The various homes, flats, and other dwellings of London are located throughout the city. You can visit a friend at his home or even have one over or enjoy an evening in with yourself. Your choice!
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By Matthew Cox
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#7923
'Ickle Spot' was and would always be theoretical. He wasn't getting a dog. He might have to reveal his abilities to Klaus in order to get unattached from him, but he was perfectly fine learning his own routes.

"Cats don't seem to be the ideal animal for leading the blind, Smitty. I can learn the routes myself. I just need time. Besides, I can call a cab if I need to go anywhere."

The undertones of frustration were gaining strength, so Matt forced himself to go through his breathing exercises that he used to calm himself before combat. When his breathing was deep and regular again, Matt resisted the urge to mutter another complaint.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#7924
Klaus didn't reply as he glanced over and saw Matt seemingly focusing on something. He sighed, refreshing his grip on the steering wheel and shaking his head. "That they don't, Matty," Klaus said after a moment had passed. "But I sure would love seeing you trip." Anything to calm the tension that seemed the norm after therapy appointments. Matt did not like addressing this new handicap and what difficulties it presented, Klaus noticed. Perhaps the therapist thought forcing him to cry was a good way to spend appointments? Couldn't tell much of anything with the glasses. All they did was point out the person was blind as though the stick wasn't enough, it seemed to Klaus.
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By Matthew Cox
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#7927
Matt gave a short chuckle and turned his head over to Klaus. The soft smile was back.

"Ass."

There was genuine affection in the insult. After all, who but your best friend could eagerly anticipate your destructive accidents?

Matt braced himself in anticipation for the turn into the apartment complex. They'd already passed the two intersections and gone two minutes past the turn, plus Klaus was slowing.

"Mum's car there, yet?"

He couldn't 'see' through car glass; it was an odd limitation, but unless an outside sound was loud enough to vibrate the glass, it was opaque to his special sight.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#7936
"Bitch," Klaus replied in tandem, a grin on his face as he prepared to turn more gently than he might have with another passenger. When he turned in, he looked for Missus C's car since Matt asked. "Uhhh...she's a mint green mini coup, right? 'cause I don't see one," he said as he pulled into his spot and then stepped out of the car to go to the curb on Matt's side to help him once he reached the curb. He was doing well for being so new to this, honestly. He probably truthfully just needed his voice until they got to the steps at this point. Still, Klaus felt better making sure until he was one hundred percent certain Matt was good enough to make it that far on his own. Once he stopped bumping into things in the house on occasion and such.
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By Matthew Cox
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#7937
Matt maneuvered himself to the steps, showing off his new cane skills by using the instrument as he'd learned in therapy today to do essentially what he and Klaus had done days prior. He swung his head to face Klaus ,a smug grin planted on his face.

"Therapy wasn't a complete waste of time, by the way...jerk."

He got to the top of the stairs and started digging for his key. Klaus beat him to it today. Ah well, some day he'd be a real boy again, capable of multitasking up the stairs.

A noise made him turn towards the Dawson's apartment. The Missus was taking out the trash. Quiet, mousey little thing. What did she see in Larry, all those years ago? What kept her with him?
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#7938
Well, fine then. Klaus let Matt help himself but remained within reach just in case he saw something that was unexpected in the way. He felt particularly nervous on the fifteen steps upward, but he relaxed a little as Matt reached the top without falling backward. That phone call to Missus C would not have been fun if he hadn't. When Matt looked toward the apartment, Klaus tilted his head slightly. What was he looking there for? He heard no yelling. Matt had complained about things being louder at onset but had seemed to situate. Was that still bugging him? Whatever the case, they were certainly not yelling. "It was weird last night," he commented. "Week straight of issues and now...nothing. I heard something outside last night. Like someone getting hit, but it wasn't the lady."

Klaus shook his head and habitually waved it off before heading up the last couple stairs and past Matt to open the door. He hung his keys and went to sit down. Matt would get the door, he was sure. Mister Show-off that he was.
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By Matthew Cox
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#7941
Matt let Klaus go in, then followed behind. When Smitty left the door, Matt made a point to let his cane hit the edge of the portal. Easy enough then to close and lock. His phone started to ring. Crap. He hadn't gotten a new model yet that was friendly to the seeing impaired. He pulled out the smartphone and passed it to Klaus. The voice on the other end was Thomas, his brother.

Special K! You nut jobs home yet or what? Mum and I drove by earlier but Baby was missing, so she insisted on grocery shopping. It think she wanted a fat kid in the family and we've all disappointed her, so now's her chance!"

Matt had to fight to keep from laughing at his brother. After all, he wasn't supposed to be able to hear the other side of a phone call and it would lead to an uncomfortable talk with Klaus. Not something he wanted or needed today. Thomas and Klaus kept talking, setting up a time for them to drop by and drop off everything that Matt didn't need or want. Sure, it was sweet of her to go to the effort, but...

But nothing, he could hear her say. You're my oldest son and yadda yadda, as Klaus would say. Who could resist a mother's love, right?
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#7954
Klaus took the offered smart phone and looked at the name on the phone and smiled. Kid might have been annoying once upon a time, but he was shaping up to be alright in his twenties. "Well, if it isn't the brat!" Klaus greeted before listening to Thomas speak. He chuckled at Thomas' jest and shook his head. "You sure she's not just afraid I'm gonna let her ickle Matty starve if I'm to do all the shopping?" Klaus honestly hoped Missus C had only gathered what was needed for some strangely elaborate late lunch/dinner because Klaus would not know what to do with a fridge full of fresh vegetables. "Anyway, we're home. Just got up the stairs and are sitting down. You lot can head over whenever you're ready."

