Hail and Farewell to Paris


“Ava, what does ‘Je préfère le temps chaud’ mean?”
I looked up from reading the paper in the kitchen to the dark-haired teenager in front of me.
“I prefer warm weather” I smiled at him.
“Thanks.” He grinned, bending down his head to continue his French homework.
I felt a palm come down on my shoulder tenderly,
“Would you like some more orange juice?”
“I’d love some please” I grinned back up at those famous green eyes tenderly.
“Okay…Ava…what about “aucuns chiens ont permis?”
Billie frowned at his eldest son.
“Joe, don’t keep asking Ava for the answers, it’s your work not hers.”
The boy frowned at his father before turning back to me with puppy eyes, “just this last one…I promise…a little help? Please?”

I giggled, “Okay, last one, but think about it Joe? What does chiens mean?”
I nodded, “right, and permis is...?”
The boy frowned, “err…”
Billie filled my orange juice glass as I gave the teenager a chance.
“Like permit isn’t it? So dogs and permit…have a guess…”
“Dogs are permitted?”
I nodded, “Your half right, but what store has a sign saying dogs are permitted?”
The teenager giggled, “Ah!”
I chuckled, picking up my orange juice as Joey’s pen scratched away at this book.
Billie flopped down next to his son, bending over the work inquiringly.
“Shouldn’t you have done this last night anyway Joe?”
The teenager sighed, “Dad, look, it’s done now, at least it’s done ya’ know, does it matter when?”
Billie’s eyes narrowed at his son’s exasperated face.
“Right, but I have no reason to remove your Playstation from your room do I?”
Joey rose from his seat, shoving his books into his bag and heading for the door, “No and it isn’t a Playstation, it’s a Wii.”
Billie rolled his eyes at me and I giggled.
“Thanks for the help Ava”
“No problem Joe, have a good day.” I waved as he walked down the hallway towards the door.
“Bye” he yelled back, the farewell intended for both of us.
Billie turned to me, his mouth open to say something when Jacob dashed into the kitchen,
“Has Joe gone?” The younger son’s eyes were frantic as he snatched a piece of bread from the cupboard behind us and dashed towards the door.
“Just left” Billie sighed, “You need to get up earlier kiddo.”
Jacob flapped his hand nostalgically at his father before dashing down the same path as his brother.
I chuckled as Billie bit off the end of the piece of toast he was clutching.
“They need to get more organized.”
I shook my head, “They’re okay, I bet you were the same at their age.”
He made a snaffling noise through his full mouth, “you were lucky if I even got up.”
“I can believe that” I smiled standing up and loading the dishwasher with the morning’s used cutlery.

I smiled as I felt two strong arms wrap around my torso.
“You look so amazing today that I just want to take you out and show you off.”
I giggled as he nuzzled that bristly chin of his into the crook of my neck.
“You need to get dressed first” I groaned as heated palms traced upwards to my chest.
“Ah! Now…” his voice growled into my ear sending my stomach tossing.
“…about that…I was wondering if I could borrow one of your dresses? You know, I feel I could show them off quite well”
I giggled as he kissed my cheek, pulling himself away to make for the door.
“Just stay away from the red one, it’s my favorite” I smiled watching his bare legs softly thud away from me.
He turned to flash me a cheeky grin before ascending the stairs to get ready.

I loved it when Billie took me out; even if it was just taking the dog for a long walk like we were doing today, I still could have him all to myself for a good few hours.
It was now September, and I had come over for two weeks while Green Day had a small break from their strenuous routine. It was the first time I had been back since April, I had gone back to Paris and Billie had gone on a tour of America with his new album. He had been very busy, but still managed to phone me everyday to see how I was. I did miss him; I missed him terribly, especially at night when I would sometimes dream he was in my arms and awake to an empty bed the next morning.
Since I had been gone some things had changed around here, Mike was getting married to Brittany next month, Jake and Joe had started a new school year and I, myself was soon to become another year older quite soon. Billie hadn’t changed however, he was still the very capable holder of my heart and ever since that day at St Mary’s cemetery, we had grown to overcome everything that had happened between us in the past. I preferred that, I didn’t want to forget what had happened at Mike’s party but I didn’t want it to make tension between us either.

