Restless Hearts (Closed to Melia)

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by neptune, Jan 20, 2015.

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    Chris Pine || 28-ish || Actor
    Stardom had never been on his list of things to do, and acting had turned out to be a happy, very lucky, accident. Years ago, when he had first started out, and went from audition to audition, selling himself for the most obscure roles, the blonde man would have never thought that his life could be what it currently was. Now, there was a filming schedule, meetings to attend with his agent, a publicist, a personal trainer, flights to catch for late shows and daytime and a weirdly sporadic barrage of paparazzi wanting to take his picture. Chris Pine was not cut out for being in the public eye, it was just a fact and something he had admitted to anyone who would listen on more than several occasions. Success came with a price, but all Chris really wanted to do was sleep.

    One year ago, the mysterious Star Trek reboot hadn't even been on his mind. He had heard rumors about it, vaguely putting faces to names as his agent told him who he could be working with, but his unnaturally blue eyes had been set in a different direction. White Jazz would have been an amazing movie, deep and cutting edge, a film critics wet dream—the exact opposite of green screens and made up space jargon. Chris hadn't wanted to play James T. Kirk and careen across the galaxy with Mister Spock and his bowl cut, fighting aliens or slaying space dragons, or whatever the hell it was the Enterprise crew actually did. He had wanted a homoerotic crime thriller and somehow had it set in his mind that the role would be huge for him. His manager had quickly burst that bubble.

    Unfortunately, White Jazz fell through and Star Trek was more viable, which Chris did his best to see as a sign as he agreed to fill the shoes of William Shatner and join a cast of well-respected and incredibly talented actors. He had been so insecure back then, but he got through it and no one had hated his portrayal of the legendary captain. Fans even liked to tell him that he was okay.

    Just okay, by the way. Not horrible. Good enough.

    The press tour and promotion had taken everything out of him. Chris was outgoing to begin with, but the constant time changes and jet lag had really caught up to him by the time the month was over and he was back home in LA. He wouldn't have to answer the same questions anymore, he wouldn't have to get dressed every day, he could hide away, decompress, turn off the switch that had kept him on for the last four weeks and finally start to relax before he had to go and do it all over again with a different project.

    As soon as he got home, Chris hadn't even made it to his bedroom. He had fallen asleep on the couch, suitcases left by the door, mail piled up in the kitchen, the entire apartment quiet around him as he slept for what felt like days. It was more like twelve hours, and it would have been longer if his phone hadn't rang and filled his head with a deep and pleasantly familiar voice. Zachary Quinto wanted to get coffee and Chris was powerless to say no in his dream-like state, eyes closed, phone balanced on his face and his arms tangled around a throw pillow.


    Tomorrow,” he mumbled. “Noon thirty. Lamill.” Chris hung up after that, or rather, he rolled back over and let his phone fall carelessly to the floor.

    For the rest of the evening and night and well into the morning, Chris slept and slept hard as he let himself readjust to only one timezone. When he opened his eyes again, it was close to twelve, the morning fifteen minutes from being over and he rubbed at his eyes as he felt around for his phone, first with his hands between the cushions of the couch and then lazily with his right foot on the floor. He found it eventually and saw a ridiculous amount of text messages that could be ignored until later, a few emails that would get the same treatment and a voicemail from his sister that he wouldn't listen to before calling her back. Sometimes, Chris was a horrible communicator.

    On the other hand, he had a great memory and even though he had been half asleep when Zach had called to make plans, Chris remembered that he had somewhere to be. With some reluctance, and still feeling jet lagged, the blonde rose from his makeshift bed and padded his way into the bathroom for a shower so that he could look decent enough for the day. Aside from meeting Zach, he had no other plans for himself, which was how he liked it, but Chris never passed up on the opportunity to see his friend. There was just something about the other man and his eyebrows that made Chris happy.

    Less than a half hour later, Chris was out the door. He wore a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt, some of the only things left in his closet since he had yet to unpack and do laundry, but he looked decent enough. The walk to Lamill wasn't that long, which Chris was thankful for since traffic in LA still frustrated him despite living there his whole life. Plus, it was a nice day, sunny and warm and Chris felt more awake as he walked. It felt good to be home.

