C'e La Luna (Invite Only)

"C'e la luna a mezz'u mare
mamma mia m'a maridare.
Figlia mia chiu da dare
mamma mia pensaci tu."

Julian groaned and tried to use the hospital blanket to cover his ears. It didn't work, and the off-key singing of his elderly Italian roommate still resonated quite cheerfully throughout the room. And the entire floor.

He didn't mind, really, because it let him know he wasn't alone, but Julian desperately wanted some sleep and this was not helping at all. He was lucky, though, to at least have a room. When Evgeni had brought him in, leaving Val to go her own way, they had had to sit in the Emergency Room for an hour or so and it had been even more uncomfortable, in barely-padded chairs, Julian slumping against poor Evgeni's shoulder as he sat and waited to be examined. His friend had patiently waited with him, contact lenses covering his curiously red eyes, and Jan had joined them later. Both of them had had to leave, though, just before dawn while Julian was about to go for whatever tests the doctors ordered.

Those tests had turned out to be a CT of his head, and further X-rays of his wrist. Fortunately neither one had been particularly arduous and simply required that Julian hold still, something he was more than happy to do. When everything was said and done they confirmed the concussion and determined that both of the bones in his wrist had been broken. The concussion, they said, they couldn't do anything about. He was supposed to rest, physically and mentally, and let them know if he experienced any of the following, which entailed a very long list of things Julian had definitely experienced over the last few days. The wrist, however, they needed to get a cast on. They thought it would heal just fine as nothing had been displaced and both breaks were clean.

Now he was waiting on an orthopedist to get to him, and they had opted to hang onto him for a few hours anyway to observe him and give him IV fluids, which were making him feel a lot better already.

"Se ti do un pescatore
isse vai, isse vene
sempre il pesce in mano tiene.
Se ti capa la fantasia
te pescialia figliuzza mia."

One didn't get through life as a classical musician without picking up a little Italian. Julian had no idea what he was listening to, but certain words stuck out. Someone was marrying a fish. No, dreaming about marrying a fish. Or maybe the fish had a dream about marrying someone's mom.

Or maybe the nurse could come in, any time, and sedate the poor man. He was apparently recovering from a stroke, and the nurses assured Julian he meant no harm but they simply couldn't keep him quiet. Really, by the time the first rays of light slipped beneath the blinds over the windows, Julian was wishing more that he understood the lyrics and could join in.

When the clock finally hit 8 am, he reached for his cell phone. He had several texts to send, which technically he supposed he shouldn't be doing from in the hospital but there wasn't anyone else to do it. The first thing he did was respond to the messages Tavi had sent when he'd missed their date two nights ago. He texted an apology to her, a short one telling her how very sorry he was, explaining that something had happened and he was in the hospital. After a little bit of thought he sent her a second text saying he would really like to be able to explain to her, and that maybe she could come meet him there since he didn't know how long it would be until they released him. Otherwise, hopefully she could come see him at home. He didn't think she was the unreasonable type, and he suspected when she understood that he hadn't meant to stand her up, she would be forgiving.

He hoped, anyway. He had a lot of fun with her and she seemed normal.

Next he texted one of his friends from the Symphony and asked him to relay the message to the board that he'd been hit by a car on his way home from the Long Bar a couple of nights ago, and was in the hospital recovering.

Julian had had a few hours to lie here and think about it, and he'd decided he didn't want the truth to become general knowledge for a number of reasons. Not the least of which was, he didn't want to give his attackers any more cause to come after him. He'd tell Tavi the truth, and Jan and Evgeni and Val obviously knew it, but after that he didn't need it to circulate further. And he definitely didn't want his parents to know. They couldn't even know he was injured. He'd call them after he was released, from home so no background noises would give anything away, and chat with them for a few minutes, nice and normal.

"La lariala pesce fritte bacala
Uei cumpa no calamare c'eggi'accatta."

Julian noted the voice was much weaker now, after a brief visit from one of the nurses. Maybe something sedative was on board after all. He hoped so; all the singing about food was making his stomach rumble.

Someone was going to fry and eat the fish. Or, the fish in the dream was going to marry some calamare. Which was disturbing. Either way there was food involved and Julian wasn't looking forward to hospital fare. Maybe on the way home he could stop and get something fried for breakfast. That would be great.

