Some cuts are deeper

Noel and Ju Angsty


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Some cuts are deeper by pyleapegg

‘Nightlife’ was blaring from the open windows of Noels flat. The door was ajar waiting for Julian to turn up, they were supposed to be writing song lyrics for the show. He had put a ton of beer in the fridge and was about to jump into the shower when he heard Julian walk up the stairs, loud deliberate steps made even more pronounced by his hobnailed boots. He heard the door slam shut and footsteps making their way into the lounge.

“Hey mate.” Julian smiled at his skinny friend.

“Alright. I’m just gonna jump in the shower. Make yourself comfortable. There’s beer in the fridge. I won‘t be long.” He shouted over his shoulder whilst walking towards the bathroom.

The bottles clinked as Julian grabbed a beer from the fridge , he hunted around the small ill-equipped kitchen for a bottle opener.

“Noel.” he waited for an answer but none came. “NOEL!” He shouted loudly aiming his voice towards to bathroom. Noel couldn’t hear a thing, his voice dancing loudly over the lyrics to the music playing.

Julian walked up the hallway and could hear Noel singing, it called up a strange feeling inside of him, but he liked it. He knocked on the bathroom door. “Noel?” No joy. He walked back into the kitchen and started hunting through drawers and cupboards. He eventually found the bottle opener stuck to the fridge.

Noel finished his cool shower and towelled himself off. Standing in front of the mirror he examined his reflection, running his finger down his crooked nose. Deciding he had time for a quick shave, he grabbed shaving foam and lathered up. Wiping the remaining foam away he grabbed his aftershave and splashed a generous amount over his face before dressing in a sleeveless black top and tight black trousers, he couldn’t be bothered with shoes so stayed barefooted. He waltzed into the lounge with a wiggle at his hips and found Julian sprawled out comfortably on the sofa with a beer in hand, his eyes closed with his head resting backwards. Noel noticed the already empty bottle on the coffee table, his friend appeared to be up for a session.

“Sorry ‘bout that mate, but I so needed that.” Noel felt that he had to justify his disappearing act.

“You’re ok, I needed the rest anyway. The twins kept us up all night.” Noel could see the black rings under Julians eyes, making him glad he didn’t have any kids. Bloody life bandits he thought to himself.

Noel fetched himself a beer and sat down on the opposite chair to where Julian had taken the sofa hostage.

“Noel? Can we just sit for a bit. My mind really isn’t into doing the lyrics yet.” Noel could see his friend was not going to be up for a brainstorming session today at all.

Noel started to talk at Julian about his night out, he knew Julian wasn’t listening but wanted to fill the obvious void between them.

He explained how he had gotten ‘out of his tree’ on Sambucca, shagged a fan who had been following him all night like a love struck teenager, then left but couldn’t remember getting home and getting into bed. He could see Julian was trying to seem interested, but he knew it was a dull story to start with. I mean, his nights were all like that, although he didn’t always shag a fan.

“Okay.” Julian shifted his weight forward placing his elbows on his knees. He rubbed his eyes and cracked his neck several times.

“You ready to do this Ju?” He was secretly hoping they could just sit and drink beer, relaxing the day away. He could see his friend was seriously lacking in enthusiasm for the work ahead.

“Look Ju, we can do this another time if you want. I don’t mind. In fact I am feeling a bit shit myself. Just stay and have a few drinks with me.”

A silent agreement was made.

The beer came bottle after bottle, the conversation flitted back and forth between the inebriated pair. Noel jumped up suddenly as if he had had a bright idea, spluttering beer all over the place he nudged Julians foot and slumped down on the sofa next to him with a giggle.

Silence fell over the room and Noel let out a loud sigh. Julian shifted on the sofa and suddenly the pair seemed uncomfortable in each others company.

“Fancy going to the pub?“ Noel sensed this discomfort immediately and thought a change of scenery might help.

