It was the next morning when the sun began to rise over the bustling crowd on the Chicago sidewalk. The flow of people walking along seemed constant and unending, a monotonous parade, as it was every morning. Skyscrapers towered all around. The morning air was cool, filled with the sounds of the city. Nothing was out of the ordinary, except for one thing.
Trevor was walking nervously down the sidewalk, looking around. Not that most people would have recognized him in his current state of dress. Or would have been willing to acknowledge that they knew him if they had. He was dressed in a long, tan trench coat, a baseball cap, and he wore dark shades over his eyes. Cautiously, he walked through the crowd, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible.
It wasn't working.
As he moved through the rushing crowd of pedestrians, he stood out like a sore thumb... because he was trying so desperately not to stand out. People looked over at him, his paranoia clearly evident to them. Instead of concealing him, his cap, coat and glasses made him seem instantly out of place.
Suddenly suspicious, Trevor stopped without warning in the middle of the moving crowd. He quickly whirled in place, the hem of his coat flying. He nervously searched through the moving throng flowing past him, startling a pedestrian walking by when he turned on her. Wordlessly, the walking crowd cleared a space around him, but didn't stop, only a few bothering to look over at him. They had seen such 'uniquely' strange people on their morning commutes countless times before. At least he wasn't ranting on about invisible rabbits.
Trevor spread his arms out and crouched slightly, turning in place as if he were executing the smoothest, slickest move in the world. He obviously believed it made him blend seamlessly into his surroundings like a chameleon. It only made the crowd give him an even wider berth.
Trevor quickly darted forward a few steps, supremely confident in his stealthiness. He didn't have a clue. Suddenly he stopped again and repeated the entire process after only a few feet. He looked all around like a deer who had just heard a twig break, turning in several motions, standing in one spot. Or maybe a deer caught in the headlights of an approaching eighteen wheeler. Still, Trevor was certain he was being subtle. He continued down the sidewalk that way, walking a few steps, then stopping and turning, looking around. There was no denying it. He was almost starting to enjoy this paranoia thing. It was kinda fun.
A few passers by watched him absently, some beginning to wonder if his actions were some sort of performance art. But they didn't offer him any money. Instead, all Trevor got was bewildered stares, which he ignored as he searched through the crowd flowing past him, looking for someone.
He realized there was a row of shrubs behind him and he suddenly whirled around to face them, straightening up. They were lining the wall of the skyscraper he was walking beside. He swatted at the leaves, searching through them for a moment, before quickly stepping back and watching for any reaction. After a few seconds, he came closer again, searching more calmly, but finding nothing.
Trevor suddenly realized he was standing motionless, and out in the open. He looked around, before rushing off again. Trevor was the only person on the sidewalk wearing a heavy trench coat, and everyone else seemed to notice.
He knew Faith was there somewhere. He could feel it. He couldn't see her there, he hadn't spotted her, but she had to be everywhere. She always was. He tried to reassure himself. It wasn't paranoia to feel followed when you actually were being followed. The glaring fact that there was absolutely no evidence of it whatsoever didn't really matter to him at all.
He stood in the middle of a group of pedestrians at the corner of an intersection, waiting patiently for the light to change. The crowd as a whole stepped forward when the WALK sign came on, crossing the street. Trevor stopped looking around, realizing he was alone on the curb. He rushed over to join the others, falling closely in step behind one woman as he tried to blend in. A little too closely. The woman sensed him walking so near and she turned around to see a strange man in a heavy trench coat directly behind her. Panicking, she stepped back, about to swing her purse. Trevor raised his hands to stop her, keeping his distance. With a glare she backed away from him, before finally turning and leaving him there.
Trevor mumbled to no one in particular. "Sorry."
He tried to straighten his dark shades since they didn't really seem to fit him too well, considering that he had 'borrowed' (stolen) them from Champ's bedroom. They kept slipping down his face crookedly.