    Once he reached the coffee house, Chris gave a quick look around for Zach, blue eyes searching for the other man among the lunchtime crowd. Finally, he spotted him over at a table by the window that was bathed in the afternoon sun filtering in. It was distracting and Chris barely noticed that it was his turn to order until the barista behind the counter cleared her throat. He got himself a coffee, dark roasted with cream and double sugar because he didn't feel completely awake yet.


    After Chris had finally gotten his drink, he navigated his way through the other customers and toward Zach. He was already smiling and already ignoring the stupid fluttering thing his stomach sometimes did when he saw his co-star and friend. “Hey,” he greeted him with a tap on the shoulder before sliding into the seat on the other side of the table. “Am I late? I almost overslept.”
    --


    Hope it's okay! Let me know if you need me to change or add.
     
    #1 neptune, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2015
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  2. [​IMG]

    Zachary Quinto || Age 31 || Actor


    Hotel rooms, long flights, short flights, suitcases. These had been Zach's life for the past few months. After awhile, the ceaseless moving around lost it's glamour and became tiring, not to mention the exhaustion of always having to be "on." Zach had learned to master professional behavior, but the constant interaction with others was quite exhausting for someone who had introverted tendencies. Even if he wasn't interacting directly with anyone, he knew there were millions of eyes watching him through their televisions or computer screens, courtesy of the cameras that never ceased to follow him around.

    He was home now though, or at least, he was at one of his homes. LA still felt like a temporary residence to him as compared to his home in Pennsylvania, but wasn't that always the case when it came to where family resided? However, career wise, L.A. was where everything was at and it would be foolish to be away from it. Like any career driven person, when the job asked you to transfer, you did, and generally it came with great benefit to you, salary wise. It wasn't much different when it came to acting either and Zach was fairly ambitious when it came to his career. There were still some actors in the business that he marveled at their dedication and drive, yet he couldn't help but feel that while those actors were wildly successful, Zach preferred to have at least some balance between work and life. It didn't feel like he had much of that in these last few months.

    Tired as he was, Zach still made the effort to at least throw in a load of laundry before heading to bed. The housekeeper had done well in keeping the house clean and comfortable and for that he was supremely grateful. The last thing he needed was to come home to a too warm flat and an unmade bed. He always felt grimy after flying and so he took a quick shower and headed to bed, falling asleep almost instantly, not to be awoken until his alarm went off at eight am.

    It had been hard to get up in the morning, to be sure. Jet lag was a thing that was real, but was also a thing that must be contended with. The sooner he could work himself back into his daily schedule and routine, the better off he would be. He had no real plans at this time outside of picking up Noah and Harold at the boarding kennels, laundry and catching up on emails. Today was a day for just Zach.

    ...

    Except, by the time the day was half over, Zach felt like he was going mad. It was unusual for him to feel restless on his first day off from tours, but today was quite different. Noah and Harold were obviously happy to have him back home, and were constantly vying for his attention. So much so that Zach was struggling to get his laundry done because Harold insisted in sitting in the basket, while Noah couldn't sit still long enough to not jump in Zach's lap and lick his face. Zach was happy to see them, and generally they were more than enough company for him, but surprisingly, he found himself wishing for human company already. But not just any human company, only the company of one.

    He and Chris had gotten quite close throughout the filming of Star Trek and closer still on the grand tour of interviews. Zach realized that he missed seeing Chris every day and he was going to do something about that. Giving up on his laundry temporarily, Zach found Noah's leash and clipped it to the hyperactive mutt's collar. It would be his second walk of the day already, but it would hopefully get some of Noah's pent up energy out, and it gave Chris the opportunity to call Chris while he was out.

    The sleepy voice on the other end of the line made Zach smile despite himself. Of course Chris would be sleeping his day away. He didn't know how many times he had lectured the blond about the importance of getting back on schedule when it came to jet lag but Chris just never listened. Zach generally found himself adjusted within the first two days. While it seemed like Chris struggled for a week. Zach couldn't help but roll his eyes good-naturedly as the very short conversation ended. It was probably a good thing he had called. Chris might never drag himself out of bed without a motive to do so. Coffee tomorrow at 12:30 theoretically gave Chris about 36 hours of sleep. If the other man wasn't functional by then, Zach would have to intervene. For Chris' health. He might forget to eat. Or do his laundry. Or Zach was making excuses to see his friend.

