Chance Reunion

Joined: Nov 17 2013, 05:13 AM

Dec 30 2013, 07:05 AM #1

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Joined: May 23 2013, 04:10 AM

Dec 30 2013, 07:10 PM #2

Billy was planning on having a nice relaxing day off. He spent a lot of his time at Ink and Needles but the shop could survive without him for a day. He woke up early and swung his legs out of bed. He dressed in sweat pants and a long sleeved shirt before putting a leash on Sammy and taking him for a run around the block. When he got back he fed the dog and let him out into the backyard before fixing himself breakfast. Elle was still sleeping, so he let her he, settling at the table with eggs, toast, and a tall glass of orange juice. He read the newspaper with mild interest while he ate. Finishing up he cleared his dishes and got in to the shower. He was halfway through his routine when his phone rang. He carefully stepped out and retrieved it from the sink ledge where he left it, holding it a couple inches from his ear while he talked on it.

It was Mallory. This wasn't unusual. He talked to his moms quite often. The tone of her voice concerned him though. She sounded nervous when she asked him to come to the gallery. The man agreed to get there quickly, as soon as he finished getting ready. She told him not to rush, but the sound of her voice had him moving much more quickly in the shower. He finished getting ready, dressing in a blue button up shirt, black slacks, and black boots. He thought about taking his skateboard. But the sound of her voice kept replaying in his head so he decided on the motorcycle instead. He let Sammy in, scratching the dog behind the ears before collecting his leather jacket and helmet and headed out the door.

Billy had spent a good deal of time at the gallery when he first moved here, either working or puttng up some paintings of his own. Now most of his time was spent at Ink and Needles. But he still painted as a hobby and, when he thought the piece was good enough, he would hang it to sell if Mallory had a space of wall open for him. He had put up a painting just last week. On a dark grey canvas he had drawn the vague silhouette of a man in black and darker greys. From his had he held a cigarette. The only color on the canvas came from the end burning red. Smoke whisped up to form a woman in white and light greys, looking down, reaching for him but not quite touching. He must have mixed a hundred different shades of blacks, whites, and greys. It was beautiful.

Or, well, had been. Turns out that was why his mother sounded so nervous. Apparently someone wasn't a fan of his word and had vandalized it with a long line of black paint smeared diagonally from one corner to the other. He stood next to his mother while she told him that while it was on camera, there was not enough there to get an ID on the man. "I'm so sorry, dear." When he went out with his family people tended to assume he was Mallory's child because of their matching brown hair, which she wore long and down, and the blue in their eyes. One thing they definitely didn't share was height though. Mal was a tiny woman. He looked down at her with a calm smile and shrugged his shoulders and squeezed her hand. "It's fine. Not the end of the world, right?" he never veered away from that calm expression even when she gave him a sad smile. "I've got to go. If something comes up about it, you'll be the first I call, sweetheart."[/b] she let go of his hand then and started out of the gallery, nodding to Zane on her way.

Out of his mother's eye, Billy's calm façade broke briefly to reveal the hurt at having his artwork ruined like that. He frowned and reached out, touching the line across his canvas. For a moment he wondered if he could fix it, if there was a way he could lift the black out and repair what lay beneath it. But he knew the fine detail would be gone. "Fuck..." he muttered the explictive beneath his breath before letting out a sigh. Taking a step forward he put a hand on either side of the canvas and lifted it off its place on the wall and set it down on the floor. He put a hand up behind his neck. Well... What could he do? The damage was done.
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Joined: Nov 17 2013, 05:13 AM

Dec 31 2013, 02:28 AM #3

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Joined: May 23 2013, 04:10 AM

Dec 31 2013, 11:21 PM #4

When he had hung the painting he had met a woman named Briella who had told him that his painting had given her the feeling of longing and heart ache. He had felt proud at this comment because that was how he had felt when he had painted it, thinking of Charlie in every brush stroke. Now he felt heartache again. Charlie had been in this painting. And to have someone ruin it. He would keep a calm expression while he thought he was being watched. But when she left, his heartache became more apparent. He didn't know he had caught someone else's attention or he wouldn't have let it show so easily.

Billy looked up when he heard a voice. Really looked up too. The tattooed man wasn't the tallest man, but he wasn't short either. He certainly wasn't used to inclining his eyes quite so much but... Despite the height there was something familiar about the other man. Billy found him staring trying to jog his brain. But while he was staring at the tall man, something had caught the other's gaze. It seemed to have surprised him. Enough so that he forgot his sentence. Curiously his heterochromic eyes followed the other's gaze to the painting. He knew that painting well because Mallory had had it for years. It was the first thing she had decided to hang in her new gallery. His mothers had received it from Zee's mother. His eyes flashed back to the man and he blinked, his brain working over that familiar feeling and putting two and two together. "Billy?" for the first time since walking in the gallery, Billy smiled. "Zee." he sounded far more sure than the other had. "I thought that lady looked familiar. My mother gave your family this painting…" Mallory... He shouldn't've been surprised that he would recognize his mother and not him. "I remember that." he said, smiling fondly at the memory.