Before he knew it, the rest of the crowd had continued past him and Trevor was alone in the middle of the crosswalk. He was about to follow them, moving a few steps, when he suddenly whirled to look behind himself again, stopping where he was. A cab at the light screeched to a halt, having just started forward, not expecting Trevor to stop. There was a loud honk in annoyance from the driver.
"Hey!" Trevor cried, lifting his arms. He began shouting at the same time that the driver did, who was leaning out of the driver's side window. Trevor banged the hood of the cab with his palm, offering his best curses in ancient Latin. He flicked his fingers off the bottom of his chin at the man, as insults continued to fly back and forth.
Later, Trevor was on another sidewalk, somewhat less crowded with people. For a few moments he seemed relaxed enough, striding calmly forward. Until he suddenly stopped and turned again. A man walking by in a suit instantly dropped his files onto the sidewalk, startled by the abrupt action. Trevor hardly noticed, looking frantically around for Faith. As the man knelt to gather his files, he gave Trevor a look like he was insane. Trevor spotted a blue mail box nearby, bolted down onto the sidewalk a few feet away. He rushed over.
Afraid to get too close, his arm reached cautiously out. Trevor stretched forward, carefully opening the painfully mail slot and looking in, and not feeling the least bit foolish doing it.
Claire and Jaclyn were very busy at her office, chattering rapidly back and forth as they fired off questions and answers at each other, Claire walking as Jaclyn followed behind her with her clipboard. As Claire moved around behind the reception desk, Jaclyn switched to the new file they were discussing, awkwardly opening it in her over burdened arms and trying to keep up. It would be a hectic day.
At the end of the hallway, Trevor threw himself prone against the wall, being overtly dramatic about it. He was hidden around the corner and out of sight, and he peeked around. He only saw Jaclyn and Claire, talking rapidly back and forth, obviously overwhelmed with work.
Taking a breath, Trevor walked over. He was still in his trench coat, cap, and shades. And he was certain Faith had followed him the whole way, even though he hadn't seen, heard, or had any indication that she was there at all. He knew she had to have been there. She probably had.
Claire looked up as she saw Trevor approaching, caught off guard at how he was dressed. She saw immediately through his so called disguise. She blinked, surprised.
"Trevor... please tell me you're wearing something under that trench coat."
Trevor gave her a wicked smile. "Only my birthday suit..."
Trevor suddenly ripped his coat open and flashed her. Claire was forced to block her eyes with the folder she held as she searched through her files. Jaclyn calmly leaned over to get a better look. Claire sighed in relief when she realized that he actually had clothing on underneath.
Trevor nodded. "See... it's my birthday suit. Or more accurately, the suit Champ just gave me for my birthday. He just doesn't know it yet. I've always told him to feel free to consider any day when I need something from him to be my birthday. Pretty sweet arrangement, huh? So what do you think? New shirt, new pants, new running shoes. And I do mean running..."
Claire frowned. "What is that supposed to mean?"
"Remember Faith? She's stalking me."
Claire walked over to Jaclyn with a sigh. "I'm sure she's not stalking you, Trevor. She's just-"
"Everywhere, Claire. She's everywhere! Everywhere I turn I can't get away from-.... Wait..." Trevor stopped, listening carefully. "Did you hear that?"
"Trevor, you're being paranoid. She's just a... a cupid 'groupie'. She's a... a 'Cupie'. A harmless fan, that's all."
"Maybe. And maybe sitting on a volcano is just one way to get a really warm enema. Do you know how hard it's been for me to avoid her lately? I had to take the long... and I do mean LONG way to get here. By the way, did you know there's this excellent new Chinese place on 53rd?" He licked his lips, remembering stopping there, before he continued. "Anyway, Faith's everywhere Claire. She knows my routes, she knows my habits. I'm really going to have to do something about her. She's ruining couples that I've set up left and right, because she has the misguided belief that I NEED HER HELP to get home. I don't need her help!"
