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Last chances [Beau x Will]

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Offline Beejoux

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Last chances [Beau x Will]
« on: January 11, 2020, 10:00:58 AM »
After the revision of restrictions William wasn't entirely sure which direction Beau would take after he'd calmed down.  If he calmed down.  Not exactly Will's problem, or rather it shouldn't be, but given the protections the little bastard was getting from his parents there was only so much Will could actually do, and if Beau realized that he was going to have to come up with something else.

But that all hinged on the younger man.  Will would wait and see how Beau responded before worrying about it too much.



He came in the next week and sat down and was completely silent the entire time -- staring at Will and letting him do his scans and blood tests then getting up to leave, without even protesting the search for drugs. But the week after, he came in...a little bit off. His balance not quite right. If he'd been behind the wheel, someone surely would have pulled him over to test him for alcohol.



Silent had been fine.  There’d been no fight, no struggle to get Beau to do what needed doing.  This, the unsteady, not entirely focused look to him the following week raised red flags.  Will looked across at him with a lingering frown through the usual checks, moving through them quickly.  When he was finished he tucked it all away again and pulled out a smallish, round container with little strips inside and set it on the desk before getting to his feet.  "Stand up and put your palms on the desk."


Beau pressed his tongue against the roof of his mouth like he was thinking about it -- or maybe just gathering the energy to get himself upright again. He put his palms on the desk but it was another moment before he stood to lean on it.



Will tugged his gloves up a little tighter as he stepped around the desk to stand behind Beau.  He didn't say anything, no threats, no taunts, just started in on a very thorough search.



It made Beau laugh a little, quietly, dropping his head and leaning into the desk. "This is new." And he didn't sound worried. But then, he didn't have much cause to; it seemed like all he had on him was his ID. Not even his phone, nor a wallet.


Hard to tell if he was surprised by that or not as he walked back around to sit on the edge of the desk near one of Beau's hands.  He picked up the little container, unscrewed the clear top, and pulled out a strip.  "Stick out your tongue."

If there was alcohol in his system, the end would turn blue when it touched his saliva.



He tipped his head, licking the roof of his mouth again, assessing. "You know, it's been a while --" then he stuck out his tongue obligingly, his eyes flashing up to Will's face. The paper was definitely going to turn blue.



"Been a while for what?"  It was absent, like he wasn't really paying attention to what Beau was saying, eyes on the little strip as he pressed it the younger man's tongue.  Then let out a breath as it changed.  "You really just don't learn, do you?"  He actually sounded disappointed as he held the strip up for Beau to see.



He licked the roof of his mouth again, smoothed fingertips against the desk, and closed his eyes for a moment. "Can I sit?"



"Yes."  He didn't move, just looked down at the blue on the tip for a long moment before leaning across the desk to pull an envelope from his top drawer so he could tuck the strip inside, and tuck that into the file folder on his desk.



Beau dropped back bonelessly into the chair, scraping hair out of his face and chewing on words. "So put me in prison. It'd probably be an improvement."



"The problem with that," he started, rubbing his finger and thumb along his eyes and then back through his hair.  "Is your father will intervene."  He sounded tired, frustrated.  But there didn't seem to be any reason to lie about it at this point.  "So we'll just have to get creative."



He made a little sound, stretching his legs out and settling a hand across his eyes. "If it gets me out of that house, it's worth it."



Pale eyes narrowed thoughtfully as he looked down at him, lips twisting a little to one side.  "Stay here."  He had the first stirrings of an idea, and needed to talk to a supervisor about it.  Without looking back at Beau, Will grabbed the file off his desk and left the office, closing the door behind him.



Where was Beau going to go? He sank deeper in the chair and tipped his head back as Will left, eyes closed for the moment. Relaxing just a bit.



He was gone for a while, at least forty minutes, before the door opened and Will slipped back inside, closing it again behind him.  "Did you drive yourself here?"



He'd fallen asleep; the voice jogged him awake, made Beau blink around, startled. He looked wild for a moment, and lost. "What?"



"I asked of you drove yourself here."  He walked around the desk to put the file back where it was usually situated, then hooked his jacket off the back of his chair with two fingers, slinging it over his shoulder.



He snorted a sound at the idea. "No. Car's probably still waiting around the side."



Poor driver, but at least they were paid well.  Will made a faint noise before gesturing towards the door.  "You're going home and you're packing a bag."



Beau stared up at him, mulling that over. "I can't go home, only back to my parents.”



"Fine, parent's house."  He made another gesture at the door, finally grabbing the handle to open it.  "Pack what you need, then come back out."



"I don't have anything there." He said it a bit blankly, still just sitting in the door and staring up at Will.



He frowned and looked down at him.  "They didn't let you grab anything when they released you from the hospital?"



He laughed, a short bark, humorless, as he looked up at Will. "They took my wallet, this time."



Pale eyes lingered on his face for another moment before going thoughtful, fingertips tapping against the door handle.  "Can you get into your house, if you were there?"



"I can get in, but the driver won't go anywhere but here and the family home." He tapped a toe, fingers flicking idly before he caught himself.



"Let him sit there then.  Come on."  He waited for just a moment before walking through the door to head for the side entrance.



Beau still lingered a moment before levering himself up -- wobbly and a hand on the door as he trailed behind Will. "Got permission to lock me up?"



Will glanced back to make sure Beau was indeed following, noticed the wobble, and adjusted his pace with an annoyed sigh.  "Something like that."



It did make him hiccup, pause in the hall, maybe rethinking just how much he wanted to go to prison.



Another glance back, and Will stopped as well.  "Anywhere's better than with your parents, right?"  Sandy brows arched with the question.



He dragged a hand over his face, definitely too tipsy even now to think this over more. Nodded. And then started after Will again.



Will led him out the side door and into the employee parking lot, weaving through the rows to a nice looking grey sedan.  He unlocked it as they drew close, then paused by the driver side door to wait for Beau to get in.


He didn't look as uncomfortable as he should, though he looked the grey sedan over like it was much less nice than all that before he slid into the passenger's seat.



If Will noticed the look he didn't care.  He just slid in as well and started the thing.  "What's your address?"



Beau rumbled just a moment before he read it off: not in the posh area, as Will might have expected, but downtown, where there were things he could walk to.



Will didn't bother with GPS, just put the car in gear and eased out of the parking lot and out onto the road, heading in that direction.



Beau sank deep into the chair, again, nestled in against the armrest on the door, and let his head slide to the side -- and they wouldn't even be halfway there before he was asleep again.



He'd wake up to a poke in the side, if the car pulling to a stop wasn't enough to rouse him.  "Let's go."


He grunted, rubbed at his side, his hand twitching again, and maybe this time Will would recognize the instinctive aborted magic of it, the thoughtless way Beau went to cast. "....use your words."



There was a very faint smirk on Will's face as he opened the door and stepped out into the sidewalk.



Beau climbed out on the other side, breathing out slowly and blinking up at his building -- which, also, wasn't really a luxury building, not the way that Will might have expected. It was nice, yes, and this part of town wasn't exactly cheap to live in, but it lacked anything ostentatious. He started for the door, rubbing at his side, and paused to buzz someone. A friend on the third floor; he explained he forgot his key and they let him in with an exasperation that showed it wasn't the first time.



Hands tucked into the pockets of his grey slacks, Will followed, pale eyes sliding over the front of the building thoughtfully before they were buzzed inside.  He waited until they'd stepped into the elevator before tipping his head to look at Beau.  "Pack a bag, big enough to last a while.  It and you will be searched, so don't get any(more) dumb ideas."



He leaned back into the corner of the elevator and grimaced -- mostly at the movement, he barely even seemed to acknowledge Will. His head still spun, just a bit, though mostly he'd faded toward the tired that came in the wake of that level of drinking. He climbed out when the elevator stopped -- top floor -- and went to the corner apartment.

It was unlocked. He stepped in, but paused. "....wards'll probably kick your ass if you come in."



It made Will pause just outside, his head tipping as he glanced at the door frame, not that there'd be anything to see on this side.  "What are they meant to do?"



"Kick your ass." He said it frankly, leaning against the door frame. And then, after a breath, elaborated. "They start by switching your right and your left."



Since there was no sense in requesting they be altered or deactivated Will just leaned against the wall.  "Tricky.  Now go, be quick about."



He watched Will in a faintly amused way, and then went in deeper. He didn't bother closing the door; if Will wanted, he could look in and around, could take in Beau's place. Messy, but not a disaster, someone had probably cleaned it regularly once upon a time. It was comfortably and lushly decorated, and had a wraparound balcony in the corner. maybe it wasn't a luxury building, but it was a luxury apartment, for sure.



He gave the interior a mildly curious scan before just tipping his head against the wall and waiting, hands still in his pockets.  Silently keeping track of the time, or lost in thought.


Quick was a matter of perspective. For Beau, quick meant that it was going to take him more like half an hour, as opposed to all damned night. He packed a massive rolling suitcase and a backpack and as he came out through the door he was still looking back in, uncomfortably.



Will turned his head to look down at the suitcase as it was wheeled into the hall and he gave Beau a look before just shaking his head.  "You better be sure there's nothing in either of those you don't want found," he reminded him as he straightened up again.



He blinked back at Will, slowly, processing that. "You excited to look through my underwear?"



"No."  It was dry, and he took that to mean Beau had what he needed and started back towards the elevator.  And at this point it should be clear Will wasn't taking him to jail, but he still hadn't elaborated.