Octavia Emiliano 8 years ago
Tavi had been pretty bent out of shape with Julian for missing their date. She had sent him a couple of messages, one saying she was at the place they were going to meet and had been there for twenty minutes and another saying she was leaving.

The next day she still hadn't heard anything from him. There was no apology for missing their date and there was no explanation either. She figured that if he had been in trouble he would have sent her something, even a short message about how a family member had an emergency or something else had come up. He could be unconscious in a ditch...but eventually you become conscious in a ditch. She figured that either meant he was blowing her off, in a coma or dead.

She wasn't sure which of the first two she was hoping for. Tavi was pretty sure she wasn't mad enough to want him dead or anything. A coma seemed pretty harsh also. But damn, a text, how hard was that?

Early this morning, she rolled over to find that her phone was chirping at her. She would normally have taken a look and then rolled over and gone back to sleep but when she saw who had sent the text she opened it and looked at what Julian had to say.

Maybe the coma thing hadn't been too far off after all.

That woke her up. Tavi rolled out of bed, started some coffee and then found some clothes. They were a pair of white leggings, a flirty bouncy yellow skirt with white daisies on it, and a pink baby doll t-shirt with white lettering that read "Requires Constant Supervision". She shoved her curly green tresses up in a messy bun and clipped a white flower barrette on one side of it. Make up consisted of some lip gloss as she was walking out the door with her travel mug of coffee. Tavi thought ruefully that she had looked much better the other day when she had planned her attire carefully and had spent more time on her make up and hair.

However, if Julian was in the hospital then it was likely that he looked more like crap than she did. He probably felt it at the very least. She'd be a little annoyed if all those beautiful curls looked absolutely immaculate even after an experience that required hospitalization but she would keep that thought to herself because even though he had stood her up she was worried about him.

Singing, loud and...Italian came from Julian's room. It was calming down as she approached but she had to look twice to make sure it was the number she had been given. Poking her head in around his divider curtain, she raised her eyebrows at him.

"Care for some company?”

He looked like hell and now she felt bad about her earlier thought about now wanting him to look perfect. It was obvious that he had been through something fairly serious because he looked gaunt, slightly dirty (around the edges) and banged up. It was obvious that some attempt to look better had been made at some point and that just emphasized how rough it had originally been that he still looked no where close to the perfectly manicured and neatly styled Julian that she had met originally.

"Wow, you look...alive?” She said the last word with a questioning tone, not asking whether or not he was alive, that was obvious, but asking whether that was enough of a compliment to his current state of being.

Tavi came closer and and reached out for the hand that didn't have a cast on it.
"So what happened?”
Julian Stephenson 8 years ago
Julian was lying on his back with his good arm flung over his eyes. The orthopedist had come in and put the cast on just a little while ago; it still felt strange, heavy, and warm on his arm. His roommate was calming down but the sunlight was streaming through the little cracks in the blinds now and there was no way he was going to go to sleep with all of the motion and bustle of a busy day at the hospital around him. They'd said they would probably let him go today, as long as he had someone at home to monitor him. He'd lied and said his friends were going to be there. He was pretty sure either Jan or Evgeni or both would be back, but they were night owls... no doubt they were catching up on their own sleep now. And after what he'd inadvertently done to Tavi he couldn't ask her for a favor, really. He'd be fine for the day.

That said, it was a very welcome sight that came around the divider curtain to greet him. Julian couldn't help but smile tiredly, feeling his spirits rise at the sight of the cute outfit, the pretty green hair, the white flower. Tavi looked like jailbait most of the time, even though she wasn't. Knowing that, he could admire her appearance with a clear conscience and he did.

"God," he said, lowering his arm away from his eyes. "I would love some company."

He winced when she said he looked alive; he felt half dead. But she didn't look like she was about to lean over him and smother him with a pillow, which he wouldn't really have blamed her for. Julian might not be perfect but the one thing he didn't do was miss appointments. Or dates.

He took her hand and squeezed it, glad for her touch. When she asked what happened he sighed. He had already made up his mind not to lie to her or cover anything up, even if it looked bad. Julian liked Tavi a lot. If nothing else, she was a friend.

