Disclaimer: I made the whole thing up. And if you found it by googling your own name or that of someone you know personally? For god's sake, hit the damn back button. That's what it's there for.

Notes: Thanks to JustBreathe80 for the beta!

Callum ignores the ringing phone because he's painting. Actually, he tends to ignore the phone even when he's not painting. It's probably just Liz anyway, and he'll call her later. He distantly hears his own voice on the answering machine, telling the caller to leave a message. But the voice after that makes him pause, brush in the air.

"Callum. Hey, man. It's Hugh. Been a while. Listen, we got a show in Vancouver next week. Figured I'd see if you're around. I can get you tickets if you want. Just lemme know. I'll, uh, talk to you later."

Callum puts the paintbrush down on the table next to him and collapses into a nearby chair with a sigh. He drops his head in his hands before realizing that he's probably getting indigo and red paint on his face and in his hair. He wants nothing more than to call Hugh back right then and there. Tell him that he'll take the tickets and see him after the show. Tell him that he's more than welcome to stay with Callum if they'll be in town overnight. Tell him that he misses him.

Fuck. When Callum starts to pay attention again, he's made his way to the kitchen. The fridge and freezer and cabinets are all open. His shaky hand goes for the cigarettes lying on the counter. He lights the cigarette and inhales deeply. And exhales slowly. Inhales deeply. Exhales slowly. The routine of it calms him even before the nicotine really hits him. He's starting to feel a little better and closes everything back up.

He wants to fucking leave, go for a drive, get out of the damn house, but he's pretty sure that he'll end up in a bar or a liquor store. Instead, he walks over to the answering machine and pushes play. Hugh sounds...down. The problem is that Callum can't tell if he's depressed or just not high yet.

Inhales deeply. Exhales slowly. Callum erases the message, crushes out his cigarette in the ashtray next to it, and walks deliberately into his small studio. He turns the stereo on, puts in Appetite for Destruction. Guns n' Roses will be a good way to drown out most his thoughts. The rest will disappear with the paintbrush.

Callum picks up the pack of cigarettes next to his paints, lights another. Inhales deeply. Exhales slowly. Then he turns back to the canvas and starts to paint.

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