day 4: nightmares
touring was exhausting, and paul was glad that it was nearly over. just a few more nights of playing and then they'd be free to return home to england. today the group had been moved around and turned about in every which way. it was relieving to know that they were on the way back to the hotel because they were entitled to at least a much needed two days of rest. paul laid his head on john's shoulder and yawned, smiling as his face blushed when john put a comforting hand on his knee.
"love you, mac." john whispered extremely quiet in his ear, mindful of the others' presence but not enough to stop him from placing a small peck on his fluffy hair. paul hummed and settled into his body more.
"i love you too, john." he mumbled. the ride was quiet for the remainder of the drive, save for the radio playing a girl group's recent hit paul didn't know the name of. it was a slower love song, and sounded like it was truly straight from the heart. he was almost asleep when they finally got there, so this "sleeping" privilege started to sound greater than gold at this point.
they tiredly sludged their ways to the split room's, two in one, two in the other. john wasn't as sluggish but paul was, but he still was ready to collapse into what he felt would be the nicest bed. any one could do at this point. just as long as it was roomy.
paul cared little as the only thing he slipped off were his shoes before he fell into the second bed, truly pushed beyond his limit. (john grabbed the blanket from the other bed to cover the both of them up comfortably.) it was safe to say that this night of dreaming was expected to be strange, in what ways he had yet to find.
paul and all of his friends were apparently out at a lavish pool. one bright white light lit up in the center of the baby-blue lined swimming pool full of crystal-clear water. paul observed as each friend began to jump in the water freely, submerged under the calm waves they were each in their own way making. they were splashing around and laughing as they swam, the sun kissing everyone's hair and skin. paul hopped in because he wanted in on the fun, but as soon as his foot touched a drop of water, the pool was no longer the place they swam at. harmless pool waves became a stormy sea, and it was overtaking them all. he was pulled under by the intense, high water walls. once under, he opened his eyes to find the limp bodies of all of his currently closest friends. george, ringo, brian, and worst of all, john. everybody was gone, and he, too, was drowning in water. his lungs had no air available, and his head felt as though it was about to explode. he felt himself suck in loads of water as he panicked for air. and even though he was trapped underneath the waves, he could feel himself crying and hear his best attempts at a wail as he thrashed and kicked around in every direction.
john was facing paul's back, an arm sneaking underneath paul's arm so that he could hold him whilst they slept. everything was peaceful for a few long moments, until paul began to move his head around a bit. john thought maybe paul wasn't comfortable and was trying to adjust his position. however, the head movement soon stopped being the main action. paul's legs started to kick and he squirmed around. he even started to murmur words that the latter didn't understand. john removed his arm from its secure place and sat up in the bed, reaching over to turn on the lamp on the bedside table to his right. he was sure paul was having a bad dream by the way he was tossing around now, and john knew he would have no choice but to wake him up.
"no! please! help!" paul found his voice after all, and that made john worry even more. he immediately started to shake paul by the shoulder, not being easy at all as he was trying to get his lover awake and conscious. he didn't care how rough he was being, he only cared about paul and he was clearly in distress.
"paul? it's okay, love, i'm here! wake up! get up! it's just a dream!" john made sure to say as paul started to open his eyes. he was breathing heavily and panting, and turned his head to look at john with watery eyes full of concern. he, too, sat up and grabbed john furiously, sniffling as he felt a couple tears that just built up fall down his cheeks. he tried his best to hold back but to no avail; the experience that he just woke up from was traumatic and it felt all too real to him. he felt himself dying. he felt his lungs going without air. he saw his friends dead in the water, floating away under the current like they weren't just previously swimming and having fun. he was full-fledged crying at this point, and all john knew to do was just hold him.
"shh, paul," he cooed, "i got you. it's all right now, love. do you, uh, d'ya wanna tell me what happened?" it would be a lie to say he wasn't curious about the dream paul'd just come out of. he wondered what it was that had paul sobbing in his arms in the early early hours of the morning.
paul nodded, and pulled away from the embrace to dry his eyes from the tears. john overtook that action and wiped them away instead, his facial expression showing paul that he was here for him unconditionally and always.
"i--we all…you… drowned, john! everyone! i saw all of us, dead. richie, george, fucking brian! and you! god, and i couldn't save nobody!" paul explained, tears still welling up in his eyes. he couldn't imagine living a life without john, and even though he too probably died in the dream, it was still so overwhelming that his mind created such a horrible depiction of how each of his friends looked while dead. everyone's lips were blue and their skin looked so pale, eyes open but not moving at all. he was almost positive he would never get that image out of his memory.
"oh, honey... we're okay. we're all here, we're not gone," john pulled him back into another warm hug. paul let himself get soothed by john, gaining comfort from the way john rubbed small circles on his back. "don't have to cry, macca."
"but it felt so real, johnny! how could someone not cry at that? i felt the pressure on me head an' everything! i thought we were all goners!"
john pulled away again to look paul in the eyes. he needed to level with him and make sure paul listened to him completely. for once, he didn't care if paul called him 'soft' for comforting him with words. they were both clearly exhausted, and john really wanted to make paul feel better, if only just a little bit.
"paulie. listen, baby, it didn't happen. you're right here with me, n' the others are asleep. it's all gonna be okay, a'right?"
paul licked his lips and nodded hesitantly. he knew it was going to be just fine, but right now he didn't know how easy it was going to be to get back to sleep. he didn't want to see those sights again and going to sleep meant possibly another nightmare.
"let's lay back down, then," john suggested, and carefully paul laid back down. he pulled john on the same pillow with him. "it's all right." he was already feeling better, with john's arm tightly holding him in place secured. maybe hearing him sing him to sleep would do the trick. john would, wouldn't he? he was told a few times by john that he would do anything for him. would that be an exception to that promise? surely not.
"john?" he tried to get his attention after about three minutes of laying in silence.
"will you… sing to me, love?"
john laughed, scooting the rest of the way to paul. their bodies were flush against one another, and he leaned forward just a bit so that paul would surely hear him singing into his ear. "yes," he exhaled a bit of air out of his nose, "but don't tell a soul, son."
paul blushed and nodded, giggling as john ran a hand up paul's arm.
"love me tender, love me sweet
never let me go
you have made my life complete
and i love you so
love me tender, love me true
all my dreams fulfill
for my darlin', i love you
and i always will
love me tender, love me long
take me to your heart
for it's there that i belong
and we'll never part
love me tender, love me true
all my dreams fulfill
for my darlin', i love you
and i always will."