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Never Went Away

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They were stuck at the airport. Again.

 

Orlando hated airports. He hated the bright flashing lights, the hectic, the mercilessly repeated inhuman speaker announcements, the uncomfortable waiting seats, the constantly tired staff, the expensive food and seeing people sleep on the hard floor without being able to offer them a blanket.

Orlando also hated that the laws of time and space didn’t seem to apply to the airport world. It was always too bright and too noisy, the only way to tell what time it was was to watch how tired the little kids were on their parents arms. There was always someone sleeping and there was always someone working in one of the lousy airport bars.

Another thing that added up to the unpleasantness of the whole place was the constant fear of missing your plane, losing your luggage or waiting for hours for a delayed flight.

 

Even after years of touring Orlando still despised of airports and still wasn’t numb enough to not care about the cold, stressful and unpleasant atmosphere that reigned there. If it wasn’t for his love for the band and never-ending excitement to play to new people he would have given up long ago.

In fact, the only thing that always brightened up his day in moments like this was his band mate and best friend Felix. It were always the simple little things about him that made Orlando smile to himself and forget his worries for a moment. Without even intending to do so, Felix would always cheer him up or keep him entertained and distracted.

 

Just like the younger man did in this moment. Felix had taken off his shoes and socks and was now wriggling his dirty toes in the air, complaining that they couldn’t breathe enough in his shoes and that he was going to become a hippie so that he could walk around barefoot all the time.

Orlando chuckled to himself at the silly and childish behaviour while everyone else was just ignoring Felix as always. Even though he watched every move of the slim figure (Felix was about to become as skinny as Will!) Orlando pretended to not care about Felix either. He was content enough with watching him from the corner of his eye.

He deeply admired how Felix could stay so happy and positive all the time. It was a mystery to Orlando how someone could be this careless while being stuck at the airport. He absorbed all the positive energy from this man.

Not once did Orlando notice the disgusted looks other passersby gave Felix because un-showered and with his messy hair and lack of fashion sense Felix did look like a hobo from time to time. But that didn’t matter to Orlando. All he cared for was the contagious grin on Felix’s face and the way he seemed to radiate pure energy even in a miserable situation like this.

 

Orlando remembered how they stood in the trolley line after their plane from Sydney had landed in Singapore. Felix’s wild blue eyes had shone so brightly while he had still been on that high from flying for such a long time.

 

Sunk in his daydreams about his band mate’s love for travelling and seeing new places Orlando totally missed that their flight had finally been announced and everyone had gotten up to check in. Confused at having been left alone he got up and tried to orientate himself.

There were signs everywhere and multiple announcements in strange languages at the same time while Orlando stumbled through the airport hallways. He was constantly pushed and shoved by the people around him. There were tall business men in suits and Indonesian families with eight children everywhere but no trace of his band. He couldn’t even stand still and try to locate himself without someone shoving him or making rude comments in unfamiliar languages. It didn’t really help that he was rather small and usually let himself be led by his friends whenever they were at a airport. And he didn’t even know their flight number or destination (it wasn’t London).

Tears started to collect in his eyes, the more he realised that he was indeed lost. Without his friends and without any idea where he had to go, he was as helpless as a little child without his parents. Orlando had absolutely no idea what he should do.

 

Suddenly he felt two strong arms around his back. He tensed up for a second but relaxed in the next because he immediately knew to whom these arms and the body pressed against his backside belonged.

Sighing deeply Orlando leaned back against Felix’s chest. He was safe now.

 

'Oh Orlando, there you are! You can't scare us like that! I was distracted for a second before I realised that we left you there. Why didn't you notice that we all had left? Where were you in your little pretty head, huh? I was scared shitless, little man!,' Felix rambled and spun Orlando around in his arms. But instead of letting go, as Orlando had feared, Felix only pressed the older man closer to his chest so that Orlando could hide his face in Felix's messy hair.

 

'Hold me close, don't let me go…. I need you so!,' mumbled Orlando into the strands of hair. He wasn't even sure if Felix had heard him but then he felt the other man's body vibrate with soft laughter.

 

'Oh Lando, tell me something I don't know! You'd be lost without me! I want you with me all the time! I could glue our hands together! Or put you in my pocket! I just…I…want you to be with me all the time…,' Felix whispered back and put his hands around Orlando's neck to lift the older man's chin and make him look Felix in the eye.

Orlando’s heart started to beat faster and faster. He needed to know if Felix wanted him in the same way that he wanted Felix.

 

'I need you, too. Orlando. I need you so!,' Felix said with more quiet desperation in his voice while his hands held on to Orlando's neck and his thumbs stroked over the soft skin there.

 

And as Orlando finally looked up into Felix’s honest blue eyes, he knew that Felix needed and wanted him in the same way. Somewhere sunk behind those eyes he recognised the same young man who desperately wanted to be in a band with him many years ago, the man who moved to Brighton to keep up their friendship, the man who accompanied Orlando all around the world, a man he has always known. In that moment he realised that Felix never went away and always had been there for him. And with his latest confession, Orlando could be sure that Felix would also never leave him.

So he put his arms around Felix’s waist and tried to cuddle even closer. Without caring that they were in the middle of a noisy, ugly airport Orlando closed the last distance between them and gently put his lips on Felix’s. They didn’t dare to move as they felt each other’s lips on their own for the first time.