Leon/Elijah: *The most boring holiday I've ever spent. Ever. And to make things worse... the town is practically dead. No, it is dead. I can't say that it makes me miss Los Angeles any... or maybe just a little. And as I stroll past the post office, I think about the mail sitting back at 'home' in LA... the mail from friends who have no idea that I'm not coming back -- yet. Pausing when I see a sign of life through the post office windows, I decide that it might be worth a shot to see if I have anything. Even a stupid flyer might make me feel more like I exist.*
Dom: *I can’t believe Marty. I just can’t. And I won’t. No, I will not. What is he thinking? A post office this size does not require the use of forty gross bins of packing peanuts, no matter what he says about mail-order salmon. I’m bloody mad for even coming in to work today – a Sunday, my day off, damn it – to fix this whole mess. I rip another useless label off one of the mail slots and fling it into the trash. What’s worse...I’m missing Billy. So badly, I miss him. I could be sitting with him by the fire, just looking at him, kissing him, loving him, but of course not. Damn you, Marty. I take some mail from under my arm, shoving it bluntly into the mail slot. The lights flicker a bit and I stop, looking up, then behind to check out the window at the weather. Still snowing; and rather heavily now. Windy, too. I hope I get out of here before it gets too rough. I’d hate to make Billy worr-... I squint as I stare across the office, noticing a figure just outside. Crazy... Didn’t he hear the weather report? Deciding not to give it much more thought, I turn slowly back to my work, throwing another stack of mail into a slot.*
Leon/Elijah: *I pull on the door handle, then pull on it again before I use my brain and realise that it's locked. Peering through the window, I tap my knuckles on the glass, then delegate that task to my elbow while I wrap my arms around myself, shivering a bit. I really don't remember it being this cold when I first stepped outside.*
Dom:*I hear a knock echo deadly through the empty office and turn around lazily. I can’t believe this. Now the bloke wants in.* Of course he does! *I huff, setting the mail down on the counter and making my way around to the front. The figure outside the glass is hard to make out, even as I come close to the door. But I can see that he’s bundled himself up well enough anyway, standing there shivering like a leaf. I mutter as I swing my keys out of my pockets and stick them in the lock aside the door handle.* Good to know he’s realised it’s cold. Maybe he’ll realise there’s no post today, too, and go home. *The lock on the door clicks and I push my keys away, helping the man open the door as he also scurries to come in, bringing an uncomfortable gust along with him.*
Leon/Elijah: Thanks, dude. *pushing off the hood of my coat, then rubbing my hands together* I was just passing by and thought I'd... *looking up into the eyes of a familiar face, and an almost familiar scowl* ...Dom? *It's Dom, and he's here alone -- without Billy -- which must mean he's really without Billy, which he might just blame on-- * Oh, shit. I'm sorry. I'll just... *pointing to the door* ...be going. *opening the door wide, and cursing as I'm blinded by a flurry of snowflakes*
Dom: *Shite! I almost shout as I look at him. shite, shite, shite – of all the people to come in on today of all days, it has to be Leon. The deli boy. The deli boy who blatantly flirts with my boyfriend, and who must think I’m a psychopathic killer due to the nature of our last meeting. Of all the people, he’s the one standing here now on my worst day at work. I clench my teeth as he makes for the door. I want to just let him go, damn it. I want to just have him gone. But...oh, hell, I can’t. It’s freezing outside; the snow’s becoming more awful by the second. I bloody can’t do it. I put my hand on the door, slowly closing it and hating myself.* No, Leon... it’s... it’s... *I want to say “fine,” but something won’t allow me to do it. Instead, as the door finally closes against the wind and I face him in silence, I decide their must be something he needs and ask him with the most polite tone I can muster.* ...what is it? *Okay, so that didn’t sound very polite, but damn it, I’m not feeling very polite. Why does it have to be him? Of all people?*
Leon/Elijah: *yeah, he's definitely not my biggest fan in the world right now.* I just thought I'd check for mail. Didn't get anything for Christmas and... *Oh, great. Now I sound like an eight-year old who's upset because Santa didn't pay him a visit* ...and I just wanted to check. *squinting my eyes at one of windows, noticing the snow is starting to pile up on the sill, then meeting your eyes and shivering again* Why are you here, Dominic? *looking around* Not writing another letter are you? *cringing at my own words, wondering if I could make it home if I run fast enough*
