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I Should Have Known Better

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"Paul."

John's raspy voice broke the silence. Singing Twist and Shout wasn't that easy for him, and he sang it a lot that day.

"Paul, Paul, Paul."

He was almost singing his name. His voice was covering the others one in the studio.

"Paulie, Paulie boy !"

"What, John? I'm trying to write, ye know."

"Yes, but I'm bored."

Paul sighed and looked at John. He was pouting like a real child. His glasses were on his nose, for once. Paul couldn't help but smile at him.

"Then, help me with tha'."

John mumbled something but he sat down on the couch, next to Paul. He took his little notebook and threw it ; Paul stared at it while the pages hit the ground next to the door.

"Hey, John!"

He was almost pissed off. Okay, nobody told them to make another song, but he really wanted to write something fine, just in case they needed a new one. Time was rare for them, and today was pretty calm ; even if they recorded a lot and were all tired. Paul looked at the clock. It was already past ten and the sky was dark, outside. He didn't realized it was this late.

"Play for me."

Paul frowned and looked at John.

"Why? I mean, not that I don't want to."

"I want you to play Twenty Flight Rock for me."

Paul remembered the Woolton Village Fete. He smiled and ran a hand through his hair. He then took one of the guitar next to them. It was a right-handed one and, with a smirk, Paul took it upside-down.

"Then, I will."

"Like in the ol' days."

Said John, with a little smile. Paul began to play, then to sing, looking sometimes at John, sometimes at his own fingers. He played Twenty Flight Rock so often back then that he could still remember every movement he needed to do. He still played it sometimes, when he was alone or when he was nostalgic. Maybe John was nostalgic. Or drunk, like he was a few years ago. Well, no, he wasn't drunk. Paul would know it. They had this kind of bond ; they always knew what was in each other's mind. Paul was the only one who could actually told John when he was going off-limits. It was the same for John. They were both so close that they knew probably every thoughts of the other. People knew how close they were and never tried to break that. Their mums' deaths also helped them being that close ; sometimes, they would cry for hours, just the two of them, mumbling about how they missed them, hugging each other.

Paul, somehow, loved this moments, when it was just John and him being close friends. John, being older, was kind of his mentor. Actually, John was a lot of things for Paul. Maybe he was everything for him? His voice cracked on the last notes and John raised an eyebrow.

"Tha' sure was good. D'ye have something on your mind?"

He asked with an amused, yet worried, look.

"I guess, yeah."

He put the guitar down on the small table in front of them and then sat back down on the couch. John was waiting for him to talk.

"Ye know, we're close. I was just thinking 'bout tha'."

"Is me little Paulie boy gonna blush?"

John laughed while moving closer to him ; Paul rolled his eyes and sighed but John could swear he was blushing a bit.

"I mean, not physically, John. I was serious."

"I know you were. I always know everything 'bout ye."

Paul laughed, but his laughter stopped when he realized that John was totally serious.

"You should say that to a bird, Johnny."

"Ah, but you know that - that I screw up everytime but, er, I'm really... Yesterday, I..."

He stopped, frowning, looking at his hand. Yesterday. Yesterday, before they went home, John and Paul had an argument. All of a sudden, John told Paul that he was driving him crazy. Not in a romantic way, more in an angry one. Paul was too surprised to say anything and John just said that the Beatles, the Beatlemania - everything was driving him crazy. That he wanted to hurt them. Earlier, Paul kissed a girl and John chased her out, using a pretext. But then, he told him that she was just a bad-looking bird, a stupid one, and he was really pissed off because they "almost banged" in front of them. It sure did hurt Paul, and he just shook his head, saying that he was going too far. He left, and spent his night worrying about his John. But Paul knew how John was. He always had this personnality - the sarcastic, nice and soothing one and the impulsive, cold and mean one. And he knew that he was trying his best to control everything in his mind ; but it was hard. And sometimes, he would just... go mad and Paul was the only one who could stop him or understand what was happening.

"That was- That was something, yeah."

"Yes. I... It was just... just too much at the moment, and, ye know, we worked a lot, I was tired, the girls were still outside, screaming... I'm not trying to innocent myself, I know I screwed up. But, yeah I-I wasn't really thinking and I said too much again."

"Yeah."

"So I... I'm sorry, Paul."

His glasses were on the tip of his nose when he looked at Paul.

"You know I love you, right?"

"Yeah, I know."

John smiled, almost weakly. Paul smiled back.

