Series: East and West
Character: David Li, from Silver and Black, introducing Eva, Mack, and Bob
Rating/Warnings: G pretty much, no warnings
Word Count: 1000, exactly
Author's Note: This is the first of my 1000-word challenge pieces. This one happens to be original, and it's for the word "Defiant". Yes, David's co-workers from "We Get It Done" were folks I thought about for... months, really. So they'll probably appear again later as they're definitely a part of how David's effectiveness, even if he does move away for a while. Many thanks to mysocalledhell for a quick proofread, and to darkprism for really wanting to know what happens next.
"You can't leave."
"You're shooting in New Zealand for eight weeks. You're not going to stop me."
"I'll come home on the next plane."
"You do that and your contract will be broken. You knew that when you signed it."
"I did not!"
"I told you..."
"I'll come home anyway."
"Right. I guess I'll see you if you do."
David Li moved out. Bob Inverness got storage and moving pods there in two hours, a crew in one, and every item David owned was out of the Westside mansion in eight more. They paid overtime. David stayed another twenty four hours, just in case. No one ever showed.
Inverness got another call the next morning.
"Bob? It's David."
"Do you, Eva, and Mack want to buy the company from me?"
"Is it 'cause you need the money?"
"No. Just... wondering if you wanted to own what you pretty much now run? I need out, I think."
"Because of yesterday?
"Partially. I think I'm going to need to move on. Maybe make it a twenty-two for me with three twenty-sixes, each buying up from the ten you earned signing on? Then you'll all have to get along to make it work."
"That should work, so you'll still support us with capitol. That'll help us out." Bob sighed into the phone. "Mary and Anne are going to miss you something fierce."
A long pause greeted that foray and just as Bob was about to apologize, the words came softly, "I'm going to miss them too."
"You've thought this through?"
"I'm afraid so."
"Oh..." Bob sighed. They had one running joke, and it was that if David had thought it through, it was getting done. "All right, you want me to get the papers drawn up then? I can get Santos to look it over for you."
"You draw it up. I trust you, Bob."
"You'll still read it over, right?"
The laughter over the line reassured Bob that this wasn't just something being done in a mad moment of despair. Not that anyone could ever tell with David. "Yes, of course. Can you imagine me signing something I hadn't read?"
"No. Good. We'll get this done."
"Of course we will."
"Come in Friday at one?"
"How about I come in at nine, pack my desk and I'll be ready to go at one."
"Right. You do that."
Bob heard the sigh on the other end. "All right. See you then."
May 7, 2001 9am
David walked the block between his hotel room and the offices of We Get It Done. The small business park had been like a second home to him in the last six months. The purple jacaranda trees scattered blossoms before his feet and he wondered if he'd ever see them bloom again.
He'd started the concierge business two years ago as an adjunct to helping out his young actor lover navigate the waters of LA. There were many people in as dire a need for help in making their lives easier and smoother, and what began as an on-the-phone errand boy job grew into a time management, resource juggling, crazy-ass job. As more actors came to him, he found that a few were happier on his side of the job than on theirs. He started paying them for what they did best.
Tall, dark, and handsome Inverness, after he'd gotten a wife and kids, turned out to be happier with the steady gofer work. After drawing up dozens of contracts for dozens of jobs, he found he had a taste for legalese. UCLA's law school accepted him as a part-time graduate student last fall, and he was doing great.
Tiny, blonde Eva Madison came on to help David when Bob started school, and she proved a boon with the wrangling editors, producers, media management, and getting new business as they needed it. She managed to sign on two of the big production companies that were now their bread and butter.
She made them so much business they all decided to hire feisty, red-headed Mackie Faulk, who proved to have a nose for who to use for all the jobs. He could squirrel out the good from the bad, in everything from party hosts, last minute script-writers, on-site massage therapists, legal consultants, financial advisors, tutors, to costumers. If he okayed them, they worked out.
These three were good at what they did, loved it and tackled it with the same kind of ferocity he brought to everything.
After getting everything into boxes, and the boxes into his TT, he went to the main meeting room and found all three dressed in their dark suits and white shirts. They looked so old, suddenly, when he was so used to thinking of them as kids. He grinned at them from behind his old engineer's polo shirt, khaki cargo pants, and boat shoes. They still fit his slender build.
Mack laughed. "Hey, boss, dressed down a bit aren't you?"
"Yeah... well... it's comfortable, and an old retired person has a right to comfort," David said easily, his fingers running through his black and silver hair.
It was Eva that snorted.
"Shall we get down to it?" Bob asked, and got a glare from Mack.
"You're gonna make us read all of it, aren't you?" Mack groaned.
They all laughed and went to work. When all the initials and signatures were signed, each of them handed a check over. David wrote them their receipts, shook their hands, said his good-byes, and then got tackle-hugged by all three.
When David walked out the front foyer his eyes were blurry from tears, so when his cell phone signaled a text message he ignored it, and walked to the TT. He opened the car, sat in the seat, found the tissues under the merest excuse of a back seat, and dried his eyes. Then he looked at the message.
"Hey, Li, want to save the world again? No mosquitoes this time."