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Crazy Little Thing Called Love

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It starts with a dare on a cold night. Roger and Brian sit in the boot of the van. Brian is trying to lighten up after the announcement of Tim’s departure from the band, so they are joking about something which leads to Roger saying that he can have anyone agreeing to a date with him.

“Anyone?” Brian has one eyebrow raised as he sips his beer. It raises his hackles and Roger stares at Brian with a determined glare.

Brian dares him, “The first person who passes by, ask them out. I expect that you go through the first date.”

As soon as the words are out, a lanky thin boy, probably around their age but looking younger, definitely a few years younger than Roger and Brian, is standing in front of them, telling them how big of a fan he is of their band Smile, adding that Brian is the clever one, causing Roger to roll his eyes, and then offering his songs for them to sing. They regretfully tell the boy that their lead singer and bassist, Tim, has decided to leave Smile.

He offers himself as a replacement, and they tease him about his front teeth.

Then Brian turns his gaze to Roger, silently daring him to ask this boy out on a date.

Before Roger could punch Brian’s ugly mug, the boy suddenly sings with the most beautiful voice that Roger has ever heard in his life. His heart stutters and his lungs forget how to breathe. He and Brian sing along to the last note, noticing how their voices blend together wonderfully.

When the boy finishes, he smirks at them, catching their surprised looks. He says something more, but Roger is unable to follow the words because the blood rushing in his ears is deafening, and his heart beats like it‘s running a marathon. Roger feels like he needs to do something. He feels it in his blood. The boy is going to walk away from them when Roger immediately blurts out, “Go out on a date with me.”

It takes him a few seconds before he realizes what he has done. He tries to look aloof, gaze boringly at the other boy, resisting from blushing under the amused eyes of Brian who, without a doubt, is grinning with amusement at the turn of the situation.

Now it is the boy’s turn to gape at them, or rather, at him. He seems to be lost for words, his mouth hanging open. Roger is currently studying to be a dentist and noticing imperfect teeth is a norm to him. When Roger hooks up with girls, he likes them to have pretty teeth.

“I've never dated a boy,” he tells Roger.

This boy with the overbite teeth seems strangely endearing to Roger.

Roger shrugs a shoulder, replying coolly, “Yeah, I haven't, either.”

 

-

 

It's just a dare, Roger keeps reminding himself throughout their first date. They also have to be discreet. They are in public after all. A bloke with another bloke is not unheard of, but it is still queer to most people.

Roger thinks this is going to be bloody awkward.

It’s not. Roger is uncertain if he should be relieved.

They eat fish and chips, Freddie stealing some of his chips and Roger biting  into half of Freddie’s fish, and they drink a few cheap beers. Freddie mostly  talks, Roger listening with the occasional quips. Freddie puts out a pencil and writes some lyrics on a paper napkin. Roger taps the beer with beats that only he could hear. Freddie hums along with the beat and Roger steals Freddie’s pencil and taps the table with some interesting beats using that instead. It lasts only a few minutes before Freddie and Roger fight over the pencil and throw insults at each other.

It does not feel like a date.

It feels like hanging out with a mate.

Freddie grins at him triumphantly when he finally gets back his pencil. A glimpse of that imperfect teeth and Roger feels a weird tug in his chest.

Roger wants to forget that odd feeling and simply says, “Idiot.”

Freddie is still smiling at him, “You’re the bloody idiot, darling.”

Roger silently agrees with Freddie. He is an idiot. Why did he agree to a dare by Brian bloody May?

 

-

 

Roger does not think about Freddie for the entire week as he attends classes and flirt with the girls in the library. Instead of memorizing human anatomy and oral pathology, his head is filled with incomplete melodies and his notes are filled with unfinished lyrics.

“So how was the date?” Brian asks him when they meet up for their first band practice without Tim.

Roger notices that Brian is taking a different road as he speeds up the van. “Where are we going?”

“Picking up Freddie.”

“Oh.”

“You haven’t answered me. How was the date?”

Roger remembers stolen chips and the tapping beats from the pencil that he stole. He remembers that one outrageous story of Freddie trying to escape his boarding school by wearing girl’s clothes, and ending up punching one of the prefects for trying to grope him. Roger smiles with amusement, unaware that Brian sees the stretch of his mouth.

Roger quickly feigns boredom and shrugs before replying sarcastically, “Fantastic.” He opens the window and lets the cold air fill the van.

“Second date?” Brian teases him.

Roger punches Brian’s shoulder.

 

-

 

Their second date happens after their third band practice. Brian had already left and Freddie tells him, “I’m hungry. Please feed me.”

Roger rolls his eyes. He finds out that Freddie is a drama queen in every little thing. “What am I? Your mother?”

“My mother doesn’t date me.”

Oh. Right. Roger forgets that they are dating each other. Sort of.

It is just a dare.

Roger opens his mouth to confess but the moment his eyes land on Freddie’s grinning face, his endearing overbite peeking out slightly between his lips, Roger’s voice gets stuck in his throat and a sigh escapes instead.

“We can share Shepherd’s pie and some beers? Well, we’re not sharing the beers, obviously,” Freddie says cheekily.

Roger feels himself smiling in response.

“C’mon, you hungry beast.”

 

-

 

During the third date, Roger swears he will tell Freddie the truth. Perhaps after they have a few beers in their belly. But they end up joking around and laughing, then fighting over the last Yorkshire pudding and throwing stupid insults at each other. It has been a great date and Roger refuses to ruin the moment. He promises to tell the truth after their next band practice.

It never happens after the end of band practice. Fourth date leads to a fifth date. Band practice. Perform some gigs in pubs. Then the sixth date. Band practice. Perform more college gigs. Seventh date. More band practice. Eighth date.

Roger stops counting after that.

 

-

 

Roger Meddows Taylor is a heartbreaker. All the girls he’s dated can concur to that.

But why does the thought of breaking Freddie’s heart make Roger sick to the stomach?

 

-

 

Freddie is a very handsy person. He loves hugging his bandmates, poking at their chests with his long pianist fingers, slapping their butts when he is being flirtatious, pinching their cheeks painfully when he finds them irritating.

One time, Roger catches Freddie curiously holding Brian’s dominant hand and wiggling his fingers playfully. Roger has the urge to pull Freddie away and punch Brian’s ugly mug. It is at that same time Roger realizes they never hold hands.

Roger quickly shrugs the thought away. Blokes do not hold other blokes’ hands.

It’s just a dare, Roger reminds himself.

They’re not really together, are they?

 

-

 

Roger kisses every girl that he dates. He kisses them during their first date and usually ends it after a few quick rolls in the sack.

And why does the thought of kissing Freddie’s lips make him queasy, but at the same time make his heart race?

 

-

 

Roger keeps noticing Mary Austin- and not because she is pretty and Roger is interested in her. She is absolutely beautiful truthfully, with that sweet smile gracing upon her face every time she watches them on stage. Freddie introduces her to them after their second gig, and after a few times watching Freddie and Mary chatting with nobody but themselves, Roger knows that the girl fancies his Freddie.

It takes him until after several more gigs, with Mary never seeming to miss any of their shows, and Freddie dedicating some of his songs to her, that Roger realizes Freddie is perhaps, just a little bit, in love with Mary.

But Freddie and him are still going out together. Still stealing each other’s fish and chips, sharing Shepherd’s pie, fighting over the last Yorkshire pudding and drinking cheap beers together. Still throwing insults that nowadays come with fond gazes and smiles on each other’s lips.

There is a twist of pain in his chest when he thinks about it. If Freddie fancies Mary, then why is he still with Roger? Unless Freddie is just humoring him.

But dating each other is just a dare from Roger’s part. He should be glad that Freddie is not serious about this. It is an opportunity for Roger to end this crazy facade. But why does it hurt just to realize that Freddie is not taking any of this seriously?

Why does it feel like he is the one who is taking this dare dating game seriously?

 

-

 

The first time it happens, three months after that fateful night of Roger asking him out on a date, Freddie almost slips on the snow as they are walking towards their van, after another night of performance in another pub. Roger catches his wrist, and Freddie slips their hands together and their fingers intertwine.

“My darling hero,” Freddie coos at him and without thinking, Roger squeezes their hands together. Freddie brightens up even more and Roger cannot take his eyes away from him.

Brian coughs, breaking up the weird vibe around them, and Roger is honestly not sure how to feel. He doesn’t know whether he should be punching Brian or feeling glad that the weirdness ends right there. Brian is a bastard though.

Roger lets go reluctantly, with a heavy heart, and sits in the driver’s seat because it is his turn to drive. He can still feel the warmness of Freddie’s hand beneath his skin until they reach the next borough.

Ever since then, Freddie keeps finding every opportunity to hold his hands, which endears Roger to no end. Honestly, Roger never wants to let go every time he has Freddie’s hand in his. He is contemplating of surgically attaching their hands together.

 

-

 

After an hour shouting session with his father, Roger walks out from his parents’ house and calls Freddie from the nearest phone booth.

“I’m picking you up.”

“Where are we going?”

“Celebrating. I quit dental school.”

“Congratulations! I shall wait with bated breath.”

Roger laughs and feels himself loosen from the stress that has been mounting on him. Freddie always makes him feels like everything will turn out alright.

As he drives to the front of the block of flats, Roger can see Freddie sitting on the stairs that lead to the main door of the building. Roger’s heart swells with indescribable warmness. The other boy would rather wait outside for him in the cold evening than staying warm in his apartment.

As soon as he gets into a parking spot, Freddie is already running towards the van. Roger quickly gets out from the van and manages to catch Freddie, who flies right into his arms.

Roger hugs him tightly and feels Freddie’s chest expanding and retracting, his hair tickling Roger’s ear and then a brush of lips against the side of his neck. Roger feels himself blushing.

Freddie pulls away but his two arms still wrap around Roger. He does not let go of Freddie too. Their faces are close to each other. Roger notices that he is a little taller than Freddie.

“Are you alright?” Freddie asks him with concern shining in his eyes.

“I guess so. But I am certain of one thing. I want to do this: I want to make music. I want to sing and play the drums and dabble with the guitar. I don’t want to be a dentist.”

Freddie gives him a relieved smile and pulls him into a hug again. While they are hugging, Roger can hear Freddie say quietly to him, “We are a family. You and I, and Brian. We are going to do this together. We will keep making music until the day we die.”

Roger huffs a laugh. He has a weird urge to pull Freddie into a kiss. Instead, he simply squeezes Freddie’s thin waist and plants a kiss on his head.

 

-

 

Their knees keep brushing under the table, Freddie’s hand occasionally resting on Roger’s lap and tracing some lyrics into his jeans, which he could feel searing into his skin and flesh. They are sharing a fag, Roger having apparently used his last stick before he met up with Freddie. The fag is gently pulled out from where it is hanging at the side of his mouth, Freddie’s fingers lightly touches his lips, Freddie then sucking the fag and inhaling the smoke deeply. Something warm is stirring in his chest.

“My parents aren’t happy with me.” Roger tells him as the smoke escapes from between Freddie’s lips.

The lips stretch into a mischievous grin, “What’s important is how you feel, sweetheart. Are you happy with us?”

“I am.”

Roger steals the fag from Freddie’s fingers. He teases him after he puffs a smoke. “Are you happy with me?”

“What a stupid question. You are the bane of my life!” Freddie tells him haughtily, but his eyes are full of joy.

They both laugh.

With warm beers in his belly and his brain feeling fuzzy and nice, Roger reaches out for Freddie’s hand and holds it as they walk back to Freddie’s apartment. They decide to ditch the van where Roger parked it earlier nearby the pub. Neither of them is sober and Roger does not want to risk Brian's wrath if they wreck their only transportation for their gigs.

Freddie seems surprised and he pulls away, but Roger squeezes his hand reassuringly. Freddie relaxes and gives him a hesitant smile. Roger doesn’t mind. It’s very late, three in the morning, and he believes there are no people except ghosts wandering through the street.

“I’ve wanted to do this forever.” Roger says with affirmation. Honestly, he is not exactly sure what this means. Holding hands with Freddie. Making music with Queen. Just being together doing anything and everything.

Freddie walks closer to him and their shoulders brush. “Me too.”

 

-

 

It has been five months and Roger realizes that he has not been snogging or even fucking a girl ever since he’s started going out with Freddie. They meet so many girls in pubs where they’ve performed, hot pretty girls with nice, bouncy tits and perfectly straight teeth and Roger does not even want to touch them like he wants to touch Freddie.

And none of them intrigue him as much as Freddie fascinates him.

 

-

 

“So, you and Freddie?” John Deacon, their newest bassist, asks him after his first performance on stage with the band. They are having a few beers and some fags. Brian has gone to get some more beers. Freddie, as usual, is chatting excitedly with Mary Austin and some other girls at the bar.

Roger rolls his eyes. “It was a dare by that twat Brian.”

John looks at him puzzledly. “So, you’ve been fake-dating Freddie for nearly a year?”

Almost a year, huh. Roger hadn’t noticed that until today.

“We are… I don’t know. It’s a dare. But I like Freddie. He’s absolutely bonkers. He doesn’t bore me.”

“So you’re real-dating Freddie?”

Somehow, it sounds more like a statement than a question from John.

A few girls come to their table and their conversation ends there.

 

-

 

His thoughts are getting weirder and weirder the more time he spends with Freddie.

He blames it entirely on Freddie for being Freddie, and on Brian for making him take this stupid dare.

Roger is not a poof, fairy, queer, homosexual or whatever they call it these days.

It was just a dare.

A very stupid dare.

It was supposed to end after the first date. And then he could gloat to Brian that he won the dare and… and what?

There is no winning prize. Brian simply dared him. Roger feels more like a loser than a champion. It is his fault that he took it seriously, and now look where he has ended up.

 

-

 

Freddie loves cuddling. When they are in the back of the van, just the two of them, when Brian is driving and John is in the front seat, Freddie tells him to budge up, even though there’s a big space for at least three people to sit, and then wraps himself around Roger.

His dark hair tickles Roger’s chin and he can feel Freddie’s breath inhaling and exhaling on his chest. Roger’s heart is running a marathon and he swears that Freddie can hear it too. But the other boy never say anything.

Freddie is never quiet, not when he will randomly sing at the top of his lungs or tell some colourful and wild stories about his life, which Roger conceives ninety percent of them as possibly conjured by Freddie’s wild fantasy and imagination. Roger even refuses to believe that Freddie did boxing when he was a wee child.

But during this time, Freddie will be as quiet as a mouse. Not even a hum or a tap of his foot. In this quiet moment, Roger reaches out for one of Freddie’s hands, their fingers intertwine, and their bodies mold into each other like they are born to be that way. And in one of these quiet moments, Roger kisses Freddie on the lips for the first time.

 

-

 

Roger thinks he is going to freak out.

 

-

 

Roger does not fancy boys.

Roger likes girls.

(Roger only fancies one particular boy)

 

-

 

Roger is definitely freaking out now.

So Roger reacts aggressively towards everything just to cope with the freaking out part. He becomes irritated with everyone. He hates the pubs where they perform every night in this city. He beats the drums and cymbals harder with his sticks. He writes the jumble of songs in his head and puts them down on papers, tissues, chocolate wrappers, and the words are gibberish. He loathes the grassy landscape as they travel towards the next city. He despises the sandwich that he is eating now. And now he feels like punching and kicking someone or something or anything when the van has to break down in the middle of fucking nowhere.

And now Freddie has a raving mad idea about renting a studio and creating an album. It was actually such a genius idea that Roger is nearly tempted to snog the hell out Freddie. Instead, Roger continues to freak out because he might be feeling something real for Freddie bloody Bulsara.

 

-

 

So Roger does something utterly foolish, after they have spent twelve hours in the studio recording their first single. They would have spent longer in there if not for Roy, the new studio guy (Roger is still not sure what to call him exactly) who is helping to record their song, who kicks them out as soon as the lights of the building are out, because of the stupid rule which means the studio closes by eight sharp.

Roger blames it on lack of sleep, or simply his lack of brain cells.

“We should end this. Let’s just be mates,” Roger tells Freddie.

The fact is that Roger is a bloody idiot, exactly what Freddie had said about him on their not-real-but-real first date a long time ago.

 

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Chapter Text

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Freddie feels himself growing more and more curious as he stares for a few long moments at the boy.

“I’ve never dated a boy,” Freddie tells him.

The boy’s response is succinct. “Yeah, I haven’t, either.”

Freddie thinks he looks a little cocky.

And too handsome.

He is going to ruin me, Freddie thinks.
 

-

 

It has been a terrible one week for Freddie.

Everything feels the same. Singing, eating, sleeping, walking, left, right, up, down, red, yellow, blue, green, treble clef, bass clef, major arpeggios, minor pentatonic.

“Freddie?”

Freddie turns to look at Mary.

“Yes?”

“I’m going home. I’ve packed the leftovers and put them in the fridge.”

“Okay.”

“You need to sleep.”

“Okay.”

“Don’t forget to reheat the leftovers and eat them tomorrow.”

“Okay.”

“Call me if you need anything.”

Freddie gives a little smile. “Don’t you worry your pretty head about me. I’m fine.”

Mary doesn’t believe him, but she kisses both his cheeks and hugs him goodbye. Then she leaves him with Romeo, Tom, and Jerry, who are staring at him from the floor of the living room, tails swishing left and right. They meow at him. Freddie meows back miserably.
 

-

 

Freddie thinks that in another universe, Mary would be his soulmate. Freddie would ask Mary out on a date, and they would spend many happy years together. She would be his wife. His everything.

But in this universe, Freddie loves Mary and she is his best friend.

In another universe, Roger would just be his beautiful, talented drummer who writes songs and sings, and dabbles with the guitar. He would never break Freddie’s heart like this.

But in this particular universe, Freddie doesn’t mind giving his heart away to Roger Meddows Taylor, the most talented and devastatingly handsome arsehole to ever grace this world.
 

-

 

Freddie wakes up in the morning with the sound of his door bell ringing a few times. Mary must have forgotten the house key again. Drowsily, Freddie gets the door, and does not expect to see Roger, who looks like he’s had a brawl in the pub and then starved himself like Mahatma Gandhi.

Despite looking pale and emaciated, Roger is undeniably the best-looking lad Freddie has ever seen in his life. He is still half-asleep but his heart is doing it’s own jumping jacks at the sight of him. It is absolutely unfair.

Roger shows him a container inside a plastic bag with dark, nervous eyes. “Breakfast for you.”

“I’m having my leftovers for breakfast.”

Roger looks crushed, and Freddie is almost tempted to pull Roger into a hug and kiss his purple-bruised jaw.

He opens the door wider and stands at the side instead. Roger’s shoulders sag in relief.

Roger gets in and looks around the living room nervously, as if he never stood in the same spot of the room and shared a very affectionate hug with Freddie just a month ago.

He sees the unplugged house phone and turns his gaze to Freddie. “We’ve been trying to reach you.”

Freddie has not come to the studio for almost a week. He hasn’t even been out of his house ever since Roger dropped the bomb on him.

If Mary had not come by and found him wasting away in his apartment, Freddie would be starving to death or drowning himself in his tears. But he stopped crying after the third day. Mary had come every day since then, making sure he showers, shaves, and eats something. She is impressed that he still remembers to feed his cats and clean their litter box, despite being too depressed to do anything else.

“What happened?” Freddie points at his bruise.

Roger winces. “I deserved it. Brian just lost it when he heard what happened.”

Freddie instinctively clenches his fists. He feels inclined to punch Brian back for causing harm to Roger. Even though Roger deserves it in the first place, Freddie cannot bare to see him hurt.

Freddie then distracts himself by reaching out for the plastic bag from Roger. He opens the lid of the container and checks the content, which pleases him. The last traces of sleepiness disappears when his gaze lands on five warm and fluffy crumpets.

Freddie cannot wait to chuck them in the toaster before eating them with butter. He can already imagine the taste on his tongue of melted butter on toasty crumpet. He puts the container on the table, and notices that Roger is standing closer to him.

“I came here to apologize for being an arsehole. I am so sorry. I’m also an idiot.”

Freddie is not sure what Roger expects him to say in response to that so he simply says, “Okay.”

“I don’t like boys. But I like you. I really do. I’ve never kissed a boy and I don’t want to kiss any boys. But I kissed you. I was surprised, and angry, and so confused. I don’t know what to do. But there’s one thing I can’t deny.”

Roger reaches out to him, his fingers tucking his hair behind his ear, then cupping Freddie’s face gently with one hand. “You’re the only boy I want to kiss.”

Freddie tries to hold himself steady as his heart starts throbbing behind his chest.

“Can you give me another chance, please?”

 
-

 

Being with Roger has made Freddie realize that he is different, that he does find other boys attractive, and that he likes Roger more than he should. Among a million handsome boys out there (and among a million Mary Austins out there), Roger is probably the only one he wants.
 

-

 

Freddie steps away from Roger, his face feeling bereaved without the warmness of Roger’s hand.

With a pang of remorse, he tells Roger. “I can’t.”
 

-

 

Freddie comes back to the studio as usual after that. He tries to act normally around Brian, Deacy, and especially around Roger. As if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. They are still the same four boys who are struggling to make it big with their music.

Freddie makes music like his life depends on it. He thinks about nothing but music. He tries to get lost in the songs they are creating. He does, for the most part, but Freddie keeps noticing how the colour of the bruise on Roger’s face changes as days turn to weeks.

Purple to green to yellow to brown to pale smooth jaw that Freddie secretly wishes he could still touch.
 

-

 
They start fooling around with almost anything and everything that can make their music sound interesting. Buckets, pennies, empty cans of beer, and that one time Roger wants to bring the microphone and recording sets to the outside of the building, just to record the noise of the busy street. Freddie finds the idea so exciting that Brian and Deacy have to stop them from stealing (Freddie and Roger insist they are borrowing) the studio’s equipment.

Roy is a godsend and is able to keep up with all of their crazy ideas without a single complaint. Every now and then, he gives them a bewildered look like they are frenzied children in a candy shop. After all, the studio is a candy shop to Freddie. Then, Roy will stop being their fairy godmother who abides to their musical demands, and act more like a security guard when the studio closes at eight sharp.

Freddie decides when one day they make it big, Freddie will drag Roy along with Queen.

