A/N: Hey guys, it's been awhile, hasn't it? Gosh, I'm sorry. I just finished the Christmas chapters a few days ago. I'll try to write a lot of chapters to make up for it. Promise.
Remember what I said about having to tell Cyn and Jane that their significant others were otherwise occupied in a relationship? Well, it turned out that we didn't have to tell Cynthia anything.
She found out on her own.
The next morning, Paul and I woke up in each others' arms to the sound of a purse falling to the ground. I blinked sleepily at the clock and shot straight up. Ten o'clock? How was that possible? I looked over to see Cynthia staring at the two of us with bug eyes that were starting to well up with tears. I shook Paul awake.
"Hey, wake up. We've got company," I said, trying valiantly not to have a mental breakdown. This was not happening. He blinked slowly, stirring.
"Hmf, whassat?" he mumbled, rubbing his eyes. When he saw Cyn, his eyes popped out of his head and his cheeks burned red.
"Cyn—" I started, getting out of bed and reaching for her arm, but she twisted away from me, hurt written across her face as plainly as if she'd screamed.
"What's going on, John?" she asked quietly, folding her arms tightly across her chest.
"Look, Cyn, this is hard to explain but—" my comment somehow made her regain her confidence.
"I think I can explain it pretty well," she said. "My husband went queer for his bandmate and decided not to tell his wife. Just when were you planning to tell me? When, John? Or were you not going to?"
I fidgeted. I had been planning on telling her, I really had. "I was gonna tell you, really!" I protested.
"Why should I believe you? If I got a pound for every time you conveniently forgot to tell me something, I'd be a rich woman." Her composure was beginning to crack.
"It's not like I meant for it to happen! I didn't plan this!" I exclaimed. "But the fact is that I love Paul. With all my heart."
"What about Julian?" she asked softly, eyes still burning. "How am I going to tell him when he's older that he won't ever see much of his father? But that's not exactly new, I guess."
"What do you mean?" I asked. "Of course I'll still see him a lot! He's my son! I love him."
She regarded me coldly. "I'll not be having my son get the wrong ideas about his sexuality."
"What?" I yelped. "What are you on about? Are you telling me I won't be seeing him anymore? You can't do that!"
"I can and I will!" she said, her voice rising exponentially. She was trying so hard not to succumb to the wave of tears hiding in her eyes, she didn't want to give me that satisfaction. I almost felt sorry for her, and then I remembered that she'd just told me that I wouldn't be seeing Julian anymore. Somehow, that thought dulled that instinct.
I opened my mouth to say something else, but she interrupted me. "John, you need to leave. You and Paul both."
"But—" I stammered.
"Get out!" she yelled, storming from the room. I heard the beginning of a sob as she disappeared from view.
Silently, Paul and I got dressed and got our things together. We didn't speak a word until we got out to my car. I had a jumble of emotions bouncing off the confines of my skull and it was driving me crazy.
Paul was the first to break the oppressive silence. "Well, that went well," he said, clapping his hands together. I made a noise that was part laughter, part a strangled sob and one hundred percent pitiful. He reached across the console and pulled my limp body against his, running his fingers through my hair slowly. "It's gonna be okay, Johnny," he murmured.
I tried to stop myself from turning into a totally helpless pile of mush, but I eventually gave up and let myself cry into Paul's shoulder. He didn't do anything but continue to massage my scalp with his fingertips until I'd cried myself out. I was grateful that Paul was like he was. Everything about him was so perfect. Of all the men I could've accidentally fallen in love with, I was glad it was him.
"Do you wanna talk about it?" Paul gently broached the question. I thought about it. My immediate answer was no, but I knew I needed to get it out in the open or I'd spend the next God knows how long brooding about it. I couldn't afford to do that; sleep was hard enough to come by as it was.
"Christ, I just don't know what to say," I said, wiping the tears from my eyes. "I know I've been a shitty dad, but to be denied all rights to my own son... And what she said about me, well, us. Paul, is there something wrong with us? Wrong with what we're doing?"
Paul grasped my chin gently in his calloused hand, pulling me around to face him. "Nope. Nothing at all," he whispered, pressing a feather-light kiss to my lips. "The world might think so, but love is love is love and it's never wrong, no matter what form it takes."
"So, do we want to take care of all this stuff today?" I asked after a time. "Do we tell Jane as well today?"
Paul was quiet for a long time. His eyes turned far away from the present situation, indicating that he was burrowing deeply within himself to decide how he would answer. He didn't want to have to, but I think he also knew that it would have to happen sooner or later and that maybe sooner was better.
"Yeah, I s'pose we probably should," he muttered, starting the car and swinging it in the direction of Jane Asher's flat.
