"We’ll figure something out," Graham replied. There was a touch of humor as he continued, "I’d say you’re going to be working weekends for a while, but you already are, so." He stopped as they passed under the first of an endless row of neon lights, the color throwing a ghastly relief onto Jim’s face. "Christ, you look like shite." He put a hand out, resting it on Jim’s shoulder and gently turning his friend’s face so that he could see if there were any serious injuries. There didn’t appear to be, hadn’t seemed like there were back at the station, but for some reason he felt the need to check again. And he’d probably keep checking until this night-morning thing was behind them.
"Do you want to, y’know, hospital or something?" Be he knew even as he said it that Jim wanted even more than him to move on, to forget this. "Or there’s an all-night diner a few blocks from here. Coffee and something greasy would do you a world of good."
Graham scratched awkwardly at his neck, thinking that maybe he should just shut up. For a guy who wrote songs for a living, he was having a terrible time with his words. “I’m pretty hungry, actually, and I have some leftover cash…” He trailed off, not sure how to continue.
Apparently the short, brittle laugh at Graham’s dry joke wasn’t enough to make Jim look better—or at least good—and he came far too close for comfort to flinching away from the hand on his shoulder; after all, the last one to touch him like that had been an exasperated officer, and they’d been much less gentle. And before that… well. A hospital sounded like an unnecessary and terrible idea, and he was incredibly thankful that his friend changed the offer after a second. Gratitude welled up in the pit of his stomach and he was sure at least some of it leaked into his face when he nodded slowly, stiffly.
“That always how you ask a girl out to breakfast?” he mumbled, resisting the urge to rub at the scabbed-over scratches that drew lines down his cheek, as though the contact might simply erase them. That was just wishful thinking. “Tell her she looks awful? I might hafta give that a try, since you seem to have such luck with it.” For all the nodding, he felt terrible, as though he was taking advantage of Graham’s wallet, which wasn’t exactly deeper than his own. First bail, now breakfast: none of it was free. He didn’t have the cash for the former and now he was being offered the latter and it just—
Another nod. “Uh, sorry, diner, yeah. I’ll cover it?” The way his voice rose at the end of what should have been a statement turned it into a question, but a charity case he was not, and had to at least do this much. Or try to. What he had in his wallet was what he had to his name, at the moment, but he was pretty sure it was enough to pay for diner food (which was at least as hot as it was invariably unhealthy). “I said I’d owe you.”
A long step further down the block had Jim glancing back to make sure Graham was following. The concern was touching but right now he just wanted things to be normal. Fat chance of that. The shorter man looked worried and he was still shaky and the whole thing had the illusion of being blown over but that was so rarely the case. It would have required more luck than the roadie had ever had in his life, and the winds didn’t really seem to be changing at the moment. “You remember Krysta?” he asked, the topic of conversation jumping tracks like a humanoid train on speed. “Bartender down at Puck Fair. She says hello.” A ridiculous thing to remember to pass along, but perhaps that would return things to a vague sense of normalcy.
Counting Stars | OneRepublic
"Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep dreaming about the things that we could be."
The wiggling sailor had her grinning, laughter soft and breathy; but Jolly did as she was told. Would have been rude to come all the way down here and not bend to his wishes. It was as if someone took the air from her lungs. The light from her eyes and tossed it up in the darkened sky. Thousand of little lights twinkling in the distance, and all of them worthy of the whispered words. “It’s beautiful—” Sure, she’d seen stars in Neverland. Up close where they touched topsail, even here, walking the street at night…but never like this. Perhaps the companionship made all the difference. “This..this was worth getting out of bed for.”
"And you thought I’d steer you wrong." Jim grinned, bright as anything, bright as the sun, head tilted back on the end of a long neck and face turned to the sky. A second of searching, eyes darting across the stars, and he seemed to relax, find something he recognized, become able to orient himself and know precisely where he was, relative to all other things. “Used to come out here to sleep,” no noun, proper or not, to explain about whom he was talking—himself or Chris, who was still Jim, technically, but… not, “when a bed wouldn’t do it. It was quite a surprise, the first time the lights went off. I thought you’d appreciate it.”
people who read the ‘About’ and ‘Headcanons’ page and use that information appropriately in a thread
Right, there was something definitely up those rolled up sleeves of his, and the ship was genuinely intrigued. Also a bit surprised, and maybe the tiniest bit nervous. “Ah, yes that. Skill I pick up once I’m in that place between asleep and awake.” Fingers wiggled gently in his ribs, nose turning to give a gentle nudge. “And still sooo- secretive. I’m already here, cross that one off. If I’m allowed to be vain.”
A quick squirm against the fingers prodding into the striations of his ribs and Jim slid his phone back to his pocket before draping his arm over Jolly’s shoulders. “Come on,” he chided, tugging playfully at the end of her hair, “look up.” The lights strung up along the docks went out at half past midnight; no need to light the planking when no one was supposed to be there, no need to run up an electricity bill on unnecessary precautions. but the lights going out at half past midnight and the rest of the town having closed down by that hour meant there was no light pollution. And the Maine sky over the ocean on a clear night…. well.
The weight at her side was a welcomed one, even if a bit chilled, or if he didn’t fit. Niether fact mattered now that he was there. She chuckled, adjusting the blanket to sit on his shoulder and then slid her arm to settle around his waist. Head fell to rest on his arm and- aye, this was much better positiining. “I also prefer when they are two in the same.” Her chuckle ended on a sigh and she was wouldn’t have been surprised if he felt her brow lift through the fabric of his shirt. “A couple minutes?” Tone nothing short of suspicious. “Now, my dear Jim, why do I get the feeling you lured me out of bed for a reason?”
Jim wasn’t fidget-y. Not usually, anyway. Tonight, though, he was everywhere but collected in one place. “Because you’re a mind reader tonight and I’m not thinking in lies,” he returned, tone so matter-of-fact as to suggest that this answer was obvious. His cell phone underlit his face with a blueish glow as he pulled it back out of his pockets to check the time again. “And because it’s two reasons. Or one reason and two goals, rather. Should be a minute more.”
Brows lifted at his state, not quite teetering but it wasn’t exactly the firmest of stances. Cold hand slipped into his, stepping down and on, eyes flitting up to his once she was close. “For what, exactly?” She beamed with a knowing grin. Unwrapping her hand from his, she gave a pat to his shoulder before settling down, legs crossed and a blanked arm out stretched. “Best hurry before all the warmth gets out.”
"For this." The words, even when combined with a vague, expansive gesture, didn’t answer the question. "All… this." Whatever it was. Still, he slid under Jolly’s arm (an arrangement that didn’t work half so well when he sat up) and grinned at her, adding. “Knew you preferred my company over sleep. It’s just another couple minutes.”