"What happened was a really bad decision on my part, and then a series of incredibly unfortunate events."

It would have been easy to lie about Val, but he wouldn't. He and Tavi weren't going steady, didn't have an agreement to be exclusive. They hadn't even slept together or anything. He thought he wanted to though... if she did, anyway. At least, it had been on his mind the last couple of times he'd seen her.

He told it to her straight though. How he'd had a little too much to drink at the bar and gone back to a hotel with Val. How they'd slept together, and he'd woken alone and then been accosted outside of the hotel room. He gritted his teeth and haltingly told her about his captivity, about having his wrist broken, the exchange for his freedom.

The only thing he left out was the part about Evgeni, in his dreams. His red eyes. The fact that there was something strange going on there that Julian couldn't or didn't want to put a name to. Whatever it was, it was Evgeni's issue. He'd never done anything to Julian but help him, be a friend to him, and Julian trusted him. Since he had nothing to go on, it wasn't relevant anyway.

Julian had closed his eyes to tell most of it to Tavi. When he finished, he opened them and looked up at her apologetically.
"So, anyway, I've been here for about eight hours now. They're saying I can go home and have a concussion somewhere that doesn't take up a hospital bed soon."

He squeezed Tavi's hand again.
"Look, I'm really sorry. I wanted to tell you that face to face. I understand if you don't want to see me again. I sort of feel like more trouble than I'm worth. But I didn't mean for any of this to happen, and I really hope we can still be... friends."

The last word was sort of coughed out. Julian didn't know what he and Tavi were. Friends, but they were maybe leaning toward something else. If anything, what he'd gone through had only shown him that he really needed to grow up and stop playing around. Oh, he wasn't all wedding bells and babies or anything, but he had to leave behind the 'single college guy drinking hanging out at bars' attitude and develop something more mature. He was ready for that much.
Octavia Emiliano 8 years ago
"Oh my god! Julian, that's awful!” Tavi reached over and hugged him carefully when he finished his story. The fact that he had gotten drunk and slept with some chick was not really important. They didn't have an agreement or anything and hadn't even really been on a date.

It was so bad that if he hadn't been in the hospital and obviously beat up then she probably wouldn't have believed it. Of course who made up that kind of story to explain missing a date? A family emergency would have done nicely without the need for personal injury or a hospital bill.

She couldn't judge the chick much. After all her family wasn't exactly all straight and narrow. Julian wasn't exactly trading up for a saint or anything. Tavi would do her absolute best to keep him from getting hurt by association though.

And right now having a werewolf to watch his back might not be a bad thing.

He mentioned the ability to go home instead of stay here. Tavi grinned and nodded back toward his musical room mate. In a soft voice, she asked.
"What and miss all this?”

Louder she stated, "Come on, I will take you home.”

Tavi looked at him very seriously. "As an authority on trouble, I can say you are definitely worth it. You can take me somewhere nice to make up for our missed date.” She grinned at him as she headed toward the door. "And send this Val person the bill.”
Julian Stephenson 8 years ago
Tavi's reaction was a relief to Julian. A huge relief. He loved that she offered to hug him (and gently, for which he was thankful). He didn't consider himself overly touchy-feely but damn, a hug was the perfect thing. He'd have felt better about it if he weren't grubby and greasy and dirty and still halfway bloody but he would be going home soon.

Tavi was ready to go, like, that second.
"Hell yes. You pick the place. Anywhere. My tux is pressed and ready to go. On me, though. I don't want to hear that name for a while. Maybe forever." Julian found himself grinning and sitting up, but a breeze against his back reminded him he couldn't quite go yet. "Oh. Hold on, I have to get discharged first. And, uh, I need my clothes."

The nurse had gone to start processing his paperwork. Julian didn't think it would take long, given the crowded conditions of the hospital. He was right. She was back within ten minutes, forms to sign, notes from the doctor and the orthopedist, prescriptions to take home with him, and, best of all, his clothing. They had tried to wash it for him but sadly the blood would not easily come out. It had been too long and had dried in a very permanent way.

