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January 2nd, 1995

New year, same boring therapy sessions; Paul Westerberg was back where they'd started, good ol' New York.

His hands were like icicles frozen in the pockets of his thick jacket, his nose and cheeks displayed a light red; his boots crunched loudly on the thick layer of snow that had basked New York in it's beautiful winter wonderland.

He wasn't the only one out at seven in the morning in quite possibly zero or below weather though, no, other's paced up and down the sidewalk; business types as well as junkies. It was a terrible, hectic, orgy of people; and Paul set his eyes straight ahead, marching up the street two blocks from his therapist's office. 

He'd always told Keanu he didn't need anyone to talk to, that he was just fine keeping to himself; his horrid outbreak back in '92 said otherwise. 

He didn't like to think about that night much, when he'd left the apartment to escape the sounds of Keanu crying. To escape the reminder that he was the one at fault for Keanu's crying. 

His anger has finally boiled up so bad; it wasn't Keanu's fault, it could've been anyone, he could've broken down at any moment in time. Keanu was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time; and being in the wrong place had cost him a horrid black eye and a swollen bloody lip, along with a constellation of bruises on his chest. 

Paul had come back the next day, in literal tears, begged of Keanu to take him back, swore he'd never lay another hand on him. Keanu agreed, as long as Paul would finally talk to someone. 

Dr. Eugene Horace was a short, private man, he didn't have many friends; some would say he himself needed therapy. He was always good with patients however, and Paul was no exception so even after Keanu's untimely death, Paul continued to go to Dr. Horace twice weekly. 

As he came upon the building -lower level belonging now to a barber shop that had just opened merely weeks ago- he thought back to his first visit here, when Keanu had practically yanked him up those stairs by the collar on his ratty faded navy blue button up. 

Before he'd been pushed into the door of Dr. Horace's office he'd looked back at Keanu, with a burning fire in his eyes and said, "Maybe you should get some therapy too, junkie." 

Keanu's drug habits weren't a big deal considering Paul was right up there with him; but Paul's little breakdown hadn't been either of their first introduction to domestic violence. Keanu used to come in, high on whatever the alley junkies gave him that day, and it usually ended in a fight. A horrible bloody fight, to put it roughly, they beat the shit out of each other. 

It had always been a toxic relationship, Paul wouldn't face this truth until well after Keanu's death. They just weren't right for each other, Paul would've done better with Tommy Stinson had Tommy not left him for that idiot Chris. 

He's up the stairs and at the door, he knocks once, twice, three times before a small, boyish voice says, "Come in." 

Eugene Horace had always been very boyish, although he was only a few years younger than Paul he was short, lanky, had a school boy style cut of blonde hair, so blonde that it almost resembled white. 

When Paul had first come into his office he didn't recognize him for The Paul Westerberg of the Electriks. Paul was his first ever celebrity patient, and once he found out it was Paul the couldn't barely contain himself.

As a young boy of fifteen, when the Electriks we're first making it big, he was a music fanatic. He'd never heard anything quite like it, they were new and yet old and they were perfect for the ears of young Eugene. His walls were plastered with posters that he looked at in joy (and on occasion, masturbated to, the first signs of his future homosexuality). 

Having Paul as a patient had given him a sort of distaste for the Electriks however. He didn't very much like the backstage look he was getting into the true lives of the Electriks. It was a wild story, full of sex and jail and drugs and rock 'n roll, something Eugene had never wished to experience.

He liked to live vicariously through the thought of the Electriks, not dive headfirst into all the drama and anger and substance abuse. 

Paul took a seat on the couch opposite Eugene's chair, Eugene attempted a smile, "So, Paul, how was your birthday?" 

Paul wasn't ready for the question, "Fine, nice quiet night." He hadn't remembered his own birthday honestly, he'd spent it like any other night, strewn out on the couch in front of the telly half-asleep. 

"Did you see John this week, perhaps he stopped by to say 'Happy birthday'?" Paul almost laughed at the question, he hadn't seen John Lydon in weeks, but he pacified Eugene nonetheless, "Yeah, Johnny stopped by on Tuesday, we had a go in my bed 'n he left." 

Eugene shakes his head slightly, "Paul, you don't have to lie to me-"

"What am I supposed to say, I ain't seen Johnny in a month, he's bored of me, they all get bored. They get bored or they go off 'n get killed." 

"Paul, calm down, Keanu's death wasn't your fault, it wasn't anyone but that shithead shooter's fault." 

"Yeah 'n maybe that shooter did him a favour, maybe he's happier dead than with me." Paul was tensed, eyes narrowed toward Eugene; "Paul, take a breath, calm down. Keanu loved you. I know he did." 

Paul sits back, relaxed enough, "You don't know shit, you don't know anything," 

Eugene sighs, "So, you've been eating right, Paul?" His shotty attempt to redirect the conversation works well enough. 

"Yeah, I been eatin'." Paul nods, arms crossed like a teenager, he's standoffish, still probably pissed. 

"That's good Paul, I feel like we're really making progress." Eugene gave a small smile, Paul glared, "Oh yeah, tons of progress, fuckin' tons." 

"So, Paul, you think you might be ready to finally.. open up about, y'know. Adolescence." Eugene tries this everytime, tries to get Paul to talk about teenage hood. 

"You always fuckin' ask that!" Paul spits, " You always fuckin' ask. Alright I had a shit childhood! Dad beat me when he got drunk, ma just watched! How many fuckin' times do I gotta say I don't wanna talk about it?" Paul's up on his feet, Eugene curses under his breath realizing he might've gone a bit far. Paul continues, "You wanna know what happened to me as a kid so bad, huh? You're just so eager to hear me cry and spill it all out, huh? Y'know what childhood was like? I was made fun of ruthlessly by the other boys, beaten up, and if my dad found out I didn't fight back, I got the shit beat out of me again! I was sent to my room, where I'd sit in solitude and cry, like a little bitch I'd cry,"

"And if that ain't enough for ya, I got sent off to a fuckin' mental hospital, for the fucking crazies, cause ma walked in on my wankin' it to a picture of Paul McCartney when I was fourteen." 

Eugene's quiet, lips pursed tight, Paul takes the moment to walk out; down the steps before he can hear if Eugene said anything.

It's gonna be a cold walk home, he feels like he might cry.