    Knowing the coffee date was set up, unfortunately, did not help Zach's day progress any faster. But by the time early evening rolled around, Zach could hardly stay awake, and so he called it an early night, cuddled up with Noah and Harold, and didn't set an alarm.

    ---

    Zach's method of quickly overcoming jet lag proved successful. Despite not having set an alarm, he naturally found himself awake at 8:43 am. After a shower, light breakfast of toast and jam, and a long walk for Noah, Zach leisurely made his way to Lamill, a hip, modern coffee shop that had the best lattes. Which was of course what he ordered. A double soy latte with nutmeg sprinkled on top, to be exact. He was early but he wasn't worried about it. The coffee shop was busy, as usual, but he had managed to get a table by the window and was enjoying people watching as he sipped his coffee. To Zach's surprise, Chris arrived right on time, and he could feel his stomach do a little flip when the blond tapped his shoulder. Those brilliant blue eyes always seemed to take him by surprise.

    Making a show of checking his watch, Zach replied dryly, "Shockingly, no. Thirty six hours of sleep not enough for you?"

    (omg i hope this is okay uwu)
     
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  3. Most people, himself included at one point in time, probably would have been put off by sarcasm so early in the day. However, Chris had come to enjoy snark personified the more he got to know Zach, and even if he did have to put up with a little teasing, it was usually worth it. “You know I'm useless without a solid forty-eight,” he replied, laughing, although somewhat serious. After a month of being carted to and from and all around the world, Chris hadn't wanted to take Zach's advice on how to sleep once they got back home. He preferred his own methods; crashing on the couch for nearly two days and ignoring the outside world for as long as possible. If it hadn't been for his dark-haired friend calling for coffee, Chris would have still been asleep.

    Popping the top off of his drink, Chris set the plastic lid aside and waved his hand over the wafting steam. “I'm surprised you called me already. I figured one month of being stuck with me would have been enough for you,” he said and chanced a sip of his coffee—still too hot. He set the cup back down and leaned with his elbow on the table, chin in his palm as he looked at Zach. Even though they had been subjected to one another for an extended period of time by the studio, Chris felt strange suddenly not seeing the unique-looking face of the other man every day. Adjusting back into a life without Star Trek was going to be a little rough.

    The project had more or less consumed his life since Chris had signed the contract. If it wasn't table readings in the beginning, it was costume fittings, and make up testing and suddenly not running into any Romulan's or Vulcan's throughout the day made the blonde a bit depressed. While he doubted that Zach shared the same sentiment, more than likely thinking of work as just work and not a second home, it was nice to know that he had been missed so soon. There was something between them, a connection that ran a little deeper than the friendships Chris had made with Zoe or Karl. Zach got him yelled at all the time, talked to about how not to be, belittled every time they were too close.

    It was worth it to Chris.

    Did you pick up Noah and Harold already?” Chris asked, trying his coffee again. It was a little more bearable, nicely sweet and hopefully enough to shake off the last few hours of jet lag. Zach's pets were some of Chris's favorite animals and that had nothing to do with him not having any of his own. He took every opportunity he had to see them.
     
  4. "It's a good thing I called when I did. You might have wasted away," Zach kidded, taking another sip of his latte, the frothy liquid sticking to his upper lip. He licked it away and gazed at Chris. Zach wouldn't admit that he had already missed Chris' constant presence. In fact, getting to know Chris was probably his favorite part of working on Star Trek. Though working closely with Leonard Nimoy had been a legendary experience as well, and if anyone asked that was always the answer he gave. Playing the character of Spock required him to fill quite some large shoes, as well as make personal sacrifices to his appearance. Zach was just glad his eyebrows were back to normal again. Not that it had taken very long for them to grow in. Suffice to say, hair growth had never been an issue for the brunet.

