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hello darkness my old friend

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Paul's sweaty and exhausted by the time he makes it to the door. He still isn't safe from the screaming horde, but the thought of Ringo being inside waiting for him with a cup of tea is something that spurs him to escape once and for all.

 

(Just today.)

 

Soon, the giggling and stomping becomes louder and Paul, sighing with frustration, pushes himself inside.

 

It is very strange to not have Ringo standing somewhere near the door to welcome him when he’s been the one to be home early. He must be tired himself, Paul supposes.

 

Removing his shoes and moving further into the house, he sees Ringo in his pajamas lazing on the couch, watching the news. He freezes mid-way in his approach when he hears the reporters laugh in glee.

 

"Paul McCartney, the cute Beatle, once again had to escape the screaming mass of girls that followed him as he left the studios!”

 

”Breathless girls ran after him as he tried to escape, but one of the girls was able to get a hold of him, and viewers, you wouldn't believe it! She was able to kiss him!"

 

All plans of him having a quiet evening with Ringo were thrown out of the window, being torn to shreds by the crowd that had gathered below.

 

Before he can explain, explain that she forced him, forcefully turned his head towards himself, the reporter continues

"We were able to have an short interview with the lucky girl named Chloe, and this is what she has to say!"

 

The screen then cuts to shaky footage of a flustered girl looking shyly (at least she has the decency to look like that considering what she’s done) at the camera, with the camera man asking her,

 

"What did it feel like? Kissing the cute Beatle?"

 

She begins, in the most dreamy yet obnoxious voice possible, "Oh his lips! So soft and so-"

 

The TV fizzes into blackness.

 

Tearing his eyes away from the screen, he's met with the sight of Ringo staring blankly at the set, a bottle (the bottle? why did he not see that before?) whisky in his right, fingers clasped tightly around the neck of the bottle.

 

"Ritchie, Rich, I can explain- it's-it's not what you think-" Paul rushes ahead, trying to repair the damage done.

 

"Go away." His pleas are brushed away with the wave of a ringed hand.

 

"No, wait please, let me explain-" he nears the couch, tone now frenetic.

 

"I don’t want to talk to you. Scram." his tone borders on angry and Paul knows he's being serious because he rarely uses that tone with him.

 

Head and hopes now both downcast, he exits the room, and instead locks himself up in the bathroom.

 

Ringo meanwhile is just..... sad.

 

Being Paul McCartney's secret boyfriend was no easy task, and he should've known better than to enter in a relationship with the world's most wanted man. So far, they'd been able to make it work with little bumps here and there usually in the forms of women; but this Beatlemania was stressing both of them out.

 

He wasn't too sure about Paul, but it certainly was stressing him out.

 

At first it was a tiny bit controllable, the women that would follow him were local would be respectful in their approach, and Paul would squash down their advances fairly quickly. But as their fame and popularity grew, it became tougher and riskier to deny them.

 

Birds in America were pretty straightforward in their advances, and wouldn't back away even after multiple explanations and excuses by Paul. The judging glances men threw their way were an added burden.

 

He would often just be able to sadly nod at Paul whenever the man would send an apologetic smile his way as he entered their shared room with giggling and tipsy girls on both arms. Ringo would get his fill too, but not as much as Paul.

 

He felt jealous. How pathetic.

 

He felt jealous of all the girls that were able to hover around Paul without raising any questions.

 

He was mad at Paul for indulging them.

 

But what could he do? He was just another drummer and just another person Paul spent time with.

 

Maybe they should just let this thing between them go. That would be the best option for both of them.

 

Paul gets the girls he wants, and Ringo?

 

Ringo would....well... get by somehow, he always did.

 

Standing up from his seat on the couch, he kept the bottle of whisky on the counter nearby (he hadn't drunk much, had he?) and shuffled towards the bedroom, eager to get under the covers to avoid Paul's pleading gaze and never ceasing apologies. It was embarrassing.

 

Paul on the other hand needed the time to think and do something. He took the shortest shower he could’ve managed, just going under the shower head to rinse the sweat off his body, wrapped a towel around his waist and rushed to their bedroom.

 

(He walked urgently, but cautiously. There was no time to smash his head on the floor right now. They had to talk.)

 

He was greeted by the sight of a Ringo shaped blob on the bed, covered from head to toe in the sheets. Eager to get to him, but trying to maintain basic decency, he dried himself a bit more thoroughly, put on a pair of boxers and climbed onto the bed.

 

"Ritch, are you awake?" he asked, poking the mass that had curled onto itself in a failed attempt to hide itself away.

 

The blob refused to respond.

 

It a last-ditch attempt, he poked at it in the sides. That brought out a surprised squeak and caused the other man to curl more onto himself, but there wasn’t any space to left to curl into or the reason to.