 
-

 

For three or four days a week they are spending their time in the studio, while during the weekend they perform some gigs in the local pubs. They still need to make money to pay the rent for the studio. Freddie can barely stay afloat with the money that he has from selling second hand clothes with Mary in Kensington Market. He no longer works at Heathrow Airport since they found Deacy, and they then decided that they needed to perform more gigs outside of London.

Freddie thinks he should start looking for a smaller and cheaper apartment.

He wonders if Brian has an extra room to rent it to him. But being Brian's housemate means he would be living under the same roof as Roger. Freddie blushes at the thought.
 

-
 

Things almost feel normal.

But there is a Roger-shaped hole in his heart and Freddie misses Roger every day.
 

-

 

You’ve hurt me

You’ve broken my heart

And now you leave me

Only Roger bloody Taylor would make Freddie write a fucking song for him. He hides the little notepad in the drawer of his bedside.

He thinks of that morning quite often. Roger had wanted a second chance with him and Freddie rejected him.

Freddie wonders if he had done the right thing.
 

-

 

Freddie remembers finding half-finished and rejected lyrics on sandwich wrappers in their old van, on yesterday's newspapers in the apartment that Brian and Roger share, on paper napkins when they are eating together, and on torn, scrunched up papers in the bin.

Roger has the ugliest handwriting that Freddie has ever seen in his life, and just by looking at one stroke of the alphabet, Freddie knows that it can only belong to one person. So of course Freddie notices all of them.

He secretly collects them. Keeps them safely in his special biscuit tin, where he keeps other precious memorabilia.

Freddie likes to think that he is keeping a part of Roger with him.

 
-

 

Occasionally, Roger brings his own guitar to band practice. So one day, when they are waiting for Brian and Deacy to return with dinner, Roger stands in front of him with his guitar.

“Hold this guitar.”

Freddie instinctively holds the guitar close to him when Roger immediately puts it in his arms. He refuses to drop something precious that belongs to Roger. He brings a stool and tells Freddie to sit on it.

Roger goes to stand behind him, then adjusts the way how he holds the guitar. He guides Freddie’s left hand to the neck of the guitar, and then brings his dominant hand to the body of the guitar. He holds Freddie’s body and corrects his posture.

“Keep your body straight,” he tells Freddie. His voice seems too close to his ear.

Freddie’s heart is running a marathon, and he thinks he is going to faint soon. It’s been too long since the last time Roger was this close to him. The last time had been that morning when Roger wanted them to get back together. The heat from their close proximity seeps into his body and Freddie feels himself burning too hot.

“W- what are y- you doing?” Freddie stammers. He is absolutely mortified. Never once has he ever stammered in his life, and Roger has managed to reduce him to such humiliating state in an instant.

“Giving you a guitar lesson.”

Freddie thinks he must have misheard Roger. “What?”

“Now I am teaching you how to hold a guitar properly without killing your back.”

“Uh. You know we have Brian and Deacy to play guitar?”

Roger grins at him. “I know. I just feel like teaching you.”

Why is Roger being so utterly charming?

A hundred butterflies are fluttering in his belly, and Freddie thinks this is a bad idea. Freddie pretends that his heart is not stuttering so and simply responds cheekily, “That’s so sweet of you.”

 
-

 

Freddie does not learn anything from the guitar lesson.

He keeps getting distracted.

(Their knees are touching, their arms are brushing against each other, and their fingers are fluttering on the strings together.)

 
-

 

His mother insists that he invites his bandmates to their house for his birthday brunch.

Once upon a time, Freddie would have loved to introduce Roger to his family. His mother and sister would be charmed by Roger. His father would probably take a few years warming up to the idea that he wants nobody but Roger.

Here they are now, Roger, Brian, Deacy and even Mary, sitting around the dining table. His parents keep giving hopeful glances between Mary and him. He just wants to shout at the top of his lungs that his heart has already been stolen by the arsehole who is currently sitting next to his sister. At least Roger is not flirting with Kashmira, because if he did Freddie would throw a straight punch right at his pretty nose.

Everyone is talking and eating when suddenly his mother brandishes a photo album like a weapon. With a glint in her eyes, she tells everyone that there are baby pictures of him that everyone should see. Roger is the first person to take the photo album and open it.

Freddie blushes. Roger is going to see his baby pictures, and that is endlessly embarrassing. Since Roger’s right side is occupied by Kash, Mary drags a chair and sits at Roger’s other side. They start giggling like a pair of siblings, and Freddie muses if Roger and Mary came from the same womb as they look at the pictures that Kash is pointing at. Definitely more humiliating photos of him as a child.

Freddie quickly leaves everyone and goes to the piano. He sings a birthday song for himself while trying to drown the voice of his father, who shows another picture of him and tells Roger that he did boxing when he was a kid. Roger knew that, because Freddie told him some stories about it. But Freddie suspects that Roger never believed him.

Freddie decides, in the middle of singing his birthday song, and remembering a line from My Fairy King, to call himself Freddie Mercury.

Sayonara, Farrokh Bulsara. Besides, Freddie Mercury sounds cooler than Freddie Bulsara. He is going to change his name to Freddie Mercury in his birth certificate, identification card, and passport.

He feels more than hears his father’s disapproval of his new name. Freddie turns to look at him but instead, his gaze meets Roger’s, and he discovers that look in Roger’s eyes. Freddie wonders if that is how he looks at Roger too. Unadulterated adoration.

He suddenly remembers that one dreamy summer in the van, and their lips meeting for the first time. His heart skips a beat. Freddie’s cheeks heat up and he casts his gaze back to the piano keys to hide his face.

Once upon a time, Freddie even contemplated changing his name to Freddie Taylor.

 
-

 

Then the phone call happened.

They meet John Reid and Paul Prenter. Their life starts to change for the better as Trident manages their band.

They get to record their songs in a studio that had been used by The Beatles and Elton John. There is no curfew too, and Freddie tells everyone that he can live in the studio for years if he has to. Roy thinks he is being absurd. Freddie is just too happy that Roy decides to come with them as their sound engineer.

Freddie also notices the changes in all of them.

Brian gets more confident. Deacy starts to be more assertive. Roger complains less, and gets more things done. And Freddie is… pining.

His feelings for Roger do not stop. They get worse instead.

The way his heart pounds whenever their eyes meet.

The way his skin tingles whenever Roger fixes his fingering during one of their very rare guitar lessons.

The way his soul aches for Roger when he is too close, but not close enough.

Freddie realizes he has been falling in love with Roger.

 
-

 

“I need you to hear me out.”

Brian casts him a look that suspiciously seems like exasperation. Actually, Brian has had that same expression every time he’s looked at Freddie and Roger for the past few months.

Freddie ignores it, and plainly tells him what has occurred up until now, and how he feels utterly clueless as to what he should do.

“It’s not rocket science, Freddie. You and Roger need to talk about whatever you two feel for each other. Problem solved.”

Talk to Roger. Okay, he thinks he can do that. It sounds simple enough but honestly, it frightens Freddie that he might not be able to pull it off, but make things worse instead. Perhaps the talk will make Roger realize they are not meant to be. Freddie has already rejected him: Roger must have moved on already. Perhaps whatever he sees in the way Roger looks at him is simply a figment of his imagination.

“Roger is driving me crazy ever since you two… you know. I am considering getting a new housemate. Then I can get back my peaceful life and my problem will be solved.”

Freddie is uncertain if Brian is just joking. He doesn’t want Roger to end up being homeless. “Don’t kick him out.”

Brian laughs. “If I really do it, I expect you to take him in. Didn’t you say the other day that you’re thinking about finding a cheaper place to live? Instead of doing that, Roger can move in with you. Split the rent. Problem solved.”

Freddie blushes as he imagines himself living with Roger.

“I have one bedroom.”

“You two can share that cozy little bedroom.”

“I have a piano in my bedroom.”

“Move it to the living room where it’s supposed to be. Problem solved.”

“Can you stop saying ‘problem solved’?”

Brian shrugs. “I’ve been an agony aunt to Roger for the past few months. Give me a break.”

 
-

 

It takes another few weeks for them to finally settle into a routine. They no longer play gigs, as they have to concentrate on completing the album. Some of their singles have been released, and Trident makes them appear in many TV and radio shows.

Paul is being a good manager to their band but sometimes Freddie thinks he is being too nice only to him. Freddie is flattered at first, when he notices the looks that he’s been getting from Paul. He flirts halfheartedly but keeps his distance from him. He doesn’t want to give any mixed signals to the other man when his heart already belongs to another.

Roger is still the one he wants.
 

-

 

Brian calls and asks him to come to his apartment. He tells him there is something important he wants to show to Freddie. So Freddie comes, feeling slightly nervous, because going to Brian’s place means he is going to see Roger, and seeing Roger in the place he is staying feels more personal than meeting Roger for band practise, or in the studio.

When he reaches the apartment, Roger and Freddie seem surprised to see each other at the door.

“Where’s Brian?”

“He’s out. He said he needed to get some eggs and milk from the supermarket. Come inside and wait for him.”

Freddie sits on the couch, and glances at some knick-knacks that Roger and Brian have scattered around the living room.

“Do you want anything to drink?”

“Do you have juice?”

“Orange juice?”

“Okay.”

As he waits, he notices Roger’s guitar. Ever since they’ve been under Trident, Roger hasn’t been giving him any guitar lessons.

Their lessons always feel quite intimate, and Freddie misses them sorely. Without thinking, Freddie takes the guitar and holds it the way Roger taught him. He tries to think of any of the chords that Roger showed to him, but nothing comes to his head. He simply presses some of the strings at the neck of the guitar and lets his right fingers strum them gently.

“It’s amazing that you can play the piano but are so bloody hopeless at the guitar.”

Freddie jolts in surprise and raises his head. Roger is smiling fondly at him. He feels himself flush with embarrassment. Roger walks to him and puts down his orange juice on the table. He kneels in front of Freddie, and adjusts his left thumb and forefinger into a V-shape and holds his hand to balance the neck of the guitar correctly.

This is always Freddie’s favourite moment of their guitar lesson. When Roger holds his hand, Freddie thinks he can pine for Roger for the rest of his life as long as Roger keeps holding on. Alas, reality is harsh and Freddie waits for him to let go.

But Roger doesn’t. Freddie raises his eyes and notices that Roger is looking at him with indescribable affection. It takes his breath away.

“I miss you,” Roger tells him quietly, his voice barely a whisper.

Freddie thinks he is going to faint from the sudden lurch of his heart. “I’m still here,” is the only response he manages.

Roger gives him a sad smile. “I know.”

And Freddie knows he can’t keep it inside anymore.

“I’m in love with you,” he tells Roger.

Roger looks surprised, and his hand that is still holding Freddie’s suddenly tightens.

Freddie confesses, “When you broke my heart, it nearly killed me the first time. When you wanted us back together, I was so afraid that you would leave me, and I couldn’t bare that pain again. I can’t survive that anymore, Roger.”

Roger immediately takes away the guitar. Both of his hands cup Freddie’s face, tenderly and possessively, and Roger pulls him closer.

“You’re still the only boy I want to kiss." He beams at Freddie, his thumb stroking his cheek delicately.

Freddie returns the smile.

Then his face turns solemn as he tells Freddie, "I can’t promise you that we will have a perfect, happy relationship, but if you're willing to have me back--”

Freddie leans in and seals their lips with a kiss.
 

-

 
Roger is definitely the only one he wants.

Roger Taylor has ruined Freddie for anyone else.
 

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Chapter Text

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His hands map Freddie’s body as their mouths meet, open and wet, and their tongues tangle. Freddie is soft and warm right under him, and Roger thinks this is the best decision he has made so far: moving in with Freddie.

Freddie has a very tiny apartment and there is only one bedroom so most of Roger’s stuff is still inside the boxes kept in the living room, unopened yet. The piano has been moved to the living room and when Roger goes back into the bedroom, he sees Freddie already lazing on the bed like a big lazy cat. Roger closes the door and tackles him on the bed. They mock wrestle for a while before hands start caressing each other and lips start seeking the other.

Roger is not sure how many minutes or hours have passed. Roger feels like a teenager all over again. Making out in a heated and frenzied way. They only pull away when they need air and just one or two breaths later, either Freddie or him, but mostly Freddie who is being insatiable, will pull him in and they get back to it again. At one point, he has taken off Freddie’s t-shirt and started nibbling the soft skin where his shoulder and neck met.

“Rog, darling,” Freddie gasps, and then he makes a noise that makes Roger go a little crazy. He raises his mouth back to meet with Freddie and Roger groans as Freddie playfully bites his lower lips then sucks it with his tongue.

Suddenly, there’s a knock on the door of the bedroom. Roger and Freddie jerk in surprise, almost knocking their heads against each other.

“It’s me,” they heard Mary’s voice behind the door. “Freddie, we need to go to Kensington Market in fifteen minutes.”

Freddie slumps back in his bed. “Okay. Give me five minutes.”

Roger frowns at Freddie who is still under him. “Mary has your house key?”

Freddie casts him an impish grin. “Why? Are you jealous?”

Roger swats at him playfully. He moves to the side of the bed and lays down as he watches Freddie get up and search for his t-shirt. “Why are you still selling clothes?”

“Trident won’t allow us to do gigs, but I still need money to pay rent and buy food for my cats.”

Roger thinks of the money that his mother has been giving him secretly without his father’s knowledge. He wonders how long that will last until his father finds out. Roger knows he may have a financial problem soon if he is not careful with his spending. Splitting the rent with Freddie is cheaper than the rent he paid when he was staying with Brian last time, but the money that he has left in his bank may not last more than a year. It would not be a problem if they were still doing gigs but their hands have been tied ever since they signed with Trident.

“Can I come with you and Mary?”

 

-

 

When Freddie goes to unlock the stall, Roger and Mary stand to the side.

“If you hurt Freddie again, I will find a way to kill you.”

Roger gulps as he turns to look at Mary nervously, but there is only a genuine smile on her beautiful face. Her eyes are bright when she holds Roger gaze. “Honestly, I’m so excited that you two got back together.”

Roger always wondered about Mary’s true feelings for Freddie. He remembers the moony eyes during their gigs all the time.

“I thought you fancied Freddie?”

“I did. You want to know something else?”

She leans in, a sign that Roger should do the same thing. Roger bends a little closer to her, curious to know what she is going to tell him. Her voice, light and playful, but at the same time solemn and truthful, tells of how Freddie never could shut up about Roger. How Freddie seemed to think he’s the bee’s knees. How he kept telling all the girls how gorgeous his drummer was, how Roger was the most talented among all of the four, how Freddie loved to listen to Roger’s falsetto voice. With a dreamy sigh, Mary tells him all the girls in the pub thought that it was adorable how Freddie was so smitten with his drummer.

Roger feels like there’s fire on his face as he tries his best to calm his racing heartbeat. He had no idea that Freddie feels that way about him.

“Fred’s my best friend and I’m happy for him. I think you’re perfect for each other. It’s like a dream come true to see you and Freddie together. Please don’t destroy a girl’s dream again with another break up.”

Roger is not sure whether he should be worried that Mary is kind of invested in their relationship.

 

-

 

Roger decides that it is not bad selling second hand clothes. There are not many people coming to their stall to buy, but it is still busy enough for Roger to always be on his feet when the customers ask for sizes or bargains for cheaper prices. One customer looks at him for a moment too long and asks if he had seen Roger somewhere.

“I was on the telly three days ago. BBC. You probably watched us perform. I’m the drummer, and he is our lead singer for our band Queen,” he points at Freddie, who is currently helping a lady fold a ton of clothes that she bought.

The customer simply nods, already distracted with the faded jeans in front of him. Roger rolls his eyes. He is not surprised that people still do not notice them, even though they’ve appeared on television several times already.

When night is approaching, there are less people in the market, so nobody is coming to their stall. Mary seems busy with her magazine. Roger takes the opportunity to pull Freddie to the back of the stall, where all the stocks of the clothes are kept. They are hidden from view so Roger is not afraid of being seen by anyone.

Freddie giggles in delight and leans his back towards Roger, who is hugging him from behind.

Roger plants a kiss on his neck and asks, “What’s the verdict, boss? Did my first day satisfy you? Can I come back to work again?”

“You’re already hired for being pretty.”

Roger huffs a laugh. Then Freddie turns around and closes the distance between them. Roger tilts his head as their lips meet, Freddie opening his mouth and Roger slipping in his tongue and seeking the warmness of his mouth. Freddie whimpers and tightens his hold around Roger, one of Freddie’s hands caressing his jaw. They would probably be lost in the heat of the moment, if not for someone clearing their throat nearby them. Roger promptly pulls away and finds Mary, who is grinning at them.

“I hate to spoil the moment, but we have to close up. If we hurry up, you lovebirds can be back home soon and cosy together like newlyweds.” Then she winks and leaves them be.

Roger feels himself blushing. He notices that Freddie’s cheeks are flushed too, and it is so endearing to look at that Roger cannot resist himself. He presses another lingering kiss on his lips. Mary can wait another minute or two.

After a moment, he can feel Freddie reluctantly pull away, and his eyes are bright with affection as his fingers comb Roger’s hair. “You seem ravenous, darling.”

Roger pinches his cheek fondly, “I can’t help it if someone looks ravishing.”

 

-

 

Brian feels too happy for them, perhaps because he’s gotten some peace back ever since Roger moved out from his place. John seems relieved and says it is high time for them to get back together.

Roy, their sound engineer (Roger finally knows what to refer to him as), does not even bat an eye when one day, he catches Freddie, who seems to forget that Roy is still in the studio with them, kissing Roger because he gets too excited about finally completing their last song for their debut album.

 

-

 

Despite releasing a debut album, there is no rest for them as they begin creating songs for their next album, Queen II. But on their first day of recording, Freddie and him can’t seem to be serious for the first few hours. Freddie hides his drumsticks and Roger retaliates by taking over the piano. At one time, it leads them to an argument. Freddie accuses Roger of distracting him from finishing a song, and then Roger counters back that Freddie doesn’t like it when Roger doesn’t pay attention to him.

It just so happen that Reid comes into the studio and witnesses Roger and Freddie throwing verbal insults at each other.

He turns to look at Brian and John, who look very bored. “Are you not going to stop them?”

“This is normal. Marital fights.” Brian tells him.

John’s response is, “Give them a few more minutes and they will kiss and make up.”

Brian stands up and palms his wallet in his jeans. “While they’re at it, John and I are going out to buy lunch. Roy is coming with us.”

Reid simply stares at them, wondering if they are joking. Then he turns to look at the sound engineer, who merely shrugs at him. Reid shakes his head and leaves the studio with the others.

Roger and Freddie did end their argument with a kiss, after realising that they were alone in the studio.

 

-

 

“I’m knackered!” Roger throws his leather jacket towards the sofa, which nearly lands on Romeo, who is sleeping peacefully on one of the throw pillows. Tom and Jerry are seen sleeping together on the other end of the sofa. He notices the lid of the piano is opened. Roger has the sudden urge to play it despite feeling exhausted to his bones. He moves to sit on the piano bench, and hears Freddie chuckling behind him.

“And you still have some energy left to play something?”

Roger grins at him. “Let’s play a duet.”

Freddie sits at his right side. He positions his right hand one octave higher on the piano keys. He asks Roger, “Satie’s Gymnopédie?”

Roger nods and starts playing the D major chord of the bass clef. Freddie accompanies his part of the song. Their shoulders brush lightly against each other. The soothing piano sound fills the tiny apartment for a few minutes. They play harmoniously together. It feels like time freezes for them. Like being in a pleasant dream. Undisturbed. Peaceful.

When they reach the end of the song together, Freddie pulls away his hand from the piano and wraps an arm around Roger. He rests his head on Roger’s shoulder.

“I’m so envious of you,” he mumbles.

Roger kisses his temple, “Why’s that?”

“You can play all these musical instruments. The piano, guitar, drums. What else?”

“I played the ukulele in my first school band.”

Freddie gives an impressed noise. Then he asks, “Violin?”

“A little bit.”

“Tell me one instrument you can’t play.”

“The harp.”

Freddie laughs out so loud that it startles all the cats in the room. Romeo meows grumpily at them for disturbing his sleep.

“Oh, darling! I definitely cannot imagine you playing the harp!” He chuckles.

Roger is a little distracted with Freddie’s endearing overbite that peeks shyly under those lips. As if there are strings pulling him towards Freddie, Roger bends his head and presses their mouths together. It is quiet again in the tiny apartment, but all Roger can hear is his own heartbeat, beating like a big loud drum.

 

-

 

Roger does not like Prenter.

Honey, it’s two radio shows and a photoshoot. I don’t think you guys can make it to the studio after that. I’m sorry, darling.”

Roger definitely does not approve of Prenter using pet names for Freddie.

It’s not that he is jealous. Okay, perhaps just a little. He can’t blame himself for being a bit possessive over Freddie. But there is something about Prenter, something about his charm oozing with falseness, and something about the way he talks, when his voice sounds sweet and his words are sincere but his eyes are unreadable.

And there is the fact that he only treats Freddie on a pedestal, and the rest of the band members simply as background noise. Roger has no problem with people treating Freddie like a God if they want to, but he does not like it when Prenter is disrespecting Brian and John. And he is slick enough to always do it behind Freddie. So whenever the three of them reproach his behaviour, it always happens accidentally in front of Freddie so it seems like they are treating Prenter like shit. Unfortunately, Prenter is good at managing them so far. He does his job and makes sure that their band is being heard out there. So they cannot fire him for being... vile.

And Roger loathes the way Prenter is staring at his Freddie.

His dark gaze is not like Mary’s moony eyes. It is lust. Roger is not happy about it.

Freddie does not look happy too. But that’s because they won’t be able to do any recording today. Prenter reaches out to Freddie and before Roger realises what he is doing, he already has Freddie in his arms, his hand soothing Freddie’s back. “That’s okay, Fred. If we finish everything early today, we could go back to the studio and do a bit of recording.”

Freddie looks pleasantly surprised, perhaps by the sudden act of pulling Freddie into his arms, so he just snuggles into Roger. He casts a look at everyone, “I can’t wait to get everyone to sing my new song. I’m calling it Seven Seas of Rhye,” and simply says that to all of them, as if it is completely normal that he is still snuggling with Roger. Prenter looks shocked. Brian and John shake their heads in a wryly amused manner.

