Sometimes it seemed to Daisy that this last leg was less of a tour and more of a group holiday with occasional music. He wasn't complaining at all, but each date they were playing in Asia had two or three days around it for sight-seeing and he wondered who planned the whole thing, because Bernard usually refused to give them that much time off. They were on their last day of three in Vietnam and were having a band dinner at one of the seemingly thousands of tiny family-run restaurants. Daisy wrapped some noodles around his chopsticks and brought them to his mouth, laughing a bit as he watched Viggo's aborted attempt to do the same.
"How'd you manage when you ran away to Asia, Vig?" Elijah asked, not doing particularly well with the utensils himself, but still better than Viggo.
"In Tibet we mostly ate with our hands," Viggo said, laughing along with everyone else.
They'd been together long enough again since "The Tibet Incident" (as Daisy had taken to thinking of it), that Daisy didn't wince when someone mentioned it, but he still looked around to see if anyone else did.
"Still, it seems like something you'd know how to do," Dom said, expertly twirling his own food into his mouth like an eight-year-old showing off. "Being the best and brightest and all that." Daisy thought that maybe Dom still winced a little, even if he couldn't see it.
Daisy chuckled as a noodle fell from Dom's mouth and onto the table where Billy knocked it on the floor before anyone noticed. Billy caught Daisy laughing at him and shrugged.
Viggo sighed heavily and dropped more rice onto his lap, causing Orli to laugh hard enough that he choked on his own food.
Finally Bean shook his head and shouted something that Daisy recognized only as the word that would bring the waiter to the table. He'd not been able to get used to the way everyone just sort of shouted for attention in restaurants here, but Bean clearly had no problem with it.
The waiter arrived and Bean used a rough, vaguely drunken form of sign language to produce a peal of laughter from the waiter. But, a few minutes later, he returned with a spoon, which Bean handed to Viggo, taking the chopsticks away.
Viggo rolled his eyes, "How am I ever supposed to learn if you keep giving me spoons, Sean?"
Daisy thought that was a rather brilliant point, but then it wasn't as though Bean were likely to leave Viggo to his own devices anytime soon.
Bean seemed to agree, rolling his eyes and saying, "Just eat. I'm sure that not being able to use chopsticks won't destroy your life." He grinned and tucked back into his food.
Daisy watched Viggo stare at Bean for several minutes, eyes wide the way they were when he was "discovering meaning," before taking the spoon to his rice. Daisy frowned, but then decided that for everyone's sanity he wasn't going to wonder what any of that was supposed to mean.
For reasons Dom wasn't fully aware of, but that probably involved Bernard's idea of a joke, Peter and Fran were doing a show in Bangkok on this tour. For reasons that most definitely had Orlando's name written all over them, they'd scheduled an entire week in Thailand around the show. Dom, Billy and Elijah had spent the first three days surfing and diving and watching Orli jump off things that no one should ever jump off of. The fourth morning, Orli hadn't returned from wherever he'd gone with yesterday's motorcycle tour guide, so Dom decided the rest of them should just wander around the city.
Eventually, they ended up back in the tiny hotel bar and were working out all the different ways they could trick Karl into hiring a teenage prostitute-- preferably male-- when Bean walked in, sighed heavily and pulled an extra chair up at their table.
Dom looked over at Billy and raised his eyebrows; they hadn't seen Bean or Viggo since dinner the night they arrived. Billy shrugged and glanced at Elijah, who was still making notes on the flyer in front of him as if he hadn't noticed Bean's arrival. Billy looked back at Dom and shook his head.
"What are you lot up to, then?" Bean asked. "And if the answer is 'bringing a new song into the world,' pretend I never asked."
Dom snorted. "Been spending a bit too much time with the portrait of the artist as a mumbling cowboy, have we?" Apparently Bean-and-Viggo time had run its course this week. Next to Dom, Billy rolled his eyes. Elijah still hadn't looked up.
It was becoming a bit of a cycle, ever since Japan or maybe even before, Viggo and Bean had been either inseparable or arguing. Frankly, if Dom didn't know better, he'd think they were having a bit of an on-again-off-again tour fling. Dom chuckled to himself at the idea and made a mental note to take the piss about it later.
