Danny was the calm one. He was famous for it. Okay, so he was mostly famous for his cute smile, matching dimples, and pretending to be other people. It's all the magazines talked about, 'Danny Mahealani: The Boy Next Door now on Hollywood's doorstep! With a smile that says sweet and dimples that break hearts.'
Funnily enough, Danny hadn't broken any hearts since high school. Though his own heart was currently trying to betray him, beating out an unstable tattoo.
"You have reached the voicemail of the The Hot New Yankee," Danny could hear the capitalisation, "I'm currently off somewhere being Hot or New or a Yankee, so leave a message. Don't blame me. You did this America." *beeep*
"Why is no one answering their phones?! Answer your stupid phone, Der. CODE BURNT UMBER, you grumpy butt. He's not even answering my texts now. It's been three days and I'm still stuck on set. Please tell me you are on your way over there and aren't still on a plane somewhere." He hung up with an exasperated sigh.
Deep breaths. He was meant to be the calm one.
People were bustling around everywhere. He could see the gaffs and AD's running around trying to get the next scene ready. They were two days behind schedule because no one anticipated the New York City Sanitation Department to strike, as a result leaving a city covered in rubbish, which pushed their outside shoot out by a week. Danny could see the fan's behind the barricade in the distance. The longer the shoot went on, the larger the crowd got.
Any other time he would be revelling in it. When he'd gotten the part in the pilot of Bryan Fuller's newest TV show, he'd been beyond excited. It hadn't even seemed real, but even he hadn't anticipated this, he hadn't anticipated 'The Big Three'. So being part of the most talked about TV show this year, was pretty worthy of revelry. Usually he'd be on Twitter teasing the fandom or on Instagram sharing fun behind-the-scenes guff. Not today, today he wanted to be at home. Needed to be at home. Not in this stupid chair, waiting.
Danny's phone rings in his hand, he answered it after the first buzz. "Tell me you are there?" he leans his elbows on his knees, one hand over his eyes, the other holding the phone to his ear.
"I'm in a cab. I'm 30 minutes away." Danny can hear the cab driver swearing in the background, "Okay, okay, just go as fast as you can." followed by silence. "Danny? Are you still there?" the voice is a comfort but seeing the scruffy face it's attached to would be better.
"I'm still here, Der, and I'll be here on this set for all eternity at this rate. Wait, a cab?"
"Yeah, my ride wasn't there, cab seemed quickest." He hesitated, "Danny," the voice shakes, "when I got off the plane, I had a voicemail from 4 am yesterday of him mumbling something about Cerulean Blue over and over again." There's a sigh and then an angry, "Fucking Code Burnt Umber."
"I know, Derek. I know. Just get there please. Call me as soon as you get there."
"If you weren't on set, I wouldn't hang up at all. Oh and Danny?"
Derek willed the traffic to clear and gave the cabbie a hundred to go faster.
Greenberg had been their most recent and most disastrous of assistants. He couldn't even arrange a car service from the airport. You'd think 'New York's Big Three' could do better, but one assistant for three hot celebrities was a hard task without the challenges they in particular bought to the table. Due to shit planning on Greenberg's part, the three of them had been separated for way too long. Three weeks is too long. Team duties often took him out of the country or away for long periods of time, but Danny should have been there instead.
Fucking Greenberg. Fucking Code Burnt Umber. One simple rule. Never schedule all three of them apart, simple. Not so simple. They had lost three assistants over it and now a fourth.
He crossed his arms, slumped in the back of the cab and closed his eyes. He just wanted to shower and sleep. He could feel the jet lag slowly engulfing him. The flight from Australia had been over fourteen hours, add that to the lay over in L.A and the connecting flight to JFK. That didn't count the night of no sleep prior when he'd received the first message of concern from Danny. What time is it anyway?
