(2018-10-30) The Pact
After Calvin's "slip" at the Suds n Duds, he and Vic make a pact.
Players:
calvin..vic..

Vic basically told Calvin to pick her up at the office a while before the game on Tuesday, after the disastrous encounter in the Suds n Duds. She was really, really, not happy with what went down there, but she let it go for the night. The PI is standing outside the closed and locked gate over the door to the agency. She told Willow to take the day off as well, so as not to blow Calvin's cover when he shows up.

The lean woman is dressed in jeans and a UCC jersey because of course she has one. It's better than another snarky slogan tee. She has a jacket on over it, and her usual boots, along with her messenger bag. She left the gun locked up in her apartment, because it would just be a pain to get through security with at the stadium. She looks tired, but not terribly hungover for a change. Maybe she quit drinking after the laundromat.

*

Calvin slunk away from Suds n' Duds like a yellow-bellied snake. He does show up at Vic office, just like she asks. Early. He pulls up in his pickup, sits for a moment before heading in. He's dressed like Vic in jeans and a UCC jersey. He adds a black UCC ball cap with it. He comes bearing gifts. A box of vodka chocolates and a…a potted plant. "Hey…" He says, sheepishly. "Here. This is the plant that stands up at night. It's cool for an office…" He clears his throat.

*

Vic has her hands shoved in the front pockets of her jeans as she strolls up to the vehicle, eyes narrowed a bit to make sure it's Calvin and not some random Willow Heights guy trying to pick her up. When she confirms it's him, she unlocks the gate and opens the door. The plant gets a amused look. "What you don't realize is I have managed to kill a cactus. But Willow can probably protect it with her aura of unbelievably annoying good cheer." There's no real malice in her voice regarding her eager assistant at least. She steps inside and gestures for him to set the plant on the desk, while she peruses the chocolates, pondering her opening salvo in this conversation.

"So, how long have you actually been clean, Calvin? Was last night the first slip?" she asks, flicking her gaze in his direction as she sets the box of boozy candy on top of a filing cabinet.

*

"I've been clean exactly 19 months and 8 days. That was my first slip." Calvin answers clearly, meeting her eyes. "God's honest truth. It was this…sudden thing. After the fire, I couldn't really sleep. I would wake up after an hour or two from some nightmare I can't even remember. I was at the store and it was like I went on auto-pilot. I made some calls to old contacts and eventually found that asshole. He wasn't willing to go further than the Suds so I agreed and I was just so desperate that all my good fucking sense flew out the window." He shifts and wraps his arms around hisself. "Afterwards, I went home and called my old sponsor. Now I'm looking for a new one." He sounds angry and defeated here. His eyes shift away.

*

"This is serious, Calvin," Vic says, leaning on the filing cabinet and crossing her arms. "You have a new life, you're writing music again, you have a business and a strong connection with family and your roots again. You're taking care of your brother's husband even. Why would you go and ruin it for some damn drugs? The world needs you in it. They need you sober. I need you sober. How the fuck will I ever get sober if the person I look up to for managing it goes barreling headfirst off the wagon?"

She moves over to him and sets a hand on his shoulder, gently. "Next time you feel that need, you call me. I don't sleep much anyway, and I can sit up with you as long as it takes, all right?" she offers, sincerely. "I know that sounds dumb as shit coming from my alcoholic ass, but I mean it."

*

Calvin shudders at her touch and recoils. He is immediately apologetic. "Sorry, sorry. I don't mind touching I'm just…so angry at myself." He paces away a bit. "You're right! You have told no lies. I'm almost together. I'm with my family. I'm a business owner. I am feeling creative again and I'm getting over my performance anxiety." Beat. "T-That was new. That started up after I was clean for a while. I never got nervous on stage before." He sighs. "I want to tour again. Maybe 2020 if I manage to record an album's worth of material. I'm not pressuring myself though. Anyway, I appreciate the offer. It's always been hard for me to open up to people and this is what happens when I bottle. I use…eventually. So, I'll try opening up." He chuckles. "Dex was the only person who knew everything about me."

*

"I understand that," Vic says quietly. "Evan wasn't just my husband, he was my best friend, my confidant, my lover, everything combined. And when he was suddenly gone and I had no answers for why, that's when I started drinking." She shakes her head. "You remember me in high school? I was the biggest damned goody goody in the entire town I think." She chuckles.

"We just need to find you another way to fight the anxiety and such. Take you out shooting, or a round of golf or something," she offers.

*

Calvin laughs softly. "I suppose I need another outlet. I'm a miserable golfer. I used to play in celebrity charity games for comic relief." He grins. "I could use some time at the range though. My parents finally let me have the combo to my gun safe. Dex had just died and they didn't trust me." He waves a hand. "Anyway, that might help. I'd like to go shooting with you."

*

"I try to go once a week or so, just to keep my skills sharp," Vic admits. "It's also a great way to blow off steam. I thought about taking up boxing but I was pretty sure they'd turn me away with one whiff of booze on my breath," she chuckles. "And I think I saw one of those televised events. And you're right, you are definitely not a born golfer. Ever think of adding to your list of played instruments?" she asks with a smile.

*

"Adding? Oh, I can play almost anything. There's guitar and it's varieties. Bass. Ukulele. Mandolin and Banjo. Then we have piano, organ, and harpsichord. I played percussion in high school so that's drums. Harmonica…I'm forgetting something." Calvin ticked those off on his fingers. "Anyway, I suppose I could work on my classical strings. I never picked up violin or double bass." He pauses a moment. "Trumpet! High school band needed a trumpet and I learned to play in six weeks." He's bragging a little, sure but it makes him smile and puff up a little with pride. "A-Anyway, I think boxing would do you good. But they aren't taking a drinker so…motivation?"

*

Vic snorts. "Not very good motivation. But it's a start. Let's make a pact. If either one of us is feeling like we need to use or drink, we call the other? And the other is gonna do what they can to help them resist that temptation? It'll have to start after Denver though because," she grimaces, "I don't want to get the DTs in the middle of a job. That wouldn't do me or you any good."

*

Calvin considers for a moment. "How about this? When you finish in Denver, I'll get you into one of the swank rapid detox programs up there. You damn near sleep off the DTs. It'll be safe and private. When you are well, you come back here and we will work this together. The old heads used to tell me in rehab that it'll be a life-long struggle and I…I supposed I hoped they'd be wrong. But they aren't. It's fucking hard but if you're ready, we can do this. Deal?" He offers his hand.

*

Vic grimaces, but she nods and slides her hand into Calvin's. "Deal. Now come on, we got a game to get to," she adds with a faint smile. She looks nervous, but is it about rehab or this notadate?

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