Title: Reflections From A Balcony (1/1)
Series: 100 Original Fics
Character: Fox Maharassa
Prompt: 060 - Drink
Spoilers: post FH strips
Summary: The 4th of Fox's articles/blog posts about his birthday trip to Hawaii.
Word Count: 1247
Date First Posted: 15-06-12
Date Revised: -
Feedback: always welcome, as is constructive criticism.
Also Archived At: LJ
Reflections From A Balcony
Or 'If You're Going To Make A Drink, Better Make Two'.
By Fox Maharassa
With a greasy breakfast in my belly, a full refrigerator, an outdoor deck facing water and a precariously balanced laptop, I write to you overlooking the beautiful western coastline of Maui.
It takes us very little time to find our accommodation in Kihei. The cottage we were promised is surprisingly better than advertised, in essence being less like a cottage and more like a two-storey townhouse.
There's an open, airy atmosphere to place, and yet it doesn't feel sterile. It feels homey, and lived in.
I can get used to this.
I pack the groceries and supplies away while Collin unloads the car. It's all we can do to get those important jobs out of the way; the desire to explore this residence is chafing at us both.
With a mindset already entrenched in 'vacation-mode', particularly after the harrowing travel, Collin mixes himself a potent, vodka-based alcoholic concoction from the supplies -- his solution to a hangover being 'keep drinking' -- and we begin our exploration.
With square footage probably just shy of our old apartment, it seems suddenly strange when we've just become accustomed to the spaciousness our new house affords us.
Still, oceanfront. Hawaii. Free. We forbear.
The place is set up for a couple; two chairs at the dining table, two-seater sofa, two bedrooms. Cosy kitchen, laundry, dining, bathroom. There is a small back garden that looks like it must get tended on a fairly regular basis, and a winding path that leads to the beach.
It's not until we get upstairs that this place shows us its moxie.
Upstairs is devoted purely to a master bedroom, and a tiled bathroom including a spa bath. Bliss.
I don't have a problem admitting that I jumped into the spa. Just to test its size, of course. And like everything in this amazing residence, built for two. Insert suggestive eyebrow waggling here.
It doesn't take me all that long to realise I've lost Collin. He's not in the master bedroom or walk-in robe, but I wasn't a reporter for years for nothing; I have investigative skills honed to a keenly sharp point.
That and there's a glass door behind blinds that's slightly ajar.
I push past the blinds and find Collin on a balcony facing the water. From this, the glorious second floor, the view of the beach is unobstructed by the line of trees on the ground floor that are there for privacy.
There are two red and white striped deck chairs facing the water, with a small table between them. Collin looks pleased, and I'm just flat-out bamboozled.
Tully, amazing editor that you are, please consider this a formal request for any jobs going that require a correspondent based in Hawaii. I'm completely available.
"This is--" I start to say before I break off, not knowing how to finish. That doesn't normally happen.
"Yeah," Collin answers, a somewhat smug smile on his face. That smug can't hide his burgeoning amazement at where we've found ourselves, however.
The deck chairs are just begging for our exact posterior dents in them, and we hate to disappoint. We park our butts in the respective chairs, and simultaneously let out huge sighs. We've made it.
It's a time for much-earned rest and quiet reflection, but somehow, I just can't keep my reflections all that quiet.
"Some view, huh Boss?" I ask Collin.
He mumbles in approval, and pulls his sunglasses off his head to cover his eyes.
"This is amazing. I mean, I'd always wanted to come here, and always knew it would be beautiful, but the scope of it somehow completely eluded me."
"'Eluded'," Collin snorts. He's always amused when I use my considerable vocabulary in speech and not the written word.
Normally this would start a rather puerile argument, culminating in perhaps a few 'yo mamma' jokes and some manly wrestling, but today is different.
I shift in the chair a little. "No, really. I don't think I've ever seen water so blue, trees so green..." I close my eyes and take a deep lungful of fresh air. "There's no smog and fumes, just salt and sea. I can hear the waves against the shore, and seagulls squawking at each other, the rustle of palms in the breeze... it's paradise."
You know I'm enraptured with something when I start to talk like I write.
"We're going to have to do something for your boss to say 'thank you'," I muse.
"That'd be nice," Collin yawns, "though it might be as simple as not knocking back the next trip interstate when he needs me for work. He was pretty understanding then, too."
Ah, the trip.
There had been a time some six months ago where Collin's boss was taking a trip to Vermont for a particular press junket, but it had coincided with possibly the roughest patch in our reconciliation to date. Neck-deep in counselling, and at each other's throats, I told him that if he went on the trip he'd be running away from his personal obligations to fulfil work ones, much in the way I'd done for the last few years.
I'm not proud of the snide comparison, and I half-expected him to go anyway just to spite me, but he didn't. He explained to his boss that he very much needed to work from home for this one. It was a risky move; having been so new to his position, he could've just been fired.
But he wasn't, and him staying showed me a little better how to prioritise between work and home. Humble pie is not particularly tasty, but I needed a huge slice. This served as a rather important turning point in our resolution, and thankfully since then, we've never dipped quite so low as that again.
"You're right," I answer. Thinking back on the harder times makes me consider everything we've done that's led up to this point.
"I'm really glad we're here. Not just in Hawaii, but... here. Together." I can't help but chuckle a little. "Wasn't sure we'd make it for a while, but I never actually stopped hoping that we would. It's nice not to be wrong about this stuff for a change, y'know?
"There were plenty of times when I think we both got stuff wrong, a lot of the time without even realising it. I feel like we're both better at recognising that now. And while that won't completely stop us from getting it wrong, it'll help us fix it straight away, and not let things fester and turn bad.
"What do you think?" I half-turn towards Collin, and he's still in the same position he was when last I looked. "Collin?" I reach over and tentatively poke him in the arm, for him to respond with a quiet snore.
Isn't it always the way that the likelihood of someone falling asleep out of exhaustion in a conversation increases exponentially when the information is of an important nature?
It's been a long day already, and he had a pretty crappy plane ride, so I understand. I flick through all the things I should do as a response to this, but one idea keeps floating to the surface, so I go with my gut.
I take my shirt off and drink his drink.
Hooray for responsibility, now I'll finish this article before the words start blurring too badly.