Don't know about you, but I tend to think about my stories while I'm driving (commuting etc.). I know, not the best place to do it as there's nowhere/way to record my thoughts, conclusions, etc. but it's the kind of thinking that I can very, very easily drop straight out of. Kind of important when driving, that one ;-) Of course, it does mean that occasionally other motorists give me funny looks for suddenly cheering and/or drumming a celebratory tattoo on the steering wheel, but to be honest there's not usually many of them about! There certainly weren't any about when I was busy thinking about Vienna on the way home from the weekly shop last Thursday.
I'm so, so chuffed I got that time & figured out the niggles that've been bothering me. It's all back-story stuff, so I doubt it'll get more than a passing mention in the text itself, but like all back-story, it's kind of essential in helping to understand the character(s). In this case, K.
I've known since the first moment these boys appeared in my brain that K was pretty much alone in the world - he lives off an inheritance, so has no need for work (and therefore no work-friends), and all his friends from the past - even the ones who actually do love him dearly & care about him - are pretty much swamped with their own lives. I had an inkling that his inheritance was from his uncle, but what I couldn't figure out was where the hell his parents were. Because I knew they were alive - and that he knew they're alive. Any time I tried to think around the idea of him being an orphan, and that being the reason for their lack of existence in his life, the answer came back very strongly "No." I also failed to get anywhere with the possibility of him having been removed from their care by an external authority e.g. social services : no, nothing like that.
And then, last Thursday, I hit upon the answer - they're abroad. They moved abroad for work reasons when K was quite young, and for one reason and another, he didn't go with them and was brought up by his uncle. I think his parents originally planned to either come back after a year or two at most, or for him to move out & live with them at some point, but it just ...never happened.
*happy sigh* So glad I worked/found that lot out. It makes quite a few things clearer for me, in terms of what happens during the story I'm writing :-)