William leans on the bar, his bright, tipsy face scanning the bottles on the wall. Lennon is right by his side, chewing on his hangnail in thought.
There’s something about this man - he knows he can’t fuck him but still he can’t make himself leave his company and go look for someone else who he can fuck. The bartender is there to take his order in a flash, her eyes focused on William’s body only momentarily but Lennon notices it is much longer than usual. She hands him their drinks and then William’s attention could finally be on him, Lennon thinks.
- So, Lennon. How deep do you want me to go?
Lennon laughs so hard that he has to cover his face with both of his hands. His eyes crinkling. His heart warming up. Lennon is almost always flirting with handsome men when he is drunk, usually making them squirm and blush which would lead to an easy lay soon after. He is that intimidating, being in a band and also just being constantly told that he is drop dead gorgeous, since he was a teenager. There’s that moment in time when his face was his worst enemy. But now because of that same face it is so easy to get laid and he definitely doesn’t hate that, but somehow William doesn’t take him seriously and makes a joke out of it. It is so easy to hold a conversation with him, they don’t have to pretend, make things awkward by small talk or have to explain their humour, sarcasm and double meaning of their conversation. Sex jokes and shameless banter. It is easy and familiar. Lennon wants to kiss Liam for introducing him to this lovely human.
-How do you know Liam? - Lennon asks at some point.
- Well, when Liam first came to New York a couple of years ago he started working in the same architecture firm where my younger sister worked as an interior designer. She works in London mainly but visits the New York office sometimes too. At that time I just got a new place in West Village and Charlotte, my sister, really wanted to decorate it. So she brought Liam a few times over to my place to show him around and help him settle. So yeah, Liam and my sister are colleagues, sort of, and we all started hanging out.
- Oh, alright...I hated when Liam got that promotion, I selfishly wanted him to stay in England. But he seems happy, I’m glad. I’m glad he found someone nice to help him around. - he points his glass at William and smiles - This city can be lonely at times. - Lennon says.
- Believe me, I know - he swings his beer and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand.
- How so? You have an amazing girlfriend. shouldn’t feel lonely. - Lennon questions.
- Yeah I’m lucky that I met her, but before that it definitely was lonely. I moved here by myself and didn’t know anyone so it was hard for awhile.
- Why did a posh Londoner even move to dirty New York anyway? - Lennon asks jokingly.
- Why do you think I’m posh? - William moves uncomfortably.
- Well your accent man, I’m thinking Kensington and Chelsea? Is that why you came here, to charm all American girls with your accent?
- Well the only connection I have with Chelsea is the football club I support. - he jokes - And speak of the devil. Or American girls. There is mine! - William looks behind Lennon and says that louder while Nina approaches them.
-Hey you, I’ve been looking for you everywhere.
- And where else would I be then at the bar?
Lennon smiles at their conversation and looks at how Nina kisses the corner of William’s lips. She’s absolutely stunning, her long chocolate hair curled to perfection and flowing freely down her back, flawless porcelain skin and piercing brown eyes, Lennon can’t stop staring at her now.
- I’m going to head out now, I have to be on the set first thing in the morning, unfortunately. Are you staying babe, you’re working tomorrow morning as well?
- Yeah but I promised Liam I will wait for him and by the looks of it he’s not done here yet.
William points at the group of people who are shouting chug chug at Liam and Nate. All three of them laugh at that image. Nina hugs William and then Lennon, saying how much fun she had and how she enjoyed their conversation earlier. She was so nice and pleasant to talk to, Lennon thinks, while saying goodnight to her. Perfect men always end up with perfect women, it seems. Then she is gone and Lennon orders another round without even asking William.
Loud music, laughter, lots of laughter, innocent touches during what seems to be important conversation but really it’s not, spilled beer on the hoodie. And that is how the night went by - Lennon by William’s side, they would always find their way to each other during the whole night. And none of them thinks anything of it, it is a bar, they are celebrating, they are young and drunk in New York City.
But Lennon is more drunk then the rest, actually the rest already went home. Or God knows where - Lennon doesn’t remember very much of the conversation he had with Jorja, Sam or Nate.
He does realise he is outside now, cool breeze touching his warm checks. He is walking down the 3rd Av and it is half past 4 in the morning, but he can’t know that until William tells him. William. William is helping him walk the straight line, and laughing in his ear. Lennon wouldn’t mind embarrassing himself like this until the rest of his life if that would mean listening to Williams laughter. So he is trying to explain to him that they have to go home, and Lennon doesn’t even want to hear about it, he definitely wants another drink.
