Experience & Expectations

Why one of them talks sometimes and the other doesn't. Actually, it's more or less PWP.


Characters: ,






Length: words

Warning: Smut (graphic sex scenes), M/M sex & swearing, Mentions of het.

Notes: Betaed by plain_jane08 and hand-holding with the ending by avon_09

Experience & Expectations by crowson75

No one ever asked him how he knew Julian would arrive late and hung over. Least of all they didn’t ask whilst Noel circled and pushed, trying to involve Julian in every single answer of every interview. Whether it was just the assumption that Noel would know everything, he didn’t know. Or that somehow, he was the talkative one and it was expected. They were tedious, these promotional tours, and far worse when one of you was ever aware of trying to pull the other into the conversation.

“I’m no fucking good at the bastard things,” Julian huffed the evening before. The two men were sat in Noel’s house after Dee had gone to bed. “You should do the interviews yourself.”

“I don’t want to do them myself.” Noel felt a little like screaming. “You’re a big part of the Boosh, you prick. You’re fucking involved, that’s it.”

“Listen, you and I both know that they want to talk to you and not to me.” Julian pouted. He really was an awful lot like Howard at times. “Why should I even bother?”

Noel resisted the urge to give him the Vince answer; though he could feel the mannerisms begin to emerge.

“That’s just bollocks,” he told Julian. “We’re a partnership, not one man and his fucking dog. Now, I don’t give a toss—I’m getting a cold, I feel like shit, I want some help and I don’t want to argue about it.”

Julian sat there for a few moments, pulling a face and shaking his head, mocking Noel’s outburst. Noel glared.

“I just never know what to say,” Julian chuntered under his breath.

“And I do?” Noel shook his head. “I talk bollocks ninety percent of the time in interviews, you know that Ju.”

“Is it too late to stop doing interviews because we think it gives away our mystique?” Julian suggested softly. His tone offered an unspoken apology.

“What mystique?” Noel looked—and was—genuinely puzzled. “I think we squeeze our bollocks into clothing that’s far too tight to talk about mystique. Besides, by the time I’ve sneezed over everyone tomorrow they’re going to be wearing what’s left of mine.”

“Lovely image.” Julian’s expression suggested he was vaguely nauseous. “Feeling bad then, mate?”

“Like shit, but it always happens doesn’t it?” Noel pulled his knees up into the armchair he was sat in, clutching them to his chest. “How many bastard colds have I had this year?”

“How many bastard hangovers have you had this year?” Julian responded raising an eyebrow.

“What’s that got to do it? Cos you’re so much fucking cleaner living?” Noel pointed out sarcastically, his mouth dropping open at the suggestion. He adopted his Tony Harrison voice, softening, trying to dissipate the anger. “It’s an outrage!”

Julian smiled a little. “We’re a right pair, aren’t we?” he asked rhetorically. “One of us just wants to hide, and the other is so busy enjoying the attention that he’s fucked all the time.”

“We’re alright,” Noel said gently. “We’re just… Blokes. We’d both get pissed up half the time even if we worked in Tesco’s.”

“Wouldn’t be so easy to get away with all the kissing jokes if we worked in Tesco’s,” Julian said, giving Noel something of a coy look, then held it, making it confrontational, a challenge; a dare. He slipped off the sofa, onto his knees, shuffling over towards Noel.

“Who says we get away with them anyway?” the younger man replied, letting his feet drop back to the floor and spreading his knees as Julian approached. Julian crawled between Noel’s legs, his hands slipping along his thighs, his eyes never leaving Noel’s. Then, he hesitated.

Noel could see the indecision in Julian’s eyes. They had played this game before. There was voyeuristic wanking on the tour bus, a night of groping at the end of tour party and then, weeks of flirtation during filming. That had ended after the series wrap party, with Noel pulling Julian’s hair, coming down his throat, whispering and trembling. When Noel had tried to reciprocate, Julian had pinned him on the floor, rubbing his hot, hard dick against Noel’s sweaty stomach. Noel had whimpered as if it was he, and not Julian, coming in hot spurts between them.

Now here they were, staring at each other, wondering and daring. Normally, Julian was the more confident in these moments between the two; Noel didn’t know why and hadn’t wanted to ask. But here, perhaps because they were in Noel’s front room, Julian paused. Noel could feel his erection straining against the zip of his tight trousers uncomfortably. He looked down at his crotch, and then he noticed that Julian was staring.

