October 20th, 1976
It's foggy outside when Martin wakes up in the hotel room.
His first thought is that it's too warm. It's the middle of autumn. The heating in the tiny room isn't working all that well. It's not supposed to be warm.
Actually, his first thought is about how he can't actually remember all of what happened last night, other than that there was red wine and a conversation about who's taking the one bed in the room... but the warmth thing is just a bit more noticeable at the moment. It's not necessarily unpleasant, just odd. But definitely not unpleasant. He's not complaining.
His mind wanders back to the issue with the bed.
Wait, he wonders, so how did we decide that I'd be the one to take the bed? Ian wasn't the type of person who would just give something like that up...
As he's trying to recall how that conversation actually happened, he rolls over in an effort to get a bit comfier while he tries to figure things out. Instead of rolling into a pillow, his face meets a mess of tangled auburn waves.
Well, I guess that answers that, he thinks to himself, half confused and half too sleepy to care. But what the hell had happened last night to make the two of them think that sharing a bed would be anything other than a ridiculously bad idea?
October 19th, 1976
"Okay, just listen to this one bit. I think I'm onto something with this. Just- imagine this with bells chiming in the background... Barrie could do that part, and then I could just have this little flute melody going, and-"
"Ian, it's one in the morning. You've been working on this for the past hour and a half. We have a show tomorrow night. You NEED to get to bed, goddamnit."
To be more specific, it's 1:09 am and Martin is still attempting to get Ian to go to sleep. There's an acoustic guitar and a flute and all kinds of notes spread out in front of the two of them, they've made it through most of a bottle of red wine, and at some point in the evening Ian decided to switch his jeans for loose flannel pants.
"Okay! Well. I guess we'll be looking at that tomorrow," Ian gets up from the couch, shuffling sheet music and a flute aside. "So I'll be heading to bed, since you insist." He makes his way over to the bedroom, stepping over the handwritten pages that had fallen to the floor. "Oh, but if I have to sleep, then so do you. C’mon. It’s bedtime."
"Alright, that’s fair. So I guess I'll be in the main room if you need me?" Martin had resigned himself to the fact that he would have to settle for the couch. He didn’t see much use in arguing with a sleepy Ian. Besides, he was exhausted enough that he would’ve slept on the floor if he had to.
"Oh, will you now?" Ian looks back at Martin from the doorway of the bedroom.
"Well, yeah, there’s only the one bed. I just kinda assumed that you’d take that…" Martin replies. "And I’m fine to sleep here. Don't worry about it."
"Hmm, Martin, I don't think so," Ian starts. "Listen, it's been a long day. You need to rest too. I'm not just gonna let you sleep on the couch. Come to bed with me."
Martin considers Ian’s words for a moment… and then starts to regret even pointing out the one bed. He would've been alright with crashing on the couch for the night, and sharing a bed with his lead vocalist seems like the type of thing that may not end well. However, he's tired and feeling stiff from sitting for so long, and he knows that this probably isn't worth the argument, and that bed does look REALLY tempting, and it's just for one night...
"Alright, Ian. Since you insist."
So they climb into the little bed together. Everything about this just feels... odd. Not necessarily bad or wrong or anything like that, but certainly very odd. All Martin can think is that Ian looks so small and vulnerable like this.
Ian has always said that his epic performances aren't an act; that it's all him when he's up there on stage, but he really becomes a different person when he's performing. It's always amazed Martin how reserved Ian is when he's just going about his day-to-day life. When he's deep in thought about a bit of music he's working on, Ian can go for hours without so much as speaking a word to another person. That shy, introverted side of him is something that most people aren't aware of, but Martin notices it often. Seeing his bandmate like this- on the verge of sleep, curled up in the thick hotel bed blankets- emphasizes that how little and quiet he can be at times. Of course, the fact that he's wearing nothing but some plaid pajama pants and a t-shirt definitely plays into that too.
The two of them sit in silence for a just a moment.
"...You know, Ian, I really am fine with sleeping on the couch."
"That couch looks uncomfortable. You won’t sleep well there."
And you suppose I’d sleep better lying next to you?, Martin thinks, looking down at the space between them on the bed.
"Yeah. I guess that’s true. Uh, thanks for letting me have the bed tonight… sort of."
"Oh. You’re welcome." Ian pauses. "So, I guess we better not sleep in too late tomorrow, ‘cause I told Barrie that we could all meet up around 3."
The mention of another band member throws Martin off a little, but he can’t quite figure out why. "Oh, uh, alright. That should work out fine."
"Okay, well… goodnight then." Ian rolls onto his side, turning away from Martin.
"Yeah. Goodnight. Uh, sleep well," Martin replies, shutting off the bedside table light.
The faint glow of city lights is still visible through the curtains, and there's a hum of outside noise that's tough to tune out. Martin lies back, trying to keep a sensible distance from his bandmate. This has to be the most RIDICULOUS thing I've done since joining this band... he thinks to himself.
And it really feels like it is. Martin had been through some wild stuff while recording and touring with Tull, but this was something different entirely. He and Ian had become fairly close in their time working together… but they weren't exactly climb-into-bed-together-after-a-long-day close. He began to wonder what had compelled Ian to offer to share the bed in the first place. When they were traveling with the rest of the band, a couple of them would always end up spending the night on the couch (or in armchairs, or, as was the case with John Evans one time, the bathroom floor), so Martin usually just assumed that he wouldn't be taking the bed.
Was it because it was just the two of them this time? Was that why Ian decided that they should share the bed? Maybe he felt like not having everyone else around somehow made this less weird. Or, maybe he simply felt bad for making Martin sleep on the couch yet again. Maybe Ian was just tired enough that ‘invite my lead guitarist into bed with me’ seemed like a sensible idea.
After a while, Martin’s thoughts wander to the radio station interview that he and Ian had to do earlier that day, and to that song that Ian had been working on late into the evening… if it hadn’t been so late at night, he would’ve been eager to hear Ian’s other ideas for the new music. He thinks about the performance that the band has scheduled for tomorrow. He thinks about the parts of the city that might be worth exploring if they have time. He thinks about how, despite how odd tonight’s sleeping situation is, the bed IS really cozy...