Dom: *I look around the office. Do I look like I’m writing another letter? Should I even tell him the news at all? What a bloody thing to ask anyway. Is it really his business at all? Why the hell am I saving him from the cold?* I’m here...because my boss seems to enjoy buggering my life. *I clench my fist around the keys in my pocket, not wanting to tell him anymore, but knowing it will eventually all come out anyway. I can’t even tell if I’m mad at him, really, or if I’m just roughed about having to come in today at all, and now having him to slow me down. I’m with Billy now, I remind myself; Leon isn’t here to ruin that at least. He’s just here about mail. I can handle mail with a cool head. I think.* What’s wrong with your mail? *I try, biting back.*
Leon/Elijah: My mail? *Oh. Right. It's not like he can blame me for worrying about Billy... last I saw him I know he was heartbroken.* My mail... well, I was thinking that maybe it might be under a... different name. Small screwup with my post office at home. *Or maybe my sister just couldn't keep it a secret.* Also... *figuring I'll just blurt it out* ...I was wondering about what happened on Christmas Eve. I know that Billy was looking forward to it, and... *shrugging*
Dom: What name would your mail be under? *I reply, deciding not to respond to his last comment. I’m not sure he really deserves to know about Christmas Eve. After all, he broke Billy’s heart and made him end the letters. Why should he-... Well, all right, that’s not really fair. I know I basically told him to break Billy’s heart but...couldn’t he have done it in a little less...heart-breaking way? I can feel my insides tightening. This just isn’t the day for me to be talking about Christmas Eve. I’ll just start feeling happy, and then Leon might get the wrong impression. I’m not happy. I’m a grumpy bastard right now, and I like it that way, damn it. He should be grumpy, too, just to make me feel better. Which I won’t. Because I’m grumpy. So there. I begin to make my way back to the counter, wondering if I might just find Leon’s mail and be done with it, so he can go on his merry way and I can clean this place up in peace. I want to be home, warm with Billy at my side, before I’m snowed in to this damn place. I glance outside as I reach the counter, Leon stepping closer in the corner of my eye. The snow is falling in buckets. And the wind isn’t any better either. The lights flicker again, and I curse as I throw the remaining mail on the counter aside.*
Leon/Elijah: Well, it might be under... Wood. *I say with a bit of hesitation, hoping you'll be able to just glance at something and tell me I have no mail there either -- though I can't really say that I know how post offices work. I also notice that you're either ignoring my other question, or just taking your time in answering me. I figure that I could just go see Billy myself... although the idea of showing up and having Dom answer the door doesn't sound so smart.* So... about Billy?
Dom: *I raise an eyebrow at him shortly as he mentions the name.* Wood? *Though, I don’t suppose I should be questioning him here. Not my business. Though Billy doesn’t seem to be his business either, so I decide to ignore his mention again. Turning around as I kick aside some extra packing peanuts that somehow managed to get all over the floor, I head for the back room to check in one of the mail bins for the name “Wood.” I click on the light as I enter through the doorway, Leon following a bit, though I know he feels a little uncertain about coming in the room after me. And he probably should, with the mood I’m in. But if I’m going to have this “mail hunt” over with quickly, he may as well join me on the search. I stop at one of the dank shelves in the back and slide out a container of old mail, rifling through it’s contents for the name.* You might as well come in... *I say, not turning around. I lift out a couple letters and inspect them, squinting. “Murray”... I toss them aside and pull out the container on the shelf below.* Is there a first name to go with that? *I pull out another letter reading “Wilson,” then toss it aside and grab another.*
Leon/Elijah: *following Dom further into the back room, I realise that he'll have to actually look at every envelope in that container. I ignore his question -- just like he's ignored mine -- and I walk a little closer* If you want... I could look myself? I'll be really quick. *And the quicker the better, because the lights definitely did blink this time, and the last thing I want is to be stuck here with a grouchy postman who seems to have a vendetta against me.*
Dom: *I drop the mail from my hand and hold the container out for him to pick up.* As long as you don’t consider mail-tampering a daunting form of federal offense, I have no problem with that. *I’m not really trying to be sarcastic; I’d really rather he looked in the bin and get this all done with. But I really shouldn’t even have let him back here, and I guess I feel a little guilty about it. But apparently I don’t feel bad about making it feel like his fault. I sigh at myself for being such an arse today. He hasn’t done anything to me really...yet. Besides mentioning Billy, which isn’t usually something I avoid thinking about. I hand him the bin and shrug, giving in just a bit.* No, just go ahead... I won’t report you or anything.
