Checking in (private)
Alex smiled as the bell on the front of his shop rang out. Adam looked up from the counter and did a double take.
"Alexander," he exclaimed, coming around the counter. "Holy shit. How are you doing?"
Alex left his hand off his right crutch long enough to shake Adam's hand. "I'm great," he said. "I didn't mean to surprise you. I just needed to get out and moving and I missed the store."
Adam snorted. "It's your store, man," he said. Then he flashed a grin, making his face light up. "Come on, don't be a stranger. You want to sit down? Did you actually walk... or hobble... all the way here from the Towers? You look beat."
Alex grimaced. "Uh... yeah, maybe sitting down would be good. I might have bitten off more than I could chew. I had no idea my armpits could go numb."
He laughed at that last part though, and so did Adam. Alex got himself settled on the stool behind the counter and took the pile of mail that was sitting on the shelf under the register. "How's business?"
"Same as it was when you asked me yesterday," Adam said, rolling his eyes a little. "Doing great. You had a good idea putting this store in here. Nothing really like it for miles around. The studio's getting good use too but you've got a steady stream of, uh, female admirers coming in asking when yoga classes are going to start up again. And wanting to know how you are. Bring you flowers. Make you casseroles. Rub your - aches and pains."
Blue eyes glinted impishly as Alex snorted and turned red. He always got along better with women than he did straight men although Adam was the exception. Alex didn't think he was gay, at any rate. He shrugged off the yoga-student thing. "I'm hoping I can be back to teaching in a week or two," he said. "Aishe can help me demonstrate poses and I can teach from a chair."
"Yeah? Aishe seems like a sweetie."
Alex nodded. "She is. You met her husband Kem yet?"
"Mmm-hm. Part of the Towers tour," Adam said. "Good guy. Little on the quiet side."
"Put alcohol in him," Alex said. "He gets a lot less quiet."
Alex nodded. "We'll have you over some time, you can see for yourself."
Adam nodded agreeably. He had mentioned wanting to meet some more people and Alex tended to think his people were the best. Adam continued to talk and Alex sat and sifted through his mail contentedly.
"How's the knee?"
"Good, actually," Alex said. It was an automatic response. The incision looked good, it was healing clean. It felt tight and hot underneath, though, and that worried Alex a little except Rowan had said to expect some discomfort as he'd had a section of bone removed. Alex didn't know the difference between healing pain and something-might-be-wrong pain, but so far it wasn't horribly alarming.
"Look, it's almost six now," Adam said, pointing at the clock. "You want to hang around a bit and let me give you a ride home? You look done."
Alex sighed in defeat. "You know, that doesn't sound like a half bad idea," he admitted. "You don't mind?"
"'Course not," Adam said. "I live right near the Towers anyway."
"Ok. I can close up behind the register if you want to check the floor."
Adam went through the actions of straightening displays and flipping off spot lights here and there while Alex began the closing procedures. It felt good to be doing something productive. When he was doing chemo he'd barely had the strength to sit here and work. Now it just felt nice, relaxing, to be taking a turn running his place again.
His knee was throbbing painfully, but he'd just hopped a mile on it. Just because he hadn't put any weight on it didn't mean he hadn't had to move it around a lot. He'd overdone it, like he was prone to doing. Again. Thank goodness Adam could bail him out. He would have hated to have to call one of his friends to come get him after dark.
The ride to Liefde was short but pleasant. Alex really liked Adam, and Adam seemed to enjoy working at Roughing It. Maybe there were bigger and better things in store for the guy; Alex didn't imagine he would want to be a small-time manager all his life. For now, though, they had a great working relationship and Alex suspected they were working on friendship. It was new to Alex. Prior to coming to Nachton he'd had few friends, and none of them straight. He shifted a little, relieving the pressure on his aching knee.
He loved his life, he realized. He really loved his life.