"I know how you are, John. I know how it is in your head, more or less, so yeah. Let's just forget that."

"You'll do a perfect husband, Paulie."

He laughed, like nothing happened. Even if a few seconds ago, he was apologizing, nervous and unsure of him. He only showed himself that vulnerable to Paul, most of the times, and sometimes to George or Ringo. He put his head on Paul's thighs and his feet on the couch while yawning.

"I'm tired."

"Yeah, I can see that."

"Sing something, again. I think I'll sleep there."

Paul laughed while secretly thinking. What song? He started singing From Me To You. John took his glasses off, putting them on the table, and closed his eyes, listening to him with a little smile. Paul slowly began to caress his hair, and the world around them slowly disappeared. It was just Paul's voice, his fingers playing with auburn locks of hair, John slowly beginning to fall asleep on his lap. It was just the two of them, and nobody would dare disturbing them.

By the end of the song, Paul thought that John was asleep. He slowly let his thumbs run on his cheek. The eldest looked so relaxed now that Paul himself felt very calm. It was at this moment that Paul felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up, his eyes falling into Ringo's big blue eyes.

"Lads, we should go home. It's getting late."

John moved, a small groan leaving his lips. Paul just slowly nodded, and gently looked back at him.

"C'mon, John, we have to go. Ye can't sleep there."

"But..."

He mumbled and slowly sat back down. He looked almost drunk because of the lack of sleep. He turned and looked at Paul with a tired look.

"Sleep with me, t'night."

It wasn't even a question ; it was an order. Paul didn't mind. He slept a lot of times with John, they were both used to it.

"Okay. Let's go, mh?"

John slowly nodded and they both stood up. George and Ringo were waiting for them, and the four of them left the studios, quickly saying goodbye to everyone inside.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

After long minutes, Paul finally was in front of his house. He quickly came in, John following, and he was truly walking like a zombie. Paul pushed the door open, came in, locked it behind them.

"Mmmh. Love this place."

"I kno' you do."

With that said, John walked directly to the bedroom, where Paul's king-size bed was. On his way, he took his shoes and his socks off, quickly unbuttoned his shirt and threw it somewhere in the dark room. Paul did the same thing. Seeing how his best friend was tired wasn't helping and he found himself pretty exhausted too. They both fell on the bed, and John moaned in relief.

"Paul."

"Mmh, John?"

"C'm'ere..."

Paul groaned but he moved closer. John rolled, ended up on his chest, and he quickly put his head on Paul's torso, wrapping an arm around his belly.

"Ye're so comfy..."

The bassist chuckled, but quickly moved, not really comfortable.

"Mhh, ye, c'm'ere. I'm not fine like tha'."

John rose an eyebrow but he was slowly put completely on Paul. He smiled, amused, but stayed like that, his whole body pressed against his. No spooning for them. They knew George and Ringo liked to spoon, but Paul and John weren't really comfortable with that. It always ended up with one of them on top of the other or in a weird knot of members without any sense.

John let his hand slide on Paul's chest and finally rested his head against his own arm, the other sliding on Paul's side. He groaned, wondering what was the best position, and his second hand finally came around his neck.

"Gosh, stop movin'..."

John smiled but a satisfied sigh escaped him, and he stopped moving. Paul put his arm around him, closed his eyes. He could feel John's calm heartbeat, his breath on his skin, and he was totally ready to fall asleep when John talked again.

"Don't have a wet dream, mh? I don't want to feel little Paulie t'morro'."

"Don't be silly..."

John smirked and Paul just laughed, which was a funny sensation for John.

"If it happens, it's all yer fault. So don't blame me."

"What a naughty boy, Paulie..."

"Well, same thing goes for ye, Johnny."

"I can control meself, deary."

They both laughed but the silence came back. This time, Paul broke it. He was unable to see John on him because it was really dark ; but he felt how his breath moved on his chest.

"John?"

"What?"

"Tell me a story."

"Okay, Paulie. Ye're a real kid, aren't ye?"

Paul shrugged and John smirked again. He put his head back down on his arm, lost in his thoughts.

"Once upon a time, on a planet with no name, in a town with no name, was a castle. It was in a wild, dark forest, and the poor peasants were scared to go there because there was a lot of rumors about this forest. But in this castle was the king of the country, and his two daughters."

The bassist's arm held John closer because he was almost falling when he was talking.

"The king was a nice man, but he was very strict. His daughters would marry the princes from the country next to theirs. They would keep the houses, be good and nice wives. It was the original plan."

"What was their names?"