Beau didn't ask again -- maybe just because he didn't want to be shut down again. Instead he dragged everything after them, frowning a bit as they settled back into the elevator.



Will leaned back against the elevator wall with his arms folded, waiting patiently for the doors to open again before heading out.  He didn't offer to help carry anything, but he did walk around to the trunk to push it open for Beau.



Beau stood next to him staring down at his suitcase and then the trunk and then finally up at Will. "You know, you are a lot bigger than I am."


"Are you asking for help?"  He quirked a brow at him, expression hard to read.



He settled his hip against the door and stared up at Will, thinking it over. "Don't you want to prove you're better than me?"



"I don't really need to prove anything to you."  He said it patiently, with just the tiniest hint of amusement.



"And yet you constantly want to, don't you?" He'd sobered up, clearly, for better or worse. He shrugged the bag higher on his shoulder.



"Not really."  He leaned his hips against the side of the car, waiting.



Beau nudged the bag with his toe, like he was thinking about it. "I can't actually lift it."



Grey eyes lowered to the bag before rolling back up, brows arched.  Still waiting.



He drew in a breath and then blew out a gusty sort of sigh -- half-bowing toward Will and managing to make the whole thing into a bit of a farce. "Would you kindly put it in the trunk?"



"kinda sounded like you choked on that," he remarked as he hoisted the bag up easily to put it in the trunk.



"You want me to get on the ground and crawl around?" He was already moving to drop his backpack in the back seat, instead, and reclaim the passenger's side.



He just smiled as he closed the trunk and walked around to get into the driver's seat again, doing up his seat belt before pulling back out into the road.



Beau slumped down slowly and scratched at the tattoo around his wrist as he sagged against the door. And now he definitely wasn't about to ask where they were going.




They could ride in silence, then, or mostly.  Will flicked the radio on low after about five minutes.  They were headed towards a less congested part of the city.  Mostly houses, close together.



Beau sagged and relaxed slowly and, eventually, amazingly, fell asleep again. Even if there was stop and go, even if the music was playing.



About twenty minutes later they'd pull to a stop in the driveway of a bi-level house done in a navy grey hybrid with white trim. Well kept, but not overly large.  Will put the car in park and turned it off.  "Wake up."



Used his words, this time. It did wake Beau up, left him blinking and dazed, staring at the house in a puzzled sort of way.



Will waited long enough to make sure Beau had actually woken up, then he was getting out and walking around to the back to hoist the suitcase out of the trunk and set it on the driveway.


He climbed out slowly, fumbling briefly with the door before he got it. He was still frowning as he tried to figure out what was going on. "Where is this?"



"Think of it like a halfway house," he explained, finally, turning his keys in his hands while he waited.  "We can't take you to jail, this is the compromise."



He shuddered a bit at the idea, still leaning against the car and watching the place skeptically. "What does that mean?"



He started walking towards the front door.  "It means you need monitoring for a number of reasons, and that's not going to happen under your parent's noses."  They were equal parts coddling and utterly inept, all of it fueled by what Will considered to be extreme family narcissism.



Still, he lingered against the car, scraping at the tangled mess of his hair uncomfortably. "By whom?"



He paused on the porch to look back at him, key turning in the deadbolt.   "By me."  His chin tipped up just a touch.  "Unless you want me to take you back to your parents house."



He stood there for another moment, shifting in place -- thinking it over -- before he turned to grab his bag out of the back.



When Beau grabbed his bag Will pushed the door open to go inside.  There were wards here, too.  Meant to keep out intruders, to warn, to dampen magic.


Beau didn't react to them -- naturally, since magic didn't work on him, and apparently it even extended to this. He just followed, looking around uncomfortably. "This is your house."



He shot him a look like maybe he was wondering if Beau hadn’t quite woken up yet.  "Yes it is."  He shrugged off his suit jacket to drape it over the back of a stool, but didn't stop moving.  Instead he lead the way down a hall to a room that was very sparsely furnished, but there was a queen size bed, a dresser, a window, a few small knick knacks on a shelf, and a bookcase.




"You live here." It was narrowed, more thoughtful, following slowly in Will's wake.



He drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly before turning to face Beau, arms crossing loosely.  "Yes."



It made Beau smile, all at once, creeping across his face. "I see."



"See what?"  It was amused, almost indifferent.



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Offline Beejoux

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Re: Last chances [Beau x Will]
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2020, 10:03:02 AM »
"Just itching to bring me home." He dropped his bag down onto the bed, and rubbed at his shoulder. But Beau was still smiling.



Will didn't say anything to that, just reached down to drag Beau's bag closer.  Unzipping it.



Beau sat, toeing off his shoes as he did, absently testing the bed -- which probably wasn't as comfortable as he would have liked. He fought down a grimace as he leaned against the wall and watched Will.



He was just as thorough here as he'd been when he'd searched Beau back at the station -- removing items as needed and setting them on the bed with apparent respect.  He ran his fingers along the inner lining, searching for anything tucked into hidden folds or pockets, even checked all the zippers.



It didn't look like he'd tried to sneak in any contraband: a lot of underwear, a lot of wild clothing, a couple pairs of pajamas and comfortable socks, shoes. He'd brought hair supplies, and a small pouch of makeup. He'd brought about three books -- all school related, all business related. And he'd brought a lot of stuff that looked like family valuables, jewelry and pens and accessories and charms.



Will set things in piles, clothes together, book, anything electronic, anything having to do with hair or skin care, and then finally the valuables.  His attention lingered on those as he set both the backpack and the suitcase off to the side.  When it seemed like maybe he was finished he looked up at Beau, but possibly only to see his expression as he carefully peeled off one of the thin, black gloves.



Beau was sprawled out on his bed, relaxed, and right about now he looked comfortable. Some wound up tension that made him bitey and sharp had faded back, leaving him looking comfortable. It was a better look, even if he could still use a bit of a shower and a cleanup. He raised one eyebrow at Will.



When there was no obvious reaction Will shrugged and picked up a piece of jewelry very gingerly.



They thrummed with magic now, probably, and old magic: magic that was worth a considerable amount of money. Not that it was worth much if you couldn't use it, of course.



His hand jerked, fingers tensing around the jewelry and his head snapped up to level cold, grey eyes on Beau.



The other eyebrow raised, too, thoughtfully. This was a brooch; Will could get the memory of a very severe woman who'd worn it every day; the glimpse of her entering into a refinery, somewhere, where the heat of the place washed over everyone and made them sweat; could see how despite the high collar of her dress and the stiff sleeves and the dark fabric, she stayed cool. Even when she reached in to check on someone's work, pulling it straight out of the fire to check its integrity. She didn't burn.



He dropped it as the heat washed over him, eyes closing as he shook his head to clear away the memory that wasn't his.  He didn't pick up anything else, but he touched fingertips to the pen, brows drawn.



This memory more recent, it was Beau; sitting with one of his school books next to him and toying with the pen as he read, before setting the tip to paper and -- letting it go. It wrote on its own, as he spoke quietly under his breath.



He moved onto the next thing, a charm, eyes still closed and head tipped to one side.



Sleepless nights; another memory of Beau; awake at a club but only just barely and looking at the time. But he could touch it and breathe in a fresh wind, suddenly awake and ready to go.



Will moved from one item to the next in succession, going through each and every piece.



Each one was magical; sometimes it was Beau, or a member of his family, using it. Most of them were passive, most protection or study aids, but there was one ring that sent someone flying back when touched.



He used his gloved hand to separate the ring from the rest, letting it slid down the length of his pinky as he finally opened his eyes to look down at Beau where he'd sprawled out on the bed.  "Who's the woman in the refinery?"



Beau blinked at him slowly, both eyebrows raised in consideration. "Is that a test? or a creative writing question?"



"Reached bare handed into the fire," he expanded, voice level despite the crease in his brows.  "Do you want to keep up the clueless act, or do you want to tell me why you brought a bunch of magical artifacts with you when you're barred from any and all magics."


"It's my inheritance." He blinked up at Will, more seriously, then sat up. "What did you do?"



He lifted his hand to wiggle bare fingers at Beau.  "I read them."  Using only the hand with the glove on it he scooped up the broach, the pen, the charms -- all of it, setting it all on the top of the dresser to decide what to do with later.  "Why did you bring it?"



"Because I don't have my wallet. I don't have any cash. I don't have credit cards." He sat on the edge of the bed, head clocked to consider Will. "They're mine. I can sell them if I ever need."



Either he actually believed him, or he was just letting it go for now.  They were safer here, with no one at Beau's place.  His gloved hand gestured at the backpack.



He looked at it, hesitated just a breath, and then pressed it into Will's hands.



He pulled his other going back on before opening the bag and doing the same thorough search, removing items and separating them.



More toiletries, regular pens and notebooks, a well worn paperback with two men on the cover. Beau leaned in on his elbows and watched as Will pulled out the toiletries bag with condoms and lube in it.



There was only the briefest hesitation as Will opened the toiletries bag, noted the contents, and then pulled the condoms and lube out to drop them on the bed so he could make sure there wasn't anything hidden in the bag that shouldn't have been there, Grey eyes flicking up once before returning to the task at hand.



It made Beau smile just a tiny bit, rubbing at his wrist and watching Will out of the corner of his eye. There were some necklaces, here, but cheaper things. Personal.



He looked at them for a moment before putting them back, and then putting the lube and the condoms back.  "You aren't bringing anyone in here, you know."  In case that hadn't been obvious for some reason.



