Protect Me From What I Want

“Tell me you love me.” The words wavered, without meaning to, and she slapped him, hard. Dee remembered it, as his cheek grew pink, whorish, the first time… the quick hiss of breath, the hurt look, and then something darker, unreadable. She hit him again, the sound cracking the air. Two for flinching.


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Genre: ,


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Length: words

Notes: Title comes from Jenny Holzer’s artwork. Thank you madly to the delicious Ailcia esp, and Miss Lauren and pernickety for their inspiration. And to James Spader, for his impression of a phone.

Protect Me From What I Want by moribundlust

‘Fucking amateur,’ she spat, her voice breaking pitch. ‘You were disgusting tonight!’ Her mouth pressed flush against his throat. ‘You embarrassed us.’ Noel pictured lipstick smudging thickly on his skin as she spoke. His eyes shut tight at the pressure of her hand, and he nervously sucked at his lips. Dee took a step back despite herself, avoiding his eyes, hesitating. Noel braced himself, small and breathless. ‘Tell me you love me.’ The words wavered, without meaning to, and she slapped him, hard. Dee remembered it, as his cheek grew pink, whorish, the first time—the quick hiss of breath, the hurt look, and then something darker, unreadable. She hit him again, the sound cracking the air. Two for flinching.

Leering down from his position atop the set, Noel clicked his heels against the metal and grinned, pleased with himself. ‘Noel,’ Julian muttered, ‘for cock’s sake.’ ‘I’m hiiiding’ he replied in a singsong. Julian half turned, and then grabbed at Noel’s boots as he skittered them away.


‘Get down, you skinny berk’

‘Come get me,’ Noel said, fluttering his lashes with a filthy laugh.

‘We’ve work to do,’ Julian affected a drawl, ‘pro-found, critical work, Noel. We’re playing to thousands; influencing tastes, carving minds: the Boosh is their lifeblood, their last stand, ow!’ He paused, risking a glance. Noel was staring ahead, hardly breathing. ‘What—’ ‘Paul!’ Noel mouthed. He pulled him up, awkward, his hand chaffing at Julian’s arm. The set groaned at the strain, both of them sitting perfectly still, willing it quiet.

‘How long til they find us?’

‘They’d have to look up first.’

‘We could disguise ourselves with the set, paint our toes to match the smoky skyline—brilliant!’

‘What, and pose to look like the windows?’ Noel choked on a laugh, and leant down dramatically to mimic the shape. ‘Fuck!’ he gasped, Julian’s arm anchoring him as he hovered over the edge. ‘Alright?’ ‘Noel?’ Paul’s voice was tired. ‘We need to go through rehearsals, it’s rather—and where’s Julian?’ Julian smiled, catching Noel’s manic expression of glee. In the half-light, he rested his palm flat on Noel’s leg, to steady him—in case he fell again. Noel countered, inching closer and wedging his hand in Julian’s coat pocket. In case he fell again.

‘Noel Fielding, you motherlicker!’ Dee’s call sliced neatly through the general hum of the studio. Julian watched intently as Noel’s face paled, and his ears flushed. ‘Ah—.’ Noel tilted his head apologetically. Julian nodded, slightly, and he jumped from the height. ‘Deee!

Julian considered his lager, blowing at the froth. Too much top. ‘Dee let you out tonight then?’ his eyes crinkled. Noel’s smile was thin; he let the saltshaker in his hand tilt dangerously, watching the few grains as they fell.

‘Where were you today?’ Noel quickly wiped the buttery edge of the knife, dropping it into the soapy water. ‘Get the fuck in ‘ere’ she added, lazily throwing a lamp at the kitchen. It remained intact and Noel winced, debating whether to pick it up when Dee screamed, shrilly—just long enough to scratch the itch. Almost tripping over his feet, Noel ran in. Grinning toothily, he screamed with her, both of them swearing in gibberish. ‘Alright?’ The sofa creaked as he curled into her lap, and she ruffled his hair, laughing. ‘Get me a drink, bitch,’ she said, sliding a hand under his shirt. ‘Bourbon?’ ‘No! Wait. No, the blindfold!’ she said, rising unsteadily. Her face caught the light, laid bare without make up. The brightness of the lamp gone, Dee looked—alone, he thought soberly.

He tensed as Dee wound the scarf twice around his head, talking syrupy nonsense. It always started with a blindfold. Noel crossed his arms evenly, as she liked; then felt them goosepimple, too conscious of every movement. The scarf was gauzy, and smelt like her, something musty and feminine. It was never dark enough that he couldn’t see.

The scissors weren’t clean, or sharp.

Paul sighed and reached for his notes. ‘Shooting schedules and deadlines, I might as well be talking to myself.’ He turned, his cheeks colouring boyishly as he found his audience gone. Noel and Julian continued their game in front of him. It seemed to involve Noel filching something from Julian’s bag, then giggling and wrestling for it, and then sneaking it back.

