Only A Memory Away

Straight To You

Leo still couldn't get used to all the shiny pink things inside DeBris' townhouse. He sat there, accompanied by Roger and Carmen, looking around from time to time. Sometimes it reminded him of a school-girl's room. But then again, Carmen and Roger sort of acted like girls most of the time anyway.

Surprisingly, they were exceedingly sensitive and caring right now. They didn't waste a second when Leo showed up on their doorstep, asking them to stay there for a few hours.

And now, he was there. He didn't say anything for a long while. Roger and Carmen were looking rather worried at each other.

"You hit him?" Carmen asked again. "And he threw you out?"

Leo didn't look up. Talking about it made him relive the fight again. "I couldn't believe it myself. I was stunned. I couldn't control it and then... it was as though another person acted through me."

He lifted his head a little to find them listening to him wide-eyed.

"Believe me, I would never do anything like that...," he said. He was close to tears again; he could feel it.

"Hm..," Roger said, taking another sip of his tea. "Well, you could've expected some harsh reaction after something like this. But..."

"But what?" Carmen looked at his partner. "Throwing him out? I thought he was different."

"What do you mean?" Leo asked shyly.

"Well, it's not so unusual for Max to throw someone out," Roger continued, turning his head straight to Leo. "He's done that before. But those people were strangers in so many ways. Customers, Actors...People he didn't care about. Nothing special, so to say... But you!? I never thought he would..."

"Reactions of heated minds are strange sometimes," Carmen said, putting his hand on Leo's shoulder to comfort him. "I wouldn't worry too much. He'll calm down and then he'll forget this quickly." He smiled at Leo, who actually started to feel a little lighter.

"I tried to apologize, but...well...," he said.

Roger nodded and put his cup down. "Yes, yes. You see, he must've been in shock as well. People usually don't wanna hear anything like an apology once they've been hurt."

"By hurt, he means emotionally," Carmen added approvingly, seeing Leo's desperate face.

"He hurt me as well..."

Carmen leaned back. "We understand it, Leo. Everybody gets hurt in one or another way in a fight like this."

"I wonder...," Roger began. The other two men were turning their heads towards him immediately.

"You see, I got my problems with another thing, somehow," he said. "It's unusual in some ways. First of all, throwing out Leo is something I thought I'd never live to see from Max."

"Why? You said it happened before," Leo asked, a bit confused.

"Yes, but you see...," Roger stood up wandering around the room a few steps. He was trying to find the right words and gestured about now and then.

Carmen watched him for a moment, then turned back to Leo. "You are special in many ways," he said. Roger nodded.


"Oh yes," Roger added. "First of all, you are the first partner he had since...well, I think he's always worked alone, don't you Darling?" Carmen nodded.

"And actually, we never thought he'd give much attention on having one," he said and took a sip from his cup as well.

"Plus, he's very careful not to talk about you apart from business," Roger said.

Leo didn't understand. "What makes me so special, then?"

"He keeps you to himself," Roger said. "I guess he is seeing you as the only person in his life worth protecting."

Leo shook his head silently. "He insulted me and threw me out!"

He looked down to the ground again. "I could be anybody."

"It's getting colder," Max thought. Luckily, the streetlamps held the world illuminated, so even though it was way past midnight, he could see pretty good. He pulled the collar of his coat a little higher and looked around desperately. He had not the slightest clue about Leo's whereabouts and was getting worried. "Please, let him be somewhere safe," he kept on thinking.

He walked the well known streets up and down again. If only he had an idea of where to search. He had been running after him only minutes later, but didn't catch him in time.

He had been at Leo's apartment, but, of course, he hadn't been there. Leo used to live in the office most of the time anyway, so Max wasn't even sure, if it still was his apartment. Ever since he and Ulla split up, Leo abandoned most of his old life in many ways.

Max stopped and turned his head. Small clouds of breath were rising in front of his face. Something cold touched his face softly and ended Max's puzzling for a moment. He looked up. Snow. "Great," he thought grumpily. It began to snow. Soon it would become freezing cold.

He had to find him...Somehow. He was sorry for what he said; for what had happened.

He wanted to tell him. And, above all, he wanted him to be safe.

Leo was the one part of his life he cared for more than anything else. He was determined to make it up to him; to apologize in every way he was capable of.

Slowly, he kept on going. Once or twice he thought about just returning to the office to wait there, but he was certain Leo wouldn't come back. Not after this.

Gazing at the ground while walking, he could see the white carpet covering the world getting thicker.

The traffic sounded numb, as if only there in a distance. The crunchy sound his steps made in the snow grew deeper. But Max scarcely noticed them. His mind wandered. He tried to catch every face which crossed his path; tried to think of somewhere he could find his partner somehow. And, for the first time ever, he felt small and somehow lost in this big city.

He crossed a street still looking around. Maybe if he walked up to Roger and Carmen's, he could get some help. After all, they knew Leo quite well until now. Maybe they knew some place he could have vanished to. But no. Max abandoned this thought again very quickly. Asking Roger and Carmen for help meant explaining to them what had happened. He could almost see their faces in front of him; their accusations. They would make him feel even worse, planting his bad conscience deep into him to never let it go again. No, there was no way he could ask the both of them. What did they know anyway.

They didn't know Leo the way he did. He had always been careful not to let anything from their private conversations slip in front of them. They shouldn't know he cared.

Max sighed. Well, he didn't show Leo as well...ever. There was so much unsaid and he wanted to change it so badly.

Crossing yet another street, he suddenly became aware of some blinding light in the corner of his eyes. It glared even more when he turned his head in its direction and soon he didn't seem to see the slightest bit anymore. Max held one hand up to cover his eyes, but couldn't figure out where the source of this light was.

There was something moving towards him. He heard some people near him yell something he couldn't figure out. The object was coming closer.

The next thing he remembered was a pain in his body as if something huge had hit him. And the light was gone. The screaming around him got louder. And the cold was gone.

Then everything went black.

~to be continued~

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