"I really hope they find the asshole that did that." he looked back at his painting and frowned slightly as he reached out and touched the canvas. "Yeah. Me too." he sighed. "It sucks. But I guess, all things considered, if that's the worst news I receive today then my life isn't too bad." it still hurt, definitely. But he wasn't going to let himself to be overcome by that hurt. He had received far worse news in his life. He looked back at Zee with a calm smile before he raised an arm and took a step forward to the other. He clapped Zee on the back of his shoulder affectionately before he took a step back. "Man... It's been years..." Zee had left when he had been a freshman or sophomore in high school. "I hardly recognized you." not that he could say much about him changing givin how much he had changed. "How are you doing?" he asked him and the. It occurred to him ask, "What are you doing in Mariet?" they had lost contact when Zee had left but seeing him here now had Billy wishing he knew what had happened in the other's life and wondering if it wasn't too late to catch up.
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Joined: Nov 17 2013, 05:13 AM

Jan 1 2014, 10:10 PM #5

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Joined: May 23 2013, 04:10 AM

Jan 2 2014, 12:53 AM #6

It was strange seeing someone he had thought he wouldn't see again, and seeing them now, after... what had it been?... twelve years?... His childhood friend had grown up... and up and up. He grinned when he was told that he was one to talk as far as changing went. He knew that that was true. He might not have done much growing upwards as Zee had, but his skin had gone through some serious changes, becoming far more colorful over the years. "You look great!" The compliment had been unexpected. He figured he would say something like, "walking canvas," or "pin cushion." He got a lot of comments about his appearance. Some where nice. Others... well... after meeting the sister he didn't know he had, she had referred to him as a mobster without batting an eyelash. Great, though, great was nice to hear. "Thank you." He replied with a grin for the other.

Asking how Zee was, he was met with a surprisingly honest reply. It was surprising as it was nice. He had considered Zee a good friend back in LA. But that had been, as he had said, twelve years ago. It was nice to think that Zee could still hold him in such high regard that he could talk about something so difficult. Still, his surprise didn't show. Billy had mastered the art of a calm exterior no matter what was going on on the inside of his head. So Zee had moved back to the state about the same time that Billy had moved to Mariet then. Maybe a little after. He remembered hearing about the car crash. Everything after that though? He didn't know much about what happened to Zee after that. He nodded his head thoughtfully as his listened, his eyes never leaving Zee, never for a moment letting the other think that he wasn't paying attention, because, well this was kind of an important thing. And even though it had been years since they had spoken, he was still a friend, and Billy would still treat him as such.

There were, of course, some obvious questions raised immediately. The biggest being, what had his brother done. He remembered the two not getting along. But what could he have done, or caused that would have caused his family to fracture. The concern crossed over his calm expression. But before he could think to ask, or how he would go about asking, Zee was apologizing to him. Billy's eyes widened and he shook his head. ”God I hope you can forgive me…” "Of course I do." He knew better than most the struggle of talking about difficult things. There was no guarantee that Billy wouldn't have withdrawn from his friend, even if he had stayed, after he had received his diagnosis. He had tried to keep Melanie, but she had pulled away from him of her own choice, and after that he had all but given up on the rest. Charlie... Charlie was the same as him. And that was why she had been able to stay in his life... well... until hers ended.

Then the question was reversed on him. And it didn't seem fair to simply tell him that he had been fine and good when his childhood friend had been so honest and trusting with him. He paused for a moment, trying to think of how he could put the last twelve years in to a summary, when there were several topics that he wasn't used to talking about. "Hold on, one second, let me just..." he walked over the his ruined painting. "Let me stick this in my mom's office. And then we can walk and talk. Or find a cafe to catch up in." He held the canvas in one hand and walked across the gallery to his mother's office, retrieving keys in his other hand. He opened the door and walked in, slipping his painting against the wall. He couldn't take it home with his motorcyle. He didn't even know what he would do with it once he did get it home. But for now, he closed the door and locked it behind him and then made his way back to Zee. "I always think better on my feet, you know? Walking and talking." he nodded towards the door and headed forwards, holding it open for Zee before letting the other walk out ahead of him. That had been part of it. The other part was just that talking about his own past in his mother's gallery just felt strange. He knew she had left, but he felt like she might pop up at any moment.

"I'm glad to see you, Zee. It's been a rough couple years." he told him, as he started heading down the sidewalk. "Have you been to the bakery up the street? Their stuff is damn good and from what I remember, your sweet tooth rivals mine." He was aware that as he was talking, he wasn't doing much talking about himself. He settled into an easy pace as his walked beside the other man. His next comment wasn't about him either, but about the other. Not because he was trying to avoid the question this time. But because he was genuinely curious. "What did your brother do?" He asked, looking up at other, eyebrows furrowed in concern.
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