Pre-season team bonding in Australia had seemed like a great idea, but the distance, time zones, and insane summer heat had driven him crazy. Oh and the fucking paps. How the paparazzi found him in another country he would never know. 'Hot New Yankee' they called him. They used that more than his name. Derek hated it. Yes, he was a slugger for the New York Yankees but he wasn't new. One season of fantastic hits combined with a paparazzi photo of him dancing with his shirt off, kissing someone in a club, and he was suddenly 'The Hot New Yankee'. He hated it. He was Derek Hale, dammit.
All that was a distant second place right now to needing to be home. Code Burnt Umber. Neither he or Danny had heard from him in days. He wasn't even responding to texts at this point, and texting was his main form of communication. No response was an automatic Code Burnt Umber.
"We're here," the driver stated as they pulled up to his building in The Village. He turned and looked at Derek, the face of slow recognition appearing on his features, "Hey! Hot New Yankee!" Derek soured. The driver flinched, took the extra hundred Derek threw at him and looked away. On most days, in Derek's mind, Greenwich Village was all sunshine and singing muppets. Today, as he exited the cab, he could feel the dark cloud hovering over his red brick home, the ex-firehouse at 70 Barrow Street.
Grabbing his bags, he bolted inside, dumping the luggage on the run up through the building. Speed dialing Danny as he went.
"Tell me you are there. I'm in a car service. I'm ten minutes away." Danny sounded freaked. Danny was never freaked. Danny was the calm one.
"I'm here." He took the spiral staircase steps three at a time, up to the studio on the top floor.
"STILES!!" he yelled the through the building again, reaching the sliding studio door, which was pointedly closed and locked. Derek banged on the door repeatedly, he'd punch through it if he had to. "STILES. PLEASE OPEN THE DOOR." The silence on the other side was extremely ominous. He tried again and again.
"Nothing. Fuck." Derek slid down onto the floor, his back leaning against the stubborn barrier. His breathing was heavy, the panic was settling in now. Danny was the calm one. Oh, Danny, who was still on the phone.
"Danny, how are you in a service car and not on set?"
"Just breath, Der. I'm five minutes away and fuck set," Danny never swore, "they can live without me for bit."
"Danny. You play Gomez Addams, in a show about Gomez and Morticia Addams. It's the lives of young Gomez and Morticia living their blissful kooky and ooky 20s in New York City. You're half the show."
"Well, they can shoot Allison's solo scenes or 2nd Unit or something. I'm pulling into our street now." He hung up.
Derek stood and tried banging again. He spoke through the door, "Stiles… please open the door. Please… be okay." He knew he was speaking to himself more than Stiles at this point.
He heard the front door open and the heavy foot steps of Danny doing the same run he did previously. Derek leant his forehead against the cold metal of the studio door. Breath Derek.
Stiles' brush hovered over the canvas, his chest ached, and his brush started quivering in his hand. He hadn't slept in days… or was it weeks? It felt like weeks. Something was wrong with his pillow. He couldn't sleep without his pillow. It didn't smell right. It had lost it's smell. Cerulean Blue. What was he thinking with Colbolt Blue? Cerulean Blue. Cerulean Blue was where it's at. Cerulean Blue screamed ocean, Cerulean Blue screamed tears. Cerulean Blue was his life. Cerulean Blue was his love. His love. His loves. The ache in his chest roses to the surface again.
He turned the volume up even further on his headphones, he swore he could physically hear the pounding of his own heart through his chest. He was so close. He lifted his brush to the canvas again. This was the one. Finish this one and he could rest. Finish this one and he could stop.
Stiles’ new collection was being hailed with much anticipation by New York's Art scene. Actually, since one of his paintings had graced the cover of The New Yorker, everyone in Manhattan knew his name. Luckily for him, the name they knew him by was 'Gin', a shortened version of his birth name. It was used as a pseudonym to help hide him from the world. He was one of New York's Big Three and they didn't even know what he looked like.
This way he could spend his days painting to his hearts content and not deal with people. Stiles didn't like people. Well, very few people. People generally, on mass, were assholes. He took a step back from the canvas, Mermen on the other hand, were awesome. Well, abstract representations of Mermen were awesome.
