At the very least there was the possibility to change the subject. Tim knew he couldn’t ask Irish to do this now. Even if she could talk to Heherson about it, it wouldn’t be fair to her and who knew how long it would take Heherson to get beyond the whole “take me back” routine he’d likely start up the moment Irish arrived. Very quickly, Tim checked his phone to see if he had somehow missed a call. Gotten a message. Anything. But no, his father had not responded in any form.
Time to bite the bullet. “Speaking of the dead, have you noticed outside? The zombie apocalypse is starting.”
Heherson was still smiling, though his cheeks flushed slightly. “Yeah, I’d noticed. I was actually going to ask you about that, since you showed up and all.”
Tim wasn’t going to take that. “Why do you look embarrassed.”
“Well…” Heherson shifted uncomfortably, his smile still there despite it clearly resonating his discomfort rather than any other emotion. “Because it had been on my mind for the last couple weeks, you know? Something that would impress Irish.”
“You know she’s had some big meetings coming up, right? It wouldn’t matter whether it impressed her or not, she would still be too upset over how it messed up her work to think well of it.”
“I know! And I certainly thought of that after, but…”
Tim put up a hand. “After what? Start at the beginning, Heherson. Did you or did you not actually take the idea on your mind and put it in reality?”
Irish had been completely right. Already Heherson had started in on it. There was no way that bringing her here would let Heherson focus on anything else. On the other hand, would he then stop raising the dead if Irish asked him to? Tim was here, so it wasn’t like he could do anything else. It wasn’t as if Heherson had tried doing anything to Irish anyway, since they had broken up. He might seem a bit obsessed, but other than being a bit of a creep while talking about it Heherson hadn’t done anything.
“I haven’t. You know why? Not because there’s anything wrong with Irish. Not because there is anything wrong with me. I’ve never been interested in that at all. Being a necromancer seems to make you want to have a lot more interaction with the living, Heherson. But the things even we untrained necromancers can tell about the body creeps me out more than anything. I’ve never been interested in touching anyone ever.”
Heherson scratched at his short cropped beard. “If you aren’t interested in the living, did you think that you might be more interested in the dead maybe?”
It wasn’t as if he hadn’t heard that before. “No, I don’t think that would do it for me either. Just because we’re born necromancers doesn’t automatically make us necrophiliacs.”
“Sure doesn’t make me one. The cold doesn’t do it for me, you know?”
“Cold sure bites.”
“It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. You don’t even have to go inside.”
Irish stared out the front windscreen, chewing mercilessly at her bottom lip. “Can you go first?”
“Can I go first?”
“Make sure that he won’t be weird when I come in?”
“Wait a moment. You want me to talk to him about you?”
She nodded, finally looking back at him. Tim was keenly aware that something about the set up was a little flipped. Who should be talking to him about a failed relationship and who should be talking to him about necromancy? Nevertheless, if Tim had to talk about anything with Heherson, he certainly would rather talk about Irish than about the dead. Much like how Irish would much rather talk about the dead than what all went wrong between her and Heherson.
He sighed. “All right. I’ll loosen him up for you.”
“Don’t phrase it like that.”
“I’m not saying…” Tim shook his head, dropping that. “That doesn’t matter, because you certainly aren’t interested in him anymore like that. But if he’d listen to you about this, maybe you could get him to stop?”
“Why on earth do you think he’d even listen to me? He barely listened to me when I left him.”
Tim frowned. “I thought you left him because you couldn’t tolerate how disorganized he was.”
“Of course that’s why I left him. But he didn’t get that. He wasn’t listening. Kept saying how things would get better. I’d already talked to him about how his messiness and spontaneity wasn’t cutting it for me. It took weeks before he really accepted the fact I’d moved out, remember?”
He didn’t really remember that, because Irish had very promptly put it behind herself and didn’t spend much time talking about it. Once she had broken up with Heherson, Tim hadn’t seen as much of the man. They had a lot in common, he and Heherson, but the only thing that had really brought them together was Irish.
It was no secret that Heherson was still completely heads over heels for Irish. The breakup hadn’t been his decision, solely Irish’s. “He would totally listen to you.”
“No. He would totally look at me with big puppy eyes.” Irish frowned, looking rather uncomfortable. “If I went to talk to him now you know he’d get the wrong idea. I don’t want to deal with that.”
That a mass influx of dead people might hit the streets seemed a bit more important to Tim. However, he couldn’t ignore the idea. “He’d probably think you’re impressed. Considering your first reaction was that it’s bad timing but a big deal, he wouldn’t be wrong.”
Irish glowered. “Hey. I don’t think there should be a mass raising of the dead ever. That’s just insensitive.”
Tim rose an eyebrow. “‘That’s impressive’.”
She rolled her eyes. “It is impressive. That doesn’t mean anything.”
“Well then, we know for sure it’s not you.” Irish smirked, though a part of her seemed to relax as Tim finally drank his chocolate. “Even if you wanted to. You didn’t want to early enough. You’re sort of not good at the subject.”
Tim swallowed. “A dead fish, if you will.”
Irish groaned. “Okay, so Heherson is doing a mass raise. What terrible timing. Now what?”
The moment of truth. Tim set his mug back down, keeping the warmth between his hands. “Can you talk to him about it?”
Irish scowled. “What? Why me?”
“Because he’d listen to you. I doubt he’d want to hear it from me.” Tim smirked, with a slight shrug moving his wrinkled shirt too much.
“I haven’t talked to Heherson since we broke up,” she reminded him.
“I don’t think he holds that against you.”
“What’s taking you so long?”
Agata almost jumped, instinctively glaring back at Amalio. “They’re still practicing.”
“Ezio won’t mind. Go on in.”
He would say that. “I… I don’t want to talk to him with his coworkers around. This is something I want to do in private.”
Amalio looked confused. Agata wished he didn’t. She wished he would simply continue talking as if he wasn’t thinking about what she had said. This had been the problem when they were dating, Amalio didn’t think everything through, but he did it when she preferred he didn’t. A good man. Which was why she didn’t want to talk to him about it. She looked back at the door that would take her into the theater.
“He’d be crazy to say no.”
Agata’s heart skipped a beat. One terrifying beat. Looking back at Amalio, he smiled at her.
“I’m not saying that because you’re wonderful. Now, and I’m telling you this in all confidence, I’m saying that because he told me something that I promised not to repeat. But with this knowledge, that I really can’t tell you, I can say that he’d have to do a complete one eighty from our conversation to say no.”
A light chuckle escaped Agata’s throat. “You’re terrible at keeping secrets.”
“What? I didn’t say anything. Go on. I’m sure he’s been waiting. Not that you heard it from me.”
She reached for the door and stopped. “Thanks.”
Agata opened the door.