M/M – PG-13, language only
At 093o hours on June 26, 2013, Kellan was ushered into Senator Gilchrist’s office.
“I’m glad you could join me, Kellan.” The Senator came around his desk to shake Kellan’s hand.
“Thank you for the invitation, Senator,” Kellan said with a smile.
Gilchrist gestured toward an elaborate coffee service. Kellan gratefully accepted.
“Is Staff Sergeant Carver still in California?” the Senator asked.
Kellan breathed through a pang in his chest. “Yes, unfortunately. I can’t help wishing SCOTUS had issued these rulings two weeks ago, before that ugly mess happened in San Diego.”
“The two of you were in the same city when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed, weren’t you?” Gilchrist cradled his coffee mug, leaning back in his large, leather chair.
Kellan smiled at the memory of his and Jonah’s celebration. “Indeed we were.”
The Senator chuckled. “Your home state was one of the first to legalize same-sex marriage, wasn’t it?” he asked with a lifted brow.
“It was,” Kellan admitted.
“So, the two of you don’t necessarily need Prop Eight to be overturned, do you?” Gilchrist narrowed his gaze shrewdly.
Restless, Kellan rejected the guest chairs and settled on the ledge of the wide window. “No, we don’t. But we also don’t have any plans in that regard, either.”
“But if that were to change in the future, the two of you should have the same rights my lovely wife and I do.” Gilchrist rolled his eyes slightly. “Heaven knows your relationship with the Staff Sergeant has lasted longer than my own daughter’s marriage did.”
Kellan chuckled. “She’s young, yet. She’s allowed a mistake or two. I’ve made my share. One of them was walking away from Jonah when I resigned my commission.” It went without saying that the smartest thing Kellan had ever done was to hold tight to Jonah, when they’d reunited.
“From your lips…” Gilchrist said with a laugh.
Silence fell over them and Kellan turned to look out the window. He looked out over The Hill, toward the Supreme Court Building, and wondered how long they would have to wait.
“You know, if they strike down the Defense of Marriage Act,” the Senator said thoughtfully, “it could clear the way for one of you to leave your cushy government job, but maintain some important benefits.”
Kellan snorted. “Cushy? Spending a year in hundred degree heat with people trying to kill you. I’m sure Jonah would agree that’s a cake walk.”
Gilchrist held up a hand in surrender. “Please don’t tell the Staff Sergeant I said that. I don’t want to wake up one night to find him standing over me.”
“Oh good. Leverage.” Kellan smiled into his coffee mug. “And those policies are already written. If this goes our way, the Secretary of Defense has his statement prepared for release later today.”
There was a discreet knock at the door before the Senator’s Chief of Staff entered. She wore a cordless headset. “They’re handing down the decision on DOMA now.”
Kellan stood from his perch on the window sill. He stood nearly at attention, his grip tight on his mug.
“Five to four with Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and the Chief Justice dissenting…”
At the list of the names of the dissenting votes, Kellan’s heart raced.
“DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.”
“Yes!” Senator Gilchrist cried, snatching up the handset of his office phone.
Kellan exhaled a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. He turned to look out the window as he pulled his cell phone from his pocket.
Jonah answered on the first ring. “Hey.”
“You sound happy. I take it things have gone our way?” Jonah asked.
“Well, the military will be offering benefits to same-sex partners by the fall,” Kellan answered, unable to stop smiling.
“Hang on, something just posted on Huffington Post,” Jonah said. Kellan heard typing in the background. “Hey, Yarwood!” Jonah suddenly shouted. “You can marry your pretty little actor now. Take advantage of base housing. Maybe even get that dog you’ve been talking about.”
From somewhere in the distance, Kellan heard Corey’s spirited reply. “Fuck you, Jonah. You first.”
As Kellan laughed at the exchange, the Senator’s Chief of Staff informed them that Proposition 8 had been struck down.
“Well, at least we know that once you stop dragging us back into war zones,” Jonah said quietly, “we’ll be able to settle down and actually consider adopting those kids you think you might want.”
Kellan swallowed against his suddenly tight throat. “Are you serious?” he asked softly.
“I’m willing to talk about it,” Jonah admitted. “If you decide it’s important to you, I can probably be convinced. Let’s start with something easy, though, like a dog.”
Kellan gave a watery laugh. “We’ll talk when you get home.”
“Mirai says I can probably catch a transport on Friday,” said Jonah.
“Good,” Kellan replied, pulling himself together. “Tell everyone I said hello, and keep me posted.”
“Roger that. Lima-Yankee.”
Pocketing his phone, Kellan emptied his coffee mug and set it on the service tray. He turned and shook Senator Gilchrist’s hand. “Thank you for allowing me to be here, for this, Senator. I need to be getting back to the Pentagon, now. We’ve got some policies to update and statements to release.”
“Thank you for coming, Kellan. My best to the Staff Sergeant.”
As Kellan jogged down the steps of the Capitol Building, the day seemed just a little bit brighter.