Never Seen Blue
Category: Real Person Fic
Characters: Julian Barratt
Pairing: Noel Fielding/Julian Barratt
Challenge: Challenge 21: Mistletoe
Length: 1-5k words
Notes: Written for the mistletoe fic challenge but I didn’t get round to posting it before the deadline. I will warn that it contains cutting.
Never Seen Blue by justuninspired
The cold evening air stung Noel’s cheeks as he strolled through the overcrowded streets. His hat was pulled down just low enough to hide his face if he kept his head down, his eyes to the floor as he tried to avoid the unnaturally cheerful faces of the last-minute Christmas shoppers who got in his way and the sight of the tacky decorations littering every shop window, wall and lamppost. A smirk of pity and scorn came to his face as he noticed a man dressed as an oversized elf out of the corner of his eye, handing out some form of promotional flyers nobody seemed to want. Poor sod. Well, it was comforting to know that at least one person was probably feeling as cold and fed up and useless as he was.
Wrapping his long black coat around himself and shivering, Noel quickened his pace in an attempt to keep warm. warm. Having no meat on his bones whatsoever brought the challenge of trying not to freeze to death if he so much as stepped out of his front door. Plus, the faster he walked, the sooner he would get to Julian’s. Perhaps the older man would take pity on him and invite him inside, leaving him in a messy living room to make awkward conversation with Julia while he made tea; if she was there. If she was, it would only make things more difficult. Or perhaps a blazing row would occur there on the doorstep, ending with Julian slamming the door in Noel’s face, leaving him unable to do anything but sit on the bench at the end of their street, shivering and sobbing, ignoring the awkward passers by who pretended he didn’t exist. Either way, Julian would shout. An awful lot. He wouldn’t be happy with anything Noel had to say to him, but it had to be done before he went insane; there was no way he could wait until after Christmas to get it all off his chest. Far too much between them had been left in an unsolved, ugly mess. More than anything though, Noel just wanted Julian to take him into his strong arms, hold him close, stroke his hair, tell him how much he meant to him. How he hadn’t meant all of those awful things, how he was so fucking sorry.
There had been words. There had been tears. And then there had been blood. As he walked along, Noel ran a finger over the last, scarring traces of the wound on his wrist. It didn’t bring a pleasant memory. He’d made a lame attempt to cover the cut with his sleeve once he had emerged from the bathroom after two hours of crying, brooding and bleeding his arm almost dry; however, Julian had inevitably noticed. For once, Noel thought bitterly. He must’ve seen the cuts before, of course; when his sleeve slipped down slightly as he wrote, when he undressed him and kissed him all over, when he held his thin wrists down across a mattress, but he never seemed to suspect a thing. Even if he did he never brought it up. Perhaps he felt uncomfortable. Or perhaps he simply didn’t give a fuck.
But from then on, Julian knew. Knew that he was a “Cutter”. Perhaps Noel wanted him to, but it still embarassed him. It was something, he awkwardly admitted to Noel as he cleaned the wound, he thought was a problem for 14-year-old girls with PMT. This had made Noel wince hard. He felt absolutely pathetic.
Julian had held him after that, tightly, a worried expression on his face as he stared blankly into the distance. Then he tried to give Noel his version of “The Talk”, as he had begun to call it. The same old shit he got from everybody; “what if you go too far?” and “why do you do it?” and Noel’s personal favourite, “you have to stop.” All this; but he still didn’t apologise for the way he’d shouted and thrown objects and the terrible things he’d called Noel.
And when Noel whispered a soft “I love you” into his ear, he’d gone stiff and muttered something about needing an early night. Noel had crumbled.
