"Oi!" Called out an anonymous voice.
George continued walking.
"I said oi, faggot!" He repeated.
"You fucking what?!" George spun round in anger.
The man smiled callously, causing George's rage to build even more. He stood proudly - baggy jeans and a shaven head covered in tattoos with his arms folded like he owned the place. He began walking closer. Outwardly, he remained collected, but on the inside? On the inside his heart was ruthlessly pounding with fear. The closer he got, the heavier George's breath became.
"What the fuck do you want?" George said with immense confidence.
"There's no need 'o be so rude now, Georgie." He smirked, shoving George slightly.
George scoffed before turning to walk in the direction of the studio - he wasn't going to sink to his petulant level.
"Oi! Nancy boy! I'm talkin' 'o you!" He shouted, following him.
He continued walking. The stranger grabbed his shoulder, forcing him to turn around.
"What do you want?" George asked again, sternly.
"I'm here 'o warn ya." He said with a menacing look on his eye.
George arched his eyebrows in confusion.
"That your kind ain't welcome 'ere." He continued.
"My kind?" George laughed sarcastically, "ah, you mean the Irish? I thought people were over their hatred of the Irish, we truly mean no harm."
The man's nose twitched with agitation. All of a sudden, he grabbed George by the neck, shoving him against a wall.
"You think you're funny do ya?" He snarled, so close that he was breathing on George's cheek.
"I've been told as much." He said.
The thug huffed before taking a swing and landing his fist in George's face causing him to stumble.
"If you wanted a bit of rough, I know some delightful bars you might want to visit?" George smirked, wiping some specks of blood on his trousers.
He lumped him again whilst continuing to hurl insults. Without thinking, George thought he deserved his turn, giving as good as he got. The pair found themselves wrestling on the damp, empty ground. Not a soul was in sight. George managed to wriggle his way on top, relentlessly punching the offender. When enough damage was done, he struggled to his feet and power walked down the road away from him.
Jon, Roy and Mikey sat around a circular table each with a dealing of cards - they'd had enough of waiting for George to make an appearance.
"Are you sure you two haven't had a row?" Roy asked, placing his hand face down on the table.
"Why do you always blame me when he doesn't turn up?" Jon protested.
"Because nine times out of ten, it's your fault." Laughed Mikey while not taking his eyes away from his cards.
Jon rolled his eyes at pair of them.
"You know, it's not always my fault when he goes AWOL." Jon said sheepishly, also putting his cards down.
"No, but usually." Roy said, reaching for his cup.
The doors flew open and in staggered a bloodied George cradling his nose, causing all three of them to rise to their feet.
"What the hell happened to you?!" Jon screeched, instantly running to him.
"Would you believe me if I said that I walked into a lamp post?" George cackled, instantly clutching his ribs as he laughed.
Gently, Jon guided George to his chair while Mikey fetched the first aid kit. Jon nodded as an indication for his band mates to leave the room while he poured antiseptic onto some cotton wool. He tipped George's head back and tenderly dabbed his cheek, causing George to flinch as the antiseptic stung his face. Jon hushed him as he cleaned the wounds.
"George," Jon said - breaking the silence, "what happened?"
"Turns out some lunatics don't approve of people like you and I, Jonathan!" George said with some enthusiasm.
Jon cocked his head, but he quickly realised what he meant. He looked down in shame.
George placed his hand on Jon's as reassurance - he knew all too well how insecure Jon was about his sexuality.
"I can't believe he went for you, it's barbaric!" He shouted, angering himself.
"Hey, calm down! It's fine! I gave as good as I got." He smiled.
"You shouldn't have to!" Jon avoided his gaze - he didn't want him to notice the tears forming in his eyes.
Once again, the pair fell silent.
"Why did you have to fight back?" Jon said, winding himself up.
"I have to defend myself, Jon! He insulted me!" He frowned, "I can't let him get away with insulting how I look and my identity! Some of us aren't ashamed of who we are!"
Jon's eyes darted towards George and scoffed in disbelief.
"I'm sorry." George's voice softened, "I didn't mean it."
A small smile worked its way on to Jon's mouth as he sat on one of the sofas, shortly followed by George. As he sat, he gently placed his arm over Jon, pulling him close - Jon rested his head and hand on George's chest. Jon sighed and moved George's arm off of him.
"You have to stop this, George." Jon looked into his lap, "it's dangerous."
"What am I supposed to do? I've got to defend myself." He replied calmly.
"You will kill yourself if you're not careful. You don't know what sort of nutcase you could be dealing with!" He cried.
George rolled his eyes, but he knew he was right.
"You've got nothing prove!" Jon turned to him, "if people don't like what you're doing or who you are then that's their problem, not yours. You don't need to keep fighting everyone!"
George sat silently with his arms folded, avoiding eye contact.
"George, look at me." Jon said calmly.
He forced his head to face him, cupping his cheeks as he felt himself welling up.
"Please." Jon's voice broke at the end of the word, "please, don't rise to it."
George nodded, smiling softly and Jon planted a tender kiss on George's lips, pressing their foreheads together.
"It doesn't matter if some people don't love you," he whispered, "because I do and that's alright, ain't it?"
George let out a little laugh and opened his arms for Jon to snuggle back down. He knew that everything Jon had said was absolutely right and if he had his love, he didn't need to prove anything to anyone else because Jon adored him for everything his was and would be - and that's enough right?