He made a quiet sound, head cocked. "Just the two of us, then?"



Will gave him a look as he set the smaller bag on the bed.  "Pass."  Though he did gesture with a hand for Beau to stand up, then pointed at the wall.


Beau stood with a breath of a sigh, raking eyes over Will in have to a slow, assessing way. Maybe for the first time. "... I don't really need another person anyway."



Will put a hand on Beau's back when he was at the wall, and nudged his elbow with the other to get him to put his hands up.



"Not that I don't prefer it, of course... " He shrugged,said it low, as he threaded fingers into the back of his hair and leaned in against the wall.



He was thorough here, too.  Had been thorough the first time as well.  Hands smoothing down Beau's sides, over his thighs and into his pockets.



His ID still there - Beau puffed out a breath at the touch - and a Juul with three pods. He tipped his head a little to look down at Will's hands.



Will left the ID and the Juul in Beau's pockets, slid his hands out, continued down the outside of his legs as he sank into a crouch, down to his ankles, fingertips even dipping into the tops of his shoes, then worked his way up the inside of his calves.


He wiggled his toes and made a low noise. "What exactly are you looking for?"



Pale eyes rolled up to look at the Beau's back as his palms slid up the insides of his thighs.  "Contraband, weapons, active charms.  Anything you shouldn't have."



He twitched and shifted fingers in his hair. "Magic doesn't work on me. "



"No, but it works on me, and you're in my house."  He said it matter-of-factly, conversationally, as his hands reached Beau's very inner thighs.  And then withdrew, coming around from the sides instead to pat down his chest, and over his arms.



"Even the ring doesn't work on me." He tipped his head to look back at Will, fingers tightening in his hair. "It's meant to be passive but it won't protect me."



His brows twitched, a slight crease, as Will tipped his head to meet his gaze.  "Why would you need protecting?"



"Right now I'm being groped by a big ape of a cop." He said it absently, still watching Will. "Not a bad reason."



As he finished the search he stepped clear of Beau's personal space, giving him room to back away from the wall and turn, go back to the bed, whatever he wanted to do.  "I'm not a threat to you unless you do something to make me a threat."



He stayed just where he was for another moment -- then turned around to rest his back against the wall, instead, fingers still tangled in his hair. It pulled up the hem of his shirt just a smidge. "I think my existence is enough to get under your skin."



Will tucked his thumbs into the belt loops of his slacks, gaze flicking down briefly, before he smirked back at Beau.  "Being a pain in the ass isn't threatening."



"You going to feed me, and water me?" He stayed there, still, looking tired but - not as put out as he could have been, maybe.



"Yes, actually."  Teeth flashed in a grin as he took half a step back, then turned to walk out of the room.  "But this isn't a restaurant, You can eat what I make, or you can go without."



He made a sound, lingering another moment -- hands finally dropping to toy with the Juul in his pocket -- before he followed. "I don't understand why you didn't just move into my place, though."



It made him snort as he slipped through the living room and into the kitchen so he could get himself a glass of water.  "And why would I want to do that?"



"Because it's almost twice the size, has a view, is walkable downtown. The bed is king sized." He followed carefully in Will's wake, looking the place over.



"Sounds lovely, but did you forget this is a punishment, not a vacation?"  He turned to rest his lower back against the counter, setting his glass down beside him so he could unbutton his cuffs to roll his sleeves back, then reach up to loosen his tie and pop the button at his collar.



"Better decorated, too." He shrugged a little bit, investigating the place slowly -- books on shelves, odds and ends.



"It's a moot point."  He was watching Beau wander around his living room, fingertips tapping soundlessly against the countertop beside him.



His hand was still in his pocket, turning the Juul over. Eventually, his attention flashed back onto Will. "Don't you have to work?"



He took a drink, gaze sliding down to Beau's hand in his pocket.  "Technically I am working."



"But...I mean, generally." He shrugged, looking up again. "How long will this last?"



As he set the glass down again he leaned back against his palms, his head tipping as he let out a heavy breath.  "At my discretion."



He went quiet, finally, looking back up at the bookshelf to think it over. He fidgeted, fumbled a bit, and then turned to go back to the bedroom.



Will just watched him go.  He was, for all intents and purposes, a glorified babysitter, but he wasn't going to follow Beau from room to room.  Not yet.  He'd give him time to settle in.

And in that time he was going to change.  His shoes made soft slaps against the hardwood as he walked past the guest room to his own room, unbuttoning the clean, pressed shirt as he went so he could shrug it off and toss it over the back of a chair.



Beau had left the door open -- either because he didn't care or to mess with Will, unclear -- and he'd stripped down to boxers to sprawl out on the bed. Sound asleep again. Impressively asleep.



Will had changed from the slacks and tailored suit to a T-shirt and sweatpants before heading back to the living room, though he did pause for just a moment to look in on his new guest.  There in the doorway for just a moment, then gone.   He'd let Beau sleep, it seemed like he needed it.

For a while he took advantage of being home early to catch up on a few shows on Netflix, but at around five thirty he'd get up again to start cooking dinner.  The sounds of chopping and the subtle clang of pots and pans filtering through the house.



He slept through that, too -- but the smell of food once it was properly going would haul him up finally, with his hair even worse, hauling on only a pair of his pajama pants. And hesitating in the doorway.



It was a pan seared chicken with a creamy lemon sauce, blanched vegetables, and meaty pasta.  He was standing at the stove, back to the hall, holding the pan in one hand and a wooden spatula I'm the other.  Gloves off for a change -- they were sitting on the counter beside his empty water glass.  He was either unaware of Beau in the hall, or just wasn’t looking up at him.



He shifted in place, thinking it over, before he cleared his throat. "I'm going to use your shower."



He did glance up then, looking back over his shoulder.  "There's towels in the closet to your right."  He adjusted the heat, put a lid on the pan, and half turned.  "Are you planning on eating?"



He shrugged a little bit, backing up again to look in on the bathroom, considering, and then grabbing towels.



Will scoffed softly and turned back, scoping up the empty glass, the cutting board.  "It'll be done in ten, if you are," he called back to him, depositing the dishes in the sink.



"Do you only have ten minutes of hot water?" He shot back, already making his way into the bathroom.



"No."  He didn't bother mentioning the food would be at it's best fresh.  Either Beau ate or he didn't.  If he didn't then Will had a lunch for the following day.



There was no chance in hell his shower would only take ten minutes. Twenty five, maybe, and he'd come out with his hair wet and rumpled, still just in the pajama pants. Tattoos irritated, and he couldn't help scratching at them again.



Will was sitting at the wrap around counter hallway through his meal with a stemless glass of white wine on the counter in front of him.  He'd been watching something while he ate, but he glanced up as Beau emerged from the hall, brows arching subtly.


He scrubbed at his hair with a towel and frowned just a bit at Will's look. Beau smelled like something spiced and sharp -- his own toiletries, definitely. "What?"



He shrugged and took another bite of his chicken, fingers curling around the glass of wine to draw it closer so he could take a drink a moment later.



His eyes dropped to the wine, and then the food -- and he'd take a small amount to poke at, casually, as if he were comfortable here as his own home. He didn't defer or hesitate. "Am I going to be in trouble for entering an establishment with alcohol?"



Will took another bite, mostly vegetables and pasta.  Taking his time while he ate, enjoying it.  "Anywhere alcohol comprises fifty percent or more of the overall profits."



Beau took a bite, mostly meat and pasta, eating absently around the vegetables. "How big's your wine collection?"



He shrugged again, giving a non-committal response.  It didn't matter how big his collection was, Beau wasn't getting any.  "Not something you need to worry about right now."



"Depends on if you take me to work with you or not." He said it easily, leaning in on the counter as he ate his chicken. And watching Will's face.




It made Will smile, bringing his wine up for another long drink before setting it on the counter again.  "You think my home isn't protected against theft?"



"I think magic doesn't work on me." He said it smoothly, setting his chin in his hand.



"It doesn't have to work on you, it just has to work."  Which didn't mean that was the only precautions Will took to safeguard various things around his home.



"Does this mean it's not take-your-daughter-to-work-day every day?" He didn't so much as touch the vegetables -- honestly, barely touched the food. Mostly he pushed it around.



"That depends," he'd looked back down at his dinner, finishing up the last of the chicken in two quick bites before downing the last generous sip of his wine.



"On what?" Beau shook his head a bit, turning the fork against the plate.



"On how much you try to take advantage of being here."  He said it bluntly, like it was inevitable, picking his plate and glass up as he got to his feet so he could rinse them off and put them in the dishwasher.



Beau shrugged, looking around the place like he couldn't exactly figure out what he might take advantage of, other than -- "Concerned for your virtue?"



*

Offline Beejoux

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Re: Last chances [Beau x Will]
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2020, 10:04:01 AM »
"No."  It was flat, almost bored.  He closed the dishwasher again and dried his hands carefully so he could pull his gloves back on.



Beau pushed his plate away and looked around the place again. "It's small here."



Will made a small face down at Beau's plate before grabbing it and putting it in the dishwasher as well, but apparently he'd been waiting for it, since he then started the thing and left the kitchen to sink down on the couch.

And Beau wasn't exactly right, it wasn't small.  It just wasn't large.  The floor plan of a place trying to utilize the space it had, but there was still a basement.



It didn't have the air or penness his place had, the trendy lack of walls and careful decorations. He leaned in against the counter, shoulders folded in so he could smooth his thumb up the inside of his wrist. "Do I get yard time?"



