The entry-phone buzzer sounded loudly in the for once, quiet flat. Kallisti Gold looked up from her tablet, taking her eyes off the fruit icons cascading down the screen for a second. “Door!” she shouted. Looking back at the screen, she swore and quit the game, her high score ruined. The buzzer sounded again. “Door!!” she yelled once more then realised that the flat wasn’t just quiet it was silent. That was very unusual… dragging herself off the couch, Gold grumbled as she slouched to the hallway where the entry-phone was located. She pressed the button that activated the video camera in the hall and could see a carton of strawberry cheesecake ice-cream showing in the screen held by someone out of the camera view.

“I brought ice cream” a voice came through the tinny speaker, the accent was unmistakable.

“What the fuck do YOU want?” Gold replied angrily.

“I brought ice cream… I thought we could share it.” came the response.

“Huh, I hope you brought another one” Gold pressed the button that unlocked the door. Kallisti the Friar stood in the hall, holding two cartons of ice cream. She was dressed in a green trouser suit with white embroidery down the leg. The jacket had tails at the back and more white embroidery.

“You cut your bloody hair!” Gold exclaimed, taking the offered carton of ice cream. Friar shrugged and stepped over the doorway cautiously in case the door was slammed in her face.

“The hair salons in Mercy Island aren’t as good as Talos Island.”

“Well serves you fucking right! You shouldn’t have been over in that dump.” Gold turned her back and went to the kitchen for a spoon. Friar followed her, noting the unkempt hair, crumpled pyjamas (gold coloured silk of course) and the lack of make-up, something Gold had usually been contentious about. She was not even wearing her bunny ears!.  In the kitchen Gold took a spoon from the drawer and ripped the carton top off. She scowled as she attacked the ice cream with the spoon. “Huh, you’ve even defrosted it a bit…” she looked up at Friar, realisation dawning. “You arranged all this – the rest of them buggering off, Flame defrosting the ice cream…”

“Well…”

“You are all bloody conspiring again me!” Gold tucked into the ice cream anyway, grumbling.

“Because we all love you and… they wanted to help me say sorry.”

“Sorry? Sorry?” Gold gestured angrily with the spoon, drops of ice cream splattering over the kitchen counter. “You think ‘Sorry’ and a tub of ice cream will be enough?”

“It got me into the flat without you slamming the door on me. That’s a start.”

“Pah!” Gold helped herself to more ice cream. She glanced at Friar and opened the cutlery drawer again, pulled out a spoon and threw it at her. “Here!” Friar caught the spoon easily, suppressing a smile. She stood next to Gold and opened her carton of ice cream. Gold peered over at it. “Rum and raisin? When did you start eating rum and raisin? Is this your ‘New’ friends in Mercy Island?” she made the inverted comma sign with her fingers.

“I just fancied a change. Want some?”

“Oh so its short hair and rum and raisin is it?” Gold scooped some ice cream out of Friar’s carton anyway, sniffed it and ate it. “Got a boyfriend as well now?”

Friar put the ice cream on the counter and looked away so that Gold couldn’t see the tears in her eyes. “No, there is only one person in this world for me…” she sniffed and turned back to face Gold. “I’ve missed you so much I thought I’d die… it horrible over there but I had to go… I had to do something, something you can’t do here, something I couldn’t do with you…” it all poured out of her suddenly.

Gold carefully put the carton and spoon on the counter and turned to face Friar. Quick as a flash, her hand flashed out and slapped Friar. “You silly cow, don’t you realise there is NOTHING on this earth I wouldn’t do to help you?” Friar raised her hand to the stinging cheek. “If that meant slumming it in Mercy Island or Granville or  where ever the fuck, we would do it TOGETHER!! If it meant sneaking into some rich wanker’s mansion and putting him in a coma coz of what he did to you, we’d do it together!!” There were tears in Gold’s eyes now. “Its you and me, ALWAYS you and me, I don’t want to live without you, the world is empty without you…” she reached out to the cheek she’d slapped. “You’ve been alone too long, that ended when you came here. You aren’t alone any more, you don’t have to solve problems on your own any more. I am here… we all are here…” She grabbed Friar’s collar and pulled her close.

“Don’t EVER do that again!” she kissed Friar fiercely and a crackle of uncontrolled electricity grounded through them both as they embraced. The circuit breakers cut in and the lights went out, the hum of the refrigerator died…

* * *

Sitting in the corner booth of the coffee shop across the road from Christie Apartments, Bronze, Flame, Red and Scarlett glanced up as the lights in the top floor apartment flickered and went out.

“Well thank fuck for that, we can have Christmas without her being a misery-guts!” Red breathed a sigh of relief. Bronze closed the webcam screen as the connection dropped out due to the power surge.

“I was impressed with that slap, Friar wasn’t expecting that!” said Flame, lightly toasting one of the crumpets they had ordered with the fire from her fingers.

“Yeah she was – I bleeding warned her Gold’d been practising on the cushions.” Scarlett slid her chilled tea cup over to Flame who obligingly warmed it up for her. “Friar has been practising NOT dodging for days!”

“How long do you think before its safe to go back in the flat?”  Flame asked.

“About a week I reckon, let them get it out of their system…” said Bronze

“We can send Steel in first as she’s got the best chance of survival!” Red high-fived Bronze.

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