Dedicated to MiwaKuroda! - Thanks for reviewing! And then hurrying me up with another review! lol.
Jones was looked down at the message, blinked and looked again. Then he smiled, he couldn't help it. It seemed that Dan had had the whiskey out. Jones looked over at the other man in the room. He'd come over to him at the gig, he'd looked a bit like Dan, if less miserable and defeatist, and he'd asked if he could by the young DJ a drink. Jones had nodded and the other man had smiled. He had blue eyes, not brown and he was capable of cracking a smile and Jones felt slightly repulsed by him but he downed the drink anyway.
They'd talked for a while. Well, this man had talked, told Jones how amazing he looked when he was working the decks and Jones had wriggled uncomfortably. It had all felt wrong. They'd kissed for a bit in the back of the taxi on the way to this man's flat but it was stilted and weird because Jones didn't really want to be there. Once they'd got back to the flat, Jones had checked his phone (for about the millionth time). He still wasn't sure why he kept checking. He was ignoring Dan tonight but that was difficult when there was a message from him asking him to go home. Suddenly, the situation made no sense and Jones was furious and upset and happy all at once. His response was a lot colder than it perhaps should have been but he was still angry with Dan for being such a coward.
When the man returned from the kitchen with two glasses of wine, he saw Jones teary eyes and sighed heavily.
"This isn't happening, is it?"
Jones shook his head slowly, "Sorry." he whispered.
The man just shrugged but Jones knew he was angry. However, when the man sat down, he just said; "So… who is he?"
Jones looked shocked and the man just nodded at the phone in his hands.
"You've been checking it all night."
Then, it was Jones' turn to talk. He told the whole strange tale of how he'd met Dan, how they'd sat up all night on his first day at the flat popping bubble wrap.
They'd been on the sofa for hours, popping and laughing and getting generally more drunk and giggly. They'd been flirting. Jones had known it but Dan seemed to be denying the fact by pushing himself further and further away from Jones.
The younger man had stood up so that he could get some more of that disgusting blue, chavy alcoho-pop he insisted on drinking because it turned out more than one of the rain drenched boxes had been filled with various bottles of alcohol and smokes. As Jones bent over the box searching for his desired drink, Dan's eyes couldn't help but be drawn to his perfect, round arse, wiggling about as he searched the box feverishly. Suddenly, Jones plucked a bottle from the box and looked up to see Dan still gazing.
"You looking at my arse?" Jones grinned, wiggling it to emphasise his point.
"No." Dan blushed.
"Why not? What's wrong with it?" he grinned, flopping onto the sofa, much too close to Dan.
"Erm, nothing." Dan was incredibly uncomfortable by now, he knew he was bright red and it didn't help that Jones was giggling so much he'd manage to dribble blue liquid down his chin. Dan raised a hand automatically to wipe it off but as he was reaching out his brain caught up with his actions and reminded him what an idiot he was being. He allowed the hand to hang in the air limply. Jones eyed it, trying to supress another giggle but it showed in his eyes as he leant forward and nuzzled against the hand. Dan snatched it away as thought the younger man were on fire but Jones had just grinned again as Dan gabbled quickly;
"I'm not gay."
"Lucky, me neither." Jones had smiled back. Then he'd cuddled up against Dan. "You're comfy."
"You're welcome." moments later Jones had fallen asleep and Dan hadn't known what to do with himself, so he just stayed put and slept awkwardly propped up against the sofa.
Jones told this man that he'd known from that moment that he loved Dan. The man smiled back kindly and offered him a mug of tea. Jones accepted and sighed heavily and the man asked;
"So what went wrong?"
"He doesn't want to 'come out' to his sister."
"He younger than you then?"
"But you're what… 23, 24."
"Really?" The man looked more than a bit shocked and that cheered Jones up nodded, "and he's 32, before you ask. Yes, he should have already come out or at least be comfortable with himself and… I'm sick of hiding."
"But you love him."
Jones nodded again and then he looked at the other man; "Why are you being so nice to me? I ruined your evening."
"Not really. I've got a broken heart too. I was going out tonight to get wasted and forget it but maybe just listening to you has helped more than anything else could."
"So what happened with yours then?" Jones asked.
The man smiled and Jones listened patiently as the man spoke. Just as he reached the end of his story Jones' phone buzzed again. Jones snatched it up and read it.
Jones nodded. "I think he's a bit drunk." he smiled, showing the other man the phone.
"Oh my god, is that the time? I really should be sleeping I gotta be up in the morning."
"Oh. Look, I don't really want to go home tonight… can I have your sofa? I'll be gone by the morning. I swear."
"Sure, I guess." smiled the man.
"What's your name, by the way?"
"Night Jones." he smiled, disappearing into his room.
True to his word, by the time Rob woke up, Jones was gone and in his place a note which read; "Thank you."
Jones hadn't wanted to go home. He hadn't wanted to see Dan, hung over and irritable. He hadn't wanted to see Claire because, as irrational as it was, he kind of blamed Claire for ruining things between him and Dan. He decided instead to go and see if he could get another gig in Stanley knives today. As he walked through the door, a large man, with long hair and tattoos grabbed him and stuck him behind the decks.
"Work." he said simply and Jones nodded. He'd always been lucky like that, what was less lucky was that Barley chose this particular day to get his hair cut.
"Jonesy!" he cried as he walked through the door. "Oh no. Look at that." he pointed at a purple my little pony that Dan had nicked for Jones from an art museum's lost property box years ago. Jones had whinged and whined when he'd seen it.
