You were aware that your squealing sounded like that of a young girl, but you couldn’t help it. You were running out of breath but not keen on giving up this game to the boys just yet. You finally reached the staircase and began making your way upstairs- as fast as your feet would carry you, but still mindful not to slip on the stairs.
“We’ll get you, Y/N, don’t-“ George took a heavy breath as he continued chasing after you. “Don’t think you can outrun us forever.” You laughed loudly. Somewhere downstairs, laughter also came from one of the rooms- Tom and the others who weren’t intend on catching you were clearly having the time of their day, watching their bandmates struggle to catch up with you.
You kept running and suddenly realized that you could only hear George’s footsteps somewhere behind you and his silent huffs of breath, but not Jeff’s anymore. Odd. You reached the end of the staircase and took a harsh turn to the right, holding onto the railing as you kept speeding toward the end of the hallway, planning to take the stairs into one of both directions upon getting there.
Just that Jeff had apparently arrived there before you. He must have taken the other staircase up here, the one you had considered running down again. He stood there now, his arms crossed and a little smirk on his lips. You threw up your hands in mock-complaint and shouted toward him: “That’s cheating!”
“It isn’t and you know it!” Came George’s voice closer to your ear that you had anticipated it. So little, actually, that you stumbled to a halt, a few steps in front of Jeff. George had finally caught up with you, sneaking his arms around your waist so you couldn’t run away again. He leaned forward to lightly rest his head on your shoulder and chuckled. “Don’t think we’d just leave like that, without a proper goodbye hug.”
Jeff nodded, uncrossing his arms in front of him, and stepped closer. “Can’t just go on tour without saying goodbye to ya first.” He spread out his arms, raising an eyebrow at you. He was smiling now and you rolled your eyes affectionately. “And here I thought I could avoid this- hassle.” You let it come across as the joke it was meant to be- the whole chase just a way to keep the guys with you longer and the traditional goodbye hug too dear to you to skip it.
“C’m’ere.” Jeff warmly asked and you took a step forward to close the distance between the two of you, George keeping his arms wrapped around you and walking with you in sync. You let your head lean against Jeff’s shoulder, wrapping your arms around his middle and feeling him close his own around you and George. The hug was warm and comforting and you let your eyes fall shut as your breathing finally slowed down again.
George and Jeff had a thing with giving the best hugs. Long, warm hugs that managed to calm anyone, no matter the situation. Currently, the hug was their promise to you that they would be alright and back sooner than you’d notice, not leaving you behind for good. Still, the Wilburys were going on a two-month tour across the west coast of the United States this time and you’d miss them, you already knew and had told them so.
So you let yourself bask in their gentle hold some longer. George nuzzled his head a bit closer to yours, squeezing your waist lightly for a moment, as if to tell you that he was here right now and would be back. “We’ll miss you.” Jeff took one hand from George’s back and rested it on your cheek before running it through your hair for a silent minute, the only sound uttered a quiet “Hm-mm” of George’s in agreement to Jeff that you felt where his head rested against your throat.
After a while, you told them a quiet “Careful” and shifted in the embrace until you had both arms wrapped around them, one around each of them respectively. Jeff and George had their arms wrapped around each other, too, and you closed your eyes once more, enjoying the perfect cuddle pile the three of you could become. You could tell that the goodbye hug was nearing its end, so, after leaning forward into their hug once more and resting your head against the two of them, you pulled back and looked them into the eyes more intensely.
You looked at George’s warm brown eyes and for a moment, it was as though George was silently telling you once again that they would be back again very soon- then he nodded and you nodded back, looking one more moment at his smile and twinkling eyes. “Promise,” he said, and you wondered once again if he could really read people’s minds. He seemed to read yours easily enough. You took one of his hands in yours and squeezed it tightly, and he pulled you in another long hug, both of you mumbling your goodbyes.
When you finally managed to let go – which was hard, given that George’s hugs were so good everybody found it difficult to let go (should George actually be first to let go, which hadn’t happened yet to your knowledge) – you turned toward Jeff and raised your eyebrows. He didn’t seem to understand so you just said “Sunglasses” and reached up to carefully take them off. You put it in his chest pocket and met his eyes again. Jeff shook his head in amusement. “Y/N, you’re the strangest bird I’ve ever met- I mean that in the best way.”
You snorted. “I just like seeing your beautiful eyes for once, Jeffrey.” He blushed and protested against your absolutely valid assessment of his gorgeous, blue eyes. “She’s right, though, Jeff,” George agreed from next to him and you gave him a thankful glance and a nod. “Thank you! See, Jeff? George thinks they’re beautiful, too!” You smiled at him, hands on your waist, not taking a no as an answer. Jeff chuckled, a bit embarrassed at so much open appreciation all of a sudden.
“Alright.” He opened his arms again and you let him pull you in for the final goodbye hug. You’d already said goodbye to Tom, Bob and Roy earlier, knowing that George and Jeff would take the longest to say goodbye to. You rested your head against Jeff’s chest and he pressed a quick kiss to the top of your head before you both pulled away. “Take care of yourself, Y/N.” It was quiet and he consciously or unconsciously mimicked you and George, taking your hand in his and squeezing it. You smiled. “You, too, Jeff.”
You gave them both a peck on the cheek and then decided to do what you felt like in that moment, which was taking both of them by the hand to walk down the hall to the other staircase with them, prolonging their departure just another minute more. You looked at Jeff and then at George, both of them smiling as the three of you walked down the hallway in a lazy pace. You couldn’t help but smile in return, happy in the middle of two of your favourite people.
“So- what town’s gonna meet the Traveling Wilburys first?”