Eddie had just finished his last practice run of the day. He had thoroughly exhausted himself, much to his satisfaction, and was looking forward to a hot shower, an hour or so of playing around on the internet, then making his way to The Gravitude later to see who was hanging out. He was so heavily into his thoughts about plans for the evening that he didn't see Brodi at all on the stairs until he had run smack into him.
"Whoa, there,!" Brodi laughed as he steadied himself and reached out a hand to keep Eddie from falling backwards. "You OK, dude?"
Eddie blanched a bit as he looked up at Brodi. "Oh, hey, Bro. I'm good. Er, sorry about that. Guess my head's still on the practice."
Brodi nodded. "No problem. Hey, Elise and I are meeting Zoe, Moby, and Kaori for dinner later. Care to join?"
"Fraid I'll have to take a rain check, Brodi." Eddie responded, perhaps a bit too quickly. "I think I'm just going to head to bed early tonight. Thanks for the invite, though."
"All right, man. Well, the invitation's open if you change your mind. We're meeting around 7, and I think we've decided on the new Greek restaurant downtown."
Eddie nodded then pushed past Brodi and made his way up the stairs. He didn't have to have eyes in the back of his head to know that Brodi was still standing at the foot of the stairs, still looking at him with a concerned look on his face. The surfer would never say so, but Eddie knew he'd been a lousy friend as of late. Ever since the Lauryll incident, Eddie had been uncomfortable around Brodi. It was nothing Brodi had done. In fact, Eddie couldn't place his finger on it, exactly, so he just avoided the man altogether when he could. Yes, it stunk that this was his reaction when Brodi probably needed things to get back to normal, but...
"Still playing chicken, Fuzzy?"
Eddie stopped and turned around to find Psymon leaning against the wall right behind him. Damn, how did he DO that?
"Beg your pardon, Sketchy?"
Psymon crossed his arms and narrowed his gaze. "It's Brodi's pardon you need to be beggin'. You're supposed to be his best friend. Don't think people haven't noticed you run the other way any time he walks into a room."
Eddie's face grew hot, and he felt embarrassed. Then he felt angry that he was embarrassed, and even angrier that Psymon Stark had been the one to point out to him what he was already feeling guilty about.
"I AM his best friend. I've just been busy. And so has he. Besides, he's got Elise..."
"Jealous?" Psymon sneered as he pushed himself away from the wall and took a step towards Eddie. He stopped and leaned in a couple of inches from Eddie's face. "I somehow doubt Bombshell is the problem here. Look, I don't give a rat's ass one way or another. But I do know that after what Zen has been through the last two or three months, he deserves to have friends who support him, or at least are willing to get him drunk so he can forget it. And if this is the way you treat friends, he DEFINITELY deserves better than he's getting."