A/N: If an eye for an eye makes the world go blind then I'm about to stop seeing things. Although if those things are Mark Henry, The (not-so) Great Khali and Dolph Ziggler then maybe its not all so bad. So, because you're you, here's what I rustled up, July styleeeee in honour of a momentous coming of age. Enjoy :)
Another weekend, another airport. It seemed at times as if the travelling would never stop but to be able to get by, to be able to come back week on week, it had to be done. The money issue never stopped being an issue for any of them but just lately it was more of a worry than usual. Talk of cuts swept the dirtsheets and the locker room and only helped to make the hassle involved in earning good money back home that bit more appealing.
Today though the travelling seemed like it was never going to start. The hours since their flight was listed as delayed dragged longer than just about any they'd known. Yesterday's taping had been followed by a night of epic proportions and accordingly four darkly bespectacled wrecks had turned up for the flight instead of the four reasonably fresh faced lads that had turned up to the Impact Zone less than twenty four hours before. Des had almost failed to get through passport control when, in his usual people-friendly manner, he'd initially refused to take his pair off. It was only when he'd seen a hand-to-hip motion that he'd relented and revealed the spidery pinks that hid behind the polarised lenses, much to the amusement of the rest of the group who had shed theirs without argument.
Nick's suggestion that they go to the swanky looking bar had been met with three death stares, his exuberance and desire for severe liver damage unrelenting. By that point Rob was already only semi-conscious as he sprawled across a full couch in the VIP departure lounge, the suggestion of more ale doing nothing other than turn his stomach. He had the longest journey of them all to make, another 4 hours of open road to traverse after the others would be showered and tucked up in bed. There was nothing and no-one that could convince him that another pint was going to cure his ills rather than worsen them. With a grunted "Fuck off Nick, just wake me up when the plane's in, okay?" he heaved his body over, face pressed against the back cushions, sleep washing over him within seconds.
"Alright mate, I only asked."
Shrugging his shoulders Nick looked between Des and Doug and realised that his suggestion was still as popular as one of Des' farts in a lift. Being the youngest of the three sometimes had its downfalls as well as its advantages. Sure, he could usually lure all or any of them into his bed or into going along with his madcap antics through lots of smiling and upper half nudity but they didn't have the same sense of fun he had, or even that they used to have when he first met them. Growing up with them in the fun and sun of the US had seemed like a great adventure and it had been mad up until they'd started to get on screen more. Now it was to bed earlier and up earlier in the mornings, two things that were counter-intuitive to him. Last night had been the best they'd had in ages, safe in the knowledge that all they had to look forward to was shoving peanuts up Doug's nose as he snored all the way home on the plane. Nick had drunk too much, danced like a loon, snogged every man or woman that came close enough for him to make contact with and was finally hauled from the bar by Doug in a headlock. Not a bad end to the night for him.
"So what are we gonna do? We've been sat here for hours and my arse is going numb."
"Nicholas my friend. We're going to sit here until the plane is called. I'm not missing it, our colleague Desmond here is also happy enough to wait with me and you, like the good boy I know you can be, are going to park your arse, shut your face and just wait. Patience is a virtue and you could do with a bit more of that my son."
"I'm sorry Doug, were you talking to me? All I heard was a low, droning sound. Maybe some lubrication of your vocal chords-"
"Nick, shut the fuck up. My 'ead's killing me and frankly, if you don't give me some peace and quiet, I'm going to knock your top set out. You'll be picking them up and threading them onto a necklace, understand? Wanker."
Des had no tolerance for anything when he was hung over apart from Full English Breakfasts and builder's strength tea. Any other sights or sounds were not welcome to the point that sometimes even sizzling bacon received death threats. He liked Nick but generally when yhey were very sober or very drunk but certainly not during the hangover the younger bloke's enthusiasm for drinking had left him with. He wasn't as big a drinker as the other guys. He liked a drink or two but, unlike them, never drank alone after seeing what it'd done to family and friends over time. His problem was that once he'd gone that one social drink too far it usually turned into twenty too far, especially when Nick was running up a tab at the bar that'd shame many a rapper. Last night they'd moved from beers to shots to champagne, none of them abiding by the old adage about never mixing grape and grain. It had certainly been mixed half an hour after they'd left the bar and Rob was creating an impromptu artwork over a nearby bench.
