TITLE: "Dancing About Architecture" (1/?)
AUTHOR: Marie-Claude Danis
EMAIL: mc@verticalcrawl.com
SITE: http://verticalcrawl.com/mostly
FEEDBACK: *pointed look*
DISTRIBUTION: List archives, my site. Or just ask.
RATING: Eventually NC-17 for m/m nummies and more angst than reasonably
allowed by law.
SUMMARY: And the twain shall meet again.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I've actually *researched* this story. This is how involved in it I
currently am. Hopefully I'll entertain someone other than me with it. Unbeta'ed.

* * *

The radio was counting down the Top 50 rock tunes of the decade, and normally I
would've been annoyed at the static of the two stations coming in at once through the
tiny speakers. There was a discreet, unkempt battle between The Boss and Asia going
on in my bright kitchen, but I hardly noticed.

Bosco sat next to my feet by the refrigerator, looking up at me and wondering why
I'd stop paying attention to him. As big a dog as he was, he still had the puppy eyes
working for him, and he was most likely shooting his best pitiful look at me right
about now. His doggy pants barely overlayed the battle of the bands going on on the
counter a few feet away.

The two little mundane noises only served to make the quiet of the afternoon even
more oppressing. It would've been fine, I suspected, had I not been holding this
particular piece of paper in my hand.

See, this wasn't supposed to happen. We were fine. I, was more than fine. I had
grown up and grown old, not a whole lot but just enough to feel comfortable in the
normal everyday task of making a living. I had a job I loved, and a nice apartment in
a town that never heard of a hellmouth. I was done poking at what goes bump in the
night, and admittedly, I didn't miss it much. I still had all of my friends, thankfully all
alive and well, and they all had jobs and lives of their own. I had a dog, and a nice
car. I wore clothes that made me look my age, I had an assistant, and I didn't have
to wear a tie, or go to any office five days a week. I was turning 30 in two years, and
I was doing good. Really good.

This train of thought lead me to look up and at what I could see of my apartment
from where I stood by the kitchen doorway. Bright. Mostly white. Walls covered with
framed photographs, my work, my livelihood. Bookshelves ready to collapse from the
weight of books and hundreds of photo magazines collected over the years.
Momentos, here and there, of travels, of people, of times passed. A comfy, well worn
couch. Hardwood floor scratched by the dog's nails. Prints and negs and equipment
covering most flat surfaces. And, it smelled good. It smelled like home.

That bit of observation over with, my gaze returned, hesitant, to the letter I still held
in both hands. Thoughts, trivial, crossed my mind randomly. How not ten minutes ago
I had picked up this letter along with a half dozen other pieces of mail, coming home
from an assignment with about my weight in equipment slung around my shoulder.
How I had dropped off most of it in the darkroom before coming back to listen to my
voice mail in the kitchen. How I had reached in the fridge and grabbed a beer, tossing
junk mail around as I had listened to the disembodied voice of Sarah - the assistant -
detailing certain going-ons I apparently needed to be aware of. How Bosco had
slalomed between my legs excitedly, happy to have me home. How I had been
halfway towards the livingroom when I noticed the last piece of mail I had kept in my
hand. Handwritten, with a return address I did not recognize. Had ripped the white
enveloppe open without much care, half expecting a cleverly disguised ad from
someone wanting to do something to my carpet for an amazingly low price. Instead, I
got eight years crashing back into me, and he signed it, "Spike".