“Your dresses didn’t look as good on me Ava; I just thought it best to stick to my usual ass hugging jeans”
I turned to see Billie strutting into the kitchen.
“Ah well, I prefer those anyway, they -ahem- show off your figure”
Billie chuckled.
“You were very quick” I smiled as his arms laced around my waist delicately.
“I’m faster taking my clothes off” He smirked, planting a quick kiss on my lips.
I giggled, “Oh I know that. It took you longer than me to get ready last night before we went out.”
Billie playfully frowned bringing me ever so slightly closer to him.
“Yeah but it was worth the wait, I looked hot” His voice rasped against my open mouth and my hands found themselves diving into the confides of his thick black hair.
“I thought you were going to show me around your neighnourhood today?”
Billie kissed me more forcefully this time before answering, “Oh I am, but we are going to start right here in the kitchen with the lucky counter top…”
I giggled as he lifted my legs around his torso and perched me against the very island were we first had sex, let's just say it wasn't the last time the ledge would be be used for something other than cooking.

Later on, we were strolling down the sidewalk, Billie’s hand wrapped tightly within my own, his free one clutching the lead to Joe and Jake’s dog Rocky.
“Gah, it’s great to be home” He rasped, swinging our arms slightly as we walked.
I turned to him, taking in his sharp perfect profile.
“Do you know this is the first time that I have seen your neighborhood properly?”
Billie glanced at me before stopping as Rocky sniffed around some bushes.
“Yes, I mean you drive everywhere over here, you really don’t walk much at all.”
Billie smiled, “I know, were killing the o-zone.”
“Jake looked at me funny yesterday when I said I was popping to the store and that I wasn’t going to drive.”
Billie chuckled, “I suppose I should walk more, but you’re used to it, you wouldn’t get far in a car around Paris.”
“No you wouldn’t” I smiled as we continued to walk, “anyway, I don’t mind, I like walking.”
“Even in those heels?”
“Even in these heels.”
Billie chuckled and we walked a little further before we spoke again.
“So, do you like the neighborhood?”
I grinned, “Yes, I do, it’s homely suburban bliss.”
Billie chuckled.
“Hey! Wanna meet a friend of mine?”
I arched my eyebrow at him.
“No, no, he’s not bad or anything, he’s called Davey, he only lives at that house down there…” Billie pointed to the huge bricked building on the corner of the street.
“He doesn’t sell you illegal drugs does he?”
Billie laughed, “No Ava you nut, not all my friends are like Tre, he’s in a band called AFI”
“Oh Okay” I nodded, chuckling as he squeezed my hand slightly.
“Billie did you just call me a nut?”
He chuckled again, “Yeah why?”
I shook my head as we came closer to ‘Davey’s’ house. I didn’t know what to expect, but then again Billie couldn’t have a friend crazier than Tre could he? Could he?

Apparently he could.
Davey Havok, wore more make up than me, his first words to me were,
“Wow I love you’re eye liner you’ll have to show me how do to the whole forties look”
I chuckled in response, slightly amused yet taken aback. Davey was strange in his make-up techniques and gothic style mansion but he was a very lovely charming person all the same and invited myself and Billie to take a seat in his gothic living room.
He gave Billie and I a cup of tea and a vegan muffin to Rocky before settling himself on the black sofa opposite us.
I took in my strange yet beautifully black surroundings as the two friends caught up,
“So Ava, you have an amazing accent? Where did you meet Billie?”
I smiled, feeling my cheeks blush at Davey’s soft voice.
“Ah, in Paris, he was lost and asked me for directions.”
Davey nodded, flicking the long bangs of hair from his glittering eyes.
“So are you French?”
I shook my head, “English, but I live in Paris.”
“Ah! Explains your fabulous accent! You know you remind me of a young Elizabeth Taylor, like Cleopatra era?”
My eyes lit up at his words, “Oh I love Cleopatra the film! Richard Burton and Rex Harrison! Oh that was one of my favorite films when I was younger…”
The striking man opposite me chuckled in delight, we sat for a while talking about the shared love of old Hollywood movies before Billie got bored and interrupted.
“I didn’t know you had a thing for the classics Davey” He mocked sipping at his tea.
The younger man shrugged, “It’s a secret guilty pleasure.”
I chuckled, “Oh wow, we should definitely get together and have a nostalgic 30s film night.”
Davey laughed, “Oh yeah, that would be great.”
Billie chuckled, “Don’t encourage her Davey, you should see the crap that she makes me watch, what was that you told me to watch the other night and it bored the shit out of me?”
“Rear Window” I sighed mockingly.
“It was awful” Billie laughed.
“It’s a Hitchcock film Billie, with Grace Kelly.” I added at Davey who nodded with interest.
“Whatever, it got switched over for porn”
I slapped his arm playfully as Davey laughed.