He didn't answer immediately, like he had to think it over first.  "In the back yard, if you stay within the fence."  It was warded back there as well, not as protected as the house itself, but Will would know if anyone went through the gate or over the fence.


He thought about that, too, fidgeting -- still sitting at Will's counter, without looking at him, rubbing nervously at his wrists. "Can you get my phone back from my parents?"



He tipped his head against the back of the couch to look over at Beau.  "Probably.  But you won't be getting it back yet."



He didn't look up at Will, even then. He frowned down toward his hands, thin shoulders bowed in.


Will watched him for a moment before letting it a quiet sigh and speaking up again.  "If you follow the rules, don't try to go where you shouldn't be, or do what you shouldn't be doing, then you can get some freedoms back."



He snorted, like he didn't think of that -- wasn't even considering that -- or maybe like there was no way he was going to go for it. But he didn't look relaxed right now.



He watched for a moment more before half turning to lay his arm against the back of the couch.  "Any other questions?"



That finally dragged him back into himself, looking up and back at Will and dragging a careless expression back across his face. His tone went dry. "Can I lock the door?"



"Not yet," he answered easily, resting his chin on his arm. "You're better off leaving it at least a little open unless you absolutely need it closed.  At least for now."



He snorted, pushing his chair back to get up. His hair had dried curly and wild; he struggled to work fingers through it. "No knives or scissors?"



That one made him pause, lips twitching on one side.  "Knives for meals is fine."  He knew how many he had, it was easy enough to keep track of.  "What would you need scissors for?"



"To stab you in your sleep." He said it smoothly, unhesitating, as he started toward the bedroom again.



Will snorted and sank back against the couch.  "No, not yet."  He yawned as he kicked his feet up on the coffee table.



Beau didn't answer. Instead he went into the bedroom. And the door closed with a decisive click.



So long as Beau didn't open the window or make too many suspiciously loud noises he'd be left alone for a long while. Long enough for the sun to go down.  At some point the TV in the living room went silent and footsteps in the hall signaled Willwas moving around.  Then the bathroom door closed, the water starting.



His door was still closed. Will had said if you need it to be, but hadn't given any acceptable or unacceptable needs.



Fifteen minutes for a shower, to brush his teeth, and more movement in the hall before there was a rap on Beau's door.



He answered the door after about a count of twenty -- and Will was lucky, he'd put on more clothes, instead of taking them off. His shirt was soft and worn, one of the comfort pieces instead of one of the going out pieces. In his hand, he had the pen, turning it over slowly. Old nervous habit, maybe. "Going to search me again?"



By contrast Will only had the pants on now, hair still wet and messy.  He had his hand on the handle to just open the door when Beau got to it first, and the delay earned him a frown before he glanced at the pen, then up again.  "We're leaving early tomorrow, I'll wake you up around six."



Beau let his attention wander downward, head tipped like he was considering. "Leave for what?"



"I have to go into the station for a bit, and you're coming with me."  He wasn't oblivious to Beau's wandering gaze, but it was hard to read what he thought about it.



"Why?" It wasn't like he was subtle; he just stood and stared, turning the pen over and over in his hand.



His weight shifted from one leg to the other as Will brought his arm up to rest on the wall, bare fingers closed.  "I have paperwork that needs to completed.  You're coming because it'd be a real shame if you did something stupid on your first day here."



He licked his lower lip and dragged his eyes back up to Will's expression. "I'm less likely to do something stupid here than at your office."



His gaze had flicked to the other man's lip, but lifted again as Beau looked up.  "Maybe, but I can't exactly keep an eye on you if you're here by yourself, and you did wander into my office drunk earlier."



"And look how that turned out. A live in chef and regular cavity searches." He raised an eyebrow as he met Will's eyes.



"You barely ate," he said idly.  Giving Beau a hard time rather than bothered by it.



He shrugged just one shoulder, crookedly, head cocked. "It'll make the cavity searches easier."



That made him huff out a breath that might have been a laugh, head shaking as he straightened up and stepped back to head down the hall towards his room.



Beau watched him go, and then pushed the door closed again with another decisive click. He was probably closing it just to make a point.



The click of the door got an actual laugh before his own door closed for the night.



The problem with not eating very much dinner is that he'd be awake around eleven -- and hungry -- and Beau would toss on a robe to creep out into the kitchen to see if there was anything he could steal.


There was plenty of food in the kitchen, a lot of it was on the healthier side, but there was chips and jerky and a few other guilty pleasure items tucked away in the fridge and cabinets.

But the floorboards also whined softly under Beau's feet, and Will was attuned to the sounds his house made through the night.  He'd barely been asleep when the sound had him slipping out of bed silently to make his way down the hall in just the boxers he'd gone to bed in.  Lingering there to watch Beau move around the kitchen.



He paid attention. Beau didn't, not really. He sat at the counter in boxers and the robe loose around him. When he didn't realize anyone was watching his expression flattened out, hollow and tired and red around the eyes. He'd found the chips and ate them without any real relish, in the dark.



Will stood there for maybe five minutes, his arms crossed loosely over his chest and shoulder against the inner wall of the hall, just watching.  Then he was moving quietly back to his room, apparently convinced Beau wasn't doing anything that needed his attention.



Just leaving a mess, really. He'd put the bag back, but probably leave crumbs on the counter. Steal books off of Will's shelf. And at six AM he was definitely not going to be ready.



The mess was gone by the time Will knocked on Beau's door at about ten after six.  He hadn't expected him to be ready, he didn't even have an alarm clock in there.



No alarm, no phone; his reply was a low grumble, turning and fumbling and trying to even figure out what time it was.



Will waited, listening, and when he spoke through the door it was faintly amused.  "If you get dressed quick we have time to stop for coffee and food on the way in."



A gusty sigh, low and unhappy. It was a moment before he spoke, sleep-roughened and low. "Good coffee?"



"Cafe coffee," he clarified with a yawn as his footsteps faded towards the kitchen.



That wasn't enough to get him up fast. Ten minutes, maybe, before he'd come out -- in pajamas again. But shoes. With his hair clipped back at the base of his neck. And Beau looked a bit wrecked, like he hadn't much slept.



Will took one look at him when he emerged and sighed, that familiar exasperation coming back.  "Are normal clothes too much to ask?"



He blinked down at himself like he was thinking about it, then back up at Will. "Normal clothes take me at least forty five minutes."



He leaned forward against the counter.  "There's no middle ground, like a pair of jeans and a regular shirt?"



He shrugged just a little bit, sideways, rubbing at the side of his neck. "Why?"


The question got a furrowed brow and a little smile, like it was ridiculous he was even asking.  "If you want to look like a dead beat, find.  But now the coffees coming from Starbucks drive thru."


"Your alternative was cafe, which I assume meant whatever sludge they serve in your office." He tugged the strings on his pants tighter.



He scoffed.  "No, that's hardly fit for human consumption.  I was talking artisanal and hand baked goods."



"I know a place." It did perk his interest just a little, made his head cock, thinking it over. "If you want something really good."



"Put on some actual pants and I'll consider it."  His head tipped towards the hall.



He drew in a breath to argue, mulling it over. "Say yes and I'll put on jeans."



"What's the address?"  Technically they didn't have to be at the station at a specific time, but Beau didn't know that, and Will wasn’t going to tell him.  Yet.



He gave the rough corner, and it was probably out of their way. But it also was probably really well rated.



Will mulled it over for a moment.  "Fine, go change.  Make it quick."



He narrowed his eyes a bit, thinking -- then pulled away to put on real pants. Jeans. Tight enough that he probably couldn't run in them.



Will was shrugging into a suit jacket as Beau walked back in, icy blue/grey today.  He grabbed the keys as he noticed him and gestured to the front door.



He huffed out a breath and lead the way, tugging the top of his pants up to wiggle a little deeper into them. "It'd be really great if I had a phone again."



He held the door for him.  "I'm sure it would be."  Then followed him out and around to get into the car.  It was still dark out.



"Otherwise it's just me sitting around all day and staring at you." He frowned up at the sky as the walked, not loving that either.



Pale eyes rolled as he opened the door and sank down into the driver's seat.  "You can read, watch TV," he paused, glancing across at Beau thoughtfully.  "Weren't you in school, too?  What about homework?"



He shot Will a quick look then away, evading meeting his eyes. "I couldn't keep up with the load."



He glanced sidelong at him as he buckled up and started the car, backing out carefully so he could head toward the corner Beau had mentioned.  "There were school books in your bag."



He shrugged just a little bit, leaning in against the car window and staring out pointedly.



A sensitive topic, apparently.  He considered continuing that line of questioning, but for one reason or another, he let it go.  "So what's the name of this place?"



"Neutral Grounds." He didn't look back at Will - the energy that had kept him going faded out again.



They could drive in silence for a while, the radio playing quietly in the background, but after about seven minutes Will broke it again, his tone more curious than biting.  "Why couldn't you handle the load?"


He huffed out a breath, half asleep. And maybe it was because he was tired - "You took away the magic. I used it to arrange my load. Organize. Pick things up faster."



He'd thought maybe that had been it.  "Most people figure out how to manage college without magic," he pointed out reasonably.  "You could figure it out too."



"I don't want to." It was surprisingly honest, with his face pressed up against the window. "I don't want to do anything without it."