    Zach found it unnecessary to answer Chris' question as to why he had called so soon and moved on to the topic of his pets. "Noah has been positively bouncing off the walls since I picked him up at the kennel yesterday. He's got all the space to run in the world at that place but he's pretty happy to be home. Harold's been fairly indifferent. I think he's pissed that he had to stay at that horrid place for such a long time. How very beneath him. He thinks the kennel is for peasants." Zach would invite Chris over to visit the animals, since he knew the blond liked them so much, but he felt fairly confident that he wouldn't have to, and Chris would invite himself.
     
  5. Yeah, no kidding,” Chris chuckled. “I owe you.” Normally, the blonde would have been quick to make some kind of retort about Zach's sleeping habits, how not everyone was a freak of nature and could wake up at eight in the morning after flying back from halfway around the world—but Chris was a little distracted. That bit of foam on his friend's upper lip was annoyingly tempting, and Chris licked his lips as he leaned back in his seat, physically putting as much distance as he could between himself and Zach. Unfortunately for Chris, he had started to notice more and more little things about the other man, things no friend should have noticed because they shouldn't have looked hard enough. Had his agent been lurking around somewhere, Chris was sure he would have gotten yet another lecture.

    All thoughts of potentially ruining his career were soon gone as Zach talked about his pets. Chris found himself smiling, grinning widely as Harold revealed himself to be the most cat-like cat in existence. “He's probably mad that you made him stay there. I think it's time you give him to me, we'll share custody.” Chris had already decided that if Zach had nothing else to do that day, he was going to invite himself over for the rest of the afternoon to spend time time with the animals. “How does Tuesday's, Thursday's and every other weekend work for you?”

    Reaching for his coffee once more, Chris took another drink. He could feel the caffeine starting to work its magic on him, and the blond was finally back to feeling like himself. Chris was truly glad that the press tour had come to an end, because he was very unsure of whether or not he could have tolerated another night in a hotel.
     
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  6. It seemed odd to Zach that Chris wasn't biting him back with some sort of witty retort on the sleeping thing, but he didn't pay it much mind. There was no need to read deeper into some things. However, wit and sarcasm were all strengths of Zach's and he responded to Chris without missing a beat.

    "Custody suggests we've been through a divorce, Christopher. While I realize we haven't seen each other in over 24 hours, I hardly think that's grounds for such a break up and I would have appreciated some forewarning before we get into custody battles. Besides, we have to think of what's best for the children. Change is hard for them. Particularly Harold."

    Zach's tone was dry and his expression completely serious. Anyone nearby who might have jumped in on the conversation and didn't know Zach or Chris might have taken the whole thing as a bizarre bit of couple drama.

    "I can't believe you're springing this on me like that," Zach said, the tiniest hint of drama in his tone. He stood up and walked back to the counter to get himself another drink. Tea, for a more subdued energy boost. He returned after a few moments and sat back at the table with a grin.

    "No way."
     
  7. Had a normal person been walking by and eavesdropping, they probably would have thought that he and Zach were once in a serious relationship and were currently fighting over a child. This was the type of thing that his agent had warned him about, getting too close to Zach in public and having people assume the wrong things. All it took was some jerk off with a camera phone and a little bit of stealth and there would be rumors all over the place. It was bad enough that the paparazzi sometimes sat outside his apartment building—Chris didn't need more ridiculousness added to his life over a cup of coffee.

    I hate to break it to you, peaches, but Harold doesn't even like staying with you. He told me himself,” Chris said, choosing to go against his own instinct and carry on with the banter. It was a hard habit to break as there had been so much of it on set. The only difference now was that Zoe or Karl wasn't there as a buffer, and Chris had just called Zach fucking peaches of all things, and it certainly didn't have anything to do with watching the other man walk away just moments before.

    Another swallow of coffee kept his mouth temporarily busy. “Anyway, I'll see you in court. Harold is mine. Noah too,” he smirked.
     
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  8. Of all the insults, nicknames, and terms of endearment in the world, Zach had to admit that "Peaches" sat at the bottom of the list of things he expected anyone to call him. The term coming from of Chris' mouth nearly made Zach spit his tea back into it's cup. Lord.