“Okay, let me just go take a piss and I’ll be with you.” The sofa collapsed in on Noel with the sudden weight shift of Julians bulk leaving the space beside him.

Noel grabbed some socks, boots and his green fur collared coat, dressing in a hurry. Julian was waiting by the front door by the time he was ready.

The pub was warm, crowded, and smokey just the perfect setting for an anonymous night out. Noel loved the attention he got, but tonight was about him and Julian relaxing.

Finding his way to the bar Noel ordered two beers while Julian found a quiet corner to sit in.

The night progressed. Containing mainly beer, anecdotes, beer, idle chat and more beer. By the time they decided to leave hey were both completely hammered. As he walked out the front door the sudden cold air of the night made Noel a little more alert than he had been in the warm pub environment.

“Hang on” Needing a piss Noel decided to duck down a side alley. Julian followed obediently.

“What’re you doing?. Someone might see” Julian was such a prude about this sort of thing.

“God, I really need a piss Ju. I’ll be quick.” A hint of childlike hyperactivity in his voice.

Noel stumbled down the nearest alleyway he could find, and proceeded to take a leak up against the wall. Sighing with relief he zipped himself back up and turned to see Julian watching him.

“You okay Ju?” Julian didn’t answer, only moved closer to Noel.

Suddenly Julians hands were all over him, hands grabbing at his jeans, in his hair, all over his body. Quick fevered movements accompanied by deep breathing.

“Ju! What the fuck are you doing?” With a shocked tone in his voice, but also intrigued by his friends uncharacteristic behaviour.

“I just need you, NOW!” Julians hands were moving like lightning. Rough and almost painful on the smaller mans soft pale skin.

“STOP! Not here” Noel was not adverse to the idea of him and Julian, just not in a seedy alleyway, even he had standards.

Jumping in a cab Noel began to wonder what on earth had caused his friend to behave like this, the thought caused him to feel more sober than he had in days, weeks even, it wasn’t an unwelcome thought or feeling.

Noel paid the cab driver his fare and helped Julian climb the stairs to his flat. He sat Julian down on the edge of the bed and helped him off with his jacket and boots. He sat down next to him, exhausted.

“Noel?” he didn’t wait for an answer. “Do you love me?” Noel thought he was taking the piss, but the older mans small eyes said differently.

“Yes Ju, I love you. Now lie back and rest.” He touched a caring forceful hand to Julians torso, trying to push him back onto the soft mattress so he could sleep, but as he did Julian grabbed him round the wrist and pulled with even more force than needed, causing Noel to topple over and land half on top of him.

Their faces inches away from each other. Julian leant forward and kissed him hard on the lips.

Noel was shocked but pleasantly surprised, the sweet tobacco tinted taste of Julians lips on his. He breathed in deeply and could smell a slight hint of aftershave and the smell of aniseed on his breath.

Noel pushed himself upright so he was standing at the foot of the bed, towering over his friend, who sat up with a wobble. As Julian pulled Noel closer he could see the beginnings of an erection stirring in the large framed mans lap. Noel found himself feeling a familiar stirring in his groin. The sight of tight, straining fabric stretched over Julians cock was making him feel weak with unexpected desire. He was confused by the feeling but didn’t even have to think twice abut his next move. He bent over and kissed Julian hard on the mouth returning the earlier gesture, his soft lips parting allowing Julians tongue to explore his own mouth.

He shifted his weight and sank on top of Julian letting out a playful squeak. Julian was surprised by Noels reaction. He knew Noel had sobered up a little and was not quite sure how his emotional outburst would be taken on board by the lithe man.

Noel rolled over and pulled himself up onto his elbows, his head bent backwards, eyes closed, and breathing deeply. He wanted to just lie back, enjoy the moment and fight the ever stronger urge to fall asleep. He felt a hand stroking his hair. Feeling soft feathering kisses and warm breath on his neck, a warm sensation worked all the way down to his cock.