"That's not really an option anymore, cupcake."  He tipped his head to maneuver a corner, not looking at Beau, but he could feel him sulking on the other side of the car.  "Maybe you'll get it back one day, but laying around feeling sorry for yourself and doing nothing won't get you there."



He was quiet again, unapologetic, chewing it over. "Imagine someone took away your sense of smell and taste."



"It would suck."  That was an understatement.  Will was a bit of a foody, not to mention the cooking.  He grimaced at the thought before shaking his head.  "But people lose their senses all the time, and they adapt, they learn to  appreciate what they have instead of always crying about what they've lost."



"What do I have, then, exactly?" He sat up as he said it, looking to Will.



Will scoffed, like again it should be obvious.  "Your health and your youth, for a start." He shot Beau a quick look, brows drawn.  "How far did you get in school before you got overwhelmed?"



"Halfway, maybe." He grimaced, jaw shifting, and looked back out the window. "And I didn't get overwhelmed, I got fucked."



"Then you're halfway to whatever degree you were going for."  He added it to the list.  "Along with plenty of time to get back into it."



He made a rude sound, dismissive. "I wanted to run a business related to magic. What's the point, now?"


"God, you're dramatic."  It was exasperated.  "Have you never heard of appeals?  Reduced sentencing? Time off for good behavior?  Reform?"  He could see the cafè now, and he changed lanes so he could pull into the parking lot.  "That's not just for mundane humans."



He went quiet for a long moment, thinking it over. "... is it reversible?"



"It can be, if you stop fucking up."  He pulled into a spot and put the car in park.    "Did Eli not explain any of this, or your lawyers?"



He hesitated over answering, straightening on his chair "I haven't been... that is, it's been.... Hard."



Will just stared at him as much as to say really?  one gloved hand resting on the gearshift.



He worked his mouth, and then shrugged just a little bit, biting down on whatever else he might say. "Everyone gave the impression it was permanent, and I was lucky it was just that."



"You are lucky, and they can be permanent."  He didn't want to give the impression that this wasn't still a serious case.  "But you still get a certain number of appeals, chances to prove you can be trusted with that much magic again."



He thought that over again, still lingering where he sat. "Well, good thing I didn't really kill myself, then."



"Or cut your hands off," he added, a little of his impatience over the dramatics showing through as he opened the door to climb out.



That finally made him flush a little, lingering in his chair for a moment before he hauled himself out.



Will strode towards the door with long, even steps and hauled it open, glancing back to see if Beau had made it out of the car yet.


*

Offline Beejoux

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Re: Last chances [Beau x Will]
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2020, 10:05:08 AM »
He was still slow, still hauling himself along behind, brushing a couple strands of hair back out of his face. And frowning to himself.



He leaned back against the open down and resisted the urge to tap his foot impatiently as he waited for Beau to saunter towards him.



He'd wiggled hands into his pockets -- barely. The pants were very tight. Understandable he'd wanted to wear pajamas. He slid past Will into a wide open space that prickled of magic, wards on the door and on the glass. Of course.



A chill ran up Will's back as he stepped through the doors and through the wards, but he didn't slow as he walked up to the counter, pale eyes on the display case filled with food.



He was in the know enough to recognize little signs: like that the barista's eyes were too bright, slitted, definitely not human. And the place...mellowed. It took away the danger of a fight, took the edge off of any frustrations or urges to bite at people. Beau stood in front of the pastry counter and stared at the selection, still a bit vacant.



It didn't take Will long to decide, and he stepped around Beau to place his order for a grande white chocolate latte with an extra shot of expresso and a chocolate croissant.



It got eyes up on him, narrowed and thoughtful. Maybe just to make a point, Beau ordered a straight Americano, cream no sugar. And a regular croissant.



Will smiled back down at him, almost challengingly, before he pulled out his wallet to pay for both orders and thank the barista.



The place was cool colors, pale wood and white, botanicals on the walls, with high ceilings. He turned a look at the picnic tables that served as seating, musing. "To go?"


"Drinks to go."  But they could eat there, save his car from a potential, flakey mess.



Beau thought about it, then slid away to claim a seat at the picnic table, legs sprawled out in front of him. He'd leave the drinks to Will, apparently.



The food came first, but Will waited for the drinks, stacking them one on top of the other before carrying them and the two plates over to the table and setting everything down.  Like it wasn't the first time he'd had to balance the things he was carrying.



Beau looked half asleep again, head in his hand, digging fingers into his eyes -- but he blinked up at Will as he sat, trying to focus.



He was biting into his croissant as he sat, and pale brows arched at Beau as he chewed.  "Did you not sleep?"



"Your bed sucks." It was absently biting; he reached for the coffee, immediately.



"It's older."  Unbothered, Will reaching out to pull his own cup closer.  "You could try the couch, it might be more comfortable."



"Or we could go back to my apartment. Do you know what my mattresses cost?" He took the lid off to check the coffee, to stir it carefully, before he took a sip.



"No."  The cup was warm through the cardboard sleeve, the gloves -- white today, they matched the suit.  "And I'm sure it cost a ludicrous amount."



"You're not wrong." He pulled a piece off the croissant to pick at. He still didn't dive in.



"We're staying at my house.  It's got the right warding."  Oh, and it was his.



Beau breathed out a sigh, but didn't argue with him. Which was maybe progress. Or maybe just another way of giving him shit.



Will looked across the table at him like he expected an argument, maybe, and when nothing followed but a sigh he set in to finish up his croissant.



Beau drank his coffee, and picked at the croissant but -- by the time they were done, he'd only picked at it, eaten maybe a third of it.



Empty plate in hand, Will looked down at Beau's and frowned.  "You might as well get it to go.  You'll be hungry later."  And it'd be better than the vending machine choices at the station.



He hesitated, then shrugged, grabbing it up to take with him as he stood. "No lunch?"



"Lunch is a long ways away."  It was only a little after seven, they'd be at the station before eight.  Will picked his cup up as he walked the plates over to the side counter and set them on the shelf before heading for the door again.



Beau trailed after him slowly, just a little bit more awake. He picked at the croissant a bit more as the went, frowning again.



Outside Will glanced back at him, at the frown, and again he quirked brows at the younger man.  "Why the face?"



He looked up at Will again, blinked once, and then shut it down. "Does it matter?"



"It might," he answered honestly, folding his arms on the top of the car, cup held loosely in one hand.



He shrugged just the tiniest bit, grabbing the door to let himself in. It wasn't an answer.



Will just followed him into the car and started it up to ease back out of the parking lot, heading towards the station.  It wasn't his job to make Beau talk, just keep him in line.



He slumped back in the chair again, legs sprawled out in front of him - and still frowning while he mulled it all over. Eventually, after ten minutes or so, he'd flick a look up at Will. "So what would it take?"



He'd known the question was coming, he'd been waiting for it.  "Step one would be to stop violating your parole agreement."  There was a slight edge to his voice, pale eyes hard as he flicked a look across the car at him.



He rested his head against the glass, started to put a foot up on the dash -- and caught himself. Not his car. "I haven't done that in at least twelve hours now."



"This isn't a fast track solution, Abbott."  He could understand the impatience, but there wasn't going to be any cutting corners.  "You aren't going to be able to just bullshit your way through.  I'll know."



He flicked Will a sideways kind of look. "You have no sense of humor, do you?"



"My sense of humor is fine.  You just need to understand how serious this is."  He met that look, held it for a few seconds before turning back to the road.  "And don't get any ideas about trying to find someone that can take those off.  They won't be able to, and when they fuck it up that's it, no one can take them off at that point.”



"That's definitely a lie." He said it absently, looking back out the window. "There are some incredible magicians out there."



"It takes more than magic."  He kept his eyes on the road now, settling more comfortably in his seat before taking a drink.



"It'd effectively be surgery, I imagine." This was agreeing, acknowledging; his head turning while he thought over the possibilities. "Most high level magic is. You have to be able to hold it all in your hand at once. Maybe it's more like playing a difficult piece on the piano -- or every instrument in a symphony."



He didn't agree or disagree with him, just let Beau speculate.  Will had given him enough information on the possible removal, he wasn’t going to give the mechanics of it as well.



Eventually he breathed out a sigh and sat back again. "But this is all speculative. If I can't see it, I couldn't begin to take it apart."



"Stick to the lawful solution, that has the possibility of you getting your life back at the end."  He pulled up into the same parking lot from the day before and Will got out, dragging his wallet out of his back pocket.



"It's a lot less interesting, then. Did you never take..." He paused, assessing Will's style -- thinking of his house -- "...guns apart to see how they work?"



Will stared back at him, assessing.  "Exercise a little self restraint for once, you might be surprised by the results."



There was a bubbling of frustration, a flash in Beau's eyes - and then it fizzled out to nothing. "You don't get it, with your passive talent."



"It doesn't matter.  If you fuck around with this they're going to do worse."  His tone matched the look he'd seen in Beau's eyes.  "Take that restlessness and channel it into something beneficial for you, like going back to classes."  He very definitively started walking for the side entrance.


"I can't fuck around with it anyway. But the idea that no one could is absurd." He couldn't help the reply, shaking his head as he followed Will. in.



"They could try, but they shouldn't is the point."  His voice lowered as they walked through what counted as the bullpen for them.  Even this early there were people all over.  He flashed a smile to someone as they passed, lifted a hand to someone else that said a tired good morning, then they were at Will's office.



"But lying about it is stupid." He said it easily, frowning over his shoulder at the waver and tugging his sleeves down over his wrists.



