Category: Real Person Fic
Warning: Unspecified Warning
Length: 1-5k words
Notes: I have a thing for angsty one shots. Please shoot me. 😛
Or deal with it.
(preferably the former, it would be of so much help)
Disclaimer: Once again i find myself apologising to the boys for twisting their lives into something overly dramatic for my own (and hopefully others) entertainment. You are overly brilliant, so you dont mind, do you?
One Last Lie by SilverFalcon
The wind chime rattled harshly as Noel unhooked it from the roof and arranged it on the newspaper in front of him. The sound echoed throughout the flat over the faint music of The Cure floating in from the main room’s speakers. The room was stuffy; smelling of old spices from the incense Dee had burnt over the years, even though the windows were wide open and the sun shone through vibrantly. It didn’t matter though, Noel’s attitude was focussed on the task at hand and he wasn’t at all privy to the sunshine. Wrapping the wind chime in a multitude of paper and stacking it into the box with the other nondescript packages Noel moved across the room and lifted a canvas from its place on the wall and stacked it with the pile of others he’d removed from around the flat.
They’d been in this flat five years, five and a half, to be more precise. But this flat had seen so much more than the other places he’d lived. This flat had seen his relationships evolve. This flat had seen him and Julian. Not the Boosh, but them, them as they were when they were alone. Them when they admitted their feelings. When they understood their relationship went further than the image they’d stuck to for years.
This flat had seen the consequences of their actions, the effects on their relationships and the things they’d done. Things they’d sacrificed to be where they were. To get and maintain what they had.
Noel shifted uncomfortably as a familiar photo fell from the pile of papers he removed from the dresser. One thing he knew about him and Dee was that they were both hoarders. They both kept absolutely everything. But this photo was something more than the junk he’d already thrown out. This had been the first photo they took when they’d changed. The photo that looked like every other stupid shot for everyone else, but for him and Julian it was so much more. It had been the first photo of them as a partnership. Not a working duo, but lovers. Secret lovers that no one else was supposed to know anything about. But he knew that secretly Dee did. Dee always knew everything about him. She always understood.
Putting the photo to the bottom of the pile, Noel riffled through it. Not much of use – scrap paper, old phone numbers and odd post it notes of no consequence and that photo. Noel bit his lip anxiously. Looking at it. Staring at it.
“Would you pair stop larking about and sit still for a moment!” Dee laughed, her words slurring a little from too much booze and not enough focus. The music pulsed and the lights flashed erratically and Noel and Julian laughed. Arms draped around each other, welcome and rather heavy. Julian was secretly nervous about it. Noel could feel it. He knew that Ju was afraid everyone could read his mind, know what he was thinking right then. Noel grinned. He knew what Julian was thinking, and if anyone else did, they’d get arrested. It wasn’t difficult to know, to understand Ju’s insecurities. The only person Noel was afraid of knowing was Dee, and he was half sure she knew already.
“Alright, there! Taken! Not sure whether it’ll be worth looking at though.”
Noel had been pleasantly surprised at how clear the image was. How obvious their enthusiasm and drunkenness was. How inconspicuous their change of relationship was. It was only when you knew what the image was, what it meant, that you understood the scene for what it was. You saw how awkward and relaxed at the same time Julian’s hand was around Noel’s waist. It was only when you looked and knew that you saw the image for what it was.
A knock at the door resonated around the flat. Noel jumped. Scattering the pile and another previously sorted pile of hoarded post it notes and odd photographs all over the floor. Ignoring them he approached the door, peering through the peep hole. Julian’s muted colour scheme stared back at him.
“Noel, open up I can hear your bloody shoes.” Julian called through the door.
Unlocking the door Noel left it shut, knowing that Ju had heard the lock twist and that he’d follow in a moment.
Stalking back into the kitchen he bent down to pick up the papers on the ground. Always busy. If you were busy you didn’t have to meet his eye, and if you didn’t meet his eyes you didn’t have to tell the truth.
Julian’s flat scuffed shoes made a familiar squeak on the tiles as he came up the hall. The sound of the door slamming echoed throughout the flat, drowning out the music for a moment. Noel closed his eyes, moving at a snails pace to gather the papers. Each step Julian made making his heart stab painfully. How long had it been since Julian had shown up here? How long had it been since he and Noel had been alone together?
Each step Julian made into the flat was forbidden by his own rules.
“Were you going to tell me?” Julian asked, standing in the doorway. His voice soft but even above the Cure it was audible.
Noel was grateful his back was turned.
