A/N: So, the waiting is over! Here's the third part of that now being trilogy - Over One Monkee's Nature – The Wall Biters… - and now 'Comrade Hatred's Boxes'. I hope not to make you wait so long again as I write on. Enjoy!
...Et moi, je suis Sancho,
Sancho, Sancho, son valet, son fils, son frère!
Sancho, son seul amigo,
Son seul suivant, mais pour toujours,
Et j'en suis fier!..
(Jacques Brel - Don Quichotte)
Chapter 1. Wednesday morning. Comrade Arrives.
A skinny young man was immediately by their table, smiling friendly. He must've had flying shoes or something.
- Bring our bill, please.
He nodded and disappeared. Davy looked at the guys at the table – and couldn't help but smirk playfully. Come on, bores! He took his foot slowly and carefully out of the boot and reached out to touch the boot right opposite him, so smooth and cool. He stroked it with his toes, not letting himself giggle and knowing that his touch couldn't be felt – yet. The table was small, he didn't have to stretch his leg out too far, so he moved his foot comfortably up a bit to slide along the jeans and touch the leg of the man opposite him.
Mike raised his head immediately and looked at him in surprise. Davy's smile grew wider and he winked at Mike before hiding his chuckle childishly behind his hand. The next moment Mike's foot rubbed against Davy's own – it was so funny, sock against sock! – and, as Davy raised his laughing face, Mike winked at him. The little flames sparkled in his eyes – and he quickly pushed Davy's foot away and concentrated on his plate. His ears were burning. He left the plate and started examining the tea leaves in his cup as if they were something especially interesting. Davy bit his lower lip and held the chuckle inside.
He still couldn't get used to it all.
That was the fourth week they'd spent sharing a bed, meeting the mornings together and dreaming to the stars together, going out together and kidding around indoors together, making their music together, kissing and sharing their most intimate secrets – and he still seemed somehow uptight. He couldn't just go out with Davy and relax.
Maybe he was just bad at pretending – pretending they were just good friends having fun together. And how could Davy blame him, knowing his feelings?
Or maybe he just wasn't so confident.
For four weeks his moods had been utterly changeable. In the blink of an eye, he's been switching from feeling completely good and even kissing Davy in the tiny company of the group to the stone cold face and looking away every time Davy talked to him in the guys' presence. Davy was always there to calm him down – at least a little! – but Mike didn't feel completely relaxed until they were alone in the bedroom upstairs – it had become their after the story with the wall biters. He hugged the little one, they cuddled on their 'double bed' and they were one. Nothing and nobody could bother them in that private bubble. There were only Davy, Mike, their warm and sometimes silly whispers – and their touch, their bond, their contact. Their love.
And that was happiness. And Davy could forgive all those worried days for the intimate quiet evenings when they – just – felt one another, when they were simply together.
But those days of hidden caresses brought Davy – well, them both – a lot of pleasure, too. They were the funny days. There were a lot of touches – seemingly random, but so meaningful to the two of them.
They seized the moments, they found a second for each other every single time – and it always made Davy chuckle. Nobody knew that the guys right beside them were in love – and nobody did notice anything suspicious.
Mike seemed to enjoy it at the moment it happened, but he began to worry right afterwards. Sometimes when they were safely in the pad, Mike sighed with genuine grief written on his face and made long inspired speeches on how ridiculously risky Davy was and what could happen if anyone noticed anything wrong. Davy nodded, making an understanding face – 'okay-mummy-I'll-never-do-that-again'.
But he kept doing that, because the funny feeling that people could notice tickled his nerves – and Davy giggled quietly: at the stupid folks who didn't see, at him and Mike, who actually risked their peaceful being for a moment of the softest feeling on the fingertips, at their happiness, overfilling and overflowing – and at the whole world that forgave…
- Let's go? – Peter suggested, glancing at Mike's face – he was trying desperately to seem concerned – and quickly covering his mouth with his hand.
- Wait for the bill, - Micky reminded and just burst out laughing soundlessly.
