A 667 Production
Disclaimer: We don’t own them but we did build the time machine, that brought them forward in time.
Author’s note: I must confess I have a passion for two dark haired, blue eyed men full of charisma, one is James Stacy/Johnny Lancer and the other is Elvis. I’ve never been able to fit them both into a story until now…just one more reason I’m glad we brought the Lancers forward to modern times.
Author’s note 2: For Char and all the other Elvis Fans out there.
~*~ L ~*~ A ~*~ N ~*~ C ~*~ E ~*~ R ~*~
Johnny’s noisy entrance into the Great room drew his father and grandfather’s attention, which was exactly what he wanted. The disgruntled teen threw his self down on the couch, pushing his way into the corner between the back and arm. Picking up a plump pillow, he punched the center of it making an indentation. His face contorting into a particularly petulant scowl, he looked expectantly at his dad and Ha.
Biting back the smile that wanted to form over Johnny’s obvious dramatics, Murdoch obliged the teen’s evident desire for attention. “Something wrong, son?” He chanced a quick glance at Harlan, who was hiding his own grin behind a cupped hand.
Tossing the abused pillow aside, Johnny scooted forward; confusion and irritation warring on his face, resenting the amusement he sensed in the two older men. “There’s nothin’ wrong with me! Scott’s the one with the problem,” he declared. He was pleased to see once he brought Scott’s name into play his father’s and grandfather’s expressions turned serious.
Closing the file folder he had been studying, Ha turned his complete attention to his youngest grandson. “Scotty has a problem? When did this occur?”
Sensing he would need the liquid fortification, Murdoch put down the book he had been reading and, picking up his glass of Glenlivet, took a healthy swallow. “Suppose you tell us what this ‘problem’,” he emphasized the word, “is,” he requested.
Throwing his hands up, Johnny’s scowl deepened, his blue eyes flamed with ire over their composed attitudes. “I think Scott’s nuts and you two have known it for years,” he revealed. Well that finally got a reaction!
Murdoch choked on his sip of whiskey. Ha reached over and patted his back, and then addressed his grandson. “I think you need to explain that statement, young man.” All traces of humor gone from the normally benevolent face. “We have no knowledge of your brother having had any mental issues; let along for years!”
“Sure you have,” Johnny argued, shaking his head. Leaping to his feet and gesturing wildly as he paced in front of the fireplace, he plunged on with his usual brand of logic. “The proof is lyin’ all around the house; though most of it’s in his bedroom and the media room.”
Clearing his throat as he wiped at his mouth with a white handkerchief, Murdoch frowned at his youngest, his mood turning sour. “I think you better explain precisely what in this house you consider to be evidence of your brother being mentally unstable.”
Stomping to a halt in front of the fireplace and placing his fists on his slender hips, Johnny threw caution to the wind; his tone matching his father’s. “All this Elvis junk!” At their stunned looks, he clarified his thinking. “Don’t you think it’s kinda queer…” he reconsidered his choice of words, “… nuts? Scott’s a guy, for cryin’ out loud; not some crazy woman goin’ all swoony over Elvis!” Flummoxed by their silence, Johnny expounded. “Jeez! It…it…” his brow furrowed as he searched for the words. “It just ain’t manly.”
“Oh come on, you had to notice all those old timey video tapes he has of Elvis’ movies! The cds, the books, watches, t-shirts. He’s even got mugs with this dead guy’s picture on ‘em.” His voice rose as his frustration peaked. “The man died before we were born. I’m tellin’ you, this ain’t natural!”
Murdoch and Harlan shared a poignant look; the moment bringing a sad smile to both men’s faces. Clearing his throat, Murdoch addressed his son. “Where’s your brother right now.”
Confused by the air of sadness that seemed to have overcome his father and grandfather, Johnny blundered on. “He’s been holed-up in the media room all day, watchin’ the Elvis marathon on AMC.” Pausing as he noticed their melancholy deepen, he rushed on. “In fact, anytime he’s channel surfin’ and comes across one of this guy’s movie he stops to watch even though he already owns them all. What the he… heck is the fascination with this guy?” He shrugged, and then crossed his arms, embracing his torso in a habitual self-hug.