“Yeah.” Noel replied, still keeping his back turned. He felt so selfish, so … scared. So overwhelmed. He was terrified to turn around. Terrified to admit he was even more scared to finally tell Julian to his face that he was leaving. That had been the reason he hadn’t told him. The reason he hadn’t been able to admit to the man he once and truly loved that he was leaving everything they had behind, just for the chance to forget.
“Fuck it Noel, look at me when you talk.” Ju replied, anger coating his tone. Noel swallowed. Gathering the last of the photos into a heap and standing up. He took his time putting them on the table and turning to look at Ju. He was standing in the doorway. Brown cords a fare shade lighter than the jacket, contrasting against the white shirt and half covered his sandals. Same old Julian. But it had been a long time since he’d looked at Noel the way he was now. Angry. Perhaps that was an understatement. Utterly pissed off? – Too harsh. But there was one look in Julian’s eyes that Noel couldn’t dismiss or mistake. Betrayal. Hurt.
He looked away.
“Were you going to tell me?”
“When? – Just before you got in the taxi for the airport? Huh?”
Noel squirmed. He had been planning to do just that. There was less chance of backing out then. Less chance of turning into a blubbering wreck and begging Ju to take him back. To go back to what they once had. It was a plan based on his own distinct lack of bravery where Julian was concerned. Bravery that was, just as he knew it would, failing him.
“I don’t know, Ju.” He replied. Trying desperately to strengthen his voice.
“Were you going to tell me at all? Or where you really just going to run off?”
“I was going to tell you, Ju. Fuck I just told you that!”
“Well then why didn’t you tell me?! Noel for fuck sakes – I found out off Dave! Dave! Noel, Dee’s already left! And you’re standing here packing the last boxes! Noel, the flat’s fucking empty! And I didn’t know a thing!” Noel looked away. His face burning. Julian’s anger filling the room like a poisonous gas. It made it hard to breathe. And Noel reminded himself that he had to be careful. One match was all it took and the whole place would explode. He wouldn’t be able to survive that.
“So please, justify what’s happening here, Noel. Tell me why I’m the last one to know you’re running away.”
“I’m not running, Ju. We’re moving. It’s that simple. We’re moving.”
“To fucking Berlin, Noel. Berlin! Not a couple of blocks away. It’s no where near as simple as you’re trying to make it.”
“Yeah, well things aren’t fucking simple Ju. You told me that, remember?” there we go. The match. The room ignited. Noel felt his own fury mount. Was this what Julian had been after? Had been fishing for? It was certainly the best way for Julian to extract answers out of him. It always had been. When he let his anger go everything went to shit. Everything he’d bottled up would escape. Everything he’d tried to hide would be revealed and he’d be left more open and wounded than anything he could have done to Julian. Julian was strong. Mentally strong. He, on the other hand, was a weak pathetic tit. More prone to crying than the average man, and definitely more open to being the victim of emotional blackmail. It was part of the reason he was such an easy pull for the journo’s. He couldn’t say no.
But when he did, Julian knew exactly how to destroy his determination.
And he’d done it again.
“So that’s what this is about?”
“What do you think, Ju? Honestly! Fuck! – Ju it’s always been about us. No matter what I do here I’m always left hanging with you. I never have a fucking clue. All I know is that you told me we couldn’t any more. You said no, Ju. NO. So I left it at that. I let you say no, so don’t you come here and get fucking pissed at me for saying no back. This is what you wanted.”
“What I wanted? Noel, for Christ sake, this isn’t what I wanted!” he fumed, the hair on his moustache bristling almost comically. Had the circumstances been different Noel would have giggled, made a joke. Brought it up later with other friends or even in the show.
But this wasn’t other times.
Julian walked forward, kicking at the closest box. Something clinked, signalling there was probably a cup broken in the bottom of the box now.
“Well you can’t always get what you want, can you?” Noel replied spitefully. Why, Ju? He asked himself, glaring at the older man as he fumed. Why must you bring it all up? Why bring it all back? He was so close… so damn close to escaping it. Shutting it away where he could forget and move on.
“You are running away.”
”No Ju. I’m fucking not. I’m leaving. I’m putting you away. I’m moving on. There’s a big difference. I mean, you’ve got your other life. You get to live the way you wanted. You get your side of the deal. Why can’t I get my half?”
“You think doing this will change anything?”
”I know it wont – not between us, Ju. But that’s not what I’m doing. I’m moving on. I’m saying good bye to what we had, Ju. I’m saying goodbye. I’m making my choice and you can’t make me stay. You don’t have the right to ask me to stay.”
“Why not?” Julian replied, the anger gone in his eyes and with it, so did Noel’s.
“Ju, the world doesn’t work that way. I don’t work that way. I might be cheap in most respects, but I’m not this time. Not any more.”