“Erm, sorry,” Noel apologised. “It perked up the minute you were on your knees.” He wasn’t quite aware of what he had said, what he’d suggested, until he looked again at Julian who was arching his eyebrows. “Not that I was telling you too… Or thinking you’d want to…”

“Shut up,” Julian said quietly, perhaps with a slightly frustrated tone, leaning forward to pull Noel’s mouth to his.

The kiss was neither gentle nor soft, though it had started that way. Julian had soft lips but his moustache brushed Noel’s skin, sending a shiver up his spine. Unbidden, Noel remembered how the moustache felt on other parts of his body and he moaned. Once Julian heard it, the kiss became more insistent; Julian’s tongue plundering Noel’s mouth, sucking at his tongue. Then Noel went from moaning to grabbing, wrapping his legs around Julian until he was pushed back.

“Stop…” Julian was pushing at his chest weakly, as if his body was in disagreement with his words. “Not here…”

“She’s asleep,” Noel whispered. He pulled Julian’s head to one side, running his tongue up his exposed neck to his ear. “Besides, she wouldn’t mind.”

“I don’t think you can decide that your girlfriend would be okay with me bumming her boyfriend in the front room!” Julian said, his voice a slightly panicked whisper, though he didn’t pull away from Noel’s caresses.

“You know when we were in the office at the wrap party?” Noel whispered between kisses. “And we thought we heard the door and… Well, it was pretty obvious what was going on…”

“Really? You don’t think you shouting ‘fuck yes suck me, Julian!’ at the top of your lungs was a give-away do you?” Julian said, his fingers tracing the seams of Noel’s jeans with his finger.

“Y’know, it might have been,” Noel replied, cuffing Julian softly. “Anyway, it was Dee who came in.”

“Fuck…” Julian said softly. “I’m sorry, I…”

“She and I haven’t fucked that hard in years,” Noel told him quietly, his voice dropping in pitch and tone. “She wishes you and I would get it over with and shag already.”

“Oh.” Julian sounded a little deflated. Noel was tracing the curve of his ear with his tongue, his erection tight against Julian’s stomach. He was only just resisting the urge to dry hump his friend into submission.

“Can we shag now?” Noel asked sincerely, finally grabbing Julian’s hand and pushing it over his crotch. Noel’s hips bucked upwards at the touch, despite it being expected. “Please..?” he whispered, grabbing the collar of Julian’s shirt in his hand, trying to inch even closer.

“Oh God,” Julian moaned, rubbing the bulge in Noel’s trousers for a moment, then frantically tugging to get the fly open. “Want to fuck you.”

Noel needed to feel skin against his own, and Julian seemed to agree as the two men started to tear at each other’s clothing. There was no romance, no delicacy, just pulling and tugging with shaky fingers. Noel shivered as his t-shirt was pulled up and off, but it didn’t stop him from unbuttoning and removing Julian’s shirt. He was pushed further into the chair, as Julian undid his jeans before pulling them from his hips along with his underwear. As soon as he was released, Noel pulled at Julian’s belt, pushing the older man onto his back. When he was finally naked too, Noel crawled over him. He paused to blow the heated skin of Julian’s crotch, and then moved up to let their chests rub together. Finally face-to-face, Noel could feel Julian’s cock against his own as he held himself over the older man. He circled his hips, moaning at the friction, before looking down at the man below him.

“Feel good?” He asked, slightly breathlessly, his voice turning husky with lust.

“Oh yeah,” Julian said lightly, his eyes drooping at the sensation. “Really good, better than I ever thought…”

“Freaking out?” Noel’s lips curved into a smile.

“Every single time,” Julian whispered his reply before pulling Noel’s face down to his. As their lips touched, Julian slid his tongue in, alongside Noel’s. The desperate need was still there, if slightly tamed. As Noel let his arms sag, their bodies touched from tip to toe and Julian slipped his arms over him, clasping his shoulders, holding him tight. He squirmed beneath Noel, arching his hips up to grind against Noel’s.

“Fuck, you feel good,” Noel murmured when the kiss ended. His head dropped to Julian’s shoulder where he licked the warm, damp skin of his friend. Noel let his legs fall astride Julian’s, sighing as it bought their groins closer still. The harder, more muscular plains of Julian’s physique never failed to excite him. Being on top of Julian, having something like power over him… It was all so very different to his relationship with Dee. He moaned as Julian’s hands dropped from his shoulders, tracing the length of Noel’s spine with his fingers then, finally, stroking the curves of his backside. Noel wondered, rather foggily, how he had never noticed how big Julian’s hands were. The thought occupied him for a moment before he noticed where Julian’s fingers were creeping.