He’d visited everybody over the past couple of days. He’d sat in Dave’s kitchen, staring out of the window at a clear blue sky. A nice sunny day, a deceiving look given the freezing temperature. Dave stood opposite him, cutting up two fat lines of coke. Although Noel had accepted the offer of free drugs without hesitation (Christmas present, apparently) he wasn’t sure if he even wanted them; the cheap thrill they could offer, the quick high, the momentary sensation that he was alive; he was getting sick of it. All the temporary fixes of happiness to forget the one thing that was making him so unhappy, the drugs, the sharp objects, a pack of cigarettes, a bottle of vodka. He needed… more.
“Do smile, Noel.” Dave’s voice rang out through his mixed up mind. “What’s so interesting out there, then?”
Noel forced a smile. “Thought I saw a goat falling out of the sky.”
Dave chuckled, frowning. “How much have you had, mate?” He sat beside him, placing a hand on his shoulder. “What’s the matter?” he asked, softly. Noel turned his gaze to look into Dave’s kind eyes, laced with genuine concern. At least, Noel hoped that’s what it was. He knew that, given the oppurtunity, Dave would probably fuck him. Perhaps right now over the table. “Is this about… Julian?” Dave almost whispered his name as if it were some kind of vulgar word. It took a while for Noel to respond, but he finally managed a nod.
“I’m just so sick of him fucking me around,” Noel muttered. “And expecting me to come running back the second he snaps his fingers. But the thing is I… do.” Noel sat hunched over in his chair, head hung, hands clasped in his lap. His sleeves rolled back slightly, revealing the ever present red wounds, a contrast to his startlingly pale skin. He felt a vague sense of panic as Dave rolled them back further to expose more.
“That bad?” he said. Noel shrugged. When he looked up, Dave wore a puzzled expression. He shook his head. “I just worry that one day I’ll pop over to yours to find you hanging from your shower railings or something.”
Noel supressed a cold laugh. “I’m not going to kill myself, Dave.”
The look on Dave’s face was one of pure confusion. Noel suddenly felt very alone. “Noel,” he said, seriously. “You need Julian. He needs you. Surely… this…” he gestured towards Noel’s wrist “is proof of that?”
“He doesn’t give a fuck about me,” Noel snapped bitterly, feeling pathetic as tears stung the back of his eyes. He blinked them away angrily.
Dave’s hand moved off his shoulder and down onto his knee. “You need each other,” he said, pressing a soft kiss to his cheek. Noel drew back awkwardly, gently brushing the hand off him.
“Don’t,” he muttered.
Dave shrugged, getting up. “Okay. Not even a quick kiss under the mistletoe?” Noel’s head snapped up, and Dave released that chuckle again that was beginning to get on his nerves. “I’m kidding, Noel. Relax.”
“Oh.” Noel forced a laugh, shifting akwardly. “Right.”
Dave gestured towards the coke, handing Noel the bank note lying beside it. “Would you like to do the honours?”
His wrists stung.
Dave didn’t understand.
Noel had straddled Julian’s lap, riding his cock gently, raven hair falling into his flushed face. He’d gripped Julian’s sides tightly, breathy moans falling from his parted lips, his body tense and his eyes half lidded. “God,” he had whimpered, throwing his head back, feeling Julian’s hands all over his body, groping his arse, pinching his nipples, even caressing his face softly occasionally. He whined when Julian bucked against him, leaning down for a deep, messy, open mouthed kiss, pressing their naked, sweating chests together; he knew Julian didn’t really care for kisses and performed them half-heartedly, but Noel needed them. They made him feel wanted. Secure.
He watched Julian, thinking what an absolute vision he looked; greasy hair all over the place, eyes fluttering occasionally, noiseless other than his inevitably heavier breathing. He placed a hand on each side of Noel’s face, Noel reaching up to grip his wrist as they stared into one another’s faces. There was a look in those small brown eyes that Noel couldn’t remember seeing before; a sadness, an ache, almost. Noel was shocked to see tears welling up in them; he put his arms around Julian’s neck, holding him, pressing their faces up close.
“What is it?” he asked softly, stopping for a second. “What’s wrong?”