Julian stepped forward again. They were just two feet apart now. Noel looked up into Julians eyes. It had been months since he’d done that. Months since he’d been this close. Close enough to inhale the pungent scent of Julian. The smell was different now than what it had been. Julian was always changing. He still used the same aftershave, something woody and slightly spicy. But it was the other things that changed. Last time they’d been this close he’d smelt of processed tomato sauce and talcum powder. These days it was different. He smelt like dirt. Dusty and something slightly worn. Julian changed with his boys, Noel mused. It had been a long time since Julian had smelt like old smokes and stale beer. He missed that smell. That taste. But it was long gone these days. Everything was disappearing these days.
Now it was his turn.
The final act. The disappearing act.
One final display and then nothing.
Only Noel didn’t want the final display. The overenthusiastic flourish of finesse. He simply wanted to disappear. He wanted to rush back to Dee and hide under her. Let her wash over him and rock him back into normalcy. Julian was always great at upending what he deemed ‘normal’.
It may be what most deemed foolish, but for him the parties and celebrity was the life he led. The struggle came when Julian walked in and took what he wanted, before leaving again. Going back to his ‘normal’ and leaving Noel’s in disarray.
Not any more. Noel couldn’t take it.
Dee couldn’t take it. She held her ground but Noel could see it in her eyes. This was for her, for them. For himself.
“Noel.” Julian said, looking down on him. Nothing in his eyes except something pleading, something earnest.
“You can’t do this, Ju.” Noel whispered. He knew what Julian was about to ask.
It didn’t make it any easier to answer.
“Noel,” Julian whispered, his lips so close Noel could feel his breath. Taste the familiarity on his tongue as he remembered. Ju closed the gap, his lips crashing into Noels and in that kiss they both fed the built up anger and hurt and frustration and guilt they’d both been feeling. They fed the knowledge that this, this would be the last time. Noel pulled away. Turning his head so that the pressure was gone and he closed his eyes. Letting Julian’s taste wash through his mouth one, last, time.
“We can’t.” He whispered.
“Stay.” Julian replied. Noel opened his eyes. Staring straight up into Julian’s.
“I cant, Ju.” He said simply. He could see the hurt in those orbs. But he needed to do it. This was what needed to happen.
“We made our choice a long time ago. You, you made your choice. You can’t expect me to keep going like this.” he stopped. Stepping back away from Julian. Out of the warmth he expressed, the heat that resonated throughout Noel and made his head spin. He’d missed that feel. That familiar aura.
“You chose them. You have Julia, and your boys, Ju. You have them. You can’t have me. You can’t have both. You have them, and I have Dee. I belong; I belong with Dee, Ju. I can’t stay here; I can’t stay here on my own Ju. I don’t have anything else. I have Dee, and I’m not going to lose her. The Boosh is done. It has been for a year now. I don’t have anything else. We don’t have anything else. We don’t have each other any more.” Noel stopped. It was hard saying it. Hard saying out loud what he’d been telling himself for weeks. For months. What he’d been terrified to say. What needed to be said. What needed to be done.
“We have all that we have. All that we chose. And you chose them, Ju. So I’m going. We’re going, and we’re staying there. Dee’s up there most of the time anyway, it’s just natural to make it permanent. There’s nothing stopping us, nothing left here.”
Ju stared down at Noel. His small eyes contracting so much meaning in that one gaze.
“Tell me Noel, look me straight in the eyes and tell me there’s nothing here for you.”
Noel closed his eyes again. Working up the courage. He needed it. Needed the strength to lie, just once.
“Look at me and tell me, Noel.” Noel obeyed, gazing up straight into Ju’s eyes.
“I don’t love you, Ju.” He said, straining not to blink, not even once. He made himself stay. He forced himself not to look away, but even still his voice was barely above a whisper. Like it was a secret he didn’t want uttered any more than once. A lie he could only say once.
Ju’s eyes crinkled in hurt, he looked away and Noel forced back a wave of tears. He wanted to cry out, to scream ‘No! That’s a lie!’ but he couldn’t. He couldn’t stand by any more. He couldn’t wait any more.
“Fine.” He whispered, not meeting Noel’s eyes. His mouth twisted into a grimace, and for a second Noel thought he might say something else, but he didn’t. He simply turned and walked out of the flat. Not stopping to look back once. Not stopping. Not looking back.
Noel sank to the ground. Energy spent. No emotion left for tears. Useless tears.
So he sat, and he waited.
Unsure of what he was waiting for.
Just waiting for the strength to finish what he started.
The strength to leave Julian behind.