"Michaela and Pauline."

"Wow, well done. I wonder who they might be."

"Hush, Paulie. So, this was the plan for this two nice girls. Pauline was okay with it ; but, secretly, she was a writer and a musician. She loved playing music ; especially with the big piano of her father. Her father allowed her ; but it was just because he was scared she might feel alone, even if she was always with her younger sister."

John stopped, thinking about what would come next. With a smirk, he kept going.

"In town, there was a young man. He was a musician, more or less, and he wanted to play music forever. Except, a mean God put him in a family where he wasn't able to play as much as he wanted. He wasn't able to learn everything he wanted to learn. He thought that a witch probably threw a curse on him."

Paul chuckled at the description, but his hand came on John's head, slowly caressing his hair like he did when they still were at the studios. John didn't mind.

"There was a rumor in town ; there was a wizard in the forest, who was really nice. Some people said that he was able to make all of your wishes come true. The musician decided that he would go to this very wizard and ask him about his curse. So, he went to find this wizard."

"And?"

"There was trees everywhere -"

"Well, it's a forest."

"Yeah, but it looked like a jungle, and the musician wasn't good with orientation. He was lost before he realized it. He fell on a root, and a branch tore his pants' leg."

"Poor boy."

"Mh-mh. It was getting dark outside, and soon, the night fell on him. How was he supposed to find a wizard in the dark? He suddenly felt really, really angry. 'What a stupid plan, what a stupid place, what a stupid town, I hate this country !' He said, in rage, kicking a bush."

"This guy should probably learn how to control his emotions."

"The musician would have probably insult you. Anyway, he was really pissed off. Spending a night all alone in the dark forest wasn't part of the plan. He hated when things weren't going his way. But he wasn't that stupid, you know, and he had his guitar with him. Truth was, he was a bit scared of the dark, but he loved music. So he decided that his guitar was gonna help him. And he started to play. He wasn't a good musician, everybody knew it in town. But he was alone in the forest, what was the point of playing like a God when there was none to hear him?"

"He's not wrong.."

"'What's this?' A deep voice came from behind him. He almost fell again, and turned around. The wizard was standing there, with a big branch in his hand. Well, what was looking like a branch, except a gentle light was coming out of it. The musician stopped playing and wondered what he was supposed to do. The wizard was a bit scary, he looked young yet a bit older. He had a beard, which the musician didn't have. 'Ye're the one playin' music?' He asked while looking at him. The musician slowly nodded, noticing that he had the same accent - so, he was coming from the town too."

"Maybe the town's name is Liverpool."

"The town doesn't have a name, love. Anyway, the musician started to talk to him about how he was unable to play correctly. The wizard took him to his place, and he looked inside a crystal ball. 'Ye'll find what ye need around music.' He said. 'Music will bring you happiness, friends, and love.' The musician frowned. 'What a stupid thing. How am I supposed to learn if I can't play?' The wizard just laughed. 'Ye'll get it when ye'll find the way. With them.''But who's this them?' 'Three people who love music just like ye do.' And with that, the musician was left all alone again in the forest."

"What a sweet prediction."

"He began to walk again, not really knowing where he was going. He was thinking about the wizard when he saw a man in front of him. He was visibly younger, with dark hair and high cheekbones. He looked quite charming, it was almost supernatural. He just smirked when he saw the musician. 'Oh, a lost rabbit.' He said. 'What are ye doin' 'ere, all alone?' He had a very strong accent, which was surprising for such a mystic person. 'I'm lost.' 'Oh, how bad. C'm'ere, c'm'here..' The musician didn't really know why, but he got closer. At this moment, he saw how long the man's fangs were. He remembered people in town, talking about a vampire hiding in the forest. Why was he in the forest, anyway? He was there to protect the castle, like the wizard."

"What a nice vampire, then."

"But he was hungry, you see. People said about him that he was always hungry, which was a problem sometimes. But the musician's blood seemed delicious, so the vampire put a hand on his shoulder, grabbing his clothes, and his fangs were about to bite his pale skin when a voice echoed behind him. 'Don't do that, vampire.' It was a feminine voice, clear and beautiful. It wasn't the place where the voice belonged. Too precious for that, you see? The vampire stopped moving and he even stepped back. The musician saw a girl behind him, arched eyebrows and doe-eyes, long curly brown hair slowly caressing her back when she was walking. She came closer and stepped between the two men."

"She's brave."