He changed into his jeans, tee, and button-down shirt anyhow, having nothing else to wear and glad they had at least been laundered. After signing his paperwork he let the nurse give him instructions. She gave some to Tavi, too, about what sort of complications to look for. Like Julian drooling on himself and going all googly-eyed in the next 48 hours. Then they were free to go. The nurse offered him a wheelchair and he declined it pretty adamantly, picking up his violin in its case and hugging it to himself.

As they made their way out of the hospital Julian was still weaving slightly, but the dizziness was much better than it had been, only on and off now and much milder. His greatest problem at the moment was exhaustion. He might be able to sleep for a year, except they'd told him he wasn't allowed to sleep for a year. Damn.

They walked out into the bright sunlight and Julian shielded his eyes as the sunny day went straight to his head, making him wince a little. He liked it though. He turned to Tavi.

"Thank you," he said. "For coming to see me. And for coming home with me. Do you think we could make one stop first?"

He closed his eyes and inhaled the scents of the city, his stomach growling.
"Mmm. I need breakfast. I haven't eaten in two days."

He'd had soup, a granola bar, and IV fluids. Not really satisfying or particularly comforting. Julian would kill for something warm, crunchy, greasy, gooey - anything that was food. Real food. Cooked and everything.
"It's okay if it's to go, I know you have to have other things to do."

It was kind of Tavi to bring him home; he wanted to ask her to stay but he hadn't quite gotten around to that yet. He didn't want to be alone, not even in the middle of the day. He figured he'd ask her once they got in. She might take one look at his studio and decide against it anyway; it was incredibly small.
Octavia Emiliano 8 years ago
Tavi couldn't say she blamed him for not wanting to have further dealings with the woman who introduced him to such lovely people. She smiled about him having his tux ready and nodded agreement to picking the time and place.

He said that he was more than ready to go but that they wouldn't let him leave just yet. And of course Julian wouldn't want to leave in the very stylish hospital gown that they temporarily provided.

A nurse was called and they provided him with papers to sign, clothes to change into and instructions. She listened carefully to the ones the nurse gave her and the ones that she gave Julian as well.

His jeans and shirt had been stylish once but now they were looking like evidence at a crime scene. Of course they were, in a way. Tavi didn't think he wanted to pursue a case against the people who held him. They were clearly dangerous and likely well connected. She wasn't sure what would stop them from coming after Julian again. According to him the exchange had been made and the guy was satisfied. She was a cynic and not completely willing to believe that these people would leave someone around who could identify them in a line up.

Tavi helped steady Julian as they made their way out of the hospital. She thought it was attractive somehow that he stubbornly refused the wheelchair and instead weaved his way out the front door on his own two feet.

As they were getting to the car, he explained that he hadn't eaten much in several days. She considered where to go and then came up with a plan.
"I know just the place. There is a little cafe that I hear serves a great breakfast.” It was next to a Walmart where she could get several things that she thought they could use and they had a pharmacy which would be convenient as well.

"You can eat and I will pick a few things up and then I can take you home.” Tavi looked over at him and smiled. "I don't have anything to do today. Some days the detective business is hopping and other days it isn't. There isn't anything that can't wait.” She can stalk a few people who's spouses suspect of adultery later.
Julian Stephenson 8 years ago
Julian smiled at Tavi over the top of her car. "A cafe is perfect. I'll come to the store with you, if you don't mind. It's nice to be able to walk around a little even if I'm wobbly."

He glanced down for a second and then added,
"And I, um, don't quite want to be by myself."

He didn't know if she intended to get her shopping done while he ate, the quicker to get him home, but he'd rather take time and go through the store than be alone. Julian wasn't generally the clingy type but he thought his stance might be easily understood, given his recent ordeal.

He hesitated with his handle on the door of the car before getting in. He had never had cause to explain his fear of cars. Being driven wasn't as bad as doing the driving himself, though, and he knew he definitely wasn't up for the relatively long walk to his studio from the hospital, in spite of the fact that being outside felt good right now.

Julian waited a moment while the usual chill swept through him, seeing his dead sister, the twisted metal wreckage of his car. His blood dripping onto her face as he hung suspended over her, trapped by the door and his seat belt. It passed, or he mastered it, or both, and he nodded and opened the passenger side door, slid his violin into the well next to his feet, and climbed in.

It was painful to rest his head against the back of the seat so he turned sideways just a little toward Tavi and gave a sigh of relief.

