Another oneshot. Very mild hints of slash in this one.
Bleed never thought too much about tea. That is, not until Derek kept forcing him to have tea with him every afternoon. But 'forcing' wasn't the right word. It was more that teatime was something proper Englishmen did and, as a proper Englishmen, Bleed had to go along with it. So, every day at around four P.M, there would be a pot of tea and an assortment of sweets on the table. At first, Bleed didn't really mind. He liked all the snacks and, after all, he had appearances to keep up. But after a few months of this, Bleed was getting sick of tea.
All this was going through Bleed's mind, as he slowly stirred his hot beverage. At least Burger was genuinely enjoying himself, Bleed thought as he observed the bassist reach for another cookie (biscuits, Derek called them). Burger seemed completely taken by the idea of teatime. But the hefty teen would take any excuse to have an extra meal. Bleed sighed and grimaced as he took another sip of tea. There was too much milk. As usual.
"Bleed? Are you alright?" Derek asked suddenly. Bleed blinked and realized that Derek caught him making a face. "Want more milk-"
"No! Uh…that's okay," said Bleed hastily. He pushed his tea cup away and stood. "Actually, my stomach kind of hurts, mate. I'm gonna go have a lie down."
"Oh. Alright, then." Derek shrugged and resumed sipping his own drink. "I'll keep a pot on for you, in case you feel better."
Bleed forced a small smile before scuttling out of the small kitchen (not before seeing Burger swipe his half eaten sweets). He smacked his mouth, tasting too much sugar on his tongue (along with milk, Derek also put too much sugar into the tea).
For the most part, Bleed had adjusted to his new life in the band. Gone were the days of whiling away on a farm/commune where the days dragged slowly. Seventeen years of drum circles, craft making and the 'love and peace' vibe finally wore thin and Bleed decided to up and leave. There was no way he could be the next Hendrix by staying on some dull hippie colony.
His parents (life-givers, they preferred) weren't happy about him giving up the long-past 60's lifestyle, but didn't stand in his way. They even agreed to him changing his stupid name. What sort of parents name their baby 'Rainsong', wondered Bleed, wincing. He counted himself lucky to have never gone to school, as he would've definitely been beat up for having such a ridiculous name. 'Bleed' was much better name.
When Bleed decided to put his old life behind him, he hadn't really been planning on changing himself so extremely. What he was doing essentially, was rewriting his entire past. Instead of being Rainsong, hippie, flower child and raised in Woodstock, USA; he was Bleed, tea-drinking, born and bred Englishman. He hadn't even planned on being British until he started eavesdropping on the guys at the diner. It just stuck after hearing it. Mostly, he didn't mind. After all, it was what got Derek to relent and let him into the band. But it was a little stressful sometimes.
It was definitely one of those days. Most of the time, the persona he put on came easily to him, almost naturally. But once in a while, he could feel it slipping and the idea of being found out would loom over his head. Bleed told himself in the beginning-when the guys (mostly Derek) warmed up to him, he'd tell the truth. That was months ago and they were pretty good friends now, but he hadn't said anything. It just kept slipping his mind for some reason.
If he was going to come clean, it should be sometime now before he would be labeled a faker. But he was already so used to being 'Bleed'. And a part of him greatly enjoyed the close companionship he and Derek shared, being 'those two British guys'. It was nice having a best friend, after all. Bleed sighed, imaging how Derek would take the truth. Not well, he imagined.
But then again, Derek couldn't be so shallow that their friendship hinged on him being English. No, at the end of the day, all Bleed did was give himself an accent. He still had his personality and quirks.
"Hey, Bleed-" Derek's voice broke his thoughts and Bleed sat up a little. The singer was edging into the room, with a mug. "You're still under the weather?"
"Uh…a little," mumbled Bleed. At Derek's inquiring look, he sighed. "I just have a lot on my mind."
"Ah. Well, I brought you something for your stomach," said Derek. He all but forced the mug into Bleed's hands and sat on the bed next to him. "You're in one of your moods, aren't you?"
"Yeah. You get all quiet and…not-fun sometimes." Derek informed the guitarist. He frowned and squinted at Bleed suspiciously. "You're not getting second-thoughts about all this, are you?"
"What? No way-" Bleed protested. He was a bit taken aback by Derek's assumption. "Where would you get that idea?"
"Well, you know-" Derek gave Bleed a significant look. When Bleed merely cocked his eyebrow, the Brit slumped back slightly and huffed. "It's different for us, right? Ash and Burger are a few stone throws away from home. And they grew up together."
"Yeah, so?" Bleed pursed his mouth, wondering what Derek was getting at. He blinked as Derek rolled his eyes, scowling. "What?"
"You don't miss it? Home, I mean," asked Derek. He looked mildly embarrassed as he glanced at Bleed. "It's not like you can hop at bus and visit, yeah?"
Bleed mentally slapped himself. Derek thought he was homesick. He wasn't; not when his real home was only a few hours away. A thought hit him and Bleed suddenly whirled around on Derek. "You're not thinking about going home, are you?"
"No! Of course not." Derek scoffed, but he wasn't looking at Bleed anymore. He distractedly picked at his nails and lowered his voice as he continued. "I just miss it sometimes. It's normal…"
"Yeah…I guess." Bleed relaxed slightly. He felt a little bad now; of course Derek was homesick. Living on your own in a foreign country with no friends or family wasn't easy. "I've been living here for awhile though, remember? You'll…uh, you'll get use to it. Okay?"
"Right…Well, I'm just glad you're around," said Derek, his tone brisk now. He smiled and nudged Bleed's arm playfully. "Ash and Burger are great-don't tell them I said that. But sometimes it's hard to relate to them, you know?"
"Derek? Can I tell you something? Honestly, I mean." Bleed fiddled with the mug in his hands idly as Derek looked at him. /Just tell him already-/ "I really don't like tea. I hate it, actually."
"What?" Derek squinted at him and crossed his arms. He snorted and a smirk crossed his face now, as he took the tea from Bleed. "Why didn't you say so? You've been drinking it for the past three months."
"Uh…I don't know," said Bleed. He suddenly felt rather stupid as Derek laughed at him and he pouted. "I didn't want to be rude."
"You'll put glue on Ash's drumsticks but you won't turn down tea because it's rude?" questioned Derek, his voice amused. He laughed again at Bleed's reddening face and walked to the door. "You're an odd one. But I suppose that's part of your appeal."
"Good to know…" Bleed grumbled. Actually, Derek made a good point. He could've said he didn't want the tea but kept forcing himself to drink it. It wasn't like every person in England drank tea. But he still made himself drink it. Whatever, he thought to himself. Plus, apparently, Derek found it 'appealing'.
Another day of him not revealing the truth would go by, Bleed thought with a sigh. But being British seemed to actually to make Derek happy and he couldn't bring himself to tell the truth at that moment.
Next time, he'd tell them about the 'not-actually-British-thing'. Just not today.
I've been hinting in past chapters that Bleed is a secret-hippie. For those young 'uns who don't know, a commune/colony is basically when back in the 60's, a bunch of hippies would gather and live in groups, sharing everything and...do hippie stuff... A few communes are still around today!