Sunday at Two



Disclaimer: I made the whole thing up, except for the parts that I borrowed from the movie Hard Core Logo.

Notes: Lots and lots of thanks to Sageness for her amazing beta job! She definitely helped make the last couple of paragraphs work. And thanks to Rachel for audiencing. And thanks to Dira Sudis for giving me a new hobby (but if I fail out of grad school, I'm totally blaming you).



When Billy got home, he went through his usual routine: Straight to the kitchen, drop the keys on the counter, get a beer from the fridge, push play on the answering machine, and collapse on the couch. There was one message from his hairstylist asking if he'd mind coming in at ten-thirty instead of ten tomorrow morning. There was one from Angela, the girl he'd fucked on Wednesday night. Or was that Monday? No, Monday was that red-headed chick. Probably. But he'd given Angela his number? He must have been drunker than he'd thought. Then there was The Message, like it was from a fucking burning bush or something.

"Billyyyy. Ohhh Biiiiilly, I know you're ho-ome," Joe's voice sang in a high falsetto. Then, in his normal voice, "Billy. It's me. Listen, man, I was thinking I could use a vacation, you know, get some sun. So, ah, I hope your guestroom's ready. I'll call you with flight stuff when I have it. See ya soon."

Three beers and almost a full pack of cigarettes later, Billy was still on the couch thinking about it. The last fucking thing he needed was Joe Dick waltzing in, taking over his life, and fucking everything up. Joe was good at that. He had a real goddamn talent for it. It wasn't the coke or the booze that fucked it all up before. It was Joe.

Billy lit another cigarette off the one he was just finishing, took a long drag and got up to get another beer and an empty ashtray. He was living his own life now. Without Joe. The whole Jenifur thing was working; he and the rest of the band got along well, musically and personally. They'd booked time in the studio next month, and Billy was going with them. No contract yet, but he knew it would come before then.

The best part, though, of Billy's own life was that he wasn't a fucking babysitter. He had a social life, he had friends. But he lived alone, he didn't have to take care of anyone else, he didn't have to talk someone else's way out of trouble, he didn't have to make sure that the hookers didn't steal the cash. Because, hey look at that, there were no fucking hookers. Billy didn't like hookers.

When the phone rang, Billy didn't answer it. He knew who it was, hoped he was wrong.

Sometimes it sucked to be right. "Jesus, aren't you ever fucking home? Billy Fucking Hollywood. Must be out partying or some shit. Listen, I'm coming in to LAX on Sunday afternoon at two. I'll see ya then."

Who the hell did Joe think he was anyway? Just, "See ya then," like there was absolutely no way in hell Billy wasn't gonna show. Like there was no doubt in Joe's mind that Billy was still his friend, even though they'd barely spoken in five years. Five fucking years. It was just, "I'm coming, I don't really give a shit if it screws up your life, as long as you pick me up at two on Sunday." What if Billy was out of town? Or had plans? What if - and this was a crazy thought, but hey, they hadn't been in touch for almost five years - what if Billy didn't want to be Joe's friend anymore?

Christ. It was Friday night now. Joe would be here on Sunday. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. He didn't fucking want Joe Fucking Dick in LA. He didn't want Joe in the States at all. Goddammit, he gave Joe Canada. The entire country, for fuck's sake. All he had to do was stay there. Why was that so fucking hard?

Joe was a past life. LA was a new life. And the further Billy Tallent could get from Joe Dick and his old life, the better.

But want and need were two very different things.

Two o'clock on Sunday. Billy had gotten Jenifur's manager to arrange a limo. He stood, leaning on the car in the California sunshine, a cigarette between his lips and three more butts on the ground in front of him. Guess where.



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01/11/2009