A sudden movement from Julian and he was under the large bulky frame of his friend. He squirmed under the sudden weight shift. But he hoped it was a squirm that Julian would understand. He had wanted Julian for so long now he wasn’t sure he could wait any longer.

That had turned out to be one of the most memorable nights in Noels life. Having dreamt of this special moment for so long it had certainly lived up to all of his expectations and far more.

Spent, he closed his eyes with a deep whispering sigh leaving his lips. He relaxed further into the bed and drifted off to the most welcome of sleeps.

Julian crept away from the sleeping man as quietly as he could, but still managed to kick the doorframe on his way out, stubbing his big toe. It was not a conscious decision but he swore loudly. Realising he probably woke Noel he quickly closed the door behind himself and exited the building. Heading home to his so called ‘perfect family life‘.

Noel rolled over and hoped to be enveloped in a warm hug from Julian but found nothing but a cold space where he had been the night before.

The morning was a blur of grabbing a coffee, getting dressed, then running out the door.

Noel didn’t want to think about the previous night. It stirred too many feelings, to many thoughts. It was just too much to deal with right now. He had to go meet Dee, and he had no idea how he would look her in the eye and not let his betrayal show. He was so crap at lying, especially to her.

Dee was waiting for him by the time he arrived. The small backstreet coffee shop was packed to the hilt with business types grabbing their caramel macchiato and hurrying to work. He suddenly had the childish urge to shout “OBLONG”, but restrained. He didn’t fancy getting knocked about by hundreds of pinstripes whilst his girlfriend looked on.

Dee spotted him instantly. With his red trousers and black shirt, and his trademark white boots, he looked so out of place amongst the suits. She had to smile to herself as he twisted and danced through the bustling crowd.

He finally reached the table, pecked her on the lips and sat down with a heavy sigh. Sipping his coffee that Dee had already bought him. He looked up, but he couldn’t look her in the eye. He knew she would instantly tell something was wrong.

“What’s wrong hon?” She could tell something was not right. And had a feeling she knew what it was. Her heart sank.

“Nah, I’m alright doll. Late night and all.” Noel knew the game was up but wanted to avoid the confrontation for just a few moments longer.

“I can tell something is wrong and I think I know what it is. You and Julian. I’m right aren’t I?” She didn’t wait for an answer. “I know you’ve had feelings for him for a while now. I just thought we were happy enough to get through it. I thought it was because you have been working so much together lately.” She couldn’t stop talking and knew she was rambling like a fool, she needed to fill the air with words. Not that it could change anything.

“Look I know it happened, just admit it.” She closed her eyes and waited for the long expected answer that she dreaded but needed to hear.

“It didn’t. I couldn’t. I love you Dee” Stumbling over his words he really was grasping at straws. He had not loved her for quite some time now if he was honest, but he couldn’t end it for some reason. Maybe the feeling of being ‘Normal’ was what pulled him in.

Dee couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Could he not even be man enough to admit it. She knew what she had to do right then, and it tore her apart.

“I can’t do this anymore babe, it won‘t change unless one of us makes the decision, and seeing as you won‘t, I‘ll have to be the bad guy.” with that she got up from her seat, kissed Noel tenderly on the cheek and left. All the time tears were streaming down her flushed cheeks.

Noel made his way out of the coffee shop throng and started to walk, memories and thoughts racing round his mind. He ended up at Julians house, his legs had just taken him there without a single conscious thought.

He rang the doorbell and a tall silhouette walked towards the door. The door opened quickly and Julian was standing there, baby bottle in hand and baby puke down the front of his t-shirt. He sighed deeply and beckoned Noel into the small untidy house, baby things strewn everywhere.

“Where’s Julia?” Noel didn’t really care but wanted to check she was out.

“Hang on, let me just get rid of this” Waving the bottle around Julian headed into the kitchen, placed the bottle in a strange plastic machine, and grabbed a wet wipe to clean the puke off his front.

