Bonjour! It caught my attention recently that there aren't enough Velvet Goldmine fanfics -though there are some brilliant ones- despite it being a great film (tops, smashing, best of the lot XD)
I've got a sketchy sort of plan for this, so this chapter is a short experimental one- so if you like it, please review and let me know and I'll carry it on (I hope you will).
How I wish, how I wish you were here
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year
Running over the same old ground,
What have you found? The same old fears
I wish you were here
Brian brought the slick, cold makeup wipe to his face. It stung, cleaving through the orangey goo like Moses through the red sea. Revealing the truth. Brian without any embellishment. He caught his own eyes, held that empty blue gaze for a few seconds, and turned away from the mirror to untangle himself from his awkwardly padded and shaped clothes, slipping Tommy Stone off with them.
In truth, he was sick of Tommy, despite the success that particular alter-ego had brought; like Maxwell, he had been fun at first, an interesting slice of self-study, but- again, like Maxwell- he began to drain Brian of his own personality. Set those age-old confusions about who and what he was atwitter in his skull.
Just an hour ago, performing to a screaming crowd, Brian had forgotten all that; along with his whole life, all he had known was that those people, that sea of jittering humanity behind the camera flashes, loved him just for doing what made him happy. And that was absolutely smashing.
Then, with the end of the show, reality flooded back into the pathways of Brian's brain and reminded him that it was a lie.
He had to get out, before Shannon returned, to look at him with those ever-hopeful eyes and probably drag him off to some god awful interview about tours and Presidents and inspiration-thank you, Mary-Lou, but no.
At the very back of a small, shadowy bar, in the smallest, most shadowy corner, Brian lurked.
Brian hated lurking.
He mused, as he lurked, about the days where he would prance around in glitter and platforms just to bask in the attention, the King of Glam, chattering loudly to anyone with a decent haircut, flinging sultry winks to the girls and boys lucky enough to catch his eye.
Those days were over.
Now, the King of Glam sulked, sipping at a smeary glass of orange juice that tingled almost painfully on his naked lips, famous face hidden under a dark grey hoodie and oversized women's sunglasses, stalling for as long as possible until he'd have to return to the cold ambition that was Shannon, and hollow, exhausted Tommy.
Still, Brian thought, it would do him good to have a little thinking time. His cloak of anonymity gave him the freedom to think about something other than Tommy's career, Shannon's overprotectiveness, and the thing he definitely wasn't going to think about.
The thing that crept up on him daily, mangled his mind, that had carved out his brain and sat on a glittering throne in his heart ever since that day when he'd stood in a field full of hippies, wearing a purple frock, staring in awe at…
But of course Brian never thought about him.
He took a sip of the bitter juice, a grimace tweaking his angular face into an expression of pretty distaste, and set the glass down on the sticky wood table with a muted clink; it glared back at him, as if to say 'Stop being so bloody pathetic'.
I'm not listening to you, Brian thought blackly at it. What do you know? You're just juice, and not even pleasant juice, you're watery and mean and- oh Jesus, I'm having a mental altercation with my drink. And it isn't even alcoholic.
He scowled, leaning back on the hard, chilly chair, when the door creaked open, moaning like a woman in pain, submissive to the man striding through it. Slender, leather-hugged hips swayed as he entered Brian's line of vision, moving with a disjointed sort of grace; that alone was enough to catch his attention, but even worse were the tangled swathes of blonde hair tumbling around his face- a face all too beautiful and familiar.
Brian's world exploded.
There were people all around- pretty things he'd been eyeing only moments ago- but to Brian, they had melted away; people, stools, pool cues, tables, all trickling down the drain in the aftermath of Hurricane Curt. He was everything Brian could see. How could he look as though nothing had changed?
His hair was longer, maybe, stuffed into a scruffy ponytail with loose, choppy chunks grazing his jaw where too short tie back- perhaps he looked a little wearier, but otherwise, nothing had changed.
That was the worst part: Curt still blazed with a fierce, almost feral energy, it dripped off his skin like the sweat of performance, mingling strangely with the eerie beauty that coated Brian's every sense as Curt's haunting lips cradled a cigarette, enticed the twisting smoke into his lungs, pouted as they released it back into the suddenly molten air- in short, he was like a mirage from the past, sent to intrigue and torment anyone who looked too hard, specifically Brian.
So, like any sane man would do when confronted with such a divine atrocity, he took the only available course of action and dived under the table.
Bony knees digging awkwardly into his chin, Brian peeked at Curt's boots as they whisked him off to the bar.
"What can I get you?" He caught the bartender's question, or maybe it was just wishful thinking.