"How could a child be so careless with something so pretty?" he'd moaned. "It deserves a home."
"It's just a plastic toy." sighed Dan, trying to encourage Jones to leave it alone and experience some of the art.
"But look at it. It's tales all tangled too. You should be able to report that kind of blatant mistreatment of toys."
"Look, it probably belongs to some tiny girl who didn't know any better."
"Well then her parents shouldn't have bought her it. And how d'you know it was a girl?"
"It's a purple pony with pink hair. It's a girls."
"It could have been a little boy like me."
"I don't think there are any little boys like you." Dan had scowled but Jones had beamed up at him. Somehow, he'd taken that as a compliment and Dan wasn't about wipe than grin off his face by correcting him.
As they'd left, when Jones was in the toilet, Dan had gone to the front desk and told them his daughter had lost a purple and pink pony. Jones had come back just in time to watch the woman hand over the pony. It had taken a hard glare from Dan and a lot of self-restraint from Jones to not bowl Dan over with a hug right there.
But now Jones had to watch as Barley picked it up, flipping it over and over in his sweaty, dirty hands. He grabbed the tale and allowed in to hang limply.
"Stop it! You're hurting her." Jones said and immediately regretted it. He knew he shouldn't really be attributing feelings to toys but this one was special. He'd saved this one, well Dan had saved it and for that reason it was Jones' favourite.
"Her?" Barley asked, holding it's face and squeezing hard so the plastic bent out slightly before springing back into shape.
Jones blushed. "Just give her back." he said, "She was a present."
"Who gave you this?" Barley scorned, throwing the toy back onto the decks and laughing a little as Jones picked it up and checked the damage, totally ignoring his question.
"Jones. Who gave it to you?"
Jones thought about saying 'no one' but then a flash of defiance burnt through him. No. He didn't have a problem with who he was and he was sick of keeping Dan's secret;
And Jones left it at that. Barley could think what he wanted. He didn't care.
Jones finished late at Stanley knives and decided he may as well go straight home. When he got there though, he was surprised to find Dan sat on the sofa holding Jones' sparkly phone between two fingers.
"Good night was it." he asked, hurling it at Jones. Both men were lucky Dan's aim was appalling but if anything that made it worse as it shatter one of Jones' speakers. Suddenly, everything else didn't matter and Jones leapt at Dan screaming blue murder as he pummelled his shoulder. Dan quickly discovered Jones was stronger than he looked.
"Ow! Gerrof. Jones. Stop it. Ow. JONES!"
Dan suddenly grabbed the smaller man's fists and slammed him against the wall.
"I'm sorry." he yelled in the younger man's face "I'll buy you a new one."
"No you wont." Jones spat back, struggling against Dan's grip. "You haven't got any money. You're always cadging off me. The only present you've ever got me was from a lost property box. You're a loser Dan."
"Shut up." Dan yelled, slamming Jones against the wall. "Shut up. You still haven't asked me how I got you're phone."
"You probably stole it off me, gonna sell it on eBay or something."
"No. Some man said you left it at his house when you stayed there last night."
Oh. Jones had almost forgotten he'd stayed out all night.
"So." he shrugged, "You said I could go home with whoever I wanted."
"I didn't mean it."
"You only said it because you're too much of a coward to tell Claire."
"Well, now I have nothing to tell her, do I?"
"You spent the night with someone else Jones."
"Oh it wasn't like that you jerk. I wasn't gonna come back here because then we'd have just rowed. I stayed with a friend." Jones figured the lie was better than the truth.
"Well, that's a lie." Maybe not then.
"He rang me. This Rob bloke. Told me you went back to his house and left your phone there I had to go over there and get it back. When I spoke to him he couldn't even remember your name. Some friend. "
"I don't know him well." Jones tried.
"Don't lie to me. You picked him up last night."
"I… well… nothing happened!"
"And I'm supposed to believe that am I?"
"I'm not the liar."
"What are you…?"
"You're the one who goes around lying to everyone about who he is! You're a coward and a loser and I hate you!"
Suddenly, a sharp stinging shot through Jones left cheek and his head snapped sideways. He didn't move. Just stayed, silent, breathing hard and heavy. It seemed like a lifetime. Dan just stared, the stinging in his palm made him want to scream, the stinging in his chest made him want to scream. He hated himself for letting things get so out of hand. All he'd wanted, ever since he'd met him, was for Jones to be his and, if he hadn't thrown it away before, he sure as hell had now. The silence was excruciating. It was making his insides cry with hurt and confusion. Finally, Jones spat red blood to the floor. Dan noticed his lip was split.
"S'hell of a slap you got." Jones whispered
"I didn't…" Dan horrified rasped.
"Shut up!" Jones cut in, turning his neck slowly so he could look at Dan. His cheek was bright red and the bruise was already showing around his eye. "Just shut up. How dare you accuse me? You told me I was free to do what I wanted but I didn't. I stayed up and spoke to him all night about you. Then, I slept on the sofa. On the sofa, Dan!"
"Yeah. Keep saying it. I'm not interested anymore."
"What d'you want me to say?"
"Tell me you love me. No, tell Claire you love me."
"I… I…" Dan fell quiet, looking down at the carpet smattered with droplets of blood.
"You can't do it. It's okay." Jones sighed, pushing Dan away from him gently. "I get it."