“Ju, we need to talk about last night. Dee just finished with me ‘cos she knows what happened”

“Why did you tell her you idiot?” Julian was confused and annoyed at his friend for letting this all get so complicated.

“Noel. Look. I can’t do this. Even if I do have feelings for you, I have a family here. I can’t just abandon them for a fling. I need to be here with them, support them. They are the most important people in my life. I think you should go, and I don’t think we should see each other again. I think we need to cut it there, forget series four and go our separate ways.” He just had to say it all before he had second thoughts.

“But….” Noel couldn’t take in what he had just heard. He couldn’t get through this without Julian beside him.

He walked slowly towards the front door. Julian didn’t stop him.

His feet moved him forwards, all the way to the Hawley Arms, his favourite place in the world to be himself and let the barriers down.

After several beroccas and about half a bottle of Sambucca he waded his way through the packed streets of Camden.

He got home about thirty minutes later and without a thought went straight to the kitchen drawer and pulled out some scissors. He headed to the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror, tears pricking behind his eyes. He held a handful of his hair out and cut straight through the lot. He continued to cut at his long shiny locks until the floor was covered with feathery strands. He looked in the mirror for the first time with clear eyes and realised he didn’t care about anything anymore.

His life turned into a blur. Drinking, smoking, sleeping and watching the occasional bit of telly, he lapsed into a coma like state and didn’t communicate with the outside world. His phone had been ringing non stop and there had been several knocks on his front door. He ignored everything and everyone. He didn’t care about them, he couldn’t even muster the energy to care about himself. His world had ended just a short while ago and he had no inclination to get it back.

Jamming some boots on his feet and wrapping his oversized coat around himself he headed out, leaving the front door swinging on its hinges. The nearest off license was just a few minutes walk round the corner, with enough money to get the essentials he ambled along.

Returning to his flat, the door still open, he kicked off his boots and threw his coat on the floor. He aimed for the kitchen and grabbed a glass. Slumping down on the zebra print chair, unscrewing the cap of the bottle he decided to forget the glass and took a huge swig of the cold clear comforting liquid. Hunting around for a lighter he was finally victorious and grabbed the overflowing ashtray and lit up. At least in his empty life he had his old faithfuls, alcohol and cigarettes. He felt tired.

He opened his eyes, not sure if he had slept or not, and reached for the bottle of Vodka, as he put it to his lips he could see it was empty. He decided it might be a good idea to go for a piss, then bed. He didn’t want to sleep but he had nothing else to do and it helped numb the pain.

Leaning against the wall with one hand and trying to aim with the other he eventually managed to take a leak. He felt shattered by this simple activity. Maybe it was the lack of food, or too much alcohol racing around his bloodstream. Whatever it was, he didn’t care.

He slumped down and leant backwards against the bath. He noticed the scissors that had lay there for the last few weeks since his world turned upside down. Picking them up he remembered that day. Dee telling him she knew all about him and Ju, walking away from him forever. Julian cutting him out of his life, and probably the most poignant memory, cutting his hair as if to cut out and rid himself of the life and character that was, Vince Noir.

Tears snaked their way down his cheeks and formed little wet patches on his t-shirt. He looked hard at the scissors and without any effort he traced a long deep line across his left wrist with the sharp blade. A crimson river flowed down his arm and dripped from his elbow onto his lap. with the scissors still in hand he lay down and willed sleep to overcome him.

His world turned black.

Meanwhile Julian had decided to put that part of his life behind him and concentrate on his family and his solo career. He had signed up to do six weeks at a local comedy club and was hoping it would be received well by his fans. He had not made any public appearances without Noel by his side and didn’t want to have to be the one to tell people that the Boosh was dead.

Julian was happily strumming along in time with his favourite Jazz record, when the shrill ring of the phone disturbed him.

