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Feb. 18th, 2028

Hey, this is Joe's cell phone...which is probably dead as Abe Lincoln because the battery sucks, or I'm in class, so leave a message and I'll call you back. Assuming the phone's not dead, in which case it may be a while. Later.

[text] sent to hank_callahan

can you come over? kicked low out for a few hours.

[MM] Feb 2.3.1: You're killing me here!

ooc: set after this. Lowell is
[info]low_as_youcango  and mine to use and abuse.

“Dude--you’re killing me here!! You walked away?!”

Joseph glowered at the form of his roommate and crumpled the empty silver beer can in one hand, tossing it one-handed with surprising accuracy towards the trash can across the room. They were both still wearing their grease-stained jumpsuits, as Joe had gone straight from work to Hank‘s and Low had been working some voluntary overtime when he‘d gotten the 911 text from a buddy in need. “What the hell was I supposed to do? I was pissed. If I’d just kept standing there I’d have yelled and said things I didn’t mean and made her feel worse than she already does.”

Lowell stared at him as though he’d just said something in Chinese. No, not just Chinese--backwards Chinese. “What the hell were you supposed to do?! Your girlfriend just told you was into chicks, man, you say ‘Oh fuck yeah, call the bitch up and let’s see where this goes’!”

Joe wished he still had the beer can in hand so he could lob it at Lowell’s stupid head. Why he‘d ever thought this would make him feel better was beyond him at the moment. “Number one, Harper’s not a bitch.”

“She was five minutes ago when she was fucking around with your girlfriend.”

Since he couldn’t deny it and the reminder of his tirade made him flush guiltily, Joe chose to ignore the comment altogether. “Number two, I’m not a pervert.”

“Which worries me.”

“Number three, I don’t like the idea of sharing my girlfriend.”

“Aw, son, I really, really worry about you.” Shaking his head, Lowell dug a beaten silver flask out of his jumpsuit and took a long pull from it as he studied Joe pitiably. “It’s not sharing your girlfriend, it‘s getting a freebie. You have the chance to take a tumble with a hot piece of tail with full permission from the doe-eyed love of your life, or whatever. She can‘t bitch because she‘s already been there--and dude, she‘ll be into it. You get to bang your girlfriend while she bangs her girlfriend, it‘ll be awesome.”

“You don’t know that!! God, I swear, the only brain you ever use is the one in your dick, which, coincidentally, is not a brain.”

“Ah, but that’s where the blood supply spends most of its time, my young apprentice.” Lowell smirked and spread his hands. “Come ooooon, just admit it, you thought about it.”

Joseph made a face, his cheeks already flushed from the alcohol turning a deeper shade of pink. “Maybe for a second, but it’s not worth the risk of fucking things up even more.”

“Oh, it is so worth the risk!” Lowell rolled his eyes when Joe shot him a glare. “Look, man--twu wuv should be able to withstand a little sexual experimentation. You’re making a bigger deal out of this than it has to be.”

“I am not,” Joe protested, flopping back on the threadbare carpeted floor. “Harper’s Hank’s best friend. Hell, I thought she was my friend. It’s complicated and messy and…I have to get the fuck over being pissed and not be a dickhead about it.”

“Sex’d help you get over being pissed.” Lowell held up his hands when Joe glared at him again. “I’m just saying, it‘d help me.”

“Sex is your solution to everything.”

“Because it works.” Lowell tossed Joe his flask before he settled back in the armchair. “And if you’re not seeing that yet, clearly you’re not drunk enough.”

Joe sat up and frowned down at the silver container, wondering if maybe for once in his life, Lowell had a point. Maybe it did sort of make sense. If it was what Hank wanted…

…Christ, if Lowell was making sense, he was obviously drunker than he realized. He tossed the flask back to his roommate, and got up from the floor to get another of the skunky, cheap beer that Lowell, for some insane reason, seemed to like so damned much.

[MM] August 1.2.1: Tears of an Angel

Cover my eyes
Cover my ears
Tell me these words are a lie
It cant be true
That I'm losing you
The sun cannot fall from the sky


It didn't hit him when his mom told him some British guy had called for him. He never thinks of Spike as 'that British guy,' reserves that term for Baileigh's husband. Hank always poked at him for that. He ain't even British, yo, he's Russian. He's a Romanov or some shit.

He checked his voicemail. It never occurred to him that something might be really wrong.

He heard Amelia's frantic voice, sobbing so much that he could barely understand her, and he realized how bad it must be.

She's been shot. Hank's been shot, I'm so sorry--

Shot? He'd stared at his phone, confused, even as Amelia's panicked voicemail ended and Spike's much calmer voice rolled on in the next. Hank was a superhero. She didn't get shot. She was fast and strong and amazing...she was beyond things like that. It was mundane, it was wrong. She couldn't die like that.

...She couldn't die at all. They weren't...they weren't finished. There was a shit ton of stuff they hadn't done, things they hadn't seen, places they hadn't gone. She couldn't leave, not now.

His parents drove him to the hospital. His mom took away his keys when she saw his face, afraid he was too distraught, afraid he'd wreck his bike. His dad had held him, strong arms and work-rough hands that had held him tight when he'd tried to make a break for the door, hugged him tighter when he'd started to shake. His dad, who was usually distant and reserved with his affection. The last time his dad had hugged him, he'd been a child, eight years old, staring down at the bleeding hand he'd cut open on a part in his father's workshop, too stunned to cry out in pain, and he'd scooped him and held on tight as he ran with him to the car to take him to the emergency room for stitches. He'd held him while they sewed up the laceration and told him it was okay to cry if it hurt. He bought him an ice cream cone on the way home, then turned around and went back to buy another when he dropped that one because he had trouble holding on to it with a clumsy left hand.

It was the same emergency room they were sitting in now, he realized with a jolt. His mom sat beside him, sniffling and wiping her eyes with a tissue and lamenting, This used to be such a nice town. He realized with another jolt that his mom genuinely loved Hank. His dad stood nearby, pacing on occasion, looking down at his son, then over at Cain before frowning and pacing some more. Probably thinking about what he would do if it was his kid fighting for their life in there. Wondering if he should say anything then realizing he wasn't good with words.

"She's gonna be fine, dad," Joe whispered, shocked to hear his own voice--it was like he was trying to speak around a cottonball lodged in his throat. "She's gotta be. I'm gonna marry her someday."

He heard his mother's breath catch, and his dad's gaze zeroed in on his face in surprise. He could see the muscle working in his jaw, and he knew he was wrestling with the urge to argue, to tell him he was too young to think about something like that.

Instead he merely sat down next to him and put an arm around him again, and for a moment, Joseph is eight again, and all the world's troubled can be solved with a hug, and an ice cream cone.

Hey girlfriend

I got something for ya.

For Hank hank_callahan

Contains this obviously handmade gift, with the following note: