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Chapter 5

By Hannah April 2006

It was a brilliant arrangement at first. They had met whenever Pete was down in London for a weekend. Meeting and losing whole days to songs, inebriation and idea-sharing.
Competitive little disagreements about anything and everything. Drunken missions to see who could pull the most people in one night. Who could get themselves into the most scuffles. Who could scrounge the most/get the cheapest drugs. Who could pen a lyric or melody quickest..….

But inevitably, always ending up back in Carl's room, with a guitar.
Pete sitting enraptured, as Carl played on and on through the strange and melancholy remainders of their nights, the whiskey dwindling to nothing in the bottle, and eventually, little touches and looks across the bed leading to denim and sweat-soaked sheets in a ridiculous tangle around two entwined, breathless, lamp-lit boys.

This bitter London afternoon, Pete reflects, is no exception, really.
They'd ended one more evening of songs, heavy inebriation, and defensive little glances of longing all night long, with quiet, possessive touches, and near-silent love-making as the sun had risen.

It's really a shame that they can't be so agreeable outside the bedroom, Pete grins wryly to himself. The second time that this had happened, after that first, intense one (when they'd been enemies practically, before-hand, and ended up back here with a lot of tension between them, until that is, Pete had done the valiant thing, shut himself up and just fucked Carl), the second time, Carl had been on about six E's and consequently, seeming to be finding it nearly impossible to come.
Which had pissed Pete off a bit, really, and pissed Carl off even more, when Amy-Jo, obviously baffled as to why whoever was pleasuring Carl in his room was taking so long about it, had sickeningly suggested later when she had found them both in the kitchen that they might want to keep it down around Mike the other boy they shared with ("overly homophobic, boys" she'd winked).

Which was why, Pete lay here now in the early afternoon, feeling a little sad, as he poked gently and uncertainly at a stray bit of Carl's hair, where it tickled his cheek (buried in the back of Carl's neck). Sad because it was back to suburban hell for him, tonight and sad that this wasn't turning out to be as brilliant an arrangement as he had first supposed.
What with Carl now seeming over-defensive about "whatever this is, Pete", not admitting to anyone else what went on with them both behind closed doors, not admitting any of his real feelings to Pete, not wanting to talk properly to him…….ignored Pete's muffled words into his neck as he moved inside of Carl "you ok?", ignored them just as determinedly afterwards as Pete asked them again, whenever Carl winced as he shifted his legs to sleep comfortably.

So far, he'd managed to deduce that, yes, Carl would be in a band with him (something that Pete had tried not to cry with joy and relief over).
Carl had said it wouldn't hurt to write songs with someone else too, for a change.
But best of all, Pete thought he genuinely seemed to see Pete as some sort of competitor on everything, seemed to genuinely want to be on his side as well, though and work on songs together.

What bothered Pete, was that he never seemed able to trace the source of those unspoken doubts and insecurities Carl seemed to have about himself, things that darkened his eyes whenever Pete said something that he liked about him, things that Carl would deny one minute, but then drove him frighteningly close to losing it, the next.

But for now, he decided, he was in dire need of some breakfast, his alcohol-ravaged stomach grumbling disagreeably at him from under the sheet. Something else that had him in utter awe of Carl, was his brilliant capacity for drug-taking, his odd up-bringing, his bizarre and totally un-strict mother he talked about, who went raving and fed his mates hash-cakes at his thirteen and fourteenth birthday parties.
It was completely beyond anything he, himself could comprehend, when he thought of the strict 'no alcohol' policy at home, the trips to and from church every Sunday….It made him even more fascinated with Carl, his carefree life in London, the life he and Pete's sister led here…

He smiled in wonder and contentedness that he'd found someone this pretty and this peculiar (even if he supposed it wasn't a sentiment that was reciprocated) so quickly, when everything else that he wanted seemed to be millions of years of hard work away.
He brought a hand up to tickle lightly at the back of Carl's neck, who (predictably) was a bit too sensitive for his own good, jerked violently awake, and squealed in shock. Pete grinning smugly, wrapped an arm over Carl's chest and turned him so they faced each other.

Carl's dazed, un-amused, blue eyes met his own, and mockingly he mirrored Carl's expression, stuck a lower lip out for dramatic effect and looked unabashedly back.
After a moment, Carl grinned and pulled Pete into a headlock, his ear and jaw rubbing painfully against Carl's naked side, Carl demanding above him "What was that for, eh??" in an accusing tone.
Pete just grinned in answer (useless, because Carl could barely see how smug it was from this angle, but he couldn't help it) and wriggled fiercely in Carl's grasp, until his face was turned into Carl's waist and he attacked it, kissed at it passionately, eliciting all manner of high-pitched giggles from Carl, who's grip on him weakened, and freeing himself, Pete grabbed his sides and sprawled him back on the bed, Pete's weight pinning him there.

A loud knock at the door startled them both out of their wrestling match as Amy-Jo's voice yelled "Oi! You two want breakfast?"
Pete had always had an endless, amount of love and adoration for his older sister, he really had.
"Yeah!!" was yelled enthusiastically, the door opened, Amy-Jo threw two snickers bars in pretty unceremoniously, then shut it again. Maybe not as endless as he had supposed, then.

"that all??" Pete demanded. He was famished, after all.
"Probably all that's left after you got here on Friday and ate us all out of house and home!" Carl teased, propping up on one elbow.

"'Ere, have mine, yeah? Not hungry." Carl didn't sound sulky, just indifferent, Pete thought, relieved.

"eyy…sure? Aren't you starved?"

"nah, still buzzing from the speed an' that, no appetite."


Pete munched away happily as Carl rose to find his jeans, slipping them on, trying to ignore Pete's fascinated staring as he did so.

"Want to go see who's about then?" Carl ventured awkwardly, pulling a t-shirt on, as Pete ravenously licked the last chocolate crumbs from his fingers.

"Like who? I don't fancy chatting to that Mike, or whoever he a brick wall, mate." He sat back on his feet.

"Well put some clothes on at least, can't have you wondering round the house with nothin' on and Mike about. He's not all that nice, even when he doesn't suspect….." Carl's voice trailed off, and his eyes slid away again, infuriating Pete.

"What? What doesn't he suspect, Carl?" he said, far louder than he knew Carl would like.

"You a fucking exhibitionist or something? SHUT.UP." Carl hissed through gritted teeth, as he wrapped a hand round Pete's mouth, defensive, confused eyes meeting his own.
Pete felt a little sorry, but he still wanted some sort of talk about this. And when people didn't pay attention, he had a habit of creating a 'scene' as Carl had come to call it, just to get that attention.
He reached up, curled a hand gently around Carl's and brought it to his lips, kissing so softly, that he saw a chill run though Carl's body, was terrified that Carl would wrench it angrily away.

But he didn't. Just looked down at Pete on the bed with a listless sort of anxiety, as Pete cast his eyes down Carl's body to his crotch and saw the erection pressing at the front of jeans, and cast his eyes back up to Carl's, and stopped kissing, and started sucking on the fingers at his mouth. Carl's eyes went wide as Pete sucked harder, blatant implication in what he knew he was doing to Carl.
Pete moved a hand to press where the bulge in Carl's jeans pressed restlessly back as Carl moaned above him, eyes closed, suddenly snapping open when Pete removed the hand, hot and rough, from his mouth.

Swallowing slightly, Pete reached forward, hand coming to rest on Carl's belt. He cast his own frightened eyes to the expectant ones above. Carl's hand was resting lightly on the back of his head, and thinking that he'd never wanted to do this to anyone in his life so much before, Pete shuffled closer eagerly, and started working at the buckle before him.


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