Exercises In Free Love

Summary: Felix Rose is a glam rock star who moves within the same circle as Brian Slade, Curt Wilde and Jack Fairy, but remains a complete mystery, even to those closest to him. He causes everyone he meets to ask themselves some serious questions, until he finally manages to ensnare the object of his desires, and the tables are turned.

Rating: PG-13 at least, for language and adult themes.

Disclaimer: I didn't do it.

Notes: "Exercises In Free Love" is a little operatic number by Freddie Mercury. It's rather nice. I found it on the Freddie Mercury Album. Such a shame most of his solo stuff sucked. . . **Sigh** . . .Also, am crap at writing Curt because he's American. The git. Never mind. This story contains slash of the rampant bisexuality variety...But then, it /i velvet Goldmine, so gigantic /i



These things were never ordinary, but tonight there was definitely something amiss. The apartment was full of people; chatting, dancing, arguing, kissing, generally socialising to their hearts' content. A lot of them were musicians, even more had some tenuous connection with one star or another, but all of them were there for a bloody good party. There was drink, there was food, there was music, there was atmosphere. Curt saw this, and it was good. But a prickle in his spine made him nervous. It had nothing to do with the glass in his hand because it contained something non- alcoholic, although he wasn't sure why this was. His senses, usually very reliable, could see, hear or smell nothing wrong. He looked to see where Brian was; helping himself from the fridge, probably starving after the long day they'd had. When Brian was stuffing his face, you could relax. There was something comforting about seeing someone like Brian eating happily, like a child with the cookie jar.

So Curt forced himself to calm down. He ambled over to the trestle table which was only just strong enough to support the mounds of bottles Curt and Brian had piled on there with the same care as you'd expect from a blind bull in a cheap china shop. Alcohol might as well have been free these days, and the half dozen bottles which rolled off the table and smashed whenever you picked one up, only added to the atmosphere and the thrill, especially for those people who'd left their shoes by the front door. There were, of course, plenty of other interesting and intoxicating substances available to those who wanted them tonight, such was the generosity of Brian Slade and Curt Wilde, but Curt was keeping away from them for once. Again, he didn't know why. It was almost as if he had little say in his own actions.

Having added some brandy to whatever had been in his glass to begin with, and fully equipped with a bag of peanuts to quell his biting hunger, he began to amble again. His feet, entirely of their own accord, brought him towards the stage. It wasn't a real stage in any way, shape or form, but a section of living room with a few mats strewn about it. Right now, some local band were playing their awful music, but no one other than Curt seemed to notice how bad it really was. They were all dancing and enjoying themselves, which gave Curt a certain amount of satisfaction. Their parties always went down a storm because so much money was spent on these occasions and there were absolutely no rules. No one standing in the corner saying 'You can do that, but you can't do that and incidentally be careful you don't break anything." It was escapism. A band on the 'stage', a beer in your hand, someone undoubtedly eyeing you up from the other side of the room, and the rest of the world could fuck itself. Sideways. With a pitchfork. But while everyone else was having a bloody good time, Curt just couldn't get into it. There was definitely something wrong here which he couldn't place his mental finger on.

Friendly hands snaked over Curt's shoulders, making him jump, and he almost swatted them away before he realised who they belonged to. "Brian," he sighed. "Don't do that, you twat."

Brian Slade gave him a tolerant stare. "What's the matter with you? Ants in your pants? I could fish them out for you." His stare turned into a mischievous grin.

"No," said Curt. "No ants."

"What then? You moody git, stop scowling at me."

"I'm not scowling."

"You are fucking scowling." Brian put his arms round Curt's waist, drawing him closer. "Now tell me what's got you so pissed off?"

Curt took a deep breath. For some reason, Brian felt cold, and he was not keen to get closer at that moment. Not wanting to offend the sensitive young musician, he pushed a brief but soft kiss onto Brian's lips, then pulled away. "Feel sick," he muttered. "I'll just keep myself to myself. Don't worry, have fun."

