Their adventure was far from over of course. They left Bob in his flat, focussing on his tea and rearranging his stamp collection. As it turned out, he was actually an intensely boring person - even more so than Click found himself. Not just collecting stamps, he also collected plectrums, despite the fact that he played his instrument with his fingers. He also had a bookcase filled with books that he didn't read. In fact, a prized item from his collection was an unopened packet of Cadbury Buttons that had been created without a single piece of chocolate inside. He collected things with no particular purpose. He even had a cupboard filled with different types of tea, despite buying the generic, cheap and largely flavourless brand. These were the artefacts that would be left behind if he died, and this was a terrifying thought. Then again, his flat was at least clean and tidy. Compared to Click, people like found Bob much more interesting.
They were given this brief glimpse into his life before Julia took her leave of his home, dragging Click with her by the scruff of his collar, even though he had barely wanted to be there in the first place. They had a job to do, and Bob had been uninvited. The said their goodbyes, with Julia speaking for both of them, and then left without another word.
No conversation occurred between Bob's flat and the next, which belonged to the drummer, Danny Fisch. It was his surname, coupled with Bob's toned and muscular physique that had given the two of them their distinct paired nickname. The lift was their friend this time, which made it clear to Click that Julia had previously chosen the stairs intentionally so as to allow Click the chance to catch up. Several strands of blonde hair had come free of her ponytail and fallen across her face, just in front of her thin lenses. More and more, he found himself examining the contours of her face, her high cheekbones and smooth skin. The curiosity was killing him. What could possibly have made this woman into what she was: confident, abrasive and so very, very effective. He watched her out of the corner of his eye as they moved upwards in the elevator. She pointedly ignored him in the same way that she ignored her untidy hair. It was a day of work.
The mood changed as they stepped onto the floor of Danny Fisch and, before they had even escaped the confines of the lift, they heard a gruesome roar of anger coming from far down the corridor in the opposite direction to where they were going. Click had moved first, but the outcry had drawn his attention backwards. There had been a change in Julia's face. The usual smirk and smug smile had been beaten by something fierce, and yet, at the same time, terrified. A moment later, a counter cry of anger, this one female, had come out of the door at the far end of the corridor. Julia waited, with Click afraid to speak in case of saying the wrong thing. Then, quite abruptly, she turned, offered him a gesture to get moving while sporting an expression that was now completely impassive. He got on with it.
By comparison, Bob's floor was paradise. Not long after they had left the lift behind, Click led Julia past a hole in the brick wall that was likely made by a sledgehammer. Liquid stains trailed down the walls, with a scent that required no description hanging in the air. Some inconsiderate soul had wiped mud on the higher half of the painted surface, and there were marks left behind by a sharp object that had been dragged through the cracks. Sounds of fury were following them, and the carpets were sticking to the bottoms of his shoes. Various smells assailed him and made his nose wrinkle. At first, urine was the primary smell, but soaked in lager followed, as well as the distinct scent of petrol as they finally came to the door of the one that they were looking for.
It looked as though Danny's door had been kicked a few times, rough as anything. The temporary fear had vanished from Julia's face now, though she still seemed rightfully wary of her surroundings. Click was shaking from his toes to the tips of his scruffy hair. This was enough to destroy anybody's optimism. Trying hard to ignore everything around him, he lifted his hand and knocked quietly on the door to Danny's flat. Running through his mind, as soon as he had done so, was the idea that he might have knocked on the wrong door. This made him extremely nervous. Worse, Julia stepped past him straight away to bang harder on the thick wood.
Who is it? came a quiet voice through the wood, which Click quickly recognised, but Julia did not.
It's Click, Pla Danny, Click responded, getting as close to the wood as possible so that the sound might carry through it without having to shout. I'm here with somebody from Fire Brand. We'd like to talk to you if that's-
The opening door, moving so quickly that Click barely caught it, proved to be a complete interruption. Danny leant out of the door and, bypassing the awkwardness of actually having to look at those that had come to see him, he looked up and down the corridor that they had come from, then stepped aside to let them in. For somebody who lived here, he looked as haggard as Click felt. Still, he was very appreciative to rush into Danny's flat, even if Julia took her time in striding in as though she was in perfect safety.