- Yeah, - Mike answered and swallowed the giggle. He seemed to finally find it funny – he always did sooner or later. Davy slowly put his head on the table, hiding his face in the arms. He knew his shoulders were shaking.
- Your bill, ge…
And the waiter stopped and stood there with his mouth opened. Micky stretched his arm out, hiding his face in his other hand. The boy put the bill into Micky's hand and disappeared. Davy raised his head and saw Mike digging into his pockets with the most ridiculous face – and squeezed the bridge of his nose with his fingers. Gosh, that was embarrassing!
It always happened like that – everybody couldn't help but laugh. Davy understood the guys perfectly well, he himself couldn't resist – something in all that was ridiculously funny. In all that hidden love, in touches, in the idea that Micky and Peter knew everything – there was something unbearably funny to him. The worst thing was that when they started laughing all at once, trying their best to hide it, people began looking at them like they were idiots.
He rose and smiled widely at everybody who was staring at them and left the table. People's eyes were all on him. Making a huge effort not to chuckle, Davy swallowed and put one hand on Mike's shoulder and the other – on Micky's.
- Well, so come on? – he said almost carelessly.
- Yeah, right. Let's go, - Mike answered quickly and rose. He'd already dug out what he was searching for in his pockets and paid.
Peter got up and came up to Davy and tapped his back. Micky smiled at him quickly.
Outside the sun was shining. The morning that Wednesday was beautiful – sunny but not too hot. Davy squinted as he looked up at Mike – his dark head was closer to the sun than Davy's own. He expected Mike to look down at him, as usual, and smile or wink – but instead Mike was looking straight forward – and Davy felt the dear arm around his shoulder. And only then Mike met his gaze and smiled at his little one softly. Then he put his arm around Micky – and Peter held Davy from the other side. They all headed down the street, almost carrying the little one.
Mike smiled and leaned towards him.
- I just wanted to hug you and I didn't want people to get the wrong idea.
- I guess now they will probably get! – Davy remarked, moving his shoulders and doing his best to look kinda uneasy.
- No, really – do you mind? – and Mike winked at Davy – and how could anybody argue with him after that? Davy squeezed Mike's waist with his arm – for just a moment.
- You idiot…
- I know, - Mike said softly.
- It's just that if I did something like this, some guy called Mike that I know – you must know him, he works as a teacher for naughty people in his spare time – so he would have a lot to say when we come back home, m?
Davy looked at Mike squinting, something like – 'caught you!' Mike tilted his head a little and examined Davy's face.
- Want a secret?
- What now? – Davy tried his best to look annoyed, but his smile shone through the 'irritated face' he had made. Mike leaned even more, and his nose touched Davy's ear slightly.
- I adore you, - he whispered, stroking Davy's shoulder tenderly.
- You're the worst secret keeper I've ever seen, - Davy said quietly, smiling and gazing at his stupid lover in gratitude and adoration. – Do you really think we look normal this way?
- We're not supposed to look normal, - Micky remarked from his side. – We're long-haired weirdoes, the strange group and the Monkees, to sum it all up, no?
- Whose idea was this?
Davy glanced at Peter's shining proud face – of course, who else's idea could it be?
- Nothing, - Micky dropped it, smiling mockingly to the side. – Absolutely, literally no-thing.
- No, really, what? Did I do something wrong? – Peter looked into Davy's eyes, making the face of a little hungry puppy. Davy released his shoulders for a moment – to tap his cheek.
- That was the most idiotic idea that ever came into your head, - he said kindly. – Thank you. Of all the dummies I've met you're the most adorable one
- Oh thank you, - Peter's smile lit the whole street.
- Hey, and what about me? – Mike pushed Davy with his hip.
- Without a rival, - Davy said, smiling at him playfully.
- Oh really?
Davy put his head on Mike's shoulder – just for a second, so nobody would notice.
- All right, I lose! – Micky said with a shrug.
- You'll have another chance, - Peter hurried to reassure him.