Julian smiled, a tearful smile, putting his arms around Noel and running comforting hands up and down his back. He didn’t respond.
“Do you like my decorations?” Mike gestured towards the single piece of tinsel sellotaped to the wall. Noel smiled.
“I see you really made an effort this year!” he replied. Mike’s flat lacked festive cheer completely, with even his Christmas cards tossed aside on the coffee table like junk mail. Mike had never really been one for Christmas, though like most he liked the fact that it gave him an excuse to start drinking at a ridiculously earlier hour.
“Not much point really though, is there.” He fell back onto the sofa, staring up at a ceiling lacking tacky paper chains. “I’m hardly ever here, I won’t be here on… God, sit down, will you? You’re making me nervous!” He was grinning, but Noel wasn’t in the mood. He hadn’t even realised he’d been pacing until Mike’s voice brought him to his senses. He did sit, legs crossed and arms folded, wrapped up in his thoughts as Mike went on and on about things Noel just didn’t care about. He lit up a cigarette disinterestedly, pretending to listen. He missed the days when Mike was so shy he feared his own shadow; socially awkward, practically a mute, back when Noel would have to spend five minutes speaking to him to get anything out of him. Mike did all the talking now. And almost everything, fucking EVERYTHING, had to be about him. It was as if they’d switched positions.
“So, anyway,” he finished finally. “How’s your week been?”
“Shit, to be honest,” Noel muttered.
“Oh.” Mike sounded distinterested. “Not Ju again, is it?” Noel winced at the very sound of his name.
“We’ve not been getting on brilliantly.” Noel shrugged. “In fact, he’s acting like a… cunt.”
“Oh,” Mike said again, seeming completely unfazed by the word Noel had just used to describe his supposed best friend. An awkward pause set over them. Noel pulled his sleeves down further. He always made sure he covered his arms around his brother; Mike thought he’d stopped a long time ago. Noel had expected him to be angry, or upset, when he found out. But other than a slightly less interrogative version of The Talk, he’d barely reacted at all. At times Noel found himself wishing Mike really was a shaman; wished he could give him some kind of magic dust, or a spell, or perhaps a talking blue frog to make everything better. To take all the pain away, sort the mess that was his life. But in reality, the truth was that Mike couldn’t care less.
They had shifted their positions, Noel down on his knees, thighs parted, gripping the headboard as Julian drove into him from behind. Noel had his eyes closed, his head thrown back in absolute pleasure. Julian was fucking him hard, releasing a guttural moan every now and then. He gripped Noel’s shoulders tightly, digging his nails in as he thrust in particularly roughly, evoking a scream from the smaller man.
“Do you like that?” Julian whispered, leaning forward and brushing Noel’s hair out of his face, breath hot on his neck. As he sunk his teeth deep into the pale flesh there, Noel gasped in pain and pushed back against Julian.
“God, yes,” he whimpered. He wanted to tell Julian more; how good he felt, how nobody could fuck him like this. How Julian was… fuck, his everything. But as Julian grabbed a handful of his soft hair, tugging it, the pain was so sweet that he pushed back against him again and came with a gasp. His orgasm was sudden and mindblowing, his body quivering; low whines escaped his mouth before subsiding to little gasps and whimpers.
“Whore,” Julian gasped affectionately against his ear, before letting go and rocking Noel’s insides.
“Well, who knows, Noel,” Rich said, twirling a sprig of mistletoe over in his fingers, “Maybe the new year will bring you joyous and bountiful things.” Noel half frowned, half smiled at Rich’s choice of words.
“Doubt it, mate.” He sipped at his drink, thankful that the pub was relatively quiet. There was little to no chance of them getting recognised here either, which was always a relief, but he hadn’t removed his sunlgasses anyway. “I just wish I could spend the whole year in bed, not having to go out and deal with anybody. Maybe that’s what I’ll do. I’ll become a hermit, of sorts.” He grinned.