Throwing his headphones onto the sofa, and placing his guitar in its stand he grabbed the phone and almost shouted at the person on the other end of the line.

“ Hi Ju it’s Dee” he could hear a slight wobble to her voice.

“What’s wrong hon?” wondering why he was getting this out of the blue phone call was beginning to worry him. Did Dee need help? Was she after a favour? was she sick? oh god! please don’t say she was pregnant.

“Well, I feel a bit weird asking you this. But have you heard form Noel recently?”

“No. We haven’t spoken for a while now. Why?” He was really uncomfortable talking about this, and wanted to get her off the phone as quickly as possible, but he knew she wouldn’t phone for no reason.

“Well, I have tried calling him loads of times and even went round there twice, but he doesn’t answer. I assume you know we split up and I am worried how he is taking it.”

“Yeah, I heard something about it. Julia mentioned it after you saw her in town the other day.” He wasn’t sure what else to say really. “How are you doing?” He was honestly concerned about her. He had grown quite fond of her in the last few years and he hated the fact that he might lose contact with her over this.

“Yeah, I’m holding up ok. Just worried about Noel” He could hear the genuine concern in her voice. “I was wondering…” Julian knew what was coming and wasn’t sure what he would say put in that awkward position.

“Well, I was wondering if you could go round there and see if he is ok for me. He was always so close to you and I think he’d listen to you. I know you guys didn’t end it on good terms but I really need this Julian. I need to know he is ok so I can get on with my life.” Julian could hear Dee sniffling now, he suspected she was crying now but trying to hide it from him.

Julian had no idea why he had agreed to this. He really didn’t want to drag up unwanted feelings again. He had just started to feel ok about himself and not like a complete cunt.

He dragged himself out the house, aware that he looked a mess he made his way across town to Noels flat. He had no idea what he would do when he got there, but he was prepared to do what it took to check in on him as he wanted to be able to reassure Dee. It would be the only way they could both move on.

It took him about an hour of hopping on and off buses and finally a cab journey to get him to Noel’s place. He rang the doorbell, no answer. He rang it again holding his finger on the buzzer for what felt like an eternity. Still no answer. Deciding to give it one last try he phoned Noels mobile whilst holding his finger on the doorbell at the same time. Maybe the noise would rouse the slight man into some action. After a few moments and still no sign of movement he backed up and kicked the front door hard with his foot. He regretted it straight away as his knee popped and he nearly fell over, but the door caved and he could get in.

Climbing the stairs with his knee throbbing he had no other thoughts in his head but of Noel. He thought about that night he left him, the night his best friend walked away..

He reached the front door, it was ajar so he walked straight in. The rancid smell hit him immediately. A mix of stale sweat, rotten food, alcohol and what smelt like old pennies. He called out several times, and yet again his efforts were met with silence. He decided the best way was to probably check the rooms so he headed for the lounge, then the kitchen, having no luck there he headed for the bedroom, which is when he heard a very slight whimper. He walked into the only room left, the bathroom and was overcome with so many emotions it was impossible to breathe.

“Noel, what the fuck did you do!” He sped to Noels side. Sitting him up he grabbed a towel from the edge of the bath and wrapped it around the little mans wrist as tightly as he could.

“Mmbrpht” Julian couldn’t understand the strange sounds Noel was making.

He sat beside the small, helpless man and put an arm around him whilst trying to dial for an ambulance.

“Don’t!” noel sounded scared, so Julian hung up the phone.

“What little man? I need to call an ambulance. You’re…..hurt” He knew he sounded a little pathetic but he was worried about Noel. It was surprising how easy it was to slip back into that frame of mind, caring for his lithe friend.

“I don’t want to go to hospital, I’ll sort it out myself” Julian sighed. “You can’t do that, let me” He got up and headed to the kitchen for some supplies. He managed to find a makeshift bandage and some tape, although this was covered in green paint. It would have to do though.