Sighing wistfully, Murdoch tapped his chin with his index finger before replying, carefully considering his next words. “Why don’t you ask your brother? And may I suggest you do so without the sarcasm, instead of teasing him about his interest? His answer could very well surprise you.”
“Indeed,” Ha added, pinning his grandson with a somber expression. “Johnny, your father and I have known about Scott’s fascination with Elvis for many years; and we know the why of it. However, it is his choice whether or not he shares it with you.”
All of Johnny’s previous agitation morphed into curiosity due to his father and grandfather’s calm acceptance of Scott’s Elvis worship. “All right,” he ventured, I’ll ask him.” He turned on his heel and marched from the room.
~*~ L ~*~ A ~*~ N ~*~ C ~*~ E ~*~ R ~*~
Approaching the media room, Johnny could hear the chorus of one of Scott’s favorite Elvis songs playing, I Can’t Help Falling in Love. Ghosting quietly into the room, his eyes were drawn to the large plasma television. On the screen was a dark haired man with striking blue eyes. There was no denying he was a handsome man, young and in the prime of his life and possessing a charisma that had enchanted women of all ages. There was something about his voice, too; a purity of tone and pitch that was somehow familiar, so much so that, sometimes, Johnny wanted to sing along. Opening his mouth to speak, the boy abruptly snapped it shut when he saw the moisture in Scott’s eyes glittering in the light from the TV.
Scott was softly singing the familiar words of I Can’t Help Falling in Love; harmonizing perfectly as the song ended. He was quiet for a time, squeezing his eyes closed as the melody faded; the action causing a single tear to rush down his cheek and drop from his chin. “I miss you, Mama,” he whispered.
Turning; intending to leave his brother to his memories, Johnny caught a subtle movement as Scott lifted a silver-framed picture and caressed the glass with his thumb. Taking a closer look, his mouth fell open in shock when he realized it wasn’t a picture of Catherine Lancer, Scott was holding; but one of his own mother, Maria. Moving back to the couch, Johnny plopped down next to his brother. Draping his arm across Scott’s shoulder, he impulsively pulled him into a tight hug.
“What was that for?” Scott asked as he self-consciously turned the picture over and placed it beside himself on the sofa. He coughed and cleared his throat; swiping his eyes with the back of his hand.
“Just ‘cause you looked like you could use a hug,” Johnny admitted, a bit embarrassed at his sudden display of open affection. He chewed his lip a second to gather his courage, and then blurted out, “I was comin’ in here to ask you about why you’re such a big Elvis fan; but now I’m more curious about why you’re talkin’ to a picture of my Mama.” He had recognized the silver frame as soon as he had seen it.
Scott tipped his head back, sniffing as his eyes misted and his throat tightened. When he had his emotions under control, he squared his shoulders, picked the picture back up and turned it over. “It’s because of Mama…Maria, that I’m such a big Elvis fan.” He laughed at the disbelief on Johnny’s face.
“Okay,” Johnny muttered, drawing the word out; his facial features scrunching up as he voiced his skepticism.
Tracing the ornate silver frame with a long slender finger, Scott stared at the picture as he began to explain. “You know my mother died giving birth to me. I never knew her, except for the pictures Dad and Ha have shown me.” His voice lowered, the next words coming with great reverence. “Maria is the only mama I remember.”
Curiosity getting the best of him, Johnny asked the question. “Did you like her when you first met her?” His tone was the same as his brother’s, and he reached out to caress the image of his mother’s face through the cold glass. The glass seemed to warm a bit as his forefinger merged with his brother’s.
“I was eighteen months old at the time,” Scott began. He smiled. “According to my sources -- Ha and Dad -- it was love at first sight, and it was mutual.” The smile grew, mischief lighting the man’s pale eyes. “I’m responsible for Dad and Mama meeting, you know; for their courting and finally getting married.”
Johnny laughed at his brother’s tone. Scott was bragging; he could hear it in his voice. “That’s pretty neat, big brother; but how did that make you an Elvis freak? And where the hell did you get all of this…this junk?” He gestured towards the various items that cluttered the room.
Cuffing his little brother on the ear, Scott growled, “I am not a freak! I am a fan.” To drive home his point, he smacked the youth a second time. “And for your information, boy, this is not junk, it is memorabilia! Most of my collection was Mama’s. She had all the tapes, cds and books.”
