Summary: "It was written that I would come see you."
Authors' Notes: I'm not quite as happy with this chapter as I am with the first two. I dunno. Thoughts?
Disclaimer: Don't own, didn't happen.
Chapter 3: Planning
In the life of Ray Toro, there is no such thing as a vacation. There are spaces of time, yes, where he is not busy recording or touring or any other official aspect of the band's work, but he spends these free periods working in a more informal sense--writing songs or scraps thereof, recording them on his computer, asking Bob to come over and lend his opinion. In the past, he has tried using vacation time for actual vacations, but it has never worked. He always winds up futilely trying to relax as visions of tablature dance though his head. Life is for work, Ray believes, and any other activity is just a waste of time.
On this occasion, he is sitting in his study with an acoustic guitar in his lap, alternating between plucking out experimental riffs and jotting down notes. He is so absorbed in his work that it takes him a minute to realize that someone other than him is casting a shadow over his desk. When he turns around, his eyes are met with a tall, cloaked figure, its face mostly obscured by a hood.
"Who are you and what are you doing here?" He doesn't mean for it to come out so rudely, but he really doesn't like having his work interrupted.
The figure speaks a single word. "Destiny."
Ray's mind begins assessing the escape routes and potential weapons at hand. The visitor continues, "It was written that I would come see you."
Ray says the only thing he can think of. "Written where?"
"In the Book."
This being a completely unhelpful explanation, Ray probes further. "Did it say why?"
"It said I was to provide you with some reassurance. It seems you spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the future...."
...obsessing over the direction things are taking, wondering if you and the others will manage to top the most recent album with the next, worrying about your friends and whether all of you will make it through this alive....
Ray clears his throat a bit nervously. "I guess that's true."
"Do you think that's needed?"
"Whether it is or not, man, it's not like I can help it."
"On the contrary, it is within your capabilities. Doing so will do wonders for your sanity."
"You mean I didn't lose it a long time ago?" Ray asks with a wry smile.
Destiny chooses not to dignify this with a response. "The future is out of your grasp, and it does no good to let it occupy your mind with such force."
"I know, but...I get so worried sometimes, y'know? After everything that's happened--the drama with Otter, Gerard's drinking, Bob getting sick, that whole thing with Mikey--every time something new gets thrown at us, I'm afraid it'll be what finally breaks us. I mean, there's only so much five people can take."
"Every hardship you endure makes you stronger. You will find, as time passes, that some trials become easier to bear."
"Yeah?" An idea occurs to him. "You know what the future is, right?"
"Could you...tell me what's going to happen to us?"
Ray detects a hint of a smile under Destiny's hood. "That is not for you to know."
"I figured. Just thought I'd ask."
"Is that all you wish to know?" Ray nods. "Then our meeting is over." Destiny disappears in a manner much less dramatic than Ray would have expected--no smoke, no noise, not even a twirl of the cloak. He just vanishes into thin air.
As Ray returns to his work, he can't help feeling a bit more optimistic regarding how it will turn out. This is gonna be huge, he thinks. This one will knock 'em dead.