    Zach feigned a shocked hurt. "Why would you say that?" He shook his head, a piece of his meticulously styled hair falling over his forehead. "You know how important Harold is to me. You know all the right buttons to push. Consider this divorce final. You can't take my babies." He smiled behind his cup at the eternally playful face across from him. It was rare that one should be around Chris for any period of time without finding themselves laughing. The combination of his boyish good looks and his carefree sense of humor made him all the more attractive company, and very much the reason that Zach had missed him and wanted to see him so soon after their break had started.

    "I can tell you're not thinking about them, only about how you can hurt me. How you can win," Zach waxed dramatic, a pout playing on his lips, heavy eyebrows furrowing and his voice growing more and more camp the longer this play argument continued. If he wasn't careful, he might start flicking his wrists and throwing out his shoulders and while that was perfectly fine, it might draw a bit of unwanted attention.
     
  9. Whenever he was alone with Zach, Chris found himself laughing. It was hard to be serious around the other man, even if he was the most sarcastic person that he had met in recent years. There was a chemistry between them, something that translated very well on screen but even better when it was just the two of them, joking with each other, sharing stories. Despite Zach's sharp-edged personality, Chris and all of his vulnerable soft spots had been drawn in from the very moment they had been introduced. It had been, although the blond would never admit such a thing, the most frightening moment of his entire life.

    Don't be ridiculous,” Chris spat, putting some effort into things after Zach had upped the drama. “This about the children and I am thinking of what's best for them, which is why I'm taking them and moving to...” he paused for dramatic effect and to take another drink of his coffee, “Scottsdale.” Because it was probably the most miserable and boring place he could think of, and that seemed like the sort of thing an angry, spiteful parent would do. If only everyone who had ever teased him about the fucking Princess Diaries 2 could see him now.

    Chris wanted to reach out and slick back that stray piece of hair now that Zach's terrible Spock bowl cut had grown out, but that was probably the worst idea he'd had all year. “Anyway, I'm selling the house and my new girlfriend is half your age. Don't get too drunk when you're by yourself when you're alone on Christmas this year.” Laughing at himself, Chris shook his head. “That was probably too dark. I ruined it,” he focused his blue eyes back on his friend, still smiling. “Really, though. I'm seeing Noah and Harold today. Don't try and stop me.”
     
  10. Zach took a sip of his tea. "Remind me to never marry you. You'd be a really miserable husband. And Scottsdale? Seriously? You wouldn't last a day. Can't decide though..." he mused, looking thoughtfully at Chris. "Either you would leave right away, or you might merge in with the retired folks and next I'd see you you'd be wearing one of those funny caps and a sweater vest heading out to play your next round of golf."

    Zach pushed his hair back over his forehead, generally preferring it pushed back and out of his face, than in his face. To be honest the Spock haircut had driven him mad. Thank goodness when his hair was pushed back, even in that ridiculous bowl cut, it could pass for normal even though his eyebrows, unfortunately, could not.

    "I figured you'd be by to see them. I'm actually surprised you even said anything at all. I kind of expect it at this point. They love you though. I'm sure they've missed you plenty."
     
  11. You'd marry the hell out of me,” Chris laughed, smirking as Zach spoke of how his imaginary life in Scottsdale would play out. “And I look great in a sweater vest, by the way.” He was also a halfway decent golfer, but that was neither here nor there. The blond had no interest in Scottsdale, or its retirees, or golf, or the funny hats that people wore out that way. Scottsdale was not California, and Chris had no interest in being anywhere that wasn't Los Angeles.

    Now that their banter had temporarily died off, Chris went back to his coffee and tried not to watch as Zach fixed his hair. It was hard not to imagine his fingers in those dark locks, petting, tugging... Suddenly, Chris understood what a pain in the ass he must have been to the people who managed his career. If he was just now catching himself, maybe each of those lectures in the past had been justified. Chris was really bad at being in the closet—terribly, laughably bad—but it had never been that much of a problem until Star Trek brought him Zachary Quinto.

    Chris was already prepared to leave, ready to be on his way to Zach's animals, but he had a little more patience than just getting up and bolting down the street. “Of course they missed me. I feed them table food and don't mind petting them for hours on end,” he explained, chuckling. He was close to being finished with his coffee, and the caffeine had done wonders to fully wake him up. For the first time since being back home, Chris finally felt like himself.
     