"I felt like it was still going on in the hospital," he said. "Like I was still trapped or they were coming after me or something. I hate hospitals, maybe that's why. But it feels good to be leaving."
Octavia Emiliano 8 years ago
Tavi looked over at Julian and was about to tell him her plans and why she had suggested that he take his time and eat at the cafe. She could then go get some munchies and rent some movies so that they had something to do for the day. Most likely whatever they watched would be for her and not Julian. Tavi seriously doubted he would stay awake for more than the opening credits before falling asleep but she didn't want to leave him alone until she knew he was better or until there was someone else to watch him.

Julian explained instead. He didn't want to be alone at all and that was something she could understand. In theory anyway. She had never really felt alone. There had always been the pack, even if her parents had been distant there had always been the rest of the pack to love and support her. Nor had she ever really felt physically vulnerable. In early life she had been a werewolf long before her pack mates had been gifted. She had been one of the stronger children, not one of the weaker. Later she had already had years of training in self defense before she was even considered old enough, by human standards, to get out of the sand box. She had been attacked often as a teenager because of the places she went and her size but people quickly learned that was a mistake.

Interestingly, to her knowledge, she had never been targeted by a vampire. Tavi always figured they were accomplished hunters, same as werewolves but with different prey, and that something about her suggested she was not an easy mark.

"Okay, you can help me pick out what we are going to watch. I might subject you to chick flicks otherwise." Tavi glanced over at him and grinned.

He confessed that he felt like the ordeal was still going on in the hospital. Hopefully arriving safely home would in some way signal the end of the horrible event. Then again they knew where Julian lived. She wondered how attached he was to his apartment. Granted, unless he took a long leave of absence from work, it would be easy to find him again. All they had to do was follow him home from the symphony but there was no reason to make it that much easier on them and right now all they had to do was show up at his door.

"They smell funny." She confessed and then laughed. Easing into the traffic, Tavi watched the cars move around them while searching for something lighter to take Julian's mind off his fears. "And lets face it there isn't anything worth looking at while you are there." She glanced over at him and winked. "The hospital gowns are hideous and scrubs don't do anyone's figure any favors. And all that white...washes most people right out." When people had sexy nurse fantasies it was usually of old fashioned nurse uniforms which were more fitted and almost always, for the sake of adult entertainment, the outfits were cut to be more flattering and revealing. The modern nurse was not a fashion icon.
"Now you symphony guys... much better but you could stand to mix it up a little bit..." Tavi gave him a little smirk before going on with the thought. "Bring it down from the super swank occasionally and do something a little more hip. I can see it now... instead of street colours you could have sections. Who is that in the purple? Those are the wood winds. They may seem quiet but they are some bad ass mother fuckers. You don't want to mess with them."
Julian Stephenson 8 years ago
Julian closed his eyes, partly because his head hurt and he was dead tired, and partly so he wouldn't have to watch the cars around them. He smiled wearily when Tavi said they'd end up watching chick flicks. "That works for me," he said.

His tastes weren't really the same as most guys his age, he supposed. He had no problems watching a romantic comedy while working on his nails. Which, he thought incidentally, glancing down, were kind of a mess. Anyway he'd probably doze through at least half the movie anyway. The thought of it almost made him moan with desire. His daybed, a movie, a blanket, good company, food. Simple things sounded like heaven right now. They had told him to be careful washing his head, which now had stitches in it, but maybe Tavi would help him clean around the wound so he could get the blood from his hair. They'd had to shave the back of it a little bit but Julian had convinced the nurse not to clip more than she had to, and the hair on top of and in back of his head covered the injury.

When Tavi said she thought hospitals smelled funny Julian's smile widened a little and he nodded.
"Ugh, yes they do. Like they tried to cover up the smell of sick and injured people with cleaning products but you can still tell."

He chuckled again at her assessment of hospital fashion, and then again at her idea of color-coding the symphony.
"I don't know," he said, "What's wrong with a tux? I think they look good. And with my luck they'd pick out something for the violin section that just doesn't go with my complexion, like red. Ugh, or yellow. I wouldn't even be able to be seen in public."