Claire smiled at him. "Well, you do need help, Trevor. Just not hers. That's why the hospital board graces me with your company each day."
Trevor looked around nervously. "I've been here way too long..."
Claire searched through her files. "My thoughts exactly."
"She's bound to look here."
Claire nodded absently, reading, but not really listening. "Oh the pains of having the entire world revolve around you, Trevor...."
"I can't let her find me. I can't do my job with her around. The gods must be punishing me. Only explanation. The gods are punishing me with, with...her!" Trevor began searching through his pockets, almost frantic.
Claire looked up and noticed. She raised her voice, calling out once, sharply, to try and calm him down.
The tone of her voice made him instantly drop into one of the waiting chairs without question.
She looked down at him. "Slow down... take a deep, calming breath. Level off... there. Stay. Stay... Good boy. Now get out of here Trevor, I'm busy. And lighten up a little about Faith. Her infatuation with you will pass. Anyone who's know you for any amount of time realizes, it sort of would have to..."
He wasn't listening. "Great. Whatever. I'll see you later, Claire." Trevor stood and quickly put on his cap, coat and shades disguise again. Except this time he pressed an extremely fake looking mustache he had taken from inside his pocket against his upper lip. It hung crooked on his face,not adhering properly, starting to curl off. He wrapped the trench coat tightly around his body.
Trevor suddenly paused, giving Claire a long admiring look for a few seconds, before leaning in close to her. She didn't notice him, until she felt something tickling her cheek and she looked over. It was that absolutely ridiculous mustache he was wearing, almost falling off. Claire tried not to laugh at how foolish he looked, her lips twisting in a smile. Trevor didn't seem to care, smiling back at her warmly as he lowered his voice for only her to hear. His lips intentionally parted slightly, hovering near hers.
"I'll see you, Sparky. And by the way. I haven't forgotten that you still secretly have a thing for me."
A look of shock crossed her face, but when she turned to him to argue that point he was already gone, darting down the hallway.
Claire smiled as she watched him leave. Looking over, she noticed Jaclyn watching her reaction with a knowing expression, an expression that said volumes. Claire forced her smile away when she realized what Jaclyn was thinking. Well... most of it, anyway. She went into her office, taking the file she needed to work on with her.
Trevor slid his back along the hallway wall, suspicious of every corner. He darted across to the far wall as quickly as possible, trying not to be seen. As he came to a stop he almost knocked a painting off the wall. Wincing at the noise, he reached out to steady it. Leaving it at an angle, he backed silently away from it, scanning back the way he had just come, blindly rounding the corner. He wasn't looking behind him when he crashed into... Dr. Dehnt.
It took a moment for Dr. Dehnt to recognize Trevor in his trench coat, hat, and shades. Was that a fake mustache about to fall off of his face? Dr. Dehnt blinked at the outfit.
"Umm, Dr, Love. Hello again. It's good to run into you. Or vice versa, as usually seems to be the case. It's good to see your.... umm, your new look."
Still feeling paranoid, Trevor looked around, not really noticing him. "Not so loud! Look, I've got to go. Nice to meet you too. NO autographs please."
Trevor pulled the coat tighter around him like a harried movie star and hurried away.
Dr. Dehnt gave Trevor a confused look, wondering about his strange behavior. He shook it off, walking down the hallway towards Claire's office, holding a patient file in his hands.
Claire wasn't sitting at her desk. The case envelope was left open and ignored, lying on top of it. She was standing at her window, looking out at the bright day beyond with a smile, thinking. Thinking about Trevor. She began to think about how long it had been since she had gone out on a date. A real date, anyway. That hypnotism thing didn't count. How long had it been since someone had... Claire reached up and touched her lips with her fingertips, remembering what Trevor had done. She caught herself, and pulled her hand quickly down, forcing the memory away. It was pointless, she thought with a smile. Unthinkable. Then why was she thinking about it? He was her patient. It was a line she was absolutely not willing to cross. It would be totally unethical. Besides, she was certain that she had no real feelings for Trevor, despite what he kept insisting. It was probably just a reaction to having gone so long without... She realized she was touching her lips again, feeling them tingling under her fingers as she remembered Trevor's kiss.