“You enjoy that.” Rich sat back in his seat, leaving the mistletoe to lie on the table. They sat in a comfortable silence for a while; Noel liked being with Rich. He was one of the only people he felt truly relaxed around; and perhaps the only person he could really talk to. That was the thing about Rich; he always had time to listen. He would let Noel talk about Julian for ages, allow him to get it all off his chest, although Noel would rarely feel better for long afterwards. Talking was just another temporary fix. The problem was still there. He lost himself in his thoughts for a bit, not realising he was scowling, his fist clenched until Rich’s voice rang into his brain with, “you alright?”
He turned and nodded, forcing a smile. “I’m fine. Another drink?”
“I’ll get it.” Before Noel could protest he was walking to the bar. Noel sighed, resting his head on his hands, hating how his thoughts would wander to Julian even when he was doing his best to distract himself. Rich could hold a great conversation but even that wasn’t good enough. He picked up the mistletoe Rich had been picking at, studying it as if it were a newly discovered dinosaur fossil, trying to clear his mind. He just didn’t want to think anymore. It was all too much.
“Keep that,” Rich said, returning with their drinks. “Might bring you more luck than it brought me.” He grinned. Probably not, Noel thought, but at least any reminder of Rich was likely to make him smile before he saw him next. He pocketed the mistletoe.
They lay together, silence broken only by soft breathing. Noel clung to Julian, sharing soft, tongueless kisses with him every now and then. He didn’t mind that Julian’s kisses were reluctant and didn’t mirror his passion. Just being with him was more than Noel could ever ask for.
“You feel so cold,” Julian remarked, pulling the duvet up further around the smaller man. Noel looked up at him, smiling, squeezing him in his arms. He could feel Julian everywhere; his scent all over him, his cum in his arse, his taste on his lips. “Pass me a fag, will you?” Noel reached out to the bedside table, handing one to Julian and lighting one himself. The comfortable silence returned for a while, Noel smiling as he felt Julian running his hands through his hair, kissing his cheek.
“Can’t believe I won’t see you for a whole week,” Noel whispered.
Julian smiled. “You’ve survived longer, little man. You won’t even think about me when you’re on your usual Christmas bender.”
Noel chuckled, although mildly shocked that Julian could think something like that. He pressed a kiss to his bare chest. “I never stop thinking about you.”
Things had been so perfect then. Difficult to believe it was only one year ago, Christmas eve 2006, considering the way things had changed. How things were so wonderful then, and were now… awful, put simply. Confusing. Everything made sense, yet nothing felt right.
He’d been standing outside Julian’s door for five minutes, trying to ignore the icy, cruel touch of the snow that rarely bothered to fall, raising his hand every now and then to knock but never quite managing. This was a bad idea, he knew it. Every now and then, he’d go to turn away, but he just couldn’t. He had to see Julian, even for five minutes.
He jumped, taken by surprise, as the door opened by itself. Julian stood, a cold expression on his face. “So, are you coming in or are you just going to stand there and freeze to death?” he asked coldly. Noel sighed as he stepped in, Julian closing the door behind them, leading him through to their living room. He noticed the gigantic Christmas tree in the corner, full of colour, lighting up the usually understated design; more decorations hung from the ceiling, so bright and cheerful they made Noel feel slightly sick. Since when was Julian a Christmas freak? Besides, all the apparent ‘cheer’ of the decorations couldn’t cover the tense, awkward atmosphere in the room. Julian cleared his throat.
“I’m expecting Julia back soon.”
“I won’t be long.” He removed the hat he’d been shielding himself with, revealing a face that looked pale and tortured, his eyes lacking their usual spark. He looked up at Julian, who stood awkwardly, rather like a stranger in his own house. Noel sighed. “I just… had to see you…”
A tut. Noel looked towards the floor. “Don’t be so dramatic, Noel. You didn’t…” he sighed. “I asked you not to come here.” His tone was softer, but his words hurt just as much. Noel felt a surge of anger running through him; he repressed it, as it seemed he always did, and sat down uninvited.