  12. Not that Zach had ever really given a relationship with Chris any sort of thought, hearing the other man say it out loud, even in jest, made his stomach flip just a little bit. Which was silly. Because the whole idea was utterly ridiculous. Chris didn't and wouldn't ever feel that way about him. And it was unfortunate really, that he could perfectly imagine Chris in a sweater vest. And he didn't look half bad.

    Zach pursed his lips momentarily and went back to his tea. "You know I don't approve of you feeding them table scraps. You leave and they start begging me and it takes me days to get them to knock it off, and then you show up again and I have to start all over. Harold keeps jumping up on the table now. I know he's doing it when I'm not home too. The little shit."

    Zach finished up his tea, always rather too the point with his beverages. "Shall we, then?" he asked, standing up and pushing his chair under the high topped table.
     
  13. With one last tip of his cup, Chris had finished his coffee just in time to listen to Zach lecture him about the way he spoiled Noah and Harold. The blond couldn't help but laugh and the vicious cycle that he had created for his rigid friend, and Chris didn't feel the slightest bit guilty about making Zach's pets just a little bit chunky. “You know I can't help it,” Chris said, tying to seriously defend his actions despite his laughter, “we get food, they look at me and hover and Noah makes that noise! You should be happy I don't feed them more than I do.” Although there was that one time that he and Zach had gotten incredibly high and Noah ended up stealing Chris's burger from the kitchen table—that one he actually was sorry about.

    And anyway,” he went on, wordlessly agreeing to leave when Zach stood, “you should give them more treats and they wouldn't beg me for food when I'm there.” He pushed in his chair with the side of his foot, causing the legs to make that horrible scraping sound against the floor. No one in the cafe seemed to notice, and Chris looked the most oblivious to the noise as he tossed his coffee cup in the trash on the way out of the Lamill.

    Once they were back outside, Chris slid on his sunglasses and turned to Zach. “Did you drive?” he asked. He sort of hoped that Zach had walked too because it was a nice day out, and after being cramped in cars and hotel rooms for the last four weeks, Chris really wanted to enjoy the sun.
     
    #13 neptune, Feb 1, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  14. Being away for almost a month had helped Zach's pets lose some weight, thankfully, but he was quite sure they would be back to their old ways with Chris a more prominent member in the flat. While they had discussed Chris coming over only this one day, Zach felt sure it had been an unspoken agreement that he could come over whenever he pleased. At least, that was likely the way that Chris took it. Zach could be prepared for Chris to show up unannounced at all hours of the day and night as if he lived there. Zach debated whether he should give Chris a spare key. But that would be like completely giving up any control he had over the situation, though he had to admit he had already accepted his fate.

    As the pair left the cafe, Zach hung a left, leading the way down the sidewalk. "Of course I walked. We've been cooped up in hotels and airplanes and in strange places for the last month. It feels great to just take it easy. It feels like a breath of fresh air. Not that LA is particularly famous for it's fresh air. Metaphorical fresh air."

    Truthfully, the sun felt positively amazing, and while LA didn't have the cleanest air, it still beat the stuffiness of indoors, and especially the horrible air that always seemed to circulate airplanes, riddled with bacteria and germs and lord knew what else. Zach always felt like he needed a shower after a plane ride, and even more like he needed to stick his head inside a personal terrarium.

    Zach didn't live too terribly far from Lamill, but the walk was long enough for it to qualify as exercise, provided one walked fast enough. "You know, having a girlfriend half my age would totally make you a pedophile. Fifteen and a half years old. You sick bastard."
     
  15. Chris was more than happy to walk, and followed Zach's lead to the left after exiting the coffee shop. The route to the other man's place was a familiar one, whether it be by foot or car, Chris probably could have gotten there with his eyes closed. Over the course of their friendship, the blond man had taken to just showing up at Zach's place—mostly at an acceptable hour, but sometimes very late at night after he'd gone out drinking with his friends, or was just bored and couldn't sleep. Always being welcomed with open arms was something that Chris had gotten very used to, and it was to the point where Zach started to feel like home to him.