"Des, mate. I was only asking. When did you get so bloody old? I swear you've been listening to old father time here way too much."
His grin at Doug was not returned and Nick realised that the raised eyebrow he received as a reply was his final warning about his insolence.
"You just don't learn do you Nick? Look at the state of us. We're just about fit to travel, I'm not risking being turned away from the plane just because you want to go and sip a mohe... mojee... whatever the fuck that fancy poof's drink you like is. I, Douglas, am a real man. I don't do metrosexual, I don't do pretty and modern and drinks with bloody umbrellas in. I do man's beer, man's whisky and-"
Before Nick had a chance to move Doug was out of his seat and looming over him, following his sudden appearance by fisting his hand into the worn-looking blue SuperDry t-shirt that Nick considered his favourite.
"Oi, Doug, watch the threads. What's your problem mate? It's not like there's anyone here to hear that cares who you fuck and lets face it, with the exception of Shaun the Sheep Shagger over there you've already had us anyway. In fact, grow your hair a bit longer and even Rob'll give you a second look!"
It was partly Nick's brash and unafraid attitude that drove Doug right to the edge of crazy. If he threatened the younger man with a pasting then Nick would just push Doug till he did it and take the punches laughing. There was no clue as to whether or not it was the drink, the occasional drugs or the mild concussion talking most of the time. He turned around, dragging the grinning Nick with him and turned his face towards Des. It was only when he saw the concerned face of a staff member across the lounge that Doug decided that it wasn't worth spending time in custody for while the rest of them caught the plane. He unknotted his hand out of the fabric and shoved Nick backwards.
"Des, is there only me and you left around here with any sodding sense?"
Lowering his shades briefly Des glared over them, not appreciating the volume of the low level fracas they seemed to be causing between them. Inside his head a marching band was practising their entire repertoire and he was tired of hearing voices interrupting which seemed to make the band play louder and longer every time they started up again. All he wanted to do was board the flight, ignore the terrible in flight meal and then find himself slipping between the cool cotton sheets of his London home. He'd pick up his post, ignore his mother's answering machine messages and then go to bed and sleep for a day until his body caught up. He wasn't booked to wrestle until the weekend so he'd got a couple of days to see friends, avoid all thoughts of work and just relax.
"Sense? Doug, you're speaking in anything but the mother tongue if you think Nick has got any going spare. This geezer is more likely to think that decency is the new fucking aftershave by Calvin Klein than anything to do with behaving like a proper human being. Now if the two of you don't mind, I'll be closing my eyes the same as Shaun over there and getting forty winks before the tin can in the sky arrives. I'm fucked and fucked off so if you gentlemen will excuse me..."
Des closed his eyes and let the veil of doubled darkness start to heal the damage done to his brain. He wondered just what kind of looks would be getting fired between an enraged Doug and a smug Nick, hoping it wasn't the same looks that led to them getting barred from American Airlines a few months ago for their rather rowdy attempt at joining the mile high club. When the plane was stuck circling above Gatwick. On a day with turbulence that made the entire plane near silent.
The sound of Rob's snoring started to fall in sync with the beat of the drum in his head. Slowly both sounds faded into the recesses of Des' mind and his tense shoulders slumped pleasantly. That was until the tannoy system crackled to life. Through the pounding noise and sleepy haze he heard the news that their plane was finally ready and that the flight was due at the gate in 15 minutes. Sitting upright and stretching he decided that he could wait for the comfort of the chairbed and warm blanket on the plane to start charging his much depleted batteries. He glanced over to Rob who was busy rubbing at his eyes and then to Doug and Nick who were still sat glowering at one another.
Before long their belongings were gathered and the check in desk would soon be a welcome sight to them all. Their friendships were, as ever, tested more than they were just tried, the threads of their individual patience tugged, twisted and torn. Truth was that although none of them would ever admit it, they needed each other to keep making the regular long journeys week in, week out. It would only be five short days before they'd meet at Terminal 2 again, tickets in hand and more wild tales to tell, back in the endless cycle of home and away.
A/N: Well, I hope the intended recipient likes it. I gave it my best shot, not that I could ever hope to repay the gesture of the present I received. Happy Birthday friend!
p.s. Shaun the Sheep features a lot in Wallace and Grommet animations here in the UK, google him for a looksee at his adorable cute evilness XD