“We have to talk.”
“Not now…” Julian groaned, beginning to pace the floor, one hand to his forehead.
“Yes, now!” Noel snapped, his voice rising slightly. “It hurts, Julian!”
“Keep your voice down,” Julian hissed. “The twins are asleep upstairs!”
Noel ignored him completely, carrying on in the voice that was becoming louder with every syllable. “I need you and I miss you, yet you won’t even speak to me anymore unless it’s concerning the show! What am I doing wrong, Ju?”
Julian spoke through gritted teeth, “it’s not you, Noel, you know that.”
“Everything’s changed.” His voice was becoming tearful. “You could see me behind Julia’s back quite easily before. She never knew, she doesn’t have to know now. I just want you back in my arms, back in my bed, back in my life.” He drew in a deep breath. “Why don’t you fucking care about me anymore?”
“Then why does it have to be so different?” shouting now, he stood.
“BECAUSE I’M A DAD NOW!” Julian screamed. As if on cue, the sound of confused, unmistakable crying echoed from upstairs. Julian let out a cry of frustration, his pacing ceasing. He stood, head in his hands. The silence between the two of them was almost unbearable. Noel gingerly walked towards him, nervously putting his arms around him. Julian stayed stiff, saying nothing.
“I’m so sorry,” he whispered. Julian fliched as he pressed a soft kiss to his neck.
“You drive me fucking insane,” came the muttered reply. His hands came down from his face, revealing his troubled expression.
“I could say the same for you.” The hint of affection in Noel’s voice was apparent, but Julian’s face didn’t change. He shook Noel off of him.
“I’d like you to leave now,” he said, softly. Coldly. “There’s no way we can sort this. Not now.”
“We can!” Noel said desperately, his voice trembling. “I love you, Julian.”
Julian shook his head. “No, Noel.” The crying became louder. Both of the twins now, the sound tearing through the room, a cruel assault on their ears. “Just… go.” He sighed desperately. “Please. I’m fucking sick of your selfishness and I really don’t want to deal with you right now. You can see yourself out.” He pushed past Noel gently, but the smaller man only followed.
“Please,” he tried one last time. Weakly, pathetically.
“You lost Dee because of this,” Julian replied, emotionlessly. “I’m not losing Julia too.” He disappeared up the stairs. Noel stood for a second or two, breathing softly, staring blankly in front of him with his mind racing. Then he simply walked away, closing the front door softly behind him.
Noel sat on the doorstep for a long time after that, unable to leave, but to go back inside and try again would be pointless. Julian had hurt him enough for one evening. His words tortured him, as he absently played with the mistletoe Rich had given him, turning it over and over in his fingers. Julian had a way of always making him feel so worthless; what hurt more is knowing that he was right. Noel was selfish. Noel would only fuck Julian’s life up if he kept on the way he was, and he didn’t want that. But he also couldn’t bear the thought of being without him.
Noel shivered in the cold; the snow was becoming heavy. Ironic, he thought. It never snowed at Christmas, and the one time it did he wasn’t in the mood to enjoy it. In a way that was becoming as routine as it was unhealthy, he rolled back the sleeve of his coat, wishing he didn’t have to see the ugly little self inflicted marks; wishing the compulsion to make more would just fucking go away…
The sharp edge of his house key was never too successful but it would do for now. Once the momentary rush had passed, the guilt and the hurt and the loneliness temporarily leaving his body in a little red stream, he watched, half fascinated, half feeling quite ill as a little droplet of blood ran down off his arm to mix with the snow gathering on Julian’s doorstep. Well, he’d even created art in the process. He smiled darkly, before finally getting to his feet and making his way off into the night, back to his flat to drink and look for something sharper, both loathing and in a strange way embracing the cycle he was in.