For walking away.
Too much rejection,
No love injection
Life can be easy,
It's not always swell.
Don't tell me truth hurts, little girl,
'Cause it hurts like hell.
But down in the underground,
You'll find someone true.
Down in the underground,
A land serene,
A crystal moon, ah, ah.
It's only forever,
Not long at all.
Lost and lonely,
New York was as busy at ever and yet everything about it had changed. Had there been snow the last time his feet walked along this path? Or had the first sprigs of spring started to shine through in the sodden ground? Hollis supposed that, in truth, it did not matter. A year was a cycle, a never ending race in which nothing truly changed and the only thing that ever stayed the same was the weatherman's inability to master his supposed precognition. It was painful to admit but his memory had not been what it once was and cat's were so easily distracted.
Hollis wound up wandering the streets of New York with little care as his wide grey eyes drank in the sights. The signs in Times Square had changed as did the front window displays of the shops on Fifth Avenue. It seemed even the buildings themselves has changed as he walked through one of the subway platforms that he was so fond of to see that his previous works had been painted over with whitewash. Yet no one saw it. They carried about their lives, nose pressed to the little glowing boxes – mobiles his mind told him – and bobbed their heads along to whatever noise the little strings that were shoved into their ears crooned. That simply wouldn't do.
His knuckles curled. Fingers flexed and itched as the world shifted and he stumbled closer. The feel of rough my painted brick coarse beneath his palms as he gently caressed the wall. Uncaring of the raised eyebrows he received by those that noticed the Cat's tilted head and blown pupils. They saw only what they wanted to and not the figure that screamed beneath the pain before they carried on with their lives and boarded the subway that scream to a halt.
She would suffocate beneath there. Pain as thick as ten feet of dirt crushing down on her lungs as if they were nothing more than a pine box. Let her out, he needed to dig her out and set her free lest the maggots that rotted this city from the inside out would claim her. But how? How did he manage such a thing? Paint remover would only prove to peel her from the wall as well. Perhaps he could use his gifts to pull her forward, to let her move. Oh how utterly Wonderlandish that would be. Surely the Queen would enjoy such a trinket and Alice would a- Alice?
That's right. The Cat blinked and turned his eyes to the stairwell that would lead him upwards. He had to go. There was a young girl that needed finding. Stumbling away from the wall, Hollis whispered promises that he'd be back to free the young portrait that lingered so hopefully beneath the city's uncaring barrier. Wandering back into the cool spring air, his shirt slipping from his shoulder as he walked, Hollis placed a finger to his lip in thought. He'd always been good with directions and getting to where he needed to go. But when one was traveling with someplace specific in mind, it was always infinitely more difficult. Yet somehow he found himself back at his home and let himself back inside.
The air smelled differently. Nose twitching, Hollis made his way inward. Only then, he realized just how hungry he was. A quick investigation proved fruitful as he found someone had made supper for a hungry belly and, perching himself on the countertop, Hollis munched quite happily on the food. Even going so far as to share bits and pieces with the cat that wandered out to investigate just who had come into the room. “You're getting big,” he murmured absently as he watched the cat chew, remembering the tiny kitten he'd brought home for Dyann one Christmas. Had he really been gone so long? Surely not. Why it was still the same season outside after all. Shrugging it off, Hollis slipped from his perch and wandered off towards the bedroom. Pausing just once to investigate the heavy scent of another. Female. Human. Before he moved on to where Dyann's scent had been heaviest.
But there was no blonde head in bed. And so, with a pout and a heavy sigh, the Cat curled itself up in a bundle of her blankets content to wait there where it was warm and comfortable for her return. He hadn't intended on falling asleep. But when something landed atop him, the man was jostled awake hissing. Narrowed eyes glowing in the darkness as he bared his teeth all but ready to gnaw whatever it was that had touched him to death. It was the taste of cotton that had him stalling.
Spitting the pants back out onto the bed, Hollis turned sleep laden eyes to the doorway. Movement and light spilling in and covering his bed head in warmth. Without a moment's hesitation, the Cat jumped from the bed that Dyann had kept warm for days on her own and walked into the living room. Stilling when her face came into view from her place curled up on the couch. She looked so tired as she drank her tea. Perhaps it would be best to simply let her sleep. Yes, sleep. Naps. Cat naps were most agreeable and the Cat was about to saunter to the couch when he caught sight of another cup. Steaming just for him. With feline grace, the Cheshire vanished and reappeared unnoticed at the window where he sipped his tea. So sweet. Such richness. He could feel the honey coating his tongue as he drank it down with a purr then overturned his cup with an elegance that his spindly fingers should not have possessed.
It was then, that he glanced back to the couch and hummed, rather put out. She'd left him tea and dinner yet hadn't thought to greet him. How very cold of her. Hollis knew the world of books to be a dangerous one. Where fantasy and illusion could often become an unyielding obsession. Perhaps that was the matter. Maybe she had just gotten lost in her book and forgot to wake him. An option that simply would not due. Without another thought, especially about how his sudden appearance would affect the young girl after he'd been away an innumerable amount of days that his titled mind had not yet to fully realize, Hollis vanished.
Only to reappear, boney limbs sprawled out on the couch in ways that only a feline body could bend. His head resting on the girl's hip, Hollis gaze at Dyann with sunken grey eyes that stared unblinkingly at her. “Must you continue to ignore me, Dear Girl?” His voice the same indistinguishable timbre it had always been, save for it was rather rusty with disuse. Phantom tail twitching in irritation about not having so much as a welcome home scratch beneath his chin.