Frustrated, Claire moaned. "Uhh...I really need a boyfriend..."
Almost as if in answer, there was a soft knock on her door. Claire turned around.
It was Dr. Dehnt.
He was standing in her open doorway, knocking on it to get her attention. Claire blushed, wondering if he had heard what she had just said out loud. She had been so distracted by thinking about Trevor, she hadn't noticed he was there.
Dr. Dehnt looked warmly over at her with a smile, calling out to her softly. "Hello, Claire."
"Richard..." Claire said, still embarrassed by her distraction. She rushed back to her seat, realizing she really did have a lot of work to do. "It's good... it's good to see you again."
He nodded. "Yeah. Same here. I'm still waiting for that second date you promised me. How long ago has it been. A month...?"
"Yeah." Claire nodded politely, feeling uncomfortable for some reason. "Well, I've been so busy-"
Richard smiled. "Don't worry, Claire. That's actually not why I came to see you. Hmm. Try not to look so relieved," he teased. "Actually I came to consult you on a patient of mine."
"Oh. Umm, sure. Sure. Come in."
Richard stepped in and closed the door behind him as he looked over at her. He seemed distracted as he came closer, bouncing the file he held against his palm as he looked at her face.
Claire noticed, feeling self conscious. "What is it?"
Richard chuckled. "Nothing. It's just that... Wow. I had forgotten how beautiful you are. How stunning you-..." He looked away, realizing what he was saying. "Sorry..."
Claire blinked. "You said you had a patient..."
Richard came out of his daze, shaking it off. "Right. Right. I'm still a little fresh from the staring blocks when it comes to this job. I only opened my practice a few months ago and I'm still... a little new at all this. So I thought I'd consult you on an interesting case of mine."
"Sure. I'm glad to help. What's the case?"
Richard opened the file he carried. "Well... it seems a patient of mine has been 'interacting' with a patient of yours. My patient's name is Mary Simmons. It's sort of a unique case, actually. That's why I thought you could help."
Claire nodded. "Let's take a look."
Richard came around and leaned over her desk, laying the file out in front of her. He paused at the scent of her skin, but only for a moment before pulling back. Claire looked at the file, intrigued, as Richard continued.
"Mary's been in therapy a couple of months now, since coming to Chicago to go to school. She was referred to me by a colleague of mine. It's not a very serious case. Minor, really. It seems that she's fixated on the belief that the Olympian gods are real. And she's sort of attached herself to one of your patients. So I thought I'd come to you. Your patient's name, if I can find it in the file, is-"
Claire put it all together, recognizing her with a shock. "Trevor Hale..." She finished for him.
"Yes. That's the name. Then of course, I found out that... Well, he was yours."
"Excuse me?" Claire asked defensively, misunderstanding what he meant.
"One of your patients." Richard blinked, not understanding what she had thought. "He believes he's the god of love, right?"
"Oh." Claire tried to laugh. "One of my patients. Right. Actually, you've already met him. He's the one who set up our first date."
Richard blinked, not following. "But that was Dr. Love. Dr. Love's the one who-... Ohhh. I see now. Hmm. Dr. Love. Intriguing. Well, he is... persistent." Richard seemed embarrassed that he had been fooled by a patient.
Claire smiled a little, thinking of Trevor. "You have no idea..."
Richard wondered if that smile was meant for him. He smiled back at her. "So... I thought that maybe we should talk about our two cases since they seem to have 'intersected'. That's why I came to consult with you. Well, mostly. Umm, Mary's not a danger to anyone, but her psyche is a little... fragile. We really should coordinate our efforts..." He leaned a little closer to her as she read the file.