Leon/Elijah: *It's hard not to smirk at his comment, but I really am curious about this mail, so I jump at the chance to search it on my own. I don't think Dom is a horribly evil guy or anything... but knowing that he's in a bad mood, I don't want to give him a reason to be any more suspicious about me -- and how do I know that he won't go selling me out to some tabloid? A red card catches my eye while I sort through the mail, and I glance up to see Dom staring right at me as I try to quickly slip it and a few other pieces of mail out of the pile and turn them over, shielding the name that I was hoping to leave behind me.* Found them. *I set the container down and tuck them into my coat pocket... a little pissed off that the friends I trusted didn't bother to use the right name.. but at the same time, glad to finally hear from those same friends. And speaking of friends... do I dare ask about Billy again?*
Dom: *He hides the letters quickly away, and I wonder if I should be worrying about him. He can’t really have a secret, can he? And if so, why the hell does he bother me about mine all the bloody time? (Meaning, maybe once). I shrug and nod toward the door.* Well, if that’s everything, I think I’ll get back to- *But the lights flicker. I look up. And suddenly, they’re out completely.* Shite! *I shout. This really isn’t my day. I look around for Leon, but of course I can’t see a bloody thing. Silently, desperately, I hope that the lights will just come back on as I stand here. But after a few seconds of only standing, I can see that that isn’t going to be the way this happens. My day just gets better and better.* Shite, shite, shite... *I turn, hoping I won’t run into anything and try to remember where I kept that bloody flashlight. Not that I ever thought I’d have to use it. Damn it.*
Leon/Elijah: *Okay... so I can clearly hear Dom cursing up a storm while he moves about, but I can't see him. Should I be scared? Perhaps. But for some reason, I'm not really. I'm actually thinking I'd rather be in a blackout with someone else -- even a grumpy someone else -- rather than up in my apartment alone.* Shouldn't you have, like, an emergency back-up generator or something? *hearing a grumble in response, I remind myself that this is Lauderville, not Los Angeles* How about some candles? *backing up a little, I bump into something so I freeze where I am. Last thing I need is to knock over one of these shelves. Then he'll really have a reason to kill me.*
Dom: Just don’t move, okay? *I try to persuade him as I search, nearly on hands and knees, for a flashlight, a lantern, anything. I run into a number of boxes and curse repeatedly, until I think I’ve found my way around the large mail bins. Feeling against the front wall, I kneel down and shuffle through a few shelves. My hands hit something cold, metal, and I grab hold of it and feel all areas of it for a knob or button that might indicate it’s usefulness in this situation. My fingers finally touch a round bump on the side of the thing and I push it in with a click!, releasing a sharp beacon of white light into my face.* Shite!! *I nearly drop the flashlight onto the ground, rubbing my eyes with my left arm furiously as I catch the thing, mid-air, light flickering around the room. Slowly, I get to my feet and level the light around the room. Leon squints into the beam as I find him standing still against the far wall.* You all right? *Damn, I didn’t mean that. Did I? I don’t know. That’s a required question in this sort of situation, right? I look away from him a bit, but realise that he can’t see me anyway.*
Leon/Elijah: I'm okay. *I should be panicking, I think. There's no heat, there's a fucking blizzard going on outside, and Dom hates me. Shouldn't I be panicking? Well, I'm not.* Think it's the whole town or just the building? *I really think I should just stop asking stupid questions. It's not like he's going to answer me anyway.* How about you? Did you trip over a box?
Dom: *I look at him, a bit surprised. Does he really care about that? I squint a bit through the darkness, considering him. But I don’t wait too long to start moving around the room again.* A few of them... I’m fine. Got to find another light... *I wave the flashlight around the room, listening to the wind roaring over the building. Aiming the light toward the shelves behind me, I see a small lantern sitting in the dust near a mail bag. I bend down and take the lantern by the handle and then stand to face Leon again.* I’m going to go back out front and see if this lantern still works. Coming? *My tone is still a bit angry. But I don’t think I’m quite as angry as I am worried; worried about Billy; worried about getting out of here at all tonight to see him. I hope he stayed at home today. I couldn’t imagine what I’d do if I found out he’d gone to the market...or the deli... Well, especially the deli...considering he’d be without company. I look at Leon once more before turning toward the doorway. I’m not sure if I’d rather have Leon with him or not, actually.*
Leon/Elijah: Yeah, I'm coming. *He's being snippy with me still, as if this is all my fault or something. I'm certainly not the reason he had to come in to the office today. And I'm just about set to tell him that when I follow him out to the front, but what I'm seeing out of the window is a big enough distraction that my mouth simply drops open* Holy shit. We're stuck here. I'm stuck here with... *glancing at Dom who suddenly looks really sinister with the angle of the light on his face* ...you.