 

In his moment of weakness, Paul had snatched the sheets off his partially, revealing a damp pillow and teary eyes.

 

Damn that whisky.

 

"Ringo, are you crying? No! Don't wrap yourself up again!

 

Even more determined to not show his face, Ringo had yanked the covers back up, and had started sniffling.

 

“Ringo love, please turn around, will you? Paul pleaded.

 

When Ringo didn’t comply, Paul draped himself on him, either halves of his body on either sides of the man, his face near the former’s face and legs towards his backside.

 

Ringo tried to roll over to avoid him, but his movements were now restricted due to the heavy body that lay upon him, pinning him to his side. Finally he gave up and dragged the sheets to uncover his face which was smushed against the pillow, desperate to not show his tears.           

 

Paul’s heart broke at the sight of Ringo’s face.

 

A blue eye brimming with tears looked up at him, and all he wanted was to kiss them away.

 

His position however did not allow him to do that.

 

Yet.

 

Slithering to the side where Ringo faced, he set himself up in such a way that they were a tad bit more comfortable and were looking into each other’s eyes.

 

“Are you angry at me?” Paul whispered, inching closer to the smaller man.

 

“No..” the man replied, and once again hid his face in the sheets.

 

“We can’t talk if you keep hiding your face, love. What’s going on in your mind?”

 

Taking a shaky breath, Ringo said, “We should probably break up.”

 

"Why??!?" Paul tried to say, but it came out in the form of a shriek which made Ringo curl tighter onto himself, and made Paul clamp his mouth shut.

 

“I meant” he tries again, making an effort to show some calmness in his voice which is a function his brain is not letting him perform right now, but he manages anyways. “Why do you want to do that? I don’t want to do that.”

 

Ringo snuffles and says “You-you’ve got women all around you and I-I’m a man! I can’t kiss you like they do an’ I can’t be with you all the time an’ I can’t give you children an’ what we being together is illegal! They’ll put us in jail for it and then peoplewouldn’tmindmestayingin but you! They’d be very sad and I’ll be sad because they’ll be sad and then your dad an’ your brother and your cousins they’ll all just be sad and dis-dissappointed an’ I don’t want that to happen and the women they’re always around you and I hate it and then one day you’ll pack up and leave and then-“ Paul ends his tirade with a hand on his mouth.

“Ringo, stop.”

 

“Alcohol makes me chatty I’m sorry” is all that was heard

 

“It’s okay. You wanna get out of those sheets? Must be getting awfully hot in there, isn’t it?”

 

Ringo nods, as he worms out of them and is also is a bit very surprised at how calmly Paul is taking this entire ordeal of him being jealous like a bloody bird and crying about it fuck this is so stupid he’s gonna leave me fuckfuckfuckfuck

 

“You mind if I sorta- put my hands around you? Is that okay?” he asks again, breaking his train of thoughts, and also gestures the same action with his hands.

 

Once again, Ringo is only able to nod.

 

He soon finds his nose buried in Paul’s neck, and his hands have (betrayed him, that’s what they’ve done) wrapped themselves around Paul’s middle, and he’s snuggled next to him like a fuckin’ koala to a tree.

 

“I’m just gonna put this out there for everyone. You, me, the air; It goes everywhere Ritchie, you know that? Everyone’ll know.” he says conspiratorially, whispering for further dramatic effect.

 

Ringo just listens to him, not sure what to say.

 

“I love you. That’s all I have to say. I fell in love when I saw you for the first time in Hamburg, when I finally met the feared drummer. A scary but a fucking beautiful drummer. I loved the way you seemed to lose yourself while drumming for the Hurricanes, the way you’d bop your head while you did it, the way that little streak of grey hair I found so sexy showed when it happened.”

 

Starting to rub small circles on Ringo’s back, he continued “I’d never give you up, Ritchie. Even when I don’t have anything, I’ll be content to have you by my side. I don’t care about whatever people think about me, as long as you think I’m correct and are with me. And,” he stops rubbing the circles and brings a hand to lift Ringo’s face to him to say, “You’re everything to me, Ritchie, and I swear to god, I wouldn’t want anything else.”

 

As if it was a dam that had now broken, Ringo’s tears started to come in full flow. A stream of I love yous and I’m sorrys started to flood Paul’s ears. Rocking him slowly and shushing him, he eased both of them into a more comfortable position, where Ringo’s nose wasn’t tickling him, but the former refused to let go, effects of the whisky in full flow, and the thoughts that had weighed him down for months finally letting go.

 

“I think we should sleep know, shouldn’t we?” Paul said, a tiny bit amused.

 

A little snuffle from his arms gave him the answer he needed.

 

"A little fact" Paul whispers again, "I learnt the head bops I do from you"

 

The short snort of laughter that he heard next would always top any song that they'll ever make in the studio.