AN: I wrote it! And posted it! I know, applaud me, bow, kiss my feet...

Or, you know, berate me for barely making my own self-imposed deadline. Whatever works for you.

Dedicated, obviously, to someone who knows who they are (that may be a stretch of their menatl health, but...) and containing the names of their two loves in life – excluding certain great authors, their characters, at least one comedian and an ex-Smiths member or two.

And coffee*.

Disclaimer: Don't own. It's sad, I know.


The tentative knock on the door takes him back to a time that feels years ago. He steps forward and turns the handle, as if in a trance.

Fran is on the other side, just watching him with eyes that apologise through a sheet of glass and wood.

The door clicks, and the wave begins.

"How could you leave?" he croaks, as she steps in cautiously, clutching a bottle of wine, which she presses into his hands.

"I know I hurt you, Bernard."

The words hang there as he stares impassively, and she winces as she takes him in, every bedraggled, dishevelled inch of him.

He looks terrible.

All of a sudden, there is a burst of humming and Manny wanders in, tapping as he steps and gazing intently at some papers in his hands.

Bernard turns and just looks, now the picture of heartbroken despair you would assume was for Fran, if not for the hint of irritation and madness at the back of his eyes.

"Fran!" Manny exclaims, looking up and beaming. "You've been gone all week!"

Fran and Bernard faintly realise how ridiculous the situation is. She's been gone a week. She was smashed when she left. Are they really going to argue about something so stupid, so trivial?

He glares at her through a haze of alcohol as Manny mutters and drifts out, still gesturing and tapping his feet.

Okay, apparently they are.

Five hours later, after they've slogged through a sufficient amount of drinking, shouting, taking it out on the radio, and general intoxicated melodrama (not necessarily in the above order, of course), they reach an agreement, and also the final colour.

Black. Her Bernard Black.



"Those are the colours, sweetheart. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and black." He coughs uproariously. "The good ones anyway."

"Dad, I'm thirteen. And you're drunk again."

He groaned.

"Don't start in on me again." He put his head on the table, one hand in his hair.

"You're alcoholic," his daughter informed him.

"Alcoholism," he stated, rising and beginning to rant, "is a part of me. It brought your insane mother and I together. Without wine, I couldn't have married her. And if it wasn't for alcohol, I can tell you that you certainly never would have been born!"

Florence Black-Katzenjammer rolled her eyes and went up to bed, leaving her father to contemplate life and reminisce over how it had all turned out.

Or, failing that, pour himself a large glass of wine.

AN: Please like. Please review. I don't bite.

Also, *remember this means we're now engaged. You and I, nothing to do with the coffee.

See ya!