 

-

 

Prenter catches him alone as he smokes a fag outside of the radio station. “So you’re one of us.”

“I’m not one of you, for Christ’s sake!”

“Are you ashamed?”

Prenter is ruining his peaceful mood so he drops his fag to the ground and steps on it. “I am not ashamed about anything there is between Freddie and I.”

“It’s okay. People like us, we need to protect ourselves. Besides, we share a common goal. Freddie’s happiness.”

His Scottish accent is grating on his nerves. Roger slams him to the wall and glares at him. “I don’t trust you, Prenter. You just do your bloody job as an assistant manager to Reid. But if I ever catch you doing hanky-panky that will destroy this band, I will kill you!”

When he gets back into the room where they are waiting for the band’s interview slot in the studio, Freddie notices his furious look. Since there’s only the four of them, Freddie goes to sit next to him and kisses his cheek.

“Did something happen, my love? You look like an angry lion.”

Freddie points at his hair. He must have messed it up after his confrontation with Prenter.

“I had an encounter with a wolf in a sheep’s fur,” he mumbles back.

Brian sniggers and John snorts at him. They seem to understand who he means by that.

 

-

 

Roger remembers months and months of pining for Freddie. It forced Roger to trick Freddie into letting him teach the guitar just so that he could touch him.

So during their lesson, Roger had felt Freddie’s heartbeat on his wrist and had traced adoration on Freddie’s hands and fingers with his own palms.

Now, Roger does not need a guitar lesson as a reason to touch Freddie. An indescribable feeling swells inside him as he realises that he can touch and kiss Freddie almost anywhere and anytime he wants now. Of course, not in public places where people could see them.

Their apartment is a sanctuary where Roger can worship Freddie Mercury.

Roger watches Freddie sleeping on their bed, sunlight streaming through the curtain and spilling on Freddie’s eyelashes. Then feeling irrationally jealous of the sun, Roger chases it away with his kisses, which compel Freddie to wake up with little giggles. They spend half an hour more in bed than they usually do.

When Freddie is in their kitchen, preparing beans on toast for breakfast, Roger sneaks up behind him, grabbing his waist from the back and kissing the skin behind his ear. Then, Freddie turns his head to the side and cups the back of his neck, sealing his lips over Roger’s. Their breakfast is promptly forgotten for a few more minutes.

Roger knows they are late, and they are standing in their living room, in front of the door, his boots still untied and his denim jacket half-way hanging on one shoulder, and Freddie’s tongue is doing something sinful in his mouth. Roger can simply surrender to being sinned while his own hands are mapping prayers of devotion on the skin under Freddie’s checked shirt.

Freddie sighs as they pull away. “I think I can just kiss you forever.”

“I can’t.”

Freddie gives a sulky pout and Roger laughs at him.

“If I kiss you for the rest of my life, it will never be enough.”

Freddie casts him a fond look, his lips curving into a smile as if saying, why do you exist?

 

-

 

They are an hour and a half late by the time they reach the studio.

 

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Chapter Text

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Roger kisses his brow. His eye. The tip of his nose. Freddie curls his toes. Roger kisses his cheek. The corner of his mouth. Freddie puckers his lips, anticipating for another set of lips against his own. But Roger moves on, and licks the skin underneath his ear and sucks his neck.

Freddie whimpers. Roger gets further away as he kisses Freddie’s collarbone. His breastbone. His ribs.

Freddie is absolutely frustrated and utterly aroused.

It’s mid-afternoon, on their sofa in the living room, and maybe not the best time to do this- but Freddie aches. He wants. Freddie desires for something more.

Roger is biting the soft flesh of his abdomen. He places both open palms on his heated skin, making Freddie arch more into the touch.

Suddenly, the doorbell is ringing and there’s several knocking sounds on the door of the apartment. Freddie immediately steadies Roger, who’s nearly lost his balance.

“Freddie! Roger!”

Brian and Deacy. Bloody hell.

Freddie thinks if they keep quiet and ignore them, they will just give up and leave them alone. Roger seems to have the same idea as he stares down at Freddie with mischievous eyes, then descends on his mouth to cover Freddie’s lips with his. Finally. Freddie moans in relief and he swears Roger is smirking into their kiss.

They keep knocking on the door and pressing the doorbell over and over again. “Open the door!”

Freddie groans in annoyance. They are destroying the mood already. Freddie doesn’t feel horny anymore. Neither does Roger, since his hardness is no longer pressing into Freddie’s thigh. Roger, still clad in his underwear, quickly gets up and shouts, “Quiet, you bastards!” as he crosses the room and reaches for the door.

Freddie, who is as naked as a baby, grabs the throw blanket from the floor and quickly covers himself. He turns his head over the head rest of the sofa to look at Roger, who unlocks the door and opens it. “We are having a bloody moment here!” Roger tells them furiously.

Brian brightens up. He turns his gaze from Roger to Freddie and jokes, “You mean one of you guys are proposing to the other?”

“What?” “No!” Freddie and Roger respond immediately. Freddie blushes and his heart beats a little faster as he imagines himself being married to Roger. A preposterous dream!

Brian and Deacy laugh hard, until their cheeks are creased with lines.

Freddie huffs with irritation and glares at them. “Bri, what’s going on?”

“We come in here to disturb you guys not because we fancy being cock-blockers, but because nobody is picking up the phone! We’re here to deliver exciting news!” Brian tells them with a big grin.

“Yeah, we know. Queen II is still in the top charts and Sheer Heart Attack hit number two yesterday,” mutters Roger, going back into the living room. He adjusts the throw blanket around Freddie, refusing to let Brian and Deacy see something that would make Freddie feel uncomfortable. His modesty is not an issue, but it warms Freddie whenever Roger is being chivalrous towards him.

“That’s old news. This one is better!” Brian signals Deacy, who eagerly steps into the apartment and announces excitably, “Queen will be doing it’s first USA tour! We’re going to America!”

 

-

 

The beginning of the tour is exciting, and it feels just like the old times when they did their gigs around England. Almost.

But Freddie feels less excited to be touring with a big group of roadies. Other than Reid and Prenter, there are other crew such as the tour manager, production team, stage crew, front of house crew, engineers, technicians, designers, make-up artists, caterers, and even a number of security for every one of the crew and bodyguards for each of the band members.

There is nearly no privacy at all.

The worst part is the groupies.

“Who are these people?” Freddie inquires as he makes out ten young girls, some even looking like they’ve barely finished sixth form. They are staring at him, Roger, Brian, and Deacy like pieces of meat that they want to devour.

Paul is presenting the girls like he’s a pimp, and telling the band members that they are their fans- who will be following them around during the entire duration of the tour. Freddie is not impressed.

The number of groupies does not stop there. They had just barely finished two concerts and the girls had already multiplied absurdly. Now they have about thirty girls, mainly Americans, hanging out around them. Roger always has at least eight girls at each side and following him around like puppies. Freddie keeps reminding Brian and Deacy that he is not jealous (okay, perhaps a little, but it’s not something he wants to share with anyone) as they keep teasing him for giving Roger’s groupies his very dirtiest look. He is merely disgusted at the non-existent clothing on them. Mary never wears anything like that, and if he ever caught Kashmira wearing something similar to those groupies, Freddie would slap his sister back to Zanzibar.

 

-

 

Despite Roger paying some attention to his groupies, he never fails to make Freddie feel like the most important person in the room. He ignores the girls the moment he notices Freddie. Roger winks at him, making Freddie feel ridiculously happy as he blows him a kiss.

And then he and Freddie sometimes play a game of how long they can hide from their groupies. They say very loudly that they are going to do a sound check, or do a bit of practising, or attend a band meeting. Then they get away from the girls as quickly as possible and hide in the bus, or in a trailer, or in a hotel room, and when they are as close to being secluded as they can get, Freddie and Roger make out like a couple of giddy teenagers.

Quiet moans and gasps stolen from each other’s lips. Breathless giggles shared between kisses. Whispers of affection sear into their skin.

Freddie is insanely in love with Roger.

 

-

 

Hours before any of the concerts, the band members unanimously agree that groupies should not be hanging out around them, as they need mental preparation without distraction from the girls. Honestly, Freddie and Roger just want to cuddle and gaze at each other stupidly like fools in love, while Brian and Deacy need some break from the groupies’ sexual harassment.

This time, there’s only four of them in the trailer while their security are outside, making sure none of the groupies try to sneak in. Freddie kisses Roger as they wait before going on stage to perform the first of their double concerts that night. The first one had already sold out, and the tour manager had decided to put up another concert last minute. This also sold out within days, due to demand from the fans. Brian and Deacy are chatting in another corner, pretending to ignore their lead singer and drummer as they give them a bit of privacy.

Roger cups one of his cheeks as their lips move against each other. Freddie feels bumpy texture of skin upon his jaw. He pulls away and takes both of Roger’s hands, that look red and raw, and plants a kiss on each palm. Roger has been getting blisters ever since the start of the tour, and Freddie is a little worried. Playing the drums intensely during concerts are slowly taking the toll over his hands.

Roger sends him a dazzling smile. “Ignore it. Just be marvellous out there.” Then Roger distracts him with a lingering kiss, until there’s a knock on their trailer’s door.

 

-

 

Brian is stunning with his Red Special. Deacy seems more energetic than usual with his bass. And Roger is extraordinary beautiful behind his drum kit. The luminous white haze makes him look so ethereal under the spotlights, that Freddie forgets his lyrics more than twice in one night. Their make-up artists definitely outdid themselves when they coated Roger’s milky skin with resin powder. Roger is a sight to behold. And whenever Freddie is singing with his back facing the crowd and his gaze lands on Roger, he is nearly tempted to climb over the drum kit and… climb on Roger like a tree.

The crowd is also amazing. When Freddie forgets his lyrics, he just lets the crowd sing, and they sing, and sing, and they keep singing until Freddie has goosebumps. He still cannot believe that this is actually happening, that people are actually singing their songs.

Surrounded by his band members that he calls as his own family, being so utterly in love with the most amazing person in the world, and being adored by the people who come to their concerts: Freddie thinks it’s great to be alive.

He can do this forever.

 

-

 

But Freddie realises that forever is a cruel word for Roger.

They’ve just finished their final concert of the night, and Roger is the first to leave the stage. Freddie follows the trail of small spots of blood from the drum kit towards the back of the stage, where Roger is currently standing.

They had a few minutes of break in between songs, but Roger was missing throughout the breaks they took. Freddie didn’t think much about it, thinking that Roger needed to get a bit of rest and space. During their one hour of break before the next concert, Roger was missing again, but Freddie wasn’t worried because Brian told him that Roger was taking a short nap in the medical tent.

Freddie should have known that something was going on, but he just assumed he was avoiding his groupies.

The medic area is the only place where groupies are entirely banned to enter, with any of the band members, due to the patient’s privacy and confidentiality policy.

And now, Freddie feels a knife twisting inside him when he sees blood around the drumsticks.

Blood staining around Roger’s fingers and palms.

Four hours of drumming, and Roger’s hands are shred with several bleeding cuts. All of his blisters are open, and more blood is seeping out.

Freddie sees red and starts screaming at the roadies, “His hands are fucking bleeding, and everyone is standing around like fucking incompetent buggers!”

Some of them are already running to call someone from the medical team, and some are reaching out to Roger and starting to clean the blood. Fortunately, none of the groupies try to get close, because Freddie might have blown-up and murdered someone if they had. He even curses at Paul when he tries to calm him down.

Roger, and even Brian and Deacy, try to soothe him but Freddie is too angry and too afraid that he hears nothing but the rushing beat of his own heart.

 

-

 

The doctor has to reassure Freddie that it is normal, and all drummers in rock bands have to go through this. Some even tear their own hands to shreds during the long, intense days of concerts during tours.

He hears Roger mutter to the doctor, “That’s not helping my case now you’ve told him that.”

Roger is exactly right, because it doesn’t help to mitigate his worry at all. Instead, Freddie gets into a full-blown panic and Roger has to pull him aside, consoling him with newly bandaged hands rubbing at his sides. Freddie has to take a few deep breaths for him to finally calm down.

“You should have told me about this during our breaks.”

“I’m sorry. I know I should’ve told you, but I didn’t want you to get distracted with this.”

“Playing the piano doesn’t give me blisters and cuts and blood everywhere! Now I realise that being a drummer--”

“Fred, if you tell me to stop playing the bloody drums, I will kick your balls.”

Freddie glares at him, and without any concern of the doctor, who is sitting a few feet away from them, Roger pulls him into a hug. Freddie immediately wraps both arms around him and buries his face into Roger’s neck. He inhales the sweat and the smell of resin powder on Roger’s skin. Freddie feels so helpless.

“I’m okay, Freddie. I can still play the drums. My nubs are fine, I swear. I just need to practice a lot to toughen up the skin before we start touring next time. My hands were too soft.”

“I love your soft hands,” Freddie mumbles into the skin of his neck.

Roger chuckles. “Well, from now on you’ll have to get used to my rough hands.”

Freddie doesn’t care if Roger has soft or rough hands, or if one day Roger has arthritis, because Freddie would still love him all the same. Freddie just doesn’t like to see Roger getting hurt for doing something he loves.

 

-

 

Freddie takes it upon himself to ensure that Roger’s hands are taken care of properly.

Freddie loves these hands so much that he coats Roger’s blisters and cuts with ointment religiously, to the point that Roger stops complaining and just lets him do it every few hours, especially on days when they aren’t doing any concerts.

And when there’s nobody around, Freddie kisses each nub of the finger and every inch of the palm as he wordlessly prays for swift healing.

“You know, there’s something else that you left out,” Roger tells him.

Roger puckers his lips and Freddie bursts into laughter. He pretends to get up and Roger immediately pulls Freddie onto his lap.

“Come here and kiss me.”

And so Freddie leans in towards Roger, as he silently hopes that they will always be happy and in love for the rest of the life that they have together.

 

-

 

Freddie notices that Roger’s and his own groupies are no longer flirting with them. Instead, they’re always looking at them curiously. Some of the girls have that weird interest in their eyes that reminds him of Mary every time she catches them kissing or holding hands.

He wonders if their groupies are no longer pursuing fame, glory, and sex from them, but instead pursuing some odd fetish or fantasy of him and Roger being together.

Even during their concerts, some of the girls are showing off their head bands and mini tank tops with ‘Freddie+Roger’ written on them to the other fans.

Freddie is torn between feeling utterly amused and absolutely mortified at this strange turn of events.

 

-

 

Freddie and the rest of the band members are lazing around on their bus as they are on the way to the next city. He is slightly bored, and hums My Guy which he heard some time ago on a radio that only plays 60's songs. He remembers the lyrics and writes ‘I’m sticking to my guy like a stamp to a letter’ on a piece of paper, and folds it into a plane before sending it flying to Roger.

Brian rolls his eyes at Freddie’s childish antics.

Roger unfolds it, then smirks at Freddie after reading the single line from a love song that he believes Roger would have recognized.

Roger writes something on the other side of the paper, and folds it back as a plane, letting it fly back to Freddie.

Deacy notices what is happening and merely shakes his head at their ridiculousness.

Freddie reads, ‘I found a dream that I could speak to’.

He chuckles as his heart flutters behind his chest. At Last is one of Freddie’s favourite classic love songs, and apparently, it must be Roger’s too. “Who sings it better? Glenn Miller?”

Roger grins, “Etta James.”

Freddie returns the grin and agrees. He remembers a unique contralto voice singing on the radio, “I found a dream that I could speak to, a dream that I can call my own.”

Freddie peers at Roger and thinks, I already found him.

 

-

 

One time, Paul brings in two pretty-looking men while Freddie is resting in his trailer after he finishes doing a sound check with the stage crew and technicians.

Freddie thinks it’s odd to have more new groupies which happen to be the opposite sex. He wonders, is there such thing as male groupies?

Roger and him really need a day of break without having any of the girls shadowing them around, while trying to catch them doing something together. The girls are now even calling themselves Freddie+Roger groupies, which the other band members and all the roadies find absolutely hilarious.

But as Freddie stares at the two men a little longer, they don’t look like they want to be a part of the groupies. They seem different. They definitely looks like they want to fuck Freddie. Or they want Freddie to fuck them. Freddie sighs and feels irritation at Paul bubbling on the surface.

Paul opens his mouth to introduce them when Roger suddenly gets inside his trailer, the smile on his face faltering the moment he notices the strangers who are standing way too near to where Freddie is sitting. Roger regards Paul and the strangers for a moment. Then, he looks quite infuriated and points at the door of the trailer.

“Get out!” Roger yells at them. They flinch. Freddie finds it amusing to watch these two men, who definitely have more muscles in their bodies than both he and Roger combined, actually get so frightened by Roger that they leave hastily.

“I said, get out, you wanker!” Roger growls, glaring lividly at Paul who is still standing there like an idiot.

Paul splutters and turns to look at Freddie, as if he thinks that Freddie will find offense with Roger’s rudeness. Roger is never rude. He is just a very passionate person.

Paul is a friend but it is his fault that he brought in those men out of the blue. The only bright side of this situation is that Freddie gets to witness this, and realise that jealous and furious Roger is kind of hot. It sends shivers down his spine, but in a good way.

“Paul, just go. And don’t bring in any more strange guys. My hands are full enough with this beautiful angry man,” Freddie tells Paul sternly, but his heated gaze never leaves Roger.

The moment the door of the trailer closes, Freddie immediately jumps on Roger and snogs him so hard that he’s seeing stars behind his closed eyelids.

Roger swipes his tongue inside every corner of his mouth. Freddie kisses back fervently as he pulls Roger even closer, until there is no more space between their bodies.

They kiss each other heatedly until their lungs scream for oxygen.

“You’re the only one for me, darling,” says Freddie breathlessly.

“I know,” answers Roger, kissing him again.

 

-

 

“Listen, Freddie, I just want you to be friends with people like us.”

“Friends? People like us? Paul, I don’t know what’s your exact reason for pulling that kind of stunt but they don’t look like they want to be my friends. Their eyes are looking at my cock like they want it in their mouth and up in their ass!”

Paul looks slightly embarrassed.

“I don’t need anybody else. I have my family here; Brian, Roger, and Deacy. Even though Mary is in London, I can call my best friend anytime I want when I need her. And Roger is the best thing that ever happened to me. You are my friend too. But if you try to do something that will jeopardize my happiness, friend or not, you are not welcome as part of Queen anymore.”

“I’m sorry, honey. I promise I won’t do that again,” Paul tells him with a contrite look. Somehow, Freddie is uncertain if he sounds genuine or not. For the first time ever, Freddie thinks there’s something about Paul that feels a bit off. Freddie just shrugs it off, and simply accepts Paul’s apology. Besides, Paul is his friend and friends tend to make mistakes. Paul is a good man, and hopefully he will never do something like that again.

 

-

 

America has interesting landscapes. Sometimes they pass by deserts, sometimes prairies, sometimes mountains everywhere, sometimes endless buildings that make Freddie feel a little homesick and think of London.

Some of the food is much better than back in Britain. Like the cheeseburger and steak sandwich. And they have tater tots, which remind Freddie of Oven Crunchies that he had in London. But these little fried potatoes are more delicious and, unlike the Crunchies prepared in a frozen package, these are freshly cooked by the caterers. Freddie also loves the chicken fajitas and sometimes, he steals a few bites of Roger’s beef burrito every time the caterers deem it’s a Tex-Mex day, whatever that is supposed to mean.

 

-

 

Freddie notices another new group of people among their roadies.

“Journalists? But we’ve done a million interviews in every city we’ve been to,” says Freddie in frustration.

Reid merely snorts at him. “Don’t be dramatic, Fred. You’ve only done one or two interviews because you hate them.”

“I loathe them! Interviews are an abomination. They keep asking stupid questions!”

Reid insists that the journalists are staying. He tells the band that they want to document everything that is going on backstage during their USA tour. They will not interview any of the band members, but simply write good stories about the band and take a few pictures of them.

“We have the bloody paparazzi hounding and taking pictures of us everywhere. They can just buy those pictures from them,” Roger mutters tiredly. Even Brian and Deacy do not look happy with the new group joining their tour.

Reid implores them to just deal with it, because the journalists will help boost up the sales of their albums and tickets for their concerts. Well, the four of them can’t help it if most of the South does not like Queen. The South prefer country music over rock, after all.

Freddie also doubts the journalists will be of any help if most of them can’t stop staring curiously at their groupies, who are strutting around with their ‘Freddie+Roger’ mini tank tops in their sexy mini skirts. Freddie really hopes that they are staring at the girls’ tits and not trying to investigate behind the obvious meaning of the words on their tank tops.

 

-

 

After two months on the road and half-way through their USA tour, Freddie lost his voice. He had been feeling dryness in his throat and every time he smoked some fags, he coughed a lot. Now, only the sound of hoarseness escapes from his mouth. Freddie occasionally feels shooting pain inside his neck. Roger refuses to let him get up from the bed while they wait for Reid to call in the medical team. Freddie still doesn’t trust them after what happened to Roger’s hands. But he is forced to concede when Roger gives him that same stern and angry look, like the time he got rid of the strangers in Freddie’s trailer a few weeks ago.

The doctor finds nodes in his throat due to overuse of his voice. Freddie is not surprise about that. Queen has been doing two concerts for most cities, which means Freddie has to sing for four hours in one night. Freddie has been feeling like someone is constantly scratching his throat for some weeks, but he never got worried about it- he is more concerned about Roger’s hands.

However, it’s not something serious and the medics assure everyone that with plenty of rest and the drinking of a lot of warm water, Freddie will be able to sing in a few days. The doctor also prescribed some anti-inflammatory medicines for him to take. Freddie is disappointed that he has to give up tater tots, beers and smoking for a while.

Reid and the tour manager are frustrated with the situation, and decide that Freddie should get five days rest. Roger is glaring at them and insists they should get at least a week of break. What’s two more days as long as Freddie’s voice is rested properly?

They argue that a week is just a little too long, and they may be losing more money. Roger is fed up and almost bundles Freddie in his suitcase to take him back to London, when Brian and Deacy intervene and finally everyone agrees for a week of break.