He waited until Beau was in the office and the door was closed before he continued.  "I wasn't lying.  There’s just more to it than you know, and I'm not giving you specifics."  He shrugged out of his jacket and hung it on the back of the chair as he sat down.  "If it's not done right, you don't get a second chance."



"I didn't often do magic wrong, you know." He hesitated just a breath, standing just inside the door. "You know how good I was, don't you?"



"I know how talented you are, but you wouldn't be the one doing it, and even if someone unravels the magic, there's more to it.  Bad things are going to happen if anyone tries." He was looking through his file inbox as he spoke, brows creased.



"What'll happen, then?" It was challenging; Beau didn't move to take a seat.



Tanned features smoothed as he found what he was looking for. "How much do you value having functioning hands?  Or just hands in general?"



"They're not functioning now," was his immediate reply, fingers flicking as he did it -- that pointless gesture of magic that did nothing, now.



"You can wipe your own ass, feed yourself, I'd call that functioning."  Again that impatient exasperation.  "You can't short cut anymore, and it's killing you.  Now you get to learn how to live like the rest of us do."


That got a breath in, sharp, and then out. "Fuck you doubly for calling it a short cut."



Will just stared up at him.  "And what would you call it, then?"



"Thousands of hours of practice. Is it a shortcut when an incredible musician sits down at the piano and plays a piece well for the first time?" His voice was sharp, touched with real anger now.



"However you obtained the skills, you've been using them for the most mundane things.  They're reduced to a novelty to get you through your day with as little effort as possible."  He folded his hands on his desk, gloved fingertips tapping.



"Are you telling me that you don't use your height and size to bully people in interrogations? That you don't use your strength to make it easier to lug around suitcases?" He cocked his head. "Your appearance to get extra chocolate on your coffee? Just because your talent is passive and you don't have to do shit to activate it doesn't mean the rest of us are the same."



"You could do the same with your looks or charm," he pointed out dryly.  "But you're also missing my point.  If I want a book off a shelf on the other side of the room, I have to get up and get it.  You didn't before, you do now, but your acting like without your magic that's somehow impossible, or some great expenditure of effort.  It's not.  You'll be fine."



Beau just stared at him -- and then finally leaned in to put his hands on the desk, angry wrists on display as the sleeves of his shirt hiked up. "If a computer programer built a program that could write his papers for him, could keep a class load of eight classes going while also looking for investors in a possible business venture, and have time to hold social gatherings -- plus the charm and looks to pull it all off -- you'd put him on a pedestal. But when I do it with magic, you call it cheating. And tell me to just get over it, when that all falls apart."




Will tilted his head as he looked up at him, expression impassive.  "I call it a short cut, because not everyone has access to that same program, or ability."  His voice didn't change, still low and even.  "And I'm telling you the sooner you stop feeling sorry for yourself about what you can't do, and start learning how to adapt and make the best of things, the sooner you can start to potentially get it all back."



It didn't help; it didn't cool him down. If anything, it put fire under his collar. "Not anyone can be tall, either. And there are people who can..." He fumbled, straightening, to fish out the croissant and halfway throw it at Will. "If I ate what you ate for breakfast, I'd gain two pounds by the end of the day. And no amount of time in the gym gets my obliques to look like that. So is it a short cut when you go to the gym and work it out to improve yourself?"


He moved his hands so the croissant didn't hit them, them moved it off the file to avoid grease spots.  "It's vanity and lucky genetics."  Not so different, he could agree to that.  "But you know what, if I lost my height and my muscle mass, that would suck, but that's why we adapt.  Take your frustration and indignation and use it to fuel something positive instead of wallowing in it."



"You can go fuck yourself. I lost the only thing I'm good at, that I've been working at for twenty years. I'm allowed to goddamned mourn."  Behind the anger came a flash of something else -- miserable, starting to wilt it down.



A hand came up to massage at his temples as he sighed.  "So mourn, you can revisit that feeling without living in it."  He sounded like someone who'd been through therapy, or was still in it.  "You don't have to continue to be miserable."



"It hasn't even been four months." His voice crackled; clinging to that anger as best he could. "Maybe keep your sanctimonious amateur psychology to yourself."



He had to physically bite back what he wanted to say next, and just stared up at Beau for a long moment as he chewed on it, discarded it, and shook his head as he brought his attention down to his actual work.  He opened the folder, and if Beau actually cared to look maybe he'd notice his name on the top form.  Not the familiar parole agreement, but something different.



He was flushed and shaky and it was unlikely he'd notice at all. Right now, Beau looked too sick to notice much else, still leaning in on the desk with his shoulders hiked and tense.



It meant he was looming, and Will managed to get a quarter of the way through the form in quick, neat writing before he looked up again and sighed.



Beau brushed at his hair, shakily, grimaced at the inside of his wrist, and then halfway collapsed into the chair.



Will watched him slump back, pen tapping against the desk a couple of times.  "Have you considered talking to someone about what you're going through?  It could help."  He said it as reasonably as possible.


"Eat an entire bag of dicks, Billy." It was immediate, tired; he picked absently at a scab on the side of his wrist.



"And ruin my appetite?  No thanks."  He sighed, setting the pen down.  "I'm serious, though."



"Anyone who I might talk to would end up in my parents' pocket within the week."  He said it without looking up.



"If I could prevent that from happening?"   It sounded confident.



He was quiet for a moment, just scraping the scab up and staring down as blood welled from the spot. Then he looked up at Will. "Of my eight professors, five agreed to give me a passing grade for the semester if I completed all work at any ability, for the right price. I don't believe you could."



He blinked, distracted for a moment.  "Wait, so if you finish the work for five of your classes you'll pass them?"


"Pass them. Barely." He smoothed his thumb over the spot, looking down again. "But it's impossible. I have no notes. I have no half written papers. Everything I had is gone."



"Was it an exploding offer, or did they give you time to get it done?"  He wasn't easily dissuaded.



"It was open, but..." He smeared red down his arm, and then huffed out a little breath. "I don't have the money anymore, either."



He waved that away before plucking a tissue from a box on his desk and offering it over.  "You can borrow notes from your classmates, work through the assignments."  Gloved fingers tapped on the paper he'd been writing on.  "What's the money for?"



"Bribing the teachers." He licked the tissue to wipe his arm clean. It didn't do much good.



"Your parents wouldn't pay up if you went ahead and actually did the work for it?"  His head was cocked to the side, expression thoughtful.



Beau was quiet for another moment, staring downward, trying to decide. "Maybe if I crawled around on all fours and begged a little. Or agreed to get married."



He wrinkled his nose.  "How much was the bribe for?"



"Depends on how much the professor liked me." He shifted where he sat, uncomfortably. "This is entrapment, if you're trying to get me to confess to a crime."



*

Offline Beejoux

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Re: Last chances [Beau x Will]
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2020, 10:06:32 AM »
The thoughtful expression slipped, replaced by annoyance as he shot a look across the desk at Beau.  "Your parents made the bribe, not you."



"No, my parents supplied me with a generous stipend." He pressed the tissue against his wrist harder.



He closed his eyes, drew in a breath, and then opened them again.  "Off the record, how much were the bribes."



"Couple grand each." He shrugged like it was nothing, head tipped.



Lower than he would have expected it to be to buy a passing grade.  He made a faint, thoughtful hum as he looked back down at the form and picked his pen back up so he could keep writing.  It was another minute or more before he spoke up again, not looking up.  "If you start working on school shit again I'll see about getting your phone back."



"Get my phone back and we can talk." There was no way at all he was going to go for a ‘See about.’



Pale eyes flicked up, then down again.  He wasn't positive he could get it back, all things considered.  As he finished up filling out the top form he flipped it and started filling in the back.



Beau slouched in the chair and fussed at his wrists, some hair pulled free of the clip. His need to shave had probably gone nearly to full beard now.



The quiet meant Will could work faster.  He finished filling out the rest of the papers in that file, closing it and setting it aside, and then grabbed a short stack of papers before rolling over to a four-drawer stacked filing cabinet to put them away.  Then he rose to his feet and scooped up the folder he'd just set aside.  "I have to run up to billing.  Stay here, please."


"Just sit and stare at the ceiling." He mumbled it, doing exactly that.



Will looked back at him for a moment before heading out and closing the door behind him.  He'd be gone for a while, maybe twenty minutes.  All the drawers in the office were locked, and the computer was password protected.



Beau was definitely going to figure that out: would open everything he could, poke around everywhere, read whatever had been left on the desk toy with Will's pens. When he came back, Beau would be in the chair behind the desk, instead of in front of it, sprawled out.



Pale brows arched when he saw him sitting behind his desk, but not like he was surprised.  "Find anything interesting?"



"Not a single thing. You're a fundamentally boring human being." But it had kept him from pulling his wrist apart -- mostly. He had another tissue wrapped around it.



It made him smirk as he closed the door behind him.  The file was gone, and he slid his hands into his pockets as he leaned back agai
nst the door.  "Your parents made the rookie at the front desk cry yesterday."


He shrugged, twisting in Will's chair, not getting up just yet. "That sounds about right."



"They weren't pleased," he continued, tone vaguely exaggerated.  "Unsurprisingly."



"No, I don't imagine so; as I understand it, they were working to use my apparent suicide attempt to have me declared incompetent." He said it like it was nothing, but his expression was shuttered.



Something dark crossed Will's features before he gave a soft snort and pushed away from the wall to kick back in the chair Beau had been sitting in, long legs stretched out.  "Good thing you're not there now."