Klaus hung up the phone and handed it back to Matt. "Your mum's getting anxious. Made the brat call in to check on us. Sounds like we're going to have a lot to throw in the garbage come Tuesday's truck."
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By Matthew Cox
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#7959
Matt smiled at the news.

"Good to hear. Shadow must have been holding vigil with mum and dad 'til they heard news. Must have made mum's day to have something to feel like she was helping."

Despite Klaus' worries that they'd have a lot of food to throw out, Matt was confident that he could find a use or find room in the freezer for the leftovers. Having to not worry about food for a week would ease some of the tensions of figuring out a new way to live. Matt's new way to live was under his charade. Bumping into things, slow movements, pretending not to hear thing like Mrs. Dawson singing to herself as she cleaned for the first time in a long time. It was going to take practice.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#7969
Klaus nodded. "Must've," he agreed as he stretched then pressed his shoulders back then twisted to pop his upper back before he sat down. Wasn't as satisfying as it could have been but it was satisfying enough. "So which pub you want to go tonight?" It was conversation to pass time at this point. He had half a mind to ask if he could invite the American tonight. They'd sent the passing texts over the past forty-eight or so. The conversations had been titillating. Matt definitely had a point about aggressive, but hot damn if he wasn't planning to deliver sometime soon. Maybe Matt could arrange to go spend a night tomorrow at his mum's or something. There was something odd about thinking about having a girl over for that purpose with Matt just in the other room. Then again, he had a feeling this girl could very quickly bring him to the point of, "Don't care; had sex."

Klaus cleared his throat lightly and licked his lips. He should probably steer his mind away from such thoughts at the moment. Some of the messages had more than piqued his interest.
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By Matthew Cox
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#7974
Klaus was putting off an odd vibe. Matt looked at his friend in morbid curiosity. The topic of going out got him excited in a way that he hadn't since he'd gotten Tabora's phone number. Hell, they'd been talking and he was on the hunt. Matt's brow furrowed.

"Your choice, buddy. You inviting the girl tonight or are we going Maverick and Goose?"

Their code phrase for picking up girls relied on the classic '80s Navy propaganda movie. Matt hoped that they were going Top Gun. Something seemed wrong with the girl and he didn't know what it could be.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#7996
"Huh?" Klaus said glancing at his phone. Nothing new. Shame. "Oh, um, up to you, buddy." It was the truth. As much as Klaus might want Tabby along to move things forward, Matt would likely become a third wheel. If he just wanted drinks with him, then Klaus would go for it. Now, if she were to conveniently show up? Klaus shook his head. There were too many pubs for that to likely be a coincidence. Matt wouldn't believe him even if it was. Still. Maybe Matt would change his mind when they were there or maybe she'd text while they were out. All Klaus knew was he needed the edge off, and as much as he liked carousing, he didn't pick up everything with legs or try to play the field if he was trying to forge a conquest.

"I'm game for some Maverick and Goose if you are. I'll just be glad to imbibe."
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By Matthew Cox
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#8001
Matt eased onto the couch and gave a half shrug. They could bandy back and forth forever about where to go, so Matt threw out their usual.

"The Alibi. And if you help get me Siobhan's number tonight, then I'll look the other way to you getting frisky with an inked up uni freshman."

He half expected Klaus to drop the issue of the girl, but an instinct told him that the hook was in his mouth. Better that Matt stayed with Klaus during that roller coaster and helped him during the inevitable crash and explosion.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
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#8044
Klaus cleared his throat at that. It had been a couple years since he and Siobhan had a very brief fling, but the thought was still somewhat awkward. "Done and done," Klaus replied despite his reservations. It shouldn't be too much of a problem. He and Sivvy were still on good enough terms. She still had his drink memorized and certainly treated him well as a customer. Perhaps it was just because she wanted a good tip. "You have expensive tastes, though," he added. Up to Matt if he took it in reference to the price of the drinks or otherwise.

Still, Klaus frowned and made a face, glad Matt couldn't see it. He would have to work a few hours over or find something else to do himself because there was no way in hell that... Yeah. To say the least, Sivvy was fun and he did not want to be around for her to make suggestions he didn't like the idea of.
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By Matthew Cox
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#8046
Well that was a quick agreement. Matt quirked an eyebrow at Klaus. Expensive tastes?

"What's that supposed to mean? She's not high maintenance is she? I won't really be able to tell her how good she looks if that's the case, so if I'm just going to strike out anyway..."

Money didn't matter much to Matt anymore. As per Klaus' little tirade when they were on the way back from the hospital, Matt had called the legal department with Veterans Affairs and explained as much as he could about his situation. They'd made a phone call and were processing a settlement that would result in twenty years worth of living wage. In effect, Matt now had three incomes from his retirement, his job, and the settlement. He'd not told Klaus yet; the occasion hadn't come up. Matt was pretty sure that he'd overheard parts of the phone calls, especially since he'd dialed for him. If Klaus wanted to talk about it, he'd ask.
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