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chas_shaw in into_the_future

Persimmon Gallery then ?. Evening. Open post.

It was nearly seven thirty when the battered old VW van pulled up in the parkig spot behind the Persimmon Gallery. The vehicle may have looked a mess on the outside - its poor custom paint job of dolphins and breaking waves faded and scratched - but the engine was sound and the hammock in the back was quite comfortable. Charlie was really looking forward to cooking a proper meal, having a proper shower and stretching out on a proper bed.

It had been a stressful couple of weeks.

They had both known that occasional special 'jobs' for various agencies was the price that Deacon had to pay for remaining free and protected, but this one - just before Christmas and bound to take a LONg time - was the pits. In the end, rather than Charlie staying put had having to endure the speculation of all their friends, they had decided that a complete change of scene was in order and had let it be known that they planned a winter cruise with friends and they would be back whenever. A flight to Key West followed, then a couple of sad and clingy days while Deacon got his new persona in order then he was away. He had promised to keep in touch by various means and Charlie had kept his phone charged and had logged into his email accounts at every possible opportunity on the long road north from Key West.

But Charlie hadn't heard from him yet, and that just added to his discontent as he opened the back door to the gallery, disabled the alarm and let himself in.

He carted his bags upstairs to the living accommodation, shivering a little because the heating wasn't on, turned on the light and looked around with a scowl. His manager, Russell, was normally quite reliable but clearly nothing had been done to get the place ready. That was even more clear when he opened the fridge in the little kitchenette and recoiled. No food and one container of solid greenish milk instead of the basic supplies he had asked and paid for.

He rang his manager's number, glowering, and moved around the apartment trying to clear up some of the mess of packaging and boxes of paperwork, while the ringtone repeated and repeated. Once it went to voicemail he left a polite but terse message, turned the heating on and pulled his coat back on.

"At least I can get something hot at Bean Town," he said and let himself back out and headed down the road. A few mintures later he was staring at the charred building and wondering just what the heck had happened.

Comments

"Come at dinner time, around five," Mac nodded, getting up to walk him out. "I'll see you then. Dress casual." He smiled brightly. "Get some sleep."
"Thanks Mac," Charlie said, weaving a little as he made his way to the door. "I'll be more fun tomorrow I promise. And I brought presents - I just need to find where I put them."

On the threshold he paused and put his arms around Mac and gave him a hug. "Don't come out in the cold," he said.