Dom: *What’s that supposed to fucking mean? Stuck here with me? Holy shite, Leon, no really. More correctly, I’m stuck with you. You know, you really didn’t even have to come here today. In fact, you shouldn’t have bloody done it because there’s no bloody post on Sunday. My eyes squint at him through the dim light of the flashlight, not moving. Then, letting off a...very frustrated breath, I decide it better to just pretend like he didn’t come in today and spend my anger on the corroded knobs of the lantern on the counter. Twisting one of the buttons, crackling off a bit of old rust, I huff and drop into Marty’s chair, inspecting the device closely and paying no attention to Leon. Whatever the hell he’s doing...*
Leon/Elijah: *so maybe that statement wasn't exactly congenial, but why should I care. He hasn't so much as treated me kindly since I've been here -- other than letting me break a federal law. But still... if he's going to ignore me, then so be it. I tried. Leaning against a wall, letting my back slide down until I'm sitting, I dig into my pocket. The crinkling of my mail seems strangely loud as I pull the envelopes from my pocket and look at them in the dim light -- less than dim actually. But I don't need light to rip one of them open, which is even louder, of course. Pulling the card out, I struggle to read the words. Some corny card about Christmas and being away from loved ones and... damn, why couldn't I have waited to read this later?*
Dom: *I flick my thumb over the lantern knob and produce a small spark inside, but nothing else. My face wrinkles determinedly, and I wiggle the body of the lantern on the desk. Receiving nothing but an empty clattering, I knock the lantern down a couple times until, on the last metallic clank, a whine sears through the filaments within the glass and a light softly expands over the length of the counter. There. Fixed. And though the lantern isn’t very bright, at least it’s something. I turn a bit to see that Leon has made himself comfortable on the floor and is presently rustling through a couple of his letters. I lean on the counter, disinterested, but considering. Reaching a foot under the counter, I link my ankle around the leg of a tall stool and swivel it out onto the floor between us, hoping he’ll figure out the rest, but not really caring either way. Not my problem if he wants to dirty his arse on that floor.*
Leon/Elijah: *I can hear Dom fiddling with that lantern, and then I also hear a scrape across the floor. Looking up from one of my cards, I wipe my eyes with the back of my hand just in case there were any sentimental tears about to fall, and I notice the stool in front of Dom. I rise to my feet, still gripping my mail and plop myself down next to him. It's not the most comfortable seat, but it's better than the cold floor.* Thanks. *my voice is soft, sounding almost depressed to my own ears, which brings me to a quick decision, and I stuff the envelopes back into my pocket. Last thing I need now is to start blubbering and being homesick with Dom here.* Do you have a radio with batteries or anything?
Dom: *I pop my lips.* Nope. *Then I allow a smug smile upon my lips, not really wanting to smile, and play my fingers on the counter, really wishing we did have a radio here. Then I could drown out my conscience once and for all and forget about talking to Leon.* Broken. *I explain shortly. Believe me; I’ve tried to fix it, too. This post office is as quiet as the grave with Marty about. Especially since he hates singing...from anyone. He probably broke the radio himself. I raise my brow, returning to the subject of a curious deli boy.* But, if you were wondering about weather, I have a strange idea that it may be snowing.
Leon/Elijah: *rolling my eyes* No shit, sherlock. *Great. No radio. I'm going to go insane. I'd rather hear Dom sing Winter Wonderland than sit here in complete silence. Then again, I'd rather not be here at all. But I am, and I guess I need to either make some amends with the guy or sit here and let him glare at me all night* So... uhm, how was your Christmas? *I'm pretty sure the monotone of my voice betrays any actual interest in Dom's holiday activities... but I'm trying, aren't i?*
Dom: *Sure. I’ll bet he’s really intrigued. I rub the back of my hand over my forehead and look out of the windows in disappointment. If we’re here all night, I may just kill myself. I sigh and return to his question, wishing, really, that he’d just sit, read his mail if he’d like, and be Leon, the soundless deli boy... so I can contemplate the many things that are wrong with my life right now. I slouch and rest my chin on my fist.* Jolly... *I state, bluntly.* Yours?