He moved out of the living area, leaving a bemused Brian to shrug to himself, and went to see if all the bedrooms had been taken over yet. There were four to the apartment, only one of which was regularly used, and luckily it was those three spare rooms which he found locked from the inside. His and Brian's room had been respectfully (or perhaps just incidentally) left empty. And no wonder, he thought to himself as he kicked a pair of shoes out of the way while at the same time reaching out to straighten a fallen-over chair. The room was a mess. Neither man saw folding clothes as a top priority, and therefore seldom did it. Neither had time just to tidy up the parts of the flat which no one else was meant to see, so the room remained a tip. He sat down on the bed, kicked his own shoes off, and leaned back. There was the faintest tremor of a headache starting behind his eyes, and he wondered if it was due to not being high for the first time in weeks, or simply the volume of the music penetrating from the other room. He eyed his drink suspiciously, and set it down on the bedside table. Maybe he just needed a good sleep. That used to be the answer to everything, or at least the temporary solution.

Stretching out on the bed, he felt his eyes shut of their own accord. Yes, that was it. He was incredibly tired. His body began to relax as he drifted serenely towards un-drug-induced dreams. The thumping, screeching music seemed miles away now. The bedroom contained a little pocket of peace and quiet which belonged to Curt alone, and he fully intended to enjoy it while it lasted, until Brian came stumbling in at 4 am, drunk, stoned, clumsy and careless as was his habit these days. But of course, it couldn't last.

Something smashed. Curt's eyes snapped open, and he sought out the source of the noise. There was a man leaning in the doorway – not the doorway to the rest of the flat, but the one which led to the balcony. He was quite small and slender, and held a cigarette in one hand. A smashed plant pot lay at his feet, his arm leaning on the wall where the spider plant had once resided. Curt scowled at the figure.

"M'plant," he slurred sleepily.

". . .Yeah. Sorry about that," said a faintly familiar Scottish accent. "I'd clean it up but I've had my nails done this morning." The moonlight glinted off bright white teeth in the darkness.

"What the fuck are you doing here?" Curt managed, propping himself up in bed.

"Not much. Having a wee smoke, enjoying the view. Didn't mean to wake you."

"Who are you?" demanded a bewildered Curt. That sing-song Scottish voice was definitely familiar, but he couldn't put a name to it, not even with his eyes growing accustomed to the gloom.

"Nobody in particular. If you'll excuse me. . ." The man came fully into the room, stubbed his cigarette out in the ashtray beside the bed, and sauntered out of the door. Curt stared, then rubbed his bleary eyes.

"That was weird. . ." he muttered to himself, then flopped back into the pillow's embrace.


Chapter One

When Curt awoke, there was no one left in the flat except him and Brian and about three thousand pounds worth of damage. Not that the damage mattered, they could easily pay to have it all fixed, but it did mean Curt had to pick his way carefully across the living room carpet so as not to shred his feet on broken bottles and various other detritus of the night before, until he reached the couch, which was half sticking into the kitchen. Brian was lying on it, half-asleep.

"Wake up," Curt snapped, nudging his partner as he pushed past. "It's gone mid-day."

"Wstfgl," said Brian, and rolled off the couch. "Ouch! Fuck! What the hell is this. . .?"

Curt watched with an amused expression as Brian pulled an ashtray out from under himself.

"Ashtray," said Curt with a touch of sarcasm. Brian gave him a withering glare, then followed him into the kitchen.

"Where'd you go?" the Englishman asked blearily, as Curt set to work scraping together breakfast from what was left in the kitchen cupboards.

"When, Bri?"

"Last night, when you buggered off." Brian sat down at the table and peered at Curt until he replied.

"Bed. Alone," the American added swiftly. "I didn't feel well, I told you. Do you like omelettes?"

"We've got no eggs."

"Well, no, but I figured I could make 'em without. . . Brian?"


"Did anything. . .odd happen last night? Did you see anything unusual? Anything at all?"

Brian frowned. "Nope. I don't go actively looking for freaks of nature in our own apartment, though, so do forgive me for not paying attention."

"I just got a really weird feeling, that's all." Curt piled his ingredients on the chopping board and scrutinised them. "Should carrots be green?"

"No idea. What sort of weird feeling?"

"Like. . .something was wrong. Unusual. Out of place."

"You're weird." Brian sniggered as he lit a cigarette. "You're the weirdest guy I've ever met. You seem to be mashing those carrots. . ."

"Shuttup, I'm cooking not you," snapped Curt. "You'll enjoy this, honest."