"It's not that he wants to write songs. I think songs are great. In a fucking band, aren't I?" Bean shook his head emphatically enough that Dom wondered if he should move back from the table in case Bean decided to explode or something. "But it's just a song. It's not gonna make the world stop if the third word in the eighth line of the last verse feels 'too much like air.'"
"Huh," Elijah looked up then. "Yesterday it was too much like water."
Bean groaned. "What does that even mean?" He grabbed the closest beer on the table and finished it in one long swallow. "Forget that, he'll come back to himself soon enough. Tell me what's happening here; you look like you're up to no good."
"If you were an angry Kiwi mandolin player, would you be more likely to hire a Thai prostitute because you were told you were buying something else or because you got so drunk you didn't know what you were doing?" Billy leaned forward, grinning. "Also, that was me beer."
Bean's face relaxed and he smiled. "Tell him he's buying a whole lot of very, very good pot."
"Brilliant," Elijah said. "For that, I'll pay for Billy's beer."
Dom wondered how he hadn't already thought of that and decided to blame the fall he'd taken off his surfboard on Tuesday. "Now see, Bean. That is art."
Bean laughed and waved the waitress over to order another round as Elijah turned the flyer over and started jotting a whole new set of notes. Bean seemed to cheer up and by the time Viggo showed up, his song apparently forgotten, Bean just grinned, found Viggo a chair and bought the whole table another round.
There were bugs in Manilla that were approximately the size of Elijah's head. He was sitting outside the hotel, staring at one in a tree a few feet away and smoking. Everyone else was inside packing their shit for the flight to Australia and Elijah was glad for a few minutes of quiet. Elijah had been what he described as "tired" and what Dom described as "fucking boring" for the last week or so and he was trying to shake it off before they finished the tour.
Elijah finished his clove and wondered what would happen if he threw the still smoldering end at the bug. He was still holding the butt when he heard Bean and Viggo coming up the walk towards the hotel, laughing loudly. Elijah started to turn around and head inside, but was stopped when Bean shouted his name.
"Hey," Elijah said, turning around. "Are you guys packed already?"
Viggo blinked as if Elijah were speaking a foreign language and looked at Bean to translate. Elijah stopped himself from sighing. Ever since they started this leg of the tour, Viggo was acting like he was on some bad acid and Elijah was at the point where he was too tired to deal with it.
"Packed, right, yes." Bean bit his lip. "We are packed, I'm absolutely sure of it."
Viggo laughed again. "What's Bernard going to do to us if we aren't packed?"
Elijah turned his head back and forth between the two of them like watching a tennis match. He wondered if they would stop speaking English soon. Even Dom and Billy weren't in quite this much of a bubble.
Bean shook his head. "I'm absolutely sure I don't want to know."
"Remember in Melbourne when he tried to chop off my hair with a cleaver?" Viggo asked, his smile verging on hysterical. "Or when he tried to shoot you in Munich."
"He was never going to shoot me," Bean waved the suggestion away with his hand. "Bernard doesn't even own a gun. Wouldn't know what to do with it if he did."
Viggo nodded, "I suppose he'd shoot himself in the foot, really." He paused, "Maybe we should give him one?"
"The flight's in two hours. We need to leave for the airport in fifteen minutes." Elijah said. Bean and Viggo looked back at him and Elijah wondered if they'd forgotten he was there.
Viggo blinked again and then looked at Bean, "How much do you think we could pay Daisy to pack for us while we get another beer?"
Bean considered, tipping his head from side to side. "Maybe Liv? She's more of a soft touch."
The two of them headed in, Bean smiling gently at Elijah in a way that managed to apologize and forgive all at once. Elijah sighed and watched them as they headed inside. He decided that if he managed to get some energy back, he'd ask Bean what the hell was going on before they found Viggo running off to another far-off religious mecca.
Elijah wished Sean were here and not at home with the girls for a few weeks. Sean was probably better at taking care of Elijah than Elijah was at managing it himself. He jumped a little as the cigarette end he'd been holding fell to the ground, just a little speck of burned paper.
Elijah smiled, imagining Sean telling him to get some sleep on the plane and it would all be better when he got to Sydney. He resolved to give it a try and headed inside to wait with everyone else and see how long it ended up being before Bean and Viggo were ready to leave and if Bernard had access to any weaponry.