Leon/Elijah: I slept through it. *purposely, I should add. But I don't* So, you and Billy...? *I don't know why I'm bothering to ask again. He'll probably ignore me again. Maybe I should just sit on the floor again and go to sleep. Wake up to a nice sunny day and no Dom.* I'm only asking because I was worried about him, Dominic. Not being nosey, all right?
Dom: *I look up at him straight, taking his words in for a moment. For some reason, I don’t feel like ignoring this one... though, he still doesn’t really need to know... he shouldn’t be worried about Billy, either; he’s mine to worry about, and just those words as he speaks them make me twinge with a familiar prick of jealousy. Maybe if I just say something he’ll give it a rest for the evening. I nudge my chin up over my fist, raising my lips from my knuckles to speak.* Fine... *I shrug lightly, not really knowing how to say this. I’m sure Leon had felt something for Billy, anyway... It’s not like I want to break his heart; not like that. I didn’t fall in love with Billy to hurt anyone else. I’d hate for it to seem like that. For Billy’s sake. I sigh, trying to give in gently.* Billy and I... we’re... *I hesitate.* Well, I told him about the MS thing- the, uh, secret admirer thing... *That’s not going to be enough, and I know it, glancing away to the countertop.*
Leon/Elijah: *I'm nearly shocked to hear him say more than one word to me at a time, though not as shocked about the choice of words. I'm actually relieved to hear him say it. Even though Dom didn't exactly tell me in so many words that he and Billy are together now, I'm guessing that they must be. Otherwise... I might be missing some limbs or something.* That’s cool. I'm sure you'd rather be with him right now than stuck here. *I could say the same thing myself, but decide to keep that little admission under wraps as I sigh and look out the window, praying for the snow to stop*
Dom: *Well... all right. He really isn’t going to ask anything else. Great... I follow his gaze out of the window to the piling snow, hearing the beats of the wind echo through my ears in the absence of our words. I sigh through my nose resolutely and say finally.* Yeah. *What else do I say? Of course I want to be with Billy now. I want to be with him more than anything. I’m driving myself crazy because I can’t think of where he might be or what- I sit up as a thought strikes me. The phone. I turn my head and see it sitting at the end of the counter. Yes! I’ll just call him; call him and see if he’s okay. I stand and reach for the phone, taking it up to my ear with new excitement. There’s a click. Then silence. Nothing. I stand still and slowly let the receiver down again.* Damn. *My heart is back in my stomach as I slouch back into my chair. I wonder if Leon is paying attention to me at all. I turn my head to him, guessing that he’s probably still staring out the window at the snow.*
Leon/Elijah: *hearing Dom's curse, my concentration on the weather outside is broken and I watch his face in the available light. I could swear that he might have been close to pouting, and I can surely understand why.* I’m sure Billy's all right. He's a smart guy. I'm sure he knew to stay in the house. Unlike my stupid ass. *sighing* Think maybe I should buy a television. If only to watch the news. *knowing I'm probably talking to myself now, and Dom is probably tuning me out*
Dom: *I bounce. I can’t believe I just laughed at that. But he looks rather pathetic sitting there, beating himself up over televisions, and what he’s said about Billy, though it isn’t much, has made me feel a little better. I even smile a bit, but only a bit.* You are a stupid ass... *I joke, wondering what’s put me in a joking mood. It’s not like Leon and I are friends. Not like I’m not in one of the worst moods in my life. It’s not funny at all. It’s just insane. I sink down into my chair. Yeh, it’s bloody ridiculous. And now here we are...stuck. Stuck with each other in a bloody snowstorm on the one day off I actually came into work, and the power’s out, and the phone’s are out, and I’m bloody out of ideas. And I don’t really have anyone to be mad at anymore, (unless I’d still rather think about Marty, which I don’t), and nothing to do with myself but sit here and talk to the one person I don’t want to talk to. Well, I guess.* You don’t have a TV? *I say through a conceding grin; not that I’m one to talk – I wouldn’t have one if it weren’t for Billy.*
Leon/Elijah: *Takes me a moment to calm down enough to not respond to the insult. Even if I did call myself an ass first, doesn't give him any right to agree with me. Frowning slightly, I look away, my eyes roaming one of those zip code zone maps.* Hate television. It's all crap anyway. *Great. Now he's laughing and looking almost giddy, while I feel like kicking a puppy. Though I think I'd rather kick Dom.* I don't even want to think about what the local channels are like around here. Probably shows on how to cook a whole elk in your backyard or some shit.