Freddie almost wishes that Reid and the tour manager were more stubborn so that Roger could take him away from here.

Freddie misses London. Freddie misses Romeo, Tom and Jerry meowing at him for his attention. He misses his bed, despite the fact that it’s not as comfortable as the beds that he’s been sleeping on in the hotels that Queen is sometimes lucky enough to stay in during the tour. Mostly, Freddie misses cuddling and kissing Roger as many times and for as long as they want in their little sanctuary.

Ever since the journalists came around, Roger and him had been trying to be extra careful. There’s the lingering of fond gazes when there’s too many people around them. There’s the whisper of hands against each other when nobody is looking. There’s the brief exchange of kisses whenever they sneak into the other’s bed, before one of them has to quickly leave, leaving the other feeling a little forlorn.

There’s only stolen moments for them, and Freddie aches for Roger.

 

-

 

When everybody finally leaves, Roger remains standing next to his bed, his shoulders sagging and his eyes casting worriedly over at Freddie, who is trying not to wince as he swallows the warm water from the mug. He remains sitting against the headboard and is tempted to pull Roger onto bed with him.

Roger opens his mouth and says something that makes his heart perform a weird somersault behind his chest. “I won’t let anything happen to you, baby.”

Freddie feels himself blushing. Roger never calls him pet names. He must have been so worried about Freddie that he didn’t even notice the slip.

He places the mug on the table next to the bed and peers at Roger with utter affection. Freddie reaches out one hand and strokes a line at his handsome jaw.

Freddie mouths, I love you.

Roger gently cups the back of his neck, dips down and kisses him.

After a moment, Roger pulls away slightly. Then, Roger does another surprising thing, something that he had never uttered to Freddie until today.

Roger’s voice, soft but distinct, whispers against his lips, “I love you too.”

And Roger swoops in with another kiss that makes flowers bloom under his ribs. No wonder the butterflies keep fluttering inside him. After all, his body is now a burst of flourishing gardens every time Roger does something like this.

 

-
-
-

Chapter Text

-
-
-

 

Being celebrities, they have the privilege to spend their eight days of layover in Hawaii, in a secluded resort at Kuai, sans their groupies and journalists. Even the roadies are in a different state. Freddie doesn’t bother to know any further than that, because everything sounds boring when Reid talks about the nightmares that the tour manager and his team have to deal with, such as the expensive logistics of shipping everything to Japan for Queen’s next tour.

That’s their problem, not Queen’s.

Freddie is just grateful that he gets to rest his voice again for a week. He feels sort of sick looking at a piano or a microphone. Even Roger keeps telling him how he’s fed up looking at the drum-kit, and touching the drumsticks make him wants to hurl them far, far away from him. Roger’s been refusing to practise the drums, and has only played them live at their last three concerts. That’s alright for Freddie- as long as Roger does not get any more blisters.

The thrill of being on tour is also lost on Brian and Deacy, as they too never bother to touch the guitars anymore when they’re not doing concerts. Even Brian is willing to be separated from his Red Special and let one of the roadies take care of it. Everyone is a little jaded after more than three months on the road.

 

-

 

Roger brought along his own guitar to the tour so nowadays he only plays that. He entertains Freddie with some love songs that never fail to make him flustered. Roger can be ridiculously romantic at times.

With the morning sun creeping into the room through the open veranda, Freddie wakes up smiling as he listens to the soft strumming of the guitar. The moment Roger notices he’s awake, he serenades Freddie with the chorus of Can’t Help Falling In Love. His voice isn’t deep like the King of Rock and Roll’s, but Roger’s rather unique take of the song makes everything sound better. Freddie climbed sleepily onto Roger once he put away the guitar. They cuddle on the armchair with Roger caressing his head with kisses.

“Morning,” he greets Freddie with another kiss on the forehead.

Freddie rubs the crust on his eyes and merely hums drowsily.

“Still sleepy?”

Freddie nods against his shoulder, and Roger lets him sleep a little longer with his arms tight around him.

 

-

 

They miss breakfast, so they order an early lunch. Roger gives Freddie a guitar lesson after that, but it doesn’t last long as they give in to the urge and start distracting each other with stolen kisses. It then leads to a hot make out session- until Brian knocks on their door. He reminds them to get out of the room at least once, so that everybody knows they are still alive.

 

-

 

When the sun starts to set, Freddie and Roger walk along the beach. One time, Freddie shrieks with laughter and tries to wiggle away as Roger wraps his arms around him, mercilessly tickling the man. When he managed to escape, Roger chased him down the beach.

Then Brian and Deacy join in, and it becomes a game of tag for everyone. They end up being knee deep in the sea while splashing sea water at each other until the sun disappears into the ocean.

After that, they eat dinner together. Halfway through their meals, Reid and Paul share a table with them to talk further about their schedule in Japan.

The discussion isn’t even finished when Freddie finishes his delicious ka mo lau lau, a Hawaiian dish of steamed chicken meat that is served with savoury green taro leaves, and immediately stands up, triggering Reid to pause his conversation with Brian, Deacy, and Roger.

Freddie tells everyone, “I’m done.” Then, putting out a palm towards Roger, “Your room key, darling.”

Roger takes his key while Reid looks at Freddie curiously. “I heard you haven’t been sleeping in your room, Fred.”

“I didn’t know you’d been keeping a tab on me.”

Then Freddie leaves the table, swinging the room key idly in his fingers.

Behind him, Freddie hears Reid asking Roger, “Is there something going on between you and Freddie?”

 

-

 

Freddie hasn’t used his own room since the first night they arrived at the resort. Even some of his clothes are inside Roger’s backpack. Sometimes, he would wear Roger’s T-shirt and shorts when he was too lazy to dig out his own clothes. He takes his shower, and then wears the hideous Hawaiian shorts that Deacy buys as a gag gift for everyone.

He smokes a fag as he lazes on the beach chair on the veranda. He stares at the dark ocean and the clear night sky. It’s a slightly warm night, and the sea breeze feels cooling against his skin.

Roger gets in half an hour later and kisses his temple. Then he steals Freddie’s fag and sucks it. Freddie watches the smoke escape between his lips.

He asks Roger, “What did you say to Reid about us?”

“I told him to mind his own bloody business. But I think he knows. Prenter would have told him about us.”

Freddie stretches his hands towards Roger, and brings his face closer, pressing their mouths together.

“You smell nice,” Roger murmurs once they separate.

“You smell like the sea.”

“I need to shower.”

“Later. I want you to kiss me again.”

Roger chuckles. “You’re insatiable.”

Freddie giggles. “You love it.”

Roger puts out the fag and sits on Freddie’s lap. He tucks Freddie’s long hair behind one ear, then strokes the skin there.

Roger gazes at him softly. “Hey.”

“Hey,” Freddie responds with another giggle as he envelopes Roger in his arms.

He keeps staring at Freddie with utter adoration.

Freddie swallows and feels a little self-conscious. He’s not the prettiest or best-looking lad. But it always take his breath away to see the way Roger looks at him, like Freddie is the most beautiful person in the world. So he raises his head and kisses Roger.

Roger kisses him back, and Freddie melts right there and then. God, he could never get over the feeling of kissing and being kissed by Roger. Freddie thinks he could simply do this forever, perhaps the rest of his life. But the thought swiftly fades away as a gasp escapes between his own lips. A hand brushes his nipple. Roger’s other hand is caressing the skin above his shorts, and Freddie feels his own arousal growing. He nips Roger’s lower lip then pulls away.

“Let’s continue this inside.”

“Can I take a quick shower first?”

Freddie pouts. “But I’m horny.”

 

-

 

When Freddie met Kenny the first time, after the release of Queen’s first album, it was like meeting a twin brother. Kenny was funny and whimsical. He said whatever he wanted, including talking about anal sex, which caused Freddie to spend the rest of the day feeling hot and flustered.

Kenny was just too nosy for his own good, honestly. But it’s sort of Freddie’s fault when he accidentally spills to Kenny that he’s dating someone. The second time they hung out, Kenny got him to admit he’s dating Roger. Kenny was so excited that he couldn’t stop talking about Roger’s cock for nearly an hour, and Freddie almost threw something heavy at his head. Kenny proceeded to ask him if Roger had a young uncle or an older male cousin or a secret half-brother so that he could have a clandestine affair with him, leading to a conversation about anal sex.

“You’ve been dating this gorgeous hunky meat for more than two years and you guys haven’t done the actual fucking?” He sounded so affronted, as if Freddie had confessed to doing all seven cardinal sins in front of the Pope.

Freddie frowned. Did Kenny just call Roger a hunky meat?

Kenny winked at him. “He’s definitely hunky down there!”

Freddie groaned. “If you talk for one more time about Roger’s hunky meat I am going to smash this expensive sparkling wine right over your head, and we don’t want that, do we?”

“Of course, darling. That Pinot Noir cost me ninety four pound, and my head is as priceless as the Crown Jewels. We don’t want anything happening to either.”

The problem was that Freddie’s never dated any blokes before Roger. And Freddie was the first guy that Roger had gone out with as well. It’s not like they had a guide book or something, or had other friends that were willing to talk about their relationship. Even if they did, Freddie and Roger definitely wouldn’t feel comfortable enough to talk about their sex life. Even they draw the line at talking about some stuff regarding their relationship to Brian, Deacy, and even Mary, just to spare the guys from having to bleach their ears. But Freddie suspected Mary would enjoy listening to the tales of their relationship.

So far, they’d only done hand jobs and rubbing their cocks together until orgasm. Moreover, sucking Roger’s cock was Freddie’s favourite thing to do. They’ve just kept on like that for two years, and they’re still happy together.

Besides, it’s not like sex was constantly on their minds. They had their band practices, and gigs in so many pubs and colleges. Since they signed with Trident, they’ve gotten busier in making music, while selling clothes at Kensington Market just to have enough money to pay the bills and buy food for themselves and the cats. They’re exhausted most days.

Freddie had stubbornly refused to share anything about his sex life, whether lacking or not, to Kenny. The other man had graciously backed off, simply sharing his funny stories about all his previous partners, while Freddie was distracted and wondering if he was ever going to enjoy it.

 

-

 

The moment Roger steps out from the bathroom, having barely finished drying himself, Freddie pulls the towel from Roger’s hand and drops it to the floor. He pushes a very naked Roger to the bed and presses their lips together.

Freddie straddles Roger as he explores the milky skin underneath him. A hot fire of desire settles inside his belly as he keeps kissing the man, no- boy, Roger is only bloody twenty four years old, soon to be twenty five once summer rolls in. Freddie sometimes forgets that Roger is three years younger than him, because despite Roger’s tendency of being a child whenever he has a tantrum, he can act mature for his own age.

He pours his passion and desire through the kiss, and Roger responds enthusiastically. Before he knows it, Roger has already taken off Freddie’s pants and flung the ugly thing somewhere in the room.

He sucks at Freddie’s lower lip and rolls them over. Roger is now hovering above Freddie with a huge smirk on his face. Then he leans towards Freddie, tilting his head to cover Freddie’s lips. He thinks that when he gets old and ends up being senile one day, he would remember and still recognise Roger’s mouth, which is definitely made for kissing. Too bad for all the girls who won’t get to kiss Roger Taylor anymore. This mouth belongs to Freddie Mercury.

Freddie runs his hands from the already tousled and sweaty golden hair, to both sides of his face, his neck, his shoulders, and tangles both his legs over Roger’s waist. Their cocks rub against each other, causing both of them to moan loudly inside each other’s mouths.

Roger starts trailing his lips under his jaw, and Freddie tips his head back, letting Roger nibble the skin at the hollow of his throat. A path of wildfire is traced all the way to his breast bone, and Roger nips where his beating organ is, as if sinking his teeth into Freddie’s heart and putting his mark upon it. He cries out when Roger covers his nipple with his mouth and sucks it, feeling Roger going further down and biting at the inner skin of his thigh. Freddie closes his eyes and sobs as Roger’s thumb presses at the underside of his cock.

“Fred.”

And Freddie opens his eyes to meet Roger’s full-blown pupils, that nearly cover his entire blue eyes. Roger always say his name when he asks for Freddie’s consent. This sweet gesture never fails to hurt his chest, no matter how many times he’s done it before. It makes Freddie fall in love with him all over again, and he wishes Roger was closer to him so he could snog the hell out of him.

Freddie merely whimpers in agreement. Roger dives in, and suddenly Freddie’s cock is inside his heated mouth. Freddie squeezes his eyes shut and whines, clawing the bed sheets underneath him.

He is quite surprised that Roger’s gotten better at this. When their relationship started growing into something deep, Freddie was usually the one who initiated sexual acts: he had noticed that Roger was initially uncomfortable when they started doing this. Perhaps because Roger was mostly straight, and Freddie was the only bloke that he had ever been attracted to. Freddie had been sucking Roger’s cock for some months before Roger finally decided he wanted to try it.

Now here they are, Freddie getting the best blow job of his life. Gasps and moans, and some nonsense words, escape from between his lips. He feels like hot molten lava, bubbling on the surface, just ready to explode.

And when he comes he sees so many bright stars, like the stars that are now twinkling outside their room.

Freddie pulls Roger towards him and kisses him deeply, not mind that he could taste himself. Roger’s cock is still stiff, and poking at his abdomen, and Freddie suddenly feels a different kind of hunger.

Freddie has prepared himself for this particular moment for many months, and he wants it. He desires it so badly that every time he masturbates, all he can think of is how Roger’s perfect cock will fill him up nicely.

He spreads his legs wider and says, “I want you inside me.”

Roger’s breath hitches as his eyes fling wide open with surprise.

“Uh, I’ve never done this before. Have you?” He blurts out.

Freddie glares at him, “Do I look like I’ve done this before?”

Roger winces at his slip up, and kisses Freddie apologetically.

“I’m sorry,” he brushes Freddie’s scowl away with his fingers. Roger looks quite contrite, as if he is upset at his own lack of knowledge when it comes to sexual intercourse between two men. Freddie’s heart stutters, and a swell of warmness bursts forth in his chest. He pulls Roger for another kiss.

“Let’s figure this out together, okay,” offers Roger once they pull away, trying to comfort Freddie even though he sounds nervous.

He’s just too sweet. Freddie peers at him fondly and nods his head.

He grabs the complimentary hand lotion from the resort. It smells delicious, like vanilla with a hint of coconut. The scent calms his own thundering heart as he concentrates on squeezing out the white creamy lotion and coating his own fingers. Freddie takes a deep breath, aware that Roger is watching every movement he’s doing now. He lowers his hand and slowly pushes one finger into his anus.

Roger squeaks above him. “Jesus fucking Christ, what are you doing?”

“I need to fit that inside me so I have to do this.”

Freddie has done this a few times so he has some practise. It’s easy for him to get used to the sensation of being stretched out now. Roger whimpers as he watches Freddie’s now two fingers inside his hole, pushing slowly in and out. A soft squelch sound could be heard every time he moved his fingers. Roger’s eyes are starting to glaze.

Freddie grins cheekily, “Do you like what you see, sweetheart?”

Roger immediately grips his own cock and groans, “I might bloody come if I have to watch this any longer.”

Freddie glowers at him. “If you come, I am going to be very upset with you and I won’t suck your prick for a year!”

Roger shuts his eyes and plants his entire face into Freddie’s shoulder. He could feel Roger taking a few deep breaths against his collarbone. A moment later, he leans away and gazes at Freddie with a serious face. “Let me prepare you.”

Despite having his fingers deep inside him while Roger is watching, Freddie feels himself blushing when he offers to do it for him.

Freddie pulls out with a soft grunt. Roger takes the lotion, but Freddie immediately stops him. He takes Roger’s hand, and with a seductive smile, murmurs, “Let’s improvise.”

Then he shoves three of Roger’s fingers into his mouth.

Roger curses, “Fuck!”

Freddie feels terribly amused with Roger’s reaction as he sucks his fingers.

“Preparing you should’ve distracted me from coming. Now you’re just pushing my limit, Fred!”

Freddie fixes him with mischievous eyes, lightly nibbling the skin of his fingers before licking and sucking them inside his mouth again.

Roger keeps staring at him with some kind of awed disbelief before it’s replaced with a determined look spread across his face. He starts drawing his fingers in and out. After a moment, Roger pulls out, and replaces his fingers with his lips. Their tongues tangle lewdly, and Freddie jolts a little when he feels a finger trace the rim of his entrance.

“May I?” Roger breathes the words into his mouth.

Freddie breathes back, “Yes.”

Roger leans back and watches his finger pushing in, and thanks to the lotion, Roger’s slender digit slips in easily. Freddie takes one more finger, and Roger is pushing and pulling them as he peppers Freddie’s face with kisses. Then he inserts the third finger, and Freddie breathes in through his nose as he tries to adjust to the stretch.

“You need to spread out the fingers,” he tells Roger, who complies to his request. Freddie feels the slight burn as Roger starts scissoring deeper inside Freddie, and he wills himself to relax. He draws in and out effortlessly. The movement feels hypnotic, and Freddie senses himself growing half-hard from the motion.

“I need you.” He kisses Roger. “Inside me.” And another kiss. “Now.”

Roger pulls out his fingers and wipes them on the bed sheet. His other hand cradles Freddie’s face gently. “If you’re certain about this.” His voice shows a touch of nervousness, but his eyes seem to be darker than usual, unadulterated lust swimming through the blue.

Freddie’s heart is thundering behind his chest. Roger’s lust for him fuels him so much that Freddie feels excitement coursing through his blood and settling into his loins.

He takes the lotion and squeezes out more of its content. He touches Roger’s cock, which causes him to jump and hiss. Freddie is worried that Roger will not last for long.

“You think you could hold on until you’re inside me?”

Roger half-sobs and half-grunts as he nods at Freddie, who is coating his cock with the lotion.

Freddie wants to do this while facing Roger, even though he knows it’ll be much easier if he does it with his arse in the air. He takes a pillow, and Roger helps him with positioning it comfortably under him.

Their lips meet in a languid movement. “I love you,” utters Roger.

Roger starts breaching him bit by bit. Freddie must have shown some discomfort on his face because he immediately stops.

“Rog,” he whines, running an encouraging hand against Roger’s back.

“But-”

“I trust you, darling.”

Roger’s expression turns determined, and then he murmurs, “I promise I won’t hurt you.”

It feels painful at first. Freddie tries to get used to the strange sensation of being entered, which is completely different than having fingers inside of him. But, eventually, he forgets about the discomfort when Roger starts distracting him with kisses and one hand strokes to his half-hard cock, as he keeps pushing deeper inside him. Once he seats deep inside Freddie, Roger expertly and gently hooks both of Freddie’s legs onto his shoulders, as if he has done this millions of times to all of the girls he’s fucked.

This is a much better position, Freddie thinks. And he feels really close to Roger. It feels as if Roger’s cock is beating inside his own goddamn heart.

“Are you okay?” Roger asks him with concern, one hand rubbing a gentle circular motion against the side of his thigh. Freddie just melts right there and then. Again.

“I could pull out if this feels like too much for you.”

What has Freddie done in his life to deserve Roger Taylor?

Freddie notices that Roger is almost at his limits, probably thinking some weird things so as not to come while still inside Freddie. If this was another universe, where Freddie found some stranger to fuck him, that guy would probably just take him without being considerate about his feelings. But he knows even now that he probably wouldn’t let just anyone fuck him. He would rather fuck someone than be fucked. Because being fucked means being vulnerable.

And he feels so open and defenceless to Roger now. But Roger would never abuse the privilege that has now been given to him. Freddie trusts him so much that he would allow Roger to do whatever he wanted to his body, his heart, or even his soul.

“I’m okay. Kiss me again, please?”

A breathless giggle escapes from Roger. He brushes Freddie’s hair away from his forehead, leaning forward to press their mouths together.

The slight movement from his hips when he stretches towards Roger’s lips causes him to feel that painful but sweet friction inside him, and it reminds Freddie how he feels so erotically full.

Freddie tells him to move. Roger thrusts his hips slowly a few times, gazing at Freddie fervently. He feels way too overwhelmed as blue eyes cast upon him so strikingly that he instinctively covers his face with his forearm.

“Don’t hide. I need to see that pretty face.”

Freddie bursts out into a fit of giggles, still hiding under his forearm. “I’m not pretty. You are.”

“We’re not going to argue who’s pretty while my cock is inside you. Because I’m going to agree with whatever you’re going to say.”

Roger gently pries away his arm, then takes the other and pins both wrists above Freddie’s head with his hand. Freddie is still giggling, and Roger smirks. He thrusts in again and Freddie’s giggling is replaced with moaning.

“You’re so beautiful,” he tells Freddie breathlessly, as he continues rocking his hips with a consistent rhythm. He feels heavy in a wave of pleasure as he tries to rut against Roger. The pillow suddenly gets dislodged under Freddie. Roger pauses a moment, arranging the pillow again. This causes him to adjust his hips: with a sudden change to the angle, Freddie actually yelps when he drives in deeper.

Good lord, what the fuck just happened?

What’s that incredibly pleasurable sensation he felt just a second ago?

Even Roger is so stunned by Freddie’s reaction that he freezes, his eyes wide with concern. “Did I hurt you?”

“Rog, darling, don’t stop or I swear--”

Roger lets out a chuckle, looking relieved when he realises that Freddie is not in pain. “Or what, you’re not going to suck my cock?”

“I love your cock. Don’t deprive me of that because of your fault.”

And it happens again, every time Roger continues to propel in deeper, making Freddie cry out in high pitch.

“Rog, ahhh, my love, hng.” Freddie wonders if others can hear him, but honestly, he doesn’t give a fuck at this moment. Roger bends him over as he maintains the angle, and snaps his hips harder. Freddie is lost in the sweetest pleasure surging through him as moans keeps spilling out of his open mouth in a much higher frequency. One of Roger’s hands that isn’t pinning his wrists has started pumping his hard length.

“Fred.” Roger’s voice is cracking.

“Come for me, baby.” The pet name is whispered in a half-sob against his ear, and Freddie feels his back arch. He lets go with a wavering cry. He feels deliriously content, like an incomplete puzzle that has finally found its missing piece- Roger being the lost puzzle piece that Freddie didn’t know he was missing until now. He feels utterly whole for the first time.