"Oh, shit," The American voice replied, tired but amused, "Vodka. It's been that sort of day,"
Sweet fucking Jesus. There it was. That deep, languid drawl, teasingly slow in pace, sent from the past to frazzle Brian's mind and send chills down his spine.
"I don't care, anything, oh, just give it to me straight!" He sounded relieved to have achieved an actual decision. Curt's usual way of ordering drinks, he seemed to recall, was simple- just a hoarse yell of 'Another!'
In his Curt-shock, Brian had utterly forgotten his distaste for being on the floor- "I feel like a peasant!"- and hadn't even considered the teeming hoards of germs surely poised to attack at any time. Luckily, his reeling senses started to settle, coaxing his body back into the chair, sinking further into his hoodie's comforting disguise, hoping the hood covered the glittering designer logo on the arm of his glasses.
Enthralled by the snap of wrist, flick of hair and bobbing of adams apple as Curt downed his shot, motioned for another and repeated the process, he wondered, not for the first time by a long way, what would be different if they had never broken up. Would Curt be drinking alone in a strange bar right now, unkempt and lonely-looking? Would he be doing the same, but unseen, watching his ex-lover from behind the shields of tinted lenses? Would he have ruined Curt to the point where that energy was long faded, so that he couldn't stand there, gorgeous, looking for all the world like the last diamond in an abandoned mine?
I can't deal with this, Brian thought. Not tonight. I'm tired. Fuck Curt for turning up tonight, and how dare he look so lonely? He was the one who left.
The last words of that thought train seemed to echo off the grubby walls.
He was the one who left.
Brian hadn't asked him to, had begged him not to, in fact, yelling at him to piss off through the window was only said out of hurt, and he was pretty sure Curt knew, also knew that he would never have asked him to leave. No matter how bad things got, he never could.
The door screeched again, forced open by a small crowd of people who grinned as they spotted Curt.
"There you are!"
"How's it going, dickhead?"
Maybe he wasn't so lonely after all.
This set off an impulse in Brian: he wanted Curt to remember how it felt to be loved by the King of Glam, to remember and wish and hurt- with a perverse sort of pleasure, he wanted to see Curt Wild squirm.
There was a way, of course, to make that happen.
A jukebox glimmered enticingly on the wall, whispering Come on, Slade. You know you want to. One song is all it takes…
Almost before he knew it Brian had his long, pale fingers splayed across its cool screen, searching for that beautiful, sad, sublime song, Lou Reed's 'Satellite Of Love', theirs from the start.
"Hey, good choice," Fuck! Brian spun on his heel, suddenly face to face with a swaying, slurring Curt, who obviously hadn't recognized him. "I've been desperate to hear that song aaaaall fuckin' day! You have no idea. You know when you just really wanna hear somethin', then you do?" He giggled. "That's happening now." His tone was cheery, playful even, but his eyes were storm clouds, fringed with dark lashes that only added to the shadow.
Stunned by the sudden closeness and terrified of revealing his identity, Brian said nothing. After ten years of bitter separation, Curt Wild's face was inches from his own, he could count every eyelash, smell that spicy, indescribably Curt scent, feel the heat of his breath stirring the air between them- it was religious.
"I mean, stuff like that isn't my usual bucket of slugs," a smile threatened to tweak the corner of Brian's lips, hastily swallowed by a wave of pain "But it's so… fucking gorgeous." He could only stare, gaining a suspicious look from Curt. "Hey, you're pretty quiet. And why are you wearing sunglasses inside, freakin' diva?"
Out of nowhere, they were snatched away, hood knocked back to reveal his pale, makeup free face and short dark hair curling slightly at the temples- absolutely and unmistakably that of Brian Slade. The sudden maelstrom in Curt's eyes must have mirrored his own.
He closed them, dreading the moment he'd have to speak, and felt gentle, guitar-calloused fingers snaking closed around his wrist, warm apart from the coolness of a chunky silver ring on the middle one, so unexpected that his eyes flew open again almost unwillingly.
"Brian..?" Curt's voice was low, soft, amazed, and he stared at the hand whose wrist he'd claimed as though shocked to find it was real.
It was too much.
Brian jerked his wrist back, inspiring a blaze of sudden anger and hurt in Curt's eyes before he turned away, muttering, to drink and drink and drink with his crowd of mates, making less sense and more noise while Brian lurked like a spider in his corner, watching protectively until Curt passed out mid-sentence, blonde hair flailing for something to hold on to.
He was there to catch the rockstar before he even hit the floor. Touching him, after so long, almost burned, but he didn't lose contact for as much as a second as he called for a taxi to take them both away.
Lyrics at the start were from Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here'.