Dom: *I soften a little, knowing I must sound like a sodding lunatic; he probably wants to be picked on as much as I do – which is not at all – and as much as I’d like to get at him for flirting with Bill, I’d rather not get into a fight with him while we’re both stranded in the middle of a post office.* Sorry... *I try, really hard. I didn’t think I’d ever say that to him, definitely. I didn’t think he’d actually look so insulted at anything I ever said; not me, the one person in town he dislikes most. He doesn’t care what I think. Right?* You’re probably right, though... *I shrug.* ...about the elk. I don’t actually watch television. Don’t like commercials. *I smooth the counter with my palm, pushing some eraser shavings off of the edge.* Spend all my time listening to music.
Leon/Elijah: *I look at Dom out of the corner of my eye. How could he know that of all topics I love, that music would be the one? Maybe Billy told him. Or maybe it really is just a coincidence. Plus, if he did it on purpose then that would mean he's trying to be friends or something, which I'm pretty sure isn't true.* Yeah, me too. *smiling a little as I think back on Billy's reaction to hearing Prince, then thinking I really should drop that thought... perhaps erase the memory completely* You don't like country, do you? *Now where did that come from?*
Dom: *I twist my mouth a bit and rub some eraser bits between my fingers, dropping them to the floor.* Not really a big fan... *I glance at him; he looks a little happier. I wonder if music is some hobby of his, which would be odd. Not that he doesn’t look like the kind of guy who’d be into it – he does – just that...I never really thought we would have something in common. I lean back into my chair again to stop myself from playing around with every appliance on the counter and attempt a real conversation with him. Who knows...maybe it’ll put me in a better mood. Of all things.* Do you like it? *I return his question after a bit, thinking that he doesn’t really look like the country type. But, then again, I’m not an expert.*
Leon/Elijah: Hell, no. *laughing as if he should already know that, nearly missing the fact that Dom is actually making conversation with me.* I like, uhm... a lot of stuff. Most everything but country and rap. I listen to it all the time. Actually, this is one of the rare times I've been caught without my mp3 player on me. *my own voice beginning to grate on me, I quiet myself and tap a rhythm on my legs* So... what's your favourite song?
Dom: *I smile, unaware of it myself, and try to look thoughtful.* Eh...I have a few. I’m completely in love with the Beatles, but my all-time favourite song is always changing. *I rub my chin with the back of my hand and bite my lip, trying to remember what it was I was listening to last. Must have been the Roses. But I’m not sure I really have a favourite of theirs either.* I’ve been listening to this one... “Begging You”... by the Stone Roses... *I glance at him quickly.* Do you know them?
Leon/Elijah: *The Beatles. That doesn't really surprise me. Still don't know why I thought he listened to country.* Beatles are all right. *shrugging* But dude... *perking up a bit* ...the Stone Roses rock. I only just bought a CD of theirs. Was going to play for Billy when he came over but-- *Oh, shit. Looking down at my hands, I wonder how I'm going to cover up that slip of the tongue.* --but we listened to Prince instead. *Good thinking, Elwood. Not.*
Dom: Prince? *I lean forward, starting to laugh. I don’t really mean to find that so funny, or at least to let on that I do, but I can’t imagine Billy fancying a listen to Prince. I quiet laughing a bit when I notice Leon shying away. Maybe I shouldn’t have laughed. Or maybe... could he be worried about Billy still?* Prince, huh... Well, I’m not sure Bill would have like the Stone Roses much better. I listen to them around the house and he usually leaves the room. *I grin a little, remembering Billy exaggerating his “dislike for loud music,” covering his ears and taking his book with him to his room. Damn, I wanted to follow him up there, just to... Wait, that doesn’t seem to connect with what I’m talking about. I focus back on Leon, trying not to get wrapped up in thoughts of Billy; I’ll just get upset about not having him here, wondering where he is...everything. I rub my finger on some of my stubble, getting back to the conversation.* But, you like them? I didn’t think too many people knew about them. I kind of picked them up back home.