“Ummm.” Noel lifted his head and looked at his friend. He blushed slightly. Julian’s hands stilled.

“You’ve not done anything like this before, have you?” Julian was looking at him with an amused smile.

Noel shook his head. He paused and then shook his head some more. “Only with you.”

Julian’s grin turned proud, and he nodded and leaned up to kiss Noel’s crooked nose.

“Well, in that case, I suggest lubricant.” Julian’s words suggested he knew what he was doing. Julian’s tone suggested he was winging it.

“Okay,” Noel agreed, clambering to his feet. He opened the living room door, checked the coast was clear, and headed to the downstairs bathroom. He pulled half the contents of the bathroom cabinet into the sink searching for KY jelly, then tiptoed back into the living room. Julian was still laid on the floor, though he had rolled onto his side, and was resting his head on his hand waiting for Noel to emerge. He smiled up at the younger man but, when he noticed what he was carrying, wrinkled his nose at the KY jelly.

“You know that stuff tastes like arse don’t you?”

“Well, since that’s where it’s going, I figure that’s fair enough really,” Noel said sarcastically. “I mean you’re not going to taste it… Oh. You weren’t?”

“Thought about it.” Julian shrugged, “but then, if this is your first time, perhaps it’s the better option.” He took the tube of KY jelly from Noel’s fingers and squirted a little into his palm. “Adopt the position!”

Noel looked terrified. He felt terrified. Then Julian winked, and something inside him went a little bit wibbly. He stood, holding his hands over his crotch, and looked at his feet. He heard Julian sigh and peered at him underneath his fringe. Julian’s hand was reaching for his and he reached out, letting the older man tug him back onto the floor.

“Lay down next to me,” Julian whispered. “Facing me, so I can see you.”

Noel did as he was bid, keeping Julian’s lubed up fingers in his peripheral vision. A slow, gentle kiss made Noel’s eyelids droop, though he still caught the slight movement of Julian’s hand moving over his hip and he tensed. By the time Julian’s slippery fingers were ghosting over his backside, Noel was fidgeting with nerves.

“You’re going to have to relax,” Julian told him after breaking the kiss. “All I’m going to do is push a finger inside you. If that freaks you out, we’ll stop.”

Noel nodded without really listening to the words. His brain was fixated on trying to remember how thick Julian’s fingers were. He was paying so little attention to what Julian was actually doing, that when he was rolled onto his back and Julian’s hand closed around his dick he almost yelled.

“Aah, ahh… wah?” Noel stared at Julian, confused. He was pretty sure he wanted Julian to fuck him. The idea of being bent over the sofa with Julian shagging him senseless turned him on, as long as he let himself be misty on the details. When the stark reality of what would actually happen came into focus, suddenly a whole lot of clenching started going on. He couldn’t deny, though, that Julian’s hand felt good on him, and it was draining a lot of his concern from his body—seemingly out through his cock, which he could feel leaking onto Julian’s arm. He lay back, enjoying the sensation and the gentleness that Dee had never quite mastered. He barely flinched when Julian moved his legs wider, merely groaning as he felt Julian’s warm, dry palm running over his balls and then, underneath.

“Bloody hell that’s good,” Noel moaned, spreading his legs wider. He looked up, then down the length of his body, to see Julian kneeling between his legs, watching his fist curled around Noel’s cock intently. When he put pressure on the spot behind Noel’s balls with his other hand, Noel’s eyes flickered closed and he lifted his hips to get closer to the incredible sensation. “Genius…”

“Thank you.”

Noel could hear the smile in Julian’s voice. He was tempted to be upset, but a drop more lube was dribbled onto the head of his cock and, somehow, he lost the will to do anything but moan. Julian pushed his legs up a little further, until they were draped over Julian’s shoulders. He realised that he should feel a bit shy, but Julian was whispering and touching him and it was all he cared about. Even the jostling of Julian’s fingers over that spot, sliding backwards a little and… It felt too good to worry.

“I love the feel of your cock in my hand.” Julian twisted his hand a little around Noel’s shaft, leaving him straining upwards. “And you are so fucking sexy I can’t tell you; half shy, half slut…”

A little more lube dribbled against the inside of Noel’s thighs and suddenly, Julian’s hands on him seemed as if they were everywhere all at once. He could feel wetness trickling downwards and then Julian’s fingers smoothing the moisture against his hole. It felt good so he relaxed into it, trusting his friend. Somehow, Julian was still managing to insistently rub his cock and between his legs, and all Noel could do was angle and lift his body; trying to make the contact firmer, deeper, constant. As he pushed against each caress, he realised that the motion had forced one of Julian’s fingers inside him. Julian wiggled it a little. It felt odd and Noel shivered a little, until the feeling went from odd to fantastic.

