Simple Things (Veronica)
Days had melted into weeks. The music hadn't cared. It came without pause, a voracious phoenix at turns devouring him in its flames and re-birthing him to die again in its embrace. His body protested the lack of sleep, the lack of sustenance, the lack of any amount of extended rest -- but it was all of it worth it. The composer stood at last from his desk and wearily tugged on the black gloves that shielded him from the rest of the world. His touch had taken on warmth these days, thanks in no small part to the surgery Hannibal performed to save his life. But the gloves were as much a part of him as the suits, the night, the music. To encounter the world without them was unthinkable. Besides, the ink stains on his hands would not come clean for a week at least. He could not endure presenting himself in any fashion that was not neat or tidy.
After having set himself to rights again, Erik began the long climb upward from his house by the lake in the deep cellars of the Opera House. When he finally surfaced, he was surprised to find that he'd arrived just for sunset. What was his wife doing now? After publishing their wedding notice, somewhat late, he'd kissed her soundly and fared her well -- with the promise of his return once the opera was complete. His intention was to go to her now, but not just yet.
Presents came first.
His car and driver were with Christine, as he'd desired it to be. Erik stepped out into the street just outside the Opera and began to walk down the street where he thought there to be a good array of gift shops. What did one buy for one's wife upon returning from a long absence? He paused before a flower shop and considered.