Leon/Elijah: *So that wasn't such a big deal after all. Dom didn't really blink an eye at it... except to laugh about it. Wonder what he'd say if I told him that Billy did seem to like Prince... not to mention the fact that he almost kissed me while listening to it? Well, that's a stupid thing to wonder really.* Back at home there's a radio station I listen to, like a college radio station. And they played a lot of international stuff. Oh... and I recently got this CD of remixes of their songs. It fucking rocks. *smiling, wishing I really had some music to listen to* The mix of "Fools Gold" is amazing... it has, like, this techno beat in it. *tries to sing it but cringes at the sound of my own voice*
Dom: *I do laugh this time, listening to his rendition of one of my favourite songs. He’s not bad, I suppose. He just needs to bring out a little air-bass to back him up.* I’ll bet it’s brilliant. I’ve been meaning to get that album, really, but I can’t find a store in town that carries it. I’ve been fucking kicking myself for not picking up a copy before I left England. I knew I’d want it. *Would you listen to me. I can’t believe I’m carrying on a peaceable conversation with Leon. More than that, I can’t believe his taste in music. Wouldn’t have thought you could find that in a deli. Though here I am in a post office myself. Here we both are. I glance to the windows again, the snow now piling up against a pane near the ground. The lantern beside me flickers gently, and I turn back to Leon, not really interested much in the storm. I’ll worry about it later, anyway. I’m rather enjoying myself now.* So...what other bands are you into?
Leon/Elijah: *this is getting interesting. Because I think I might actually like this guy. Not the way I like --- liked -- Billy, of course. But, I have to remember that I'm easily swayed when it comes to music.* Uhm. The Streets are pretty cool. Saw them live once and met the lead singer at an after party for the-- *And here I go again, mouthing off.* --prom. *God, kill me now. Just let the roof cave in right over my stool and bury me in snow. I wonder if this is what cabin fever is like?*
Dom: *I squeak with a laugh.* Really? *I lean in, interested, resting my chin on my fist and rubbing my stubble still, distracting myself with the feeling.* After the prom? That’s brilliant. *I’m grinning like a giddy sod, I can’t believe it. If Leon didn’t think so already, he’ll know now that I’m an absolute bloody idiot. I shake my head.* I’ve never heard of The Streets. And I’ve never been to the prom, either. *Do those go hand-in-hand?* I seem to be missing out on a lot. Should I look into buying another CD?
Leon/Elijah: *I stare at Dom in disbelief for a minute -- firstly, because he hasn't heard of The Streets... secondly, because he's bought my story.* The Streets are from Manchester, England... really great band. And the prom... well, they don't have proms in England? *shaking my head* Even if they did... you're not missing anything, really. *grinning now, because this is actually pretty hilarious* You know, I can let you borrow their CD. And can give you the Stone Roses remixes too. *glancing at the window* If we ever get out of here.
Dom: Yeah... *I follow his eyes to the windows, considering the packing white outside. It’ll be a bugger getting out of here. And it’s getting to be evening. I wonder if it’ll ever let up...* I’d hate to think we’d be here all night. The post office isn’t exactly the best place for a camp-out. *The snow whips and sprinkles the glass for a moment before turning direction again in the storm. I watch as a sign on the building across the road loosens from a bolt and swings out into the wind, rattling and spinning on every gust.* Shite, it’s miserable out there. *Goosebumps grow on my arms and I look to Leon suddenly, a white glow on his skin as he looks out at the blizzard.* You cold?
Leon/Elijah: Sorta, yeah. *not realising just how cold I was until now* Freezing, actually. *turning to look back at the room we were in earlier* Didn’t happen to see a big parcel that said 'big, warm blanket inside' or anything, did you? Or, you know... 'snowblower'. *smiling*
Dom: *The corner of my mouth turns with a grin. I think I understand...maybe...just a little...why Billy might have liked Leon so much. He’s not as bad as I thought, I’ll admit, (maybe not out loud, but I’ll give him a little more credit, I suppose). I get up from my chair and look toward the back room.* Well...I don’t remember seeing any packages quite as big as a snowblower, but I’ll go see if there are any blankets in the back somewhere... *I grab the lantern off of the counter and hold it out as I step carefully around Leon and move to the doorway of the next room. I turn with a thought.* There’s the flashlight on the counter, if you need some light while I’m gone. Won’t be more than a moment. *And I enter the darkness of the room to look for the blankets which I’m not sure Marty has, or the snowblower-shaped package if it comes to it.*