Beau considered him across the way, a bit distantly. And then, all at once, he smiled. "I like it better from this side."



"Like what better?"  His hands were still in his pockets, long body slouched in the chair comfortably.



"From this side." He sat up to lean forward on the desk, hands folded. "It's a better view."



"Is it?"  He sounded amused, lips drawn back in a small smile as he watched Beau leaning forward against the desk.



He tapped fingers against the desk, thinking it over. "Is the chair higher on this side?"



He shrugged.  "I don't know if it is right now, but it could be probably.  It's adjustable."



"I think it is." He smiled again, leaning in comfortably, thinking it over. "Did you talk to them?"



It was probably the most consistent smile he'd seen on the younger man that wasn't half sarcastic or passive aggressive.  "Not yet."



He shrugged; cocked his head a little. "Have you been fired yet?"



Will shook his head, the smile remaining.  "No.  And it doesn't sound like I will be."



He hummed, then, eyes raking over Will's face. "Whose pocket are you in, then?"



His brows arched.  "Why would I need to be in anyone's pocket?"



"Because they're very convincing and donate a lot of money to the efforts." He shook his head a little.



He shrugged again.  "You're not in jail, you're not just running free.  It's a compromise."



He laced his fingers together, trying to shrug the sleeves down while he thought it over. "What would it take for you to hand me back?"


"You don't want to go back."  It was almost a question.  Almost.



"No." It was sharp, sudden, decisive. "I'd probably put myself in the hospital again."



"It could be argued you aren't safe there."  He drew his hands out of his pockets, pulled the gloves up tighter, then laced his fingers together over his stomach.


"I could sure as hell make that true." He shrugged at Will -- like it didn't matter -- but he definitely meant it.



"I dare say you already have."  He tipped his head back against the back of the chair and closed his eyes.  "I have no intention of handing you back over to them, it would be incredibly irresponsible."  Plus, fuck Beau's parents…



"Right, but if someone offered you a lot of money, would you bend?" He shrugged, just a tiny bit. Crookedly.



"No."  It wasn't quite immediate, Will taking the time to actually think about it, but it did sound sincere.


"Uh huh. What it it weren't money, though." He shrugged just a little, still watching Will across the desk. "Promotions."



"If I'm getting a promotion I want it to be on my own merit."  What he had he'd earned, and he liked it that way.



"A new house." He raised his eyebrows at Will. "A car. A commendation."


He shook his head without bothering to open his eyes.  "I like my house, I don't need a new car."  And commendations fell into the same category as promotions.



He shrugged a little bit, still looking him over. Thinking about it. "What about the impossible? Fix the vision."



His lips pulled in a wide smile.  "The glasses look good."  It was definitely amused.  "But if I really cared I'd get Lasik."



He flicked his fingers down to the gloves. "What about better control over whatever that is?"



"Clairvoyance," he clarified, finally opening his eyes to look up at the ceiling.  "I've had offers to help...control it, take it away."  He shook his head again.


"But you'd rather let it control you?" He shrugged a bit and finally sat back himself, slowly.



"No, I'd rather put it to good use."  He sounded tired though, the smile slipping away.  One thumb ran back and forth along the back of his other hand.



"Control would let you use it better." He cocked his head a little bit, stretching out his legs and rotating the chair in place.



"I could get control if I wanted it."  He lifted his head and finally sat up again, a hand coming up to rub at his eyes under his glasses before pushing them up his nose again.  "Are you ready to go?"




"I never wanted to come here in the first place. It smells like a hospital." But he didn't get up, just twisted in place, thinking.




Will rolled up to his feet, letting his hands lower to smooth his shirt before he glanced at Beau.  "Are you going to give up the chair then, so we can leave?"




He stayed where he was, head cocked, just watching Will back. "Where are we going?"




"Back to the house, unless you're hungry."  He folded his arms loosely as his weight shifted to one foot.




He shrugged, twitchy, and finally pushed himself up to stand -- tugging on his pants again. They really were very tight.




Will walked around him to grab his jacket off the chair.  "Is that a yes on lunch?  You can pick."




He breathed out a little sound, flicking a look up at Will. "I'm trying to figure out if that's a dig."




His head tipped, brow arching.  "A dig on what?"


He scowled just a bit in reply, his good mood starting to melt -- but at least he seemed aware. Human. "That's not convincing."



Will frowned, clearly puzzled, and pulled his jacket on again, tugging it straight.  "We can just go back, that's fine."  He went for the door, features thoughtful.



He breathed out at that idea, though, and immediately seemed to change his mind. "I know a good chinese place. If you have a phone, I could order through the app..."



He breathed out, fingers pausing on the handle as he glanced back and Beau to shoot him a you're a pain in the ass look before he opened the door and stepped out.  "Take out or delivery?"



"Pickup." He shrugged just a little bit, following in Will's wake. "Or dine in, I guess, if you'd rather."



He shook his head, rolling his neck as they moved through the bullpen towards the back door.  "It doesn't matter to me, you pick."



He eyed Will sideways, chewing that over. "We could just go, then..." Anything to get them out.



That didn't exactly clear things up, but Will waited until he was back at the car before looking across it at Beau.  "So where are we going?"



"Walk the Wok." He leaned the chair back a little, pulling the clip out of his hair as he offered up the address.



He didn't bother with GPS, again.  Just started the car and got them out of the parking lot and into traffic.  After a few minutes Will glanced at him.  "Do you have any food allergies?"



"I didn't, but who knows now." He shrugged a little, looking out the window. "I don't like a lot of things, though."



"Like what?"  He'd said Beau would eat what he cooked and be happy about it, but who knows.


He mulled for a moment, then started ticking things off. "Squash, green beans, cumin, sour cream, mayonnaise, green bell peppers, cauliflower, mushrooms, habanero peppers, chardonnay, cranberry juice..." There was a lot.



Will grimaced at the length of the list.  "You don't need to worry about half of that, at least."  Things he didn't cook with often in general.



He shrugged, in response - he wasn't the one who'd brought it up. "Count yourself lucky I'm not vegan I guess."



"You'd just be cooking your own meals if you were."  There was no edge to it, just a statement of fact.



Beau snorted at the idea, digging fingers into the back of his hair to rub out the dull ache from the clip. "There’d be almost nothing I could eat. Bread, I guess..."



"Good thing you're not a vegan, then."  He maneuvered the car around a slow moving truck impatiently.



"Anymore," Beau agreed, his tone gone dry.



There wasn't a whole lot Will could say to that, so he made a noncommittal sort of sound as a response as he leaned forward to make sure the road was clear so he could turn into the parking lot of Walk the Wok.



It wasn't a cheap, shitty little takeout joint; it was all painted gold with proper art on the wall and trendy chairs. It was probably early enough it was still a bit dead, though, they could claim a table.



Will hadn't been here before, he gave the inside a long, curious look as he leaned against the door to hold it for Beau before following him inside.



A woman all in black greeted them almost immediately with menus and a smile, to guide them back to a small table in the corner. As they sat, Beau absently toyed with the drink menu.



Letting the door close behind them Will fell into step behind Beau as they were led to a table and smiled up at their hostess as she handed over menus and walked away.  He shrugged his jacket off again and tossed it over the back of his chair before sliding a menu in front of him, though pale eyes flicked up to watch Beau across the table.



He flicked a finger at the edge of the menu, his own attention lifting around the place - and then he put it down. "The spicy dumplings are good."



He let his fingertips tap softly against the menu under his hand, glanced down at it, and then slid it away with a shrug.  "Sounds good to me."



"You eat tofu?" He hadn't even looked at the food menu, was obviously working off of memory.



He nodded, leaning forward to rest his elbow on the table, his chin on his curled fingers.  "Mmhmm."



"We can get tofu, too. You drink sake?" He dropped that one in idly, watching Will out of the corner of his eye.



"Tofus fine."  He was watching Beau directly, like he knew exactly what he was doing, but there was the flicker of a smile tugging at the corners of his lips.  "I do on occasion."



Beau smiled back at him for a second, like he couldn't help it, then managed to swallow the expression. "The Bushido is good."



A sandy brow arched at the recommendation, and amusement pulled the smile a little wider.  "Is it?"



Beau rumbles, flipped him off absently, and then dropped his hand to order for them as the waitress approached.



Will just chuckled and let Beau do the ordering, rolling his eyes up to watch their server.



She was bright but professional; she didn't flirt and, right now, neither did Beau. He flicked eyes to Will again and resisted the urge to order sake too, letting her slide away to put their order in.



Hard to tell what Will would have done if he had, at least in that moment.  He seemed relaxed and comfortable.



*

Offline Beejoux

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Re: Last chances [Beau x Will]
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2020, 10:07:27 AM »
Beau sat back, then, slouching a bit in his seat, and stared across at Will while he thought it over. "So, no girlfriend?"



Pale eyes flicked back over to him and his shoulders moved in a rather lazy shrug.  "Naw."



A beat, and then Beau smiled. He held up a hand, the fingers just about an inch apart, and raised an eyebrow. Questioning.



He raised brows at the gesture before chuckling, but didn't give any sort of answer one way or another.



"Magic could help with that too." He said it absently, but dismissively, not like he thought Will would actually take him up on that.



He just smiled back at him, not taking the bait, but certainly amused by it.



Boring. Beau huffed out a breath and his attention wandered, nothing else to say to Will. Instead he toyed with a napkin, absently.