Davy and Mike smiled to each other, understanding one another without a word. Peter and Micky were like their brothers, however strange it sounded. They both were so dear… Davy looked ahead and relaxed. Only then he felt a little difference in the feel of the guys' arms around him. Peter's embrace was friendly, that was the brotherly hold they could give one another to just say: 'I'm with you'. And Mike's arm around his shoulders was like nothing else in the world. Nobody could notice it, it could be only felt. But that was enough to be well, to be happy, to be – home.
The passers looked at the four weirdoes walking down the street arms around each other strangely. But Davy didn't care, and neither did any of the guys – his best friends or his One And Only. Davy was the happiest one in the street, he could bet – well, Mike didn't count.
There was some hustle and bustle around the pad. Some people were running around carrying furniture and looking quite nervous. A few of them were unfamiliar, but most of them, much to the guys' surprise, were their neighbours! They were in a hurry, in a terrible hurry, and they didn't even say anything cross to the one who made them carry such heavy stuff. Well, in fact they didn't say anything at all. They just didn't open their mouths even to say something to one another.
And there was a man amidst all that fuss who was standing straight, aristocratically, arms crossed over his chest. He was wearing a black suit and a black tie lay over a bright white triangle of his shirt. A black suitcase was lying at his feet like a faithful dog. The man was watching the people running around him and from time to time he said something quietly to them.
Mike released Dave and Micky and freed himself from their arms almost angrily. Davy followed him as he headed towards the strange man, who stood there, so black, with only a white flame of a shirt burning on his chest, visible from everywhere. He didn't even turn his head to look at Mike, though Mike did his best to be noticed – he pushed past the men as he walked, he cursed loudly and when he finally reached the man, he coughed loudly. But that was all for nothing. Not a single man said a word to the one who disturbed them. And the man didn't seem to notice Mike either.
- Hello! – Mike said loudly.
That wasn't a greeting. That was a call: 'explain!' Mike obviously wanted to know what that man was doing here – there surely weren't any rooms for rent anywhere close around. And the man's suit and posture reminded them of those times when people wanted to make something out of their pad – from making it their own house to planning a parking lot in its place.
The man turned to Mike slowly – and Davy, who had followed him, saying sorry to all the guys with the furniture and likewise being ignored, saw his face.
It was strangely cold for one more moment. Then the man's asphalt-coloured eyes smiled, and his lips smiled, and his entire face smiled – seemingly his whole body smiled!
- Oh, hello, my young friends! You must be my new neighbours, ha?
Yes, he did say it that way – not that he was their new neighbour, but that they were his! As if he was the owner of everything and everywhere. Mike was surprised and annoyed to see that kindness and impudence incarnate – he looked it. But Davy was quick to pull himself together and before Mike said anything rude, he smiled at the man.
- Yes, sir, we must be… I guess.
He was a handsome middle-aged man with a slightly wrinkled face, with silvering hair at his temples. He tilted his head slightly, like a bird, and looked in Davy's eyes carefully.
- Well, don't you live over there? – he pointed towards the door to the Monkees' pad – and Davy suddenly felt uneasy. The man said it as if he really was about to occupy their pad. He glanced at Mike and saw that same worry in his eyes. But Mike couldn't worry too long on such matters. He quickly got angry.
- Yes, we do… we do. We… we're the Monkees, - Davy finished, somehow unsure all of a sudden.
- Ah, the Monkees! – the man smiled and made a strange, almost theatrical motion with his hands. – I've heard of you boys.
- You… you have? – Mike's eyes flashed in sudden hope.
- Of course! – he replied.- You see, it's my job to know what most people don't know. I must say you're a great musician, Michael, you have an incredible talent. David, - he turned to Davy. – Hats off, my little friend. The soul of the group… oh, and hello to you, guys!
Davy turned back – Micky and Peter were already there standing a little behind him and Mike, eating the strange man with their eyes.
- Micky – seems to me you prefer Micky, not Michael? – he continued in the meantime as if nothing had happened.
Micky could only nod, unable to utter a sound. People did not always know their group – not to mention all their names!
- So, Micky. Not many people have energy like yours – and the courage to be who you are. Peter… Peter, my purehearted one! Live on your nerve, you're really adorable. You're great, fellas, and don't ever doubt it.