Freddie couldn’t believe that he’d just had two orgasms in the span of… how long had they been fucking? An hour? An entire night? A week? Freddie wouldn’t be surprised if they have been fucking for the duration of their entire stay in the resort, because it really feels like it.

He ignores the sticky seed on his stomach. Both of his legs slip away from Roger’s shoulders, and land softly at either side of Roger.

Freddie spreads his legs even wider to accommodate Roger as he tries not to wince due to his oversensitive prostate. Freddie watches Roger chasing his own climax. Roger is no longer trapping his wrists, so Freddie grips one of Roger’s hands, tangling their fingers together. He grins softly and kisses Freddie messily as his hips stutter sloppily.

Then Roger buries inside him for the final time, his cock pulsating so deep. Roger grunts loudly against his tongue as hot seed fills inside Freddie.

Roger pants heavily, and there’s a smile in his eyes as their gaze locks one another’s.

Freddie giggles, feeling a little shy, and simply says, “Hey.”

Roger chuckles back and responds, “Hey.”

Roger takes another minute or two to catch his breath, and then he draws back, his soft cock slipping out.

He asks Freddie, “How are you feeling?”

“Like I’ve had the best fuck of my life.”

Roger snickers. “I’m glad.” Then he looks serious. “But are you alright? Feeling any pain down there?”

“Just a little sore. But I’m fine, darling.”

Then Freddie pulls him closer again, and Roger falls on top of him, kissing each other languidly and deeply.

When Roger separates himself from Freddie, he sees the grimace on Roger’s face as he casts his gaze at the mess on both of their abdomens. Then Roger prods his anus gently and Freddie feels more seeds slipping out from his entrance. He pulls back his finger and tells Freddie, “Let’s clean up. I’ll prepare a hot bath for us.”

“Okay,” replies Freddie, who can’t help himself feel indescribably fond of his lover. Roger moves to kiss him one more time. It feels like Roger is writing romantic lyrics with his mouth, letting Freddie consume them so that his heart could sing along. Freddie decides that Roger tastes like love songs. It’s perfect.

 

-
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Chapter Text

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When they finish their tour in Japan, they fly back to London to find out that Queen, in both singles and albums, are in the top charts. And they’re officially celebrities now. Lights from cameras are blinding them, and the journalists are clamouring around them, insisting on a moment for an interview. Some throw questions at them while they are staggering tiredly with their backpacks and suitcases in the arrival hall of Heathrow airport. Queen’s fans are gathering inside and outside the airport, screaming their names at the top of their lungs. Roger is glad he’s donned his sunglasses, because his eyes are wide open as he takes in the number of girls wearing Freddie+Roger tank tops and T-shirts.

“Are they selling those tops?” Freddie sounds surprised as he catches sight of them.

They place their suitcases and backpacks into one of the roadies’ vans, and Prenter leads them to a Lincoln Continental ‘64 that Roger is pretty sure could fit all four of them inside.

Brian furrows his brow as he opens the door of the car. “Roger could sit on Freddie’s lap if we all can’t fit.”

Roger shoulders his way past Brian to get inside the car. “Sod off! You could sit on John’s lap instead.”

As Roger already expected, the four of them fit in comfortably on the rather spacious leather backseat while Prenter took the front passenger seat. Freddie is muttering about wanting to own one of the Freddie+Roger tank tops.

He looks at Freddie in surprise. “You want to wear one?”

“Don’t you? I would. I’m a huge fan of us.” He winks at Roger.

Honestly, finding out that groupies are fans of them together as a couple, despite not knowing the truth that they are actually a couple, actually weirds him out a little. But at the same time, he is glad that they aren’t receiving any backlash of the homosexuality references behind it. For now. Even the journalists who have been following them along during the tour have been nothing but professional. But he always feels their gaze upon them both during and after concerts, especially when Freddie is already in a high, drunken state and climbing all over Roger like a tree.

Their driver turns the car to the road, leaving all the screaming fans behind.

“Where’s Reid?” Freddie asks Prenter.

“He’s meeting Jim. They will be heading to Trident to finalize the termination. Then they’ll go to EMI to settle the contract and set an appointment with Ray Foster.”

“Did we choose Ray Foster as our producer?” Brian asks them.

“He chose us. I guess he really wants to produce our new album,” replies Roger with a shrug.

During the end of their tour, Queen was introduced to their lawyer, Jim Beach, and they had had some discussions regarding their contract with Trident. They had decided not to renew their contract and instead chosen to sign with EMI: it’s a well-known record label, and the money that had been offered was too good to reject.

Freddie turns his attention back to the man in the front seat. “So you and Reid are staying with Queen?”

Roger watches Prenter look at Freddie through the rear view mirror. It disgusts him to have this despicable man looking at Freddie. “ Of course we’re sticking with Queen. I will always follow wherever you go, Fred.”

It repulses him even more to have Prenter declare such devotion to Freddie. How he wishes they were in a car that had a partition between the front seat and the back, so that he could pretend Prenter didn’t exist for a while.

Roger mumbles something to himself about wishing one particular bastard to die faster.

“What’s that, dear?” asks Freddie, looking at Roger with those honest brown eyes. If only Freddie could see how vile that man was. At least Freddie is no longer paying anymore attention to him.

Roger smiles at him and leans closer, whispering in Freddie’s ear, “I can’t wait to go home and reacquaint myself with my most favourite person in the world.”

Freddie blushes and swats him playfully. Roger catches his hand and entwines their fingers together. He studies the long fingers against his, tracing the skin with his thumb, feeling Freddie’s warmness seeping into his palm. Roger thinks to himself how lucky he is. Then he remembers the way Prenter stares at Freddie. Roger squeezes his hand and swears that he’s going to make sure Prenter won’t do anything to jeopardize their relationship.

“I can’t wait to take a few weeks of break from looking at you two. I’m so bloody tired of all these lovesick moments.” Brian grumbles at them, his soft gaze betraying his harsh words.

John chuckles. “You need to find yourself a girl, Bri. Seeing those two makes me miss Veronica so much. I can’t wait to see her.”

 

-

 

First, the driver sends John to the place that he shares with Veronica, then takes Brian to his apartment. Next, the driver turns to their street, and Roger can see hundreds of paparazzi camping outside their apartment building.

They raise a ruckus the moment Roger and Freddie get out from the car. Two roadies from the van following their car insist on helping to carry their stuff. Roger promptly agrees so Prenter, who wanted to help in the first place, simply stands at the side, looking a bit useless. He eventually decides to just help in fending off the paparazzi from the entrance of the building. Then, he waves goodbye (only to Freddie) before going back to the car. Rude bastard, Roger thinks. He hopes Prenter trips and breaks his neck.

Roger is relieved when the paparazzi don’t try to enter the building. “We need to get a new place to live,” says Roger, as they walk into their tiny apartment, allowing the roadies to put down their suitcases and backpacks in the living room. Before leaving, the roadies shake hands with Roger and Freddie, telling them how much fun they had on the road, and how they hope to work with them again sometime in the future.

Tom and Jerry are sniffing at their suitcases curiously, while Romeo starts climbing onto Roger’s backpack. Roger carries the cat in his arms before Romeo’s sharp claws get stuck.

“A new place,” Freddie echoes back. He looks delighted about the idea, and starts bouncing in front of Roger with excitement. “We could get a house with a garden!”

A garden? Roger would prefer to find a townhouse, but they need to get a detached house to have space for gardening. He wonders how big this garden has to be. Will Freddie want a garden as grand and meticulous as the Garden of Versailles? Or will it be just a simple garden where he can have flowers in six inch garden boxes?

“Why do you need a garden?”

Freddie crosses his arms, probably thinking that Roger is already rejecting his idea. He pouts at Roger. “Why shouldn’t I have a garden?”

Roger smiles. “Of course you can have a garden, Fred. But we’re going to be so busy. I don’t think you’ll have the time to take care of some flowers.”

“I’m sure Mary wouldn’t mind looking after my garden.”

Roger huffs a laugh. “She’ll definitely complain about being a gardener.”

Freddie looks a little offended. “I don’t mean it that way. But I know she’ll agree to babysit the cats and flowers. So, promise me that we’ll get a house with a garden.”

Roger internally sighs. The things that he does for Freddie Mercury. He puts down Romeo, then slinks his arms around Freddie, pulling him closer and kissing him briefly. “I promise. I’ll get us a house with a garden.”

 

-

 

They spend the first three days at home, without even going out of their apartment except for take-away food. Paparazzi are still camping outside their building and follow them, taking their pictures whenever they are out.

Some of the paparazzi are being insolent, teasing Freddie about his teeth: “You’re a rockstar, Freddie. Go fix your teeth.”

“Oh, yeah? Then how about I fix all of your teeth too, you fucking wankers!” Roger shouts back angrily, striding towards them with both fists in front of him. He would have punched them and broken more than their teeth if Freddie didn’t quickly grab his arm to drag him away from the rude paparazzi.

Freddie hisses at him. “Behave, Roger. They’re vultures that want to take pictures of us at our ugliest moments.”

Of course, things take a turn again when the paparazzi set their target on Roger instead, and start being even more crude. They say that he doesn’t look like a typical rockstar, how he is too pretty with his big baby blue eyes. That happened to be the moment when Freddie grabbed one of the guilty paparazzi and shook him so hard that the man actually dropped his camera and squealed like a scared pig.

Roger hastily pulled Freddie away from the terrified man. “Now who needs to behave, huh?”

Fortunately, they leave Roger and Freddie be once they get into a cab. When the cabbie pulls onto the main road, Roger and Freddie look at each other for a moment, and Roger feels himself smiling. They both start laughing almost hysterically. Roger feels absolutely ridiculous to be fighting with the paparazzi, while at the same time utterly appalled of how they both nearly landed not only on the front page of every gossip paper, but probably in jail.

Roger wonders if their life as rockstars was going to be this way from now on.

 

-

 

During the weekend, they decide to go to Sainsbury’s when Freddie tells him that he wants to cook a home meal. After buying the groceries, they go back home and quickly rush into the building before any paparazzi notice them. They find Mary waiting for them inside. She gets up from the sofa and greets them, “Hi, boys!”

Freddie shoves his grocery bag to Roger, who is already carrying two more bags. He runs to Mary, kisses her head and sweeps her off the floor, spinning her around as she giggles. When he finally puts her down, she turns to Roger, who is still struggling to hold onto the extra bag, and wraps her arms around him from the side. She pecks Roger’s cheek.

“I missed you guys.”

Roger grins at her. “We missed you too!”

Roger goes to the kitchen to put away the two cartons of milk, eggs, cheese, yogurts, packs of bagged salads, fruits, and orange juice into the fridge, and the two tubs of chocolate and vanilla ice cream into the freezer. He leaves the chicken meat on the kitchen counter for Freddie to cook later. Mary updates them about their sales in Kensington Market.

Freddie turns to him, “Do you think we should still keep our stall?”

“We should let go and sell it. EMI is the real deal and we’ll get our hands full soon. Unless Mary wants to continue with the business,” replies Roger.

She shrugs. “I guess I could keep it up until next year. If they raise the rent, I’ll sell the leftover stock and divide the full sum among three of us.”

 

-

 

They invite Mary to have dinner with them, and she accepts. Since she’s their guest, they refuse to let Mary help them prepare dinner. So she goes to the living room to play with the cats. Roger helps to stir the chicken curry in the pot, and quietly watches Freddie wash the dirty utensils.

“You’re staring at me, darling.”

“I can’t help it if I’m sharing the same space with someone who takes my breath away.”

Freddie bursts into laughter as he wipes his hands dry. He leans with his back on the sink, and peers at Roger through his eyelashes.

“Despite the paparazzi keep making fun of my teeth!”

“I can go down right now and punch those fuckers for you, just because they’re making fun of your teeth. There’s nothing wrong with your teeth.” He swallows, feeling a little shy as Roger admits softly, “Your overbite is adorable.”

“For a bloke who almost ended up as a dentist, you do have a weird opinion of ugly teeth.”

Roger chuckles. “That’s why I’m not a dentist. And they’re not ugly.”

Freddie shakes his head at him. “Okay. Don’t distract me with your sweet words. There’s something you want to tell me. Spill it.”

Roger sighs quietly as he stops stirring the curry and turns off the stove. He rubs his hands nervously as he tries to find the right words without freaking out Freddie.

“You know my birthday is coming soon.”

Freddie nods. Roger tells him that his mother called him yesterday and invited him to a birthday dinner with the family. Freddie looks slightly disappointed that he’s unable to spend the entire day with him.

“Well, I, uh, told my mum that, uh, I’m bringing you along.”

Freddie gives him a pointed look. “I’m meeting your parents?”

His chest clenches, hating himself that he might make Freddie upset with him. “I’m sorry! I know I was supposed to ask you first.”

Instead of being mad at him, Freddie looks puzzled and asks, “But don’t you want to spend time with your family?”

He stares at Freddie for a moment, wondering how this amazing, beautiful human could be so clueless of what he truly is to Roger. “I do want to spend time with my family and that includes you. You’re my family too, Fred.”

Freddie giggles. “You’re too sweet.”

Roger rolls his eyes, “I’m being truthful-”

Freddie immediately closes the distance between them, and Roger can feel the smile against his mouth. After a while, he pulls away and says, “I would love to meet them.”

 

-

 

What Roger does not tell Freddie is that he’s never brought any girl he’s ever dated to meet his parents. It’s the first time he’s doing this. And it terrifies him. Because he could already envision himself with Freddie spending ten years, twenty years, even fifty years together.

It terrifies him so much that Freddie Mercury might be the one.

(But Roger is only twenty five years old. What does he know about love, and knowing that a person is the one?)

 

-

 

Queen’s meeting with Ray Foster, a rather boorish guy, goes with one slight hitch. Freddie has convinced the producer into allowing them to create a fourth album that will be completely different from all their previous albums, meaning they’ll be given less than a month to write their songs. Then, Roger’s birthday arrives.

He wakes up on his birthday with a moan. His eyes slide open and realises his morning wood is inside Freddie’s mouth. What a blissful way to be awoken, honestly. Freddie is not only a super talented singer, but his tongue is world class in giving the best kisses, and his mouth is definitely world champion in giving the best blow jobs ever.

“So what does the birthday boy wants to do the whole day?” Freddie asks him after he gets out from the toilet, wiping his mouth and drying his hands with a bath towel.

Roger tries to give him the come hither look and replies, “Fucking.”

Freddie giggles, his eyes twinkling in amusement. He climbs onto the bed and lays his head on Roger’s chest, his arm wrapping around him, one leg tangling with his own. “Of course you don’t want to do that for an entire day. How about we get lunch somewhere, my love?” suggests Freddie, raising his head a little to meet his eyes.

If Roger ever got his way, he would fuck Freddie on every surface available in their tiny apartment for the whole day. Instead, he says that he wants to eat Japanese food. He doesn’t want a simple sushi. He wants yakisoba, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and some sweet cooling kakigori. He wants to eat all of them. Since their trip in Japan, he’s become a huge fan of their food.

After a hot passionate shag, they share the shower and have a light snack of buttered toast. Roger and Freddie try to find a nearby Japanese restaurant in the yellow book and find out there’s only five Japanese restaurants in England. Two in central London. Roger thinks it’s not necessary to go, but Freddie insists that the birthday boy should get what he wants.

There is a phone call from Brian and John to wish him happy birthday. They make a plan to get together in one of their usual hangout pubs on the weekend. Once he puts the phone back on its receiver, he looks down at Romeo, who is sitting on his foot. He has been trying to get Roger’s attention while he was on the phone. Romeo is a proud, grumpy cat who normally ignores Roger unless he wants to be fed. So he carries Romeo to where Freddie is feeding the other two cats. He settles Romeo in front of his filled bowl.

“Should we get a cake?” asks Freddie, stroking both Tom and Jerry as they’re eating their meal. Romeo is ignoring his food, preferring to rub himself around Roger’s legs.

Roger fills up the bowl of water then he picks up Romeo again, placing him back in front of his food. “No. Mum’s baking. You’ll fall in love with her chocolate cake.”

He sits on the floor next to Freddie and watches Romeo once again attempt to catch his attention. “What’s the matter with him?” He lets Romeo climb on his chest with his front paws, and touches his nose to Roger. His whiskers brush against Roger’s cheeks.

“I think Romeo wants to kiss the birthday boy,” says Freddie, chuckling at them.

Roger thinks that’s cute, and bops his nose to Romeo.

 

-

 

They are able to find a small, classy Japanese eatery called Hana. There isn’t that much choice of food as the restaurants in Japan, but at least the menu is in English so it’s easier for them to choose their food.

While waiting for their main meals and eating their chawanmushi, he suddenly remembers his birthday dinner at his parents’ house later. Just the thought of his parents and Freddie being in the same room makes him anxious. At least his sister will be excited to finally meet Freddie. Then he recalls his last conversation with Clare over the phone.

“I think Clare suspects something about us.”

Freddie stops eating. “How?”

Roger puts down the spoon and wipes his mouth with the paper napkins. “It appears that our sisters are hanging out together.”

Freddie looks pleased. “Kash and Clare?”

“And I think they’ve been in touch with Mary. She must’ve gave some hints about us.”

Freddie chuckles. “That sounds like Mary. She probably won’t stop bragging about us. The groupies would worship her with the amount of information that she has on our love life.”

“Well, Clare has been bragging to me about how Kash is the best big sister ever.”

Freddie grins. “That’s lovely. Kash always wanted to have a little sister.”

Roger touches their feet under the table. “I wish I could introduce you to my parents as my… you know. I will, one day.”

Freddie nudges back with his foot, and glances at Roger with a fond look. “Say I’m your best friend. I don’t mind.”

Their food arrives at the same time. Roger looks at his tonkatsu with a happy sigh while Freddie pulls his Japanese curry rice closer. “No sharing.” Freddie glares at him. Back in Japan, Roger always stole his food even before Freddie got to eat half of the meal.

Roger feels indignant about it and pouts at him. “Hey, we always share our food. And it’s my birthday today.”

Freddie gives an exaggerated sigh. “Fine. But leave me some to eat.”

After they finish their meals, Freddie takes out a little envelope from inside his wallet. He hands it to Roger with a smile. “Happy birthday, Roger.”

Roger opens the envelope and pulls out a silky cloth with a white delicate thread. He recalls seeing this back in Japan. Freddie must had bought it during their tour. Their English-speaker Japanese guide had told them they are called omamori, a lucky charm that can also be a talisman to ward off evil. There’s Japanese words against something golden that suspiciously look like…

“Is that a penis?” Roger hisses at him. He immediately covers the amulet with both hands so that no nearby customers and servers are able to see the golden penis that nearly covers the entire length of the charm.

Freddie laughs out loud, which causes almost everyone in the restaurant to look at them. Roger blushes and glares at the man in front of him. He kicks at Freddie’s knee really, really hard. Freddie keeps laughing despite wincing in pain.

japanese-lucky-charm1

-

 

They are strolling around Hyde Park, enjoying the warm sun against their faces. Both of them are wearing their sunglasses and so far nobody has noticed who they are, and there’s no paparazzi around to stalk them. Inside his wallet occupies the gift from Freddie, which he’s now explained to Roger is a sexual health amulet. At least that’s what he’d been told by a priest who had spoken in broken English. Even Freddie got one for himself. At least Roger is not alone in owning a golden penis charm.

“I’m surprised you bought them from a priest and not from a sex shop. Are you sure he was a priest?”

“He was a priest in that shrine we visited-”

“The place where you got lost for almost an hour?”

“As I have told you guys a million times, I wasn’t lost. There was a stall and I got distracted. I just didn’t want to tell you all where exactly I’d been or it would ruin the surprise of your birthday present. I didn’t realise I spent an hour there. You should’ve seen all the statues of cocks that they had, darling.”

Roger laughs. Only Freddie Mercury would get distracted by penis statues, and actually buy golden penis charms from a priest.

He surreptitiously looks around. It’s a weekday: most people are in the offices, and lunch hour was over two hours ago. There’s just a small number of tourists wandering around the park. So Roger puts his arm around Freddie’s shoulders and pulls him closer. He feels Freddie casting his eyes around them too before snaking an arm around his waist.

Roger wonders if one day he could ever do this freely with Freddie. He wishes he could hold hands and kiss Freddie in public places.

 

-

 

He is still feeling a bit nervous for the meet between Freddie and his parents. Luckily his father and Roger managed to settle their disagreement after a year of Queen’s public appearance and the release of their first two albums.

His father and him are both hot-headed, and have said pretty awful words to each other. But when his father offers an olive branch, Roger immediately takes it without hesitation. He loves his father. He has been the main factor in making who Roger is today. Even though he had his piano lessons back when he was a kid, his father had noticed how he was more interested in playing other musical instruments. He had even encouraged him by buying Roger’s first ukulele, his first guitar, and his first drum kit.

As Roger grew older, his parents expected him to be a doctor. He refused and instead studied something else as he tried to contemplate what exactly he wanted to do. After he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, he thought he should try to meet his parents’ wishes half-way, so he applied into a dental school. Being a dentist should be more interesting than being a doctor. Then he found out that dental school was so boring. He wasn’t struggling in class. In fact, he was one of the top students in his year. But Roger realised while his parents were happy about his choice, Roger was feeling absolutely miserable. One day, when he saw a flyer that was looking for a drummer, he jumped at the opportunity.

Then, meeting a boy named Freddie Bulsara on that one cold night had cemented his faith. And now here he is, forever orbiting around the boy who had grown to a man, Freddie Mercury.

Freddie is intense like a storm and unpredictable like wildfire, but has the most beautiful soul he has ever encountered in his life. Meeting him had made Roger realise that he really wanted to be a musician.

Roger just really wished he could show off to his parents how Freddie is the best thing that ever happened to him.

 

-

 

They get out of the cab and walk towards a charming Georgian house with high Palladian windows. Freddie is tugging at his jacket. “It’s so pretty!”

Roger notices Freddie looking at his parents’ house in awe. “We should get a house like this. Each of the cats will get their own room,” says Freddie excitedly.

