3:26 am. Restlessly, he tossed and turned. Perhaps a mixture between anxiety and heat - even Australian winters were warm. Things were getting better now, the arguments remained at a minimum - well, contact remained at a minimum. They'd been together a few times since the split, but it wasn't the same. The band didn't really have the same level of thrill anymore, but he lived in hope. Sure, they'd seen each other every now and again for coffee in a pretty cafe somewhere on the Heath, but it was nothing compared to almost half a year of relentless travelling. Everyday they'd be in each other's company - it was like it had always been in essence. Except it wouldn't be the same - not even remotely.
6:18 am. He couldn't stay in bed any longer. He couldn't stand to be alone in such an empty, unfamiliar hotel room. Aimlessly, he wandered into the hotel lobby. Another empty destination. It must have been over two hours before he saw another human being.
"Jon?" A familiar voice called.
Jon's head shot up in shock.
"Hello George." He said with a lack of enthusiasm.
"Hey." He laughed back, "how long have you been here for?"
He looked at his watch.
"Oh, a while apparently." He said, rubbing his eyes.
George couldn't help but smile fondly at this adorable human in front of him. For a moment, nothing had changed. Jon was still the same, perhaps a little rougher around the edges, but still just as perfect as he'd always been. It was practically impossible for George to take his attention away from him. Their eyes locked and hearts stopped. A small smile worked its way onto their faces. They found themselves so lost in the moment that they didn't even notice their band mates beside them.
"Alright?" Roy said, resting his elbow on George's shoulder.
Immediately, they snapped back.
"Anyway," Jon stood up, "I've got to go!"
Slightly confused, they all turned to watch him leave.
"Jon!" They called out to him, but he didn't stop.
The hours had been slow and painful. Reluctantly, he made his way into the dressing room where he was bombarded with a barrel of questions.
"Why did you rush off earlier?" Asked Mikey.
"What's wrong with you mate?" Roy followed.
Jon stood, unable to come up with an excuse. The others towered over him with concern etched on their faces.
"Nothing, I just had stuff to do." He said with his hands in his pockets.
They weren't convinced, but knew enough to not push it any further.
Without saying a word, he grabbed his drumsticks and made his way towards the stage. Quickly he sat down and began to play. He watched his friends dance their way on stage. It always took him by surprise when George sang the opening line of Church of the Poison Mind - one of the many songs about himself. Throughout the show, he tried his best to avoid the gaze of his band mates, despite them desperately trying to get his attention. He had kept it together as much as he could, but he couldn't help but melt after every word that came out of George's mouth. Surprisingly, he was doing okay. He smiled as much as he could, but there was one song he wasn't ready for - Black Money. The opening chords played and he came in at the perfect time, as he always did. Nothing could prepare him for the first line.
Do you deal in black money?
His heart stopped. Each word of the song was like a bullet through his heart. He fastened his eyes shut and allowed his head to glide as if it was shaking. This song took him to places nothing else could. It was a mystery why Black Money got to him so much - nobody really understood what it was even about - he barely understood himself.
I believe that nothing could come between us
Magic potions, won't you save them for dreamers
Somebody else's life cannot be mine
But when you love someone,
They don't love you in return
When you love someone,
You've got money to burn
Regardless of how hard he tried, he couldn't hold it in anymore. He kept his head down, but slowly opened his eyes to finally allow the army of tears race down. The song usually made him emotional, but not to this extreme level.
The end of the show couldn't come fast enough. With a smile painted on his face, he paraded around the stage, waving to the crowd. Quickly, he thanked them and rushed off, leaving the remaining band members concerned as well as confused.
"Jon!" They called, but again, he didn't answer.
He did his best to minimise the contact he had with George - it was just easier that way. He'd try and be polite, but George usually ignored him anyway.
America was their latest destination. Jon actually began enjoying himself, since he started joining the rest of the band on their little days out - days spent on the beach or by Niagara falls. Although, he did find that George was beginning to make a slight effort. Before he'd pretend he didn't exist. They'd only speak to argue or exchange pleasantries - at least this way they both knew where they stood. Uncharacteristically, they began spending more time together - George even attended some of the band outings. It made Jon a little nervous, but still he kind of liked it.
He didn't even know where they were anymore - it was just a blur. Himself and George became friends - something they never did originally. They enjoyed their time together, going shopping or having lunch, just the two of them, completely unaware that the others didn't trust it all. Of course they couldn't see it, they just thought it was something and nothing, like it usually was. After a while, they found themselves longing for each other's company and felt empty when they didn't have it.
"Something's going on." Mikey said sternly.
"With what?" Roy turned to him.
"Them." He pointed.
"Nahh!" Roy laughed, "you must be joking!"
"I'm serious Roy!" He cried.
"They wouldn't go there again," he tried to reassure him, "well, at least George probably wouldn't."
"You wanna bet?" He raised his eyebrows.
Roy laughed, not at all convinced by Mikey's detective game - not that he was overly bothered either way.
Despite not believing Mikey's theory, he couldn't help but look out for the signs - although he didn't really know what he was looking for. Every look, Mikey had noted down, alerting Roy of each interaction. Roy was still reluctant, but he humoured him. After every show, Mikey listed what he'd seen.
"You can't be honestly telling me that you can't see it?" Mikey shrieked in distress.
"I think they're just getting on, mate." Roy rolled his eyes.
"No, it's different. Don't forget, we've been here before! All the signs are there!" He continued.
"I dunno." Roy said, still not entirely sure what to think.
"See ya babe!" George screamed.
Mikey and Roy's heads snapped round to see Jon and George in an embrace followed by a peck on the cheek.
"You see?" Mikey whispered, nudging Roy's arm.
For the first time, Roy was speechless.
"It proves nothing." Said Roy, although he began doubting himself - they only did that when something was going on.
A few hours later, Jon knocked on a white, wooden hotel door. As he entered, he was confronted with the beautifully tidy and clean room that he had become familiar with.
"Hello you!" George greeted.
"Night cap?" Jon grinned.
He poured them both a glass and sat down. For a bit, there was silence. They locked eyes and Jon took a sharp intake of breath. He couldn't help getting lost in those beautiful, blue eyes of George's. They spoke for a while, laughed a bit and then fell silent again. George was perched delicately on the edge of his bed while Jon was sitting closely in front of him. They held each other's gaze. You could hear a pin drop in the overwhelming silence, but in the middle of it floated every word they'd left unsaid. Decades worth of things they wished they'd told each other but never did. Little things, that showed they appreciated one another. They wished they'd spoken about everything that went wrong, but it never seemed to be the right time. The pain was almost as raw as it had always been. They thought talking about it would only have made it worse. Perhaps it would have, or perhaps they could have healed properly. Most importantly, they wished they'd said I love you more, because they did, they really did. In the heat of the moment, Jon leant in, closing the gap between them. He tenderly brushed George's lips with his own. Slowly, he pulled away, nervous about his reaction. Eyelashes flutter, breaths were deep. Finally, they opened their eyes. A smile found itself creeping on the faces of the two men. George laughed softly before pulling Jon on top of him. In that instant, it was like no time had passed. It seemed like their hands knew where to go, as if they'd never been apart - for a moment they almost believed they hadn't. All the regrets spinning around their heads began disappearing with every kiss as they never realised how desperately they craved each other. Perhaps you can't help falling in love.