    Metaphorical or not, it's better than being stuck in an airport, or on a plane, or in a hotel, or...” he trailed off and sighed heavily, running a hand through his still too-blond-Kirk hair. “It's good to be back after everything,” he finally decided.

    For the next few minutes they walked in silence, which Chris didn't mind very much and the distance between Lamill and Zach's place wasn't very far. He couldn't help but laugh out loud when Zach mentioned the age discrepancy of his imaginary girlfriend. “Fuck,” he laughed, embarrassed as he shook his head at himself. Math had never been his thing, hence the reason for being an actor. “I think the proper term is ephebophile, number one.” Because he didn't have an English degree for nothing, “and number two, I thought you were like, thirty-five. Half of that has to be eighteen.”

    Again, not so good with the math.
     
  16. "The saying goes that if you are strong in grammar you are weak in math," Zach muttered under his breath with an exaggerated eye roll. Not that his birthday was ever anything he expected anyone to remember, because it was more or less just another day. Besides, who ever wanted to focus on the fact that they were getting older? In the world of acting, that often meant less relevance. Not that it had to, not if you played your cards right. Not that Zach was anywhere near the age where that even needed to be a concern.

    Zach's thoughts had strayed from the conversation, which had fallen into a quiet lull as Zach imagined Chris was trying to do math in his head. He made it seem painful. "Your 18 year old girlfriend would make me 36," he offered, not wanting Chris to suffer more than he needed to, though a small part of him, an evil part of him, wanted to take just a touch of joy in watching the blond struggle. There was a reason he'd been chosen to play Syler, after all. Besides his eyebrows. "I guess I'm looking pretty good for 36."

    As the pair approached Zach's apartment, the brunet dug in his pockets for his keys, his cellphone beginning to buzz. He sighed, letting it go to voicemail. It was too soon to be bothered just yet. Harold and Noah must have heard the pair of them in the hall, because Noah could be heard barking, and there was a black paw sticking out from under the door.

    "He doesn't even do that for me, when I'm coming home," Zach bemoaned.
     
  17. That explained quite a bit. Chris had been abysmal at math, so inept that he didn't even know how to work a cash register, and had once been accused of stealing over three thousand dollars from an odd job at a bakery when the sad reality was that he simply hadn't known how to give correct change. Needless to say, he was promptly fired, but it only went to prove that majoring in English had been the right choice for him.

    Whatever, I was one year off,” Chris said and dismissively waved his hand through the air. Of course, he knew that Zach wasn't thirty-six, or even close to it. He knew the other man's birthday and had even gotten him a present. Chris cared about his friends, and had always been very naturally giving with his time and energy. When it came to reciprocation, the blond man couldn't say that Zach felt the same. He didn't know if Zach knew when his birthday was, or how old he actually was, or what he would even want for a gift. Chris cycled between being completely sure of himself and where he stood with Zach and having not having the first fucking clue.

    When they arrived back at Zach's place, Chris grinned when he saw Harold's little black paw peeking out from underneath the door. He could hear Noah too, jumping and woofing excitedly. “He senses me,” Chris laughed, always enjoying that Harold actually liked him when he more or less ignored everyone else who wasn't Zach. “I'm telling you, he wants to live with me. Accept it.” With his elbow, Chris gave Zach a little nudge in the side and waited patiently for the door to be unlocked and opened.

    It was barely cracked before Noah came bounding out and Chris was caught halfway in the apartment and the hall. He accepted the large mutt's affections with a grin and was quick to rub his hands over Noah's shaggy ears and head, and laughed through the many excited kisses while saying hello. Dogs were Chris's favorite, and many people seemed to think they shared a lot of the same qualities. “I missed you too, buddy!” Chris said and gave Noah a few more pets before the dog wandered off, probably to get one of his toys. The blond took the opportunity to actually get inside and he promptly scooped up Harold. The grumpy cat meowed at him, but was soon purring as Chris scratched at his ears.
     