“Ohhhhh,” Noel moaned, rocking against Julian’s touch, establishing his own rhythm. “I don’t know what’s going on here but I’m loving it.”

“I can tell,” Julian told him, his voice deep and warm. The feeling stopped for a moment and Noel looked up briefly, before he felt the pressure against his hole again. There was a slightly stretch, nothing painful but different. Noticing the slight tension, Julian whispered, “Okay?”

Noel nodded as Julian’s fingers curved inside him again.

“Oh yeah,” Noel told him, clutching the living room carpet. “As long as you carry on doing that rubbing thing, you can stick whatever you want up my arse.”

Julian’s fingers shook slightly with his laughter. “Hang on, I’ll go and fetch a marrow from the kitchen.”

Noel began to giggle. “Don’t you dare.”

“Considering you were worried about a finger a minute ago, you’ve changed your tune, Mr bugger-me-with-anything.” Julian put pressure on the spot that felt so good, leaving Noel gasping.

“Have you done this before?” Noel whispered. Julian was barely touching his cock now, but it didn’t matter. He was starting to think that if a finger felt this good a cock would be… Still big.

“Stick my fingers up your arse?” Julian answered, wiggling his eyebrows. “No, well, not while you were awake at least.”

“I didn’t…” Noel’s words were lost in moan and a shudder, as Julian’s fingers circled inside him. Then the angle changed and Julian was licking his stomach, then there was skin tight against his. When Noel opened his eyes Julian was above him, his expression portraying amusement and lust.

“Are you asking me if I’ve slept with a man before, Mr Fielding?” Julian’s eyes sparkled with mischievous tenderness.

Julian’s cock was nudging his own, and Noel lifted his legs to circle his friend’s waist—anything to keep those fingers inside him. He nodded, his gaze never leaving Julian’s, feeling rather hypnotised.

“Do you honestly think I’d know how to do this if I hadn’t?” Julian asked, crooking his fingers to circle and torment the spot inside Noel that was sending shivers along his spine.

Noel bit his lip to stop from crying out. He clutched Julian’s shoulders, thrusting against his body. Tremors seemed to wrack his body and he hung there, just on the edge of coming. The heat was rising; he could feel his sweaty skin rubbing against the carpet, knowing that it would leave marks. He leaned forward, his teeth grazing his partner’s shoulder; vacantly watching his blunt nails leaving crescent-shaped indents on the pale skin. His cock was trapped between them, sliding against Julian’s sweat-slick stomach. The stretch against his hole intensified and he paused, wanting and not wanting what was coming next.

“Fuck, lube,” Julian grunted, scrabbling around trying to find it.

“No, don’t stop,” Noel whispered, trying to hold onto sweaty skin.

“I want to be inside you when you come,” Julian told him, trying to disentangle himself from Noel’s limbs. “I want to come inside you.”

“Oh fuck,” Noel whimpered. His arms fell from Julian’s shoulders and he lay back on the floor, taking a long, shuddering, deep breath. He moaned as Julian climbed off of him. “Just hurry…” he whispered, letting his arm rest over his forehead, his right leg jiggling slightly as he tried to get his body back under control. He was clenching the fingers of both hands, trying desperately not to just grab his cock and wank himself stupid.

“Bollocks,” Julian muttered. Noel felt the tube of KY jelly land on his chest. It sat there for a moment. He felt Julian’s slippery fingers retrieve it.

“Hurry up!” Noel groaned, reaching out to grab any part of Julian’s body he could, if only to stop him from touching himself. He ended up with a knee and squeezed it. He felt the tube of lube fall back onto his chest. He moved his arm and looked up at Julian, whose fingers were trembling. Sweat dripped down the side of his face as he fumbled with the tube cap, until Noel took it from him.

“Put your hand out,” Noel said, sitting up to rest on one elbow. He squeezed some of the transparent goo into Julian’s palm and gently coated his fingers. Then, without another word, Noel rolled over until he was on his knees and stood. He watched Julian sit back on his heels, watching him, as he strutted round to the sofa and leaned over the back of it decorously, waggling his arse. He looked at his friend and lifted a hand, beckoning him. “Come here and carry on. Want you to fuck me over the sofa,” Noel said, his face all seriousness, lust and need.

