Tony sat in bed for a little while contemplating the news. In a rare act of intrigue he read the stories about his TV performance, and was surprised by how undecided they were. He got out of bed, eventually, having sent a message to Alison, apologising and asking her to come back and talk, as of yet he had heard nothing.
Tony made breakfast and wandered into his lounge. The white walls and black blinds went crisply with the dark red sofa, and made the room a pleasing mixture of cosy and stylish.
Tony sat on the sofa and tried to remember what had happened the night before.
Tony and Nigel, fresh from the meeting with Gerald had parked the car and wandered into the city to share a drink with Patrick. The soft furniture and warm colours of The King James had felt like a more attractive option than the flashy bars full of suited bankers and PR managers anyway.
Sitting on the soft barstools, Tony and Nigel signalled their arrival to Patrick with a quick salute. Patrick, always keen to up the ante proceeded to carry out a full naval salute to full attention. He remained totally static.
After about ten seconds Nigel clicked, and in his best Sergeant Major's voice bellowed. “At ease gentlemen.” Patrick dropped the salute and stood quietly.
“That sounds like Gerald.” Tony remarked as he nudged Nigel.”
“You alright Patrick?” Nigel asked.
Patrick stood still and said nothing.
“What are you... oh. Very good. Permission to speak.” Tony laughed.
“Thank you sir.” Patrick smirked. “I'm fine thanks Tone.”
“It was me who asked, I find it rude that you addressed a lesser ranking officer instead of me.” Nigel added in his newly discovered Gerald voice.
“Sorry sir.” Patrick said with faux remorse.
“Did I say you could speak, private?” Gerald, I mean Nigel snapped back.
“No sir. Oh bugger.” Patrick laughed.
“Okay okay, I get it.” Tony interjected. “Can we stop the military talk and get down to military style drinking please?”
“Two very large Navy Rums coming up... SIR!” Patrick bellowed.
With the first sip of the outrageously toe curling rum, the night had begun.
As Patrick's shift finished shortly after Tony and Nigel has arrived, he soon joined them on the other side of the bar, placing himself onto the bar stool at a moments notice of clocking out.
“I've been watching Tone, I love what you are doing.” Patrick explained. “The whole show now has a dangerous air around it, I never know what is going to happen next. It's compulsive viewing.”
“See, that's because you haven't taken it far enough yet Tony.” Nigel remarked. “People haven't been put off the show, we need to get the idiots who watch it, no offence, to switch off.”
“Some taken.” Tony offered an amused glare to Nigel.
“I just mean the idiots who watch for the stupid guests Gerald keeps bringing on.” Nigel clarified.
“I know... I know.” Tony smiled. “But I went for the jugular with Chillgame and people still seemed to enjoy it.”
“Yes but Chillgame are shit.” Patrick added.
“Yes. But the idiots we want to turn over love them, and yet they seemed to like the show!” Tony exclaimed.
“I think you have to keep at it. If you are rude to everybody then surely people will get sick of it eventually.” Nigel insisted.
“I bloody well hope so.” Tony sighed.
As Patrick hopped round the bar to pour the next shots of rum, Abbie walked through the door of the pub and waved to Tony, smiling as her face lit up. Tony waved back and got off of the bar stool to go and greet her.
“Patrick.” Nigel whispered. Patrick didn't hear, he had his back to Nigel, pouring the rum.
“Paaattrrriiickkk.” Nigel half whispered half shouted. Patrick didn't hear.
Nigel pick up a coaster and threw it at Patrick.
“Ow.” Patrick exclaimed as the coaster hit him squarely on the back of the head. “What?”
“Is it me, or is there something happening with Tony and Abbie?” Nigel asked in as much of a whisper as he could manage whilst being heard by Patrick.
Patrick looked across to Tony, who was stood just in front of Abbie, both of whom were smiling. As Tony said something unintelligible from the bar, Abbie laughed and flicked her flame coloured hair. Shortly afterwards the two of them shared a hug, which looked extremely comfortable, and went on for maybe a second longer than you would expect from most people.
“Who is she?” Patrick remarked. “I think you may be right though.”
“She's a friend of ours. Do you think we should say something?” Nigel asked.
“Maybe, let's play it by ear.” Patrick shrugged.
“Okay. Makes sense.” Nigel nodded.
“Hi guys, Abbie has come to join us for a bit, is that ok?” Tony asked
“Of course Tone.” Patrick replied. “I'm not sure I've been introduced though.”