The canvas in front of Stiles consumed the wall behind it. Stiles liked large. Large scale was good. One viewing of Monet's Water lilies and he had never gone small again. His current collection was littered around the studio, leaning against other walls, a couple lay on the wood floors. Jars of turpentine and brushes, and tubs and tubes of paint on every surface. There was an unblemished view of the sky through the large paned window, the sunlight shone and begged Stiles to curl up and rest his eyes.
Brand New played wistfully in his ears, he swayed, no, he staggered. His hand and brush shook vigorously. He pushed and twisted his fingers into his chest. He missed them. He could hear Derek's voice now. It's not real. He'd been seeing and hearing things the last few days. It's just the lack of sleep. He dropped his brush and counted his fingers. Ten. Good, not dreaming, but he could still hear the banging of his heart and Derek's voice. He could have a drink? No. They would hate that. He would hate that. God, how he missed them. Stiles sunk to the floor, closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and thought of his Abyss. Cerulean Blue. Cerulean Blue. Cerulean Blue.
They hadn't had a Code Burnt Umber in over a year. Danny thought they'd make it through this collection unscathed. They had already fought this battle. Stupid Greenberg. He ran up the spiral stair case. If they hadn't been separated… Derek. Derek was there, endlessly pounding on the studio door, forehead rested forward, pleading to Stiles to please open up. His back was to him, Danny could see his broad shoulders knotted through his dark green henley, his breathing haggard and heavy. Danny stepped up behind Derek and placed his hands gently on Derek's hips.
"We're here. We're home. Breathe, Der." The 'it's going to be okay' was unspoken but he knew Derek understood.
Derek leant his head back to rest against Danny's shoulder, just the edge of his panic leaving him, "He isn't answering. What if he's done it this time? What if he's drunk himself into his "Abyss"?"
Stiles pretended to hate it when Derek used the air quotes when referencing his Abyss, but they all knew the teasing was foreplay. This time it took on a serious tone. Danny wrapped his arms around Derek further and pressed their temples together. Danny was done. He was tired, he's been on set for too long, and everything was meant to be better when Derek got back, but now Stiles was Burnt Umber-ing all over the place. Danny was meant to be the calm one.
"Let's bust the door off it's fucking rails."
Derek spun in his arms facing him and furrowed his eyebrows, "Danny, you swore. That's twice now. You never swear."
Danny raised one eyebrow of his own, "That's the part you focus on?"
"Right. Door. Busting." They braced themselves on one side of the sliding metal door. "Okay, kick on three. One… two… three!" With a loud crunch, the door flew open and toppled with a thump.
Stiles was unconscious on the floor.
"STILES!" They raced to his side. Derek braced Stiles' head in his lap, Danny leant over him, his and Derek's hands together framed Stiles' face.
Danny could see the dark circles under Stiles eyes, he was so pale, apart from the parts covered in paint. There was a streak of white through the front of his hair, greens and greys all over his black shirt, and blue all over his face and hands. Not completely out of the ordinary. Paint on Stiles was as frequent as his constellation of moles, but hadn't he left the studio at all? His thumb gently slid along Stiles' cheek bone, had he been eating? From here he could hear the dulcet tones of Jesse Lacey through his head phones which had slipped from his head in the chaos, and what appeared to be… snoring?!
Danny watched as Derek's whole body physically unlocked, his shoulders finally relaxed somewhat. Derek wrapped one hand around the back of Danny's neck pulling their foreheads together. "He hasn't slept while we've been away, thinks his pillow smells wrong, has camped out in his studio painting 24 hours a day, has forgotten to eat, has been listening to angst ridden Brand New over and over again, and has now passed out probably chanting Burnt Umber this whole time."
He nodded, the tattoo of his heart beat finally steadying . "Exactly that."
"Cerulean Blue, actually." Stiles slurred, mid waking up, he tapped his finger on the tip of Danny's nose, then on Derek's, and proceeded to pass out again.
Danny looked at Derek's nose, a small smile crossed his face, his dimples showing for sure.
"Stiles blew us."
"What?!" Derek wiped the tip of his own nose, and looked at the paint on his finger.
"Ha. Stiles Cerulean Blue us."