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He poured the tea and tried to guess the easiest way to the living room. Through the hallway or- no, not the hall way, not on a Tuesday. Up the stairs, into the garden and through the bedroom then.

Door was a good friend, but Richard sometimes thought he should have looked for a place to stay on his own. "Milk? Sugar?"

"Milk, no sugar," Adam called back. His voice echoed strangely through the house. "Where did you say the book was?"

"In the bookshelf, near the..." Richard stopped trying to explain when he realised his voice wasn't carrying through the house anymore. He picked up the tray, stuck a packet of ginger biscuits on it and headed out.

"It's on the book shelf behind the... Adam?"

Adam was standing in front of the mantelpiece where Richard kept what he thought of as souvenirs. A recipe from the Shepherds he would never try. Serpantine's hangover cure, or possibly poison. One of Islington's wine glasses.

Adam picked up the glass.

"Wine from Atlantis," he said. He held the glass with both hands, reverentially. Brought it up to his face and breathed in what was left of the smell. "I didn't think I'd--"

"You knew Islington?" Richard said. He put the tray down and wished these things didn't always happen and that he hadn't left his knife in his coat.

"The angel? Yes, I met him once, a long time ago." Adam's expression changed into a mixture of grief and rage. His fingers tightened around the glass and Richard wasn't surprised when he threw it against a wall. The last dregs of wine lit up the broken pieces like sunlight on ice. The sound of it smashing hung in the air for a long moment.

"Sorry," Adam said. He didn't sound it, but Richard liked pointless niceties a lot more than he had before.

"It's fine," he said. He opened his mouth to ask-- what, or why, and changed his mind. "Ginger biscuit?"


I did not write this as I was expecting to write this, before I started.


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June 2017

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