Roger grins at him fondly and readily agrees. “Alright, then. A garden and lots of rooms for the cats.”

Freddie catches his hand and squeezes it briefly. “You’re the best, my love.” Then he lets go, his eyes studying the landscape around the house.

As they get near to the front step of his parents’ house, he notices a dark cover that conceals a car at the side porch. Roger wonders if his dad bought a new car.

Freddie has been quite tense since they got into the cab. So it’s great that he’s distracted with the house and the surrounding- up until they step in front of the door. Roger brushes his hand against Freddie’s and asks, “Nervous?”

Freddie simply nods.

Roger offers a smile as he rings the bell next to the door. “Don’t worry. They’re going to love you. Just be yourself.”

Freddie meets his eyes and gives a salacious grin. “Be myself? Then I’ll tell your parents that their son’s an epic shag!”

Roger breathes in sharply. Before he could scold Freddie for making such a dirty joke, and that his parents could hear them, the front door suddenly opens, causing both of them to jolt in surprise.

Roger sees a blur of a person jumping right at him. He quickly catches his little sister. Her legs wrap tightly around his waist as she tangles her arms around his neck.

“Happy birthday, Roger!”

Roger laughs and kisses her nose which she crunches adorably. “Thanks, starfish. You know you’re too heavy. My arms are going to fall off if you keep doing this to me.”

Despite that, he still carries his twenty year old sister into the house. She giggles and then looks at Freddie with a toothy grin. She waves at him. “Hi, Freddie! It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Freddie waves back at her excitedly. “Hello, love. The pleasure is mine.”

Once they reach the parlour of the house, he sets her down. Roger asks where their mother and father might be. She looks at them both with mischievous eyes, then shouting towards the stairs, “Mummy! Daddy! Roger and his Freddie are here!”

Roger covers his face with one palm. What is it with these people trying to embarrass him today? It’s his bloody birthday. Not let’s-embarrass-Roger-day.

 

-

 

It’s been a while since he enjoyed dinner like this with his family. His mother tells him how she’s missed him so much while she smooches him repeatedly, and Freddie chuckles at the lipstick’s stain all over his face. Then Freddie receives the same treatment, and Roger thinks there was nothing to be worried about his parents not liking Freddie. Even his father and Freddie seems to get along really well, most of their conversations being about cricket.

He learnt from earlier on that Freddie is familiar with cricket, as Mr Bulsara is an avid fan himself, but Roger knows that Freddie doesn’t watch it on TV. He suspects Freddie has been reading the sport newspapers. Probably trying to impress his dad. Freddie is being silly and Roger wants to snog him so badly. Roger can see how his sister adores him, and his mother tells Freddie to visit them once in a while since Roger never bothers to do it. She even tempts Freddie by insisting she’ll bake as many cakes and cookies for Freddie as he wants since she can see how he loves the chocolate cake.

And the best thing is that he gets the sweetest birthday present from his parents. A stunning Alfa Romeo Montreal. His heart flutters behind his chest when he sets his eyes on his very own sports car. Roger is utterly in love.

 

-

 

After another celebration of Roger’s birthday in a pub with the rest of the Queen members, Roger and Freddie spend the next week sleeping, eating, and driving around London in his new car.

Brian and John come to visit them in their apartment.

“We need to get away from these paparazzi!” says Brian, looking at something through the window of their living room. Roger follows him and peeks through the curtain, catching glimpses of paparazzi lingering outside their building. There are so many of them, just like the first day they got back from their tour.

Roger asks Brian, “Did they follow you two in here?”

“They probably got some word that the entire band is here now,” replies Brian.

Brian turns away from the window and gives a stern look at Roger and Freddie. “Did you write anything for our album?”

Looking slightly chagrined, Freddie replies, “I wrote three songs… I think.”

John sighs. “You think?”

Brian asks him, “How about you, Rog?”

Roger tries to find a proper answer but only manages: “Uh, yeah. There’s a song.”

Brian glares at him. “And what’s that song about?”

Roger gives a sheepish smile. “Erm, about something.”

John pinches the bridge of his nose. “You mean you haven’t written a single song for our album?”

It’s not like Roger didn’t write a single thing. He did. It’s just that he’s quite fussy and threw out most of the lyrics that he had written down, scrunching them into paper balls that ended up next to the bin. And whenever he wants to empty the bin, he notices that some of the papers are missing. Somehow, Roger suspects that Freddie is taking them. He’s not sure. He doesn’t mind if Freddie uses some of his lyrics but Roger suspects it’s more than that. Perhaps Freddie gathers them like some some kind of momentous treasure. He recalls one of the times when Freddie was so drunk, he told Roger that he collects them because it feels like he will always have a part of Roger if one day he chooses to leave Freddie.

Roger honestly does not know how to feel about that. Whether he should be remorsed that Freddie is still waiting for the shoe to drop, or whether he should feel touched that Freddie truly can’t bear to be without him.

He snaps from his thought when Brian suddenly announces that they’re going to Herefordshire.

Roger scowls at them. “That doesn’t sound like England.”

“It doesn’t matter where it is! At least it’s far away from those crazy paparazzi!” Brian waves his hand towards the window, indicating the paparazzi outside the apartment.

“Brian already rented Penrhos Court. So pack your stuff, because we’re leaving first thing tomorrow morning,” says John.

Roger swallows. Even though they’re getting paid a big chunk of money from the sales of their albums and their concerts from the tour, Roger is not ready to spend so much money on a place like Penrhos Court. “The Penrhos Court at Kington? We could never afford that place!”

John explains that EMI agreed to pay their stay until they finalise all the songs that’ll be recorded on the album. The record label is also willing to set up all the instruments there for them to use.

Freddie crosses his arms and glares at both Brian and John. “Why can’t Roger and I just stay here and write our songs? We have the piano and guitar with us. It’s not like we’re constantly fucking every day!”

They give them a look as if they don’t believe any of that nonsense. But it’s the truth. Roger opens his mouth to say that their sex life will never distract them from making songs- but Roger glimpses at several bite marks behind Freddie’s neck. He remembers how last night he had gripped Freddie’s hips so hard he probably left bruises. And his eyes must have glazed over, because Freddie pinches him.

Brian and John sigh at the same time. Brian tells them, “We are going to babysit you two and make sure you guys get your hands off each other and write some bloody songs. You’re not sure how many songs you have even written, Fred. And Roger here did not even write a single damn thing. We only have three weeks left until we’re heading off to Rockfield studio.”

 

-

 

Roger demands to drive his own car the next morning. He can do five hours journey from London to Herefordshire. It’s not like he’s never done it before. Freddie doesn’t mind as long as he’s with Roger.

John warns them, “As long as you guys don’t stop in the middle of nowhere and do it in the car.”

Roger blinks. Why has he never thought of that. It’s a bloody brilliant idea. He smirks mischievously at Freddie, who is already looking at him with a playful grin.

Brian groans at John. “You shouldn’t have said that. You’re giving them ideas. Look at their faces!”

Then John gives them another warning that if along the way he doesn’t see Roger’s car in front of the EMI van, Freddie and Brian will switch places. Roger rolls his eyes while Freddie complains loudly that Brian and John are being prudes.

John decides to wait inside the van that is carrying some of the instruments which will be set up in the manor of Pernhos Court. A driver from EMI and Brian are smoking outside the van while waiting for Roger and Freddie to get ready and leave first with their car.

Freddie has gone back up to the apartment to say goodbye to his precious babies. So Roger follows him and walks into their living room. He watches Freddie on the floor, cuddling and kissing Romeo, Tom, and Jerry. He feels the corner of his lips lift up at the endearing scene in front of him.

After one last cuddle with the cats, Freddie gets up and grabs a notepad that is lying on the piano bench.

He walks towards Roger and asks, “Yours?”

Roger takes his hand and captures Freddie’s lip with his own. They kiss, and kiss, and they keep kissing until Roger forgets about their surroundings, about going to Penrhos Court, about Brian and John waiting for them. He loses all sense of time as he envelops the scent of Freddie that comforts him. The smell of earth after a rainstorm, of campfires in the beach, of ripe apricot in March. And autumn. Freddie always smells like autumn first.

When he leans back, he stares deep into Freddie’s eyes. Roger breathes, “Yes, definitely mine.”

 

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Chapter Text

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Freddie has been standing in front of the cupboard for the past few minutes. His arms are cross, glaring frustratingly at the closed cupboard. “You have to stop throwing tantrums like this, Roger.”

It has been a good day. Actually, the past few weeks had been great, since they had left Penrhos Court and practised their music in Ridge Farm for several days, before they began recording their songs in Rockfield. They were recording Bohemian Rhapsody and the progress had been good so far. Roger had complained how he had to sing higher than his usual pitch range for that song, repeating the same line over and over again.

“Fucking Galileo.” Roger had muttered furiously behind the screen of the booth as he glared at Freddie, who had been telling him to do it all over again.

But Freddie knew Roger wasn’t really mad at him, as he started cuddling Freddie once he got out from the booth. Freddie then got very distracted that he actually missed out Brian’s solo guitar the first time. Roy, their ever loyal sound engineer that they dragged along from London, chose to ignore them while Rockfield’s designated assistant sound engineer failed to hide how he was gawking at them. Luckily, Freddie and Roger have refrained from snogging each other or the poor, young man would have run for the hills.

They’re leaving Rockfield soon, since EMI has already book various studios in every corner of London. Everyone agreed to record only certain songs in Rockfield studio, because this particular studio has some amazing equipment that the other studios do not have. Freddie had been thinking about recording Roger’s song in Rockfield too, even though he doubted there was enough time for them to record another song, until the moment he found out that Roger was really serious about I’m In Love With My Car.

Brian had been making fun about the song while Freddie simply ignored the song’s existent after hearing the demo tape that was recorded during their stay in Ridge Farm. Freddie knew Roger had written the song back when they were staying in Penrhos Court, and Roger wasn’t even kidding about the song. He really wanted to include the song on their new album. Even Brian and Deacy had been reluctant once they listened the demo tape. He wasn’t sure about their reasons until now, but Freddie has his own reason as well. Honestly, he thinks there’s some potential in the song but he noticed how Brian and Deacy were so against the song. Freddie didn’t want to be accused that he was giving leeway to Roger just because they’re together, and he wanted to tell that to Roger when the others weren’t around. But before he could explain himself, Roger had thrown a hissy fit and hid in the cupboard in their bedroom.

Now, he’s standing in front of the cupboard like an idiot. Deacy and Brian peek their heads into the room, looking at Freddie with puzzled expressions.

“Uh, is something the matter?” Brian asks worriedly.

“It’s just Roger,” sighs Freddie tiredly.

Deacy and Brian step further into the room, looking around.

“Where’s Roger?” Deacy asks.

Freddie points at the cupboard. The two look at it with a confused expressions until it dawns on them. Roger is inside the cupboard. Brian groans wearily, “Is this because we refuse to include his song into the album?”

“Obviously! I’m utterly gutted at you narrow-minded wankers!” A muffled response comes from behind the cupboard’s door.

“You know that we can’t have a song about you shagging Freddie on the album!” Deacy responds suddenly.

Freddie blinks in shock. “What?!”

“It’s about one of our roadies who is obsessed with his fucking car!” Another muffled response comes from inside the cupboard.

“Yeah, you can say that to the reporters when they’ll ask what inspires you to create that song. But we all know that car is just a metaphor,” says Deacy.

Roger doesn’t contradict Deacy’s statement, remaining silent. It seems to explain why Roger threw a big fit when Freddie rejected the song. Freddie suddenly feels peculiarly giddy about it. If Roger had just said earlier that it was actually about him, he would just given him the green light. It does, however, contradict his earlier remark of him refusing to show leniency when it comes to Roger. However, it’s Roger Taylor. Freddie would always eventually give in to his special boy.

Freddie makes up his mind right there and then. “Fine, we’ll put it up on the B-side, but I don’t think we’ll have enough time to record it in Rockfield.”

Brian shakes his head with an exasperated look. “I can’t believe you actually agree to record that bloody song,” then turns to glare at Deacy, “And you shouldn’t mention in the first place what the song is all about.”

Deacy shrugs nonchalantly. “Freddie will eventually finds out. The innuendo of the lyrics aren’t that subtle after all.”

Freddie flushes as he remembers a sentence of the lyrics. When my hand’s on your grease gun. Deacy is right. There is no subtlety in the song.

Freddie casts his gaze back to the cupboard. “Now that I’ve agree, darling, can you come out from the cupboard, please?”

The cupboard door swings open but Roger, who is hidden behind the hanging clothes, refuses to crawl out. Freddie inwardly sighs for a hundredth time that day and starts trying to get inside the cupboard.

“Guys, please, do not shag inside the cupboard,” Deacy warns them.

Freddie smirks at him. “Sometimes I wonder where you get all these kinky ideas. First it was in the car, and now in the cupboard.”

He and Roger did fuck in the car during one of their outing around Herefordshire in broad daylight. A passing deer had even watched them curiously while Roger kept pounding into him. Freddie had reached his orgasm while laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the experience that was their first public sex. A voyeuristic Bambi was not exactly they had expected when they decided to park the car in the woods, but it’s better than being caught by someone or the police.

Brian and Deacy quickly leave the bedroom, both muttering about the sex maniac couple who would do it anywhere that has a surface. They slam the bedroom door behind them, their footsteps quickly fading away.

Freddie gets inside the cupboard with one leg inside and calls out softly. “Rog-,” suddenly he feels the front of his shirt being pull forward and the other man’s mouth meeting his. The hanging clothes brush against the side of his face, but it doesn’t distract him from the way Roger’s hands are exploring his skin feverishly beneath Freddie’s shirt. He moans as Roger bites his lower lips, causing him to open his mouth and letting Roger’s tongue slips in. His toes curl inside the confines of his socks and the butterflies in his stomach intensify as their kiss deepens.

His mind drifts off to thought of the bed outside the cupboard. Before Freddie can suggest of continuing their making out on somewhere comfortable, Roger abruptly pulls away.

“Do you promise it gets to be in the album?” Roger asks.

Freddie sighs. “I promise, darling.”

He recalls what Deacy had said and questions Roger about it, “Is it really about me?”

Roger’s blue eyes seem to glow inside the semi-darkness of the cupboard. “Maybe,” he smirks playfully at Freddie. A breathy chuckle escapes Freddie as he tucks some strand of blond hair affectionately before pulling Roger into another intense kiss.

They separate for air and Freddie speaks once more. “Now, as much as I love being adventurous and get fuck inside here, there’s a bed that we can-” Freddie jerks in surprise when Roger immediately jumps out of the cupboard. Roger then turns back to reach around Freddie and holds him by the hip.

“Put your arms around me,” he tells Freddie.

Freddie blushes when he realises what Roger is trying to do. They’re nearly the same height and he finds the possibility for Roger to be able to do it without straining himself slim. “Are you trying to carry me?”

Without answering him, Roger carries him with both arms under his hip. Freddie instinctively throws his arms around Roger’s shoulders, his legs wrap around the other’s waist.

“I feel like a child,” Freddie mumbles into Roger’s neck, feeling his own cheeks heated in embarrassment. Strangely, there’s something about being manhandle by Roger that brings comfort to him. The feeling of being cherish and love by this amazing and beautiful man makes him want Roger to manhandle him for the rest of his life.

Freddie yelps when Roger squeezes his arse through his jeans.

“This isn’t a wee child’s arse. It’s a grown man’s arse which I have every intention to fuck his brains out,” Roger teases him hotly in his ear.

Freddie swallows as he clenches his hold on Roger. The embarrassment is quickly replaced with a jolt of arousal along his spine, the feeling of blood rushing to a certain part of his organ. Roger certainly could fuck his brains out for the rest of his life.

 

-

 

Recording the new album is difficult and it starting to strain his friendship with Brian and Deacy. The shouting and clashing of ideas have become more frequent. Brian’s patience is wearing thin as he occasionally snaps at Freddie.

Freddie, refusing to back down, lashes back at Brian. Deacy, at one point, shouts at them to calm down and record some goddamn music. Then of course, Brian and Freddie yell back at Deacy to mind his own business.

Surprisingly, Roger who has a temper that usually ends up with broken furniture, has stayed calm throughout all the band’s quarrels. He’s the only one who is level-headed, which is a miracle to Freddie. With every disagreement the band has, Roger simply keeps reminding them that he sided with Freddie because he doesn’t want to lost the privilege of shagging the man. Freddie never fails to be flustered while Brian and Deacy merely shake their head at Roger’s one track mind when it comes to Freddie and sex.

Freddie decides everyone need one day break from recording or is in the risk of everyone murdering one another.

Freddie is practicing Love of My Life while making some last minute changes to it before the song would be recorded the next day. He remembers writing the song when Roger had broken up with him. He had recently found it back in one of his old notepads. Paul is in the room with him, smoking his fag while watching Freddie at the grand piano.

He presses the keys of the piano as he begins singing. Paul is praising him. Freddie glances over him with a smile and continues to get lost in the music. Then next thing he knows the other man is standing close to him, his fingers tilting Freddie’s chin and Paul leans in suddenly. The moment Paul’s lips pressing into his, he stiffens in shock and Freddie immediately jerks back, as if being burnt from the touch itself. His fingers are pressing the wrong keys, making a jarring noise. The sound causes Paul to lurch back but Freddie still pushes him away roughly and slaps Paul on the face. He feels disgusted with himself that he allowed this man to touch him in the first place. He nearly trips over the piano bench as he tries to get far away from Paul.

“What the fuck were you doing?” He yells angrily at Paul.

He could feel the stinging on his palm from slapping Paul. A vicious satisfaction swells behind his chest as he watches a dark shade of red bloom on the other man’s face.

Paul looks at him with guilt. “I’m sorry, Fred. I don’t know what’s gotten into me.”

Freddie glares at him. He knows it isn’t an accident. Paul has been flirting with him ever since he started working with Queen as John Reid’s assistance. Just recently Reid has broken the news that Paul agrees to co-managing the band together which makes Paul as officially their manager too. With him now being Queen’s manager, he is spending more and more time with Freddie and the flirting never ceased. A few times, Roger has complain of his annoyance that Paul is behaving like he never gets the memo to back off.

Roger had lashed out at Paul once during their tour in Japan and Freddie had simply distracted his darling with kisses and cuddles, reminding him that Freddie belongs to nobody but Roger. Roger mentioned how he’s a little frustrated that Freddie never once tells Paul to stop the flirting, but Freddie thinks it’s harmless so he doesn’t. And how wrong he was because this has happened. Freddie should have done something and told Paul to back off. Paul must have misinterpreted and thought that he was interested despite already being in a relationship with Roger. This is Freddie’s fault and now he is paying the price.

He glares at Paul and says brusquely, “You ought to go back to London. I don’t want you here anymore.”

“Listen, Fred. I’m so sorry. I promise I won’t do that ever again,” Paul assures him but it sounds so blatantly fake in his ears. Freddie doesn’t know if he should believe him or not.

“You dare to cross the line even though you know I’m with Roger. That clearly wasn’t an accident!”

Paul sighs, running his fingers through his own hair as he gazes at Freddie inscrutably. Then something shifts in those dark eyes, as if Paul decides to do something. Or perhaps confess something. Freddie feels his mouth dry. Paul finally admits, “Okay. I’ll be honest. I fancy you. You’re beautiful, Fred. You’re amazing and extraordinary. I’ve never meet anyone like you.” He tries to get near to Freddie but stops when he notices Freddie step further away.

“I never liked you that way.” Freddie responds.

He keeps glaring at Paul, his heart thundering loudly enough that he could hear it clearly in his own ears. He feels utterly angry. Betrayed, even. He’s already stressed out and frustrated with the band at each other’s throat, and now Paul with this bloody predicament. He points a finger at the other man. “What you did is disrespecting my relationship with Roger who, I must remind you, is the love of my life. So you should stay away until Queen finish this album.”

“About the kiss-”

“I won’t mention it. I know Roger will kill you. But if you try to do this again, I’m firing you!” He snaps back. His heart keeps thundering behind his chest. He’s still angry and he responds everything mostly based on adrenaline that surges inside his veins.

He refuses to look at Paul as he listens to the other man leaving the room.

It takes him a few minutes to finally calm down as he brings himself to sit on the piano bench, his fingers gripping tightly onto the seat under him, nails digging deeply into the leather surface. Dread creeps into Freddie. He wonders if it’s the right decision to hide what had occurred from Roger.

 

-

 

Nobody asks why Paul left Rockfield. Roger and the others looks relieved and everyone seems to be in a great mood without Paul being around. Freddie wonders why he only notices now how the others, especially Roger, tolerate Paul for Freddie’s sake. It’s amazing that Roger is being very patient with Freddie. He marvels how he could deserve such an amazing man like Roger.

On the other hand, Freddie feels like Roger doesn’t deserve him at all. He feels like an idiot to even suggest to keep the incident a secret. Freddie wants to be honest to Roger. But it’s been a week since the kiss happened and every single day Freddie loathes himself for keeping quiet. He knows that he could tell Roger about it since he had no obligation to remain silent.

But Freddie is afraid. He feels guilty, even though he didn’t initiate the kiss or reciprocate it. He still feels like it’s his fault that it happened.

What if Roger looks at him with a disappointed look, or those blue eyes cast anger at him? What if Roger accuses him that Freddie’s cheating on him? He knows it’s stupid and ridiculous because Roger will never thought of that.

But Freddie remembers those dark, painful months of not being with Roger. So what if he is afraid that Roger might leave him again. What if Freddie wants to be selfish and keep this as a secret so that he can keep Roger with him a little longer?

If God’s willing, Freddie wants to keep Roger with him for the rest of his life.

 

-

 

Once they get back to London, there’s no rest for them as they record more songs. They finally get to recording I’m In Love With My Car in Sarm. On the second day of recording, Roger and Freddie stay in until three in the morning while the rest had gone back a few hours earlier. Roger decides to play the electric guitar and has been frustrated with his own tempo that doesn’t go well with the song. He’s spending more than an hour inside the booth while Freddie is sitting behind the control buttons, a little bored and hungry. Besides, he only has a chicken salad sandwich as supper.

Freddie turns on his microphone and speaks to Roger. “Rog, I’m feeling quite peckish.”