Will gave a soft chuckle as Beau's attention wandered, and he'd take that as a win, let the quiet stretch out between them long enough for the server to come back with water before speaking up again.  "No girlfriend for you?"



He hesitated over answering that. For a moment, it seemed like maybe he wasn't even going to bother, was just going to let it slide away. Then he snorted out a noise and looked back to Will, sharp and mocking. "You can help my parents set me up."



"Why would I want to help your parent's do anything?"  Still smiling, but it was dry now, tone cooling at the sharp bite in Beau's.



He picked at the napkin more, shrugged just a little bit, his eyes dancing away again. "They've spent the last eight years asking me about girlfriends. Even when I brought a guy home with me."



If he hadn't already figured, that would have been a confirmation.  "Carrying on the family line?  That shit's real important in old families."  Saying it made his lip curl just a touch, in distaste, before tanned features smoothed.  "I was just giving you shit."



Beau snorted at that, chin lifted just a little. "I think you should stop trying to give me shit. You're really bad at it."



"This from the man questioning dick size," he tossed back easily.



"Which is a great rejoinder." He hesitated over the answer, then rolled his eyes just a bit. "Unless it's accurate, I guess."



Will rolled his eyes, gaze sliding out into the mostly empty restaurant to stop briefly on the few people that were there.



"Anyway, you have all the power here. So when you give me shit, it's just being an asshole." He warmed up to it, shoulders lifted in a shrug, and gestured at Will. "But when I give you shit, that's scrappy."



"Scrappy, huh?"  He said it without looking back at him, watching as a different server set plates down in front of a couple seated on the other side of the room.



"I'm the underdog, here." He put his elbow on the table, finally, and dropped shreds of napkin on the table.



"Mmhmm."  For maybe the first time in his very privileged life that was actually true.  Will lifted his head off his hand finally and looked back across at him.



Maybe. Maybe not. Beau was watching him; met his eyes and raised an eyebrow.



"So you want me to play nice, then?"  He raised his brows right back at him.



"You can do whatever you want. Billy." He shrugged one shoulder, lifted his chin.



His other arm tipped up on the table, fingers lacing.  "Except give you shit, apparently."



"You can give me shit. It just makes you an asshole." He said it smoothly, without hesitation.



"Ah," he said softly, rubbing his thumb along the back of his hand.  As if it was an important clarification to make.



"You don't get to look hangdog about the fact that you've hit on a sore spot when my entire life right now is sore spots." His eyebrow twitched again, meaningfully.



"I'm not looking like anything."  Which was true enough, expression politely neutral.



Beau made a rude sound and then sat back as the waitress came with their drinks, promising just a bit longer on the food.



Will rolled his eyes up to their server and offered an understanding nod and a smile as he reached for his glass.



Beau just stared at his water with a puff of a sigh -- dipped his fingers to smooth them over the sore spot on his wrist. "What are you getting out of this?"



It was an unexpected question and it made him blink, pulled his attention back around to watch Beau smooth water over the ink on his wrist.  "What do you mean?"


"Why are you bothering?" He shrugged just a tiny bit, smoothing the water down.



He pulled in a deep breath and let it out slow as he thought it over, frowning faintly.  "Which part, specifically?"  It was complicated



"You stuck your neck out, at least some." He was frank about it, musing. "I'm in your home."



"A lot of it was a huge 'fuck you' to your parents for meddling, but it's...it's not even really for you that they're doing it.  It's for them."  He sounded vaguely disgusted by it.  "And it seemed like you were self destructing, being stuck there."



"But you hate me." His eyebrow twitched again, meaningfully.



"I don't hate you."  Sandy brows creased.



"Uh huh." It was casually disbelieving; Beau shook his head.



"If I hated you I wouldn't have done anything.  Let you keep spiraling out of control until you took yourself out."  There was a faint edge to it, a little of that familiar impatience.



"Unless you have another reason," which was kind of like agreement.




"Curious on what you think that could be," he said after a beat, tone a little worn.



"I don't know, but you've made your dislike explicit." He didn't bother lowering his voice, even as the waitress came to set down their food.



Will waited for their server to disappear again, gaze trailing after her as he picked up a fork.  "You're right, I've been very obvious with my dislike to your total disregard for the rules you're supposed to be following."  He looked down at his plate and speared a dumpling.



Beau shrugged crookedly, unpeeling chopsticks to grab one himself. "Not just the rules."



He shrugged back, bringing the dumpling up for a bite, and took his time chewing before he swallowed.  "You're a product of your environment and it shows."



"I was unbelievably talented." He hadn't bitten his yet, just sat and looked at it.



He waved his fork a little.  "I'm not talking about that, specifically."



He shrugged, then, like he didn't know what else Will could mean, and ate the dumpling. All at once.



He just shook his head and took another bite.  It wasn't worth getting into it here.



Beau watched him while they ate, picking his way through dumplings. He'd eat two or three, and a bit of the tofu, but not much. Even if it made him sigh.



Will made it through six, and some of the tofu.  It was good, which wasn't really surprising.  He swiped at his mouth with his napkin after setting his fork down.  They could take the rest back with them.



Beau had good taste, if absolutely nothing else. He watched Will eat with a pinched annoyance on his face, arms folded over his chest.



He quirked brows up at him as he lay his napkin down, expression questioning.



He clicked back into focus and frowned at Will, looking around the place instead. "Should have had a drink."



"You're not supposed to be drinking," He reminded him mildly, no bite behind it.



"You could have knocked me over and taken it away, then." he cocked his head just a little, shaking it. "Or not."



He huffed out a small sigh at that and set his napkin aside so he could reach for his water again.



Beau shrugged, just the tiniest bit, his attention flicking away again. "Going to take the rest home?"



"It seems a shame not to."  Chinese tended to reheat well.



"Uh huh."  He'd get the waitress’ attention, then, pointing -- apparently done with being out, now, ready to go back. She'd bring them a box.



Will requested the check too as she came back around with a box he offered up his card for her to run while he packed the leftovers up.



Beau didn't argue -- after all, he didn't currently have a cent, did he? He kicked his feet out and watched Will work. "So, you only have an hour or two of work a day?"



"No."  He set the empty dishes aside and closed up the box.  "Special circumstances."



"Is my lot in life sitting in your office with nothing to do while you work, then?" He shrugged, rising to stand and tugging at his pants again. Wishing he'd stayed in pajamas, for sure.



He shook his head, looking up as the server came back with his card.  "No, it's temporary while things get settled."  He signed the receipt, then pushed it away as he got to his feet and grabbed his jacket and the take out, not bothering to pull it back on first.



Beau had already stepped away -- peering down a hall and thinking it over. When Will approached he looked up. "Am I allowed to pee?"



He leaned his shoulder against the wall and tipped his head towards the bathroom door, mulling over whether or not he needed to add the reminder to not do anything stupid.



Beau disappeared to do it, and took his sweet time about it. Maybe he even would have run off, if he had any money, or a phone, or anywhere to go. But instead, ten minutes later, he came back out. Grumbling at his pants.



It was a wonder Will hadn't gone in to check on him, but Beau would find him leaning against the wall looking vaguely annoyed.  Not happy about the wait, but trying not to be completely overbearing, possibly.  He tipped his head as the younger man came back out, arched a brow at the grumbling, but wisely didn't say anything, just led the way back to the car.



Beau trailed him, scraping both hands roughly up through his hair as he followed. The caffeine was starting to wear off, maybe.



Will set the take out on the floor of the backseat before starting the car and settling into his seat, glancing sidelong at Beau before pulling out to head back towards his house.



Beau put the chair halfway back and fell asleep again soundly. He almost seemed to sleep better in the noise and the light than alone in Will's guest room.



He could sleep, Will wouldn't try to wake him, not until after her pulled into his driveway and turned off the car.  "Abbott, we're here."


At least he didn't poke this time. Beau grumbled at the name, halfway waking up to look around groggily and figure out where they were. "... great." His hand went to his neck, gone sore.



No poking so long as Beau actually responded.  Will looked down at him for a moment just to be sure he wasn't going to fall back to sleep, then got out off the car and walked up the front steps to unlock the door.



Beau sat one more moment to take in a deep breath before he followed, hair messy around his face. He stood on Will's stoop and examined the neighborhood, absently.



It was a nice neighborhood, the houses similar in size but managing to look different still, most with similarly small yards.  Will pushed the door open and let them both in, heading straight to the fridge to put the leftovers away.



Beau took his time, kicking out of his shoes and then escaping away to the bedroom to change back into pajamas.



For it being a short day, and it only being a little after noon, it was wearing.  As Beau disappeared down the hall, Will tossed his jacket over the back of the couch and leaned heavily against the counter.  He unbuttoned his cuffs, loosened the tie and the button at his collar, and debated if he wanted to call Beau's parents now, or put it off until later.



Beau was out of sight for the moment, but it wasn't exactly clear how long that'd last. Even if he'd closed the door decisively again.



Unsure, Will pushed away from the counter to head down the hall, past Beau's room with just a brief glance at the closed door, and walked into his own room to change out of the suit.  He'd see if Beau had emerged by that point, and if not, get the call over with.



The door was still closed, Beau firmly closed up, maybe just because Will had told him to leave the door open -- so. Someone had surely given Will the number to call back on.



Another glance at the door as he passed again in a plain tee-shirt and a pair of comfortable sweatpants.  Will rubbed at the back of his neck as he walked through the living room to the sliding glass door and slipped outside to make a phone call.