"Probably more than she knows. So, she's between them, but she's looking at the musician with curiosity. 'Who are you?' 'I'm a musician.' 'I saw that. Why are you 'ere? How did ye do to come 'ere?' The musician was surprised because she had an accent too. It broke a little bit the precious image he made of her. 'I came because I can't play music, but I love music.' 'Ye do? Really?' 'Yes, I do, princess.' The princess stayed quiet and looked at the vampire, who seemed completely closed, yet a bit interested in the whole thing. 'Then, follow me, musician.' she said. And the three of them left, the princess guiding them as if she perfectly knew every piece of the forest. The vampire was moving fast, and he was precise. He knew the place too. The musician was a bit lost, and it was hard not to fall again."

John stopped for a few minutes. Paul loved how he was able to invent a story based on almost nothing - well, them, obviously, but it wasn't that easy. Paul knew it ; he wasn't that much of a writer.

"The castle appeared in front of them. The musician wondered why they were there, but he didn't say a word and followed them inside. The vampire looked like he knew where he was, and the musician thought that it was weird. A vampire was supposed to be an evil creature, no? But he had no time to think about it ; the girl stopped in front of a huge piano, she sat down, and she played. Her fingers were moving fast on the piano keys and a beautiful sound came out of the instrument. 'She's the one', thought the musician. He knew that he needed to stay with her if he wanted to play music. He took his guitar and played too. She turned and stopped playing, but it didn't broke the moment. She looked at him, and she looked so mature, so calm that he thought she was an angel. 'Play a D.', she said with her soft voice. 'What's a D?' He asked, lost. 'Yer middle finger must go 'ere.' This time, the vampire talked. He quickly showed him, and the musician did the job. The princess stood up, and she took a guitar from under the piano. 'My father doesn't like guitars.' She explained while putting it around her, huge contrast between her sweet face, her big beige dress and the wooden guitar in her arms. She was a left-handed girl, so she just stood in front of him. It looked like a mirror, except she was a girl, and he was a boy. But she showed him how to do the trick, and he did it, and the vampire was looking with a small smile. 'No' tha' bad.' He said. 'Do you know how to play, Mister Vampire?' asked the musician. 'I do. I play the guitar. I have a lof ot free time, after all.' The musician smiled. The wizard wasn't really crazy, then. 'But three guitars is no good.' He quickly added, frowning, worried. The princess blushed a bit. 'I can sing. And I write songs. More or less.' She quickly said, as if she wasn't really sure about it. 'Lovely, then. I write poetry, just a bit. We can use that. I guess I sing too.' The vampire slowly nodded. 'M'too.' But the musician frowned. 'Even with tha', something is missing. We need... we need..' He thought about it. 'A beat. Drums. We need drums.' He finally found what was missing."

"Oh, drums. I bet the princess is interested in that too."

"Yeah. 'I can't play the drums.' The princess said, worried. 'But... But the wizard can, can't he?' The vampire asked. It was quiet for a while, before they all headed naturally to the door. 'I heard him, once. He knows how to play. He's good.' He said again. The musician raised an eyebrow. 'Ye're in love?' 'No. But he knows how to play.'"

"I think our little vampire is in love."

"Probably. With that said, they all left the castle, and went to find the wizard once again. He was quietly waiting, sitting on a bench near his house. 'Here you finally all are.' The musician frowned. What was that supposed to mean. 'Did you know?' He asked. 'Yes, I see it.' 'Then, why didn't you tell me?' 'I'm not allowed to. Anyway, I guess I can play. And me house is big enough for us all. Come, come.' They went inside. There was a small room where they all fit. And they played random silly songs."

"I don't think rock'n'roll existed.."

"It doesn't matter. They played for hours, and then for days. But the king was angry. His very first daughter, playing in a band ? And her future ? But the musician was in love with her, you see, so he told her. 'It's me and the band or your father and a future you don't want.' She chose the music again. They lived a long life, all together, just playing music. They all learned how to love each other, and they grew used to each other. They became a real family and everyone knew them in town. They were playing for the town, then the country with no name, then the planet with no name. The end."

Paul stayed silent, holding him tightly against his body. John was smiling against his skin, feeling a bit tired now. He talked a lot. A silly story coming right from his silly mind.

"It was lovely, ta' Johnny."

"Mh-mh. Glad ye like it. But now, it's time to sleep, little girl."

"Yeah, probably. Goodnight, Johnny."

"Goodnight, Paulie."

The bassist gently kissed the oldest's forehead with a smile, and they both fell asleep soon after that.