quick exit

Eoghan had told him about the church after he’d looked at it. Not that he’d said much, only that he was sure it would be the best thing ever. He hadn’t brought it up again.

After a somewhat grueling day at work, where the heat had stopped working despite the work that had been done to get it fixed up, Armin had stepped out of the building, the twins and Cyrille a few steps ahead of him. He’d turned to lock the doors and when he’d turned back to head along with the other three, he had noticed Eoghan’s car idling just a few paces away.

Armin eased closer and looked into the lowering window. Eoghan had smiled at him and told him to get in, to let the kids head on home. There had been something for him to see. Armin hadn’t argued, had simply slipped into the car, glad that the window was already easing up and shut. He was chilled and the car was comfortable and warm.

Eoghan didn’t tell him where they were going.

When they pulled up to the curb, just outside of the church, Armin’s eyes grew wide, not even really certain as to what he was looking at. Was this really the church that had been mentioned about? When the car was turned off and Eoghan eased outside, Armin followed him, careful to get his crutch settled at his arm again once he was as steady as he could on his feet.

He walked, following the taller man, slipping past the fences once it was unlocked with a key. They went up the stairs and Eoghan held the door open for him. He stepped inside and stopped just a few paces away from the door. His eyes were wide, filled to the brim with wonder.

“This place is huge, Eoghan. It’s going to look half empty once everything gets moved in here. Are you sure we should? It’s not so much that it’s an old church and I can imagine you’ll do something pretty magical with it all but I just can’t help but imagine all of this place just half empty because of how little stuff we have.” Armin looked around the huge ‘room’ once more, taking in all the details. The pews were all gone, all that was really left were the pillars and he knew those weren’t really going anywhere at all. He didn’t mind.

“It’s going to be perfectly perfect, Armin. As perfect as it can get. You had so many books way out of reach because your shelves were too high, we’ll have more shelves, a comfortable area for the kids, a reading corner, we can even set up a computer area that’ll be more than just a row with three or so computers that are so old they barely run well enough to get what you need out of them.” Eoghan laughed softly, the sound echoing against the high ceiling. He saw a bird, a pigeon more than likely, scatter at the echo, making a quick exit off who knew where. He’d have to look into that to make sure there were no birds or rodents or anything else that didn’t belong before anything else. Or at least once the windows were changed.

“Well, you’re the one working on all of the setup, the one with the eye for the layouts. I just feel like this space is really, absolutely huge. What are we going to set up along the bit of room we have on the upper floor?” He looked up towards the stairs and shook his head, he wasn’t looking forward to having to climb those, not one tiny little bit.

Eoghan shrugged gently. “The organ was up there before, at least that’s what I was told, there’s not that much room and I’m not sure, honestly. To tell you the truth I haven’t gone up to see just yet so I don’t know how small or big it might be. It could be another reading corner or we could mock-gate it up and claim it as the area for the forbidden books. The evil stuff.”

He waved his hands as he uttered the word evil, trying to make it seem as if he’d said something spooky. “Or it can just be a place where you guys can have your breaks or even just a place for the extra stuff that usually stays hidden in the back room, we’ll figure it out, Armin. I know you’re not comfortable with that kind of stairs though it’s not a spiral staircase and it’s pretty easy going up, I think you’d get used to it if you gave it a chance.”

“I might, just not today, please?”

“Not today is fine. Today I just wanted you to see this place. It’s going to be grandiose, I tell you.”

Armin had a feeling it would be. The old building looked like a trap for who knew what compared to this place. It was beautiful and not even close to the kind of church he had seen now and again while he was growing up. “This place looks like it’s an early Gothic style, I hadn’t seen one of those in well, ever.”

It really would be absolutely perfect for the library, that’s what he told himself, that’s what he wanted to believe.

Briefly, he shivered and used his free arm to rub his other one with a soft sigh. “I don’t want to seem ungrateful but can we head home? We’ve had one of those days, the heat failed absolutely and I just feel drained and chilled.”

Eoghan turned and smiled at him, nodding towards the door. “We might as well, at least now you know what I’m working with, or at least what I see when I mention the church. I tell you, eventually, this place is going to be so big that people from out of the city and maybe even out of the country will come!”

He laughed, the sound bright an amused. Another bird scattered off, exiting somewhere up way above their head. He turned, Armin following him, and they moved back towards the door and to the car. Eoghan opened the door for the slighter man, Armin blinked up at him a moment but slid into his seat, setting the crutch against the seat as he did. Eoghan closed the door and went around to his side. He slid inside, buckled himself up and started the car again, breathing a quite note of content at the warm draft of air that began to circulate in the vehicle.

He drove them home without a pause, not much caring to take the scenic route as it was. Armin was tired, he could tell that much just from looking at the man and he’d almost, oh almost brought him straight home instead of at the church but he had wanted his vision to be shared. It was just one of those things.

Once the car was parked, he eased out, stretching with a yawn as the chill of the evening air settled against his skin without even asking if it could. He shook his head and walked back inside, Armin at his side. He kept to the slighter man’s pace, holding the door open once they were inside. He even walked him to his door, bidding him a good evening and a good night before he wandered back towards the stairs, taking them nearly two by two to get upstairs.

He could have taken the elevator, he knew but he wanted his muscles to warm up. While he hadn’t been outside long, the chill had almost too easily sunk into his bones and he didn’t much care to be cold. Once at the top, slightly out of breath, he stepped inside and the heat of the crackling fireplace replaced the chill utterly. He sighed and closed his eyes for a few moments, enjoying the sound of the fire before he was finally easing out of his coat and hanging it up.

“I think he’s going to love it. Afraid it’ll look empty but I’ll just make sure it’s as perfect as possible.”

“He’ll love it, Eoghan. So long as it has heat, good lighting and it isn’t falling to pieces, he’ll love it.”


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