Julian rolled Noel, who squirmed under him, picking at his moustache. ‘You got a hair that time!’ He rubbed his face gingerly, still pinning Noel down by his jacket. Noel held the hair up to the light, his arm at an odd angle, triumphant. ‘I still have it here.’ Julian leaned over him, patting the rollie in his back pocket. ‘I’ll pinch it later.’ ‘Where are you going to hide it?’ Julian gestured at Noel’s outfit. ‘There’s nothing fittin’ in there.’ Noel struggled up, tugging at his fur collar. ‘And wot’s this?’ ‘Fair enough.’ Smiling evilly, Julian snatched at the jacket. ‘Ju!’ Noel called his name pathetically. ‘I need that.’ ‘It’s not even cold today,’ he replied, bemused. ‘Matches your ah, eyeliner does it?’ Noel was silent, hands flying to his neck. ‘Jesus Noel. What happen-’ Noel gathered himself, pulling on his jacket automatically. Julian’s voice turned urgent. ‘Noel. She didn’t?’ Noel spoke through clenched teeth. ‘I can’t. I don’t wanna talk about it, alright?’ Julian swallowed thickly, feeling his stomach twist. ‘She didn’t,’ he repeated stupidly to Noel’s retreating back.

Julian woke roughly, grimacing at the flashing light on his phone. ‘It’s Dee. And, Ju—I need you to pick Noel up and, and shit tonight. He’s been sulking about the house. It’s a drag.’

‘It’s been six weeks Julian.’ ‘-And then Dee said you needed a lift to the concert,’ he continued evenly. ‘Ju.’ Noel pressed his wrist, making a half moon with his nail. ‘I missed you.’ ‘Are you sure?’ he asked, quietly. Noel nodded, sniffing wetly. ‘About bleeding time.’ And, leaning in experimentally, Julian kissed him.

‘Do you have any—’ ‘Back pocket’ Noel bit back gruffly, stubbornly working his tongue against Julian’s collarbone. ‘No, ahh, lube‘ he panted, shifting persuasively. Noel closed his eyes for a moment, groping under the couch. Where did she? Julian pressed a hand possessively against his thigh, and Noel blushed, recalling his position. ‘Here?’ he asked, his voice small. Julian’s grasp tightened, and he pulled him close. ‘Here.’ Noel reddened further at the word, blood rushing to his head. Working his shirt higher, Julian traced a thumb down Noel’s spindly back, pressing a kiss to his spine. Lower. Julian’s lips parted a touch, teasing out the taste of him. ‘Here.’ His face pressed close to the bed, Noel sank down, curling his feet into the blanket. A lorry roared past, loudly, and Noel stubbed his toe against hard plaster. There’re always round ‘ere, Noel began to say, starting as Julian’s hands claimed further; kneading him through the denim. Julian judged the pressure, tracing the seams of his jeans until his fingers tensed.


Julian sat up, uneasy. ‘The phone is ringing.’

‘Yes, Julian. And it can bugger off.’ Noel replied throatily.

‘Answer it.’ He stared.

Brrrrriiiiing! Brrrrr-

‘Wot? Dad, erm—no, no. I’m just ‘ere with Ju.’ He paused then, smirking, threw the phone at Julian’s mouth. ‘‘Ere. He fuckin’ well wants to speak to you. Bout the bloody record he lent you.’ Julian put the phone down heavily. ‘Noel? We should,’ he gestured half-heartedly, ‘the traffic—.’ ‘Yeah.’

Noel stumbled, mashed in the mass of bodies, an idiot grin on his face. Hemmed in, hip to pelvis, he flinched at the warm, clammy feel of fabric clinging to his chest. Bracing himself, Julian scanned the crowd. The fans were all in their early twenties—young and sexless. ‘It feels like someone’s bumming me!’ ‘That would be me,’ replied the short girl behind Noel, wryly. ‘Ju!’ He pushed through cheekily with an elbow, clinging to his necklace. Suddenly, the crowd surged, and Julian was pushed behind his sweaty, dishevelled friend. ‘They’re fucking genius!’ Noel crowed, as he locked eyes with the bassist. Julian looked upwards, helplessly. Think about the weather report. The force of the crowd moved backwards, and Noel rode it instead, pressing hard into Julian. ‘I don’t want this.’ His fingers hitched at Noel’s belt, shaking. Noel began pulsing against him, ignoring the dirty beat. His fingers met Julian’s as the lights flashed, fitfully. ‘I do.’

‘My throat’s dry’ he said, touching there impatiently. ‘Dee’s out tonight, she won’t—so I got the flat, yeah?’ Noel licked at the corner of his mouth. Definitely not watching Julian. Why’s it always my throat? he thought, swallowing an unsteady breath. Julian nodded, his hand fiddling at the gearstick, carefully avoiding the four and a half inches of space between them. ‘Ju?’ ‘Oh.’ He looked up guiltily, wrenching his hand from the gear stick. ‘That was, intended to lead to a conversation about Dee?’ he asked, lifting back a wall of dark hair. Noel turned his shoulder, leaning an elbow into Julian’s ribs. ‘Yeah’ he said dryly. ‘Oh.’ Noel smiled bleakly, lowering his head onto Julian’s chest. ‘Noel, we can talk after, when’ Julian narrowed his eyes, touching at his lip. ‘This can’t work.’ he said weakly. ‘No shit.’ His hand began working small circles on Julian’s palm. Say it. ‘And, Dee’s out tonight?’ Julian asked, breathing shallowly.

Eh, Christy.

And they all had lots of crazy monkey sex, and lived happily ever after.

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