He watches the other man pick up his voice from the headphone and turns his gaze from the guitar to Freddie. He pouts at Roger, hopeful that he will be endeared with Freddie trying to be adorable, and sees Roger smiling tiredly at him.

Roger pulls his own microphone closer to his face. “Do you remember we used to have those silly dates together? You always wanted me to feed you after our band practice.”

Freddie chuckles as he recalls those dinner dates. Sometimes he misses those days, when everything seemed so simple and uncomplicated. “Those dates weren’t silly, darling. You’re the silly one. Constantly stealing my food and it’s not fair that you always snatch up the last Yorkshire pudding.”

“I didn’t steal your food, you shared your food with me and always gave me the last Yorkshire pudding.” Roger smirks at him.

Freddie shakes his head as he feels the corner of his lips lift up at Roger’s ridiculous response. Roger puts down the electric guitar and sends Freddie an affectionate look. “Okay, let’s feed my hungry baby.”

The security guard locks the studio as they’re leaving and Freddie skips towards the car. All the shops in the area are closed, so they decide to just go home and eat whatever leftovers they have in the fridge. Along the way, Roger misses an intersection that would have taken them towards the neighbourhood of their apartment. Though they end up in Brick Lane, they find a delightful place called Beigel Bake that served delicious and fresh bagels even though it’s only half-past three in the morning.

So many rows of bagels in assorted types are displayed. Roger and Freddie get their own salted beef bagel as recommended by the sleepy server behind the counter. They sit at the table that is near the corner of the front. There are a few number of pub-goers that drop by to buy the bagels. No one recognises them as nobody bothers to look at two men sharing a table at the corner near the front of the shop.

Their chairs are adjacent to each other, making it so they’re sitting really close, their shoulders brushing. Freddie even dares to lean his thigh on Roger’s and their feet are touching under the table. Roger looks at him with exasperated fondness as they eat their bagels.

After they finish their meal, it’s already past four in the morning. Roger asks him if he’s ready to head home. Freddie isn’t sleepy and has the sudden yearning to watch the sunrise. He tells Roger about this thought, and though Roger looks tired, he agrees to watch the sunrise with him. Roger tends to spoil him — something that never fails to make Freddie feels so loved by this man. It makes him feel utterly undeserving for Roger’s attentiveness towards him when he remembers the secret that he’s hidden from Roger.

The guilt creeps back in and Freddie says, “We can do that some other time, darling. You look knackered.”

It’s too late though, as Roger already decides to keep awake a little longer, taking away a cup of black tea. “I don’t mind watching the sunrise with you today. We rarely do that.”

Roger drives all the way to the River Thames and parks the car nearby the Tower Bridge. They walk leisurely along the path on the riverside, waiting for the sunrise. Summer is ending soon and Freddie can already smell autumn in the chill air. With no one around except a few lone joggers passing by, Roger finishes his tea, throws the empty cup into the bin, and then reaches out to hold hand with Freddie. He glances around them, finding that there was no one around and continues to hold Freddie’s hand. Freddie loves doing this. He squeezes Roger’s hand and relishes in the heat of his hand that warms his heart.

Once the sky starts to bleed with colours, they find a bench where they can sit. Roger eventually falls asleep on his shoulder, his hair caressing the skin of Freddie’s neck. In the end, Freddie doesn’t look at the approaching sunrise as he’s quite distracted watching Roger instead. He feels the morning sun against his skin, but his gaze are already too behold with Roger’s golden hair that is bathed by the sunlight like a crown. Freddie feels his chest swell with love for this man.

Freddie can see himself doing this, just watching Roger for the rest of his life.

 

-

 

Mary calls Freddie to greet him happy birthday and informs that she’s unable to attend his birthday party since she’s still at her parents’ hometown. Freddie fills in Mary of the progress of Queen’s latest album and Mary reveals of the latest stories she read in some magazines.

“There are gossips about you and Roger that have been going on since last year. And this time some of your groupies were being interviewed.”

Freddie asks nervously, “What do you mean?”

Freddie can imagine Mary rolling her eyes through the phone as she tells him, “Fred, your… groupies, I don’t know if I should still call them that anymore, aren’t subtle with how they thought about you both. The paps are giving more attention on you two now. There’s also pictures of you and Roger leaving the apartment and studio together. The look you guys give each other. There are rumours that you and Roger are very close.”

There’s a sudden swoop inside his stomach as his heart starts to beat a little too fast. He asks which papers and magazines that had indicated such things and Mary responds with a list of names and hearing names something as prominent as Daily Express and Time Out makes Freddie sick to the pit of his stomach.

“I don’t think that you should worry about it. It’s not as if there are pictures of you two kissing,” assures Mary.

This came as a surprised as it is pretty amazing they haven’t get caught yet since Freddie and Roger are quite handsy with each other. It’s a miracle that Freddie hasn’t jump on Roger yet while he’s high on adrenaline during their concert, because that’s usually the time when he can barely think straight and does most stuff on stage spontaneously.

“People are merely speculating about you two,” Mary still tries to soothe him but it doesn’t work. His relationship with Roger being under public scrutiny doesn’t sit well with him.

“Speculating still means something,” Freddie stresses to her. He hears her exhales softly, and then tells Freddie not to worry anymore again.

The media seems to be catching up with their life and Freddie prays fervently that nobody gets a solid proof that would implicate he and Roger are together.

-

 

Once they complete their album, calling it A Night Of The Opera, and they have another meeting with Ray Foster. He hates Bohemian Rhapsody. He tells them it’s too long and the lyrics do not make any sense. They leave Foster’s room after that, while Freddie seethes in anger. Once they’re outside the building, Roger mentions jokingly about throwing a stone or brick into Foster’s office when they could spot his figure through one of the windows.

Why not, Freddie thinks. So Freddie does exactly that. The first and second time, the pebble falls before they reach the window. Roger had pick another pebble and hands it to Freddie. It’s not too heavy and not light either. Third time is the charm as they say. So on the third attempt, it goes sailing right into the window and Roger laughs the loudest.

He glimpses a frighten figure of Foster who is peeking at them through the broken window. Freddie yells at him, “You will forever be known as the man who lost Queen!”

He catches a glance of Paul who is standing next to Foster. Freddie is just tempted to pick up another rock and throw at that arsehole’s face.

 

-

 

Freddie decides to get help from Kenny. Roger comes along with him to the radio station and Freddie nearly wants to strangle Kenny when he keeps shamelessly flirting with Roger. Freddie notices how Roger is slightly uncomfortable but remains friendly.

He tells Roger to stand outside of the studio room for a while so that he can have a word with Kenny. Once the door closes, Freddie turns to glare at his friend. “Please stop flirting with Roger.”

“I’m not going to steal your boyfriend, darling. But I like that you’re being possessive-”

“I’m not possessive!”

Kenny flippantly raises both hands in front of him. “Protective, then. I find it adorable that you’re being protective over your boyfriend. I promise to stop flirting and won’t even look at his hunky meat if you let him back inside my studio.”

Freddie sighs in frustration of the hunky meat term and opens the door to let Roger back in.

“If Kenny makes you uncomfortable again, you’re allowed to punch his balls,” he informs Roger without any hint that he’s jesting.

He hears Kenny squawk in surprise behind him while Freddie looks on at Roger, who is chuckling quietly and casts him a gratitude look. There’s a loving, warm gaze along with it in those summer blue eyes that never fail to make Freddie’s heart stutter. He is tempted to just lean in and press a quick kiss on Roger’s mouth, but he doesn’t. Instead, he reaches out to graze his hand against Roger’s. The other man instinctively catches Freddie’s hand and squeezes it.

“Cute.”

“Shut up, Kenny.” Both Freddie and Roger say in unison, causing Kenny to burst into laughter.

After that, they sit around, with a glass of champagne in their hands as Kenny looks at the cover that holds the vinyl. There is a blunder where he accidentally introduces I’m in Love With My Car before he quickly corrects his mistake, turning the other side of the cover and reads out Bohemian Rhapsody on the air.

Once the song starts playing, Kenny turns around on his swivel chair to gaze at Roger with a mischievous smirk. Freddie doesn’t like that look. He takes a quick peek at the ON AIR button to makes sure that it’s not light up. Whatever Kenny is going to say, he will not allow his relationship with Roger is exposed through a radio live show.

“So tell me, Roger. Did Freddie pop your cherry or was it the other way?”

Freddie covers his face with one hand and groans. He wants to stop existing right at that moment.

 

-

 

Bohemian Rhapsody becomes a hit and it reaches number one of the music chart, despite the mixed reviews from the critics. Then the band receives more good news. They’re going to do a world tour which this time comprises of doing concerts in England, USA, Europe, Japan, and also in Australia. Freddie remembers himself as a kid looking at the world map and wondering if he will ever see the whole world. He’s so excited that he’s going to travel almost the entire globe.

Since Queen is going to be busy touring and miming is not an option for such a special song like Bohemian Rhapsody in the BBC show, they all decide to do something that no other singers and bands in the world have ever done. Not even The Beatles, being the most legendary group in the music industry, has ever done this before. Queen makes a music video for Bohemian Rhapsody.

 

-

 

A day before they begin their tour in Liverpool for their first concert, EMI holds a party to celebrate the official release of their new album. A press conference is held on the next morning in London, a few hours before they’re going to leave for Liverpool.

Freddie wakes up with both of his arms wrap around Roger. They both must have been so drunk the night before that he must have forgotten to go back to his own hotel room. Luckily, both of them are still with their clothes on. He doesn’t want to imagine if one of the roadies entered into Roger’s room to find them both naked on bed. It would be the end of Queen. Since their previous tour, Roger agreed that they will be sleeping separately in different room so there wouldn’t be a risk of people seeing them in a compromising position. That’s the downside of being on tour. There is no privacy at all and the number of roadies now has expanded more than their previous tour.

He gets up despite the painful throbbing in his head. He wishes he could sleep a little longer and have a few more minutes snuggling with Roger’s warm body. But he really needs to freshen up and his clothes are in his room. Freddie tries not to rouse Roger from his sleep as he plants a soft kiss on Roger’s slightly parted mouth.

After Freddie takes a long warm shower just to soothe his headache, and calls a room service for a light breakfast of toast and fried eggs, he takes a nap. What feels like a few minutes but must have been an hour later, he feels someone pets his hair a few times before lips press to his temple. He opens his eyes and gazes at Roger blearily.

“Wake up, sleeping beauty. We gotta go down. Reid says we have an hour before the press conference, so he wants to brief us about things that we can and can’t say. You forgot to lock your room, by the way.”

Freddie merely hums. Even though the headache is still there, he feels a little better after the nap, especially having Roger’s fingers continue to stroke his head.

“Did you lock the room after that?” he asks, his voice sounds slightly husky.

“Yeah.” Roger smirks at him, as if he knows what Freddie wants.

Freddie smiles sleepily and pulls Roger for a kiss. Roger bends towards him, one knee on the bed, and holds Freddie’s head tenderly. Freddie has one hand tangling into Roger’s soft hair, the other lazily drawing a map on the skin under Roger’s shirt. They kiss for a few long moments, their tongues moving against each other like a ritual dance between them that Freddie can never get bored, until there’s a click sound that indicates the door is unlock and someone makes two knock sounds. They immediately part from each other, Roger quickly stepping away from the bed and wipes his mouth as the door opens and one of the assistants from the crew steps into the room. She blinks in surprise to see Roger there. She must have been wondering why Roger looks red on his face or why Roger happens to be in Freddie’s room.

“Oh, uh, I’m sorry. Mr Reid gives me the room key to wake Mr. Mercury up. He says to be downstairs in ten minutes.”

Freddie yawns and rubs one of his eyes. “Let’s just go now.”

The press conference is held in the hotel’s largest function room. There are a lot of journalists and camera operators already waiting outside of the room.

The girl brings Freddie and Roger to another hallway that leads to a smaller function room that had been turned into a lounge room for the band to sit and relax before the press conference. He sees Brian and Deacy sitting on the sofa. Both seems to be suffering with hangover too.

Reid and Paul enter into the room a few minutes later, briefing them of what to expect during the press conference. Then Paul asks if anyone has any questions. He calls out each of their names, and when he looks at him, “Freddie?”

Without glancing at Paul, Freddie just shrugs his one shoulder as he studies the nails of his right hand. He considers to re-paint them later as he notices some of the black paint is chipped. Freddie knows that by now everyone must have realised that he has been ignoring Paul. Roger, Brian, and Deacy must be wondering what had happened for the sudden cold shoulder that he’s giving to Paul.

Roger’s stomach suddenly rumble loudly. “Uh, I haven’t get any breakfast yet. Anyone wants anything?”

“I’ll come with you.” Brian immediately stands up.

Freddie says, “I had my breakfast already.”

“Me too,” Deacy tells them.

Roger and Brian leave the room to find some food, while Reid and Paul leave to go to the main function room where the press will be held later. Freddie rests his head on the sofa and closes his eyes. His head is still slightly throbbing from the hangover.

A few quiet moments later, Deacy finally asks, “Did something happen?”

“Huh?”

“Did Prenter do something?”

“Nothing for your pretty head to worry about, Deacy.”

“I’m serious, Fred. We all noticed that you have been avoiding the man. If he has done something, we all should know about it.”

Freddie feels the guilt creeping back in. Roger is the one who should know about it, Roger deserves to know the truth. Keeping this secret is making him sick and tired and now he’s contemplating if he should tell Deacy about it.

“Paul kissed me,” he blurts out.

“I beg your pardon?” Deacy asks.

“It happened when we were in Rockfield. That’s why he went back to London, because I sent him away.” He rubs his eyes in frustration, thinking of the guilty feeling that has been constantly gnawing at him every single day for the past three months.

“Paul kissed me and I pushed him away. I swear I didn’t kiss back. I told him I won’t say anything to Roger about this. But now I think it’s a stupid decision,” he murmurs angrily.

The dam that is holding his emotions is starting to crack and he feels himself breaking apart. Moreover, he is utterly drained with the constant worrying of the media gossiping about his relationship with Roger. And here’s Deacy, who is willing to listen to him, and Freddie feels like he should let go, just let out everything off his chest.

He covers his face with both hands, words that tumble out of his mouth keeps spilling like water overflowing in a sink. “I’m such a bloody idiot. I don’t know how I should tell Roger now. It’s killing me to stay quiet about Paul kissing me. What if Roger leaves me because he thinks I’m cheating on him? I love Roger and I don’t want to lose him because of this.”

“Fred-”

“I really loathe myself and I feel so guilty. It’s not the kiss that makes me feel guilty, it’s keeping this as a secret from Roger. What if I tell him then he realises that I’m not the right one for him, that I’m simply not good enough?”

Ultimately, it all comes down to Freddie worrying that he’s being not good enough for Roger. Roger is perfect and handsome and funny. He is everything that Freddie isn’t. He is the bright spot that is shining in all those dark and useless spaces inside him. Why Roger asked him out in the first place is still a mystery. When Roger left him the first time, it nearly killed him. There’s a reason why he hesitated to give a second chance, because being with Roger is like getting high constantly. He’s addicted with love and in love with Roger. Freddie was serious when he told him a long time ago that he won’t survive if Roger is going to leave him again.

“Fred-”

“I know it’s stupid that I think that way about Roger.”

“Freddie!”

He raises his head from his hands and snaps at Deacy, “What?”

He looks at Deacy, and comes to realise that he is looking at something or rather someone behind Freddie. His heart drops into the pit of his stomach. He knows who it is behind him. He swallows a lump in his throat and turns his head.

Brian and Roger are there standing behind him. Both of them are holding a cup of tea and a plate of sandwiches in their hands. Roger is looking at him with icy blue eyes. His face is unreadable, and Freddie is not sure if Roger is hurting or angry at him. Roger suddenly pushes his plate to Brian who holds it automatically but the cup of tea falls to the ground, spilling it’s entire content on the carpeted floor. Roger is already turning his back to Freddie and rushes out of the room.

“Roger!” Freddie calls out to him in a panic. He quickly jumps out of the sofa, forgetting about his throbbing head as he chases after Roger.

His heart is in his throat when he catches sight of Roger storming into the main function room where most of the journalists and camera operators are already sitting in their seats. Freddie already knows what’s going to happen even before he sees Paul at the corner of the table where he’s standing with Reid on the front stage. Roger rushes in and punches Paul straight in the face.

Suddenly, the room is erupted with exclamation of shock and gasp at the scene in front of them. All the journalists immediately dash towards them, their cameras start clicking and flashing with some video cameras recording the fight in front of them. Roger continues to pummel Paul a few times with his fist before Reid finally jerks out of his stupor and jumps on Roger.

“Fuck you, Paul! How dare you make a move on my lover!” Roger roars angrily.

He tries to kick Paul as he struggles against the restrain from Reid, who is holding him away from the other man. “You fucking bastard! You got no bloody respect over my relationship!”

Paul is curling on the floor, tries to cover his head with his both arms from any further onslaughts by Roger. Freddie is outraged at Paul for making it look like Roger is the bad person. As he hurries towards Roger before things get out of hand, several journalists immediately notice Freddie and quickly block his path.

“Mr Mercury, could you enlighten us who is the lover that Roger mention?”

Freddie is pushing them away, snarling angrily, “Fuck off! Just let me through!”

The moment Freddie reaches out to touch him, Roger immediately stops struggling against Reid and turns towards him. There’s something bitter in those blue eyes and Freddie feels his heart twinge at the look he receives. He grasps Freddie’s shirt with both hands, clutching the clothes tightly in his fists. Freddie begs quietly with his eyes at Roger, hoping that he won’t blurt out something in front of all the journalists who are watching them with vulture eyes. Fortunately, Roger doesn’t say anything and elbows Reid behind him, who immediately lets him go. He releases Freddie’s shirt but one hand grips Freddie’s wrist and tugs him towards the nearest exit door while journalists keep shouting at them with questions. They would have reached the door faster if the journalists and the cameramen are not gathering around them, obstructing their pathway towards the door. Some security personals finally arrive at the scene and quickly help to push away most of the journalists out of their way.

Freddie ponders how everyone is looking at them now, with the thought of the pictures that will be printed in every gossip page soon if not tomorrow. He could imagine the kind of insinuation the media has make-up of the entire scene. Cameras keep clicking and flashing at them until they disappear behind the exit door.

Mary had told him of how the media speculates about him and Roger. This is no longer speculation now.

All Freddie thinks is fuck, fuck, fuck.

 

-
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Chapter Text

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-

 

Roger is utterly pissed off. He can barely control the anger inside him. Prenter deserved it but somehow, it didn’t satisfy him completely. He knows he’s fucked up in front of the journalists. He’ll think of the repercussions later on. Right now he needs to be somewhere where he can talk to Freddie.

He’s noticed Freddie being distant for the past few months. He thought it was due to the stress of recording a new album. But sometimes it feels like there’s an ocean between them, sometimes it’s like watching Freddie drowning. Roger sees it clearly because Freddie wears misery like a coat. Several times, he’s contemplated asking him but decides that Freddie will come to him once he is ready to talk.

He had decided wrong. He should’ve pushed Freddie to tell him what’s wrong. He should’ve done something. Roger is absolutely frustrated with Freddie, and especially at himself.

They have taken the stairs two floors up and gets the lift to go to the floor of their rooms. Roger is gripping Freddie’s wrist tightly, even though the other man isn’t struggling against his hold. There’s lead in his stomach as he wonders. Should he really blame himself? After accidentally hearing Freddie reveal what happened to John, Roger ponders if it’s truly his fault that Freddie doesn’t trust what Roger feels for him, even though they’ve been together for nearly two years officially.

There’s no one inside the lift with them, which is a relief to Roger. But the silence inside the lift is uncomfortable. A moment later, with the lift moving up smoothly, passing several floors, Freddie finally breaks the silence between them, “You shouldn’t have done that.”

Roger freezes momentarily, before turning to glare at Freddie. “What?! Punching that bloody bastard for kissing you?!”

The door of the lift opens on their floor at last. He changes his mind. He doesn’t want to talk to Freddie now. Roger drops Freddie’s wrist promptly and strides towards his room. He unlocks his room and slams the door open with a loud bang sound as it hits the wall. Freddie has decided to follow him as he feels someone quickly hold the door behind him.

He hears Freddie close the door and and lock it behind him. “You know I didn’t mean it like that. You shouldn’t have punched him in front of everyone!”

Never mind. They do need to talk about this. Roger makes a frustrated noise as he turns around and shouts back, “Then you shouldn’t have kept this from me!”

Freddie waves his hands in frustration. “I didn’t know how to tell you!”

“I was with you the whole fucking time! For fuck’s sake, you could’ve told me the night it happened! Only you decided not to. And what you said to John… how could you possibly believe you’re not good enough for me! How could you possibly think like that!”

Roger is so upset that Freddie thinks so little of their relationship. He roars in anger as he kicks the armchair next to him and lets it fly across the room, striking the wall with a loud noise. One of the chair’s feet got loose and lands in the centre of the room. He sees Freddie flinch as if he was struck physically by Roger. A wave of guilt sweeps over him. His foot starts throbbing in agony but catching Freddie recoil from him is even more painful.

He tells Freddie, regretfully, “I’m sorry. I’m not going to hurt you.”

“I know.” Freddie sounds genuine and a little remorseful, like he didn’t mean to flinch, like he believes that Roger wouldn’t harm him. But Roger doesn’t know what to believe anymore.

Roger walks towards Freddie and grabs his shoulders gently. He’s relieved that Freddie isn’t avoiding his touch. But having Freddie in his hold now he has the sudden urge to shake him, to scream in his face that Freddie is all he wants, that he needs him like he needs oxygen. That he’ll die without him, and he would have died for him too.

Roger doesn’t do any of that. Instead, he closes the distance between them, crushing their mouths together. It quickly escalates into a frenzied passionate kiss. One of Roger’s hands wander towards his back and clutches the back of the shirt, and the other holding Freddie’s neck in a bruising grip. Freddie’s arms fling around his neck, squeezing him tightly, biting his lower lip so harshly that Roger is certain it’s bleeding when he tastes something metallic in his mouth. Their tongues are pushing against each other, wrestling for dominance. Freddie moans inside his mouth and eventually gives in, letting Roger press more heated kisses against him, reminding the other man how Roger is absolutely crazy for him.