  18. Zach let Chris spend some alone time with the animals while he went to switch over another load of laundry. He was already almost done with the piles that had built up from traveling, which was a good feeling. He knew Chris had probably not even started. As usual, his apartment was spotless.
    The place wasn't particularly huge, though he had awarded himself slightly more than the necessary space simply for Noah. He kept it the place decorated with dark grained wood and dark leather furniture. Though the furniture hadn't taken terribly well to the animal's claws, it was still significantly easier to take care of than fabric was. And regardless of whether he had a fabric sofa or a leather one, Harold flat out refused to use his scratching posts. Such fine taste the cat had in his primping rituals.

    Hardwood floors had also been a must for Zach, the thought of the vacuuming requirements with pets and carpeting far more work than he ever was willing to do. Or rather, had time to do. No plants, not because he didn't like them, but because he was away far too often for it to be feasible to keep the poor things alive.

    Once Zach had finished folding a load of laundry, he returned to the living room and made himself at home on the couch and picked his next script for Heroes. His character was not largely in this particular episode, so he had littleor to work on, but he always liked to be prepared. Filming wasn't for a few days, but if he felt in the least bit unprepared, he felt like a failure.
     
  19. Chris had always liked Zach's apartment. It was so much different from his own with the dark wooden floors, the scratched leather furniture that wasn't the slightest bit comfortable, and the overall neatness of the place that always made the blond anxious to have a drink without carrying a coaster around with him. Still, the place was inviting, very Zach, very easy to waste an afternoon in. Their short yet ever-developing friendship had already left Chris with happy memories of the apartment, nights spent on the couch watching a film, running through lines in funny accents, and that one time that Chris had fallen asleep on Zach's shoulder after a particularly late night on set where afterward, he just hadn't felt like trying to make it back home.

    After Chris had reacquainted himself with the animals, he kept hold of Harold as he moved into the living room and sat with Zach on the couch. “New project?” he asked, petting the grumpy cat in his arms as he tried to see the front page of the script in his friend's hand. Chris also had work to do. Carriers was set to start filming within the next two weeks and after that, there was another script sitting in his kitchen, full of lines that needed to be memorized, along with a song that had to be pre-recorded at some point. There was even talk of him getting a part alongside Denzel Washington, which was really exciting for him.

    Work was always calling his name, and it was lucky for Chris that he liked what he did. The only consequence of working so much was that his personal life tended to suffer for it. Before Star Trek had even wrapped, his last relationship had fallen apart right before his very eyes. And as messy as his love life was, his apartment currently matched it—there was unfolded laundry sitting in his bedroom from weeks ago, a growing pile of junk mail in his kitchen, a living room that was in need of a serious dusting and one very old lime that was currently the sole occupant of the refrigerator's vegetable crisper. Chris could have taken care of all of these things, cleaned up and acted like an adult, but he was having a much better time doing nothing at all with Zach.
     
  20. Star Trek had paid more than enough to foot Zach's bills for two homes on opposite sides of the country, as well as his parents, for many years to come. Zach saw no real reason to pick up any more big projects for the time being after such intense touring. Heroes provided plenty for him to do in the mean time, and he might be interested in picking up some more artistic ventures along the way, if he came across something that interested him. He had that freedom now, which felt nice.

    "Nah, just Heroes stuff. They've started fleshing out Sylar a bit more, which is a nice change from the one dimensional psycho killer. Not sure the show is going to get renewed for another season though." He shrugged. The show had started with massively high reviews in the first season, rising in mighty popularity across the country. Viewings started dropping off after season two and season three. Zach couldn't say he was particularly surprised over the ordeal. There were promises of the show returning back to it's roots for season four though. Of course, Zach never really knew what the final outcome would be. He, like everyone else, never knew what the writers and producers had in mind for the final product. Often, he knew almost as much as the viewers when it came to how everything would be pieced together. The full story coming out when the episode aired. But it was always that way with most shows and movies. However, Zach felt he had a pretty good grip on who Sylar was as a character at this point, so familiar with him that slipping into Sylar mode was as easy as the snap of a finger. The accompanying lines were only a tool to give his character's story direction. He no longer had to work or think about how Sylar would feel about this, or what he would about that. At this point, it was simply memorizing lines.

    "You thinking about any projects yet?"
     
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