Pinewood Studios, 1983
“Bloody hell.. hold up, I’m coming!”
Strutting towards the door, the incessant banging grew louder. Nick couldn’t help himself, he was smiling and swallowing his pride. He opened the door already well aware as to who was standing there smirking at him.
Nick’s cheeks flushed a shade darker, even under the heavy make-up. His usually soft skin appeared patchy, a small like of sweat coating his hairline from where the damn hat had been. Plus a small imprint into his chin of… whatever one called the strap? The thing that was fixed about his jawline. That golden thing.
The laughter bought him out of his daze, he gasped openly at the other man. Their silhouettes contrasted well, one in a sweet baby blue shirt and cream tie, the other looking like a Napoleon Bonaparte wannabe who would win anything but the war.
“Holy. Fricking. Christ.”
Nick parted his lips and raised a finger, all about ready to shut him up when—
“—it’s bloody true?! This is hilarious!”
The laughter was bordering on deafening and he had tears in his eyes.
Nick just stood there, painted lips now in a firm line. He took a small breath, released it, took a longer breath and held it.
“Yeah, yeah, laugh it up Simon.”
“Oh, yes sir, I will!”
After a beat, “wanker.”
Throughout his giggles, clutching at his chest, Simon eventually managed to ground out his words. “I can’t.. Nick, I can’t fucking believe that—” he cut himself off with another bout of hilarity, “you actually.. fuck, went along with this!”
Nick’s eyebrows furrowed.
“You look ridiculous!”
Nick’s arms folded.
“Like a little soldier boy! The runt of the pack.”
Nick’s lips pursed.
“I can’t bloody wait to see that shot!” Simon was so damn eager, Nick was struggling to keep a straight face. “What line was it?! The war one? Oh, Nicky you just have to show me! Act it out! Act like you care! Embrace your inner—”
“Simon Le Bon.” Nick finished for him.
“Pre-ci-sely!” He pretty much sang.
Staggering his gait, fingering with the gold thing that was still chafing around his neck: Nick debated back and fourth whether to just sing the stupid line and wallow in Simon’s tears of joy or to yank the thing off of his head and whack him repeatedly until he slipped out of the dressing room.
The suddenly so innocent beady blue eyes were so wide, so beautiful, that Nick couldn’t turn away. He was caught in Simon’s flame, a mystical trance full of nonsense lyrics.
“Nick, you’ve been staring at me for three minutes now” Simon signalled to his watch, “Is There Something I Should Know?”
Oh god, Nick already knew where this was heading. He wouldn’t even go there. Again he swallowed his pride, if there was even any of it left and simply inhaled.
“You, Charlie, are about as easy as a—” he paused, smiling like a loon, “nu-clee-ah waaar.”
Nick punctuated each beat with a waggle of his finger, desperate to not break out into a giggling fit.
Within moments Simon was near falling to the floor, his laughter was so damn infectious that it had the two of them balling over; clutching at their chests that were heaving faster than beyond their control.
“Who’s.. Christ Nicky,” Simon panted, wiping the tears from his eyes, “who’s bloody idea was that?!”
“Russel probably. Thought the git liked me.”
Simon only laughter harder.
“‘Tis what you get for bein’ the..” he swore, having given himself the hiccups, Nick snorted, “the.. quiet ones in the back!”
It would take them both another full two minutes before the laughter even began to subside. Nick’s chest ached, his chin was still being chaffed by that stupid golden strap.
“Help me get this thing off, Charlie.” He demanded, motioning to his head.
“Alrighty.” Simon looked puzzled, stepping closer to the monstrosity that was on Nick’s head.
They fumbled over how to remove the hat, they guessed it was a hat of sorts, within Nick tumbling to the ground with it. It took them a few tries. A heap of giggles and wandering fingers later, Nick’s head finally felt like his own again. The chances of his neck snapping had been lowered significantly.
There was another knock on the door that saw a slightly ruffled John bursting in. He paused, chocolate browns running all over Nick and Simon, who was holding the damn thing in one hand and acting as though he had every right to do so. Like he helped undress and re-dress Nick everyday.
John burst out into laughter, having caught sight of Roger and Andy on the way down to the dressing room. The bassist’s eyes were watery and he flung his head back; chuckling so damn hard that it must be hurting him.
“Bet that was one Taylor threesome you were glad they didn’t want you for.” The frontman was the first to break the ice.
“I can’t.. fuck I missed it! You actually, you know.. did it!” John blurted, making zero effort to compose himself.
“Well, you look like a right twat with that tie Nigel.”
Hearing Nick say Nigel like that, all low and husky, snapped John out of it. He straightened up, hands behind his back as though he had just been scorned at school. He appeared guilty, almost, the flush on his cheeks more pronounced as he tried to get his breath back.
Nick cocked his head back to Simon, at his left.
John was stifling a giggle again, instead letting out a snort.
“They want’cha to do another take ‘cuz you all look so pretty! Okay, bye!” John spewed, darting back out the door.
“Yeah you... better run.” Nick uttered.
It was more than clear to Nick that John wanted a front row seat, to a scene that was sure to bring him shame for however long their careers would last. The sick bastard.
With a huff, Nick motioned to the fluffy monstrosity that Simon was still clutching. As they fought to get it back on Nick’s head, so he wouldn’t topple over, Simon stated. “Thought I asked for Westpoint uniforms? What’d we get?”
“Napoleon fucking Bonaparte.” Nick finished for him.
Stepping back, Simon admired his handiwork. He was chuckling again, the cheeky sod, eyes roaming all over Nick.
“Gotta say, never thought I’d see the day where Nick Rhodes didn’t totally rock his outfit.”
“I’m completely and utterly disgusted.” He scoffed, trying not to laugh. “Disgusted!”
With a smirk, “you would rather to put this on? Show me how it’s done? Surely the fans would much rather see Le Bon being the obedient one for a change?”
Simon’s mouth dropped open.
“Think they could all go for another man in uniform.”
“Keep that slander up and I’ll ensure you wear that for every bloody scene of the video.” The singer couldn’t even deliver it with a straight face.
After another couple of minutes of childish ‘you wouldn’t!’ ‘Watch me’ the two men strutted out of the dressing room. As much as Nick may have wanted to shuck Simon off and film in private, just the three Duran musketeers, he found that he couldn’t.
Simon and John had a front row seat as Nick again took to the stage. Andy a step to the left, Roger a flick to the right. The two laughed themselves hoarse, ruining shot after shot with their infuriating cackles. Nick pouted, knowing full well that they were messing this up so they could have sight of him in this pesky outfit for as long as they so desired.
“Sure you don’t wanna wear this shit?” Andy barked, motioning to Simon.
“It’s real comfortable.” Roger added, nodding to John.”
The two shared a glance, both sets of lips quirking up. Together they let out a “nahhhh” and Nick just scoffed.
“About as easy as a nuclear war, indeed.”