Julian looked stunned for a moment and then walked towards him. Noel tried not to grin when he tripped over the coffee table in his haste. A calm had settled upon him at seeing Julian so nervous. He was used to being the forward one, the gobby one—the one everyone thought was experienced. It didn’t matter that both men knew the truth; the feeling of faking it was comfortable and comforting. As his partner stood behind him, Noel stretched like a cat; leaning back to put his arms round Julian’s neck, tilting his head back and to the side, bringing their lips together. He could feel Julian’s erection against his backside and he curved his back to bring their bodies even closer, gasping as he felt it slip between his buttocks. Julian moaned.

“You’re not ready,” he whispered against Noel’s ear, slipping his slick fingers alongside his cock. Noel leaned forward as Julian’s fingers circled his hole, easing them inside the puckered ring of muscle. Noel felt two fingers slip inside easily before the pressure he had become familiar with returned. He breathed out, relaxing and then sighing, as he felt the third finger slip inside. He refused to tense up, letting Julian found the right spot, as Noel knew he would. He leaned forward over the back of the sofa, stretching out his body. He felt Julian’s other hand tracing the ridges of his spine and he almost purred at the contact.

Julian’s fingers twisted inside him. He felt full and now, the thought of what he would soon be full of made his cock twitch. He wanted this. This was his and he had control. The pain he had expected hadn’t arisen so far, though he did feel stretched. But every time he thought it might be too much, Julian’s fingers would put pressure on the place inside him that turned cohesive thought into Parmesan. He rocked back against Julian’s fingers; it felt good. Better than good. He pushed himself back again feeling the stretch burn, just a little, and he halted, taking a few deep breaths, relaxing before he moved forward and back again. This time, the burn didn’t happen. Instead, he found himself wide-eyed at the sensation of fucking himself on his best friend’s fingers. It was only when the older man moaned that he paused.

“Bloody hell!” Julian ground out. “Do you have any idea how ridiculously fucking hot you look?”

“As hot as normal?” Noel replied standing up a little, stretching his back. His cock was bouncing against the back of the leather sofa, making it sticky with his pre-come. He wondered if he would be left with a leather-kink for life. Well, more of a leather-kink than he already had.

Julian spluttered and chuntered. The only word Noel clearly made out was lube. That was enough.

“Hold steady and I’ll take care of it,” he said, turning as soon as Julian’s fingers were free. He gave Julian a quick peck on the lips, and then dropped to his knees. Julian’s cock was dripping slightly and Noel licked the head, moaning at the salty taste on his tongue. He opened his mouth, sucking gently on the tip before moving down the shaft a little. With a free hand, he popped the cap on the lube and squirted some into his palm. He sat back, letting Julian’s cock fall from his lips and replacing them with his hand. He coated Julian’s dick with lube thoroughly. He thought a little more and glooped a bit more on. He heard a familiar sound and looked up to see Julian grinning.

“I need to have a bit of that, so don’t use it all.” Julian put his hand out. Noel squeezed lube into his palm, his face showing his confusion. “Turn around,” Julian said, helping Noel to his feet. “We need to grease both sides of well… You need more lube up your….”

“Oh!” Noel blushed, nodded slowly and turned around. This is it, he thought. He felt the moisture on Julian’s fingers as they entered him, then more, until he thought he would scream if Julian didn’t just hurry up already. Julian reached round him, coating Noel’s cock with what was left of the lube. Then, there it was, a blunt pressure on his hole that made Noel want to tense up. Julian’s hand touched his shoulder, digging into the muscles and reminding him to relax. He took a deep breath, exhaling and relaxing as he felt Julian’s cock inch inside him. The feeling was unusual. Julian’s clever fingers had found all the pleasurable places but this was different. He leaned forward a little and the new angle changed something for the better and he moaned, wondering when Julian would be completely inside him. He could have sworn he felt hair and then, Julian was pulling out a little.

“No, just… give me…” Noel stuttered breathlessly. Julian’s hand was on his cock again and he felt him push back inside him. He moaned; feeling slightly overawed by being breached and engulfed by the man behind him.

“Not going anywhere,” Julian whispered. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” Noel answered shakily, feeling Julian push inside him again achingly slowly. The stretched feeling was still there, but the remnants of burn he felt before had gone. All he felt now was fullness and the teasing pleasure of Julian’s hand on him, slightly too soft, too gentle. Julian was easing out of him again, and he closed his eyes as his cock brushed that spot inside. Before he knew what he was doing, he was pushing back against his friend, impaling himself on Julian’s cock, slightly too fast for complete comfort. Julian’s hand tightened on his cock and there… This was what he wanted.