“Really?” Johnny’s eyes widened; his expression betraying his surprise.
“Yes, really,” Scott asserted, his face taking on a dreamy faraway look. “Mama adored Elvis. After she and Dad started dating, if she was here at bedtime she would rock me to sleep singing I Can’t Help Falling In Love. After they were married, she sang it to me every night when she put me to bed. She always said it was our song; because she loved me before she loved Dad.”
Johnny chuckled. “Sounds like the Old Man… Dad … used you for girl bait.” The idea of his father trolling for women with Scott hung out there like some carrot dangling from a stick tickled him. He sobered. “So that one song made you an Elvis fan?” He nodded at the TV.
Scott had fast-forwarded the DVD, turning down the volume, and the song was playing again. “No. I became a fan over the course of time. From the time I was eighteen months old until I was eight, Mama and I shared time watching Elvis movies, listening to his music and buying collectibles. It was our special thing.”
“I don’t remember any of it,” Johnny whispered, his voice catching. Scott knew Mama longer than I did.
As though he could sense his little brother’s sad thought Scott pressed his shoulder firmly to Johnny’s and leaned to the side so their heads touched. “You were only two when she died,” he said, the words coming softly, “so you wouldn’t remember. She had a special Elvis song she sang for you, too. Every night when she rocked you to sleep.”
It was hard, trying to remember. Trying not to be jealous. Johnny shoved the thought aside, eager to know more. “Was it the same one she sang to you?” he asked; genuinely pleased to see the love in Scott’s face.
The blond’s laughter sounded then; softly, filled with obvious affection. “Here’s where I confess I was thrilled with the thought of being a big brother; right from the moment they told me. It was just a few months after I turned five. We had a special, grown-up dinner.” He stole a quick look at his brother. “It was a big production. Ha was there, too. Maria…Mama…told him he was going to be a grandfather again.” He tapped the tip of his brother’s nose with his forefinger. “Yep. Sucked him right into that one,” he teased. “Just like me,” he mused. He cleared his throat.
“Of course that all changed for me when they actually brought you home, and I figured out we couldn’t send you back.”
“Uh oh…what happened? Did I bawl all night?” Johnny teased. He brightened. “Puke all over you?”
Scott’s right eyebrow arched. “No; the puking came later. In fact, everything was fine until Mama sat down in the rocker with you and started singing our song. I burst into tears and threw a bit of a tantrum. When she realized why I was upset she promised not to sing our song for your lullaby, and asked me to help pick a song that could be just yours.” Scott’s gaze turned back to the framed picture, his forefinger tracing the delicate features of the woman who stared back at him. Johnny had her smile.
The youngest Lancer saw the look of unabashed love on his elder brother’s face. “So what song did you pick?” he asked, rubbing Scott’s shoulder. For some reason the contact made him feel closer to his Mama.
Scott snorted, the snort changed into a chuckle. “Well, you have to understand I was only six at the time, and a bit jealous,” he confessed, his eyes twinkling with mirth as they connected with his baby brother’s. “I’d been the baby for six years,” he declared, as if it was a valid excuse. He inhaled and then answered his brother’s question. “I chose Trouble; and I fear it was certainly a prophetic choice.”
Johnny’s face broke into a wide smile. He punched his brother’s arm. “Hey! Jelly used to sing that to me. He must have known it was my lullaby.” Humming at first, Johnny began to sing his favorite verse and Scott joined him.
I’ve never looked for trouble
But I never ran
I don’t take no orders
From no kind of man
I'm only made out
Of flesh, blood and bone
But if you're gonna start a rumble
Don't you try it all alone
Because I’m evil, my middle name is misery
Well I'm evil, so don’t you mess around with me
I'm evil, evil, evil, as can be
Johnny looked up as the strains of the Hawaiian Wedding song began to play. On screen, Elvis sang to his lady love as they wed in Blue Hawaii. “You know, this Elvis dude really is kind of cool.”
Scott laughed, his voice returning to normal. “I’m glad you think so. If Mama had had her way, your middle name would have been Elvis.”
Johnny visibly winced. “No way,” he breathed.
Two movies and four hours later, Elvis had acquired a new fan and the brothers connected in what would become a lifelong obsession for them both.
Southernfrau and Kit
A 667 Production
August 16, 2010