Tavi's cheerful banter was exactly what he needed; although he kept his eyes closed he did open them now and then to see her smiling, pretty face. She was a relief and a blessing and he found it very easy to take his mind off of everything that had happened and just enjoy her company. The doctor had said not to dwell on it, to rest his body and his mind, and not try to do anything that required a lot of focus. Tavi had a way of making that easy, of keeping him engaged but not intense when she wanted to. Maybe it was a detective tactic to lull someone into a false sense of security or something, only this time it wasn't false. It felt really good to be with a friend.

It didn't take too long to get where they were going; soon enough they pulled into a parking lot and Julian opened his eyes to see where they were. As soon as he opened the car door he smelled food, and his stomach growled insistently.
"Breakfast first, or shopping?"

He wanted food, but it might be easier to get the shopping out of the way and then go to the cafe. He caught a whiff of coffee and he did moan.
"Oh my God that smells good."
Octavia Emiliano 8 years ago
"There is nothing wrong with a tux." Tavi quickly assured him. "I am just suggesting the occasional something different. You can deal with fashion change, right?" Obviously he could or he wouldn't usually look so perfectly tailored even while wearing something casual. Still she couldn't teasing him just a little about the sameness of a tux to work every time he played.

She did laugh when he suggested they would give the violin section red or yellow and that he wouldn't be able to leave the house.
"Just wear in accents away from your face. You'll be fine. Of course it might be hard to rock the yellow as a tough colour anyway." Tavi frowned thoughtfully and then smiled. "You would just have to call it 'gold'. Much better."

They pulled into the parking lot of the cafe and she undid the seat belt and slid out of the car. It didn't take a werewolf to hear Julian's stomach growl at the smell of food so it was obvious he was pretty hungry.

"Food first." There wasn't really anything she was going to eat here other than a really rare steak and that was just weird to order by itself. That was something they could deal with later. She could claim to be not hungry now. "I wouldn't want you to bite the server or something later in a fit of starvation induced violence."

Coming around to him, Tavi wrapped her arm around Julian's waist and walked with him to the door. It looked friendly and she was happy to be friendly but it was also to keep him upright. Getting dizzy and then falling and cracking his head on the asphalt would be adding insult to injury, with another dose of injury on the side. She'd prefer it if they avoided that.

The whole restaurant was done with warm honey wood and bright yellow and white checkered tables and curtains with fun little red and blue bird salt shakers. Brightly colored pictures hung on the wall, some were funny and some were just cheerfully cute. Carly's Cafe was bustling for such a small little restaurant. Several people were there alone having coffee reading a newspaper or a tablet. More tables were full of people enjoying breakfast with friends. The chatter and hum was that perfect level of social engagement that said that a place was alive and busy but not loud.

One of the servers waved in the general direction of several empty tables and said "Anywhere is fine" as she made her way past to deliver drinks to another table. Tavi steered them toward one that was near the big front windows so they could watch the passers by. It was more for Julian than herself but she enjoyed people watching also and would have chosen the same seat if she were here alone. She figured he would like to see the daylight and the people after being locked away.
"This good?"
Julian Stephenson 8 years ago
At Tavi's suggestion Julian had a brief mental image of himself tying his blond hair away from his face with a brightly-colored ribbon in his section colors and claiming to be conforming. He chuckled and told her what had made him laugh.

"I don't mind change," he added afterward, addressing her previous question, "but there's just something so timeless about the tux."

Truth be told he adored his 'work uniform' and was looking forward to putting it back on, as if doing so might signal a return to normalcy for him. He desperately hoped he would be all right to play in a few weeks, although the doctors had told him to be patient. Sometimes people suffering from concussions had varied recovery times; the human brain was apparently a very tricky organ. He might notice no ill effects at all, although they suspected that with the persistent vertigo he would take a little longer than the weekend to bounce back.

"I promise, I won't bite anyone. For now." He could have swooned with relief when she opted to get him fed first. He did kind of swoon, clutching the car door as the world swung around for a second when he got upright after leaning down to retrieve his wallet from his violin case. Then Tavi's arm slid around his waist and he leaned on her a little bit, steadying himself.

"Thank you," he said softly as they made their way to the lively little cafe. For everything. Her cheerful attitude, her ready forgiveness, her willingness to accompany him. Julian already knew he wanted to do something nice for her; for Jan and Evgeni as well. His friends had really pulled through for him. He'd have to give it some thought.