"Sure." Claire put the file aside and started looking through her schedule. "We need to set up a time to meet."
"How about dinner tonight?"
Claire smiled, trying to steer him away from that. "How about my office tomorrow?"
Richard smiled, dropping his head good-naturedly. "Ok. Strictly work related. I understand. Tomorrow then."
Claire handed him the case file, looking up at him, realizing how extremely attractive he was. She was fully aware of his overtures towards her. And he was definitely handsome. But she just didn't feel she could do something like that to Tre-... Claire shook the thought off before she finished it.
Richard turned to leave, but he paused at her doorstep, looking back at her, amused. "Still hoping for that second date, though..." he said as he opened the door.
Claire sighed, trying to respond diplomatically. "We'll see..."
Trevor finally spotted her. He finally saw where Faith was watching him. He was walking outside Claire's building, and Faith was across the street. He had been right. She was still following him. Trevor stopped where he was, ripping the glasses and baseball cap off his head. He stood there with his hands on his hips as he stared at her, trying to calm down. Faith didn't move from where she watched, even though she knew he had seen her. Finally Trevor took a breath and walked over to where she was.
Faith didn't back away, despite the angry expression on Trevor's face. He glared at her, his voice quiet, but hard.
"How did you find me?"
Faith shrugged. "It wasn't easy. I lost your trail this morning. So I followed Claire instead. I know if I follow Claire long enough, eventually you'll show up."
"You followed Claire?"
"Sure. It's a little easier since she's not trying to hide from me. Besides, I knew you couldn't keep yourself away from her." Faith looked at his face. "I'm not sure I like the new facial hair."
Trevor blinked, realizing he still had that ridiculous fake mustache plastered to his upper lip. He ripped it off, glaring at Faith.
"I don't want you following Claire..."
Faith tilted her head. "Why do you put up with her, anyway? It took me a while to realize that she's your therapist. That's she's trying to cure you of who you are. But we both know you don't really need to be cured, don't we? Still, you do spend a lot of time with her. That... made me realize a few other things too..."
Trevor shook his head, his jaw hard, in no mood to stand there arguing with her. He looked at her angrily. "Look. You leave Claire alone. Leave me alone. OK?" Trevor gave her one last, hard glance, before he turned and walked away, still fuming to himself.
Faith stayed where she was on the sidewalk, watching him leave as she stood there, alone.
"Claire, I don't know what I'm going to do."
In her home, Claire nestled the phone closer to her ear. "Do about what, Trevor?"
"About Faith. I've got to do something." He answered.
Claire smiled, looking out of her front window at the night sky beyond, a glass of wine in her hand. "Oh. I really wouldn't worry about it, Trevor. If I've learned anything about you, its that you always seem to land on your feet."
Pacing through his bedroom, Trevor sighed. Without realizing it, he was looking out his window like Claire was, watching the city lights glitter off of the darkened lake in the park beyond. Soft music played in the empty apartment behind him. Champ was off somewhere with Jaclyn. His room was lit by a soft yellow glow from the lamp beside his bed. He sounded worried.
"You don't understand, Claire. It's like she's everywhere."
Claire nodded, amused, listening to his voice coming through her phone. "She can't be everywhere, Trevor." The sound of his voice in her ear was comforting somehow.
"Have you seen my string of beads lately, Claire? It's pathetic. They're starting to slide back to the bored and lonely side faster than a greased mountain climber. I'm almost afraid to check them again..." He could feel the string hanging behind him, but he refused to turn around. "I'm not going to look. I'm... I'm just not. Not going to do it."
Claire's brow furrowed slightly. She touched the phone as it nestled against her face, lowering herself down to stretch comfortably on her couch, her legs bent beneath her. "And you think it's all the result of what Faith has been doing? Ruining your matches? You think she's the cause of your recent dry spell, Trevor?"