The guys looked at each other and, though they didn't really want to, the smiles lit their faces – even corners of Mike's lips turned up a little. That man really made the Monkees curious! Still quite surprised, but now pleased too, Micky managed:
- A… ah… thank you!
- All the truth for you any time of day or night, - the man smiled. – My job.
- And looks like you're planning to make an office for yourself out of this place, aren't you? – Mike asked, tilting his head.
- I wanna set my boxes around here, - the man said casually. – They won't be any trouble to you, you can be sure. My job is in solving problems, not making them.
- What a job it must be to know what most people don't know… - Micky remarked half-questioningly.
- Are you a spy? Or do you know the future? I'm in awe either way! – Peter's wide eyes were shining with adoration.
The man smiled with his entire body once again – and then suddenly changed from kindness incarnate to a man official to the very marrow of his bones. He lifted his chin a little and looked down at the guys – he managed to do that even to Mike, though Mike was taller. He squinted and something in his face made it look like stone.
- Glad to meet you, boys – Mstislav Hatred. An expert on secrets, so to speak.
He held his hand out – it looked rough and hard, like a desk – and Mike shook it, squinting and examining the man suspiciously.
- I've got a few questions here, if you don't mind, mister…
- Comrade, - the man repeated calmly. – I prefer to be addressed as such. Well, you know, in my home country it's used and all that. In three words – I prefer 'Comrade'.
- Okay, very well, Comrade, - Mike said with a slight pressure. – May I ask now since you don't have any more remarks?
- Yes, my friend, any questions you wish, - Comrade Hatred answered calmly, without a trace of mockery. That was annoying.
- Now what do you mean by 'expert on secrets' – that's first of all! – Mike said, crossing his arms across his chest courageously, boldly and almost glaring. He wanted to show the man he was the leader. Comrade Hatred grinned and crossed his arms across his chest himself.
- Oh, boys, too early, way too early to ask who I am! Wait until I open my boxes – and you'll see yourselves! My job is of the kind that you need to see at work once rather than hear explained a million times. I'll soon be helping people – and, seems to me now, some of you will need my help as well!
He looked at Mike significantly – and Davy saw Mike's ears burn and fists clench.
- Why only would you think that? – he said almost menacingly. He was finally tired of it all.
- I said: that's my job, - Comrade Hatred answered calmly and seriously. – And I do know something about you. We all have some stuff we're good at, you know. You, Michael, are a professional in your area – music that wakes us up to life, I'm a professional in my area – people's secrets and issues with them. Consider me a practic psychology professor. That's all for now. As a professional, I see the problem here. It's been there since about Monday – I may have forgotten. There are only two people who know about it – I don't count – you and another one…
Comrade Hatred smiled with the corners of his lips. Davy put his hand on Mike's shoulder, feeling those vibrations radiating from his man telling Davy he was gonna explode.
He can't know. Nobody does. Even Micky and Peter. Nobody in the world knows about Monday.
He held the thought inside trying to kill it – it made him want to scream.
- Listen, Comrade Hatred, - he said as politely as he could, - I think that's really enough. You're our new neighbour, - without meaning to he emphasised the word 'our', - I don't want to argue and spoil everything from the start.
- That's a good will, - the man said thoughtfully. – Keep it. Use it.
Davy nodded, just wanting him to shut his mouth. God, he wanted to ask why the heck that man would come here and if he had anything to do with their pad, but those words were stuck in his throat. So he smiled instead:
- May I ask you one thing?
- Do you ever run into problems with your surname?
That was an awkward and childish question. It was asked just to ask something – but Davy felt it was his duty to be at least friendly.
- Problems with my surname? Plenty! – Comrade Hatred smiled, showing his big white teeth. His Hollywood smile looked sincere, but something wouldn't let Davy relax. The asphalt colour in the man's eyes lost the cold steel shade.
- You know, since I was a kid there've been a lot. People were…
He made a pause and Davy tried to help:
- Not mocking, actually, - the man drawled thoughtfully. – Rather they were afraid…
He looked at the guys from under his heavy silver eyebrows and his eyes flashed steel. Then he became official immediately.
