Will remembered when he first noticed that Nattie liked him back. They were sitting down in a restaurant, waiting for the check. See, going out to dinner together wasn’t strictly against the rules. They could eat together, hang out. Everyone from the band had their own best friends. Well, not like this. Will could be pretty sure that none of the others had made love that day, no strings attached.
That was just how they worked. It was an agreement. They were just friends, relieving tension, letting off steam, looking for someone to keep them warm some nights. Besides, what happens on tour…right? That was what they told each other (and themselves), anyway. But Will could tell that something had changed how Nate looked at him then.
There was something warm in his-suggestions flew through his head-lover-partner-colleague-friends eyes, something fond, something that looked a hell of a lot like love, and that was a dangerous game to be playing, especially considering his own heart was beating at a 100 mph as it was. No need to encourage the misguided thing.
This is not something he should be doing. He should get up and walk away now. But he wants it, so badly, and he’s so close to almost, maybe, having it. He knows he should tell that part of his brain to shut up, but how can he when Nate’s looking at him that way? He’ll tell himself he’s pathetic later.
And on the Lower East Side, he’s dancing with him now. So, they’d bitten the bullet and tried this dating thing. Literally spinning circles together, Nate’s head on his chest. Nate wonders aloud why they just had to break the rules. Ok, bend. But they were slinkies now, not the tightly-pulled wires they were walking before. Easily knotted, but hard to untangle.
And Will’s taking pictures of him with flowers on the wall. He steps back, pretends he isn’t thinking and overthinking about everything that’s at stake because of this, pulls out his camera (what can he say? He’s old fashioned) and snaps a picture of Nate, looking beautiful and smiling. He thinks the ugly floral wallpaper behind him detracts too much attention.
Thinks he likes him best when he’s dressed in black from head to toe. There’s nothing quite like the sight of Nate, coming off-stage still high on it after a show, drenched in sweat, still wearing his pleather jacket, the same black jeans and shoes that he’d wear most of the time. There’s something about it that’s familiar, comforting, home.
Thinks he likes him best when he’s just with him and no-one else. They weren’t exclusive, by design, but the jealousy ate Will from the inside, anyway. Maybe he was kind of an asshole about it until Nate got fed up, told him where he could go. That fight was just them. It never meant anything. It never lasted long. Not until she came along.
And he’s kissing him, lying in their room. They’re in Paris, and he’s holding Nate until he falls asleep. He waited months for this to even happen, then it didn’t. Then he waited for Nate’s girlfriend-fiancée-his brain unhelpfully supplies-to be out of the picture, and it finally did. Him, them, together. Will thinks it’s just as good as he knew it would be.
Stay with me, I don’t want you to leave. Except Nate will, he’s sure of it. There’s a new she these days. Will thinks, with the way Nate looks at her, now, that she’s the one. The one he’s finally going to say he loves more than him. And then he’s going to call it quits and leave. He’s pleasantly surprised when it takes longer than he thinks.
‘I don’t think we should do this anymore.’ He’s going to text? ‘Oh.’
‘Yeah, I love you, it’s just…’ He’s too kind to say it straight. Will’s grateful for that as he says it for his partn-ex. That’s what Nate is now. ‘You love her more.’ Nate goes to type ‘Yeah’, but Will beats him to it, saves him the trouble. There’s nothing more to say. ‘K.’
Will’s glad that he’s the drummer as he grits his teeth through ‘Sight of the Sun’. He never wants to sing any line of a song that’s begging someone who’s thrown him away to come back. He nearly texts Nate that night when they don’t share the same room. ‘I’ve been waiting for you’ He deletes the draft, knowing Nate’s not going to slip back in his bed.