Leon/Elijah: *I have to consider myself lucky. This could have ended one of two ways: with Dom going to find blankets or with Dom going to find a mail opener. And while Dom is off doing just that -- finding blankets, that is -- I find myself staring at the flashlight, wanting to open another piece of my mail. I hear a dull thud from the back room, and nearly get up to see if Dom's okay, but then I hear him moving about again, cursing a bit. Settling back in my chair, resolved in my decision, I make a grab for the flashlight and take an envelope from my pocket. It feels thick, thicker than what a card would feel like, I think. Upon opening it, I discover that it definitely isn't a card, but what it is surprises me enough that my hand fumbles with the flashlight and it crashes to the floor just before the room goes dark.* Fuck. *I slide the photos back in the envelope, folding it in half -- wanting to rip it in half, but figuring I should do that later. And maybe I should read the note that's tucked in there with the letters also. Later.*
Dom: *I hear a clatter from the next room and I raise my eyes from a mess of toppled boxes at my feet, just in time to see a light flicker through the doorway and extinguish. Damn... I kick over one of the boxes beside me and come through the pile to a closet in the wall. Opening the door with a loud creak, my lantern light glows within casting shadows over some emergency supplies I didn’t know we had. My eyes fall on the sight of some cloth hanging out from a shelf to the side and I reach for it, pulling out a whole bundle onto the floor. Gripping the lantern in my hand, I manage to pull the blankets I’ve recovered into my arms and turn out of the closet. I step carefully over the boxes I’d last crossed, hoping silently that Leon has stayed in one place while I was gone.* Coming back, Leon. *I call ahead, letting him know I haven’t forgotten that he’s waiting alone in the dark. I reach the doorway of the room and my lantern shines into the office, flickering on Leon’s form, still in the stool. I edge around him and set the lantern on the counter finally, pulling a blanket free from my arms and handing it to Leon.* Found these. *I look in my own bundle as he takes his blanket, realising there’s only one left for me. Good enough. At least I hadn’t grabbed an odd number. Though it may have been better to find four. I reach the blanket around behind me and wrap it securely over my shoulders, looking to see how Leon is coming along.*
Leon/Elijah: Thanks. *I force a smile when Dom gives me the blanket, and I stand to push my stool into a near corner. So at least I won't fall asleep and wake up on the floor with a broken neck. Checking to be sure the corner is enough support -- which it is -- I take a seat and wrap the blanket around me.* So I guess we're stuck here for a while. *Good thing I'm here to state the obvious.* I promise I don't snore. *That is... if I ever manage to fall asleep. Because now I have a lot to think about. This is something I would usually never find out about. My publicist and lawyers would handle this shit -- blackmail. I sigh and lean back into my corner, considering what I'll have to do. I may have to tell Billy now. Which means I'll have to tell Dom too, I guess. Because if this asshole with a camera doesn't get his money, then Billy will certainly get more publicity than he bargained for. I can only be damn glad about one thing... that the pictures of us weren't taken when we were on the couch* Are you heading to sleep, Dom? *I consider maybe telling Dom now, then immediately shoot that idea down. This is the kind of thing to be talked about when I can smoke a cigarette, and drink. A lot.*
Dom: Yeh... *I sigh slumping my shoulders under my blanket, regretting that he has to sleep upright in a damn stool. I nod to him, but still consider fixing up a little more in the office before I nod off.* Well...I might put some things away...then I’ll try to sleep, if I can. Are you going to be all right? You can have the chair if you want, you know... *He looks a little uncomfortable as I watch him. A sort of uncomfortable that isn’t usually caused by stools, anyway, but I don’t press the matter with him. It’d still help to be sleeping in a cushioned chair, I think. I try to reassure him as I turn to the lantern, moving the knob on the side to dim the light a little.* If I fall asleep, I’m usually tired enough to drop off anywhere.
Leon/Elijah: *I can hear Dom saying something about the chair, and I shake my head, feeling my eyelids grow heavy. It must be the quiet that's putting me to sleep. Unless it's Dom's voice that's doing the trick. Because even though my mind is occupied with the photos I just saw, I don't think I can stay awake another minute. Feeling my head bump against the wall, I close my eyes and quickly drift off to sleep, my last thought having to do with the immature tantrum I may or may not throw if I wake up to the sight of more snow.*
Dom: *My brow rises as I glance back to Leon and see that he’s already nodded off, his head propped up lightly by the wall behind him. A little smile tugs at the corner of my mouth and I pull at the blanket on my shoulders, making sure I’m secure inside of it, if not keeping warm and I step away from Leon without a word, leaving him to himself. I move around the counter to a little stack of letters, picking them up in my hand and filing through them shortly. More of Marty’s mess from yesterday. I push one of the letters into a freshly un-labeled slot and pick through the pile for the next one. A faint sound reaches my ears and I look up to Leon curiously. His chest rises softly and he breathes again, and I smile, returning to the mail, sorting away quietly to the sound of his snoring.*