The door was shut quickly behind them. What are you doing here? they were both asked sharply. You never come here. Are you suddenly caring because your golden boy's in hospital? What the hell kind of stupid idiot comes here, with a girl and everything? Is this your new dating spot? You think this is-
What a whiney little bitch you are, countered Julia, loud enough that all of the floor were likely to have heard it. Not caring seemed to be her speciality.
This was strangely effective in silencing Danny. As with Bob, Click decided that this was his time to jump in. We're just here to talk, he said. It's important. We've been to see Jerry and Bob already today; you're next on the list. It's for the-
Who's Bob? whispered Danny, confused.
Ignoring the whisper and the general hush, Julia laughed at the entire that hard Plaice did not know the real name of Rock. Click was a little perturbed himself by this notion. The two seemed inseparable during practice, but outside of that, neither of them seemed particularly in tune now.
Bob Sanderson, attempted Click, through Julia's continued mocking laugh. You know, Rock, our bassist. He does have a real name, you know.
Well it's not my fault I never knew it, you hardly treat us like equals, do you? Danny whispered again, being quite aggressive even in near silence. Do you really think we're going to care about what any of you are called? Jerry's the only one who's real name I ever knew. I don't even know yours and you're supposed to be the guy in charge. Of course I don't know yours. You idolise Dim so much you wanted your own stupid f---ing nickname just to fit in. We're taking the piss. It's so obvious and you wanted one just like it. Stupid motherf---er.
Well that's not very-
Shut the f--- up, what do you want?
I really was spot on with the whiney little bitch comment, Julia interjected, once again showing a certain disregard for the hushed voices of her two companions.
Now, Danny almost growled towards her. And who are you to say that? What are you? You're with this idiot. Why should I listen to anything you say? Why should I even let you stay in my home when you're saying stuff like that?
Simple, replied Julia, the arrogant smirk creeping back to the corners of her lips, I'm here to train this idiot of yours so that you can get rich and get out of here. I'm here to make this little band of yours a success and to stop Dim from overshadowing you all so much that you might actually start earning some of the benefits for once. This manager of yours, by the way, is called Josh. There's nothing special about him, and he certainly has to right to even try and fit in, but he's not much older than you, is he? So why not cut the kid a bit of slack because he might just save all of your arses more than once in this business.
During this, Danny seemed convinced, but mention of Click had brought him back to the old scepticism. You call him a kid because he is a kid. He doesn't know the business and he sure as hell can't stand up to Dim.
Well, that's why I'm here, isn't it? Julia told him. Danny's temper had been held back by his own mockeries, which Click was certainly glad of. Once again, he had become something of a bystander. I'll be training him in how to handle all of the fancy little intricacies of this business. I've met with Jerry and Bob myself; they're eager, and they're willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make this work. There's no point if it isn't everybody; your signing will be dropped and your band will be forgotten. If you want to go through all of this again, then you go right ahead and throw us out. If you'd rather not do that and actually make a success of this, then stop being an idiot and start listening.
All was temporarily silent. Julia had said all that she needed to say, Click's words had ran dry, and Danny looked like he was considering his options. It didn't take him long. He took a deep breath, exhaled as though a burden had been lifted from him, then opened the door and whispered: Get the f--- out of my life.
Julia, head raised and back straight, neither waited nor debated. Click wanted to, but could only stammer before he realised that the right thing to do was to follow her example. The door was slammed harshly behind them, marking the loudest noise that Danny had made in their entire hurried conversation. He must have been glad to be rid of them.
Again, they travelled in silence, but this time for different reasons. His heart hadn't been in it, and that pretty much meant the end for Click and Dim Screw. It had all been a waste of time.
As they came to the lift, the angry outbursts from earlier came again. This time though, the angry curse of the female changed to one of pain, while the male seemed more furious than ever. Domestic violence at it's worse, and Click knew well enough that he was too much of a coward to do anything about it.
Julia however, was not. Escaping Click's watch, she marched at a fast pace, cold fury etched in her every motion, to the farthest door on the floor, where the noises were coming from. As she banged on the door loudly, Click found himself rushing after her as she shouted: Get out here and pick on somebody who's going to fight back!