“Oh, sorry Patrick. This is Abbie, she is a brilliant hairdresser. Abbie, this Patrick, the son of my former manager, and reasonable impersonator of a naval officer.”
Abbie looked a little confused, but gave a little laugh and waved. “Nice to meet you Patrick.”
“Likewise miss. What can I get you?” Patrick enquired.
Noticing that all three of them had what appeared to be glasses of the same drink, Abbie questioned. “What are you guys on today?”
“Naval rum. It hits you like a torpedo.” Tony replied.
“Ahhh, I see. Well I'll have the same then please private.” Abbie giggled and sat on the bar stool to the left of Tony.
“Yes Ma'am.” Patrick answered.
“Word in your ear private, don't ever call me ma'am, it makes me sound about fifty years old.” Abbie replied with the mocking sternness of a headmistress.
“Sorry, er, sir?” Patrick shrugged.
“Miss will do, thank you private.” Abbie glanced over to Tony for a split second, he caught her gaze and smiled.
“Yes miss.” Patrick saluted and went to pour the rum.
“If I'd have known this was going to carry on all night I would have borrowed some marine hats from the props department.” Tony laughed.
“I can give you all naval haircuts if you like?” Abbie added.
Nigel posed thoughtfully. “Tony won't need much help if you keep putting all those colours in his hair.”
Tony scowled mockingly at Nigel and sipped his rum. “So what's the plan from here gentlemen? Oh, and er, girl.”
Abbie raised a single eyebrow, looked inquisitive, and followed it up with a cheesy grin.
Patrick jumped in. “I know a great place a few streets down, judging from the past few weeks of shows, I think you'll love it Tony.
Nigel looked inquisitively at Patrick, who nodded and looked slightly smug.
“Sounds good to me.” Tony replied.
A couple of hours later, and they were ready to leave the pub. Nigel and Patrick walked on ahead towards the next destination. Tony and Abbie walked behind, side by side and a little slower, talking about her week.
“Have you been okay Abbie?” Tony asked with genuine kindness.
“Still not great to be honest, but better than before.” Abbie replied honestly.
“Sorry things aren't great, you deserve to be happy.”
“Thank you Tony. As do you, I hope you can be soon.”
“I hope it doesn't take too long though.”
“Hang in there Bea, you'll be ok.”
“Bea?” Abbie enquired.
Tony laughed nervously and put his hand over his mouth, replying. “Sorry, for some reason that seemed a nice way of er... I'll be quiet now.”
Abbie put her hand on his arm. “It's ok Tony, it's nice.” She smiled.
Tony smiled back, they shared a brief glance and Tony put his arm round her waist as they walked along together.
Just in front Nigel and Patrick were discussing what was going on behind them.
“She clearly likes him Nigel.”
“Yes, and he clearly likes her.”
Patrick thought for a moment. “What about Tony's partner?”
“Last I heard they were going through a rough patch.” Nigel replied. “Besides, those two look so comfortable together it would seem rude to interfere.”
“Can we interfere in a nice way?” Patrick asked back.
“Oh, of course we can do that.” Nigel laughed. “I already have a little.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well, I made sure that she would be around when he needed a new haircut for the show.” Nigel explained.
“Good work sergeant.” Patrick replied.
“Let's not start that again!”
Ten minutes later and the four arrived at the next destination. As Patrick led through the side street to the nightclub, each of the other three gradually noticed the venue in turn, and gave Patrick a quizzical look.
“Lady and gentlemen. Welcome to your new favourite nightclub.” Patrick announced, and walked to the queue.
Tony, Abbie and Nigel looked up at the bright neon sign and wondered what to expect.
'The PIT.' London's Heaviest Rock Club
The exterior was black all over, except for the white neon light of the sign. The queue was made up of people dressed largely in black band t-shirts and what looked to Tony's untrained eye like mild fetish wear.
“This is just a music club right?” Tony enquired.
“I sure hope so.” Abbie replied. “Only one way to find out.”
They walked into the queue, and listened to the rumbling sounds coming from inside. It was hard to pick out what was playing, but it definitely included loud distorted guitars and louder drums being hit with the force of a shotgun bullet. Whatever speakers were being used sounded as if they had been rejected from a Motorhead concert for being too noisy.
As the three reached the entry desk, the girl behind the glass recognised Tony. She gave him the devil horns with each of her hands and nodded her head in respect. “No charge for you and your friends Tony.”
Tony nodded, said thanks and walked through to the club with Abbie and Nigel.