Perhaps it’s really his fault that Freddie feels this way about their relationship. Perhaps he doesn’t say ‘I love you’ enough, doesn’t kiss him enough, doesn’t make love to him enough, doesn’t show Freddie how much he’s in it for the long haul.

They finally pull away, gasping for air. Roger isn’t angry anymore but still a little upset. He looks into Freddie’s teary whiskey stained eyes, face flushing red with wet bruised lips. Roger’s heart gives a painful little squeeze.

“You bloody idiot,” Roger breathes.

Freddie suddenly sobs, “I’m sorry. I love you. I love you so much-”

Roger silences him with another searing kiss. Freddie melts further into it and Roger pulls him even closer, wrapping Freddie up with both arms around his waist. Roger breathes in his scent and memorizes his taste. Their kiss gradually is lost in the heat as Roger kisses him tenderly, trailing his lips from the corner of his mouth to his ear, nipping gently at the skin there. Then Roger murmurs, quietly and softly, “I love you more than you’ll ever know.”

Freddie buries his face in the crook of his neck, like he’s meant to be there, as if that particular space is made for no one but Freddie Mercury. Roger wants to keep him there, protect him from everything, even though the enemy is himself that’s doubting Roger’s love.

The moment abruptly ends there when they hear a knock on the door. Freddie draws away and Roger lets him.

 

-

 

The press conference had to be cancelled but none of the journalists are complaining as everyone got the scoop that they wanted. The hotel had wanted to get the police involved but Jim Beach, with the help of Reid, managed to get the situation under control.

All of Queen’s members are gathered around the room with Jim. Reid is probably with Prenter somewhere in the building. Roger is sitting on the sole armchair that had avoided his temper. Freddie, a foot away from Roger, is leaning on the table with his arms crossed. Brian and John are perching on the edge of the bed. Jim remains standing in the centre of the room, after helping himself to a bottle of beer from the mini bar.

“Let me get the story straight. So Roger found out Paul kissed his girlfriend and-”

Freddie cuts in, “Paul kissed me and Roger got pissed off.” Roger jerks in surprise.

Jim freezes on the spot. The air in the room seems to stand still. Low noises of midday traffic outside the windows fills in the quiet of the room. Roger wonders if this is going to be the day when someone will flip out about his and Freddie’s relationship. So far, the little group of people who had known of their relationship hadn’t lost their shit. Jim blinks once, as he stares at both of them for another moment.

Roger feels himself tensing, words at the tip of his tongue, ready to defend his relationship with Freddie if Jim is going to say something awful. He notices Brian and John are sitting up straighter than a moment ago, their backs rigid. A swell feeling of gratefulness sweeps over Roger at how they are being protective over him and Freddie. Only Freddie doesn’t look perturb, he merely watches their lawyer calmly.

“Oh, I see.” Jim nods his head at them. Roger peers at Jim dubiously. Okay, that’s… a relief because that means he is still on their side. Then without a beat Jim continues on, as if Freddie hasn’t just revealed something scandalous. “Roger punched Prenter a few times so this is more than a simple battery. It’s a felony. There’s a probable cause to arrest Roger once the police are involved and get witnesses’ statements and confiscate all the video tapes.”

Brian asks, “Only if Paul presses charges, right?”

Jim sighs heavily. “It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t. The fact is once this gets out, prosecutors have discretion with charging Roger of battery without Paul lifting a hand against him.”

Roger groans inwardly. This is the worst day ever. He lights up his fag and takes a long drag, trying to settle his nerves. He asks, “So what’s in it for me?”

“Fine or jail, or both.”

Jesus fucking Christ. He’s definitely going to rot in prison for years just for punching the hell out of Paul Prenter.

“And you’ll do everything to prevent Roger from going to jail?” Freddie asks nervously. One of Freddie’s hands reaches out and touches on his shoulder, as if it will keep Roger from being put behind bars. Roger, not caring anymore since Jim doesn’t seem to mind, takes Freddie’s hand in his and gives him a gentle, loving squeeze.

Not showing even the slightest bit of bother on his face as he watches the small display of affection, Jim smirks at them confidently. “Trust me. I’m a bloody good lawyer. Besides, it’s great that Queen is EMI’s goldmine. I’ve discussed it with them and they’ve agreed to spend a lot of money to get back all the video tapes and make sure journalists are keeping quiet. Even the hotel won’t say a word of whatever happened today. We will wrap this up discreetly.”

Then Jim looks at the broken armchair in the corner of the room and points at it. “But for that one, you need to take responsibility and pay for damages!”

Roger shrugs. “Whatever. Okay.” Then he takes another drag of his fag. He’s starting to feel more reassured. Jim will fix everything. Roger knows that he’s great in what he does. He believes Jim if he says Roger won’t go to jail for this. Hell, he’s willing to pay for a hundred chairs belonging to the hotel as long as he won’t be locked up.

“And what are we going to do about Prenter?” John asks all of them.

“Fire him. We don’t need that bastard,” Roger immediately replies. He turns his gaze to Freddie. What Freddie sees in Prenter, he doesn’t know. That man is a flirt. He’s good at his job, Roger can’t deny that. But he seems not to care much about anything unless Freddie is involved.
Nothing that looks like disappointment shows on Freddie’s face- instead he looks relieved. “Yeah, Roger is right. We have Reid.” Then Freddie grins at Jim. “And there’s Miami as Queen’s knight in shining armor.”

Jim snorts. “I’m a lawyer. Not going to be your manager anytime soon.”

Freddie teases, “Oh, who knows. You’ll manage once Reid is fed up with us.”

Jim chuckles for a moment. Then he tells them he will get into terminating Paul’s contract without the other man finding a loophole to sue Queen. He gives a pointed look at Roger. “We also need to compensate for his injury.” He casts his gaze at all of them in the room, “And make sure he stays quiet about this.”

Roger swallows what feels like a golf ball in his throat. It’s nerve-wrecking that their relationship has almost been exposed with what Roger has done just a few hours ago. Jim leaves them after that, promising to update them when something comes up.

Once the door closes behind him, all the Queen members are quiet for a while, lost in their own thoughts. All of a sudden, Freddie whacks the back of his head and Roger yelps in pain, his fag nearly dislodging between his fingers, some of the ashes dropping onto the carpeted floor. “Ack! What the fuck, Fred?”

“You almost got into prison because of me!”

Roger winces as he rubs his head. “No, I almost get locked up because of Paul bloody Prenter!”

“I think we should address the fact that you hid this from us. Don’t you trust us, Fred? What if something really bad had been done to you, would you just keep it quiet?” Brian abruptly speaks up.

Roger frowns at his friend’s words. Freddie is not damsel in distress type, certainly. Freddie is strong and Roger knows that all too well as they sometimes wrestle each other on the bed when they’re feeling more playful. This, of course, eventually turns into an aggressive foreplay before it leads to very rough sex. Roger certainly thinks that Freddie would be able to break Prenter’s nose if he put some strength to a punch. But imagining Freddie being taken against his will causes his heart to twinge painfully and there’s anger simmering inside him. He will fucking kill the man! He’ll run him over with his car. Or he’ll pour petrol all over Prenter and burn him on the spot. It doesn’t matter if he’s going to spend a lifetime in jail, because that bastard deserves it.

“Well, Freddie did tell me what was wrong eventually but…” John trails off, then looking at Freddie. “Just promise us you won’t keep stuff like this to yourself.”

Roger silently agrees with them and he’s glad that they’re addressing this right now, nipping the bud before it festers. They may not always see eye to eye, but they are all like family to each other.

Roger gets up from his seat, crushing the end of his fag into the unused cup on the table. He reaches out to Freddie, cupping his jaw tenderly and caressing his cheeks with both hands. “Do you know how it pains me to think that you had to go through this all by yourself? If you can’t talk to me then at least talk to Mary, or Brian, John, Kash. Hell, you could even talk to Kenny.”

Freddie is quiet but presses one hand over Roger’s hold. He kisses his palm, nuzzles a little, and gives Roger a wan smile. Then he drops his hand. Instead of pulling away like Roger expects, Freddie leans forward and hugs him. A second later, not wanting to be left out, Brian embraces both of them. He could hear John chuckling at them before he joins in too. Roger has to change the position of his other arm and manages to wrap it around John as his hand lands on Brian’s curly head.

“Watch the hair, arsehole!” Brian warns.

Roger growls back, “Don’t ruin the moment, idiot.”

“Bri, don’t squeeze me too hard. I need to breathe,” John complains.

“That wasn’t me!”

Freddie bursts into laughter, but it sounds wet, and all of a sudden Roger feels slightly teary as well. “I really love you guys,” Freddie tells them, voice cracking slightly. Roger presses a tender kiss on to Freddie’s damp cheek.

 

-

 

Roger hopes that Freddie gets it, that their relationship is for real, that Roger isn’t bailing at any moment and that he’s in it for the long haul. He really, really hopes that Freddie believes him.

 

-

 

They carry on their tour without a hitch. There are no reports of the real fight, but some gossip papers report of a feud going on. Some say it’s between the band members. Some claim it’s between Reid and Prenter, two managers trying to get the upper hand in managing the band. Especially with the breaking news of Prenter quitting the band. Queen’s publicist is nice enough not to say he’s being fired.

Surprisingly, their tickets all over the UK quickly sell out. It seems the mysterious brawl that occurred in the hotel made them more well known to the public. Roger sees many familiar faces among the groupies, and there’s more new faces following them this time. The girls have revamped their 'Freddie + Roger' tops and added spangles and glitters. They come in so many colours now. But not all of the new girls are happy with those groups, glaring at them with disgust.

“Don’t you want to stop the girls from pairing you and Freddie together?” one of the girls asks him. Roger wants to laugh at her face. “I don’t care,” he replies instead.

“But it’s wrong,” the girl insists. “Yeah, it’s disgusting!” one of them agreed. Roger’s stomach swoops. He scowls at them, but quickly hides how he feels. He doesn’t bother to respond so he ignores them.

Wrong. Disgusting. It pisses him off. This isn’t the first time he hears about it.

He wonders if it will ever be alright.

 

-

 

A month later, their last stop for their tour in the UK is back in London. Instead of staying for the after-party, Roger and Freddie decide to skip it and go back home. Once they reach their apartment, Roger is already famished and immediately goes to the kitchen, leaving Freddie at the door as he reunites with the cats. Roger finds store-bought bread on the kitchen counter. He is so grateful to Mary for restocking their food. Roger waits for his slice of bread in the toaster. Once it pops out, he places the toast on a plate and spreads strawberry jam all over it. Then instead of devouring it, he holds it in front of Freddie who enters the kitchen with Tom in his arms. The other man blinks in surprise before leaning in to take a bite. He hears the crunch and Freddie moaning in delight. He takes another big bite. There is stray of jam at the side of his mouth and on impulse, Roger licks it. Freddie turns his head to meet Roger’s lips, and Tom’s paw gets between them, poking at their jaws.

They draw away from each other and chuckle at Tom who is trying to get nearer to the toast in Roger’s grip. Freddie moves to the corner of the kitchen where the bowls for the cats are kept with Tom still in his arms, and Romeo and Jerry trailing behind his feet. It’s nearly empty, indicating that Mary had come in the morning to feed the cats. Roger eats the half-eaten toast as he watches Freddie drop Tom on the floor and refill their bowls with food and water.

A quiet moment passes and then, without thinking, he asks bluntly, “Are you still having doubts about us?”

Roger winces inwardly. Why did he have to be so crass with his words. He’s really curious, honestly, but at least he could have tried to be less blunt.

Freddie doesn’t seem surprised as a result of his inquiry but he doesn’t look that thrilled to answer him. “That’s in the past, darling. We’re still together and that’s all that matters.”

Roger hums in agreement. He finishes the last bite of his toast and licks the leftover jam off his fingers. He’s a little distracted, but he could still catch the sound when Freddie says, “But it’s not forever, right?” His words are soft, barely a whisper in the quiet of the kitchen.

A sudden wave of disappointment washes over Roger. Freddie being pessimistic over their relationship is breaking his heart.

Freddie shakes his head. “Sorry. I wish you hadn’t heard that. Let’s not talk about this anymore.”

Roger is suddenly annoyed but tries to suppress his anger. His voice hardens when he says, “Okay. Sure. I’m going to shower and then I’ll head to bed.”

Freddie, so finely attuned to his emotions, trails behind him and stops him with a grip on his arm before he reaches their bedroom. Roger turns around, ready to retort something but Freddie gives him a pleading look. “I’m sorry. I just- I don’t know why I said that. Can we- I can’t- I just don’t want to go to bed with you being angry at me. Please.”

Roger immediately deflates. Freddie pulls him in and presses his lips gently to his. He tilts his head and opens his mouth to deepen the kiss. Everything seems to stand still for a while as he gets lost in the heat of Freddie’s mouth. Roger leans back as his gaze holds Freddie, “Yeah, I’m sorry too.”

Things calm down after that. Roger takes a quick shower, trying not to use all the hot water. Freddie will kick him out of bed if he does. Once he finishes, Freddie gets into the shower stall. Roger is sitting on the bed when Freddie comes out from the toilet, rubbing himself dry with a towel as he asks, “Did you hear the rumours about us?”

Roger isn’t surprised about rumours surrounding him and Freddie. Brian had mentioned them. Even Clare had talked to him about the matter. He had a very awkward conversation with his mother on the phone regarding them as well.

“Our groupies were also talking about us. I heard they were being interviewed.”

Freddie looks aghast. “You knew?”

Roger shrugs at him. “We’re famous, Fred. People will always talk about us.”

“But they’re talking about us being in a relationship.”

“There’s no proof.”

Freddie scowls at him. “What would you do if there was proof of us being together? A picture of us holding hands? Kissing?”

He glares back. “We’ll cross that bridge when, and if, we come to it.”

“You’re not taking this seriously, Rog. Aren’t you worried?”

Roger snaps, “Worried? I’m scared to death!”

Freddie looks at him for a moment. Then, Freddie crawls over into Roger’s laps and wraps his arms around his neck, clinging to him like a tree. Roger hugs him back just as tightly, burying his face into Freddie’s neck. They stay like that for a few minutes but it feels like hours, seeking comfort from each other. Roger inhales his fresh scent. He savours Freddie’s warmth, the heavy press of Freddie’s weight, the gentle caress of Freddie’s hair. Come what may, Roger is certain they’ll get through it together.

Roger whispers, “I think we could go on for another ten years together.” He doesn’t want to say he wants another twenty or thirty years, doesn’t want to admit out loud he wants forever with Freddie. He’s afraid he might jinx it.

Freddie laughs a little. Then he tells Roger, “I want to make a deal with you. I promise to be as truthful as possible about my feelings and we’ll talk about it whenever I’m ready. You’ve always been honest to me since the first time we met. So I should do the same thing.”

“First time we met, huh,” he mutters absentmindedly, a little distracted as Freddie starts to comb his hair with his fingers. The gentle motion on his head soothes him. The first time they met happened like a thousand years ago- yet it feels like it just happened yesterday. It was the night that changed his life when Brian dared him to ask Freddie out. He wasn’t exactly honest the night they met the first time. He never told Freddie about the dare. Roger grimaces. Shit. He’s going to be in so much trouble.

 

-

 

Roger and Freddie celebrate Christmas with his family. His mother is ecstatic to see Freddie again, and has baked so many cakes and pies for him. She even packs all of the leftovers for them, and Roger thinks they will never go hungry again.

When January rolls in, Freddie invites Roger to have New Year’s lunch with the Bulsaras. “Unlike your family’s Christmas party, this is going to be a quiet affair. It’s boring.”

Roger grins. He’s just too excited to visit the Bulsaras after for so long. “I don’t mind boring.”

Jer serves everyone briyani rice with fried tandoori chicken. Roger has never once eaten a tandoori chicken, let alone a fried one. It’s love at first bite and Roger is hoping Freddie would be able to replicate the dish. He’s into his second serving when Jer and Bomi ask Freddie if there’s a girl that has caught his eyes since he’s been travelling the world.

Kash interjects with a teasing grin, “Oh, Freddie already has a lover, mama. They’re pretty like a doll. Blond hair and blue eyes.” Roger glares at Kash.

Bomi nods. “When I married your mother, I was younger than you. So this is the right time for you to get married.”

Jer wonders aloud, “Is it Mary?”

Freddie rolls his eyes and says, “The description fits Roger.”

Roger chokes on his chicken meat. Jesus fucking Christ! Is Freddie trying to kill him? Roger clears his throat and quickly reaches for his glass of water. “Look at him. Hair like spun gold and eyes like the summer sky,” says Freddie, who is smiling good-naturedly while patting Roger’s back. He glares at Freddie.

Jer and Bomi stares at Roger incredulously. Kash covers her mouth and silently laughing. Roger squirms under their gaze. A second later, Jer laughs, softly and lightly. She swats at Freddie and tells him to stop kidding around. Bomi shakes his head but there’s a twinkle of amusement behind his glasses. He can’t believe Freddie’s parents really thought their son was simply pulling their legs.

Roger kicks Freddie’s shin while he shoots glare at Kash, who merely gives him an exaggerated wink. The Bulsara siblings will be the death of him. Roger glances at Bomi and Jer furtively. He wonders if they would be okay with their son dating him. Would they disown Freddie? Cut ties with their son? Would they blame Roger? He looks at Kash and Freddie giggling together, and Jer and Bomi smiling at each other. They are good people and Roger adores them just as much as he adores his own family. He hopes they think Roger is part of their family too, just as his own family feels towards Freddie.

 

-

 

Queen resumes their tour in America, Japan and Australia until the end of April. It was crazy and exhausting but Roger wouldn’t trade the hectic experience for anything.

When the whole thing is over, John breaks the news to them that he and Veronica are getting married. Brian takes the chance during the special occasion to tell everyone about Christine. Roger is aware that Brian has dated a lot of girls in the years he has known him. So if Brian tells them about this chick, it must be serious. Roger is happy for both of his best friends.

 

-

 

Veronica wants a traditional wedding so the ceremony will be in a church. Roger and Brian fight over who will be John’s best man while Freddie jokingly announces that he could be one of Veronica’s bridesmaids, since he doesn’t want to be fighting with the other two for the coveted role. In the end, John decides all three of them will be his best men.

“Veronica has several bridesmaids. So why can’t I have three best men?” John suggests happily.

Roger asks sulkily, “Who is going to be your ring-bearer?”

“I know you guys will fight over who holds the ring so I’ll keep it in my pocket during the entire ceremony.”

The wedding goes off without a hitch. It’s weird to be in a church after years of never stepping into one. Roger, in his best suit that John bought for all of them to wear for the wedding, listens to the priest talk about God blessing the holy matrimony between a man and a woman. He stops listening after that. It’s a great thing that Roger isn’t religious.

When John and Veronica exchange vows, Roger ponders if he could marry Freddie one day. He shakes off the thought immediately. It doesn’t matter. They don’t need to be married in the eyes of God. As long as Freddie chooses to be with him for the next thirty or forty years. Honestly, he definitely wants more than forty years, perhaps and even hoping, until death do us part.

 

-

 

The wedding reception is held at a hotel. Roger and Brian are in the middle of debating about rock songs that shouldn’t be played in a wedding. Roger positively believes You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones should be banned at every wedding celebration, while Brian argues it’s Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven that should be at the top of the list. This comes to a halt when Freddie decides to dance with the bride. Then Roger is alone when Christine drags Brian to the dance floor too.

Roger watches Freddie twirling Veronica around on the dance floor. The skirt of her wedding dress lifts up a little at the speed of her spinning. Veronica leans into Freddie’s chest as soon as she stops and they both giggle at their not so graceful dance. Roger feels himself smiling with adoration at the scene in front of him. John goes to sit next to him, chuckling at the two people who are now trying to waltz as the music changes to a slow song.

Roger looks on and imagines it’s him slow dancing with Freddie on the dance floor. He imagines holding Freddie intimately to him, one hand holding Freddie’s hand and his other palm on his lover’s waist. He imagines being able to feel the heartbeat behind Freddie’s chest, their hearts beating together against the slow music. And their faces will be so close to each other that if he leans a bit, and Freddie tilts his head a little, their lips will be touching like there’s a string pulling them together. He imagines they pull away after that, their lips barely parted from each other, breathing the same air, and Freddie is giggling at him adorably, a beautiful blush creeping up his cheeks that causes Roger to lean in again to steal Freddie’s breath. Roger imagines and he aches for it.

John tells him, “I’m going to cut in. Feels like I’ve only danced a few times with my wife and it’s not enough.”

“Yeah, you’re only marrying her once so you’ve got to dance with her until your feet bleed on your wedding day,” Roger says, feeling slightly bitter that he couldn’t be the one to cut in and dance with Freddie.

Luckily John doesn’t notice it, and thinks he’s being sarcastic as John bursts into laughter. “That’s morbid, Rog.” He leaves Roger’s side and goes to the dance floor.

Freddie leaves the newlyweds and strides towards him with a lazy grin. “I know that look.”

Roger smirks back at him. “What look?”

“You want to do something sinful to me.”

Roger laughs. “Well, I am a sinner.”

Freddie’s gaze turns soft and his words are like honey when he says, “Darling, if anyone can love a sinner, it would be me.”

Something flips inside his stomach, like there’s a thousand butterflies loose in his stomach and Roger feels like a love-struck teenager all over again, dizzy against the overwhelming feeling of being so in love with the man in front of him. Roger wants to surge forward and press his lips to Freddie, wants to bring him home and carry Freddie to their bedroom, lay him bare on the sheet, make love to him.

And Freddie seems to know what he’s thinking. There’s a curl of fondness on his lips and love at the crinkling corner of his eyes. He then sits himself next to Roger, watching the happy couples on the dance floor, displaying their affection for their partners for the world to see. It’s bittersweet that they can only sit at the side and watch. But it’s okay because they have each other. They don’t need to show the world their love for each other. Freddie leans his shoulder on Roger, their arms brushing lightly on each other. It’s Freddie’s way of saying I love you. He nudges back against Freddie. It’s his way of saying I love you too, without needing any words.

 

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