Neither of us wanted to talk much, so I turned the radio up to fill the silent gap that was dividing us. Not surprisingly, we were one of the first songs that began to play. It was I Want to Hold Your Hand. Memories of writing that song and how I'd become inspired to write it and I smiled a little and rubbed Paul's arm.
"This sounds familiar," he said, looking at me briefly, grinning in the adorable way he always did.
"Yeah, it's a good song. A talented pair of blokes must have written it," I nonchalantly commented.
"Mmhm," Paul nodded. "Whoever came up with the idea must have loved someone a lot."
"And the person that helped them finish must have been head over heels as well," I paused for a beat. "Was that conversation as cheesy as I think it was?" I questioned, a tiny chuckle escaping my lips.
"No way..." Paul trailed off as he reviewed the conversation in his head. "Actually, yes. Yes it was." A small fraction of the tension within him seemed to lift.
When we pulled up to the curb however, he began to have some second thoughts about the whole thing. "John, I don't think I can do this," he said, shaking his head violently and turning pale. "I really don't. I don't know what to say or do-" I kissed him lightly.
"It's okay, Paulie," I assured him. "You can do this. It's all gonna be fine, you'll see." He heaved a big breath and closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them again, he set his jaw and nodded faintly, getting out of the car. I followed close behind him.
When we got up to the door, I noticed that no one could see us from the sides of the street. I grasped Paul's hand and threaded my fingers between his, squeezing gently for reassurance as he rang the doorbell. It sounded, the ringing echoing with a tinny sound across the street. He gave me a grateful smile, leaning against me briefly.
Almost immediately, Jane answered the door, so fast that I didn't have time to disentangle my hand from Paul's. Her eyes went from our intertwined fingers to our blushing faces and back to our hands again. An obnoxious silence made itself known for an uncomfortable stretch of time. I bounced on my toes nervously, carefully looking anywhere and everywhere but the redheaded girl's face.
Finally, she coughed lightly and pasted a minuscule smile on her lips. "I take it you two have something to tell me?" she inquired hesitantly, opening the door to let us in. Paul tried to inch his fingers out of my grasp, but I wouldn't let him now. I needed to keep myself anchored, and it would be showing weakness to do that.
Inside the modest little flat with modern furniture and various colorful paintings here and there, Paul and I took a seat on a black leather couch. We were still holding hands. Jane sat down in a chair opposite us. Giving a little gesture with her hands that said, 'go ahead', she sat back and waited.
Paul rubbed his temple with his free hand, searching for the right words. "I dunno what to say, really," he confessed. "One day I didn't feel like... um, well, I didn't feel like I loved John and then somehow, I did. I can't explain it, but there you go."
"Same explanation for me as well," I agreed, tapping my toes against the floor nervously.
"And you just decided to tell me and Cyn now?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. Paul made like he was about to apologize, but she flapped a hand at him to shush him. "It's about time! I've known for ages that there was something up with you two, but I couldn't really tell what it was until now. You blokes aren't exactly the most subtle pair in the world," she informed us. I'm pretty sure we turned identical shades of red. My ears burned.
"I mean," she continued, "whenever you're in the same room you practically make love with your eyes and Paul here never shuts up about you, John."
"Are we seriously that obvious?" I winced, rubbing circles on Paul's hand. We'd have to be a little more careful in the future.
Jane laughed, pulling her hair over her shoulder. "Not all the time, but I was watching," she said. "Paul, I suppose this means that we're no more?" Her eyes were sad. I could see Paul's lip begin to quiver a little.
"Jane, I'm so sorry," he said, getting up to hug her one last time. Over Paul's shoulder, I saw her squeeze her eyes shut and a small, crystalline tear leaked from her eye.
When she pulled away, she screwed a smile on her face and wiped the tear away bravely. "It's all right, Paul. Maybe it's for the best." She kissed his cheek gently and disappeared into the back of the house.
The mood for that day was significantly more somber than the day before. Now almost everyone that we knew knew about the fact that Paul and I did more than just write songs, but it didn't make it any easier. In fact, it just made it worse. Whenever they made eye contact with me, it was like they were afraid that I would just start shagging with Paul on the nearest available surface. I guess they didn't know that it was just like being so called "normal," except I had to deal with the new sensation of stubble burn from more heated kissing sessions, a sensation I didn't particularly enjoy. But, I got to kiss Paul, so it sort of made up for it.
"I love you, y'know?" he whispered in my ear sometime later as we sat in his car, staring out at the ocean from a secluded spot. It was our favorite spot to go to when we needed to get away from it all.
I turned and kissed his lips gently. "Not as much as I love you," I replied.
"We are not having that conversation again. I love you the most, end of story."
"But I love you the mostest."
Paul sighed. "You are an insufferable bastard."
"And that's why you love me."
A/N; Review? :)