Tavi led them to a table with a nice view of the outside. Julian wondered if she'd done it on purpose, given his recent incarceration. He wouldn't put it beyond her. He smiled at her and gave a little nod.
"Yeah, it's perfect."

The waitress came by and took their drink orders. Julian ordered a decaf coffee; he didn't expect caffeine would keep him awake but better safe than sorry. It arrived quickly and he placed his order for breakfast, french toast with a side of scrambled eggs and bacon. He paused and then added an order of sweet potato hash browns as well.

When the waitress had gone again Julian stirred milk and sugar into his coffee and sipped it carefully.
"Oh, this is heaven," he said.

Determined to make it last (and, well, because it was too hot to gulp down anyway), Julian set the cup on the table and then cradled his head in his hands, massaging his temples with his fingertips.
"So what kind of movie did you have in mind? Anything new out you particularly wanted to see?"

Small talk would work well right now. He didn't want to think too hard about anything, and Tavi's company was just pleasant even without the conversation. He couldn't help thinking, tough, for at least the hundredth time, that it was so incredibly nice just to be here, alive, with a friend, waiting on food. He might never take mealtime for granted again.
Octavia Emiliano 8 years ago
Tavi watched Julian carefully hopefully without appearing to watch him carefully. He seemed to be doing okay at the moment but there was probably more basic survival issues on his mind than the ordeal he had just gone through. It would probably be in the quiet moments that fears came to the surface and there wasn't much to be done about that. His friends could all try to keep him busy and with company but he couldn't spend his entire life with other people.

Well he could but that would probably involve joining the military or a monastery and neither of those seemed like Julian's cup of tea.

He got his decaf coffee and she got her's the way coffee was supposed to be made. Tavi gave his cup a wary glance and then watched him with open concern, as if he were about to drink poison.
"That is just...wrong.”

She smiled and him though and answered his question about the movies. With a shrug and a sigh, Tavi said. "I don't know. I think Les Miserables is out now, The Hobbit? The Life of Pi?”

Tavi had ordered some bacon with the express instructions that it be 'very chewy' none of that crunchy stuff. She hoped for the best and figured that it would be like eating some of the tougher portions of meat. Hopefully.

"Any of those movies strike your fancy?" They would have to pick something worth watching several times so that he could sleep through it once and then they could watch it again.

Taking a sip of her coffee, she then considered the depths of her mug for answers to entertainment. It didn't really offer up solutions but she did have another potential idea.
"We could also see what kind of cheesy week end marathon is going on. There is bound to be something for us to watch." Snark about in the company of someone else who would understand your rant.
Julian Stephenson 8 years ago
Julian grinned when Tavi pooh-poohed his decaf beverage. He nodded his head slowly. "Yeah. It is. But I don't know how caffeine and painkillers will mix. I don't think anything is going to keep me awake once I get home but why take chances?"

After two days of stale-tasting water, though, even decaf tasted wonderful. Simple things, easily overlooked, but they made a huge difference when you didn't have them.

He perked up a little at the movies she listed.
"I want to see all of those. I haven't been to the movies at all in the last couple of months. I think I know Les Mis by heart, and I read the Hobbit. So maybe we could get one of those?"

If he fell asleep during either one he wouldn't feel like he'd missed out on everything that way. And he was pretty sure he'd want to see them again. Tavi's next suggestion was good too.
"Yeah, true, there's always something to watch. We can do both and just see what works."

Marathon, movies, whatever they did would be low-key and entertaining enough although really, Julian would leave the ultimate decision to Tavi who was likely to be the one most invested in it. He wasn't sure he'd be able to stay awake even if he wanted to, once he was clean and changed and tucked up with a pillow and a blanket. His apartment stayed reasonably dark, too, with the blinds closed. It was sandwiched between two taller buildings and he only had two windows anyway. It was entirely possible to keep it dark during the day, a favorable attribute for a musician who often arrived home late and slept in the next morning after a concert.