"I don't know. Maybe..." Trevor didn't really seem all that convinced. He collapsed onto the ragged, beat up recliner he had in his bedroom, nestling the phone closer to his cheek too. He loved hearing Claire's voice, being able to talk to her. He felt so lucky to have her there. Well, her voice anyway. It made the apartment seem less empty. As he sat there, he re-evaluated what Faith had done. "Honestly, maybe not..." he admitted.
Claire could hear the doubt in his voice. "What is it, Trevor?"
Trevor blinked. "This dry spell I'm having. It can't be all of Faith's fault. I mean, some of those beads that have slid back were there long before I even met Faith. She couldn't have had anything to do with them."
"Everyone can have a bad day, Trevor. Or a bad week. Even the god of love. Everyone's fallible. It just means that... you're human."
Trevor grinned. "Hey. No need to be insulting, Claire."
Claire lifted her glass of wine with a smile. "I'm just saying things will turn around, Trevor. Be patient. No pun intended."
Trevor thought about it as he leaned back, tossing a baseball towards the ceiling and catching it again. His voice was soft, worried, as he continued to throw the ball. "Yeah, maybe. But... what if it doesn't turn around?"
"What are you saying, Trevor?"
"What if..." Trevor exhaled. "Man, I hate to even think about it, but... what if I've finally lost my knack for all this..."
Claire smiled. "Your knack?"
"My knack. My mojo. My X-ray vision. My ability to set up couples with their true love-"
"Your knack?" Claire said again in disbelief. "Is that the technical term they use on Olympus, Trevor?"
Trevor continued. "What if I just don't got it any more. What if it doesn't come back?"
Claire listened carefully, a little concerned that he seemed so worried about this. "And you're afraid that maybe you've lost it forever?"
Trevor was silent for a moment. "Yeah. Maybe. I mean, what if I just don't cut it any more. Don't get me wrong. Faith has done her fair share of damage. But she couldn't have caused it all. I know it. So what if... what if the gods really are pissed at me..."
"Trevor, there are no gods. You're just going through a-"
"No, Claire. Just hear me out. The gods were pissed when they first sent me down here. I mean really pissed. But I always thought we'd all eventually get past this little spat. But what if they're REALLY pissed. What if they decided sending me down here with you mortals wasn't bad enough? What if this is just the latest phase of their punishment? By taking my insight away."
"Petty theft." Claire teased.
Trevor smiled, knowing she was trying to make him feel better. "I'm serious, Claire. What if they're slowly stripping me of everything I am? Of... of my entire reason for being..." His voice almost sounded desperate.
Claire heard it, trying to reassure him. "Trevor, I don't think that's what it is. It's just a string of bad luck, that's all. And maybe... now I know this is a wild idea, but... maybe you're finally ready, on some level... to get rid of your Cupid delusion. Maybe you're finally ready to get better..."
Trevor didn't say anything for a moment. "Aren't you afraid that if I do I will ruin your book about me before you even finish it? Aren't you afraid you won't have enough material?"
Claire smiled. "Trevor, I would gladly ruin my book for an outcome like that. Besides, I'm in no danger of not having enough material. You said being Cupid was your reason for being. Maybe it's time to find a different reason for being. Or... a different person...." Claire bit her lip, not knowing why she had said that, not knowing what she wanted to hear from him, but still hoping for a breakthrough in his delusion.
Trevor seemed to honestly think about what she was saying, wondering if it were true, before he finally shook his head. "No. That's not it, Claire. The gods have suddenly become really pissed at me for some reason. Something's changed. I know it."
"Trevor," Claire sighed. "Even if that were the case, what's changed recently that could make them so angry at you? What's so different now?" She paused, hoping for a little more insight into his delusion.
Trevor suddenly realized how close he was holding the phone to his ear, as if he were holding Claire there instead. He realized how much he adored hearing her voice, whispering into his ear. Suddenly, those feelings made him feel self conscious, and he slowly sat up in his chair, thinking.
