The rain that always came at the end of the year was in full flow, smashing down against the windows of Indy's. Sitting alone in his favourite window seat, Adam was deep in retrospect, thinking of all the times that he had spent sitting in some nameless alcoholic establishment - drink in front of him and rain pounding against the glass. In a way, it was soothing. This was not just usual for him, it was almost ideal. Going out for a drink when it was dry outside was actually quite a strange idea in his mind.
Today had a plan. The Fuse show from the night before had been disastrous in the extreme, even though the performance itself had been impeccable. Paul had been impossible to reach, Ed had always been the same and Adam and Jace had been doing everything that they could to try and find these people. Phone calls were either not being returned or just being ignored completely. In the hope of getting somewhere before it was too late, Adam and Jace had sent out messages to meet at Indy's at five 'o' clock to Paul, Ally, Veronica and even to Matthew Cooper. Adam was here fifteen minutes early to buy himself a beer and to cross his fingers out of desperation that somebody might actually turn up.
As expected, Veronica was the first one to arrive, or even to turn up at all. Adam watched her from out of the window as she struggled forwards through the vicious downpour. She had an umbrella in her hands, and she was forcing it forwards with the weight of her body, despite the huge push of wind fighting against her. Adam would have laughed at the scene before him if not for the fact that she could likely see him and, as such, his penis would suffer if he did so.
Veronica spent a couple of moments shaking off the water from her umbrella just outside of the doorway before she came inside. When she did so, Adam opened his arms wide to invite her into a hug and she rushed towards him to receive it. It drenched his arms to do it, but she always made him wet in some way.
Unfortunately, since it was just the two of them, Adam found himself completely unable to concentrate on the matter at hand. Instead, he just spent the few minutes that they had together flirting, kissing and talking about having sex right there.
The next member of their group that Adam saw through the window was Jace, with Ally following behind him. Both of them looked somewhat haggard and dishevelled, as though there had been a struggle on the way. This was unlikely though; Ally and Jace were very close friends. They were both dressed warmly, but neither of them had an umbrella with which to protect themselves from the veritable storm that was raging outside yet again. When they came through the door, they shook off themselves in the hopes of throwing off as much of the rainwater as they could. Somehow, Ally's hair had become a vibrant and electric blue in the time since Adam had last seen her. They came through to the window seats, and Ally was the next one to drench Adam with her hug.
Jace took a seat on the couch opposite Adam and Ally took up the space beside him. "I think this'll be everybody," he said, water still dripping down from his short hair. "I went down to the Halls to make sure that I could get hold of Ally, and I knocked on Paul's door. There was no answer. Either he's in there and he's avoiding us all or he's somewhere else completely. I doubt Matthew Cooper's going to turn up."
"Look, I've told you, Matt could still come," Ally countered defensively. "He's a very busy man but he does care about getting things done. If you want information from him then he's more likely to come down and tell you himself than to send somebody else. If he can make it then he will."
"Is he really needed?" Adam asked. He had been fairly opposed to the idea of even inviting Matthew Cooper in the first place, but he had eventually conceded under Jace's insistence. "I know that there's a lot that we need clarification on, but we'll be able to work it out without his help, right? I know it won't be easy but we'll be able to do it."
"It made more sense to invite him at least; he's the only one other than Paul who seems to have a clue as to what's actually going on," replied Jace. "It would be faster to just talk to him and get all of the details so that we can talk things through and move on with our lives. Once it's all out in the open then that's a weight off our minds and a lot less to worry about. Less lying, less deception and more moving on with our lives, you know? A clean start. If we're going to make it then I think we need a fresh start."
Adam sighed. "Makes sense I guess," he conceded. It was sensible and logical, and the sort of thing that Paul would say if he had the chance. "Not going to help us much if he doesn't turn up of course. We're going to have to go and see him, aren't we?"
At that moment, the sound of the latest Muse single started to come out of Ally's purse. She pulled her phone out quickly and silenced it without answering.
"Honestly, I'd rather not," continued Jace, as though there had been no interruption. "It was a bit of an annoying visit last time, and that's only the one so it's probably like that all the time. I was hoping we could all help each other out too."
He turned to Ally a moment afterwards and looked her over with a rather piercing gaze. "I was hoping that you would be able to help us out with this one," he told her bluntly.
"How can I help more than the rest of you?" asked Ally in response - shock clear on her face. "I don't even know what's been going on with you guys. In case you haven't noticed, I haven't been around that much lately, I didn't have much choice in that."
"You're our missing link," Adam told her with a tone and feeling of complete satisfaction. He had been desperate to say that to her ever since he and Jace had worked out just how she could help them. "You know things about Matthew Cooper that we don't and you know stuff about Paul that we don't. Put those things together and we might get the information that we've been looking for for months now and nobody thought to tell us."
"Shouldn't Ed be here for this?" Veronica interjected.
"If you have any way to get in contact with him, and I quite literally mean even one way to ever work out a general idea of where he might be at any time ever, you let us know," replied Jace with a weary smile. "As is, we've had no luck at all. We don't have a phone number, which would be fairly useless anyway since he doesn't talk; we wouldn't even know if he'd picked up. We don't have an address either, or anybody who knows him or has any idea where he lives. I got so desperate that I just randomly tried to ask the people walking by my house, which was obviously a complete waste of time."
Once again, Ally's phone began to ring, but she silenced it almost out of reflex. It caught their attention enough to look towards her, but that just gave her a look of guilt that made Adam feel just as tense and uncertain as she looked.
"We won't take up too much of your time," said Adam slowly. "We just need to find out what we've been missing. It's kind of obvious now that a lot's been going on that nobody told the rest of Disbelief about. We thought hard about it, and we were angry at first, but if we don't have all the facts then we're not even sure what we're what we're angry for and who we're angry with, you know? We can't forgive and forget one thing and then find out there's something else creeping up behind us to tap us on the shoulder and get us all upset again. We have a band to rebuild and Paul's being evasive."
"Well I haven't had the chance to talk to him either," Ally announced, shaking her head to herself. "I got your phone call looking for him and went straight to knock on his door, but there was no answer. I was shouting for him and everything and he just didn't open his door. I was a bit pissed off with him to be honest."
"Well that's just the thing. He's either not been there or he's been ignoring us all. So where would he be exactly?" Jace asked of all of the people gathered around him. "I can only think of one place where he would go, and I've been calling there as well - no answer."
"Ronnie's place?" Ally asked him quietly. He rewarded her with a nod rather than going off into a speech again. Adam had never met Ronnie, though he had heard a lot about him. Paul was very proud of his brother; he very much enjoyed talking about him and his success, so his name had been shared much and often.
"How else can we get in touch with him?" Veronica asked them. "You've all got his number. Isn't he answering his phone either?"
"No, we've been getting nothing from him," Adam told her. "What about you?" he asked, turning towards Ally again.
"Well I don't exactly spend every waking minute trying-" she said before she was cut off, yet again, by her mobile phone. "Especially with this bastard calling me every five minutes," she said over the noise, anger creeping into her tone while she rose from her seat. "I'm going to take it," she said as she slipped away from them. "It might actually shut him up for once."
They let her go, watching her wandering across towards the bathrooms while speaking angrily through the mobile phone that she was holding to her ear.
"What do we do while we wait exactly?" Adam requested of Jace. "She's kind of the whole deal here. We're supposed to be gritty interrogators playing good cop bad cop, right?"
"You're a twisted man," Jace said simply. "You're right though. I guess we might as well just get some drinks or we're going to have some angry bar people breathing down our necks. What are you having?"