Heavy boots on the stairs sent Danny to his door, peering through his peephole to try and get a glimpse of who was coming up the stairs. When he saw a very familiar tattooed arm go past, he undid the locks and pulled the door open, calling out to Jax just as he was opening the door to his apartment.
“Hey,” Jax called back as he turned around.
“Can I talk to you a minute?”
“Sure, hang on one sec,” Jax replied, opened his door and set the bag he was carrying and his backpack inside his apartment, then closed the door and locked it back before joining Danny in his doorway.
“What’s going on?”
Danny gave him a hesitant smile. “I just wanted to say I was sorry.”
Jax frowned as he tried to figure out what Danny could possibly be sorry about. “Okay, what for?”
Now it was Danny’s turn to be thrown and he found himself blinking as he fumbled to put together the right words.
“I didn’t mean to offend anyone with that remark about drinking,” Danny explained. “It’s just that after Sean, I’m not really feeling very comfortable around alcohol.”
“Understandable, and for the record, no one was offended.”
Danny’s face flushed and found himself feeling a bit stupid for how much he’d obsessed about the entire incident. “Oh.”
“So how’s the play coming along?”
“Slowly,” Danny had to admit as Jax leaned against the wall, crossing his legs and seeming to get comfortable there. “I’d hoped to be finished writing the new one before it was time to start rehearsals on the one I’d finished workshoping but it isn’t working out the way I had planned.”
“Why not? Too busy to write?”
“More like hating everything I’ve been writing. I know where I want the story to go, I just can’t seem to get it there.”
Jax was quiet for a moment, chewing his bottom lip the way Danny usually found himself chewing on the end of a pen.
“Maybe that’s your problem.”
Danny frowned. “I don’t follow you.”
“What I mean is that you’re trying to get the story to go someplace instead of just allowing it to go there.”
Upon hearing that, Danny’s spine went rigid, his arms crossed and he almost seemed to bristle. The fact that Jax not only noticed that he struck a nerve, but actually had the nerve to chuckle about it just made Danny frown more.
“Relax,” Jax said, grinning, “And by the way, you just proved my point.”
“Well maybe if you explained your point better, it would be easier to understand,” Danny grumbled.
“Okay, answer me this, where do you write?”
“Here, I’ve got a nice view out the window and all the tea I could ever want.”
“Which sounds boring as hell,” Jax pointed out. “Look, I’m not a writer, but I’ve spent enough time with creative people to know that you have to go out and live life, experience shit in order to be able to sit down and actually get words or images to flow on paper.”
“So now you’re saying I’m boring.”
“Nope, you are, I just said it had to be boring sitting around here all the time. Maybe your struggling with your play because you’ve been pushing so hard to force yourself to get it done. Maybe what you need is a day away from it, and here.”
“So I should, what, go wander around aimlessly? See a movie? Visit a museum?” Danny tossed out there, beginning to ponder whether Jax could actually be on to something. It had been awhile since he’d done much of anything besides work on his plays and put up with Sean.
“Well,” Jax said, the grin on his face stretching just a little bit more. “I’m off tomorrow, you could always show me around the city.”
The suggestion completely threw Danny for a loop, for a moment, then he quickly nodded. “I can do that. Maybe you’re right, it might be good for me.”
“And even if it doesn’t work, at least you’ll be doing a good deed and keeping me from wandering around aimlessly getting lost. I have a horrible sense of direction.”
“Well in that case, I guess you do need a guide. What time do you want to head out?”
Now it was Jax’s turn to look sheepish. “I um, kinda forgot to grab milk at the store tonight, or juice, or eggs, and I forgot bread too, so maybe we’d better head out around eight and find a diner or something.”
Danny couldn’t help it, he burst out laughing at the completely hopeless look on Jax’s face.
“So then what was in the bag?” Danny finally asked.
“Chili fixings and some boxed corn bread mix,” Jax admitted sheepishly, eliciting a laugh from both of them.
“Well we know where your priorities lie,” Danny said. “So, tomorrow, eight o’clock?”
“Perfect,” Jax said as he shoved away from the wall. “Thanks, Danny.”
“You’re welcome,” Danny said and waved as Jax headed back to his apartment.