"Trevor...?" Claire asked after he was silent for several moments.
Trevor's mind raced. Could that be it? Was it Claire? He felt closer to her lately than he had ever been. The sound of her voice was like music to him. Seeing her smile was like a warm dawn after a cold, lonely, endless night. And he was almost certain that she had started feeling closer to him too lately. It all hit him like a revelation. Could it be that he and Claire were too close? That they were falling in-... Could that be it? Was that what the gods were angry about?
Trevor snapped himself out of what he had been thinking. "Umm... I, uhh... I don't, don't know. I don't know what's different recently."
Claire nodded. "I mean, you haven't really done anything differently. Nothing's really changed in your life. Which unfortunately points to my continuing colossal failure as your therapist. You're still the charming pain in the ass psychotic you've always been. So what could have caused this sudden ire of the gods. Umm, Trevor..." Claire paused. "Trevor... Don't take this the wrong way, but..."
Claire inhaled, before pushing on. "Well... maybe you caused it."
A chill went through him. He still sat in his chair, looking out at the stars beyond his window, looking at them like he was being watched by them. "I don't understand..."
"Trevor, maybe you feel guilty about something. Guilty about perhaps wanting to... to lead a normal life. Guilty about maybe being ready to...." Claire breathed, trying to be delicate. "... to let go of your Cupid persona."
Trevor was silent, not knowing what to say.
Claire waited, then decided to lighten the mood. "Or, on the other hand, maybe your just being paranoid." Claire smiled, teasing him. "I don't think there are supreme forces out to get you, Trevor. I'm certain the gods still love you."
He replied absently. "Yeah... I'm certainly loveable..." Trevor was still watching the stars, as if they were sitting in judgement of him talking to Claire. He quietly touched his lips, remembering his and Claire's kiss outside her office, as his mind raced. "Well Claire, to be honest... it's not like nothing has changed in my life..."
She didn't understand. "What do you mean?"
Trevor couldn't help it. He adored her voice. He closed his eyes and continued. "I just mean that the gods are flighty. Fickle. They don't always approve of what others do. Maybe they're pissed that I've been-... Well, maybe they don't like the person that I've fallen in-..."
Claire's heart almost skipped a beat. "In? Fallen in what, Trevor? You've fallen in what?"
"Nothing..." Trevor didn't answer, suddenly feeling extremely uncomfortable talking to Claire about this. He quickly stood and rushed over and lowered the blinds on his window, shutting the stars away. "It's nothing. Look, I've got to go."
"Trevor, no wait. You're in what? Finish it, Trevor. Finish what you were going to say-"
"It doesn't matter. I'm sure you're right. I'm just being paranoid. No one is watching me. Good night, Claire."
"Wait, Trevor. Are you Ok? Talk to me. What are you think-"
The phone clicked, going silent as Claire held it against her ear. Slowly she pulled it down, bewildered that he had hung up so quickly. Carefully, she laid the phone back down onto it's cradle on the end table beside her couch. She blinked to herself.
"Wonder what got into him..."
Claire took another sip of wine, wondering about what Trevor had said... and had been about to say. She would have given money to hear him finish that one incomplete sentence. She looked through her front window and upward, gazing absently at the stars far above in the dark night sky.
The blind to the window looking into Trevor's bedroom suddenly closed. Faith wrapped her arms tighter around herself as she waited in the park, feeling the chill of the night air. She felt frustrated that she could no longer see what Trevor was doing. She knew he had been talking to Claire on the phone. She couldn't hear a word of what he was saying, but she could see it in his face. Why did he put up with her? She was constantly trying to fix him, trying to make him simple, dull... human. He was the god of love. That was a beautiful, wondrous thing. Why was Claire always trying so hard to take all that away from him. And why was he letting her?