- Well, I still have a job to do here. I have to open the boxes soon – and time there is a little… Excuse me!
And he turned sharply, took his suitcase and took three long strides away. Peter hurried towards him, but stopped, barely having made a step, dropped his hands down and stood there stooped. Comrade Hatred turned his profile to the guys for one last time and threw over his shoulder:
- I know you didn't say it aloud, but, knowing your secrets, I can make one thing that bothers you clear. Don't worry about your place. I won't take it. I know you thought I was about to occupy your so-called 'pad', but I'm not gonna do that. Your one neighbour is moving in her new house today, you didn't know, I think. She had to. I'm living just next door. But I promise your problem's going to be solved. Good luck!
And he showed the Monkees his quite wide black back. Something like a wall appeared all of a sudden between the guys and Comrade Mstislav Hatred.
- I don't like him.
Davy glanced at Micky, who broke the silence unexpectedly. All four were sitting in the pad downstairs in heavy silence. It cracked at Micky's words.
Micky caught Davy's glance and hurried to explain:
- Well, you know… I don't have a good feeling about him. Don't even know why
- Me neither, - Davy answered.
The quietness was so thick he almost felt it break.
- Moron he is…
And it shattered. Mike's remark was the darkest. He didn't even raise his head resting exhaustedly on his arms. Davy sighed and embraced his shoulders softly. He didn't like Comrade Hatred either. He heard Mike sigh and looked at Micky and Peter helplessly. Two equally helpless stares were the only answer. Davy leaned on Mike and closed his eyes, stroking his lover's shoulder. He didn't want to think about it, but he couldn't help it – the thought knocked at his mind and made all his insides curl into a little beating heavy ball. The man seemed to know their secret – the one terrible secret. The Monday secret. Maybe those were just his illusions, but…
They had had a fight.
A huge fight.
In the evening.
And that was one of the most horrible days in Davy's life.
It all started somehow absolutely unexpectedly. They were just cuddling in bed and talking quietly – about everything that had happened during the day, about the past and the future, they were laughing – softly or loudly, they were loving each other. And then Davy mentioned something about Mike being an idiot – it must have been after another quiet warm and wet and stupid uttering of love. And after that little word Mike slowly but confidently went from joking to the serious statement that Davy was 'too good' for him.
That sounded foolish.
That sounded childish.
That was absolutely not Mike Nesmith to say those words.
But it suddenly appeared to bother Mike seriously. And Davy's attempts to get his feet back on the ground ended with Mike's sarcastic 'you'd-better-leave-me-before-it's-too-late'. And after that Davy exploded…
How he regretted it! How he wished to erase all the words he had said at once! If he didn't get so mad after that phrase, maybe everything would be all right. But the thing was done and the painful shouts were thrown at Mike's face and spat into his heart.
In anger turning into despair, Davy had started blaming Mike for everything – for that love that shouldn't ever have been, for that pain and fear he had gone through – heck, even for all those mystic things that had come and gone! The memory of all that hurt. But one thing was carved painfully in Davy's memory. That moment was scary. Mike was listening to Davy silently, and then he rose – so tall and pencil thin, and sharp, and pale.
'Okay then, - he said. – I know my fault. You know, in one of my first songs I had a line I never wanted to say to you. We'll both live a lot longer if you live without me, cowboy.'
Later Davy cursed himself because his hurt and anger appeared to be stronger than his love at that moment. He just sat down on the bed and watched Mike quickly get dressed. And when the man stopped at the door in something like doubt, Davy dropped mockingly:
'You can't even leave normally! Live all your life playing roles. Now show me the hurt love and offended honesty – come on! I know that you won't leave. You know what? You're trying so hard to make a hero outta yourself, but you're nothing but a coward!'
Mike turned back a little and looked at Davy's eyes. Davy would remember that face forever so clearly and painfully – a look of the last despair was on it. The stingy green pain was looking from Mike's eyes into Davy's just for a few seconds – and then all Davy could see was Mike's perfect profile. The man looked down.
