Thomas sat on the edge of his hotel bed and stared out at the lights of downtown Miami. Every few moments he raised the bottle in his hand to his lips, taking a swig of the beer inside. It was one of the few solaces he had on nights like this - he felt like any time spent without either his family or his soundboards was a waste.
Night life carried on in the streets far below him. What he couldn't see from his penthouse suite, he certainly couldn't help but hear. The sounds of pulsing bass wafted in through his open balcony door, people laughing and talking as they wandered up and down South Beach, having the time of their lives despite it being nearly 3 a.m.
Thomas hated being on the road. There was a reason why he and Guy-Manuel had decided to stop touring all those years ago. Life was different now. As much as they thrived performing in front of thousands of people, all they really wanted was to live normal lives and continue making their music. The occasional appearances they made, as few and far between as they were, got old fast.
A soft knock on the bedroom door brought him back to reality. He looked over his shoulder and saw Guy poking his head into the room. Thomas sighed and turned his attention back to the neon lights far below him.
"Hey, are you OK?" Guy asked, quietly padding across the carpet and sitting on the other side of the bed.
"I don't know," Thomas replied, continuing to stare out at the night sky. "I just don't know if all of this is worth it anymore."
Guy cocked his head a bit. "What?"
Thomas paused for a moment before turning to face his friend. "Sometimes I feel like everything we've done is a mistake. We tried so hard to stay out of the spotlight, to have normal lives, but it's almost like we got stuck in the middle. We're too far from Hollywood to be super famous, but just close enough to feel the pressure of going to the grocery store without a hat and sunglasses. Does that make sense?"
Guy mulled over this for a moment before very slightly nodding his head. "I can see where you're coming from. It just makes me sad to know that you're so unhappy." He looked at the beer bottle in Thomas' hand, then noticed half a dozen empty ones sitting on the nightstand.
Thomas rose to his feet and set his bottle next to the others before slowly wandering out onto the balcony. He looked at the night sky, waving his hand at the people on the street far below. "This - this right here - should be our domain. These people should be worshiping the ground we walk on. They wouldn't be out dancing until all hours of the night if it weren't for us paving the way for all these other shit DJs."
Guy rushed to Thomas' side, grabbing his elbow and gently tugging him back into the hotel room. "I don't know that I would go as far as to say all that," he said. "That's a bit much."
Thomas shook his arm free of Guy's grip. "It's the truth and you know it. We should have groupies lined up outside our hotel rooms. We should be dominating the charts. We should be on TMZ and plastered across the tabloids every week."
"You don't mean that," Guy said, frowning.
Thomas whipped around angrily, his eyes wide. "Don't tell me what I mean and don't mean," he snapped. Guy took a step back, startled by his friend's sudden outburst. He opened his mouth to defend himself, then wordlessly closed it again.
Seeing the tension he created, Thomas sighed. He realized he had clenched his fists and relaxed his hands, wringing them gently. "Look, I'm sorry," he said, "I just feel so... stuck sometimes and I don't know how to deal with it."
Guy re-approached his friend and placed his hands on Thomas' shoulders. "You think I don't feel like that now and again, too? Believe me, I understand, but this is the life we chose for ourselves and we just have to deal with it as best we can."
Thomas hung his head and took a long, deep breath. "I know, I'm sorry." He wrapped his arms around Guy, pulling him in for a long hug. The two embraced for a moment, relishing the silence when a pounding noise rang out through the suite.
Guy turned and looked into the darkened hallway. "Did you hear that?" he asked. They stood quietly, hearing nothing but the sound of their own breathing for a moment before the pounding resumed.
Thomas blew past Guy and stormed through the bedroom door. "Who could that be?" he muttered. "People at the door at all hours of the night..." As he approached the foyer, he heard the distinct sound of a key card being swiped through the lock followed by a tell-tale buzz denying the cardholder entry.
As Guy approached behind Thomas, a voice called out from the other side of the door. "Johnny, my key isn't working! Let me in!" The banging resumed, this time more frenzied.
The men looked at each other, then back at the door. Guy leaned forward and looked through the peephole. A young woman with tousled blonde hair stood outside. Her inebriation was obvious despite Guy's limited view of her. "I'm sorry," he said, his face still pressed to the door, "but you have the wrong room."
"Johnnnnnnnyyyyy..." the woman's voice rang out again. "Stop fucking around and let me innnnnnnn!" She tried her keycard several more times, each try as unsuccessful as the last. Swish, buzz. Swish, buzz. Swish, buzz.
A huge grin suddenly crossed Thomas' face. He grabbed Guy's arm and pulled him away from the door. "I've just had a brilliant idea," he whispered. "This girl is obviously wasted, so let's fuck with her a little."
Guy raised an eyebrow curiously. "And how do you propose we do that?"
Thomas' grin grew even wider. "She'll never be expecting two robots to answer the door."
Guy's eyes grew wide. "I don't know if that's such a good idea... what if she's not really drunk and she's a crazed fan?"
Thomas laughed and gave his friend a playful shove before disappearing back into his bedroom. "Live a little!" he called out, reappearing a moment later wearing his shiny metal helmet and gloves.
A thump sounded on the other side of the door. Guy looked out the peephole again to find that the woman had fallen against the door and slid down into a sitting position. He could now only see the top of her head at the bottom of his view. He quietly sighed, "Alright, if you're sure about this..."
"Hurry up," Thomas said as Guy walked off to claim his own helmet. "If she keeps yelling, someone's going to call security soon."
When Guy reappeared, his helmet was already on. He quickly pulled on one shiny glove, then the other. He silently wrung his hands for a moment, displaying his uneasiness with the situation, before finally giving his friend a thumbs up.
