Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Modern Family
Character/Pairing: Mitch/Cam, Didi
Challenge/Prompt: fan_flashworks 197: Loud and beattheblackdog Amnesty: 2: Loud
Word Count: 1,623
Date Written: 11 July 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
He's managed to keep it all within him from the disastrous night when his mother tried to make amends, or so she had claimed was her entire reason for this trip, until the very day that she's set to leave. She's almost gone, in fact, when he hears her take one last stab at Cam, the man with whom, although marriage is not yet an option for them, he nonetheless plans to spend the rest of his life. It's just a quick mention, a comment that he should use some of the stupid, cruel Christmas presents she's bought him made while patting Cam's admittedly beefy shoulder on her way to the waiting taxi.
It's just one last comment. Mitchell knows he should let it slide. Two more steps, and his mother will be out of his life again for God only knows how many months. She's almost gone. They're almost free. But he just can't do it. He can't be silent one more minute.
"Mom!" he snaps, and she looks up with her hand literally on the taxi cab's open door, the same hand that touched his partner a minute before. "That's enough!"
"What's enough?" she asks, clearly puzzled.
He steps forward, quickly tells the taxi driver to wait and he'll make it worth his while, and shuts the door. Glowering down at his mother, Mitchell tells her, "That's enough of your mistreatment of Cam!"
"Mitchell, I . . . don't know what you're talking about," Didi tries, but now that Mitchell has finally put it out in the open, he can't hush.
"Rather you approve of him or not, Cam is the man with whom I intend to spend the rest of my life! I don't care if he's a little overweight or if he chooses sometimes to eat his way through pie instead of moving temptation out from in front of him or if maybe he's a little too loud and boisterous sometimes! Cam is a man full of love, and he lets that love shine: love for food, love for movies, love for his favorite actresses and for his stupid ball games -- "
"Mitchell -- "
Mitch continues as though he's not heard Cam's quietly spoken protest behind him, " -- love of fashion and of dance and music and, most of all, love for Lily and myself! I'm lucky to have him, to have found somebody as wonderful as he is, but you've never once tried to see how wonderful he is! Even Dad isn't as close minded as you are!"
"I accept you -- "
"I'm not talking about me or my sexuality! I'm talking about Cam! You see a few extra pounds, something you don't like, and you can't see pass it! Maybe Cam has a big body, because it takes all of him to hold his huge heart! Did you ever consider that? Did you ever, for one second, look pass the flab and see the heart within? No, you haven't and you refuse to, and by God, if you send one more damn piece of exercise equipment to our house, especially with the diamond earrings and all the other jewelry and good gifts he's sent you, I'll have it turned around!"
"Not everybody wants to be skinny, Mom! Not everybody was made to be skinny! Cam was made the way he is, and I love him just the same, rather he's two fifty or five hundred or fifty pounds! It doesn't matter to me, and as long as it doesn't matter to me, it shouldn't matter to you!"
"I've had to hear so much about this new boyfriend of yours from Canada! Everybody has, and do you realize you have yet to show any of us a picture of him? But it doesn't matter what he looks like! What matters is if he makes you happy -- "
"He does make me happy, Mitchell. We use -- "
Mitch throws up a hand. "I don't need to hear again how you pleasure each other with your hands! That's not the kind of happiness I'm talking about! I'm talking about real happiness, not just . . . not just sexual happiness. The kind of happiness that reaches into the very bottom of your soul where all your darkest moments and memories are and makes them seem not so bad! The kind of happiness where he can come to you on your saddest days and he can still make you smile! The kind of happiness that lasts, Mom, that lasts a lifetime!"
"I thought," Didi whispers softly, looking forlorn, "that your father and I had that."
"And you're not certain you and your new boyfriend will have it, either, are you?"
"No," she murmurs, "I'm not."
"But Cam makes me happy like that, Mom!" Mitch cries, throwing up his hands. "He makes me happier than any one else has ever made me! Do you think," he asks, "I would have ever really considered adopting a child with a man I didn't see myself staying with for the rest of our lives, that I didn't see loving me for as long as he lives or myself loving him for just as long?! No, I wouldn't have! I would never have knowingly, willingly put a child into that kind of a future! I would never have done that to Lily or to anybody else! But Cam . . . He's the first one, the only one, I can actually see still making me happy, still making me laugh, still loving me and me loving him when we're both old and gray. I plan on spending the rest of my life with that man, and if you can't handle that, or if you continue harassing him about being who he is, then . . . Then I'm afraid there's no longer going to be a place for you in my life!"
Folding his arms before his chest, Mitchell turns away from her and closes his eyes so that no one can see his tears in them.
"Mitch -- " Cam calls to him again, his voice breaking, but Mitch doesn't budge. He doesn't move. He only listens for his mother's reply, half expecting to hear the cab door open and shut behind her at any second.
Instead, her voice comes softly to him, "You're right?"
He turns back, eyes opening, one eyebrow arching in uncertainty. "What did you say?"
"I said you're right! Now don't expect me to repeat it a third time! But I just . . . There are health concerns to being so big. You know that right?" Didi asks, looking at both her son and his life partner.
"Mom -- " Mitchell warns.
"I'm just saying! There are health concerns! I used to be much bigger than I am now, Mitchell. I know you don't remember it. You were too young. Of course, I was never Cam's size, but I was bigger. I -- "
"You sometimes think that's why you and Dad grew apart," Mitch whispers, looking into his mother's troubled eyes.
"Yes," she answers truthfully. "Yes, the idea has crossed my mind more than once. And I feel a lot better physically at the size I am now."
"But, Mom, Cam's size is -- "
She sighs. "Is his business. I know. I was just trying to help." She lifts her teary eyes back to his. "Can you forgive me?"
"That's not for me to say," Mitchell replies, shaking his head. "Cam?"
Cam doesn't buy Didi's excuse for a moment, but she is Mitchell's mom. He knows how much his boyfriend cares about and loves her, and that that's the reason why, even after the other night, he hasn't been able to shut her out of his life. He'll never be able to shut her completely out of his life, Cam knows, despite his brave speech. He smiles, remembering how brave, well-spoken, and loud Mitchell's speeches always are. And they call him the flamboyant one! They're both flamboyant, just in their own ways.
"Of course I forgive you," he says and is surprised when Didi hugs him. She doesn't just pat his shoulder this time. She genuinely hugs him, and after a moment, Cam returns her hug.
"Now," she asks after their embrace is over, turning to her son with open arms, "can I get a hug for the road?"
Mitchell almost smirks -- almost, but he stops himself just in time. "Of course, Mom," he says obediently, walking to her and hugging her tightly.
"I just want you to be happy," she says, kissing his cheek before getting into the cab.
"I am happy," Mitch replies in complete honesty. The driver starts the cab's engine, but he calls to her once more before they can pull away, "And Mom?"
"Send something else for Christmas this year!"
"I will," Didi promises, "and for his birthday!"
"There," Mitch says, sighing, as the taxi leaves their sight. "That's done." Looking up at Cam, he asks, "Feel better?"
"The question is: Do you feel better?" Cam returns.
A slow smile spreads over Mitchell's face until it shines brilliantly up at his boyfriend. "Yes," he says, "yes, I do."
Cam finally lets himself squeal his pride and joy as he moves swiftly to Mitch's side and hugs him so hard and tight that he literally lifts him into the air. "Your speeches are always so amazing! Thank you! Thank you!"
Mitch laughs, but when Cam finally starts to bring him down against him, he looks into his love's eyes and vows, "I mean every word of it."
"I know," Cam beams, "and that's what makes it even more incredible!" He kisses him long and deep, a promise of love that will last them for the rest of their lives.