'I'm not trying to make a hero outta me, - he said slowly. Every word took a great effort. – I'm just trying to be a hero for the ones I love. But what a hero am I if I can't even be a good lover for you? And you'll see that I can go. I won't do it just to prove something… no. But I really think I shouldn't hurt you. Not again. Not ever…'
He paused and swallowed hard. Davy was watching him.
'I've brought you nothing but trouble, – well, also some huge pain, - Mike said, smiling bitterly at the last words. – I'm sorry for everything. I'm just leaving not to do anything bad ever again. And I stopped… I just wanted to tell you that I'll love you always and forever, whatever happens – to you, to me, to this town, to this country… to this world… and if you ever need me… I promise I'll come. I'll be near you. G'bye…'
He almost swallowed that last word, because his voice trembled. He took his guitar and left – stooped, he headed out of the room, downstairs and away…
And only then Davy had realized what he had done. He jumped off his place and rushed to dress, heart pounding in his throat. He lived with the thought that Mike couldn't physically leave, and that he would never ever even seriously think about it. The only thought that he could lose Mike made him forget everything else immediately. He ran out of the pad calling in fright: 'Mike! Mike!' – and he ran through the night, searching. Mike seemed to have disappeared…
Davy remembered minutes that were like hours, the long scary moments of the fruitless search, strange ticking time full of loneliness and fear. He could lose his Mike forever and that was all his own fault – that thought pounded in his temples and made him run. And then the rain started pouring down from the dark low skies, it hit his back and his head with its heavy drops, it was blaming him for that night, and the wind was slapping Davy's cheeks – it knew his faults, and Davy ran, soaked to the skin and lonely to the marrow of his bones, to the deepest depth of his heart. And then he stopped when he realized he was completely lost – a little figure, so alone in endless dark, surrounded by thick walls of rain – rain in his ears, rain on his lashes, rain whispering – shouting: – 'Guilty!.. Guilty!.. Guilty!..'
And a cold hand squeezed his heart: nothing made sense. Nothing was right. Nothing was sensible enough. Everything was just so utterly, rudely, cruelly idiotic.
And then he heard a sound. Barely audible, soft, warm, tender – dear. It came from somewhere far way – and it rose, like an echo, from the most intimate depths of the heart. At first Davy thought it was an illusion so beautiful it seemed to be real. But the melody called, it was talking to his heart so softly, it didn't promise miracles – it was a miracle, a naked feeling flowing past his ears and right into his helpless, uncovered heart.
And he ran. Ran desperately. Ran to the sound. And it grew a bit louder – and it wasn't an illusion. It was a little ray of warmth going through the rain. And Davy hurried towards it.
And then through the thick rain he saw a dim light. He was running out of breath, but he wouldn't stop, and when he finally couldn't run any longer, he stood there on shaky feet, his heart pounding painfully – and he saw it clearly.
The man was sitting at the bus stop, under the cover of the shelter, alone. The lantern was shining dimly and uneasily and heavily. A lonely man under the lonely lantern was sitting there with nothing but his solitude and strumming his lonely guitar. He wasn't waiting for the bus – the last bus had gone a while ago. His eyes were closed, no, he himself was closed. Davy took a few unsure steps forward. The man must have felt him. He raised his head and opened his eyes – and Davy drowned in endless tea-coloured emptiness.
He hardly remembered how he had reached Mike. He just suddenly found himself in Mike's arms, embracing his man and kissing him passionately and desperately. He remembered Mike holding him tight, keeping his feet off the ground, he remembered how his freezing cold shirt had suddenly become hot. And when he finally broke the kiss just because he'd run out of breath, Mike just looked at him softly and tenderly and said: 'Why did you have to come for me? I don't…'
Davy wouldn't let him finish the sentence – and another long wet kiss interrupted Mike. And when it ended and Davy finally managed to stand on the ground, his man smiled, smoothing Davy's wet hair off his eyes and said: 'Now you're soaked to the skin and what can I do now?'
'Take me home, keep me warm and stay' – Davy exhaled, breathing Mike eagerly.
'What for? – Mike said sadly. – I'm telling you, I don't want to ruin your life'.