Thomas reached forward and grabbed the door handle, the metal on his hand clinking against it. He pushed it down slowly, waiting for the click of the lock before pulling the door open.
The woman fell backwards into the room. She looked up in the men's general direction, silently blinking a few times as her eyes adjusted from the harsh fluorescent light of the hallway to the softer light inside the suite. "Johnny, what took you so long?" she finally asked.
Guy and Thomas leaned over her, not saying a word. They stood there, perfectly still, just waiting until she was able to comprehend that her hosts were not of this world.
The girl finally propped herself up on her elbows, grabbing the door frame to steady herself as she rose to her feet. She stepped into the room and slammed the door shut. "Dude, first you leave me at the bar, then you lock me out of the room? What the fuck?"
The guys silently turned and looked at each other in disbelief. She was looking right at them and not even noticing that they weren't human. They turned their attention back to the girl as she continued to rant.
"I told you hours ago that I was ready to leave, but noooo. 'Just one more drink,' you said. 'One more DJ set. We'll go soon.' But the next thing I know, I look up and you're gone!" She stomped her foot angrily, the motion causing her to lose her balance and fall against the door.
Thomas jumped forward and grabbed her elbows, trying to steady her. She swatted him away, appearing not to have noticed the metal rather than flesh and pressed against her. "Nuh-uh!" she yelled, starting to slur her words again. "I don't think so, mister! I'm going to bed!" She pushed her way past the men and stumbled down the hall, right into Guy's bedroom.
Guy yanked his helmet off. "I sure hope this wasn't your plan," he hissed at Thomas. "What am I supposed to with a strange woman in my bed?"
Thomas chuckled, the sound muffled by the tiny mouth-slit in his helmet. "I know what I would do..."
Guy gasped. "Shame on you! You started this, now you'd better get rid of her!" He pointed angrily toward his room. Thomas rolled his eyes under his helmet and set off toward the bedroom. Guy hesitated for a moment before pulling his helmet back on and stomping along behind him.
By the time they entered the room, the woman had already crawled into Guy's unmade bed, her face buried in his pillow. Thomas stepped over one of her shoes, then the other, and quietly approached her. Guy watched from the foot of the bed as Thomas placed a single gloved hand on her shoulder and gently shook her. She groaned softly and moved her head to the side, causing her hair to slide down and obscure her face.
Thomas looked over at Guy, who waved his arms in the air. He then motioned as if he were shoving her out of the bed and onto the floor, but Thomas shook his head no. He pushed her shoulder once more, but didn't get a response. If it wasn't for her hair gently blowing back and forth as she breathed, she would have looked lifeless. "I'm pretty sure she's out cold," he said.
Guy yanked off his helmet and stared angrily at his friend. "This is all your fault," he snapped. "Now we're going to have to call security."
Thomas picked up the girl's shoes and set them next to the bed. "We're not calling anyone," he said calmly, his voice muffled. "She's out cold, and we'll be awake and out of here long before she will. Just let her sleep it off."
"That's easy for you to say! She's not in your bed!"
Thomas laughed and pulled off his helmet. "What, now you're too Hollywood to bunk up with me? Just grab your stuff and come over here," he said, leaving the room like nothing was wrong.
Guy watched him leave, his mouth hanging open in surprise. He looked at the unconscious girl, then at the empty bedroom doorway, then back again. Against his better judgment, he began to stuff his things back into his suitcase, muttering under his breath in French all the while.
A few minutes later, he dragged his suitcases across the hall into Thomas' room and stood them up next to the dresser. Thomas was sprawled across his bed, his arms crossed behind his head, waiting for his friend. "I still can't believe you talked me into this," Guy muttered as he shut and locked the balcony door. He grabbed one of the pillows from Thomas' bed before plopping down onto the couch.
"It's not that big of a deal," Thomas replied, looking rather relaxed. "Let her get some sleep. We'll be out of here in a few hours and then we won't have to worry about it anymore." He watched his friend fidget about for a moment before adding, "Speaking of sleep, what are you doing?"
"Trying to get comfortable," Guy replied. "You gave my bed away, remember?"
Thomas rolled his eyes. "I meant why are you trying to squish yourself onto that little sofa when I have this giant bed?"
Guy sat up and looked at Thomas. "I didn't want to intrude..."
Thomas rolled his eyes. "If I didn't want you in my room, I wouldn't have invited you."
After a moment, Guy grabbed his pillow and joined Thomas on the other side of the bed. They both laid on their backs, staring silently up at the ceiling. "It's been awhile since we shared a hotel room, hasn't it?"
Thomas smiled. "Yeah, it has. Remember back in the day when we used to get one room for, like, 10 people?"
"We didn't have a choice, we couldn't afford it," Guy noted, "but it was a lot of fun. It was like having a party every night."
"And then we had our own room and made everyone else stay in another room," Thomas continued. "It was nice to finally have some privacy." He quietly slid his hand across the bed and let it rest atop of Guy's.
Guy blushed at the feeling of their hands touching, but did not pull away. "I have many fond memories of us rooming together," he murmured, "but everything changes with time. It's just a part of life."
"Not everything has to change," Thomas whispered. "Every good friendship has its secrets, y'know."
Guy smiled. "I know, and I'm grateful for that." He gave his friend's hand a squeeze.
Wordlessly, Thomas moved closer to Guy and wrapped his arms around him. Guy leaned back against Thomas' chest and closed his eyes. It had been many years since the two of them had spooned, but it still felt so right. Something familiar and comfortable was exactly what they both needed.
Thomas placed a gentle kiss on Guy's neck. "Bonne nuit, mon ami," he whispered. "See you in the morning."
They both fell asleep with smiles on their faces.