He walked back into the bathroom and helped Noel up off of the floor and helped him hobble into the bedroom. Sitting him gently down on the end of his bed, he knelt in front of him and removed the towel from Noels wrist. The blood carried on flowing, so Julian worked quickly. He wiped the wound, taped it closed, and wound the bandage around his wrist as tightly as he could. The bandage seemed to stop the flow. He quickly changed the bed and helped Noel change into some clean comfortable clothes as his were covered in dark, sticky, crimson patches. With Noel tucked up safely in bed he began cleaning up the mess in the bathroom. He didn’t realise how calm he had been until he felt the tears streaming down his face. He sat back against the wall and sobbed, deep trembling sobs that he had no control over. He felt so torn, torn between his picture perfect family life with Julia and the twins, and his love for Noel. What was he supposed to do? How could he choose? How could he leave his sons? He couldn’t make that decision now.

After he had pulled himself together and cleaned the bathroom as best he could, he checked in on a soundly sleeping Noel. He checked that the bandage was still stemming the flow and carried on cleaning the rest of the flat. His mind was blank. Apart form the odd fleeting thought of being truly happy with Noel.

It took a good three hours to get it at least so that it wasn’t a health hazard, and he was knackered. Physically and mentally.

He opened the bedroom door and Noel was still sleeping, he wondered how long it had been since his friend had slept properly.

He called Dee to let her know Noel was ok, and that he was staying with him for the night. She sounded relieved. He explained to her that she might want to try and call in a few days, but he knew that there was a high chance she wouldn’t, after all, it was hard for her to deal with this whole situation as it was, and he didn’t know if she would be able to cope with the added news of Noels suicide attempt. She’d be destroyed.

He opened the door to the bedroom, a slither of light danced across the sleeping mans face. He stirred briefly and made a snorting, grunting sound but returned to his deep sleep easily. Julian entered the room and crept towards the bed. He lowered his bulky frame gently onto the bed and curled up behind his sleeping friend. He closed his eyes and breathed in the scent of fresh linen and smoke on Noels hair. He could feel sleep calling him and with a sigh he succumbed.

Julian rolled over and was aware of noise, smells and a bright light, but none of it made sense.

He dragged his slumberous frame out of the big comfortable bed and walked into the lounge. Rubbing his eyes and yawning loudly he came face to face with a wide eyed Noel. They stood silent for what felt like a lifetime, just staring at each other.

Julian broke the silence “Erm, Hi” He felt awkward and alien to this situation, and he really didn’t know what to say.

“So….” Julian noticed Noel rub his tummy and mess with his hair. Such a normal thing to see him do, but after last night something was not feeling right. He still had those lustful feelings, but he felt…well, weird towards him.

“Do you want coffee?” Finally bridging the silence, Julian grabbed two mugs form the kitchen drainer,

The two men sat down in the lounge on separate sofas and talked. The awkwardness eventually subsided and they chatted like old times. Talking of past tours, music and general things from life, they passed through the morning easily.

Julian fell silent. He had made his decision, It had happened so suddenly that he felt as if he had been kicked in the stomach, but it had to be done. He had to do this now or he would not be able to.

“Noel, I have to go. I meant everything I said last time, I can’t do this anymore” He stood up and pulled on the band of his trousers. He felt awkward.

“What do you mean?” He could see the confused look on Noels face and it was tearing him apart.

“I mean, I can’t see you anymore, I need to go.” He practically ran out of the front door and down the stairs. The cold harsh air hit his lungs and he gasped. Hailing a taxi he jumped in and the tears started to flow. He swiped them away, he didn’t want the driver to see them. He felt so weak.

His mobile rang, he checked the screen, it was Noel. He rejected the call. The phone rang three more times, each time he rejected it. He felt so broken inside, but he had to cut him out of his life if he was going to make a go of it with Julia and his boys. He knew they could be happy as a family, if only he could forget about his Noel.

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