- You still have a beer bottle in your hand, you idiot. No more drinking, Lennon.- William laughs but tries to sound serious at the same time. It’s fun. Lennon’s having fun even though he doesn’t really know much about anything.
He can’t speak much and when he does he slurs but he’s sure William is having fun too and that’s the only thing important. He feels tired so he sits down on the curb while William is trying to hail a taxi.
- Lennon, you need to tell me your hotel address. Now. I can see a taxi! Jesus Christ, look at yourself, get up! - William pulls him by the arm but Lennon giggles and refuses to get up.
- I’m good here. Come. Sit, William. Will-iam. I really like the sound of your name. Mhmmm. William...
Lennon repeats Williams name a few more times like he is tasting a fancy palatable hors d’oeuvres or swishing the most expensive Argentinian Malbec in his mouth to bring up the aromas. William is now crouching between Lennon’s knees right there in the middle of an empty street in Manhattan and tells him gently that he really needs to get up because the taxi is here and he has to tell the taxi driver where to take him. He takes Lennon’s almost empty bottle of Blue Moon and puts it on the pavement. He begs him and Lennon really, really wants to remember where his hotel is. But William’s hands are on Lennon’s thighs while he’s crouching there in front of him and they are really distracting.
Next thing he knows they are in the moving car and bright lights from the city are making Lennon dizzy so he decides to close his eyes and rest his head on the shoulder next to him. He smells the aftershave and fabric softener and sweat but it’s not unpleasant. Just a natural manly scent of him. He moves the corners of his lips up in a small smile because he remembers that smell belongs to William.
There’s a song on the radio. Radiohead’s Creep plays. You’re just like an angel, your skin makes me cry, you float like a feather, in a beautiful world I wish I was special, you’re so fucking special.
The lyrics gently wrap around him until he’s living the song. The song is him. The song is them. And then he can feel a touch on his lower back and for a moment he is confused. Damn alcohol. Is William touching his ass?
Not possible. Yes. William is touching his ass.
Fucking hell, why Lennon has to be so drunk at this very important moment. He wants to move or do something about it but he can’t.
- William? - is all he manages to say. It’s almost a whisper, a horny whisper because this is not what he expected from William but will certainly not turn down. His touch is amazing even over the fabric of his jeans and he tries to turn his head so at least he can kiss his neck and show that he’s eager.
- Sorry mate, I have to get your wallet, I really hope your room key is in there, otherwise I don’t know what I will do with your silly, wasted ass. What the fuck am I even doing here, I have to be at work in.. fuck..3 hours.
- I’m .. sss.. sorry Will, I am...drunk..um..
- Don’t worry about it, hey, sir, I got the hotel room card, the address is 7 Albany Street it’s the W hotel downtown. I know where this is actually, it’s near the World Trade Center. Hold on Lennon, we’ll be there any minute now.
William talks more to himself because Lennon is almost asleep on his shoulder, just barely listening, but actually trying to remember that tone of voice for all the future moments when he’s struggling to fall asleep. Some time has passed it could be minutes or hours but Lennon is walking slowly towards the lift and he is really struggling to stay on his feet. But William holds him strongly by his waist and says some words in his ear. Or maybe he said it to the girl at the reception?
This night lasts forever now and Lennon knows he will pass out as soon as his head hits the pillow. Pillow. White sheets. Jersey city skyline in the window. Dark curtains are being drawn and the skyline disappears. Clock on the bedside table with glowing red digits shows 05:32. William takes Lennon’s shoes off, his coat was already off somewhere on the way. They are both sitting on the big hotel bed now, Lennon opening his heavy lids and looking at William who is now taking his own shoes too.
-Come on mate, you made it. It’s time to sleep. Let’s tuck you in.
- I’m.. I’m hot. I think I’m.. gonna.. - Lennon thinks he will be sick any moment but he can’t say any more words. William quickly goes to the bathroom and brings a glass of water, a small rubbish bin and some tissues and places them next to the bed.
-It’s alright, I got you. Let’s get you under the duvet. And out of that sweaty t-shirt.
Lennon understands that sentence somehow and tries pulling the t-shirt over his head. He flops tired on the bed, William helping him with the t-shirt and the duvet. He slowly removes some of the big rings of his fingers. Lennon’s wild hair is spread on the pillow now and William is still there, making sure he’s not lying on his back.
When Lennon turns on his side he finds William’s hand and then he’s definitely fast asleep.