“Fuck me, come on,” Noel moaned, as Julian pulled out a little. “Just fucking do it.” He gripped the back of the leather couch and stood slightly. It gave him more leverage and, when Julian began to slide back in, Noel met each thrust. The blood was starting to pound in his head slightly, but the sound; the glorious, dirty sound of Julian’s balls slapping his arse changed his mind. He looked up to see the outline of their joined bodies in the black TV screen before them. He watched himself being pushed forward, as Julian thrust into him again over and over, and he slammed back, meeting it each time.

Julian’s hand was working his cock faster, the man himself mumbling against Noel’s back about how good it felt. The constant caress inside Noel seemed to stimulate every nerve in his body. Sweat was dripping down his face, and he was gasping for each breath as he shoved his body back against Julian’s. He could feel the heat of oncoming orgasm coil inside as he gripped the sofa, his fingertips turning white beneath the nails. Noel let out a frantic sob as he felt himself coming hard in Julian’s hand; against the back of the fucking sofa, he realised. He felt his body convulsively clench around the dick inside him until it was almost painful. Julian’s breathing had turned to grunts, which had seemed to ring louder in his ears when he came. Noel’s arms gave way and he slipped over the sofa back, feeling Julian’s hands hold him steady as he was shoved forward against the yielding leather by the force of each thrust. Noel was held tightly as he felt a rush inside him, and Julian was moaning; clinging to him, apologising breathlessly as he fell back, stumbling against the door behind them, slamming it shut loudly.

Noel lifted his head, straining his ears to hear any sound from above them. He was distracted by Julian in front of him, stumbling, trying to find his clothes.

“Just, be quiet,” Noel said softly, easing himself from his rather bent position. His back creaked as he stood and his blood rushed as he reached upright. He staggered slightly, and then sneezed horribly loudly in the now silent house. Julian was pulling at him, supporting him until he flopped onto the sofa. Then Julian was pulling at him again.

“You can’t sit… You’ll leave marks and… Oh shit!” Julian flopped to his knees in front of him. “Are you alright? I’m sorry I was a bit rough towards the end and… Oh fuck, why did we do this here?” He pulled his hand across his forehead, suddenly looking older than his years. Noel reached out a hand and touched his shoulder.

“It was good,” he said sincerely. “You gave me what I wanted. And don’t worry… Oh, the chair’s all wet.” Noel stood somewhat shakily and looked at where he had been sitting. The space was damp with what lube and spunk had dribbled out of him. “I really should have thought about that,” he said a little dopily, loping towards the sitting room door. He opened the door and stepped into the hallway. What he saw made him pause.

Dee was sitting on the stairs looking at him. She smiled a little sadly and nodded. ‘OK?’ she mouthed softly. He nodded, knowing that they were okay but not sure by how much.

Noel felt Julian’s presence behind him rather than hearing it. He wasn’t surprised when he turned to see Julian dressed, though he noticed that his shoes were untied and his socks were being shoved into his pocket. He reached out a hand as he reached Noel’s back, stroking the still damp skin at the base of his spine lightly, and all too briefly. He pushed past, leaving Noel behind.

“Night,” Julian said to Dee making his way to the door. Without turning, he told Noel; “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Not if you leave like that,” Dee said softly. Julian turned and looked at her. “Go get a drink from the kitchen. We’ll be there in a minute.”

Noel was shocked to see his friend obey every word.

Then Dee turned back to Noel, who was shivering slightly. “You look like shit,” she said standing and heading downstairs. When she faced him, she kissed his forehead then shook her head. “Go have a shower, you smelly bastard.”

Noel nodded dumbly, before returning to the sitting room. He put his underpants on and gathered up his clothes, feeling rather stupid. He knew the room smelled of sex and sweat, so he opened the window slightly. He wiped his come from the back of the sofa, and the damp patch he had left on the seat, with his t-shirt. As he wearily climbed the stairs, he heard Dee’s voice talking to Julian, then a cork being pulled from a bottle. Julian was laughing and Noel took a breath he didn’t know he had been holding.

It was going to be a long night, and an even longer day thereafter. Julian would talk and drink and then clam up in the morning. Noel would be silent and nervous tonight, and talk like a mad man to everybody who asked him a question tomorrow. Perhaps that was just the way it was. It might just even be the way it should be, after all.