Their food arrived quickly, which prevented Julian from gnawing on the table in desperation or eating a napkin or something. He couldn't repress a chuckle as the waitress slid two full plates in front of him and then a tiny one in front of Tavi with her bacon on it. He dug in quickly, though, closing his eyes and trying to force himself to eat slowly. The french toast was light and fluffy with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon. The bacon was perfectly crispy, the hash browns crunchy and a tiny bit salty. The scrambled eggs tasted perfect with a dash of tobasco. He had to keep himself from trying to shovel it all into his mouth at once.

As it was, he could not keep an assortment of 'yummy' noises from escaping as he ate.
"This might be the best breakfast I've ever had," he said between bites. "Did they get your bacon right?"
Octavia Emiliano 8 years ago
Tavi laughed when he said that he knew Les Miserables by heart. She had heard and seen it in several languages. It was very interesting to hear the differences in the translations. "Yeah, I like the London sound track the best but I know a lot of people really love the broadway version."

He said they could also check out what was on television and see if there was anything they wanted to watch there. "Options. We can has them."

She only wrinkled her nose up once more at his coffee. His logic was sound; pretty good for a man with a concussion, but she thought a nice lemonade would then be the best choice. It probably didn't taste right with breakfast. Those kinds of food combination rules were something that she didn't have a lot of understanding about which made them always fascinating to her.

Their food arrived and Julian quickly began digging in. She hid her smile behind the mug of her coffee but listening to him murmur and moan about the wonderful taste made it impossible to not smile. It reminded her of that scene in "When Harry met Sally" and she wondered if anyone was checking out his place to see what he had ordered.

Julian paused in his food appreciation long enough to ask about her bacon. Tavi held up a floppy chewy strip and nodded. It wasn't the best thing she had ever eaten but it was edible. She did like the smokey flavor of it and this diner didn't pick skimpy bacon; these were big pieces of actual sliced meat.
"Its good." She was pretty sure some bacon was actually pieced together in slices from different sections of meat. Since it was one of the things she could order by itself without looking like a complete nutter, Tavi had become quite opinionated on bacon. "Too crispy just takes the flavor out of it."

Tavi smiled at him and popped another piece into her mouth. "I am glad you are enjoying it. It would totally suck if your first meal after... you know... was something healthy that tasted like cardboard."
Julian Stephenson 8 years ago
Julian probably could have waxed poetic about bacon for at least half an hour by that point, but as it was he was so busy cramming food into his mouth he couldn't really be eloquent on any topic. He did pause in his eating long enough to nod and say, "I don't like it too crispy... but a little crunchy is good. The fat can't be crunchy though. It needs to be, well, fatty."

He smiled around another mouthful of hash browns, making sure to swallow before he spoke again. He could be civilized, even when he was starving.
"It's great," he said, his voice emphatic, "But the best thing, honestly, is just being here with you. I feel like there's a huge weight that... well, it's not gone yet but it's sure getting there."

He was looking forward to getting his painkillers; now that his stomach was appeased his head was making its unhappiness very clear. He'd been given something at the hospital but that was almost eight hours ago now. During that time they'd poked and prodded at his wrist, washed the area around his head wound, and placed several stiches in it. Both areas were complaining, not to mention the various muscles and bruises and aches. But it didn't matter. He was free, he was alive, and he was happier to feel it all than if he weren't around for it.

After a few moments he sat back and put his hand on his stomach, an almost dreamy smile on his lips. He wasn't done eating but he knew he had to slow down or he would make himself sick. So he gave a huge, happy sigh and exercised restraint while he picked at his eggs for a minute or two, letting everything settle.

"I don't think eating ever felt so good. All I need now are clean clothes. Maybe a blanket. If I had a snuggy I'd totally wear it."

He didn't slow down too much though; he didn't want to keep Tavi here much longer and he desperately wanted to relax at home, hopefully with her company for as long as she could stand him. Before long he'd finished his food and his coffee, declining a second cup. When the waitress brought the bill he scooped it up hoping Tavi wouldn't argue; most of the food was his and she was doing him a huge favor. In fact, he'd try to give her something for fuel as well if she'd take it later. He didn't have cash on him right now but he could get some when they went next door.

Before too long he was deliriously happy, full of food, prescriptions in hand, movies ready to go along with some groceries. Tavi took them back to Julian's place while he directed her and he was able to finally get around to the real relaxation.

((ooc: both out to residences))