Faith looked around, standing in the shadows. It was getting late. She looked at her watch. Damn it. She was late for her dinner with David. Watching Trevor, she had lost track of time. She sighed. Well, David would just have to understand. This was important. She had to help Trevor get home to Olympus. Still, it seemed there was little more she could do tonight. She might as well go have dinner with David.
Faith sighed, turning away from Trevor's window. She reluctantly walked away through the darkened park, her small form dwarfed by the glittering towers of the Chicago skyline. The towers themselves were dwarfed by the glittering sky far above, where the stars twinkled endlessly, mindlessly.
The headlights of cars sped past outside the large glass window of the fancy restaurant Faith and David were sitting in. They sat together, having dinner. David poked discontentedly at his plate, not in a very good mood after Faith had showed up so late. But he had waited. And waited. He kept having to remind himself that she was worth it. Although at the moment, he wasn't so sure. Across from him, Faith was chattering along incessantly, her eyes bright as she spoke about Trevor at great length.
David sighed, not really listening. Not really wanting to either. It had been like this all night. He tried to remain calm, remembering how much he really liked her. Well, usually. He looked up at her as she continued. She would glance at him from time to time, smiling at him, but David suddenly wondered if she even saw that he was there at all.
"And that was when-" Faith was saying, "-Trevor told me that he had decided that he would invite both of them to a Blackhawks hockey party at Taggerty's. He set the whole thing up, the entire party, just to get Dan and Susan there together. He even left a Blackhawks t-shirt on Susan's doorstep just to get her to show up. Now at first, Susan was a little reluctant-"
David sighed, interrupting as he decided to try and steer the conversation away from Trevor, yet again. "Did I tell you that you look really radiant tonight?"
Faith blinked, wondering what he was getting at. "Umm, yeah. Three times already. Anyway, when Trevor finally got both of them there, things didn't go so well-"
Not really caring, David nodded, continuing. "Well, things seem to be going well for us, right? We turned out ok. I'm glad Trevor thought that we... should spend time together." He made sure to emphasize the 'we' part.
"Yeah. Me too. Anyway, after less than a minute, Susan fled out of Taggerty's and then-"
"Could we..." David tried to be polite, smiling weakly. "Could we please change the subject? No offense, but... Trevor's all you've talked about all night."
"Oh." Faith blinked, surprised. She seemed a little taken back that David didn't want to talk about Trevor. And vaguely offended. "Umm... Sure, I guess. He's just your average, ordinary, god of love fallen to Earth. That's all." She poked at her food, annoyed. "Happens every day."
David gave her a long, level look, wondering what went on inside her head.
He sighed. "Look, I know you're fascinated with Trevor. I mean, he's great and all. I got all that." Tenderly he reached out to lay his hand on top of hers across the table. "It's just that I really wanted tonight to be about... us. And not Trevor. The god of love can wait one night, can't he?"
Faith smiled momentarily, touched by the honest affection David was showing her. He really did feel something for her, didn't he? Maybe she had been neglecting her relationship with him recently. "Well, Trevor IS immortal. I guess one night isn't too long for him to wait."
David smiled back at her, happy to get the attention. "Great. That's great..." He lifted her hand and kissed it. "Just you and me, the rest of the night." He felt as if a ghost had left the room.
David leaned over the table, touching her cheek before he kissed her softly. In that moment, he suddenly remembered why he was with her. With a deep breath they broke apart, leaning back, looking happily at each other.
They were both silent for several moments, smiling contentedly as they went back to their meals. Faith's eyes glittered as she stared off into space blissfully, thinking. David was about to lift his fork into his mouth when he stopped in mid motion, seeing the look in her eyes before she even spoke.
"You know, you're absolutely right, David. Trevor once said that two people-"
David moaned, dropping the fork onto the plate. Oblivious to his reaction, Faith happily continued, telling her tale of Trevor's wsidom.
David lowered his head onto the table with a heavy thud. Not lifting it, he pulled the napkin from his lap, bringing it up to cover his ears.