and God have never been on good terms. Not since the first time he cried out to Him for help but Terrible Tom hit him anyway.
He's about to turn and limp off (hopefully without mooning Mrs. Kaplan in the process) when she stops reading and Victoria says his name like she's afraid he stole something. So, of course, that's when he looks at Colleen. And, stop the presses, she actually smiles, sitting up against her pillows and saying, "Come in." There are circles under her eyes, but the grin makes it seem like she's glad to see him.
"Um, no, that's okay… you're busy…"
Her grandmother lowers what Kevin can now tell is the Torah. Not that he's ever read it. And the closest he's been to a Bible is the Gideon's they always stick in the drawer at a cheap-ass motel. "We're celebrating Purim. It's a joyous time. Doubly joyful now that our Colleen has come back to us," Mrs. K. says. "And part of that is thanks to you, Kevin."
Brad and Victoria look like the last thing they want to do is thank him. Which is fine, since he's pretty sure he'll crack up if Brad does anything besides try to act threatening while wearing that jaunty blue skullcap.
"Purim?" he wonders, politely, inching into the room. "I'm not really up on my Judaism."
"Neither are we!" Colleen laughs, weakly, and there's a healthy sparkle back in her big blue eyes. "Gram's been teaching me and Dad slowly. Judaism for Dummies."
"Hey! Who're you calling a dummy?" Brad stops scowling long enough to grin at his daughter.
Well, if the funny hat fits…
Mrs. Kaplan interrupts the conversation with one of those saintly grandmother smiles that he can't even remotely picture Gloria flashing at Fen. "Purim honors Queen Esther, who saved the Persian Jews from death by intervening with her husband, the king."
"How'd she manage that?"
"She fasted for three days and then went to him, beseeched him earnestly and put her hand on his scepter."
"I'll bet she did." It's the first thing out of his mouth. He can't help it.
"Kevin!" Brad, Victoria and Colleen all gasp his name at once, though he's glad that Colleen is actually laughing while she does it.
"This," Mrs. Kaplan says, mildly, "is no doubt why our women traditionally read the Megillah to one another without male interference."
Brad looks kind of sheepish. And Kevin's glad to see it. 'Cause, Dude, there's no way he wasn't thinking it, too. He just didn't *say* it. "You're probably right. I think I actually remember a lot of the guys laughing at the rabbi back at our temple in Ohio," he admits.
Kevin is surprised when the Carlton-Kaplans gesture for him to stay while Rebecca finishes the reading. Victoria helps him sit on the edge of Colleen's bed… though she lets his arm go pretty quickly, like he's got the Plague.
There is a plate of triangle-shaped pastries next to the hospital's standard issue plastic water pitcher and a huge basket of presents that he knows couldn't have come from the hospital gift shop. For one thing, it has Colleen's favorite biscotti from Crimson Lights.
And the fact that he knows what her favorite biscotti is… that's something Kevin's not going to think about. Not when his ribs and his head are still killing him.
Every few sentences, Colleen's grandmother stops to translate. And it all starts to get jumbled in Kevin's mind… Colleen facing down Jana… Esther and Mordecai and the king. He thinks the queen must look like her. Long dark hair, round face, and lips… lips that aren't hurling insults. No, they're curved and gentle and forgiving.
Her hand creeps across the blanket and closes around his.
"Thank you," she whispers as her eyes flutter shut.
His own are feeling pretty heavy, and he can barely hear Brad and his mother arguing in low voices…
"George, let the children sleep…"
"…should get back to his room…"
No harm, he wants to tell them. I mean no harm…
The room is dark when he wakes up, and somehow he's face to face with Colleen on the narrow bed. He doesn't know how long she's been awake, but apparently long enough to decide against kicking him to the floor.
He whispers her name. Just like he did in the refrigerator, when he thought they were going to die.
"Colleen, I'm so sorry."
Her mouth is soft and sweet and tastes like apricots. Sweeter than he deserves.
And when she puts her hand on his scepter, he thanks God for hospital gowns that don't close.
March 5, 2007.