A/N: Hi, welcome to my first fanfic. It was supposed to be one long one-shot, but I couldn't finish all of it and will be posting it in sections. I didn't like the way 7th Heaven ended (like many others). This is my way of trying to give my little Marthie shipping fan-girl heart some closure.
Beau Brewer drew back the curtain and watched the black pick-up truck parked in front of the Camdens' house. He could see the vague outline of his son, still sitting in the driver's seat, unmoving. Beau glanced at his watch. It was almost an hour since he had seen Ruthie Camden getting out of the truck, but Martin had yet to step out. That did not bode well. Beau sighed, walked out the front door and stopped in front of the passenger door.
Martin had his head rested against the seat, and his eyes were closed. It looked as though he was asleep, and Beau fondly noted that Martin looked almost like the little boy he had left behind to fight the war in Iraq. But no, his little boy had a little boy of his own now. Not for the first time, Beau wondered if things could have been different for his son if he had been around more often. They had not been getting on well, with tense words that led to a growing distance between them. Sometimes it felt as though they were further apart now than when he was in Iraq. He shook his head. What was done was done. All he could do now was to support Martin, and guide him along; for guidance seemed like what he needed the most right now.
Beau opened the door and slid into the passenger seat. Martin's eyes had snapped open at the sound of the door opening and he was now looking at his father with his eyes narrowed.
"What?" Martin asked; his tone annoyed.
Beau said nothing. Instead, he raised an eyebrow and looked in to his son's eyes which were clouded in a layer of annoyance, with a hint of hurt in their depths. Martin looked away, uncomfortable under his father's questioning gaze.
" You've been out here for almost an hour now. I wondered if you were going to drive back to campus or stay the night", Beau said lightly, as though he didn't notice Martin's tone.
"I don't know, go back to campus I guess", Martin said adding under his breath, "It's not like there's much to stay for anyway."
"What's that? Forgotten about your old dad already?" Beau asked.
Martin winced and looked up, an apology forming instantly, "I didn't mean it like that..." He half expected to see his father with an annoyed expression, but saw that Beau's lips had twitched in to a lopsided half smile.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Beau asked, his gaze understanding.
Martin looked away again sighing, and draped his arms on the steering wheel. "Rejection sucks".
"Ah..." Beau trailed off. So that was what this was about. He knew that Martin had been hanging around Ruthie a lot lately, and had seen the two of them together out on the Camdens' porch. He had always suspected that the two felt more towards each other than either let on.
"I don't get it! She had a crush on me for the longest time! And now that I like her, she doesn't like me!" Martin's outburst snapped Beau out of his thoughts. He opened his mouth, but Martin wasn't done yet. "I mean, T-bone? Sure she has his name tattooed on her, but is that a reason to think he is the one?"
Beau knew that was a rhetorical question, but felt the need to answer anyway. "Maybe he is, maybe he isn't But I don't think that's the real issue here Martin."
"Then what is?" snapped Martin. "She said she loved T-Bone. He is the problem here! She doesn't care that his mom was, you know", he gestured widely, to which Beau raised an eyebrow. "She said it didn't matter because he knows how to treat women right, how to treat her right and..." Martin trailed off, a look of comprehension dawning across his features, "Oh..."
Beau nodded sympathetically at his son. " I'm so stupid", Martin muttered, slumping his shoulders and resting his head on the steering wheel. " I'm so, so stupid".
"We all make mistakes, son," the older Brewer said as he reached out and gently clasped his son's shoulder. Martin turned his head to look at his father, his expression defeated. "It doesn't help to dwell on it, that's a waste of time. You'd be better off learning from it, and trying to make things right", Beau said.
Silence settled in the truck, though it was not uncomfortable. Beau sat in his seat, gazing out the windshield while occasionally glancing sideways at his son. Martin seemed to be mulling over his epiphany and what his father had said, his gaze far away. After some time, he straightened up and took a deep breath. "You're right Dad", he said; his gaze determined as he looked at his father. "Let's get back inside".
Beau smiled at Martin. "Oh? So you've decided I'm worth your time after all?" he asked teasingly as he got out of the passenger seat and joined his son on the sidewalk. "Yeah, yeah, whatever," Martin rolled his eyes. "Plus, it turns out you give pretty good advice", he said returning his father's smile as the two Brewer men walked up to their home.
"I'm sorry though," Martin said at the front door, turning towards Beau. "I know I haven't had the best attitude lately, and I know I've been difficult, but you still put up with me. I'm sorry", he looked down, confident swagger gone, and looking younger and more vulnerable than he had in a long time.
"It's forgiven and forgotten. What's family for?" Beau said, reaching out and pulling his son in to a hug. "Thanks, Dad," Martin whispered. "For everything", he held on to the hug for a bit longer and stepped back. His father nodded and smiled at him. They walked in to the house, feeling happier and more comfortable in each other's presence than they had in months.