Brian laughed again. Curt rolled his eyes and hacked aimlessly at some vegetables. It was all they seemed to have left, and he had no idea how to cook any of them, but damned if he wasn't going to try.

"Did you see someone last night?" he asked casually. Brian looked up at him again, and was trying to think of a witty reply to this when he continued. "I mean, someone in particular. Small guy, dark hair, very shiny teeth."

Brian shrugged. "Could be anyone. . ."

"Scottish. Annoying little voice."

"Oh, that's Felix Rose. I like his voice. . .He sings like an angel."

"Scotsmen don't sing, they holler."

"Will you ever tire of insulting the British?"

"I very seldom insult the British. . .Far less than you deserve, anyway. So who's Felix Rose?"

"You've not heard of him?"

"You're so dumb Brian."

Something hit Curt on the back. He picked up the magazine Brian had flung at him and stared at it. There on the cover was a small, slender man with ringlet-ed black hair and a cheeky, bright red smirk. He was dressed in red and black, adorned with long black feathers, and was wearing the most enormous, glamorous, decorated hat Curt had ever seen.

"Wanker," the American muttered.

Brian tried not to look interested. "What's he done?"

"Woke me up. Smashed my plant. Invaded my privacy. He was lurking on the balcony last night, just standing there, smoking. What a twat."

"I like him."

"You would."

Brian laughed loudly. He knew Curt's spontaneous insults were harmless, and the American amused him endlessly. He watched idly as Curt flicked through the magazine, finally finding the article featuring the "hottest new star to grace the UK charts since Brian Slade himself."

"The little piss-pot!" growled Curt. Brian grinned silently at him. "And anyway, why haven't I heard of this snotty little bastard before?"

Brian shrugged. "When was the last time you paid a visit to the real world? Felix has only one LP out. It's not bad either."

"Not bad?!" Curt looked like he was about to hyperventilate. "He's. . .And. . .But he. . ." he trailed off, then rallied, planting his hands on the table and glaring at Brian. "So there!"

"You don't know him, Curt. Maybe we should invite him over again."

"Again? Was he invited last night?"

"I honestly have no idea. . ." Brian scowled. "Oh what the hell. Give him a chance."

"A chance?!" Curt was bright red by now. Brian, not usually inclined to stand up to his partner on trivial issues, rolled his eyes.

"Do you have to keep repeating me?"

"Do you have to keep spouting shit? You can be a right stupid twat when you want Brian. This is about competition, can't you see that? This complete. . ." Curt paused, temporarily and uncharacteristically out of insults.

"Dickhead?" suggested Brian, examining his hands.

"Yes! Whatever! This nasty, invasive little . . .dickhead! He's after your limelight. OUR limelight. My fucking limelight! And we're just going to let him saunter in and take it?"

Brian raised his gaze back up to meet Curt's. If some small insect had flittered through the airspace between them at that moment, it surely would have combusted in mid-flight from the sheer intensity of those gazes.

"Shut up Curt," sighed Brian eventually. "Just stop making mountains out of mouse holes and finish making breakfast so I can pretend to love it, chuck it in the bin and get it over with."

A dark expression flickered over Curt's face, but he stood up again and went back to preparing breakfast, making sure he made plenty of noise and mess and fuss about the whole thing. Only once did he glance over his shoulder at the man he shared his life, his home and his success with. This was a precious moment. For any other couple it would be a shitty moment, but even Curt would reluctantly admit it wasn't often they spent time together when neither of them were stoned or high or even drunk. For the first time in ages – maybe since they met – he took in the full beauty of Brian's features. Brian was reading the magazine, long fingers idly folding the bottom corner of a page, eyelashes almost touching his well-defined cheeks. Curt held his breath. In moments like these, he remembered that incredibly flash of passion which had seized him the moment he saw Brian Slade for the first time. He would never have said it aloud, but he adored the slender, graceful musician who sat at his kitchen table, unintentionally making him drool and simper like a love-struck teenager. He watched with infatuated adulation as Brian swept a lock of hair out of his eyes, and turned a page. But, as with all such moments, this one was merely a matter of three or four seconds.

"It's mole-hills, stupid," Curt muttered under his breath, before carrying on with breakfast.

To Be Continued. . .?