After a few moments of Billie taking the piss out of me for my classic film collection Davey poured more tea and smiled at us.
“So, it must be difficult for you guys, living so far away from each other?”
Billie and I glanced at each other, my eyebrow rising slightly; I too wondered what Billie thought about the distance in our relationship. Did it hurt him as much as me?
“Yeah, I miss her a lot, we talk on the phone everyday but I’ve been working a lot and I don’t want to drive Ava away by asking her to come on tour with me just yet.”
Davey laughed, “Oh yes, Ava you’d have a heart attack, it’s best he eases you in before you spend a month on the road with smelly dirty men.”
I chuckled, “I don’t think it will be much different from staying at your house then Billie.”
The man next to me smiled, “I know, but, well… I’d ask her to come and live with me but I’m not sure you’d give up your beloved Paris for me.”
I stared at his face. Was that an invitation? What kind of silly statement was that?Of course I’d give up Paris for him.
Davey giggled during the time Billie and I were smiling at each other.
“You guys are cute” he beamed.
“But Ava…” I pried my eyes away from Billie to turn to the man opposite me.
“Billie…or Paris…” he moved his hands in a weighing gesture, “Billie…or Paris…think about it.”
I chuckled as the ‘Billie’ hand became significantly lower than the ‘Paris’ one.
Billie clicked his tongue in amusement before he glanced down at his watch.
“Shit. Come on Ava we have to go, we’ll have to get the boys from school today.”
I nodded as the three of us stood up.
“Ah well, Bye Davey, thank you for the tea and…muffin for Rocky.”
The eye-catching man chuckled.
“Its fine Ava, I had fun, you guys should come over any time you’d like.”
Billie turned to grin at him, “I’ll hold you to that but you should come around for dinner while Ava’s here, she’s a great cook.”
“Oh God you’ve just thrown your girlfriend in at the deep end.”
I chuckled.
"Is he only doing this because you are another victim of Billie’s attempted cuisine?” I chuckled as Billie and I turned to face the AFI front man on his front step.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had bad meat from Mr. Armstrong.” Davey hissed in reply.
I burst out laughing,
“You weren’t complaining at the time.” Billie’s eyebrow rose as we all chuckled, Davey waving us off down the street as we started back home.
“I’ll cook for you Davey but definitely not for Billie!” I waved as the guitarist took up my hand and led me across the road.
My eyes darted around the streets as Billie told me how he had met Davey Havok and AFI for the first time. I nodded intently, listening to him but wondering whether I could really call California home?
I loved Paris dearly but I loved Billie more. It was a nice area around here, no Eiffel Towers or Seine Rivers but it was homely, quiet and after all I could always pop around to Davey’s for a cup of tea.
“Would you come and live here...eventually I mean?”
I turned to Billie as we turned the corner to his street, “If you’ll have me, but I thought we were taking it slow?”
Billie nodded, “We are, but…I was just wondering.”
I smiled and squeezed his hand as Rocky led us to the gates in front of The Armstrong House. Billie entered the code into the security box and turned to plant a kiss on my cheek when he suddenly froze.
“What?” I asked, turning my head to see what Billie was seeing,
and it was a distressed Mike Dirnt sitting sadly on the front man’s porch.