'You've been doing that last at least half an hour, - Davy whispered, holding Mike tight. – Now I won't let you go. And you can do what you want – tell me how great I am and how stupid and bad you are, speak my own words to me – remind me everything, I deserve it. You won't persuade me anyway. Just – don't – go.'
Mike smiled, stroking Davy's hair. 'You can't live with me and don't wanna live without me. What do you call this?'
'I call this love, - Davy answered passionately. – And I can live with you if you don't make fights out of nothing and then decide to go because I'm 'too good'!'
Mike laughed quietly and leaned away a little to look at Davy.
'I'm telling you, you're soaked, - he said softly. – And your idiot needs you alive and well. What's more, you asked me to keep you warm… take off your shirt, and right now'.
He touched Davy's nose with the tip of his own and released the little man and quickly took his own denim jacket off.
Davy was standing there, unsure, heart still pounding in his throat, in disbelief and silent joy. Mike glanced at him, smiled to himself, putting the jacket carelessly on his shoulder, and then just came up to him, unbuttoned his shirt and took it off of him. He threw it away and wrapped Davy in that denim jacket – and in himself. And then he just picked Davy up, somehow so lightly, and kissed him on the forehead.
'Forgive me, babe, - he said quietly. – M?'
He looked into Davy's eyes – and Davy was in his hands, suddenly speechless. The jacket was warm and kind and it smelled like Mike. The light of the lantern was intimate and soft and loving. The man's arms holding him were strong and reliable. Davy put his arms around Mike's neck and touched his cheek with the tip of his nose.
'You forgive me. We both did everything wrong. I'm sorry.'
Mike didn't answer. He touched Davy's smile softly with his own – and then carried Davy out of the shelter. He walked with long strides down the streets, and Davy just held him, trusting him endlessly – but much to his surprise they soon reached the pad…
That was like a fairytale – it ended too well. Neither Micky, nor Peter knew anything about it. Davy knew that the worst was over when he woke up in the Tuesday morning and on the bedside cabinet he found a hot cup of coffee and a little piece of paper under it saying: 'It's all my fault no matter what you say. I'll make everything okay. Adore you. M.'
The coffee was gorgeous. Davy wondered where Mike had found such great coffee – or if he was just a master in making it.
Mike himself had returned a few hours later, and took the group to an audition, not telling them where he was going – but anyway there they played and were hired for Wednesday. Gosh, they could earn more money than they'd ever earned before! The man seemed to really enjoy them playing.
But now even the prospect of that couldn't make them happy…
- Mstislav… terrible name, - Mike uttered suddenly.
- What should that mean? – Peter asked thoughtfully.
- Something with revenge, if I'm not mistaken, - Micky replied. – You know, one girlfriend I had a long time ago was obsessed with Russian history. She left me for her long one-sided passion for Ivan the Terrible…
- Revenge, Hatred… nice neighbour we have! – Davy snorted.
- But we gotta survive somehow, - Micky said with a shrug. He seemed to have already calmed down. Well, in fact, why would he worry? – I mean, guys, the man we don't really feel nice about is not the end of the world, is he?
- He likes us, - simple Peter remarked with a tiny smile.
Davy shrugged. Now he was ready to admit that was an illusion. He decided not to think of the man. He got up.
- Fellas, we are playing today, aren't we? – he reminded with a slight smile. Everybody'd better forget everything. And he himself first of all.
- Let's play? – Micky suggested, smiling back. – Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! We gotta sound our best tonight – and, guys, we're gonna be rich!
Davy ran to the back patio to fetch his maracas and take his place at the microphone, but he glanced at Mike and understood that he wouldn't be able to forget everything unless he found a way to make Mike take it easy. With a dark face his man got up, took his guitar and stood on his side of their improvised stage.
- 'Daydream Believer'? – Davy suggested. – Let's try that one, looks like we have some people to cheer up here!
- Okay, - Peter smiled.
- Let's rock! – Micky said and jumped up.
Translation of the epigraph:
'And me, I am Sancho,
Sancho, Sancho, his servant, his son, his brother,
Sancho, his only friend, his only follower forever
And I'm proud of it!'